Saturday, August 16, 2014

You Decided to Become a Paranormal Investigator, Now What? Part I

By Scott Wolf

You never miss an episode of your favorite paranormal TV show and you decide that it is time to find out what this paranormal stuff is all about. Maybe you are seeking answers about experiences you have had or maybe you just think it would be fun to go on investigations like you see on TV, either way you decided you want to become a paranormal investigator, now what do you do?

I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I have been doing this for over seven years. I have helped train a lot of investigators and they turned out to be very good at what they do so, I must have done something right. I am hoping this series provides some helpful information to all the people out there who have decided to become paranormal investigators. Not everything in this blog is going to work for everyone so, even if you take away one good piece of information, my mission would be complete.

Your first step to becoming a full fledge paranormal investigator, forget everything you have seen on TV! Ok, not everything. You probably learned about EMF, EVPs, and what a K2 does. Keep that in your nugget, but dump the basic premise of a paranormal investigation that you saw on TV. 

What you see on TV is for entertainment mostly. Sure, I would bet they do catch some EVPs and every once in a while they catch something on camera, but If you go into your very first investigation thinking you are going to see a shadow person dart in front of you, a door close by itself, or a book fly off a shelf, you are going to be sadly disappointed!
If you have never been on an investigation before, you need to understand that investigations don’t last an hour like you see on TV. An actual investigation can last anywhere from 4 to 10 hours. Add in a preliminary investigation, evidence review, and maybe follow up trips for further investigations and you’re looking at well over 14 hours! Not all of them are like that, but you get the point.

 What I am trying to get at is that investigations are very time consuming. If you have a client they are going to expect you to wrap everything up within a short time frame. They want answers to what the heck is going on in their home and they don’t want to wait for a month.
If you have a family or significant other, now would probably be a good time to sit down and discuss the new hobby you have decided to begin. It will be important to have their support down the road if you decide to join a very active team. If you are like many of us, they will probably look at you like your crazy when you tell them that you have decided to become a paranormal investigator. Don’t worry, it’s normal. They may never completely understand why you do what you do, but they will eventually understand that it is something that is important to you.

At this point you are probably itching to do an investigation. You may have even thought about doing some EVP sessions, in your own house, just to see if you can capture your first paranormal evidence. Don’t do it! Never investigate in your own house! If you don’t have any activity, in your house, you may be inviting it in. If you already have activity, you may make it much worse. Much worse!

It’s also not a good idea to attempt to go out and investigate on your own. Paranormal investigations are not just a fun past time. They can be serious business both spiritually and from a safety aspect. You always want to have a buddy with you in case you hurt yourself and you need help or if, by chance, you encounter a nasty spirit that doesn’t want you around. Not only do you not want to go out alone, but you don’t want to go out unless you are armed with the most important item an investigator can carry with them, knowledge! 

The best thing you can do to start your journey to becoming a paranormal investigator is learning anything you can about the paranormal and investigating. There is a wealth of knowledge available, on the internet, about paranormal theory, photography, recording EVPs, conducting investigations, steps to protect yourself on an investigation, and equipment. You can also go to your local library and find a good number of books on the topic.
Terminology is also something else that is very good to learn. When we have a new investigator join the group we like to sit down with them and first go over some important terminology to see what they already know. If the new investigator doesn’t know much we send them home with a list of terms to go over. 

It is important that investigators understand things like the difference between an intelligent haunting and a residual haunting. Terms like apparition and poltergeist are some other terms you should be able to understand among many others.

If you take the time to learn everything you can, I guarantee you that when you meet a group ,for the first time, you will impress their pants off when they find out that you already have an advanced knowledge on the subject. A dedicated investigator in training is great! A dedicated and knowledgeable investigator in training is awesome!

It is very important that investigators are able to discuss equipment and theories when on a case. Often , clients will notice your equipment or ask questions. You don’t want to have to tell the client that you can’t explain how the equipment works and why you are using it or why you believe something may be happening in their home.

Please check back. Part II will be coming soon!

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