Is My House Haunted, Part 1

Basics Steps for a Self Initiated Paranormal Investigation

Written by Debra Pickman (3/08)


More and more people have owned up to having strange or otherwise possible paranormal activity in their home. In fact, this has actually become more prevalent than we think. It is very possible that many more homes than we are aware of, are having paranormal activity but to which the occupants are unsure of and don’t report it.

People may not want to call in investigators for fear that it will turn out their claimed activity is very explainable or the opposite; that it is paranormal.

So, for those who may want to employ a bit of their own detective work before (or even in place of) self investigation 3calling in paranormal investigators, I offer some basic guidelines to doing a self-investigation.

Paranormal investigating, although it can get expensive and utilize some major equipment, doesn’t actually have to be such. You can easily start out with pen and paper, a thermometer (digital is easiest to work with), a camera of any type, and perhaps a audio recorder of any type. Lastly, if you have one available, and although not necessarily needed, a video camera comes in handy to.

More expensive equipment isn’t necessarily better

Keep in mind, just because it is more expensive doesn’t mean it better suits the paranormal application. For instance, I know several investigators who prefer the old analog tape player to any digital recorder.

Two of the most important things to remember when trying to make sense of any activity in self investigation 5question, is evidence and logic; evidence, meaning to capture some aspect of the activity for proof of your claim. This can come by the way of still photographs, video or in audio form.

Logical reasoning is an invaluable strength and imperative quality in this field because there are many things out there that can seem like paranormal activity but to which have a reasonable and logical human aspect to them.

For example, lights flickering can be paranormal, but they can also be a sign of faulty wiring. Noises or scratches in the walls can be considered demonic qualities, but can also be contributed to mice or squirrels.

An ooky feeling of being watched can be a sensitive’s ability to pick up on the energy around them, but it can also be felt by someone who is paranoid or who is letting their imagination run away through over thinking the activity around them.

Logically reduce explanations

Logical reasoning is also likely the hardest to employ as it requires one to look at the situation from a different perspective; an outsiders perspective. When the bears in the nursery of our home found self investigation 1their way to a circular meeting place in the center of the nursery floor, all with their backs to each other, we employed every logical thought process we could.

The first thought, was that someone physically put them there. When we put them back in their respective places in the room, and 20 minutes later one of them was back in the center of the floor, we expanded our thought process. Now, our thoughts were that someone was hiding in the house and playing a joke (we searched the house). We also searched the stuffed animals for magnets and strings.

Consider the environment

We even considered whether the windows were open and a wind knocked the animals to the floor ( as it was the windows had not been open). This led to the next futile thought in which our cats were somehow responsible for where and how we found the stuffed animals.

Each additionally explored thought seemed less likely and ludicrous because there was no way the toys would have formed the back to back circle in the middle of the floor through such happenstance. As you can tell, our logical thoughts led to unrealistic thoughts, but exploring them was necessary.

Double check your options

When all of our  efforts were exhausted, we went back to the simple and most obvious of answers, and then again went through all the possibilities we could think of, ultimately turning to each other self investigation 2waiting for one of us to own up to the prank.

Neither of the three (Tony, my sister and myself) of us did, so the rest of the evening, in an effort to logically rule out any foul play or trickery, we agreed to maintain eye contact  on each individual so that no one was unsupervised at any given time.

We employed this approach and the activity continued, in due course leading us to the startling realization that we were truly experiencing paranormal activity.

This process however took hours, and in some cases this cycle might take days or weeks. Having more than one person involved is of course helpful as two heads are certainly better than one. It is this process though, that goes a long way to document and prove your case not only to yourself, but to others as well.

It can also help investigators, should you invite them later, a starting point for their own investigation and assessment.

With that said, you want to be sure to document anything unusual. You also want to document your Allan's Journal writing samples - 1approach to an explanation for each unexplained or unusual activity. If your lights are flickering, change the bulb, wiggle the light switch to rule out a problem there, check the wring, and have a professional do a final check.

When using your camera, and when available, be sure the date stamp is set correctly. If you don’t have this option, keep a log of the time each photo is taken. With each photo note what time of day it was as well as the weather (sunny, rainy or overcast). These are often helpful in ruling out certain possibilities to explain a strange capture on your film or disk.

Now you are set. You have your equipment, you are aware of the importance of documentation as well as the need to be thorough and logical in your approach.

Stay tuned for Is My Home Haunted, Part 2

About Debra Pickman

After living in an extremely haunted location with my husband who was physically and mentally brutalized by an unseen force my husband and I became experienced investigators applying our knowledge to other locations. We continue to speak at events, conferences and on radio shows around the world. Contact me at

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