Search This Blog

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Client Interaction…

In this field, other than the advancement, unity and understanding of the paranormal, the only thing that matters is the client. Some groups I have seen recently seem to have forgotten this. Maybe not so much groups, but individuals within the group, which in turn, make all of the others look badly. One thing that all paranormal investigators have to keep in mind is the clients called you into their home, into their sanctuary, into their privacy.

When you are performing an investigation at a client’s home, you must above all else, keep everything fully confidential, and treat them with the respect they deserve. In my honest opinion, if you enter into a client investigation and your team provokes, that is very unprofessional. Some people seem to forget when you provoke; it is the client that has to deal with the repercussions, not you or your team. Yes, if you do provoke, there is always a chance of the entity attaching itself to you and following you; however, most of the time, this is not the case.

When performing an investigation at a client’s home, set up the equipment as you would in a museum or your mother’s home. Always make sure to tape down any wires, cameras, etc. for safety’s sake. Not only do loose wires look unprofessional, but they are also a trip hazard when you go lights out. Also, if you do not have your equipment taped or set firmly on a tripod of solid level surface, it may fall and damage the equipment itself or a piece of the location or even may cause injury to the client or one of your team members.

As a paranormal investigator, you must always keep in mind that the client has called you into their home in a time of crisis. It has been my experience when a client calls a paranormal group into their home; they are dealing with something that they do not understand and at times frighten them. Throughout the entire process, the client’s wishes should be respected. If they do not give you permission to include the results from the investigation on your website, do not simply hand their case off to someone else. If you do this, please leave this field now. You are not welcome. The clients are still in a situation that they feel is out of their control. It is your duty to help them cope as best as is possible.

I have seen some groups in the past fake evidence in order to call a location haunted. If you are doing this, please leave this field now. You are not welcome. When a client calls you in, it is your duty to find out what is happening at the location, be it paranormal or of natural explanation. There are logical explanations for most of the reports that you will find. For example, a feeling of paranoia, or being watched, can be caused by high electromagnetic fields within the location. If you find that there is a logical explanation for the occurrences, tell the client. It will put them at ease about being in their own home. Just because they call in a paranormal group, doesn’t always mean that there are spirits at work.

Orbs. In my experience, I have found that 99.999% of “orbs” are either dust particles reflecting off the light emitted by your IR diodes in your IR lights, insects, or have other logical explanations. If you present “orbs” as evidence to the client, you have to make certain that there are no other logical explanations for their occurrence first. Make sure you have exhausted all possibilities before coming to the conclusion that an “orb” is of a paranormal nature.

Charging for investigations. I know I have mentioned this before, but I want to reiterate that charging for your paranormal investigations is not only extremely frowned upon in this field, but also makes your team look unprofessional. Now, with the economy the way it is, I can see how people think that it would be ok for charging for them, but it is not. In my opinion, if you charge for your investigations you are taking advantage of the client. They called in your group in a time of crisis. You have to understand, that when a client calls in a paranormal group, they are dealing with something they do not understand. Most do not know what an EMF is, what infrared is, or even what EVP is. They do not know the majority of what paranormal investigators take for granted. That is why I entered into this field and hope you did too. The ultimate goal, aside from obtaining evidence of the paranormal, is to help the clients understand and inform them as to what is happening in their home.

If you are only involved in this field for the “thrill” factor, please leave now. If you are only doing this for the way it makes you feel when something happens when you’re in the dark, please leave this field. You are not welcome. Stay home and go lights out. Something will happen to you, I guarantee it. If you are not in this field with the client’s feelings and interest in the forefront of your mind, you are not welcome. Please leave now.

So this is my plea: If you are a paranormal investigation group, please be responsible and professional. Always keep the client in mind. If your main objective is not to help the client, please leave this field now. You are not welcome.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Provocation….is it worth it?

What would your reaction be if someone called you a coward? A bastard? Or a Son of a Bitch? Your reaction, most likely is to punch, kick, shove, or all out wallop the person who said that. As we say in the south “Them’s fightin’ words!”. In the world of the paranormal, especially on television, these words are common place. What amazes me about the entire ordeal, from start to finish, is that when the paranormal investigator is attacked, they are genuinely shocked and appalled at the behavior of the spirits. What did you think the reaction would be? Did you think after you cursed them they would come up and give you a hug?

Now, I understand that by paranormal investigators doing this, they are just trying to get “proof” of their existence. Whatever happened to “Treat others as you want to be treated”? It is my belief that most spirits were once living, breathing people and their personality carries over after they pass. What I mean by this is, if they were mean when they were alive, they will be mean in the afterlife, and so forth. If you are provoking a mean spirit, you will probably get hit, slapped or worse. Even if the spirit is nice, you may still get something that you are not ready for.

With a lot of paranormal groups claiming that they respect the spirits, provoking the spirit is not respect. If the spirit is earthbound, they are stuck in a world we know nothing about. We do not know what their environment is like. I’m willing to say that most of them are searching for some form of help. From all of the “Help” or “Please help us” evps I gotten, I am willing to bet that provoking them is in no way helping them.

Provoking as of late, has unfortunately become a popular practice due to shows like Ghost Hunters, Paranormal State and Ghost Adventures. Don’t get me wrong, I like to watch these shows, but I do not agree with some of their methods. Remember, they are doing the provoking to get ratings, not to help the spirits or a client. Not to mention, when you provoke, your chances of being attacked or bringing something home with you highly increases, especially if the spirit is of more negative intentions.

