How to Start of Improve a Ghosthunting or Paranormal Investigation Team
I will start off by saying this is going to be a much longer blog than I normally author. I wanted to be thorough because I feel very strongly about the subject and want the material that I publish to be beneficial to other people interested in the paranormal investigation field. I get somewhat technical at points during this blog post, however I feel that it is all very important material for someone involved in the paranormal investigation or ghost hunting field to be aware of. So please bear with me if at some points you feel that the material doesn’t apply to you, because later material in this blog entry will. With that being said let’s get started.
So you have an interest in the paranormal and either there isn’t a ghosthunting or paranormal investigation team in your area for you to join or you don’t agree with the philosophy of a local group and wish to start your own. You are toying with the idea of starting your own team and don’t know where to start or wish to make sure that your bases are covered. You may also wish to improve your current team or your personal career in the paranormal investigation field. If any of what I just said applies to you, even in a small way then today’s blog post is geared towards you.
Unless you plan on doing recreational ghost hunts with friends and don’t plan on taking on clients then it isn’t as simple as gathering a few friends and buying some of the flashy equipment that you see on the television shows and going out and finding you some ghosts.
First and foremost your biggest decision is whether you wish to form a team of ghosthunters or a team of paranormal investigators. Historically these two terms have meant two completely different things. Since the main stream production of paranormal television shows began approximately 15 years ago the terms have been often used interchangeably, however they are not synonymous, not even remotely. A ghosthunter is someone who goes to a location with the goal of finding paranormal activity, might do a little basic debunking, and basically uses the investigative methods and technology that you see on the paranormal television shows. A paranormal investigator is someone who goes to a location with the goal of finding scientific explanations for perceived paranormal activity, has a working knowledge of a wide variety of applicable science subjects, and employs the usage of types of investigative equipment and methodology that you won’t see on the television shows. After science has been thoroughly exhausted then they will entertain the idea of something possibly being paranormal. I will get more into the equipment and methodology that I am referring to later. To be truthful after some in depth research on my part I have found that many of the paranormal teams out there use the methodology, procedures, and equipment of ghosthunters as you would see on various paranormal television shows, although the groups that do so use the paranormal investigator title. As I have said the separation between the two has very much vanished since the paranormal televisions shows began airing some years ago. Anyone who has been at this as long as I have will tell you the same. I was investigating and researching the paranormal long before it became a fad beginning around 15 years ago.
I am not saying anything negative against ghosthunters. Many paranormal investigators got interested in the paranormal field by watching ghost hunting television shows. Just like any other hobby or career there are various levels of emotional and time investment as well as knowledge level and skill sets. For example someone could enjoy taking pictures of their adventures with their cellphone for the memories, while someone else could use expensive photography equipment and be educated about various aspects of advanced photography. One is not better than the other, there is just a different level of personal investment in the hobby. One person may enjoy shooting hoops in their driveway where another may enjoy scrimmage games with their friends and someone else could enjoy being on a competitive team. It is similar in the paranormal field. Some people are involved just to “hunt ghosts” and experience paranormal activity, and couldn’t explain the who’s what’s whens wheres whys and hows about theories used in the paranormal field and couldn’t tell you anything about their equipment other than how to turn it on and change the battery. Other people in the field may be able to tell you how their equipment works and perhaps some of the history behind the theories that they speak of. They may do some deeper debunking. You can also have an investigator that focuses on certain aspects of the paranormal such as communication, EMF, or audio. Then you have your paranormal investigators with a deep passion for the field who would be able to teach classes on the history of the theories used, sciences used in investigations that you will never see on tv shows, could give master level classes on the equipment that they use, and have a network of people around them with advanced degrees who they consult when something they find is not within their experience or skill set. There is so much in between the four examples that I just gave. Again, one is not better than the other, what is better is doing what interests you, as long as it doesn’t negatively affect others. I will get more into that throughout this blog entry.
