Paranormal Investigation Procedures
The methodology and standard operating procedures used by various paranormal investigation groups varies between organizations, primarily geared towards the preferences of the Director and Lead Investigator. Today I will give you some insight on how I prefer to handle an investigation.
Upon hearing from a potential client I will ask them to fill out a questionnaire pertaining to their experiences. This questionnaire permits me the ability to get a broad idea of what the client may be experiencing. In many cases there may be a very simple explanation for perceived paranormal activity that I can resolve for them without having to open an investigation. Some examples of this would be having them check for lose or frayed wiring in a section of the house that they are experiencing activity. Science has proven that long term exposure to increased electromagnetic radiation can result in physical symptoms such as insomnia, headache, depression, fatigue, dysesthesia (a painful and/or itchy sensation), lack of concentration, memory loss, tremors, and dizziness. Anything from being close to a source of radiation for extended periods such as a microwave, computer, smart meter, cell phones, Wi-Fi routers, power lines, televisions, etc can cause susceptible individuals to experience the symptoms listed above and cause perceived paranormal activity. An old house settling can make some concerning noises when the level of temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure varies. An improperly shield transformer on the telephone pole outside of the house or poor wiring in a garage can cause electromagnetic fields that can result in perceived paranormal activity. If we are able to help the client find such causes immediately then they can take the necessary steps in order to remedy these concerns. The questionnaire also helps me direct the investigation in a direction that would be best suited for the particular client in question.
Using the responses to this questionnaire I will conduct a lengthy interview with the client and anyone also witnessing the paranormal activity. I ask that the various people involved do not swap stories during this time in order to allow for a more accurate picture of what activity that is going on so it isn’t affected by blending stories.
If further investigation is required I will then provide documents to the clients in order to keep a written log of paranormal activity. Information requested included date, time, changes in temperature, weather, and sensations, as well as sudden mood changes, disappearing objects, telekinesis, discarnate voices or sounds, apparitions witnessed, and other related phenomena. Having a record of these activities may help me pin down regular locations and times of these perceived paranormal activities. Often there is a basic scientific explanation and using these logs can often allow for a quick on scene investigation where we can find electromagnetic radiation causes for the perceived activity. Often times the logs do not give us a definitive direction to head the investigation towards.
While the client(s) are preparing a log of activity a member or a few members of my team will begin historical research of the property using public records available from the town, library, and historians. We ask for written permission from the property owner on how far they will let us research. While checking town records and library records is private, if we speak with historians we may need to divulge some personal information (such as the location) and we will not do so without permission on paper from the property owner.
Where necessary a member of the team may speak to an electrician, physicist, geologist, construction project manager, a psychologist, or other specialists without divulging the client’s personal information in order to research potential scientific causes for the perceived paranormal activity. In some cases there is a scientific explanation for the activity that is going on. In many cases there isn’t so we move on to the next step which is to schedule an onsite investigation.
If a full onsite investigation is required we will schedule a day or series of days that best suits the client. Sometimes it may be during the day if that is when the client is experiencing the activity, but in most cases it is after dark, not because of the fact that it is dark itself, but because businesses, especially in construction and ones using heavy mechanics and radio traffic subside when it gets dark. The electromagnetic interference that occurs during the day from multiple sources can negatively impact our investigations. Doing the investigation after dark also helps minimize electromagnetic radiation emanating from the Sun which can affect the investigative devices that we use. On average we will not perform all night investigations. We will typically spend 3-6 hours at a location each day of the scheduled investigation. During those 3-6 hours we can obtain 12-24 hours of video evidence to review, 3-6 hours of audio evidence, and any other evidence that we can collect. Upon arrival to the client’s location we will review the activity log that was complete at the client site and ask any further pertinent questions if required.
We ask that animals be secured off site if possible as for both our safety and to minimize evidence contamination. If that is not possible we ask that they be kept in a location on site that will minimize evidence contamination. We ask that as few people be on site as possible, but understand that for security or peace of mind that a property owner or their representative stay on site. We just ask that they remain in the control center to minimize investigation contamination.
In the few days before the investigation our team will monitor both space weather (solar activity) and meteorological weather reports as both can have an affect on paranormal investigations.
We will then ask the client for a full tour of the property so we can be shown where we may and may not go, where activity had been occurring, and for safety concerns that we have to watch out for. The team will then decide where we wish to set up our control center where we will have our camera monitors and equipment staged. We will then begin the process of selecting where will be the optimum location for setting up our 4 near infrared wireless day/night vision cameras. They need to be in areas where they will best catch any paranormal activity, but also not in the way where the could be tripped over by a member of the investigation team.
