Basics Steps for a Self-Investigation, Part 2
Written by Debra Pickman (3/08)
First thing to do at this point is to start an activity log. A simple notebook will do; noting time and places for the activity you are experiencing. It is good to do this for a few days to a week depending on the level of activity you are able to log. This will show any pattern, if applicable, and perhaps give you an area of the house to focus on during the next stage of your investigation.
Look for a pattern
If you see a pattern, your part now becomes much easier because you now have a focal point. It could also mean that you have a residual haunting, as residuals often generate the same activity in the same place time after time.
Take temperature readings periodically through the day to document what the normal temperatures are for a given area during different times of the day. Be sure to log this information in your notebook. You might do this for several days to show a pattern of normalcy. Should you note activity, also try to note the temperature in the area of the activity if possible.
Note temperature fluctuations
Don’t worry about moving towards an area that seemingly has paranormal activity; the spirit will not stay there and is usually gone before you take even one step in that direction. The presence of spirit however, is often preceded or detected by a significant change in temperature. Therefore, measuring this fluctuation can help you detect when spirit is present.
You are now ready to do some real work. Begin by setting up and turning on each piece of equipment you have selected to monitor the designated area. Of course you want to do this during the time that seems most reasonable to catch the activity as per your log book.
Rule out paranormal with the normal
Although you can often leave your equipment unattended, it is a good idea to be close by as you can monitor the area for anything strange and take mental notes as to noises or motions that could rule out paranormal activity. For example, the thumping sound of a cat knocking down a book on the shelf in a room close by, could seem significant, but would rule out the idea it was a spirit trying to communicate.
Witnessing such noise or activity also affords you the opportunity to snap a photo and make a note in your log book regarding the time. This will often make it easier to find upon playback when you want to take a closer look.
Lastly, be aware of your surroundings and tune in to the noises you hear. Go investigate where they are coming from and see if you can locate what is generating it. Pets can wheeze and make hideous sounds.
Be aware of your surroundings
Neighbors, children and common appliances and equipment in your home can create unexpected noises as well. It’s likely you will hear sounds you never realized before. Again, take notes as to what you heard, investigated and came to realize when looking into any strange sounds.
When you witness or feel activity, take as many pictures as possible all around you. Remember though, paranormal activity is often very hard to capture on film. Spirits don’t like to be caught on film and many of them are experts at avoiding such captures. For this reason, you might arbitrarily reach over your head, backwards, upside-down and behind your right hip as you are snapping photos, in order to catch them off guard.
Now on the other hand, if you have activity but it doesn’t show a pattern, you may have an interactive haunting. In most cases these hauntings are harmless, and nothing to be alarmed about. If the activity has not been threatening or dangerous, the spirit in question may simply want to communicate or want its presence known. It may just want to be left alone.
Do not whisper; it creates false positives
During an interactive haunting and investigation, feel free to talk during the time your equipment is running. If you do this however, do it in your normal voice (so that during playback it is easy to detect as your own voice) and leave time between your own speech to allow the spirits to be heard.
Don’t worry, however, if you don’t know or can’t tell if the haunting activity you have is residual or interactive – talking during the recording during either situation is not harmful if done in moderation and with respect.
Just have a natural conversation
In fact, talking during this sort of session seems to be a good approach to putting the spirits at ease, whereas they are then more inclined to speak or communicate with you. Least of all, don’t stress about what to say, just talk to them like they are right there with you; because, really, they are.
Interactive hauntings, I find to be the most interesting of hauntings, as the ultimate goal of reciprocal communication is able to take place. In the case where you are quiet sure of an interactive haunting, a good approach to the situation would be to request the spirit helps you in the communication process. They are likely just as anxious about this process so, actually obtaining intelligible EVP may take some time.
Patience is often the key
Some spirits are shy; some find it difficult to manipulate the energy available to them in order to actually communicate, etc…. Be patient; it could take weeks before you hear anything.
Some people, such as Sarah Estep, known as the mother of EVP and a pioneer worthy of distinction has been a beacon and a mentor to those who are serious about EVP. Her efforts and focus on paranormal communication have been solely based on EVP. If interested, much of her work is outlined on the AAEVP website.
If the prospect of communicating with spirits in your house interests you set up a quiet time and place where you can do some recording and allow them the time to communicate with you. Let them know how you will do this.
Make an appointment
For example, “I would love to hear from you or help you if I can. To do so, I will set up a recorder on the kitchen counter at 11:00pm each night for the next three weeks and record for 10 minutes. If you would like to tell me something speak as load as you can near this recorder. I will then listen to it and be able to hear you.” Say this each day, so they are aware and reminded of the plan.
During these sessions it is also a good time to let them know your wishes (i.e. Please don’t scare my children, Please don’t wake me with noise at night, etc…) but be sure you leave them time to speak back to you. Of course don’t expect answers right away. And if you do get a reply it will likely be significantly delayed, so give 15-20 seconds between questions.
Stay tuned for Is My Home Haunted, Part 3