Collecting Eyewitness Accounts
Are you a good listener? Do you have an easy rapport with people, an empathic and sympathetic nature? If so, you are in luck. These skills are in demand for ghost hunters. A very important part of the process is talking to eyewitnesses and gathering as much information as possible about the haunting.
People who are dealing with a poltergeist or haunting will often be in a highly stressed state. They may feel as if they are going crazy or that they will be labeled as unstable or worse if they disclose what they have seen. They often fear ridicule and want to feel that their anonymity will be protected.
The last thing people want is for their location or names to be disclosed. Part of a psychic investigator's job is reassuring clients that their experiences are not unique. This is where your extensive reading on the paranormal and self-education in all things supernatural can be extremely helpful. You must also project an air of professionalism that reassures clients that the investigation is in good hands and will be conducted with the proper professionalism and competency.
The last thing in the world the victim of a haunting needs is to feel jeopardized by the investigation. Clients are owed respect, for both themselves and for their property. Particular care must be taken in households with children. Don't scare them or talk too much about the investigation in their presence.
Initially, you will probably work with an experienced investigator to gather eyewitness accounts. Carefully observe the sorts of questions that are asked. Just as important, note the way they are asked.
Some organizations do a preliminary interview to see if a full-scale investigation is warranted. An experienced team member usually evaluates the information the potential client supplies. A walk-through of the property may be done at this time as well. Some groups bring a psychic along to the preliminary interviews to see if any paranormal activity can be detected, particularly if the person who contacted the group mentions that there may be poltergeist or harmful activity that may threaten the safety or well-being of the people who occupy or work at the site.
Some so-called paranormal investigation groups are actually scammers. Their primary goal is to frighten the client into believing that certain items in their home are haunted or possessed and must be removed immediately. These items are usually antiques or other valuables that are then sold or pawned.
This holds especially true if there are children on the premises. Every effort must be made to speed the investigation along if the well-being of children is at stake.
The Client's Statement
Before the team arrives at the site, the potential client should be asked to organize the information about what he has witnessed and to prepare at least a rough chronology of events. Some groups ask for a report to be written before they come out to do the investigation; others will bring a form with them and interview the person or persons involved in the incidents.
If more than one person has seen or experienced something paranormal, each person should be interviewed separately. Investigators should compare the interviews to catch discrepancies or find points of congruency. These reports should be as detailed and comprehensive as possible; they will help you understand the chronology of the phenomena. They should contain the approximate date of the onset of the activity, with a full description of the paranormal events.
Investigators should ask for further details about sounds heard and things seen, smelled, or even sensed. People will sometimes mention a feeling of being watched, or a feeling of extreme fear. Often, they will mention cold spots or extreme temperature shifts. Investigators should question individuals about any event that might have triggered the activity. The following questions can be used as a starting point:
Was a séance held, or Ouija board used, before the disturbance began?
Did someone die in the house recently? Did someone die in the house at any time in its history?
Has anyone been physically harmed: scratched, bitten, or slapped?
Has anyone had disturbing or frightening dreams?
Are there reports of unexplained fires or disappearing objects?
Do any pets live in the household? If so, are there any areas they avoid or growl at consistently?