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How To Begin A Paranormal Investigation/Beginning Your Paranormal Investigation
By: Dennis Batchelor / Founder MVPs
The first thing that comes to mind when you mention beginning your paranormal investigation is all the task involved with dragging out all your equipment carrying it into a location and and setting up.
a But where's everything going to be set up at?
a What are you looking for?
a Where's the hot spots ?
a What kind of equipment do you need???
Which brings me to my point...
First you must conduct the interview with the home owner or individual whom contacted you. In the interview you want to find out what the the 4 W's ...Who, What, When, and Where? With that being said lets start with...
This would be the person or persons that have had some sort of what they believe to be a paranormal experience.It's important to try to follow up and interview as many people possible who have had personal encounters related to "This" investigation.
During this part of the interview your trying to establish locations i.e.: upstairs, downstairs, kitchen ect...
So what's the problem? You need to ask questions that will determine what it is your trying to discover.
Do unexplained things happen randomly, like doors opening or slamming shut, objects like keys and other small item go missing?
Strange smells or odors fill a particular room or area, this could be both pleasant and unpleasant odors. Are clouds of smoke or mist ever seen? Has any strange orbs been seen?
Apparitions, Has anybody seen a person ( man, women, boy or girl ) in a physical appearance only to watch then disappear after a few seconds? How many details do they recall, things such as clothing, hats, facial hair, short tall large small...These facts may aid in identifying an apparition.
Have they seen strange shadows this would be like silhouettes of things but with no other details. Are there places within the location where people have encountered unusual cold or hot spots.
Any feelings of being watched, un-easiness, feelings of being sick or sleeplessness?
Times are also important. Time of day, time of night, a particular month anything that might suggest a residual haunting. Also "Time Wise" how long has the problem been going on, days, moth maybe a year or more?
Was there anything usual going on in the house like construction of any kind or maybe something like a new child being born? Anything that may have changed that might have changed the feelings or structure of the home or location.
Here you need to be specific. Where downstairs, which bedroom, what part of the bedroom. It will ultimately be this information that will determine where you'll be placing your equipment.
If someone has shared feelings of being watched but only in one or two locations with the location it could suggest high EMFs ( Electro Magnetic Frequencies ) and can be the cause a variety of symptoms.
Ok, Now you've completed the Interview....What's next ?
The next thing you'll want to do is a physical inspection of the entire location and this should be done in full day light for reason that will be explained as you read ahead.
You will need a clipboard paper a several pens for taking notes. Specifically what you will be looking for are any possible non-paranormal explanations as to possible cause for unexplainable occurrences. You'll want begin with a walk around the entire outside of the structure. This will be very helpful in several ways.
To start with it's going to give you a better understand of the type of terrain and surrounding area. It's also going to allow you to figure you time a little better knowing how large an area you'll need to cover. You will want to sketch a drawing of the area and make note of any possible hazard you may encounter while stumbling around in the dark. Note large trees, power lines especially with transformers attached and any items touching a home or building you'll be investigating. You want to take lots still photographs of the exterior as the may come in handy later. It's also important to have a clear photo of the home or building from the street as it will help other's easily find it's location. Next You'll want to do a close examination of the structure. you want to look for cracks in the foundation or the building itself, check all the windows you can reach and see if the rattle if you push on them. Also note if window pains are missing or cracked. If this is a private residence you'll want to take down any wind chimes, hanging planters, hanging bird feeders or any other objects that may cause noise in a breezy condition.
I had a case where a hummingbird feeder was swing in the breeze, it hang from a piece of wire the was rusted and made a screeching noise that sound like someone whistling. If you didn't know the cause it could be somewhat unnerving.
You'll want to check for nearby trees and make note of any branches that may be touching the structure, again this could be the sound coming from the attic...
Look for gates, swing sets, patio furniture and any other like items that may squeak, rattle or creek in the wind.
