|How Do We Investigate (a Haunting)?
Our investigations rely on various pieces of equipment used to measure and record any paranormal phenomena that we might encounter.
I believe that the most complex and effective piece of equipment we have is located between our ears. Although our brains are used for lots of things other than perceiving the paranormal, it remains the best mechanism for sensing, recording, playing back and analyzing such things. We only use inorganic external hardware when our brains are incapable of registering events and experiences beyond our senses, such as sound above or below the normal range of hearing.
Other phenomena our brains can't pick up on include electromagnetic fluctuations too small for us to notice, or images too fleeting or ephemeral to be seen and remembered. Then we have to rely on digital or electromechanical devices like K2 meters, digital recorders, and video and still cameras.
What we do not do is over-rely on hardware. When I was in the video production business some years ago, I noticed a certain handicap that every videographer has to deal with, whether shooting a wedding or a haunted investigation: having his/her eye stuck on the camera most of the time. The operator then fails to notice “the big picture.” Though an expert on recording every micro-event caught by his camera, he often looses track of what is going on around him outside of the frame he is focusing on. That ends up excluding almost everything else.
In the context of paranormal investigation, it is important for the investigator to keep her eyes and ears attuned to what's happening all around her, not just what is registering on a meter or showing up on a screen. So we bring in the required minimum of equipment. Then we rely on ourselves.
A word about ourselves...
Our team is made up mostly of individuals who are “sensitives.” A sensitive can be defined as someone who subconsciously uses his or her brain to receive and process signals that most people don't perceive or don't remember through their normal senses. In other words, the sensitive will notice what many others do not. The “what” can be vibrations, visual images, sound, fear, hormonal rush, telepathic communication, or any of a host of other things that paranormal events can generate. The ability to perceive these things is also referred to as intuition, clairvoyance, or ESP (Extra Sensory Perception). But perceiving phenomena is pointless if we cannot act on those perceptions.
Once we notice unusual things, we will first try to “debunk” them, i.e., find a logical, natural explanation on the spot. For example, when our K2 meter was going crazy at the Piotrowski house investigation, we tried to find a source of any stray electromagnetic activity before we attributed it to paranormal activity. Searching for even an electrical outlet nearby was fruitless, so we considered outside wiring just on the other side of the exterior wall. Sure enough, when we went outside to check, we found a bundle of coaxial cables running down the building. But when we followed them to their source, we realized they were connected to a satellite dish that was quite dead. There were no signals being received by it that night.
The ability to communicate with paranormal entities is very important for us. Once we knew that the K2 readings were not from “normal” sources, we concluded that they might be paranormal, and began our conversation with the unseen force. We were rewarded with Class A EVP's (clear and interactive electronic voice phenomenon recorded on our digital recorder).
Our modus operandi is simple: we first interview the owner and any other eyewitnesses with stories to tell. Next, we travel to the event site and establish baseline readings and feelings by touring the entire property, not just the known “hotspots.” We pay attention to our innermost feelings and intuitions as well as the readings on our measuring devices. Then we try and debunk any anomalous information. If it appears to be paranormal, we try and establish communication using any known historical facts (names, dates, events, etc.) we would have researched before we arrived.
When we are done anywhere from 4 to 8 hours later, we return to our office to analyze what we found out. A written report is then sent or personally presented to the owner of the property. We will say if we think the property did not present enough evidence to be called paranormal. But if we have the data, we have no problem with saying that a site is haunted.