Important Tips Regarding Paranormal Research/Investigating
1. First and foremost, always get written permission to search the premises. Verbal permission is not sufficient. I would highly recommend creating an “Investigation Permission Form” that should be completely filled out and signed by the owner/manager/authorized personnel as well as a member of your team / organization as this serves as a temporary but written contract granting permission to be on the site to perform a paranormal investigation.
2. Always carry identification. This is mainly common sense, but it’s mainly for the reasons that if you’re on a investigation which could be an abandoned building to a grave yard and you or your team are approached by a local law official. The officer can then verify with the site owners that you are with said team/organization and have permission to be on the site. Refer to the above written agreement with the owner / manager/ authorized personnel.
3. Never go alone. Things could get dangerous. Not just in a spiritual sense, but if you’re investigating an old & decrepit building for example, it could be a structural hazard. In some scenarios, it may be deemed precautionary for each person to have a cell phone on their person. In normal situations it is always good for investigators to leave cell phones off. It should only be used in an emergency and only if the Two-way radio cannot reach back to the intended recipient. Remember also, the living comes first. Never put yourself or anyone else in danger.
4. Make sure that your equipment is always clean. This procedure will rule out some of the possibilities of a “false artifacts” and ruining your credentials when reporting your findings / evidence back to your team. Your ability to effectively investigate, review and build a strong dependable rapport starts first within the organization you represent. From there, as a group you can stand unified in the same abilities when presenting your evidence to your clients and possibly the world.
5. Promote positive energy and always be respectful of the deceased. Spirits / ghosts are more likely to manifest themselves or communicate if you don’t pose a threat to them. Sometimes using provocation is a necessary tactic and can be employed when an investigator deems it worthwhile to elicit a specific reaction.
6. Interview witnesses and try to get the full story. Be objective; try to find a natural cause to the claims or events. Try to debunk the situation in a professional and respectful manner. Remember, these folks want to know why their home / business or property has activity / strange happenings and are generally concerned about it. Especially if they have children. It is not your place to be condescending, but it is your place to be analytical.
7. Cigarettes, alcohol or drugs do NOT belong on the site. Cigarette smoke is one of the main causes of a false artifacts and drinking will ruin the credibility and professional image that your organization wants to uphold. If you are a smoker, designate a safe area or time for you to smoke so as not to corrupt any investigation site being worked. Even if the owner / manager/ authorized personnel tells you it is ok, you must still (for the sake of paranormal research) respectfully stay the course.
8. If the recording device you are using utilizes a tape media, then it is essential that you always use fresh / new audio and video tapes. This ensures a clean and quality recording and keeps things from being cross-contaminated from previous recordings.
9. Every member and guest(s) on the investigation should audibly “tag” what they see and hear. If someone sneezes or mist forms in front of you, then it needs to be audibly pointed out. Try to determine what was the origin of the sound or at the least that you acknowledge it. That way, at the end of each investigation, it can speed up the review process so you’re not wasting time & resources on false artifacts.
10. Never wear perfume, cologne or any distinct scent; because a lot of experiences are from a spirit letting you know that it’s there by using some sort of fragrance. Prior studies have shown an association of pleasant scent suggests a pleasant spirit. A sudden foul odor usually has suggested that it is possibly malevolent.
11. Keep plenty of batteries with you is smart as you may find someone or something else stealing power from the batteries in your equipment. Also, if you have all the necessary tools and equipment you are ready for most anything that you may come across. Being ready means you have more time to investigate and not spending it running back & forth for supplies or gear.
12. Never come to a conclusion on site. It’s best to weigh in all the evidence collected and compare notes before coming to a conclusion. Reserve any on site conclusions or personal opinion until all photos, videos, and audio have been studied / reviewed. If asked for an opinion, a suggested response (and really your honest frame of thinking as well) should be, “We’ll try to find out what’s making this happen.” It’s not good to say it’s paranormal until the case has been completed and time for the reveal of evidence to the client. You may find that additional follow up investigations are necessary in order to really get a full understanding of what may or may not be going on. So keep that in mind as well.
Tips for capturing E.V.P.’s
1. Set the recording device down on a level plane, this will rule out vibrations, shuffling and movement on the devices’ body from an unsteady hand.
2. Speak clearly, never whisper. Whispering is a nightmare to differentiate during the analysis phase.
3. Audibly note any sound heard or anomaly seen.
4. Do NOT wear or carry noisy items. (i.e.: jewelry, change, loud clothing or shoes, etc.)
5. Always state time, date, physical location and who’s present (living that is) when you begin recording.
6. Always record in short sessions. This way it will be easier to review.
7. Ask simple questions and allow approximately 20 seconds for an answer.
Example questions to ask…
· Anyone here that would like to answer some questions?
· Are you male or female?
· What is your name?
· Are you married?
· Can you make a noise for me/us?
· Can we take a picture of you?
· Do you want us to leave?
· Do you know you’re dead?
· What year is it?
· Why do you like it here?
· Do you want to leave this place?
· How did you die?
· Would you like for us to pass a message along to someone?
These are just a few tips for catching a really good EVP. Remember, friendly spirits are more willing to communicate if you give off positive energy. Try to team up male / female and take turns answering questions. Sometimes spirits will most likely respond to one sex more than the other. Yelling or threatening a spirit is a gamble, because even if they’re friendly they can become agitated and could possibly pose harm. It may be that they are frightened or intimidated and in turn decide not to commune with you. In the event you are dealing with something darker or potentially malevolent, this may be the it needed to take things to the next level. A level you or your team may not want or be prepared for. That’s why it’s better to ask short and simple questions. Stray away from long and thoughtful ones. Less is more.
Tips for photo / video recording
1. Avoid taking video or stills during any kind of weather conditions (rain, snow, hail, sand storm) or where smoke is visible.
2. Hold your breath when taking stills on a cold night.
3. Hold the camera still. Movement will distort the photo.
4. Avoid taking photos of shiny or reflective things.
5. Learn and know what your equipment can and cannot do. Test it out before going on a hunt.
6. Never take a photo or anything towards a light. It will create a glare and destroy any possible evidence you may or may not have.
So, there you have it. These tips will really help you keep focused on what you set out to do while making things easier for you & your team in the long run. Think smarter, not harder. 🙂