If you provoke a spirit at a client’s home, you are not professional. If the spirit does not follow you home, the spirit can take out its aggression (that you built up) out on the occupants on the location, which in turn will make their life even worse than what it was when the client initially called you in to help understand and deal with something they already do not understand.

How would you feel if you were not familiar with this field, and a paranormal group came into your home and yelled and cursed at the spirits that you thought resided there? Remember, some clients think that the spirits in their home are family members that have passed. (We have found this not to be the case, but they believe it is at first.) If your clients believe this, you will not only anger the spirits, but you will offend your clients as well.

I know that provoking has long been a hot topic in the paranormal field. I wanted to write this blog to let you know my stance as far as this issue goes. I do not provoke, and I personally feel that if a client calls you in and you end up provoking, you are not professional. I have never provoked and have gotten some great evidence. So I know that you do not have to provoke if you want to get something. I’ve found that you can get great results without provoking. If you do provoke and you do not believe me, try it. Go one investigation without provoking and just see what happens.

This entry is mainly focused at private residence and/or client investigations. If you feel the need to provoke at a well known public location, such as Waverly Hills, for example, you do that at your own risk.

So this is my plea: Please help the paranormal community by not provoking. You are not and you do not look professional while doing this. If you provoke, try to not do it on your next investigation and see what happens.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Paranormal Investigators...I dare you!

I dare you to be professional. Over the past year or so, I have noticed several paranormal investigation teams charging for their investigations. I understand with the economy the way it is, with millions of people currently unemployed (which included me for several months), going on investigations could hurt the pocket book. With all of the investments you have to make, such as, equipment, lodging, fuel, etc., I can see how people can think that charging for investigations is a reasonable accommodation. However, in the paranormal community, charging for paranormal investigations is extremely frowned upon. It makes your team look very unprofessional to say the least. You have to keep in mind that your clients are going through a very traumatic experience, when they call or email you; they have experienced something that has terrified them enough to make them seek out help. To me, when you charge them to investigate, you are taking advantage of them. If you have to charge for investigations, just do local investigations until you get back on your feet. Do not accept to investigate a location 60 miles away if you cannot afford the fuel, lodging, etc. costs. Easy as that!

I have also noticed a few paranormal investigators complaining on a few different message boards that they are not making the amount of money that they thought they would when they started this “hobby”. If you are in the paranormal field to make money, please leave now. Not only are you in it for the wrong reasons, but you are also making all of the true paranormal investigators look bad. You will not make money doing this. You will not get famous. Yes, there are a few individuals that are known the world over for paranormal investigating but each of them started out as true paranormal investigators, and over the span of twenty years or so have built the respect and the title they have each earned. Your team will not be the next TAPS, Ghost Adventures, Paranormal State (PRS) or any of the like. If you are in this field for fame, please leave now. If your purpose to get into this field is to get famous or popular, you are wrong. The individuals who have become famous, have put in several years of research in and have acquired some well known cases in order to reach the platform they are at now.

Faking evidence-- If you are in this field and you have or plan to fake evidence, please leave now. You are not welcome in this field. We are trying to reach into the true paranormal realm to understand what happens in the afterlife. If you fake evidence, you are not helping us in that endeavor. I reiterate; you are not welcome in this field! You may get your name out there, but when people find out that you have faked evidence, your name will not mean anything. Your reputation will be ruined and you will never be respected in the field of paranormal again. By you faking evidence, you are in no way professional. If you think you are professional, you are mistaken.

Client Interaction—If you are one of those “fly by night” groups, please leave now. You are not welcome in this field. The client is the only person or people that matter in the situation. If you do not respect these individuals enough to do a professional paranormal investigation, relentlessly review the audio and video, and give the clients the proper reveal, then please leave this field now. Remember, they called you, not the other way around. Sometimes I have spent weeks reviewing audio and video. If the location is very active, then there will be a lot of data to go over. When this is the case, go over it! When you get tired, take a break. Never skip any part of the data simply because you do not feel as if there is nothing present. I have seen people skip over pieces of audio in the regular waveform format because the waveform itself had no spikes. The spikes in a waveform are only showing increased decibel levels, not EVP’s. I have found most of my evps within the waveform where no spikes are present. Most evps come across under the 300 Hz range, which is below human hearing range. If you miss something while going over the audio or video, that could be the one individual piece of evidence that could break the paranormal field wide open!

"Certified Ghost Hunters" -- I have seen alot of this as well lately. This is a scam. No one can be a "Certified Ghost Hunter". Anyone who says they can make you certified is lying to take your money. This, to me, is also taking away from the professionalism of the paranormal field. Taking a 4 hour class, and BOOM, your a professional "certified" ghost hunter?! Get real, I have been involved with the paranormal for going on 6 years, have seen alot of things, but this almost takes the cake! Anyone who is offering "Certified" Ghost Hunting classes, stop now. You are not professional and are taking away from the Paranormal field, not adding to it!

So, this is my plea: If you are, or are thinking about getting into the paranormal field, be professional. Your clients deserve at least that from you! Paranormal investigators...I dare you!

I’d like to wish everyone a Happy New Year! Hope 2010 is even better than 2009 was!
Thanks for reading!