My first caution to you is that if you plan on going in to this field and focusing on finding paranormal activity because it is fun and don’t intend on dedicating yourself to learning a wide variety of sciences, such as subjects that I will discuss further later in this blog entry, and if you plan on using the methodology that you see on tv shows, I would highly recommend that you reconsider taking on clients representing yourself as a paranormal investigator or expert as giving unknowingly false information to clients can cause them to make life altering decisions, and while hunting ghosts is fun for you, if you present yourself as an expert and give wrong advice it can have harmful effects on the lives of others, the reputation of your team, and the stigma that already exists towards those in the paranormal investigation and research field. Please keep that in mind.
My first and foremost suggestion for you is that if you don’t want to get as heavily involved with the paranormal investigation and research field as a career paranormal investigator and researcher does that it would be a great idea to network with one or two paranormal investigator and researchers that have great experience and expertise (and I don’t mean a very experienced ghost hunter.) You are undoubtedly going to come across situations that require more experience and knowledge than you have and it is important to have one or two people who you can go to that have the knowledge and experience that is greater than yours and a network that they can reach out to for answers that they don’t have available in their own experience or skill set. Egos and pride and the thrill of the hunt must be put aside for the sake of your clients. Just because you have seen every paranormal show on tv doesn’t make you an expert or even well versed for that matter. Those shows are a far cry from reality in the paranormal investigation and research field. Consider the tv shows as a poor instructor and that you have so much more to learn, which I why I strongly suggest finding a mentor or two with vast experience and knowledge in the field, and I am referring to a paranormal investigator and not a ghosthunter. I have been at this for a very long time, been studying for decades, and although I would feel comfortable saying that I have greater experience and knowledge than a majority of the people in this field I still consult with those with greater knowledge about subjects than I because I feel that it is important to give yourself and your clients the most accurate information possible considering what we do. I have a network of people with advanced college degrees and subject specializations that I consult to ensure that I am providing my clients with as accurate information as possible. There isn’t room for egos and pride, although you may see them in others, you will want to rise above that and do what is right for the field of study as a whole.
Please keep in mind that paranormal television shows are designed to have a level of spooky and action to keep the viewers entertained. Television shows don’t, and I will repeat that for those sitting in the back not paying complete attention to what I have to say, paranormal television shows do not represent what an actual on-site investigation entails never mind what a complete case investigation entails. These shows are heavily edited and condensed into 42 minutes. Cases can often take days, weeks, months, or even years to come to a conclusion. Some cases can’t be brought to a conclusion. You don’t go into a location and walk around with flashy equipment, have an EVP session or two, perhaps do some historical research, and then come out with definitive information. You will see that on these television shows, but that isn’t reality if you intend on being a serious paranormal investigator and researcher. You can count on many hours sitting there in the quiet, spending countless hours in interviews, research, self education, and evidence review as you don’t whip through it once and call it done, and you will have to get used to finding nothing substantial in most cases. I have found that in the majority of the cases I receive that I don’t even need to do an on site investigation and can explain what the client perceives to be paranormal activity with my knowledge of science through an elaborate interview and some research if appropriate for the situation.
What you see on most of the television shows is equipment being used for things that they weren’t designed for, being used incorrectly, and basic science principles being completely ignored. Again, their goal isn’t to show you how to conduct a true investigation. Their goal is to make money by making the shows as alluring to as many viewers as possible so the network can sell advertisements at a higher cost. Almost nobody except for a very small niche audience would sit there and watch a true paranormal investigation. I am just referring to an on scene investigation and that doesn’t include everything else involved in handling a case behind the scenes. Unless you have a very deep love of the paranormal field as a whole then you would be bored to tears if you had to watch a real paranormal investigation unfold from start to finish. I am not saying that they are boring for those who are that emotionally invested into it, I am just saying that it would be boring to those who want to see themselves some spookiness everywhere. If you don’t want any part of what I just suggested then I just recommend that you stick to completely recreational ghost hunting and not get involved with more serious side of the field. You couldn’t imagine the amount of ghost hunting and paranormal groups that have come and gone just in the past 15 years since paranormal television shows starting picking up steam. The shows drew in thousands and thousands of people to get involved with the field of study, and the vast majority of them found out that it isn’t as seen on tv, and their interest fizzled out and the groups disbanded. You really need a passion for the paranormal field to remain interested in being on a team for a long period of time. You can easily set up cases for yourself without a client being involved, but finding clients can be somewhat scarce these days due to the stigma that has been created due to the television shows and by ghost hunters portraying themselves as experienced and knowledgable paranormal investigators when it isn’t remotely the reality of the situation. Those who remain dedicated to the field are in it for the research of science and paranormal theory, continuously broadening their knowledge and skill set and are not completely focused on the one off empirical on location investigations.
