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Learn About Different Types of Ghosts
First step in any new hobby or job is to learn the theory. And one of first steps in learning theory regarding paranormal investigations is learning the types of phenomenons we might encounter. I would like to focus on ghosts - there are different types of phenomenon we're usually calling "ghosts" - each person interested in paranormal should know these types no matter if he or she is investigating paranormal activities, or just focusing on theory ;).
To make things clear at the very beginning of this article - when I will be talking about percents, please know that I'm not counting natural phenomenons, as they have their own paragraph ;).
Sometimes you might encounter Records - a phenomenon when you will experience an event from the past, appearing like a recorded 3d movie. Witnesses have encounter a wide range of such Records, starting from single shadow moving across the room, ending on whole armies on the battlefield. If we would like to explain this phenomenon, we could think about psychic signatures - they have custom to left on different objects or in different places such as house or chair...
It's a pretty common ghost activity, sometimes related to Poltergeist or Records, sometimes happening "on its own" - there are places across the globe in which weird things are happening, in most cases caused by tragic dead or by "unfinished business".
Stick to what, you will ask - stick to objects, such as urns or favorite chairs etc. Such ghosts appear to move from one location to another along with the object they're stick to (of course object is moved by those who still lives, not on its own).
The same person in the same place - its a well know phenomenon between people studying lives of saints. Sometimes person doesn't know he or she is present in two different places in the same time, sometimes bilocation might be caused unintentional as a result of stress or fear, sometimes intentional (Remote Presence).
Ghosts of Passing
When a person is passing from our world to the "other side", sometimes a spirit of this person is paying a visit to its relatives or friends - at least some people believes this is happening.
I belong to a group of people who strongly believe that 98% of poltergeist activity is not ghosts, but uncontrolled psychokinesis and it's caused by living people. Even so, there is still this 2% of activities that we can't explain by psychokinesis, so we have to assume there are some spirit stuff included. Poltergeist is nothing more than objects moving on their own - flying, falling etc. If you can't find natural explanation of such phenomenon, then it might be caused by person causing psychokinesis effects, or by a ghost manifestation.
Troy Taylor's "The Ghost Hunter's Guidebook" is probably the best manual for ghost hunters ever written and published.
Some people says Orbs are first steps of ghost manifestation - but mostly probably orbs will be nothing more than a specks of dust or drops of different kind - so if you were able to take a picture of orb, treat it as natural phenomenon, not as prove of paranormal activity. But if you're seeing orbs on real, and they're glowing and flying around, then it's definitely not a speck or drop ;).
I'm using this term to describe situations in which people are faking stuff in order to please investigator, but there is something paranormal going on indeed. Sometimes activity might stop when investigator arrives at site, and witnesses don't want to look like fools so they're trying to fake activity - that's why even when you're suspecting a fake, you should keep your mind open as maybe something is happening on real.
World isn't perfect - people are faking stuff ;). Mostly probably 98% of all your investigations will be fakes and you can't do anything about it. If you think that each and every paranormal site you'll visit will be real, you're simple wrong - paranormal investigator job in most cases is not to prove paranormal activity to be real, but to prove someone is faking ;). Sound strange? No one told this is going to be normal...
Now you know some basic theory...