You know, a given about being a paranormal investigator is that you are always going to encounter the die hard skeptics. Or in my case, you encounter them, marry them, and suffer a lifetime of dubious looks and long sighs when discussing the paranormal. I’ve met my fair share of believers and skeptics alike. I think its a big world and we’re all entitled to our opinions. This however brings me to one central concept when investigating haunted locations: Evidence, and how that evidence is collected is vital to paranormal investigation. Let’s take this opportunity to walk you through the basic equipment that you need for paranormal pursuits.
Everyone may differ on what they feel is essential gear for going ghost hunting. Some people bring everything but the kitchen sink because they like to be prepared. That’s okay. I’m a big fan of being prepared. I’m more or less addressing beginning ghost hunters or those who would like to explore the field of paranormal investigation a bit before they invest in a bunch of equipment. The most important thing you need to bring with you on an investigation, you already possess. You should bring a mind that is open to whatever you are about to experience. Notice, I didn’t say you had to believe in the paranormal or that you had to believe in ghosts specifically. If you are going so far as to venture on any sort of paranormal investigation, then it’s almost a given that you aren’t entirely a skeptic.
Let’s move on to the more practical side of things. The main objective at any haunted locale is EVIDENCE. That’s the Holy Grail of every paranormal crusade. To begin with, a decent camera and a digital voice recorder (DVR) will suffice. The camera is of course for taking pictures, and the DVR will be used to record you addressing the presumed spirits or entities with questions and requests for activity or communication. Often, people will find that even if there is no visible sound during the recording, inevitably at playback there will be some disembodied voices responding in an intelligent way. This is called an EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena).
So, you’ve got your camera and DVR…it’s go time, right? Not so fast, Spookster. It’s my practical nature, but make sure you carry a flashlight and batteries. Lots and lots of batteries. Not just because your equipment may eat up battery power, but also because its a known phenomena that batteries can mysteriously be drained at a haunted location. There are many explanations as to why this can happen, and we might discuss those later. For the time being, just remember to stock up on batteries and you can thank me later.
This is where I act much as your sweet Grandma would. I will now tell you to dress comfortably and appropriately for the weather. Wear sturdy shoes, preferably ones that have the word “ortho” in them. Ok, maybe not that far, but you should remember that many locations are unheated, sometimes abandoned or not currently functional, and that you will most likely be tromping around in the dark aided only by your flashlight. Luckily, it has lots of batteries though. (See above paragraph).
Ok, got all the practical bases covered. Let’s move on. Now, I feel like if you’ve seen any horror movies in your lifetime, it goes without saying that investigating all by yourself is not the best idea. Possibly the only worse thing you could do would be to make fun of Jason Voorhees. The primary concern is for your safety, and you’ll most likely be navigating a place you aren’t that familiar with. The secondary concern would be that if you do observe anything possibly paranormal, you can see if you weren’t alone in seeing/hearing it. So grab a friend, or your neighborhood paranormal guy whose name is often cruelly mispelled as BRAIN, and head out to investigate something haunted.