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Entries in ghost hunting (26)


Paranormal Investigations 101

Paranormal Investigations have their roots in the early days of the Spiritualism Movement of the 1800's. During the period fraudulent psychics and spirit photographers were as common as dentists and doctors of the time. The result led to professional detectives, escape artists and researchers to attempt to identify and expose these frauds. Professionals such a Harry Houdini, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and even Thomas Edison dedicated significant amount of time to discrediting fraudulent psychics and reported paranormal activity.

Today, thanks in-part to Ghost Hunters, paranormal investigations have become a popular hobby for those seeking a bit of adventure. While professional researchers have dedicated a significant amount of their lives earning degrees in related fields and generating academic journals based on their studies. There is a clear distinction between the professional who has dedicated years of their life and the amateur that has an interest in capturing evidence of the paranormal or simply experiencing the phenomena.

There are actually three different approaches to conduct paranormal investigations; analyst, intuitive and documentarian. Each approach carries a different connotation in research circles but each also has a different goal.

The Analyst

The Paranormal Analyst approach to investigations is by-far the most common method taken by would-be ghost hunters. The analyst uses scientific equipment to evaluate the environment and any paranormal phenomena. The analyst approach uses the scientific method and a methodical approach to every investigation. TV shows that employ this method include the likes of Ghost Hunters and Ghost Lab.

The Analyst utilizes equipment like EMF Meters, CCTS Cameras, Environmental Quality Meters among other technology to document every aspect of the environment so that they can capture any anomalies.

The Analyst Method:

  • Conduct Witness Interviews
  • Establish Baseline Data (Initial Survey of Site)
  • Correlate Witness Accounts with Baseline Data
  • Investigation of Site with Survey Equipment
  • Correlate Survey Results with Phenomena Captured on Documentary Equipment
  • Evaluate Results for False Positives 
  • Present Findings along with Possible Causes
Goal - Provide Scientifically Authenticated Objective Evidence

The Intuitive 

The Paranormal Intuitive approach to investigations is the oldest methods taken by would-be ghost hunters. The Intuitive relies on subjective impressions of the site, otherwise called 'psychic intuitive' approach. The intuitive uses their own impressions, experiences and emotional responses to the environment. Sometimes the intuitive may use a basic EMF meter or digital still camera to support their investigation. TV shows that employ this method include the new show The Dead Files.

Intuitive Method:

  • Conduct Witness Interviews
  • Investigation of Site
  • Present Findings
Goal - Identify the Spirits of the Location and Provide the Reasons Why

The Documentarian

The Documentarian approach to investigations is another longstanding method that has been co-opted for researching the paranormal. The Documentarian relies on professional documentation equipment; cameras, camcorders and audio field recorders in an attempt to document paranormal phenomena.This documentarian uses standard journalism practices and sometimes utilizes specialized equipment or experimental technology to provoke a paranormal response that can be documented. TV shows that employ this method include primarily Ghost Adventures.

Documentarian Method:
  • Conduct Witness Interviews
  • Review Site History with Witnesses
  • Investigation of Site
  • Present Findings

Goal - Capture Paranormal Phenomena on Audio, Video or Digital Stills

Each method can be utilized as the sole means of research however, many researchers utilize a mixture of these techniques throughout their investigations. This can be complimentary but only so much as the researchers have mastered their default methods and technology.