Basics of Paranormal Investigation

So You Want To Be A Paranormal Investigator ……..Really ?

Voices. Odd lights that appear out of nowhere, floating through deserted buildings. Screams of tortured souls fill the countryside as tales of disaster and heartbreak are spread like wildfire . Don’t believe that was in the original Ghostbusters or the sequel, but for many would be Paranormal Investigators ; the hopes of making a discovery such as lights, voices is prominent in the minds as sufficient proof that ghosts exist.

In all of my investigations over the last few years, I’m no closer to discovering an answer as to when I first started. My fascination with the Paranormal started when I was 9 years old, reading everything I could get my hands on regarding hauntings, true ghost stores etc. I am now 46 years old and still studying, so my investigations and research make me a dinosuar by some standards. To me there are no actual basics more important than research. Currently the trend is to follow television shows like ‘GHOST Hunters’ as the investigative team travels to various locations which are considered “haunted ” . Great concept, I actually follwed the show during the first two seasons. What so few people understand is that the show is compacted into 1hr increments and behind the scenes research never is shown in it’s often long and laborious process.

The hype of actually capturing something digitally either by camera or recorder is made top priority throughtout the show . This is emphasized not once but at least 15-20 times in at least the first fifteen minutes of the show. And if nothing is ‘captured ‘ by the equipement more times than not the group quickly decides that no physical proof…… Paranormal activity has taken place. Of course they do follow up investigations – especially if the ratings were good for that particular episode .

My point is that this type of investigative work is not glamorous . If your not careful lack of good research can ruin a potentially good investigation long before it has begun. All the sophisticated equipment in the world cannot bail you out , no matter what the instruction manuals tell you. Television and the real world are two seperate entities and in this field of work if you don’t know what you are dealing with it can bite you on the ass sometimes, or far worse follow you home.

In my life I have had the luxury of working in two broadcast mediums at the same time television and radio. In television Paranormal shows are scripted to a certain point and ‘Ghost Hunters’ follows that aspect in the camera shots and the really bad “teases” used prior to commercial breaks. That being said I believe that they try to demonstrate the importance of research, but gloss over it do to being in a visual medium. And for hardcore Paranormal researchers seking the truth, that doesn’t impress. Radio as well can be scripted when it comes to interviews on Paranormal investigations, however even then it relies on the guest knowing what he is talking about ( if he is good) and being able to convey the investigation to the audience without needing a cool visual segue before the next commercial break.

My advice if you truly want to study the paranormal, is not to listen to me. Just go out and do your own careful research, talk to people. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on equipment . A flash light , basic digital recorder and a good camera will do – manipulation with digital photos is to easy and personally I find a good 35m camera still the best way to go. If budget is tight, use the disposable 35m cameras they work sometimes even better than a stand alone 35m . Research, research and more research. Libraries, newspapers in the local area always have some rather unusual articles on the Paranormal especially during the fall . Not sure why it is assumed that there is only one time of the year for Paranormal activity, since I don’t believe the Paranormal punches a seasonal time clock .

Once you have done the research, either join a group or start one yourself. If anything else in this long meandering diatribe I have been spewing you choose to ignore , please remember this……don’t be foolish and go on investigations by yourself. Use a little common sense and respect the field you plan to embark on. There are rewards and always questions……….lots and lots of questions……..