By now you should have a pretty good idea what were looking for,
Any hazards that may cause you or a team member harm. Any possible scientific explanations as to noises, drafts or illusions.
Quick story on illusion...
I investigated a home where the kitchen would regularly around 2:30 am light up and by time anyone could get to the room it be dark.
It turned out that a neighbor on a cult-a-sec a block away was a bartender and came home around that time on the nights he worked.
Even though he lived a block away his headlights would for a moment, shine between the homes across the street hit the window on the un-attached garage that belong to the home in which I was investigating.
Because it sat at a 30 degree angle behind the house the headlights could not be seen at the front of the house but would reflex off the door to the garage and briefly illuminate the entire kitchen...Again if you don't know why it was happening it could freak you out!
Now the last thing you want to do is check the threshold of all the door to the structure to see if the leak, check how well the they open and close, do they latch properly and if one is slightly ajar and you quickly open another door will the vacuum cause any movement in that ajar door.
Now we move inside...
It's time...Were going in !
Here again you want to make a sketch of the entire layout of each floor. Leave nothing out include closets bathrooms, and any other small built in cabinets
NOTE: Cloths drops are occasional found in older homes they are located above the laundry room down stairs.
any noise downstairs can travel easily though them.
Make note of missing floor boards, holes in floor, wires or anything that you need to make your team aware of before entering in the dark...Always SAFETY FIRST!
Note over all condition of each room. Take deep breaths and make note of any smells.
Pay attention to heat vents as they can be a source of drafts as well as carry sound. Check electrical outlets for drafts as well as any signs of shorts.
Check the windows from the inside, again look for cracks, missing pains, rattling windows. occasionally you will find plastic sheets on the inside to help insulate the windows, check to see if they are sealed to the frame well.
In the event of a strong breeze or high wind gust the plastic has been known to buzz or if loose flap, keep this in mind and compare the possible sound of that, that a witness describes.
Check all the interior doors to see if they close and latch properly, make note of those which swing open or closed by themselves or if there hard to open or close.
Observe broken light fixtures and loose wires extension cords and check the switches to see if they function correctly.
Make note of all the electrical breaker boxes and be sure to take EMF readings as the typical have high readings. Its not unusual but try to see how far away you need to step away before you get back to an acceptable range.
5 feet would be acceptable 10 feet would be cause for concern as it could create a "fear cage" effect or even cause one to feel ill even cause skin irritations' and rashes.
Next you want to check all the facets, sinks, bath tubs and toilets. Make sure the sinks don't leak, the facets all turn on and off correctly. Do the same with the bath or shower.
Turn the handles on quickly on full then turn the off and listen to see if you hear the pipes hammer or pound and also if the water flow can be heard in wall or floor or ceilings in other parts of the structure.
NOTE: Be careful when turning on and off the water not to splashing it all over and making a huge mess...
With that you now will want to check the basement, cellar or crawl space (use your digression). Here you want to examine the foundation for cracks and or water damage, broken windows, visible holes to the outside making notes of any problems.
You'll want to check wiring and note any large cluster. Be sure to take EMF readings and note exact locating practically if there in the ceiling. Be sure to note that in the records for the room/s located directly above.
Look for small transformers that are often related to doorbells and old phone lines they too emit high EMF reading and will need to be noted.
If a furnace or boiler is present you want to check all exterior parts, access doors vents and pipes. Be sure to note any rattle or noise of any kind when shook or pushed against.
Check and be sure all water lines are secure and don't move and knock when lightly shook. If possible be in the basement while another member turns on and off the water and see if the the pipe hammer.
That's about it, note any hazard or thing to be aware of and then later upon arrival with your team, prior to going in or doing any set up, gather all members and go over all the details put the emphasis on any hazards or things they need to be aware of.
And last be safe and have fun.
Some of the views expressed in the above article DO NOT necessarily express the views or opinion of Ghost Hunters Incorporated.
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