Does the following scenario apply to you? Let’s say that you want to try and do what you have seen on tv. You want to purchase some equipment with all of the flashy lights and find yourself some paranormal activity. You don’t want to spend countless hours learning about various sciences, but may want to learn enough to debunk some of the more common things that are seen on tv and learn about the basic usage of your equipment, but not get too technical with them. You may want to take on clients to try and use methods that you have learned on tv to try to help them, (but in reality in most cases you won’t really be able to in a complete and thorough manner.) Is this the situation where you see yourself? If so you want to start a team of ghost hunters.
Let’s look at a second scenario. Do you wish to spend countless hours learning about sciences ranging a broad variety of subjects, human behaviors, network with people who have advanced college degrees to consult for you, to use more expensive and truly scientific equipment and investigative methodology, conduct research that benefits you, your clients, and the paranormal investigation and research field as a whole, educate others, and to focus on disproving activity as paranormal as a primary focus with finding paranormal activity being of a secondary priority? Is this situation where you see yourself right now? If so you want to start a team of paranormal investigators.
Once you decide to start a team one of the first decisions to make is how big you wish your team to be, and team dynamics. Do you want to have a small handful of members who have multiple skill sets, or do you want specific roles and specializations? In my opinion while the secondary roles can be dedicated to specific people I highly suggest rotating responsibilities when it comes to on scene investigations as to help members not get bored with the team, unless someone specifically doesn’t feel comfortable doing a particular task. Please be aware that taking on a case isn’t as simple as going to a clients property, asking a few questions, having a one night on site investigation, reviewing evidence, and then declaring a resolution. Television isn’t reality in the paranormal field. There will be many hours of boredom if someone isn’t heavily invested in it, so sharing responsibilities from case to case will help keep your members interested. Please keep in mind that if you are doing an actual on scene investigation for a client versus recreational ghost hunting that the more people that you have on site increases the possibility of evidence contamination. I personally keep most on scene investigations to just myself and one other person. You truly don’t need a whole team as you would see on some of the television shows. Unless it is a large location usually two people will suffice. If you want to double that to four people I suggest only there being two on the property at a given time and the other two stay off site somewhere until it is their turn. If your group is strictly for recreational ghost hunting and you don’t care about evidence contamination or investigation integrity then there really isn’t a limit to the amount of people you can have on your team as you won’t be too concerned about evidence integrity and contamination. If you know your stuff in the majority of cases you will not need an onsite investigation and a thorough scientific interview and perhaps a little research is all that is needed to resolve a case.
