The Paranormal Investigation Process, Demystified…
There are many steps we take in the paranormal investigation process. Each group handles this differently, but many follow a similar format. First, we interview clients over the phone. Then we do a walkthrough of the property in question and a face to face interview with clients, followed by an investigation. Finally, we do a “reveal” and close the case.
Generally, clients initially contact us either by phone or email. The information is passed on to our case manager who contacts them within 48 hours. The initial phone interview gives us some basic information regarding what’s going on in the business or residence, tells us who is being affected and, if it’s known, we ask for a brief history of the building. A lot of clients don’t know the history and that’s okay. We also have a team of historical researchers that can find a lot of the information we need. We try to get this done as quickly as possible and if it’s a high risk case (generally involving physical harm, children, or the elderly) we will expedite the process. All of this information needs to be reviewed by everyone participating in the case before we move on to the next step, the walkthrough.
The walkthrough is different than the investigation with regards to the equipment used and how it’s conducted. We use this time to interview others in the house about their experiences and also find out if anything new has happened. We also generally try to do the walkthrough at minimum a few days before the investigation and it’s generally done at a non-peak time for the activity. We want to be able to record baseline readings of the location that reveal what the atmosphere is normally like. We take temperature readings and EMF (electromagnetic frequency) readings, still photographs, and record audio. We do not conduct a vigil or ask questions at this time. Getting these readings ahead of time help us identify when there is a fluctuation during the investigation. We also do not use a DVR/video camera system at this time. The walkthrough also gives us a chance to debunk what may be causing the issues. A lot of people jump to a paranormal conclusion when it could be as simple as a draft pulling a door closed or a building settling. We only conduct the investigation if we find no other potential causes of the happenings.
The investigation is conducted at a time that’s convenient for the owner and at a peak time for activity. It’s a common misconception that activity is only at night. One of the reasons that a lot of groups conduct investigations at night is because the world is asleep then. There is less outside sound, less lighting, and less traffic. This can help heighten your other senses. We generally do use camera systems during the investigation along with audio recordings and other equipment. A pen and paper is your best friend during an investigation. We go room by room and conduct vigils, which is where we attempt to speak with to whatever entity is in the building. The investigation can take as little as an hour to an entire day/night. Once this is complete, we review the evidence, compare notes, and compare our thoughts on the potential audio and video evidence.
At this point, what we do is up to the client. Some want to know our findings in detail, some only want a yes or no answer as to whether we found anything. We offer the option of doing a cleansing to help bring peace of mind to the client. After evidence is compiled and we reveal to the client (if they want,) give them a copy of any audio or video, we then close the case. We share no private information with anyone but those in the group.
There is a lot more behind the scenes work done in preparation for a paranormal investigation that clients do not see. It can be a very lengthy process once it’s started. We do our best, though, to leave our clients’ minds at ease. Have a question about the paranormal for columnist Reanna Roberts? Email Reanna.Roberts@mvprs.org.
Written by Reanna Roberts for Pennsylvania Bridges