The Horror Honeys: Enter the Unknown - Paranormal Investigation

Enter the Unknown - Paranormal Investigation

A Guest Honey Paranormal Adventure with Bree Doubleday

Living in a region where paranormal events thrive, I have always been fascinated with the unknown. Sure, spirits don't just jump out and say, "BAM! Here I am!" and even with multiple visits to a location, you have to become the sleuth of the paranormal and do some detective work. 

Every time you flip on the TV and look at the guide, there is always a new show spotlighting the paranormal. You will see ghost hunters walking around with devices that are buzzing and beeping, while trying to communicate with those who have passed on. But what are they actually doing? What are the devices and what in the hell do they do? What goes into a paranormal investigation? What are the 'classes' of EVP they're talking about? These are some of the questions that will be answered in the following paragraphs. If you dare to continue on reading, please feel free to make yourself nice and cozy by the lit fireplace as you listen to the musings of the paranormal. Oh! And if you feel something grabbing at your ankles, don't be scared. I promise they won't bite…

Video Ovilus, as seen on 'Ghost Adventures
Since spirits and entities take the form of energy, sometimes -if you're lucky- you can get a visible apparition taking form in front of your very own eyes. Often times, this isn't the case, so various devices must be used to detect their presence. The AC EMF meter (Electromagnetic Field meter) is used to detect the energy levels/ambient fields that spirits exude from themselves; this is done using various sensors and probes located within the meter. Since spirits have a great amount of electromagnetic energy, once the EMF meter picks it up, the number will spike due to the rate of change in the electromagnetic field. EM Pumps are often used (as seen on Travel Channel's Ghost Adventures) to provide energy to the entities so that they are able to manifest more easily. 

Mel Meter 8704r
Curious to hear what the spirits are trying to say? If you want to communicate with the other side, the most common equipment are the digital recorder, the video Ovilus, Inductive Probe, and the spirit box. The digital recorder (that's right! your little digital recorder you used to spy on people will come in handy!) is used when conducting an EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) session. The video Ovilus is a device that transmits words from the spirits from the handheld computer hardware to the goggles that you wear; it is HIGHLY recommended you don't walk or run while wearing these… chances are, you will possibly bump or fall into something, which would not be good.

The Talker/Inductive probe, as seen on 'Ghost Adventures'
Courtesy of Travel Channel
The Inductive Probe (which also goes by the 'Talker') is another device that uses energy/ electromagnetic waves and converts them over to phonemes/words and communicates them audibly to the investigator. Last, but certainly not least, in the communication equipment is the spirit box. I find the spirit box to be pretty cool but have yet to add this beaut to my equipment. The spirit box (or ghost box) uses radio frequency that the spirits bend and manipulate to create certain words. And if you want some cool devices that blend some of these devices you can try the PX or the DAS-RT-EVP. The PX device is a mix of the Ovilus and the Paranormal Puck device in one, and the DAS-RT-EVP is a real time EVP recorder that allows frequent simultaneous playback as well as a spirit box function.

The Infared Camera, as seen on 'Ghost Adventures'
Courtesy of Travel Channel
So now that you've got the equipment to make contact the question is… how do you record your evidence? For video, you can use anything from your basic camcorder (make sure it has night vision) to complex videography camera gear. For pictures, you can once again use anything from a standard digital point and shoot camera to a DSLR camera. That's right; you can use your digital camera to capture manifestations! Often, regular digital cameras are better to use since DSLR cameras tend to try to fix the lighting and any abnormalities, potentially removing a manifesting apparition out of the shot. If you want to delve in a bit deeper with the usage of various cameras, you can also use an Infrared camera, or a full spectrum DVR camera. 

Full Spectrum DVR Camera, as seen on 'Ghost Adventures'
Courtesy of Travel Channel
Other cool pieces of equipment include motion detectors, thermometers and the Mel 8704REM 'Mel Meter', and Paranormal Pod/ E field pods. You can set up motion detectors and Paranormal Pods or E field pods in different areas while you are investigating other regions, and if any spirits are in the area, the device will let off a sound so you know something's there. Thermometers and the Mel 8704REM 'Mel Meter' can help you see when there is a fluctuation in the temperature (cold spots) by monitoring AC/DC EMF disturbances. 

