Is My House Haunted, Part 3

Basics Steps for a Self-Investigation, Part 3

Written by Debra Pickman (3/08)


The best advice I can give regarding communication with interactive spirits, is to be respectful. They are cognoscente and very much aware of you and their ability to interact with you and your surroundings.

Remember, you cannot see them. It is because of this that they actually have the upper hand. So you certainly don’t want to piss them off by demanding they leave immediately. In fact, I would do a bit more research and consult experienced investigators before making such a bold request of any spirit.

The obvious goal is to gain a mutual respect for each other and attempt a mutual understanding and agreement in order to cohabitate with each other for as long as necessary.

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Now, after each session where you have set up equipment and recorded or taken photos, you should be sure to take the time to review it for possible evidence. Look for strange shadows, mists and slight movements. Remember, however, that cars moving along the street outside can reflect off your walls and windows and gives you what is called a false positive – false paranormal activity.

Rule out all other possibilities

When you find something odd or interesting in a photo or on video, look it over several times and try to rule out anything normal (i.e. a moving shadow could be cause by someone closing a door or walking past a light in another room etc…). Once you have ruled out everything you can possibly think of (because if you don’t, someone else will), you can keep it as possible paranormal evidence.

This goes the same for audio evidence. A special note needs to be interjected here; be sure you can account for the whereabouts of everyone in the house during your evidence collection periods. In fact, it would be best to be alone, or sitting outside bedroom doors (if recording at night), to be sure no human element is responsible for the odd sounds you may have caught during any given recording session.


During playback you want to listen for tapings, thumps, moving furniture, voices and anything else that seems out of place. Although you will sometimes get EVP that is very clear and almost sounds as if someone is standing right next to you or the recorder, this is rare. Most voice emulated EVP sounds like a forced whisper (the best description I have ever heard offered on what an EVP sounds like).

Listening to your own EVP can be very exciting

When you find possible EVP in a recording you can employ your own efforts to bring it out, or send it to someone who can do it for you. There are actually a few groups and websites, which will help you with this. They can make some software suggestions, walk you through the process, or actually do it for you.

In the end, and dependant on you diligence and strategy, you will have collected enough evidence to make an educated and informed assessment on the paranormal possibilities that exist in your home. If your experiences have been benign (non threatening), at least know you know there is a basis for it and you are not losing your mind. 

If the activity has been of a threatening nature, all is not lost. Many negative energies can move on or be dealt with, but it may be time to call in someone that has more knowledge of dealing with these types of energies/spirits.

What you do with this evidence is then up to you. You can share it with others, use it as a basis for a paranormal claim and/or offer it to an investigation group if and when they come in to help you further, or simply keep it to yourself knowing that what you have is something surreal and an experience unlike anything could ever imagine.

If, during the time you are doing this self-investigation, the activity escalates, becomes dangerous or intimidating in any way, stop your investigation and get professional paranormal investigators in to help you.

There are likely several groups in your area that would be ready to help you, free of charge. Yes, I said free. Most groups do not charge a dime (although they would certainly not be offended by a donation to help cover expenses) and those who do are often questionable in their goals and motives.

If the haunting you are experiencing is not harmful or intimidating, you might find that this self-investigation is enough to answer some of your own questions and perhaps it will allow you to become more comfortable cohabitating with spirit.

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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