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Friday, September 10, 2010

Responsibility of a paranormal investigator.

In this field, there are a lot of different areas that you could concentrate on. Ghosts, spirits, angels, demons, crypto-zoology, UFOs, and the list goes on and on. I have decided to focus the majority of my studies and research to ghosts, spirits and the afterlife. When I talk about what responsibility means in the paranormal field, I am talking about what I have experienced and what I have noticed that is happening within the paranormal field. There are also a lot of areas that I am going to talk about as they relate to your responsibility in the paranormal field, the first area I would like to cover and the most important, in my opinion, is the client. The client is in need of your services, not only your investigative techniques and knowledge of the paranormal field, but also your counseling skills should be taken into consideration. It would not hurt to think about having a real life counselor on your team. If you have someone that is a real life counselor, and when I say that, they could be a social worker, police officer, a member of clergy, anyone that handles extreme situations on a daily basis. That way, when a client tells you about the activity they are experiencing, and they start to cry, you have someone that deals with that type of emotion and that type of extreme situation almost daily. When someone calls or emails you, you as a paranormal investigator have to understand that they are calling in a time of crisis. Yes, the Para TV shows out there have helped make the paranormal field more widely accepted, however, most people still think that if they call a paranormal group into to their homes; that they are crazy, looney, going against their religion or just plain old weird. You have to reassure the client that you are not there to ridicule or mock them. Make them understand that helping them through this part of their life is your top priority and settle for nothing less for you and your team.

Next, you should understand how to correctly operate, clean and if you so chose, to modify your equipment. If you do not know how to properly operate a given piece of equipment, ask! It is better to ask someone who does know than to pretend you know how and produce a false positive bye mistake. Also, you should make sure that you always keep your equipment clean and in working order. I would suggest not modifying any equipment, unless you have a technical background. If you modify a piece of equipment you not only run the risk of breaking the object but also you must be aware that there are people out there that frown upon modified tools in the paranormal field, as they have more probability of giving false positives then non-modded tools.

If you’re on a paranormal investigation group, learn from the other members. Everyone is different and everyone will do things differently. Hang close to the more seasoned members and pay very close attention. I’ve noticed that you will notice several small things just by watching what they do. This can include anything from speaking to the client, set-up or operation of equipment to questions to ask during the EVP sessions. Lead by example.

I have seen in the past, people asking how much does a paranormal investigator get paid. The answer is $0.00. If they are truly in the field for the client and to advance the paranormal field, they get paid nothing at all. Some to accept donations to help with travel expenses and such but they NEVER ask for any monetary returns for their investigations or for any service they offer. NEVER! If you do come across a group offering to do an investigation for you for a fee, turn around and run! Reputable groups do not charge a dime for their services.

Never trespass. If you cannot find out who owns a certain property, move on to the next. Not only are you giving the true paranormal investigators/researchers a bad name, you could possibly be shot or arrested. Always do your research on a property and find out who owns it and go through the proper steps to obtain entry to the property. If the owner says no, move on to the next. Not every body is willing to have their location investigated. If they do agree to have an investigation done, treat their property like your own. Be extremely careful throughout the investigation. This includes from the setup of equipment to the break down and when you leave. If you use tape to tape down the wires, the best I have found is the blue painters tape. It doesn’t remove any wallpaper or such and doesn’t leave a sticky residue behind when you pull it up.

Something else you have to keep in mind in this field is that once you leave the home or business, the client still has to deal with whatever spirit is there. That is one of the main reasons we don’t provoke. If you provoke, and anger the spirit (s) in the location, you only have to deal with the repercussions for a short time. The owner/client has to deal with it forever! Please keep this in mind next time you think about provoking the spirits.

I understand that most people are simply trying to “get some action” but how would you like it if you were a spirit and some stranger was cussing at you?

Now, I would like to talk a little about the review process of the video and audio data. First off, it is not like you see on shows like Ghost Hunters or the other shows. A good general rule to add double the amount of time to review. What I mean by that is, if you have 4 hours of audio or video to review, it may take you 8 or more hours to review all of completely. The review is a very time consuming process and will not happen in just minutes.

Something else you have to worry about with your audio and video is contamination. Audio contamination can happen very easily and sometimes without you knowing it. During an investigation, especially during EVP sessions, if one of our team members makes a noise, we say “That was me” so we know that we can discredit that sound. These sounds include stomach growling, rubber on your shoes squeaking, yawning, popping knuckles, coughing, and a plethora of other sounds. You must be mindful through-out your investigation about sounds you make on your own.

So this is my plea: If you are in the paranormal field, use common sense. Use common sense and treat the client, location, and grounds with the utmost respect.