Paranormal 'SOP' - Standard Operating Procedure
Paranormal Investigation Study : Set-up/Methodology/Equipment/Vigil
To be used with a external microphone roughly the same in price as the recorder being used – This is to equal out the quality of both instruments, cheap recorder with a good microphone will not give great quality results and vis-versa...It must have a stand and the recorder and microphone are to be positioned in foam cutout to illuminate any false anomalous sounds that is easily created and keep it
stable : Digital recorders without a microphone not only record internal sounds of the mechanics but any time you touch the recorder them sounds are also recorded – with a microphone you eliminate the contamination.
The recorder has to be placed in an ideal place for catching the low frequency sounds in a controlled environment, placing the recorder next to any electrical equipment/objects will get electro magnetic interference, Make sure all electrical appliances are switched off – make sure wifi,phones,laptop,tv everything that could and will transmit a signal has been turned off….corners of rooms will create reverb and echo and could catch very natural sounds rebounding some time later what could be misreviewed as a EVP….It is important to test your recorder in the location for a matter of time with headphone so you are aware of the natural sounds of the location….it makes eliminating any strange sounds a lot easier not to be mis-reviewed as something possibly paranormal.
Outside noise there is no way to control ….animals , cars , lorry radio signals , police radio signals and general public , it is at importance to be well aware of your surroundings inside the location and outside – Do not jump to any conclusions until all data had been reviewed….Even objects moving in a haunted location does not classify it as spontaneous activity, build up of pressure,wind,humidity can all create a reaction from outside to indoors (a shut house with no windows open) and move objects.
Have the recorder on the biggest sized files you can record …. the bigger size memory being used to record not only will it be better quality audio but it will reduce the white noise dramatically which in turn again will give better results.
Any editing of any files must be documented and saved as different files throughout the process of “Analysis” , there requires a paper-trial of how you got to the final edit….Often with EVPs the edited version does sound like a voice but its had mass filters placed on it to get to that stage, the original is not heard which in essence makes the audio have no value.
A lot like digital recorders cameras & camcorders require you to save the files at a higher quality, this again will reduce the amount of filming or photos your able to take but it will be high quality and that is exactly what you will be after if anything anomalous is captured.
Best to have your camera placed onto a tripod to eliminate any shaking, un-steady frames whilst using camcorders, with digital cameras you have the same principle – to be placed on a tripod so you can get perfect shots at the area of interest.
With photos take multiple shots of the same area – don’t just take one and walk away….If something anomalous is captured having multiple photos will help to prove the captured anomaly, if it is only in 1 of 10 photographs taken in 10 seconds without the camera moving, it would
certainly add some credibility to the photograph.
Try to position your cameras in an ideal area for viewing the area in question away from any electrical objects or equipment to remove any contamination taking place to the camera….. Electro magnetic waves can disrupt visuals and add noise….also it can manipulate the cameras audio.
Any editing of any files must be documented and saved as different files throughout the process of “Analysis” , there requires a paper-trial of how you got to the final edit.
Pen & Paper
The oldest and most reliable equipment to use for any Serious Paranormal Investigation, document everything from arrival….its all subjective information , things with seemingly little importance could be a vital part of something objectively captured.
Other Paranormal Equipment
All paranormal equipment is pseudo-scientific instruments, *EMF , Spirit Box plus all the other devices , have no baring on a serious investigation – UNLESS there is claims for that instrument.
Example : someone experiencing cold spots , objects moving , temperature change.
For that example I would add to the list data loggers to record temperature , wind , humidity ,Camcorder and various measuring tools.
*EMF Meters got placed into the category of pseudo-science for paranormal equipment due to the fact that most EMF meters used are pointless due to their lack of ability to detect complete EMF and the measurements are not true to what is claimed – what is being measured is not 1.1mG but that just the change of a certain area normally just 1 sensor right in the middle, which does mean you are not getting the full reading as EMF is 3 directional.
There is no evidence to link EMF to ghosts just myths that have got a little out of control.
Of course there is genuine EMF meters that would be worth buying however these are very expensive and only purpose on the an investigation would be to measure fields around your equipment, to help eliminate electronic contamination.
Question the phenomenon
Using the internet its very easy to obtain information about a local ghost sighting or experience, its important to find the original source of that information, second hand information is not credible often the person’s experience is the only thing obtained when a sighting is experienced so its important your able to get as much of the correct information as possible.
Often your whole investigation is based on that witnesses experience so you need to be able to extract all of the correct information without using any forceful questioning as that can change how they describe the experience, it has to remain unbiased and refrain from drawing any conclusions or even answers at this stage.