After figuring out the basic team dynamics you will need a name for your team. I would suggest that if you are ghost hunting then you include that in your name to help differentiate yourself from a paranormal investigation team. If you intend on being a group of serious paranormal investigators I would suggest leaving the term ghosthunting or ghosthunters out of the team name. An easy way to come up with a name is to use the name of your village, town, city, or county. Perhaps a secondary name used by the area to designate your region would make a good name. I wouldn’t suggest using your personal name in any form for self publicity. It will just come across as egotistical. You want the team name to be catchy, but have meaning. I would avoid macabre terminology or using an odd name just to make an acronym work the way you want. Also be sure to do a thorough search to ensure that the team name that you want to use isn’t already being used by another team, or that a very similar name isn’t being used by another team. A simple Google search and state corporate records search should be able to let you know if the name or a very similar name is already in usage. I run a team of paranormal investigators who focus heavily on investigative research and education and I live in the Mount Washington Valley, so I named my team “Mount Washington Valley Scientific Paranormal Investigation, Research, and Interpretation Team” or MWV SPIRIT when it is shortened. The name describes what we do and where we are from. If there was a local ghost hunting team in this area they could possibly use the name Mount Washington Valley Ghosthunters as it would differentiate themselves from my team and it specifies what they do. While the terms have been being used somewhat interchangeably in recent years they truly are separate things, and I surmise that as time goes on, as it has begun to do already, the terms will be used more appropriately for their meaning. This isn’t about ego or pride, but it is for the importance of ensuring that your name reflects your personal investment and skillset and services offered in the paranormal field so you’re not misleading potential clients, others in the field, or yourself.
If you are going to be more than a loose group of recreational ghosthunters I would suggest registering with your state as a non-profit organization (unless you plan on finding some way to produce income from the group, then register possibly as an LLC.) You will have a small initial filing expense, and will have to file an easy to complete report each year to the state, but you will be able to legally use the name and if your situation requires it you could get liability insurance for the legally registered team. It’s impossible to purchase insurance for a group that doesn’t legally exist. Registering the name also helps prevent another team from coming along and using your team name among other things including but not limited to appearance of professionalism, any legal related situations that may possibly occur, and team longevity.
In all activities associated with your team including your online presence, any marketing or advertising, and your day to day operations I would strongly recommend avoid including religious constructs such as the devil, demons, angels, and other religious entities. While I whole heartedly respect religious beliefs, unless your team is going to be focused on religious based beliefs, I would suggest keeping the religious based beliefs and constructs out of the picture. They were developed many years ago as a tool of control and fear and do not, and I will repeat it again, do not exist in science, and what we do should be focused on science or should be focused on religion. They will not play well together in this field. You should do one or the other, but keep in mind the stigma that comes with it and what it can do to the reputation for the paranormal investigation field as a whole if you want to use the paranormal field as a method for pontificating your religious beliefs. You will want to do your part to improve the reputation of the paranormal investigation and research field, and not damage or degrade it.
Now comes the part of marketing your team if you are going to be providing a service to others. If you are just going to be ghosthunting without taking on clients all you really need to do is find a local social media group or to place a classified ad in the local paper for a meetup for those possibly interested in ghosthunting. If you are going to offer services to clients I would suggest coming up with a professional looking logo. There are plenty of free logo makers on the internet if you or people in your social circle don’t have graphical design talents. I would suggest that you keep the logo focused on professionalism and not on the spooky or macabre. It may seem cool to you and others in the paranormal field, but it is a turn off to the outside world and gives an impression of your group that isn’t very favorable. You will want to create social media websites for advertising and networking. Again I suggest that you keep them professional and don’t go around posting spooky photos and highly edited videos everywhere. It won’t do you any favors and will damage your reputation and credibility to those people who matter, your clients and serious paranormal investigators. Don’t tarnish your team for props on social media from people who don’t know what they are talking about. You may also want to purchase a relevant and easy to remember domain name and create a website. Again I suggest avoiding the spooky and macabre and keeping it looking bright and professional. As I said I would also suggest not posting evidence on your social media and website for multiple reasons. Those reasons include maintaining