We’ve all seen the ghost hunter reality shows, where teams of paranormal investigators come in with their high-tech equipment and try to determine the nature of a haunting.
The problem with these shows is that ‘reality tv’ rarely bares resemblance to ‘reality’. You don’t need an entire crew, expensive electronics or really dramatic facial expressions to find out of something going bump in the night is a ghost or not.
Calling in the professionals is something you may want to do later. When you first have your suspicions, you can take matters into your own hands and start with your own preliminary research.
The mind is so good at playing tricks on us that we often don’t have a clue that we’re being played. This is why objectivity is so important. When you investigate your home, remember—you’re not trying to prove a haunting. You’re trying to disprove it.
A believer can dismiss relevant details and subconsciously looks for only what proves his own pre-conceived notion. Before you know it, you’re jumping at shadows. It’s always more to your advantage to approach the investigation through the eyes of a skeptic rather than through the eyes a believer. A skeptic is more likely to get the true heart of the matter, no matter what it is.
You can use a computer spreadsheet, or a simple notebook and paper to keep track of suspicious events. Write down the day, the time, location, the weather and atmospheric conditions, the names of people involved in it, what the experience actually was and whatever other thoughts on it you might have.
Eventually you’ll want to check the history of the house— who owned the home before you, or the land? Were there ever crimes or deaths there? These are all things you’ll want to know to compile your case, but it’s best not to check them up front. Your judgment can be tainted if you become aware of certain past events—you’ll start assuming everything has to do with them, when it might not be the case.
LOOK FOR LOGICAL EXPLANATIONS
Could the strange lights on the walls at night be a reflection of headlights of passing cars bounced off a shiny surface? Could odd noises be air in the pipes or chipmunks nesting in the wall? Could hair-raising goose bumps in your bedroom be due to the power lines run right by your back window, and you’re sensitive to electromagnetic fields.
If things are always flying off the kitchen counter and you hear odd sounds, it might not be a poltergeist; it might be a slight slope or the house is settling.
Look into every possible explanation for the events you record. It might actually be something so simple you didn’t think of it.
Another step in your investigation is to capture concrete evidence. You can set up a video camera in an area in which there have been odd experiences. Take random photos of different spots in your house. Start an audio recording, and start asking questions (leave about 30 seconds between questions for answers to come).
If you have an EMF reader, take readings and record them. Take temperature readings if you feel odd fluctuations. Begin to amount this evidence so that, if the time comes in which you really feel the need to call in the pros, you can show them what kind of evidence you’ve already obtained. They will be able to use it to compare it to their own investigation.
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