We all know the simple rules of going out on a ghost hunt. Or at least we think we do as well as believe we are carrying them out each time we trek into the night searching for a real haunting or ghost to document.
We all know the old adage of safety in numbers and we certainly never go ghost hunting all alone.One school of thought does opt for one on one personal investigations before a initial team effort is begun.
One on one ghost hunting with a single investigator often brings many things to light. ghost sometimes will show themselves to individuals more often then when a team walks in the door. Or such is the established pointed belief many do put forth.
How we start a real Paranormal Investigation by today's high reality standards is not a easy one to control.
We gather our fantastic well manned and trained group together and have a finial sit down to discuss what tales and interviews of a haunting that are known. We need to be exact here to discuss our plan of attack and get all the info and plans in order. Also we need to make for sure as sure can be certain, that surely no stone is left unturned. And most likely at such meetings someone always says they still need more batteries for their cameras.
Many people do not do their paranormal investigation home work. At such first discussions you need to set up and begin researching a location, search the net, go to the library to scour old newspapers, city hall or real estate transfer records to discover the history of a location.
If someone in your paranormal team is bringing up issues other then what is on the agenda then your team certainly is not ready.
You also need to set up personal interviews and decided who will do what directly if someone can or will not do what you need of them because of prior commitments or personal problems.
But as we know too many paranormal groups often stray from the work at hand. A pre investigation meeting needs some type of direct protocol, structure and should be focusing on what this investigation is directly about is for certain all that really matters.
Always let someone know where you are in your personal research and double check what everyone knows and what exactly they will be involved and what your working on, or with whom.
To many people just say to their group on a moments notice. Hey guys! Get all the ghost hunting equipment and all the rest of your personal stuff together we have a ghost hunt this weekend.
So we pack up the family SUV or look in the trunk of the car or back seat to make sure someone did not move it. Then you run to to the conveinence store to buy a large pack of over priced batteries and are now on you way to what might be the most haunted location in the world . And as you know your not really fully prepared for the horrors you are about to face. And as you drive and hope you did not forget anything, we do tell ourselves that's what a real ghost hunting gofer is for. And that your not going to be it.
(A Ghost Hunting Gofer: go-fer (pronounced /ˈɡoʊfər/ "gopher") is a fellow or subordinate ghost hunter or paranormal investigator in training who is often sent on errands. Like running back home to ask your wife to find your EMF detector or buy extra batteries, lunch, cables, coffee, cigarettes or tampons.)
The importance of research before hand sets the tone as well as lets you see the past history of what has happened at a specific location. We need now to look into all this in detailed direct clear head of thought.
Many people do not realize that investigating a haunting means going in clear of mind and un frazzled.
How can you conduct an interview or investigation with other things on your mind?
We also need to understand who and why we might interview someone objectively and not let our personal issues effect us.
We need to also understand here that also by talking to the neighbors of the haunted individuals and their family and those people that might even know them remotely. And documenting everything. The more you dig into a person who says they are haunted life the more you might find out that the ghost that is haunting them now might have been in their life a lot longer then they have believed. But if your stressed you tend to miss details that are to important to over look.
And if a person is willing to let you come into their home office or cemetery you need to know what makes that person feel the way they do about what is going on. Many do not realize that ghosts often effect these individuals and at times and can as many believe control their thoughts and actions.
An interesting case I was involved which took place recently in Marshall, Texas in May of this past year. Tamilia Easter Jackson invited me along and with her cracker jack team of 25 were seriously investigating the very haunted urban legends of a local often encountered crippled ghost known as "Stiff Leg Charley".
This ghost was as many will tell you a dirty tramp of pickpocket in real life. He personally fleeced me of several hundreds of dollars over the years as he did many other locals. And that fact by many an account is all the while he was alive and since dead over 20 years or more.
As a individual living anywhere in the world we all know we should always carry your personal identification or papers of proof of who you are with you at all times. But why make the un excusable mistake of not carrying it when you go out ghost hunting.