professionalism, anonymity of your clients, and while you think the videos may be cool, you’re not doing yourself any favors drawing in clients by posting what most likely would be very debatable photos, content that does not prove anything, and hasn’t been reviewed by specialists who could provide some validity to the authenticity of the photo or video and could speak to there not being a scientific explanation or cause to what is being seen. If you want to post in such groups dedicated to that online without using your team name I would suggest going that route anonymously, but I would recommend keeping those videos off of your website and social media pages. You must have written permission from clients if you intend on using material recorded from their location in a public forum, but even at that I would strongly suggest that if it is appropriate to do so you keep it anonymous and ensure that you have permission post said videos and photos. Make the website focused on educating others about the paranormal field and what services you offer. Don’t center the website around promotion of yourself or spookiness. It will never come across the way that you would hope it to and it just comes across as egotistical or immature and unprofessional. Put yourself in an outsiders shoes. Imagine that you know little or nothing about the paranormal and are looking for help. You come across two websites of local groups. One of the websites is bright and professional looking, informative, and easy to navigate. The other site is dark, spooky, filled with questionable photos, videos, and other evidence, and is disorganized. Which team would you reach out to if you were in their shoes? That question is rhetorical and you know the answer. Design your marketing strategies with the client in mind and not with your personal interests in mind. You could advertise in the local classifieds online and/or in print if there is a local newspaper. You could make professional looking flyers and place them at the local library, on the bulletin board at local markets, and perhaps any local metaphysical stores, or stores owned by friends and family. Being a legally registered nonprofit organization greatly increases your chances of the willingness of places to be willing to post your flyer. I will say it again, avoid the spooky and macabre in the flyer. Keep it looking professional. Find local social media groups to not just post ads in, but to converse with others to build a positive and friendly reputation. Thanks to television shows, movies, hobbyists posting photos and videos anywhere online claiming paranormal activity where it doesn’t exist, and loosely formed ghosthunting groups running amok claiming that everywhere they go they find paranormal activity there is giant stigma on the paranormal investigation field. I come across it quite frequently and I am one of the more serious paranormal investigators. You will find that the stigma precedes you and in some cases you can overcome it, and in others people’s minds they are already made up and there is nothing that you can do to change it. Focus your time on open minded people and not people who already have decided for themselves that it is all hogwash. I caution your however to not to help add to the spooky stigma because you find it entertaining to believe that there is paranormal activity everywhere that you go and you want to show the world your “evidence” which is typically extremely circumstantial, manipulated, real science is ignored, and overly interpreted to seem paranormal when in most situations it isn’t. Some people may want to see paranormal in situations where it doesn’t exist because you want to see paranormal, however I caution you to not to try and convince others of the same thing that you are trying to convince yourself. You will only do yourself and the entire paranormal field a disservice by attempting to do so. As another method of team promotion and marketing you could get involved with local volunteer opportunities with your fellow team members wearing your team shirts for such events as town clean up days, traffic control and clean up at local fares, and food pantries. Look at local event calendars for opportunities where your team can volunteer (not in a paranormal function, but as a helping hand for their particular cause) which will help build your reputation and possibly help overcome the stigma that paranormal investigation and research has earned.
You are also going to need equipment. Before I say anything else I will state that the majority of cases will not require an onsite investigation, and those that do I strongly suggest the equipment be a secondary tool and not a primary. Set them and forget them. Walking around with them in hand creates so much contamination. Set the equipment up and leave the building. With that being said this is another area that really differentiates between ghost hunting and paranormal investigating. If you want to ghosthunt then go and buy everything that you have seen on paranormal television shows. Go out and buy all kinds of relatively unscientific equipment that is flashy and makes noises, and will allow you to enjoy ghost hunting. Don’t worry whether or not the equipment actually does what people on tv shows and movies represent it as being able to do. I am looking at you K2 meter, ghost box, ovilus, SLS camera and ouija board. I have covered that particular topic in the past, and am sure at some point I will do a more in depth episode on those five particular devices in the future. I will give you a quick hint, they can’t do technologically or scientifically do what movies, tv, and uneducated believers have suggested that they can do. Purchasing equipment for recreational ghost hunting equipment would probably set you back between $250 to $500.