Vital Observations :
Their Belief Systems, Interests, Hobbies, On medication, Integrity, Nature of Object, Terms of observation, Lighting, Sober, Honesty, Alert/Focused, Depressed, Anxious, Calm,exhaustion, Imaginative, Good eye sight or need aids, what size was the object, can it be seen easily, could it be mistaken for something else, how far away was the observer, how fast did it move, what direction did it move, was it seen through something dirty (window/glass), anything else that could distract from see what actually happened.
Even if the witness is not the most credible source still note everything that is said there could be fine details hidden away that could play a vital role in the investigation.
Observations of phenomenon
Familiarize yourself with the location and inspect it in great detail, go around taking photographs of any key areas in question and of the location as a whole from various angles, When it comes to reviewing it will be key to have photographs from a different view it might help with
removing something that you might consider a ghost to be something natural.
Also when writing your report of the investigation having photographs is a good way for the reader to know what area you are talking about.
Record baseline audio levels and conduct on the spot review (headphones) to understand the audio of the environment for analysis later on and to know what is around you, what your hearing spectrum might initially miss.
Your investigation has to remain specific to the paranormal claim being presented by the witness, Equipment has to match the Paranormal claim as discussed above, and the same for your methodology – look for evidence of the claim from your surroundings and environment, often they have the answer to the claimed experience.
Its very important to keep noise to a minimum, a serious investigation into paranormal phenomenon is not like reality TV shows you, walking around screaming at demons, you need to be sat down if possible so you will not have your footsteps on all audio being recorded.
No whispering at all by anyone present at the investigation, whispering can very easily be mis-reviewed as an EVP on initial listening, save time and control sounds.
Try to keep your breathing very quiet as they can also sound through a recorder like a voice, because when reviewing audio that is something your brain is looking for and pareidollia can easily happen when in that mindset.
Your primary purpose of investigating the witnesses sighting is to replicate the experience through natural causes (Debunk), This is something that should be done with plenty of time and inspect in great detail, with care conducting various observations from different
More Vital Observations :
Nature of Object, Terms of observation, Lighting, what size was the object, can it be seen easily, could it be mistaken for something else, how far away was the observer, how fast did it move, what direction did it move, Power lines near, anything else that could create the event.
Question the phenomenon testing various theories (Specific to “What is a Ghost” i.e. Have you ever has a living body?), Question the paranormal claim your there (specific to the claim I.e..Occult Acts – Question black masses, Demonic’s, Rituals) to investigate through various EVP sessions throughout each stage of the investigation.
Make every attempt to re-create the event and give serious thought into what could have caused it.
Create hypothesis of phenomenon
After investigating the event you will have some judgement into what could had caused the event to be seen as a genuine paranormal event, was it simply a trick of the mind, Fakery or something environmentally taking place that was unknown to the witness.
Create a theory of the events with ways to test the theory with the equipment and knowledge that you have.
If there is shadow people you might want to focus on shadowing and lighting issues, if rapping noises are heard you might want to check plumbing and surroundings.
Write down a series of methods that you will be conducting in your tests, including the steps you have taken to understand the event, and the steps you are going to take in your test.
Test the hypothesis
This is the opportunity to take subjective reports and observations into objective results, this works for either hypothesis mentioned above, objectively debunk the event with evidence of a hoax (faking paranormal footage) or a trick of the mind (Paridollia, EMF, Infra-sound).
If the testimony from the witness is authentic and your observational investigation you were not able to replicate or find reasoning for such phenomena then it is down to you to try and capture this objectively which will give validation to the authentic claim by the witness but also produce credibility for your original observations.
For your hypothesis to be correct and pass the steps you set out in your tests you will be required to rework your research, you will have to go back to your original notes and restructure your hypothesis and run new tests until any results are likely to be obtained.
Conclude the phenomenon
You are required to review all data (History, Geography, Environmental) – Analyse All photographs, Video, Audio and create a non-biased report based on your subjective experience, the data - what came through analysis and create a conclusion to the initial reports claimed by the witness and a conclusion to the phenomena itself.
Code of Conduct
Each investigator has their own set of rules as they do methodology but there will certainly be some rules which are shared, Below are the rules I set for anyone joining me on a investigation and for myself.
1. No Smoking anywhere near the investigation location. (visual contamination)
2. No Alcohol or Drug use (other than prescription from a doctor)
3. No Public attention regarding information about the location and day/time.
4. Mobile Phones have to be switched off or placed on Airplane mode. (contamination)
5. Do not enter any private land (for a vigil) without signed permission by the owner.
6. No Whispering on the investigation. (contamination)
7. To remain as still as possible throughout the investigation. (contamination)
8. No Sharing of Private Information. (clients and research)
9. No litter left at the location, treat the location with care & clients.
10. Clean up any hazardous objects around the investigation area.
11. No Charge for an investigation to anyone ever.
12.Nobody under the age of 18 is allowed to join or witness.
13. No extra guests allowed, keep the numbers minimal to allow control of the investigation, just the investigator/group and 1 witness to the investigation.