After the near infrared cameras are set up we will tour the house taking base EMF readings of the entire property. We will note any above normal EMF readings. We do this using a device that is called a Tri-Field meter. This device was designed to detect extremely weak DC (direct current) fields and ignore AC (alternating current) fields. It can also do the reverse. The is device will also find magnetic field variations. This device is sensitive enough to pick up readings as weak as 3 volts per meter up to 10 feet away. The device is also designed to filter out the Earth’s natural background radiation. Doing this task first in our investigation allows us to find any high EMF readings that could be misperceived as or be causing or fueling paranormal activity. We will note any excessive readings in a log. This also allows us to recognize any EMF spikes on the property as we will have a base reading to compare it against. During this time we will also be walking around the property with a portable weather station which will give us base readings for temperate, humidity, and barometric pressure. While variations in these three metrics is bound to happen during the course of an investigation it may help explain if certain areas of the houses have a “heavy feeling” which can be caused by humidity, barometric pressure, and/or EMF radiation. This device can also help us find regular “cold spots” so we can see if they are being caused by mechanical or meteorological phenomena.
After getting our base readings we will attempt to reproduce any activities that were reported during the client interview or from their questionnaires. Cabinets popping open by themselves could be magnetic locks being affected by a nearby EMF source. A certain sound could be a mechanical device whose sound is being distorted by the construction layout of the house or geology on the property. Footsteps could be the floor boards of an old house settling in a sequential order. We do our best to rule out activity that has an explanation caused by mechanical or scientific causes. This allows us to focus our investigation on paranormal science if necessary.
We will then proceed to the paranormal investigation period. To do this we will try to witness and encourage paranormal activity. We will not provoke activity by attempting to use negative behavior as a catalyst. We will not raise our voices at, insult, demean, threaten, or any other negative behavior towards any entities that may be in the house. We attempt to encourage activity through audible or visual means such as conversation, music, lights, or any other activity that we believe to be appropriate for that particular case. We will be recording everything on audio and video for review after the empirical investigation off site. We will request any entity to respond to use verbally, or by knocking on something. We may ask them to approach our REM pod which will note any quick changes in temperature or radiation. The methods we use are always friendly and respectful. We will set up a laser grid in the rooms with the most paranormal activity as they will allow us to see the slightest movement or distortion in the room. We will use the Flir far infrared camera to look for thermal changes on the property. We use a portable 4k near infrared video camera as we investigate to possibly help us see any visual distortions that are out of frequency range that our eyes can perceive. We have a top of the line audio recorder with live monitoring that we can use to possibly make contact with an entity whose attempt at communication may or may not be beyond the human ear perceptional range. This device has amplification abilities and the ability to store many hours of recordings which we can after the fact listen to on a better suited audio system. Our empirical investigation has a certain flow to it, however every investigation is different and what we learn during the investigation helps direct on our next steps as time passes that day.
After we complete our investigation we will take down all of our equipment and the investigators will complete their onsite logs. In the coming days members of the team will review all of the evidence. We prefer to have more than one person review each piece of evidence and due to the fact that we will be recording many hours of audio and video we will need some time to review it all. I prefer to have multiple people review each piece of evidence so we don’t miss anything and as each person has different talents their expertise may reveal something that another investigator may not perceive. The investigators typically have full time jobs and family so it may take up to a week or longer for all of the evidence to be reviewed. Often one onsite investigation is all that is needed and we are able to obtain the answers that we seek. The team will review all pertinent evidence collected and cross reference them with the on site activity logs and the clients logs. We will decide whether or not we have enough evidence to provide the client with a case report. Sometimes we require multiple visits to follow up on evidence, while other times one visit may be enough.
We may also have to reach out to field specialists regarding questions pertaining to any evidence that we found to ensure that there isn’t an easy scientific explanation for what we had experienced.
While we are doing our post investigation reviews we ask that the clients continue to keep an activity log for us.
Once we have the results of our first investigation we will reach out to the client to set up a meeting. We will explain everything that we may or may not have found during our investigation, show them any evidence that we have found, and interpret it for them as best as we can. We may ask to perform further investigation with the clients approval, or we may have the answers that we need and provide a final case report for the client. In many cases we may suggest they call an electrician to repair faulty wiring, or a plumber to fix piping that is causing issues in the house. We may recommend they follow up with with a psychologist if we feel it may more of a personal concern. We may have a paranormal cause of the activity and we do our best to comfort the client and educate them as to what is occurring to the best of our knowledge. TV and movies and in some cases religious teachings will have you believe that paranormal activity has to be negative and scary and in the vast majority of the cases where there is paranormal activity it is benign and friendly. If there are cases where they are dealing with an upset entity we will provide them with possible actions to take if possible. Often it is just educating the client that the situation is what it is, not to be scared of it, and learn to treat it as a welcomed friend instead of an adversary that you want to leave.
Our group does not partake in religious activities, paranormal concepts, or blessings during investigations and if that is something that the client wishes to pursue we suggest that they reach out to the clergy that is appropriate for their religious beliefs. While we can educate the client on how to address any entities and how to cleanse their house of energy using their own energy through visualization, there is no guarantee of anything working to achieve the specific goal of the client. A cleansing is not guaranteed to work any more than a blessing from clergy is guaranteed to work. These actions often give the client the confidence they need and sense of well being to move on with any remaining activity.
Our primary goal is to determine to the best of our ability the cause of any real or perceived paranormal activity at the property and to best educate the client on their individual situation and next steps to take if necessary.
As always if you have any questions feel free to reach out!