Tamilia Easter Jackson believes If someone comes to her on a ghost hunt and says I don't have an ID on me, that she immediately send them home to search for it.
In her clear well put opinion it is a way of making sure my people are aware of what they are doing by making sure they are ready and have checked off everything my group stands for on the list of do's and don'ts.
But we should note here Jackson's actions dealing with the the stress of losing ones important personal belongings can effect a persons paranormal investigation performance.
Just as she notes that someone going through problems with a break up from a spouse, scrathing someone having an affair or family issues might always seriously effect a haunting or investigation even if the person is just coming to a home or haunted location to hunt for a ghost. She also feels that when hunting for ghosts a person who does such should always be clear of all personal life distractions to put more emphasis on the case and those involved. She states that no ones personal issues, which a ghost might pick up on in hearing in a stray conversations.
But this ghost on this particular real Marshall, Texas ghost hunt is well known for stealing wallets, Jewelry, cell phones and credit cards and especially ID's.
Everyone did a wallet credit card and Id check before the investigation began. And when the investigation was all done 3 members all could not find their Id's.
One found it later that night shoved in a spot of their wallet they say they never used.
Then the next one found theirs the following day in their pocket, but alas one poor Marshall, Texas spook hunter never did and also a credit card was missing.
One might wonder here if it was dropped or lost at the location. Well the documentation showed on film that everyone put their ID's away and the film was very detailed in showing this, and at the end of the investigation all swore they never touched them again.
One must set to wonder and realize here now to what lengths a real ghost might go to just to mess with someone's mind, life and surroundings.
The ghost of Marshall's legendary pickpocket "Stiff Leg Charley" is known to steal such things as rings off of finger, chains from around necks, earrings from your ears and even the money you might just hide in your shoe. But as in this and as in other haunting's one must think seriously that a ghost can and will cause tension in your ranks.
I have been with many people who freak out on ghost hunts, ghost tours and serious investigations for what seems to be a non significant reason. And I don't just let this go un challenged.
To me the person who is haunted needs paranormal investigation attention. Some paranormal team group members no matter how many strange investigations they have done. They can and will be at some time actually really effected by the paranormal goings on around them. And this Jackson believes even happens if they don't know it at the time. and that is if it is as just mundane as losing your ID in the dark.
This too happens to many normal people who take ghost tours. A unknown ghost might impose itself upon them and make the individual or cause them and all those that are in contact with them extremely miserable.
A real pickpocket or ghost in the crowd or kleptomaniac ghost can and will cause serious problems to anyone investigating going on in its it's personal haunted hang out. As many believe ghosts can steal or move solid physical items or even move things from their hidden safe places. Or so all this must be believed or investigated in length one day by those who worry about such paranormal activity as being real. Transportation of an object by a ghost of a physical item from one location to another is not that uncommon.
"Apports" are 'gifts' that manifests from non-physical to physical reality.
Manifestation may be linked to teleportation or telekinesis by one or more of the people in the haunted room or while taking a ghost tour or perfomong a paranormal investigation. Many believe a spirit, or a unseen ghost has removed an object from a persons body, hidden it or taken it elsewhere. In some reported ghost tour cases put the object it into someone else's pocket or purse.
Often the the item might as some believe have a symbolic significance for the person receiving it or finding it missing.
The opposite of Apport is Asport which is the transference of a small object to an unknown location via unknown means. The most frequently apported or ghost stolen items Jackson and her team have had occur while looking for Stiff Leg Charley are often missing car keys, pens, batteries, cell phones, Important papers, cigarette lighters, and even hats, jackets and other clothing right off their bodies.
Jackson also tells that of the select people on her team have been known to just freak out for no apparent reason over haunted and non haunted matters.
"I tell them all directly that if they feel seriously weird, uncomfortable, then ..."Please"... leave now!"
