The first three days we discussed organizing your team, now is onto the Investigation process and we will discuss a few important things to consider.
Finding locations to investigate. This can be a bit difficult but you must be willing to get out and research what is considered “haunted” in your area. Your best bet is by word of mouth. By now your friends, family and even co-workers may know that you are a part of a paranormal team and usually this can spark interest. They might give you some leads on a friend’s house or business that is “haunted” or their own property. Another good thing to do, and this has to do with knowing your equipment…practice the investigation process at your own team member’s houses. I would advise to practice investigating at these places first before we go into the next step. You do not want to look like you don’t know what you are doing in public.
If you wish to do a Paranormal Investigation at a business, historical location or a private family home (that you do not know)…use free advertisement such as craigslist and the National Paranormal Society’s team locator. Another thing you can do is perform an internet search at websites such as shadowlands.net. Once you find an address, email address or phone number of the business or historical location, you can do all three things to gain interest from the client…send a letter, email, make a phone call or stop by in person. You must state clearly your intentions in all these avenues and be professional and courteous. You represent the Paranormal Community at this point. Look professional and be professional at all times! For example, wear a collared shirt and nice pants and look “neat”. I also highly suggest writing a “Proposal to Perform a Paranormal Investigation” letter to take with you.
Many times, you might not get an answer back or a flat out “No”. Be courteous and thank them for their time and move on. DO NOT continue to ask them about performing an investigation…and once again, trespassing will get you in trouble.
If you get a “Yes”, make sure the person has the authority to grant you permission on the property…It has to be a Manager, Property Manager, Caretaker, Owner…etc.
After you get the “Yes” The next part is the actual investigation, and needs to be explained fully to them. This is what several teams use:
The client contacts the team via email. The client should leave a statement of what the paranormal experiences are, and a contact number where they can be reached.
A member from the team will contact the client, usually within 24hrs. At this time, an initial phone interview will be conducted. The interview is approximately 34 questions. Not all questions need to be answered and are kept confidential. If an investigation is requested at this time, a date could be set for an investigation, upon availability of the clients and investigators.
Research and Historical Research
The team will ask for the client’s permission to conduct research and historical research on questions gathered and any history of the area and/or buildings associated with the investigation. This is up to the client to approve or request. All information gathered will be covered under the Confidentiality Agreement.
Day of the Investigation
The lead investigators will meet with the clients at the place to be investigated.
Permission to conduct a Paranormal Investigation and Confidentiality Agreement
Two forms will need to be signed before the team will conduct an investigation. Paranormal Investigators Investigation and Confidentiality Agreement form gives the team approval to be on the client’s property for a certain length of time to conduct a paranormal investigation. It also protects the client from any liability in the event of an injury to a team member or a piece of the team’s equipment is damaged. Paranormal Investigators Confidentiality Agreement is a form that gives privacy to the client. The privacy of the client is most important. This form will state the level of information that can be released (if any), by the team, about the client and their case. This is solely the decision of the client and in no way will the team try to persuade the client’s decision.
Once those two forms are signed, an initial walkthrough will be conducted. During the walkthrough, the client can explain what and where the paranormal experiences have occurred. The lead investigators will then take environmental readings, note any safety concerns, and discuss with the client the best areas to place the team’s equipment.
This takes from 4 to 6 hours, or however long the client requests. After the investigation is finished, the team will collect their equipment and secure the area if the client is not present. The area will be left in the same condition it was in before the team arrived.
Collection of evidence and review
PI team reviews all potential evidence.
Evidence presentation and recommendations
PI will present the client with any potential evidence. A written report will be included, either printed or in a word document file. Video and audio evidence will be in a media file – DVDrom, MP3, MPG4, AVI etc. We will also include any recommendations, or environmental and safety concerns.
One more thing to consider, more often than not, the client will be present with you during an investigation. Professional conduct must be continued during the investigation.
On Day 5, we will discuss probably the most asked about part….equipment.
- client contact/Interaction/finding locations
- Investigation procedure