If you are starting a team of paranormal investigators you are looking at a much more financially costly investment. My equipment bag, and I only have one of most devices, cost me somewhere in the neighborhood of $5000. I have infrasound and ultrasound detection equipment and analyzation software, a binaural microphone and audio analyzation software for 3 dimensional sound recording. I also have an ionized radiation meter and analyzation software that can detect alpha, beta, gamma, and X-ray radiation. Alone those three devices and software come to about $1200. I also have a MacBook Air to connect those devices to so I can use the analyzation software. That is another $1200. Add a Flir infrared camera, a professional audio recorder, and a professional atmospheric sensor array and you just added another $1400. We are up to $3800 and we haven’t gotten into a video/dvr system, tri-field electromagnetic radiation meter, 4k near infrared camera, professional EMF meter, stand alone motion activated infrared camera, condenser microphone, red flashlights, and faraday bags for the voice recorder and microphones to prevent EMF interference. There is another $1200 and we are up to $5000. Did you notice that my equipment is geared towards finding a scientific explanation over a paranormal one? If you plan on educating others you will probably have to invest in a projector, speakers, screen, and presentation software. The equipment that I employ is not used to find paranormal activity and instead is used to find natural scientific reasons to explain perceived paranormal activity. A paranormal investigator exhausts science, and I mean actual science and not the paranormal theory that you saw on a television show where the people speaking about the theories don’t know or understand the background of either historically or scientifically. After collecting evidence and after review having any level of uncertainty will lead a paranormal investigator to consult with those with advanced college degrees, versus looking for and assuming paranormal activity as a ghosthunter would. If you exhaust the science then you can feel more comfortable attributing something to the paranormal versus immediately jumping to that conclusion without doing the thorough scientific work because it is more enjoyable for you to do so. So if you wish to be a serious paranormal investigator you will need to build a network of those with advanced college degrees and subject specialization or link up with one or two willing paranormal investigator and researchers that do have that network in place so you have people outside of your team to consult with on the science to ensure investigation integrity and accuracy.
Once you have built your team you will want to have a meeting with them and get to know each other better. You may want to go on a recreational ghost hunt or complete a mock paranormal investigation. Team building exercises will help build camaraderie and help peak interest and motivation. During your first team meeting you will want to come up with a mission statement for your team to give it a defined purpose. Google defines a mission statement as “a formal summary of the aims and values of a company, organization, or individual.” My team’s mission statement is “Mount Washington Valley SPIRIT is in existence in order to engage in research pertaining to parapsychological related entities and paranormal phenomena in order to improve humankind’s understanding of parapsychology, paranormal theory, to help the “unknown” become “known,” and to educate others to our findings.” You may also want to create a vision statement which describes what you intend to accomplish in the long term. My team’s vision statement is: “Mount Washington Valley SPIRIT will further the understanding of the parapsychological and paranormal field through scientific and secular spiritual investigation and research. Using both scientific and secular spiritual investigative and research methodology Mount Washington Valley SPIRIT will help our clients understand what is causing real or perceived paranormal activity around them that they believe to be is paranormal whether it be natural, man made, or parapsychological paranormal activity.” Once created have these on your website and social media pages along with the description of your team and the services that you offer. It will look more professional and will give you something to strive for and can be used as a reminder if you find yourself off track. Just like anything else, mission and vision statements can evolve over time as experience and education can lead to a different path for you and your team.
You will want to create Standards of Practice and Standard Operating procedures for your team. One mistake that can be fatal for your team’s success is being a dictator and only doing things your way. Keep an open mind and allow your team to explore their interests. That means allowing them input in the Standards of Practice and Standard Operating Procedures. Standard of Practice will establish parameters for the team to follow as it pertains to professionalism, chain of command, accountability, etc. Standard Operating Procedures will establish step by step procedures on how to complete tasks. I will remind you that being a dictator will result in failure which is why it is important to take into account the feelings and opinions of your team members and to allow leeway during operations from said Standard Operating Procedure if it is beneficial and appropriate at the time. Being the leader you may have the last word, but the words of everyone else on your team have to hold some weight, especially if the consensus of the team contradicts your personal wishes. Standards of Practice typically don’t have a gray area and are adhered to equally by everyone on the team. You will also want to create documented team position descriptions so everyone is clear as to what their role entails. Everything that I have discussed in the past few paragraphs here may seem like overkill, but they will aid in team longevity, organization, purpose, professionalism, member retainment and happiness, as well as client satisfaction through improved team functioning.