"I personally need no explanations and I ask them to go home and document what happened to them in writing or on audio recordings." "Or just to go to a nearby open set safe place and discuss it with a team member objectively before leaving." "There is always a real accurate reason for feeling that way, overwhelmed or stressed, and it might just be a strange case of a personal paranormal encounter that is not fully understood at the moment." "Always go with your inner gut feelings and document the member of your teams personal experience by having someone objectively question interview them in a calm different location and atmosphere, that you must set up in advance of all investigations." "A local coffee shop or diner or in a personal vehicle parked a block or two away might be a great place to get everything as it is fresh."
Jackson also believes in a intense de-briefing right after an investigation. She assembles her team at her home no matter how late into the night and asks everyone on film to recount what they just have experienced and what strange things went through their heads.
They all must express these things verbally and with out prejudice no matter how strange personal thoughts might be.
The belief Jackson stresses here is that they might have gotten this impression from the ghost and what they thought or day dreamed about might be a message from the ghost trying to contact them by putting a stray thought or two in their heads.
Jackson will sit privately in most after hour sessions with each member and ask them to recount all that has occurred and documents it by dotting all the i's and crossing the t's.
Many groups do not do their paper work. Such things are very important and will show up as direct documentation and proof that you investigated a location in a scientific manner.
We all know that permission must be granted before going onto private property or to be in a cemetery after hours. But too few do this just on a hand shake or verbal agreement. It is better to get everything written on paper. It also shows the world that you were there and when and who was involved. And you just might learn more to the pieces of the haunted puzzle.
As a safety rule is best to always reschedule your ghost hunt if it is going to snow, severe freak storms such as rain and tornado warnings can pop up at any time or location, or if it is very foggy. all of which we know should be documented as well as time of day and weather conditions. All this will and does effect paranormal investigations and equipment. But you must realize it also effects individuals paranormal feelings and challenges their health and mental awareness and emotions. You don't need your team getting into serious accidents on their way to a investigation or being worried about if their dog cat or family or safe at home. In hunting in bad weather for real ghosts it is thought in some cases that is unless. But we should and do consider that such weather conditions can and do add to the paranormal activity. Meaning here importantly that some ghosts perform better under these conditions. But Risks of these types should be left only to those with many many investigations under their belts and to those willing to be brave enough to do such in bad or serious weather conditions at a great personal risk.
Often many paranormal teams and investigators and groups knowingly carry walkie talkies or cell phones. You never know when you might need them is often the motto but should not be by some standards the rule.
But reasons do vary, in truth the sensitive equipment of today might just be picking up on what you think is a ghost, but is not. The personal equipment you carry might just be producing false EMF or Thermal readings and an EVP or two.
There is a group I have heard of that actually all wear exact copied uniforms and nothing in their pockets while out searching hunting for real ghosts. And I have even heard of individuals that hunt for ghost naked and those that dress all in black.
Naked Ghost Hunting usually means going in with out any personal equipment. though I was recently inform of a group in California that do ghost hunt nude.
The a term I first stated back in 1995. Many psychics, sensitive, mediums or spirit channelers and necromancers such as myself often walk into a location cold. that is to say free of all electronic equipment and use only what they see, feel and personally pick up on to document before going in with equipment. Many call this sort of a dry ghost run. But it is believed by the paranormal community as a great tool to get a shy ghost or random haunting comfortable enough with you to accept you and perform it's supernatural tricks.
I guess it is all a question of what your comfortable with.
But on to standardizing the appearance of your paranormal team might be a good key to use also. That way everyone come to the hunt equal and any outside worldly things as cell phones watches and equipment that does not interfere with other equipment.
To many people do not know still to this day what or how an EMF meter works or if things on their person can effect them. Groups like Jackson's often stand in a circle before a ghost hunt and use their ghost hunting equipment check by passing it over each others bodies before a ghost hunt just to make sure that a specific person is not causing a supposed paranormal reading on their equipment. This they do to the individuals that live or work in haunted locations also, and always someone may ask if they have extra batteries and to make sure all equipment is fully charged and prepared.
