One of the most ubiquitous questions throughout history – Do ghosts exist? Under multiple circumstances, I have participated in paranormal investigations and séances. In some cases, I have interacted with the spirit realm. Other times, I have encountered nothing more than silence within the dead of night. I am not here to convince readers if spirits do exist, but to share a philosophy which I use when investigating.
Note: Throughout this blog, all posted photos are ones that I have taken. None were tampered with, except I did remove the identities of those among the living. Under some circumstances, I have circled the questionable evidence.
Rules When Conducting a Paranormal Experiment:
1. Enter the investigation with a skeptical mind. Debunk, debunk, debunk, and when finished, debunk some more. The goal should be to prove the location is not haunted.
Debunking should include:
A. Always take two photos of the same subject. If the occurrence is paranormal, there is a good chance that it will only appear in one photo and not both. Reenact photos if one must.
B. Have a professional check electrical wiring and plumbing. Bad plumbing can be the cause of many odd sounds. Noises can include pounding, tapping, rattling, etc. Bad wiring can cause flickering lights, bulbs might prematurely expire, or smoke might occur near outlets.
C. Voice check when conducting an E.V.P. (Electronic Voice Phenomena). Example: If someone sneezes while recording, say thereafter, “NAME sneezing.” This may come as a surprise, but many natural functions can sound demonic when played back on a device. Of course, this isn’t limited to sounds made by the human body. One should consider voice tagging when someone trips or bumps into a piece of furniture. Tags are important because they eliminate false possibilities. They also remind us that not every bump in the night is paranormal.
D. Scout the area with an EMF Meter. An EMF Meter measures AC electromagnetic fields; and it will react to locations with electrical wiring. The goal is to see where the meter reacts prior to conducting an experiment. When attempting communication with the spirit realm, spirits can tamper with the EMF Meter. By asking “yes or no” questions, a spirit can illuminate the device in response. Doing an EMF run through can show where to avoid natural electrical frequencies. This will grant an accurate reading when a spirit attempts to communicate.
2. If all debunking is complete and the evidence remains unexplained, prepare for lengthier investigations. These investigations can stretch from days to weeks to months. In some cases, investigations can remain ongoing for years or longer. Much like therapy sessions, paranormal investigations require time, attention, and participation.
In the past, I have encountered cases which have lasted weeks to months. Others, to my knowledge, remain cold cases.
3. When communicating with a spirit, never disrespect or antagonize them.
A. Antagonizing can include methods such as, “I don’t think you’re really here! I don’t believe in you! Prove yourself to me, if you want me to think you’re real!”
B. Disrespect can include methods similar to antagonizing. Examples regard the insult of personal beliefs that a spirit may have held dear when alive. It can also include cursing and name calling.
1. I once witnessed “ghost hunters” wear Union uniforms while investigating a Confederate soldier’s home. Even if investigators wore Confederate uniforms in a Union soldier’s home, I would still consider the method just as tasteless.
2. I once witnessed a different group of “ghost hunters” refer to the departed as “A f*cking coward”.
Guilty parties stooped to these tactless methods because they wanted a response when they weren’t receiving one.
Remember, when investigating, the living is invading the home of the deceased. If a spirit doesn’t want to speak, it doesn’t have to. Upon not receiving a response, the above examples can cause negativity, not only towards the spirit, but oneself.
For those who still feel justified in the bully method, let me put this into perspective. How would you like to be relaxing at home and a complete stranger barges in and begins bullying you?
Now, let’s consider the reverse side of the coin. What if you barge into someone’s home intending insult and they have a short temper? Remember, you’re on their territory. If a spirit is powerful enough, it can do worse things than ignore.
4. When investigating, take notes and share them after the investigation concludes.
Upon hearing a disembodied voice on an E.V.P., privately notate with pen and paper what you heard. Do not share this information until everyone has had the same opportunity as oneself.
Speaking aloud prior to investigators separately notating can influence their thoughts. Doing this can provide inaccurate readings.
The correct way to accomplish an E.V.P. summary is as follows:
Six investigators notate what they hear in an E.V.P. recording. One of the six writes, “I’m going to get you.” The other five write, “I can’t forget you.” Majority rules.
Demons vs. Spirits
Such as angels and spirits, demons do exist. However, the chance of encountering a demon is rare compared to encountering a spirit. Furthermore, encountering a demon can be as rare as encountering an angel.
Angels and demons do have their place in our life and the afterlife. But, most of the time, it’s not in the old house down the street. (I will cover this topic in a later blog.)
Sometimes, people will jump to conclusions and say a demon is tormenting them. In most cases, if unable to debunk, there is a good chance the entity is an angry spirit who was once human. My argument is, if a person was unpleasant in life, death won’t make them any nicer. So please, don’t blame every circumstance on a demon.
If a situation does prove to be demonic, refer to a spiritual professional. Professionals would include any ordained religious person who maintains a knowledge of demonology. This is, of course, after debunking, professional psychiatric evaluation, and observation.
Reality vs. Entertainment (What to Expect if You Are Haunted)
When we think of hauntings, we think of blockbuster movies. The truth is, hauntings are not that extreme. Even when TV shows reenact hauntings, they exaggerate the scare factor for entertainment. Remember, ratings are what matter.
Actual hauntings, even the extreme ones, are subtle. Sometimes, so subtle that unless one has the correct equipment (E.V.P.’s, cameras, EMF Meters, etc.) the activity can seem dismissive.
Haunted Activity Can Include:
Unusual sounds, fragrances, temperature changes, electrical tampering, etc. If the spirit is strong enough, it can materialize. Most times, materialization occurs in photos.
Demonic Activity Can Include:
Unpleasant sounds, unpleasant fragrances, temperature changes, electrical tampering, etc. If the entity is strong enough, it can materialize. Most times, materialization occurs in photos. Unlike a haunting, demonic activity can affect one mentally and physically.
Mental Symptoms: depression, anxiety, and paranoia.
Physical Symptoms: mysterious scratches, bruises, and aches and pains.
Although paranormal phenomena does exist, it isn’t as common as what one would think. If one becomes an investigator, debunk until a rational explanation is no longer available. If the location shows paranormal activity, do not disrespect or antagonize the deceased. Any other goal when conducting an investigation, which excludes the client’s wellbeing, is unprofessional.
One may notice that I did not list any statistics regarding paranormal activity. In truth, there are no statics. As of today, a successful scientific study hasn’t been conducted to support paranormal activity.
To quote a scene from “The X-Files” between Deep Throat and Fox Mulder:
DT: Mister Mulder, why are those like yourself, who believe in the existence of extraterrestrial life on this Earth, not dissuaded by all the evidence to the contrary?
FM: Because all the evidence to the contrary is not entirely dissuasive.
Although this dialogue regards extraterrestrials, it still rings true when discussing paranormal topics.
No, I am not interested in joining a “ghost hunting” group.
Yes, I may have spoken ill about a few “ghost hunting” groups, but not all “ghost hunters” are unprofessional. If it weren’t for the professionals in my life, I wouldn’t have learned what I currently shared.