Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ghost Hunting Basics

by Amanda

This article is from Midwest Preternatural Research

The following is a guideline of ghost hunting, including how investigations should be approached, and a few Do's and Don'ts to make your hunt more successful.

Before the investigation:

Do your research - Information may be found at your local library (which is a great place to search through old newspaper articles), the city's records, and even the internet may be used. It is best to gather information from as many resources as possible, since stories and events may vary slightly from one article to the next.

Don't judge a book by its cover - If you are asked to investigate a new building, just because it doesn't look haunted, don't pass it up. The land might be haunted, or the source could come from an old building that is no longer on the site. On the other hand, if you get an invite to investigate a place that looks like it comes straight out of a horror film, don't just expect ghosts because it "looks creepy". Remember, hauntings can happen in any location, and it is best to approach these with an open mind.

Conduct interviews - Once you have been contacted for an investigation it is a good idea to interview the owner, or any other persons that have had experiences dealing with the paranormal events at the location. It is a good idea to gather what experiences they have had, and if these events occur at a certain time or location on the property. Also it is a good idea to ask them to keep a journal of events that may occur between the interview and the date of the investigation.

Do a walkthrough - Before investigating, go to the location and familiarize yourself with the area. Make note of things such as creaking doors and floorboards, and mark any air vents that could explain away dust and cold spots. Also make note of things such as if the location is on a busy street or if the neighbors are in close proximity, as this may explain any voices heard. Take baseline readings. This is both for reference later, and because a certain kind of EMF may cause hallucinations, feelings of paranoia, being watched, nausea, etc. If there are any noisy machines make note of that as well.

During the Investigation:

Don't trespass - If there is a certain site you would like to investigate, get permission from the owner or local authorities. It is up to the owner if they would like an investigation performed, and if you do not receive an okay from them, you are breaking the law.

Be respectful of other people's property - Once you do get permission to investigate a location, this doesn't mean you have complete full range of the property. Remember to not touch personal items and also to stay clear of any rooms or locations that the owner has asked you to keep out of. Also some people would like investigations kept confidential, always get permission before making information public.

Be professional - Don't smoke, drink, or dress up like you're going to a party. Also don't run around and start playing. This just makes it look like you're goofing off and can be dangerous as well, especially if you are investigating in an unfamiliar location.

Stay in teams - While investigating an area, it is best to stick together with at least one other person, this is a good idea for a couple of reasons. If an event should occur it is best to have someone besides yourself as a witness. Also it is safer in case an injury should occur. If you do decide to investigate a room on your own, let others know where you will be, and how long.

Know your equipment - Some groups pay hundreds of dollars for a fancy getup like TAPS has, but what's really the point if you don't know how to use the equipment properly, or if you don't know why you're using it? Read instruction manuals to make sure you understand how they work, and do some research so you know the theories behind why you're using it in the first place.

Bring extra batteries - Since haunted sites are known to drain batteries, it might be a good idea to bring some extra batteries along.

Take notes - Keep note of where people are at all times so if you get any audio evidence later you can go back and verify what everybody was doing at that time. It is also important to keep note of any sounds that occur that might later be mistaken for something paranormal. After every noise, say "that was a stomach" or "that was a car going by" into the recorder. While you should be making notes into a recorder as well, it is a good idea to write these things down for back up.

Lights on or off? - Despite what you might think, you really don't have to wait until after it gets dark to do an investigation. Paranormal events can happen at anytime. The only reason you might want to do an investigation at night is because it's quieter. Sometimes it might be a good idea to ask the client at what time they experience the most activity, and then schedule an investigation for that time. It also doesn't make a difference if the lights are on or off. This was originally started by some of the early mediums who were frauds and were trying to fool people, and since then it has just stuck. Some TV shows do it to give it a more spooky feel. Having the lights on or off isn't going to affect your readings either way. In fact, if you were to capture something on video like a chair moving it might actually be more convincing if it were well lit. However, if you want to avoid false EMF readings, you can try completely turning off the power in the building, but just flicking off the light switches will not make a difference in the readings.

No comments:

Post a Comment