Jackson's group which is high on female membership also questions clients and members to let know when or if they are having their monthly cycles. This might seem strange to some but a fact that ghost often gravitate to those having the monthly's or pregnant often seems to go undocumented until after the fact.
Bio chemical electrical reactions it is believed might effect how a ghosts contacts someone or as a reason why.
Jackson group when investigating a home notes the females of the locations personal menstrual cycles and if anyone recently had or brought babies into the world had miscarriage or abortion or at the time pregnant. Or if any woman have come to the home or location. "Basically I want to know what was or who has been to location as far back as 6 months or more." Tells Jackson. "These mundane things can be very important sometimes and I feel often might have been a catalyst to the haunting or a reason not researched that might produce a normal or supernatural explanation to what is going on."
"Some woman no matter what the age or intelligence just go wild and crazy during different times of the month and this might connect into what a ghost or a location as we witness." "And usually it is days just before, during or after their period."
A hard imposed belief that Jackson personally puts forth when investigating ghosts is that all female members need to state and document their cycles as well as all females at a haunted location. She does believe that these effects might not have occurred at such a time or do because a woman might be ovulating.
"Don't use drugs unless prescribed and also check out what effects and problems they are noted to produce." Jackson also asks the haunted client or related individuals she investigates to give her a itemized list of all medications they are on. And also her team members.
And this she notes is just in case something they are taking causes hallucinations, or is related time between taking pills to when and how the supposed ghost effects them. She also tries to find out if the subject of investigation drinks alcohol before or during a paranormal experience they have had or an investigation or hunt.
"You really need to be personal with people in your group and those you investigate of their claims." States Jackson. "But you need to play detective and devil's advocate in the same breath." "Also this is to make 100% sure by fitting everything that might bring on a paranormal experience or stop it first hand."
"I personally don't smoke near or openly where I will be investigating for ghost ." "And ask my team and the subjects who live or work at a location to make a designated spot for smoking while the investigation is going on."
"I really don't want to photograph smoke and have the client or others to think it is a real ghosts or an ectoplasmic floating mist or spirit taking solid form in a ghost photo." Stated Jackson.
She also tells that when trying to record or capture what many believe to be real voices of the dead, EVP's, to never whisper or think the question to ones self hoping to get a answer. One should always just talk in a normal voice. Ghost can hear audibly she believes, but as he tells, they can't always read minds. But in the case of demonic encounters anything can and will happen.
"I always but always use new tapes in the recorder", tells Jackson"I to do wear a watch that I have tested with all my equipment and those in my group to make sure it is safe and will not produce any type of supposed paranormal activity."
"I where the watch just to note times of events." Never try using a Cell phone for such Jackson warns stray microwave does effect some hauntings.
Jackson will go as far as having her team scout out and search the neighborhood for leaking power lines, and nearby television and cell phone towers, tv disks and radio stations just make sure a location is not being bombarded by unseen radio phone or television waves or outside radiations to effect a home business or location in Marshall.
And yes she believes these unseen enviromental things can and do effect how a person reacts or feels at different times of the days it might also effect ghosts she she hunts.
In the case of many hauntings some investigators have always noticed strange whispered scents or strong unpleasant smells when there is reported ghost activity. The biggest rule to follow she tells all the members of her group is not to wear deodorants, perfume or cologne while ghost hunting unless it is unscented of course. And if the need for you using an insect repellent make sure it is unscented as well. To many people do not realize that scents effect a person and how they feel and act. It is believed that ghosts might not like the way you smell and react to you. Jackson also investigates the personal grooming habits and hygiene of her haunted clients feeling that such things might be at the root of why a ghost might slap someone or scratch them. Jackson believes it might be the ghost does not like a certain spell of a client or member of a team. she also sates that ghost might not like what your wearing or your hair style all these conditions might be trival but once and while they might be the cause of a haunting going off the charts in real paranormal activity.
The most important tip of all Jackson and her group adhere to is, always respect the dead.