Important Information when dealing with Paranormal investigation Groups 

When ever you have an unexplained phenomena or situation happen and you need to contact a group of paranormal investigators, there are several things that you should take into consideration. First of all, you should be very cautious of whom you will be dealing with. You wouldn't pick up a hitch-hiker that looked suspicious would you? Then why would you deal with someone else you have never met before and let them into your house? If you have a heating and cooling problem, you contact your local heating and air conditioning business from the yellow pages. If they have been established, then more than likely you have heard their name around town and amongst friends and family. You can also check with the BBB and see how reputable they are along with the types of complaints they have if any. These are just a couple of concerns you can check. More than likely, a paranormal investigation group may not be listed in the yellow pages. This isn't a large concern, due to the fact that they are probably a nonprofit outfit and they try to cut as much costs as possible. The internet is a great place to find such a group and definitely a more accessible and least costly method to advertise such a service. Usually there are several paranormal investigation groups close to where you live. This allows you to check them all out and also get a feel for which one you would like to use. It is considered bad form for any group to "bad talk" another group in order to secure you as a client. If they do this, it is best to avoid working with such a group. If they have these kind of ethics, then what kind of job do you think they will do for you? Most groups will do this work for free. Any group that tries to charge for their services may be out to rake you over the coals and there is no telling how much money they will try to get from you. They may also tell you there are certain types of activities occurring like demonic and or poltergeist and try to charge hundreds to rid them for you. This is like snake oil. They are a scam, and should be reported to the local authorities as soon as possible. Make sure that your group of investigators follow these guidelines;

  1. They will work for free, and never ask for money. They may or may not accept donations, but will not ask for them.
  2. All of the group members have passed a background investigation and have no criminal background and are not on Megan’s list.
  3. They have a consent form(s) you must sign to allow them investigate on your premises.
  4. They have liability insurance to cover any accidental damage that they may cause to your property.
  5. They have a business license or permit to operate their group.
  6. There is a group of at least 3+ members and they have some kind of group identification.
  7. They have their own investigation equipment and tools.
  8. They conduct research on the property as well as conduct an investigation.
  9. They allow you to participate in the investigation and never require you to leave the premises unwillingly.
  10. Never let them lead you by trick questions and/or having you say something that isn't true.
  11. Never trust a psychic that charges you money for their services and then charge even more money to remedy it.

It is also important to realize that an investigation does not happen very quick. The group will probably spend a couple of nights and a day at the location to investigate and collect as much evidence as possible. They also try to get a good idea of any possible causes that may be overlooked. Aside from the location, the group will also research at the public library, county records and county historical society to get as much background information as possible. NEVER let any group just show you pictures/video and listen to EVPs with the intention of telling you that is a complete investigation. They must also show you any details relevant to the locations history and or person/people who live(d) there. How ever long it takes to collect and gather evidence, it should take them 2-3 times longer to review and document the evidence into to the logs and report. It takes a little time to prepare a comprehensive package that contains the proper details. This is generally done around work schedules. Generally a DVD with case and a few pieces of paper stapled together cost just a few dollars and the group can afford to give it to you free of charge. They wouldn't mind a donation, but would never ask or insinuate that one is required. Generally the group has a file of the entire case as proof of the investigation and that is more valuable to the group then the five dollars it cost them in materials. It serves as a reference and helps build their skills and credibility. This also helps them build trust within the community thru word of mouth.

Skills and Tools

Skills are very important when it comes to investigating the paranormal. Many groups will tell you that the paranormal investigation schools are a fraud. The part of them that is considered a fraud is the certificate that the school or course gives its students upon completion. This certificate means absolutely nothing as far as transferable units or credits are concerned. The reason most groups tell you that this is worthless is because they don't believe in paying the money for the course. It is a guarantee that if the course was free, they would all be for it, and then say that without the certificate you would be a scam or fraud. I believe the certificate is worthless, however the training offered is very crucial. I don't believe that you must attend the course, but I do believe that you must get some investigative training. I have a degree in Administration of Justice. I have proper report writing and courtroom testimony skills along with training in proper investigation procedures. These are key for any investigator. Paranormal investigators aren't required to obtain such educational degrees. They can get all of their training "on the job". It is crucial that they get the proper training on the job. If they are trained by someone who doesn't have the proper training themselves, then what they learn may be worthless. They wouldn't be considered "Paranormal Investigators", but merely "Paranormal enthusiasts". Sure anyone can like something, but just liking it doesn't make you qualified at it. For instance, in the "real world" an investigator for the local sheriff's department must follow certain investigation procedures so that the evidence collected isn't contaminated, and they don't violate a persons 4th amendment rights to search and seizure. They must also have the skills to properly write their reports so that they too can be used as evidence. This report also comes back into play when the investigator has to testify in the courtroom. This helps them recollect the circumstances and details relating to the investigation. If these investigators had no training, then nearly 100% of all investigations would be worthless either because they violated the 4th amendment, they contaminated evidence, they didn't know how to collect evidence, or they didn't know how to write a report or testify. You wouldn't want an untrained investigator trying to solve the case if your house was broken into would you? Then why would you want an untrained "Paranormal Investigator" at your house investigating the paranormal? Do you think they could do the job? It may sound good, but when it comes down to it, it would look really bad on paper. As a paranormal investigator, we must work in several key areas. First, we fill the role as an investigator, Second, we fill the role as a forensic team and analyze all the evidence. Next, we fill the role as both the prosecutor and the defense attorney. This is where we try to either prove or debunk certain evidence. Remember that just because you may have proved something one way, you also need to look at the possibilities that it may be proved the other way as well. It can be very tricky, and never do just half the job. Lastly, we must be the judge and jury. We must look at all the evidence and details surrounding the evidence and decide how it fits into the paranormal puzzle.

Never assume that someone can do the job based on what they tell you, ask for credentials and or references. Tell them you would like to talk to some former clients, and see some case reports. If they have what it takes, this will be no problem at all. If your house caught fire, would you call the fire department or you neighbor who knows how to use a fire extinguisher, knows how to use a hose, and drives a red truck? No, you must go with the "real deal" in order to do it right. When it comes to paranormal investigation, it is no different. The reason why the paranormal isn't a proven science yet, is because of all the unprofessional and uneducated investigators out there making the good ones suffer due to every one of them being in the same category. With the good and bad investigators in the same category ( in the publics eye), the bad ones can really hamper the efforts of the good ones.

Tools are very important. In the paranormal field, there are so many different beliefs and ways to investigate, it will give you a headache. The key part about the investigation are the tools. Many people use photography, but they don't have the software to analyze it thoroughly because it costs too much. To do the job right requires to right tools. Several tools that are a must are; Digital cameras (full spectrum), Digital video cameras (full spectrum), Digital voice recorders, laptop computers, Digital IR thermometer, Passive IR motion detectors, DVR camera system with portable 12v setup, EMF detectors (more than one kind), Trifield meter, EM pump, Laser grid system, communication system, Tripods, Digital camera traps, portable indoor/outdoor thermometers (temp of several core areas), at least 3 investigators with additional in the command station, investigation rules and protocols. There are other tools as well and several experimental techniques. Any tool and technique can be dismissed due to the investigators lack of skill. Remember, this would be a science if there were more trained individuals and not enthusiasts claiming to be investigators



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