Disclaimer: I 100% completely, utterly and totally believe in the paranormal. If you don’t for whatever reason, that’s cool. I don’t really want this post to be a “here’s why ghosts aren’t real” situation or debate, though. So maybe just skip this if ghosts aren’t your thing and no hard feelings ♥♥♥. Also, if the talk of the paranormal makes you uneasy you again may want to skip this post. I really don’t want to cause anyone to be anxious or panicky.
A while ago. Like a really, really long while ago a few people asked me about being a paranormal investigator. I said I would write up a post about it. However, because I’m me things happened and I just never got around to it. I thought that October would be the PERFECT time to talk about it though. So here we go. 👻👻👻
So what is paranormal investigating?
If you’re familiar with shows like Ghost Adventures or Ghost Hunters then you’ll have an idea already. However, there’s lots of things that you don’t see on the TV shows. Some of those things are:
- Sitting in the dark for five hours and getting nothing
- Going over 10+ hours of evidence and getting nothing
- Getting nothing
Some people come out with us and are disappointed and even complain because they don’t have any experiences. I totally understand why the TV shows need to be interesting, but they do give a lot of false ideas about what it’s like being a paranormal investigator. Don’t get me wrong, it is SO MUCH FUN and I don’t want to EVER stop doing it. You’re just not ALWAYS going to get something. Like I always say when we do public investigations: Spirits aren’t here for our personal entertainment.
Basically, paranormal investigators are people who use specialised equipment to try and prove the existence of paranormal entities.
Every group is different and has their own motives and methods. My Dad and I, for example, spend a lot of time trying to prove something isn’t paranormal than prove it is. We always try to debunk things. If something can’t be debunked then we still don’t like to call it “paranormal”. We live for that small percentage of things that can’t be explained. It’s why we do this.
You don’t need a ton of super expensive equipment to do paranormal investigating. If you want to try it out then all you really need is a torch, camera, voice recorder and permission to investigate (unless of course, you want to do some things in your home). If you want to take it to a more professional level you will eventually have to branch out and invest in some more specialised products. Obviously, my dad and I are only a small investigation team. We don’t have camera crews or huge numbers. We don’t want to be “famous” we just want to keep learning about the paranormal.
Most paranormal investigation equipment is made to detect changes in EMF which stands for Electromagnetic Field. An extremely popular theory is that spirits use this energy to help themselves manifest and interact. If there’s a sudden spike in a base reading it could indicate that something paranormal is around. Obviously, there are a lot of other things that can cause this so it’s important to eliminate all other possibilities. High EMF can also cause nausea, headaches and hallucinations. A lot of times, people who think their homes are haunted, have issues with their electricity.
Here’s some of the equipment that my dad and I currently own.
Mostly, investigators rely on responses to questions we ask. When we first get to a location we’ll set up all the equipment. We normally put the shadow and vibration detectors and motion sensor lights in hallways and doorways. We’ll do a sweep with the EMF Detector to get a base reading and check for any power sources. We use the Temperature Gun for a similar purpose that way if anyone feels hot or cold we can see how much the temperature has actually changed. Then we’ll introduce ourselves. It’s super important to be respectful. We’ll ask some basic questions like “can you make a knocking sound” ect. and if we hear anything we’ll say “just to confirm can you do that again?” and try and get the action repeated. We use torches and the KII (which detects sudden spikes in EMF) to record possible responses to “yes or no” questions. We always make sure to repeat questions and to leave 20-30 seconds between each question to make sure we leave an adequate amount of time for the appropriate response.
My favourite is definitely the Spirit Box. It scans AM/FM frequencies and the spirits can manipulate the white noise to speak. Seeing the KII light up when we ask questions is awesome. We just got the Mel Meter the other day and haven’t used it yet, but you might have seen it on Ghost Adventures (Season 6, Episode 6). The guy who invented it did so because his daughter passed away and he wanted a way to try and contact her. It’s basically just another kind of EMF Detector that also detects changes in temperature.
Honestly, just hearing and seeing things that can’t be explained is amazing. Unfortunately, some of the best experiences are personal and can’t be recorded. It’s still amazing to witness it though.
If you want more specific information on a particular piece of equipment let me know!
