RESEARCH & EVIDENCE
I’m not going to list all the equipment that we use during investigations, as most of you already know about if not already have this type of equipment. Since the arrival of the ghost hunting shows on television, ghost hunting equipment is now easier to find and more affordable to purchase than it was over a decade ago.
The secret to capturing good paranormal evidence, however, has not changed. Even with the advances made in technology, you’re still not going to get evidence every place you go. You may even be sure that the place is haunted, but that doesn’t mean the ghosts are going to let you take their picture, let alone speak to you.
It would be silly of us to believe that in well-known, haunted locations that have seen a glut of ghost hunter traffic that the ghosts-in-residence are unaware of what we are trying to accomplish. Once they become tired of all this attention (and believe me, they will), then you can expect them to tease you more than supplying you with any evidence. In fact, they will play the, ‘wherever-you’re-not,’ game. If you are downstairs, you will hear them upstairs. When you run upstairs, they go downstairs and make a bunch of noise that stops dramatically when you run back to catch them. Setting up one of your infrared video cams and leaving it running while you investigate the rest of the property will still catch nothing. They’ve watched you set up the equipment and will make sure to avoid this area. Ghosts have lots of energy and lots of time- plus they are not dumb. This form of hide-and-seek won’t stop until you leave.
One of the ways we respond when playing this game, is to take a break and leave the premises with our cameras and recorders still running. We’ll go across the street for a quick bite to eat, or head outside for about ½ hour- walking away from the location so they cannot see us. You can actually get a lot of fantastic evidence when taking a break from the game. Ghosts will speak amongst themselves, laugh, and make quite a bit of noise when they know you are gone. Some of our clearest EVP’s were captured in an unoccupied and locked location while we were outside.
Whose Evidence is it?
There was an issue a few years back when an investigator acquaintance of ours said that he was in the middle of a dispute with a client on whose evidence it really was. The client was apparently very upset that he posted a very good EVP on his website that he had received at an investigation of her property. The client argued that all of the evidence belonged to her, and that he was not allowed to showcase any of it. Our friend argued that he was the one who had the evidence, so that made it rightly his to do so as he pleased. So whose evidence is it, really?
Well I don’t work in the legal field, but if I was going to have to choose I’d say it is both. First of all, a client has requested a particular ghost group to come and investigate their home or business. Most, if not all paranormal investigative teams do ghost hunting free of charge. We are not getting paid to investigate and we do incur out of pocket expenses for each and every investigation. If paranormal evidence is received at a location, then I feel it is the responsibility of the investigator to provide this evidence to the client also free of charge, which most investigators do. With that being said, because the investigator was the one who actually captured the evidence with their equipment and took the time to review any evidence following the investigation, then they should hold some rights to said evidence. However, because the evidence was captured in a client’s home or business, then they also hold rights to it. Even without getting paid, we enter into a business relationship with each and every client who allows us access to their property. We wouldn’t have received any evidence without their consent for us to investigate, and the client themselves wouldn’t have this evidence without allowing us to do so in the first place.
Now whether or not an investigator is allowed to publicly post this evidence becomes the sticky part. Many clients wish to remain confidential, and do not wish any part of the investigation to be public knowledge. Most of our clients who wish to remain confidential allow us to post any evidence we receive as long as we do not disclose their identity or full location. We may have listed the city and state when showing off our evidence, but that was only with that client’s approval. Many businesses have no problem with us posting that we investigated their location and some of them encourage it. They know that ghosts are good for business.
To guard against having any future misunderstandings, we have always had each of our clients sign a form before we even begin an investigation. This let’s us know first hand what we can and cannot do with any evidence we may receive. Any and all evidence we receive is given back to the client regardless of what they may have signed, along with a synopsis of any significant equipment anomalies or paranormal activity that we may have encountered. This is part of our personal investigative protocols. Now, it may sound silly to have such forms in place since we don’t typically get paid to investigate, but because everyone is so sue-happy these days, even we investigators have no choice but to protect our own interests as well as our clients.
Good Evidence, Bad Evidence
There was a time early on in our ghost hunting career where we loved Orbs. I hate to admit that now. Truth be told, it was when we first started experimenting with the newfangled digital cameras, and it took us a couple of years and a lot of research to figure out the difference between dust, moisture and the unexplained.
Because digital cameras pick up everything (and I do mean everything), we now tend to discount the controversial Orb as a mild environmental annoyance. The exception to this is when we receive an Orb with a distinct facial expression or one that shows definite movement. True Orbs (and I use that term loosely), should be extremely dense and not opaque. They do not have to be white, but usually are. If they show movement such as a tail behind them appearing to speeding along, we would probably say that’s a good one. Also, less is more when dealing with Orbs. A picture full of a hundred Orbs is most certainly dust or moisture. One very bright or moving Orb by itself would be more significant.
Dust/Moisture. No good. Singles are better.
An orb speeder traveling nicely at the White Eagle, tail and all.
Seems a little odd when you get random balls of light
with faces in them. But we like them anyway.
At this point though, it’s hard for us to get mega-excited about any Orb photos. Even photos of Ecto aren't the holy-grail for us anymore, but we like them better than Orbs.
Good Ecto at the 13th Door Haunted House.
VERY good Ecto formation. It's always a good night when the TV news crewmen experience inexplicable anomalies during filming on their $50,000 cameras and equipment and you can show them WHY.
A strange figure I caught while taking photos of some deer at the RR tracks. I was taking nature photos only and did not see this figure although the deer were stopped and staring down the tracks at the time.