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Basics of investigating the paranormal


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Englishpsychic
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Joined: 10 Jan 2010

What are the basics of investigating the paranormal? How does one get started? What techniques does one use? And what precautions does one take? I am sorry if these are basic questions, but I would really like to know. 

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Ian Topham
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Re: Basics of investigating the paranormal

Doing an overnight investigation is actually a small part of the investigation and in some cases the most irrelevant.  First of all you have to find a case and decide whether it is worth investigating.  Approach the case with an open mind, don't be swayed by your own theories or beliefs.  Track down witnesses and interview them about their experiences.  It is good to develop interviewing skills and techniques for this.  You'll need to carry out a site examination, looking for potential natural causes (this is ongoing).  It may be useful to have the occupiers keep a diary of events to gauge how active the case is and identify any patterns to the activity....which may help identify a natural cause as well.

Ony if your happy that you have an active case, supported by signed witness statements that it might be worth carrying out an onsite overnight investigation.

Englishpsychic
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Joined: 10 Jan 2010
Re: Basics of investigating the paranormal

That's interesting... I am quite good at interviewing and all that. I was just wondering about that "onsite overnight investigation." I have never been part of one. Is that where all the expensive equipment comes in? 

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Ian Topham
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Re: Basics of investigating the paranormal

The background interviews will give you a good idea of what is happening at the site, so you can then design your investigation around that and just use what equipment you have available.  You must realise that much of the expensive equipment you see groups using on television is actually useless in real investigations.  You can do a goods night work by just being present, putting controls in place, monitoring what is going on and noting it all down.  Pen, paper, camera maybe tape recorder, all useful.  You can use thermometers and meters for tracking drafts to help investigate cold spots if you have them available. You can ignore things EMF meters, night vision goggles, thermal imaging scopes for now as they are expensive and may not be much use.

Some places do have public vigils with scientific groups such as at Muncaster Castle which are good for learning techniques.  I woul dadvise that you join a local group or may a nationall organisation such as ASSAP.   Remember also that quite a few investigators post on here from time to time and it can be a great place to seek advice. 

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Ian Topham
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Joined: 22 Jul 2008
Re: Basics of investigating the paranormal

The ASSAP Training Weekend for 2010 is taking place on 4 - 5 December.  This is recommended for anyone with an interest in investigating scientifically and should explode a few myths that television ghost hunting programmes spread.



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