Another misconception about haunted places is that they all have to be old – this is definitely not true. Anywhere can be haunted no matter how long it’s been around. Although it is a large part of why places are haunted tragic events or deaths don’t necessarily need to have occurred.
Living in a small town there’s not much to investigate here, but we have good responses from the places we go to! My favourite place to investigate is a historical village about 20 minutes out of town.
Some photos of some of the locations we’ve investigated
There’s nothing I love more than exploring these places at night and I’m so grateful that all the owners have allowed as access.
If you want to investigate locations it’s extremely important to make sure you have the appropriate permission. People who trespass and break into locations give all paranormal investigators a bad name. A lot of places that are haunted run their own tours so try doing a Google search to see what’s in your area. The only downside is that a lot of time those tours are for entertainment purposes, but you could still end up having a genuine experience!
The majority of my experiences have all been personal so, unfortunately, I don’t have some crazy video evidence to show you. They’ve been enough to make me firmly believe in the existence of spirits though.
The first experience I ever had was when I was about 8. I was in bed and I woke up to see my pop (who died when I was 4) sitting at the end of my bed. I was a little scared, but eventually I felt okay. He was just sitting there and smiled at me and then he just sort of faded out. After that I saw him around in various places and I wasn’t scared anymore. It potentially could have been a dream, but it definitely didn’t feel like it.
Another time when I was about 10 I had woken up and this time it was the morning. It was about 8 or 9am. Everything was okay until I saw someone outside my window, I couldn’t see their face properly but I saw their hands clearly pressed against my window. I screamed and my parents obviously rushed in and I told them what I saw. My dad checked the backyard and there was no one there.
I’ve also had dreams come true that I’ve had zero control over like my cousin finding out she was pregnant or football scores for specific games. I don’t claim to be psychic – in fact I think the majority of psychics are nothing more than people who are extremely good at reading body language, but I’ve always been what I like to call “sensitive”. I’m extremely empathetic and I think that has a lot to do with it.
My family in general have always have had strange things happen to them. In the very first house I lived in an old lady passed away and my parents and grandparents always saw her. Her favourite thing to do was turn on the shower taps and imitate my dad’s voice. I truly believe she attached herself to us because things like that have happened in every house we live in.
On investigations I’ve been touched, heard footsteps, breathing, voices and furniture being dragged across rooms.
Once everyone saw an apparition of a woman in white among the trees. We followed her and then circled back to where we started. We then heard the most craziest noise come from inside the building near us. It was so loud. It sounded like metal being scraped against metal. We believe she was trying to warn us not to go into the building so we didn’t.
We’ve had insanely spot on responses and crazy EVPs through the spirit box and voice recorder. More recently I was potentially pushed down steps and hurt my ankle pretty bad.
Otherwise, some of my other favourite experiences is when our guest say they’ve had such an amazing time. Or when we help someone who feels like they have a spirit in their home. It’s such an amazing feeling. It’s a huge part of the reason why I love this so much. A lot of people feel alone when it comes to this kind of stuff because generally it’s not something’s that acccepted or taken very seriously by society. It’s great being able to give people a place to talk openly without the fear of being judged.
I generally don’t like using photos as evidence, but here’s one that my dad and I are struggling to explain:
We’ve tried to recreate this photo so many times, but get nothing. The only thing in the room in that corner was a bedside table.
I’m not a videographer, but here’s a video I put together with a few EXTREMELY DODIGLY filmed clips:
(Sorry I can’t embed these!!)
My flash wasn’t turned on and things are blurry, but like I said I’m not a videographer and we don’t have a camera crew following us around.
And an EVP we got through the Spirit Box:
This won’t be significant to anyone, but this was the name of a head nun who resided here in the 1900s. It’s one of my favourite spirit box sessions!
Also some videos of a phone app that we sometimes use called Sono X10. I don’t really trust phone apps, but this one has given some really accurate results.
There is no official “Degree” or “Course” for paranormal investigating.
The closest thing is Parapsychology. People do offer courses in this field, but it’s important to note that this is not a recognised or credited science so you won’t come out of it with a bachelor degree or anything. There’s also Demonology, but this is only recognised by certain religious organisations.
What’s an EVP?
