Getting Started in Paranormal Investigation
Paranormal investigation means a lot of things to many different people. For some, paranormal investigation is just going into a cemetery at night, taking a few pictures, getting an “orb” or two, and posting it on a website or social networking site as “evidence.”
For others, paranormal investigation is reading, studying, and spending real time and effort to look into the unexplainable. Paranormal investigation is a lot of “sitting around” and waiting and spending hours going through video and audio clips looking for those little nuances and noise disturbances that get ghost hunters so excited. It doesn’t involve running into demonic presences on every investigation and finding anomalies in every photo. There’s a lot of people who get involved in the paranormal because they are looking for a thrill and a scary experience. Those people typically don’t stick around for too long and every once in a while, one of those people who started off in the hopes of getting scared, actually become a serious investigator. Kudos to them!
There is no such thing as a “professional” paranormal investigator. Currently there are no academic programs offered in the United States and no parapsychology degrees either. The idea of an “expert” in the field is laughable too. There are no experts in this field because how can one be an expert in something we haven’t even begun to understand? Think about it. Sure we can know a lot about theories and topics within the paranormal, but no one is really right or wrong at this point in regards to what the paranormal truely is. The question of becoming “certified” also comes up often with a lot of people just starting out in the paranormal. Don’t let anyone ever try and sell you their “certificate to become a certified ghost hunter.” There are a few people out there who are respected in the field and who do offer online courses, such as Loyd Auerbach. What they have to offer, you can find on your own if you don’t have the money to spend. Many paranormal investigators, in fact, most investigators, are “home grown.”
Do you want to know the best way to start becoming a paranormal investigator? Here are a few tips from Michigan's Otherside.
1. Be an open-minded skeptic – don’t take everything for what it is. Question it over and over again. Don’t jump to conclusions. Look for the obvious and natural reasons for any type of occurrence that someone has labeled “paranormal.” When you have ruled out everything, perhaps you
2. If you want the best teaching tool available, purchase the “The Ghost Hunters Guidebook” by Troy Taylor. It is by far, the best book that has been published on the market. Read it from cover to cover. Twice. Then sleep with it under your pillow and make a chair for it at the dinner table. Ignore the strange glances from friends and family. They just don't understand how good this book is.
3. Research for good deals on equipment.You don’t need an arsenal of expensive stuff. Not everyone has a budget from a cable network. Research a nice digital camera to take pictures of the investigation surroundings for reference with the hopes that something anomalous might show up. But don’t count on it. The new digital cameras don’t get the orbs like back in the day. Refer to our article on “Orbs” to learn to stay away from these horrid little paranormal pests!!! You can find good buys on many websites such as stores like Best Buy, Radio Shack and Ebay for some simple starter gear. Better yet...get creative. Think outside of the box and try to come up with your own equipment and inventions. We would never move forward if it wasn't for out-of-the box thinkers.
4. Network with people. Find groups, message forums (such as the Michigan’s Otherside forums…shameless plug) and if your looking to join a team, look around. There are many groups out there. Not all of them might be what you are looking for and not all of them always take on new members. There are a lot of teams who got started recently because they were motivated by watching “Ghost Hunters” on the Sci-Fi channel and there’s nothing wrong with being motivated by something. I wish more people were motivated by things. But the problem with many of the “Ghost Hunters” generation of investigators is the fact that they are hoping when they go out on an investigation, it’s just like the show, with evidence and spooky occurrences around every corner. They don’t stop to think about the magic of video editing and that Sci-Fi cares about TV ratings and what makes good entertainment.
5. Don't claim to be "scientific." This term is the new buzz word in the paranormal and it's getting old. Just because you waive around an EMF detector and use a video camera, does not make you a scientist. Meet Chris Bailey from Grimstone Inc. sometime who actually is a real scientist and you'll learn the difference very quickly. We're down with people who admit they are just "looking for some answers." If you a hobby hunter, that's all your doing.