I would recommend before even thinking about taking on any clients that your team gets to know each other better, streamline and practice your procedures, and have some mock investigations, and I don’t just mean the on site aspect of the investigation. Build your team skills before taking on clients.
You may want to get professional looking team shirts and IDs so if you take on client cases when it comes time for an on site investigation or local community events you look like a professional team.
My biggest recommendation is to continue education on subjects of science that can be somewhat related to the paranormal investigative field. If you are going to take on clients it is of utmost importance to know what you are talking about and to not just be regurgitating rhetoric and hyperbole that you heard on paranormal television shows where the statement has no traceable history or scientific plausibility whether in reality or theorized by someone without a verifiable background in science that can create a scientifically acceptable experiment to provide substance and proof to said theory which shows concrete proof and not simply twisting vague evidence into a shape that supports a theory basically because you want it to do so.
A list of subjects to become familiar with include but are not remotely listed to:
Perception anomalies including afterimages, chronostasis, clustering illusion, cryptomensia, déjà vu, jamais vu, and presque vu, depersonalization, derealization, diplopia, ear barotrauma, frequency illusion, micropsia, musical ear syndrome, palinopsia, pareidolia, pelopsia, peripheral drift illusion, phantosmia, scopaesthesia, spotlight effect, synesthesia, teleopsia, and tinnitus. You should become familiar with human behaviors including Apophenia, Availability Cascade, Barnum Effect, Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon, Dunning-Kruger Effect, Hutchinson Effect, Infinite Monkey Theorem, Mandela Effect, Misinformation Effect, New House Effect, Observer Expectancy Effect, Semmelweis Reflex, Singapore Theory, and the Thatcher Effect just to name a few. I would suggest becoming familiar with medical conditions including but not remotely limited to Charles Bonnet Syndrome, claustrophobia, hypnogogic hallucinations, hypnopompic hallucinations, misophonia, parasomnia, sleep paralysis, synesthesia, and tachypsychia. It would be beneficial to study about audio anomalies including but not limited to distortion, hissing, infrasound, Helmholtz Resonances, humming from EMF interference, low frequency rumble, radio frequency interference, Schumann Resonances, ultrasound, and vibroacoustic phenomenon and how these can effect your equipment or cause a human psychological physiological response that can be misinterpreted as paranormal activity. It is important to understand photo anomalies including but not limited to aliasing, barrel distortion, blooming, bokeh, chromatic aberration, dark current, flares, halation, jaggies, moiré, noise, overexposure, parallax, pincushion distortion, pixelization, purple fringing, and underexposure. Other science and general subjects to expose yourself to include but are not limited to construction, electrical principles, electromagnetic radiation, equipment ability, operations, and technology of its functioning, geology, meteorology, plumbing, and psychology. It is important to understand all of these things that I listed and so much more to ensure you aren’t misinterpreting real world science with something paranormal just because you want to believe something paranormal and that paranormal is happening because it was more enjoyable. In all honesty I would guesstimate that the vast majority of my cases were explainable with science, however when there is something that science can’t explain that taste of finding something paranormal is that much sweeter. Reality isn’t what you see on television and you will find that paranormal activity is not everywhere that you go. It just doesn’t work that way in reality.
It is also important to become familiar with mental health issues so you can recognize them and abstain from working with a potential client who may have mental health issues. People with mental health issues need a medical doctor that specializes in mental health and not a paranormal investigator or a ghost hunter. We could potentially make a bad situation even worse. If they possibly have a mental health issue then you need to step back and decline the case and not buy into their stories for your own enjoyment.