EVP stands for Electronic Voice Phenomenon and is when you hear a disembodied voice or hear a voice on a recording that shouldn’t be there. Not all EVPs are paranormal, a lot of the times it’s just our brains morphing random sounds into things we recognise. This is called Matrixing and it can happen with photos too. Our brains see shapes or hears sounds and morphs them into something we know.
What causes a location to be haunted?
As I said above there doesn’t have to be a specific reason, but some conductors of paranormal activity can be:
- High EMF
- Ley Lines
- Running water such as rivers and streams
- Attachments to objects, places or people
- Tragic events
Residual Haunting Vs Intelligent Haunting
The easiest way to explain a residual haunting is that it’s like a recording playing over and over again. It’s just residual energy that is absorbed into the location. It tends to happen in places where the same thing happened regularly. An intelligent haunting is when the entity is able to communicate and interact with you.
Spirits Vs Poltergeists
A spirit is usually always the energy of a once living personally who hasn’t chosen to stay in this realm or who chooses to come back. Poltergeist literally means “noisy ghost” in German. Unlike a spirit, they weren’t a living person. It’s normally the creation of an individual’s intense stress. A lot of poltergeist hauntings are connected to young girls or people with mental illnesses. Poltergeists can be extremely violent and will usually move things around. It’ll normally build up, die down and then build back up. Compared to poltergeists, spirits are a lot more peaceful and sometimes aren’t even aware that they’re even there. Spirits can be negative, angry and even inflict harm but that doesn’t make them a poltergeist.
What to do if your house is haunted?
- Respectfully, but firmly tell the spirit that this is your house and it’s not welcome here anymore.
- Open all your windows and burn sage. Make sure you get into all the corners and every room because spirits are drawn to places that are isolated i.e. attics and basements.
- Use protection crystals such as black tourmaline and black onyx.
- I’m not religious, but if you are feel free to use protection prayers ect.
- Do a Google search to see if there’s any paranormal investigators in your area. Most times they’ll be happy to help you out. Anyone who doesn’t want to help is clearly in this field for all the wrong reasons.
Ed & Lorraine Warren
You may have heard of Ed and Lorraine Warren who are two of the “original” paranormal investigators. They’ve investigated cases that involve Annabell the Cursed Doll, The Perron Family Haunting (which The Conjuring is based on), The Haunting in Connecticut and most famously – The Amityville Haunting. There is A LOT of dispute about whether the Warrens are legitimate. I’ve read a lot of things that really makes me believe this theory. There’s a lot of inconsistencies in their reports. Still, I think they are incredibly interesting people. They also have a museum of cursed objects which you can visit. Annabell the Doll is there as well various other artefacts from their investigations.
The paranormal isn’t something to mess with.
If you ever plan on using Ouija Boards or partaking in other “games” like the huge Charlie, Charlie trend that was around a while ago then I can’t stress how important it is to be CAREFUL. I personally would never use an Ouija Board, but a lot of people swear by them. Even if you don’t believe in the paranormal you have no idea what you could potentially be inviting into your home or life. Every time we do an investigation it’s a risk. As I said above I was potentially pushed down steps. We’ve been told to “get out”. We’ve had things thrown at us. We’ve been sworn at. This isn’t a field to take lightly. It can be dangerous, but I love it.
Britty @ Britty44 and Kat @ Paranromal Kativity are my two favourite YouTubers who talk about the paranormal. Their videos are always fun, super interesting and informative. Kat uses Ouija Boards and Britty does a lot of paranormal games, but they’re both super respectful.
- About.com’s Paranormal section
- Ghost Hunting 101
- How to become a Paranormal Investigator
- Places to buy Ghost Hunting Equipment: Ghost Stop (US), Canadian Ghost Hunting Supplies, Ghost Outlet (US), ebay (sidenote: my dad and I use the Canadian store and it’s super reliable and speedy shipping considering we live in Australia)
- Understanding Ghost Hunting Equipment: KII, Spirit Box, Laser Grid
- WikiHow article on how to become a Paranormal Investigator
- Wikipedia article on Parapsychology
- Wikipedia article on Haunted Locations
I really hope this post was helpful and informative! If you have any questions that you’d like feel free to ask in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer. There’s so many things I didn’t cover in this post because I just wanted it to be a quick overview. I’m happy to talk more about anything though! Let me know if you’d like to see more on different haunted locations and phenomena because I LOVE talking about it.