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The different types & kinds of paranormal investigations

Updated on December 1, 2011

Studying paranormal is one thing, taking photos is another

For a couple of years now, people are interested in Ghost Hunters and other TV shows that brings paranormal investigations to general public. This encourage people to create their own paranormal investigations team, yet at the very beginning they face pretty huge problem...

Have you ever considered that there are different types of paranormal investigations out there? When I mention "investigating paranormal", most of my listeners think about "Ghost Hunters" or "Most Haunted" TV shows, and they imagine running through old house with a digital camera. This is just a small part of truth.

Been a paranormal investigator myself, I've seen many types of paranormal investigations, therefore allow me to present you these types now.

Ghost Hunting

So called "ghost hunting" is not an investigation itself, it's more pure entertainment for people watching TV shows like Ghost Hunters etc. What you see on the screen is not meant to investigate anything or come up with answers, it's meant to scare you (in positive, entertainment meaning of this world).

To be honest, I really don't like this kind of shows, as they're mostly persuading people that paranormal is in reality something you should not worry about as it can't hurt you and in general isn't very serious. Which, of course, sometimes isn't a complete true. Don't get me wrong, those are great shows most of the time, but they see a little of reality when it comes to investigating the paranormal - in reality, there's no "dude, run!" kind of stuff ;).

Real research

When you pass the state of believing that paranormal investigations look just like on TV shows, you become interested in real scientific (or semi-scientific) research on the field of paranormal.

You might become familiar with this kind of investigations by reading books, some about general paranormal written by experienced researchers, some more scientific, even the research papers will be plugged to this category. Most of these investigations won't be available to public any time soon (if ever). They're usually performed by experienced paranormal investigators, often with scientific background, and they're focusing on studying the unexplained from scientific point of view. Taking a lot of data, interviewing the witnesses and so. I recommend some reading to get the wider picture.

Religious investigations

More like an exorcisms than real investigations, but still it might be considered as paranormal investigation. This kind of studying paranormal is performed by priests mostly and the goal is to clean the house from whatever might be causing paranormal activity.

Sometimes such way of investigating does actually help people who face the problem of haunting, but it's not very useful for actual research, more for the people living in a haunted house for example, as such priest, if experienced, might be able to indeed clean the house, or discover emotional problems standing behind poltergeist activity.

Do not be mislead, priests are very often helpful for scientific investigators, as once the place is researched, it need to be cleansed...

Psychic Cleansing

The purpose of paranormal investigation is not just to do the research, but also to clean the haunted location of any negative energies or entities that are causing supernatural activity. As you already know, sometimes priests do the job, but often it is performed by psychics (even if they might be using different names to describe themselves, or don't even know they're using psychic abilities), it's something between classic "crime scene" investigation and exorcism.

Psychic is usually arriving on site, doing a "diagnostic" to determine what is going on around, and then clearing the house (sending spirits "into light", or sending evil entities back to lower planes of the universe).

Sometimes such psychic cleansing is being performed by people skilled in the occult arts, too.

Debunking paranormal

This type of paranormal investigation is sometimes performed by sceptics, sometimes by "normal" paranormal investigators. The purpose here is to determine if the paranormal activity is indeed supernatural in nature, or if there is a rational explanation such as light reflection, stupid joke, or just a family member trying to force his aunt to sell "haunted" house, hey - everything is possible. Personally I really like this type, as it's an opportunity to "play detective", even if it's taken very serious.

Honestly, everything starts with this type - because first you have to look for natural causes of the suspected paranormal activity, and later you do focus on finding the supernatural source of such activity.

Field Parapsychology

Yet this is my favourite, and it's not a type on its own, it's more like a mix of every investigation described above. The goal here is to determine if the activity is paranormal in nature, or a "misinterpretation", to say the least. And if it is paranormal indeed, then there are next goals - define the kind of paranormal activity, take some data (photos, footages, audio records and so on), then fix the problem and clear the haunted location of it's problem (if it is a haunted house for example). It's not a research itself, more like a data gathering and final fixing of a problem.

That's it. Do you recognize other types of investigations "on site"? Which one of the above is your favourite? Please post your answers in comments.

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