As it relates to being aware of a variety of science related subjects for example very recently somebody reached out to me because they were experiencing unexplained sensations such as anxiety, feeling like they were being watched, ear aches, headaches, and jitters. They were not an anxious person in anyway in their day to day lives. Their doctor didn’t have an answer as to what was going on so they began to think outside the box. The client had reached out to a few teams who claimed to be paranormal investigators and these teams without any real scientific investigation gave the client a list of paranormal causes without any evidence. Upon research the client realized that the few teams that they had reached out to were investigating like they do on television, not using any real science, and were in it for the thrill of the hunt. These teams were not paranormal investigators, they were ghost hunters. The teams that the client had reached out to had seen paranormal everywhere because they wanted to and will entertain very little of anything else as a possible cause of perceived paranormal situations. I had a conversation with this client and asked a series of questions. Without doing an on-site investigation I solved their problem within approximately five minutes. I had deduced that they were experiencing symptoms from a sensitivity to infrasound exposure being caused by an old large fan in their house with a faulty motor. I also suspected the feeling of being watched was a mild case of claustrophobia due to the client having boxes everywhere from doing a major walk in closet clean out. The ghosthunting teams the client had spoken with would have had the client believe there was paranormal activity in their house when there was a scientific cause to the problem. The ghost hunting teams hadn’t done any questioning to everyday science causes or human behavioral causes of the perceived paranormal activity. They went straight to the spooky, and couldn’t have been more wrong with their conclusion. For the record the client stopped using the old fan and cleaned up their cluttered room and the perceived paranormal activity disappeared overnight. We are being invited into people’s homes and businesses. Do we want to see spooky everywhere because it is more fun to do so and not give accurate responses to our clients because we want to see what we want to see, or do we want to take a significant amount of time to learn various sciences, have a network of those with advanced degrees and specialization, and give accurate information to our clients and reduce the amount of perceived spooky that we find for the sake of the integrity of our investigations? We all got into this for the spooky, however do you know who stays interested in this field for the long term and enjoys it much more thoroughly? That would be those who educate themselves to the level that I spoke to about here today.
Seek out the science and when you can eliminate as much science as possible either by yourself, with your team, or with the help of highly educated or experienced consultants when you do find something paranormal you can be confident that your findings have more legitimacy to them and you can focus your research on that particular situation. Focusing on the spooky may seem more interesting at the time, however for most people that doesn’t last long term because you will keep getting disappointed. As always remember that science comes before the spooky, and I mean real science and not the junk science that you see on television shows. Integrity and reputation are paramount to seeing spooky everywhere. Do what’s right for your clients and not what’s right for the mood that you during that particular time. Science first my friends.
As always I am always happy to be a source of information, a mentor to others, and a consultant to other groups if they are aspiring serious paranormal investigators. I can be reached at info@MWVSpirit.com or through one of our social media pages where we can be found under MWVSpirit. Much of my enjoyment of having being in the paranormal field and researching the paranormal as long as I have is due to my ability and willingness to help others due to my experience and knowledge. I don’t play turf wars and am happy to help those with genuine interest in growing as paranormal investigators. I hope that you found some value in this blog entry and if you did please feel free to share it with others who you feel will benefit from it. Together we can help the paranormal field grow, succeed, and earn respect.
In closing please remember that I have no issues with anyone who doesn’t go hard core with the science in the paranormal field. We all have different levels of interest and skill sets. If you just wish to ghosthunt and do what you see in paranormal television shows by all means have at it. I would just ask that you keep in mind the effect you can have on the lives of your clients and either consult with or refer your clients to someone with much greater experience and greater skill set if the situation even remotely requires it. I started off as a ghosthunter myself and in short fashion realized that I wanted so much more and put in the long hours and effort to become a great paranormal investigator and researcher. If you aren’t one already and wish to be one, a great deal of effort and time will allow you to become one as well. The sky is the limit and with there being so many possibilities you will never run out of things to research to increase your skillset. That is the best part of the paranormal investigation field.