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How to Become a Paranormal Investigator

Updated on April 12, 2019
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Brianna is a full-time writer, blogger, and editor. Her specialty is all things scary. Travel with her to some truly haunting destinations!

How to Become a Paranormal Investigator

If you are interested in the paranormal or thinking about joining a ghost hunt, it is far more technological then one may think. Paranormal equipment changes and only gets better throughout time as more and more evidence is brought to light. To have the most accurate and factual investigations, you will need some of these handy pieces of paranormal investigating equipment as well as an understanding of how to conduct a paranormal investigation. I hope to give you some beneficial information to make your ghost hunting experience go a lot easier, as well as helping to keep track of when and where your evidence has taken place.

Here are some helpful tips when conducting a paranormal investigation:

  • It is better to work in groups but not more then 4 or 5 people, generally. Pairing up is recommended rather then going at it alone. Too many people in one location can lead to contamination of evidence.
  • Always make sure that the location you are investigating has given you permission. DO NOT trespass on anyone's property or conduct in anything illegal.
  • When filming or recording, be sure to make note of any sound you or another investigator have caused so as not to be confused with actual evidence findings. Also, if you do hear or see something out of the normal, be sure to state where you are and at what time so it is easier to analyze later.
  • While asking questions to try to summon a spirit, be sure to give enough time for one to answer and remember to be as quiet as possible during paranormal investigations.

Apparition at Ramsey Road Flood
Apparition at Ramsey Road Flood | Source

Paranormal Investigtion Lingo

If you have been to a ghost hunt, or watched some of the ones they have on television these days such as Syfy's Ghost Hunters or Travel Channel's Ghost Adventures, you may have heard many of these terms. Here is a rundown of the most popular paranormal investigating terms:

  • EVP- EVP stands for Electronic Voice Phenomena and are generated noises that can resemble speech from a spirit. Static, radio transmissions, and background noises are all sources of an EVP. You get them through recordings of paranormal investigating equipment such as a voice recorder. But this piece of paranormal equipment is not like just any voice recorder. It is used as a detection of very sensitive noises such as a spirit voice.
  • Entity- An entity is described as something that is of a separate existence. It may not be a material type existence, but a general sense of being. An entity has no real form and in the paranormal world, it is defined as a ghost or spirit.
  • Shadow People- A shadow person(s) is a form of ghost only they are more shadow-like. They are defined as supernatural shadow-like humanoid figures, and are seen mostly in your peripheral vision. Shadow people also move very quickly, so when you think you've seen one, it is often hard to catch or prove as they are very tricky to the eye. Some even consider them as dark entities with malevolent intentions, but that has never been proven.
  • Apparition- An apparition is a spectral image of a person that has materialized though their physical body does not. When we think of a white, see through ghostly figure, that is an apparition.
  • Demon- Pure Evil. Speaks in a religious text.
  • Doppelganger- This is an exact spirit double of a person. A mirror image. This is considered to be very negative and some also believe that if you are to see your doppelganger, you are supposedly going to die although that has also never been proven.
  • Mist- A mist can be a photographed anomaly that forms a mist like existence. However, it can be hard to discern a mist as being paranormal.
  • Orb- An orb is an anomaly that supposedly represents the "spirit" of a dead person. They appear as a ball of light. There is much controversy of orbs due to the fact that insects, reflections, dust, and lens flares can appear like an orb in a photograph or video.
  • Out-Of-Body Experience- Sometimes you may hear a person say they had an out-of-body experience. Generally what they mean is they felt their spirit travel to a different location then their actual physical body.
  • Phantom Smell- Some people will claim to smell a random fragrance. For instance, while investigating, a strong smell of cigarette smoke may suddenly appear around you. It is obviously hard to prove these kinds of situations. But it does help solidify if say your trying to call out a spirit of a man who used to be in the location your are investigating and who smoked.

Now that you are familiar with the most common paranormal investigating lingo, let's move on to the general equipment you will need on your ghost hunt!

Paranormal Investigation Equipment
Paranormal Investigation Equipment

Equipment Needed for a Paranormal Investigation

Let's move on to the equipment used to help with a paranormal investigation. Of course you do not actually need these pieces of paranormal equipment to be able to conduct an actual investigation, but they can help with your hunt as well as your proving evidence. There are many different kinds of equipment and the prices vary as well depending on brand and quality you choose.

Paranormal Investigation Equipment

  • Digital Video Recorder: DVR's are going to be one of your primary tools, so you will want go after good quality and you can find many on the market. You are going to need one with good sound quality and a static free shotgun microphone so you will have great video and sound.
  • Night Vision Camera and Equipment: There are night vision scopes and adapters out there that you can attach right to your video recorder so you can be recording in complete darkness.
  • Flashlights: This is a necessity wandering around any place in the dark, but a modern up-to-date LED flashlight will be in your best interest. You will have a longer battery life with a LED flashlight, as well as unbreakable bulbs and different color lights and intensities. And remember to carry back-up flashlights for you and your team as well.
  • EMF Detector: This piece of paranormal equipment picks up electronic magnetic fields in different frequencies. If your are in a spot with there is little to no electricity and a high EMF reading, there is a good chance there is a ghost around. That is because it has been said that a ghost can use up all the energy around them to try and manifest themselves. This is a handy piece of paranormal investigating equipment you and your team should have and they are fairly cheap!
  • Walkie Talkies: These are a definite must when conducting a paranormal investigation, especially when investigating a rather large location. Having a walkie talkie can help if you find yourself lost in a location but it is also useful in trying to locate other team members when hearing a sound to see if it came from their locations.
  • Extra Batteries: I cannot stress this enough, you will need extra batteries! For everything!
  • 35 mm. Camera: That's right, some old school stuff right here. Why? A 35 mm camera actually catches images that even the best digital cameras to date do not, especially one with only black and white film.
  • Motion Detectors: Yes, they can detect movement from a ghost! Motion detectors are a handy piece of paranormal equipment to have with you on an investigation and key places to leave them would be near a door or places that are known to have a lot of paranormal activity.
  • First Aid Kit: Safety first! You never know what may happen when a bunch of terrified people are roaming around in the dark searching for ghosts in possible abandoned places. It is better to always be safe than sorry!

Haunted Cemetery in New Orleans
Haunted Cemetery in New Orleans

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Happy Hunting!

Now that you know all the basics of paranormal investigating, you can become a ghost hunter all your own! The world is filled with some truly terrifying and haunting locations. Check out my page if you are interested in visiting some historical places fairly well known for having paranormal activity and remember to be safe and have fun!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Brianna W


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