Now that you've got the gear down, you're finally ready to go into some creepy, decrepit location and find some spirits! But…what now? There's more to investigations than just walking around snapping pictures and taking EVP sessions.

Behind the Investigation Scenes: A step by step walk-through

1) Research, research, research! Yes, before walking into a random location, you must know some facts about what has occurred in the area, i.e. if any tragic events happened, any notable people could be an influence to the haunting, what others may have witnessed, etc. This can be helpful you if you capture any audio that gives certain words or names that may not seem to make sense at first. This can also help dictate if you choose the location in the end or not.

2) Make an investigation form. This is entirely optional, but it's great to have in case you want to take note of various things that may occur. This can be anything from sights, sounds, temperature fluctuations, etc. 

3) Take a walk-through of the location and talk to those who have had experiences. Ask if anyone has seen or heard anything nearby. Taking a walk through of the haunted locale in broad daylight lets you get a feel for the spot and you can take notice of areas that may be difficult once you're in the dark. Talking to locals and those who've experienced hauntings can also help you if you experience anything from a cold chill to footsteps when in a certain are that others have felt the same thing. 

4) Investigation time! Whoo-hoo! Now that you've got your gear and team (highly suggested in case something decides it wants to bite your leg and turn you into a creature of the night) or yourself, you are ready to begin the investigation process! Always make sure you know where everyone is, so your recordings don't contain the sound of your fellow investigator's footsteps running towards a cool grandfather clock he wants to check out.

***WARNING: Please be careful while conducting your investigations. Be wary of your surroundings and spiritual contact. You never know what you may come in contact with and how it will impact you.***

In no particular order, you can conduct these next steps….

5) Snap pictures and take some video footage. You never know what might show up if you take 5 consecutive shots. Some sort of anomaly might appear in one of those frames. If possible, try setting up some extra cameras (like static night vision cameras) in different areas and leave them rolling to see if they pick up anything while you're taking pictures and conducting EVP sessions: think Ghost Adventures and how they leave cams rolling while also filming with their own individual cameras as well. Don't forget to take some thermal readings if you brought your handy dandy thermometer or Mel Meter!

6) Conduct and EVP session with your digital recorder. When conducting an EVP session, it is important to make sure you leave spaces in between your questions, allowing answer time. Also make sure that your colleagues aren't making any sounds that you could later mistake for a sound caused by a spirit; keep track and verbalize when a certain noise is made by you or your team, that way there is no confusion later on.

***Tip: Always, always, always, bring extra batteries! Spiritual entities are known for absorbing battery power! Always be prepared for technical difficulties! ***

7) All good things must come to an end… and thus concludes your investigation. Now comes the time to review the evidence you accumulated over the duration of the investigation! Split it up as a team, then try giving it to your other team members to see if they pick up anything different. You also may have to go into a music software system such as Audacity, and boost and lower certain levels on an EQ (Equalizer) to clean up the audio a smidge. 

***Tip: Sometimes lens flares and dust particles or small flying pests can be mistaken for spiritual orbs and anomalies, and motion blur or a reflection of light can create weird streaks of light or distort an image, so be wary of these.***

7.5) Classes of EVP! EVP can be classified into different categories. Here are the qualities of each class:

CLASS A: The best of the best audio evidence. You can clearly understand what is being said. It is loud, clear, and very high in quality.
CLASS B: This is your most common kind of EVP. You can kind of make out what is being said, but often times you need to adjust the levels in an audio software system to clear it up to fully understand it. 
CLASS C: Lowest quality of EVP, yet there is still hope for it. You will have to do lots of tweaking to be able to get it at a somewhat understandable setting.
CLASS D: These are the worst. In fact, most times they aren't even a recording in the end and instead something non-paranormal. These are also classified as Class R EVPs as well.

8) After gathering all of your evidence, make sure you keep note of what happened by filling out a report (as mentioned above). It's good to keep all of your investigations and evidence on file and saved for future references. Also, if you were granted permission by someone to investigate the location, it is proper for you to share the evidence and have a follow up with them.

So there you have it….a bit of info on equipment and how to investigate a location. Hopefully this has inspired and helped you all. Happy hunting! 

So off I go ghost hunting…If you don't hear from me, chances are I'm visiting with some spirits.