East Texas Paranormal

Investigating paranormal activity in East Texas

Posts Tagged ‘paranormal

USS Lexington

with one comment


20120509-105115.jpg

I wonder, is this what everyone does when they visit the USS Lexington? That is, in addition to EVP sessions and shooting video with hope of capturing someone who may still be hanging out and performing their duties.

Leave your comments as let us know what you did when you visited the USS Lexington…..

Advertisements

Written by Martha Hazzard Decker

May 9, 2012 at 10:54 am

How do we know what is a GHOST? Are they Paranormal?

with 3 comments


English: Nightshot, enhanced.

Image via Wikipedia

How do we know what is a GHOST? Are they Paranormal?

By Martha Hazzard-Decker

How do we know what is a ghost? Are they paranormal? This is a question that has most likely been asked for hundreds if not thousands of years. There are many different beliefs that can be found in a myriad of cultures. Some cultures view ghosts as a bad thing while others embrace ghosts. Many books have been written about ghosts from quite a few different viewpoints.

This discussion may last as long as humans can communicate or maybe one day the discussion will be settled with a definitive answer. There are vast numbers of individuals seeking such answers through research even though some individuals believe they already know the answer. For many the answers come from their culture or faith and believe as they do because this is what they were taught. Some thoughts have been that ghosts are not really ghosts but beings in another dimension and possibly a worm hole of sorts briefly opened and those beings or a look into that dimension becomes possible. Some may even think ghosts are not ghosts but beings from outer space. Then there are those too afraid to even discuss the thought of ghosts because their faith has taught them that all ghost are evil, occult and of the devil.

East Texas Paranormal (ETP) once had a case they shared with another group due to distance. This was a good case of paranormal unity between groups that led to help for a family who had never thought of the possibility of dealing with the unknown. Their entire family is Church of Christ and Sally (name of the client was changed to protect her and her family) called in frantic need of help not knowing what to do because what she claimed was happening to her family was shaking their belief system to its core. Some of the family members were so stringent in their beliefs that they think Catholics are still going to hell. Sally was advised she was talking to someone of the Catholic faith and that was fine by her, but she would not tell her family. Her claim was that something was attacking her young son and following him everywhere. She said doors would open and close for him as he entered and left a room. She said furniture would be moved around in him room and even in an entire house. He, we’ll call him Jason, went to stay with other family members during this time and Sally said it followed him there and now other family members were involved and witnessing strange events. Sally called and wanted immediate relief over the phone and to know what was happening. She learned that it doesn’t happen that way and someone could come to her home to help. Another group was contacted to help and help they did. Things quieted down around the households after several visits from the paranormal group. What was there? ETP and the other group are not sure, neither is Sally. Did it shake her families’ beliefs? You bet it did. They are still strong in their faith but was it a ghost? That is still unknown. Are there unexplained events occurring in the house? Yes they are and both groups are still in contact with Sally and will remain that way as long as needed. Unexplained events are ignored most of the time and no one in the family seeks counsel with whatever is there. You can read What to do if your house is haunted for additional information.

Now, back to the main topic of what is a ghost. A search on Google will give you 457,000,000 results you can go through and read from now until the day you die. Many are fascinating while others seem just plain crazy. The difficult task would be learning to discern what is legitimate and what is not.

According to one entry in Wikipedia a ghost is described as, “In traditional belief and fiction, a ghost is the soul or spirit of a deceased person or animal that can appear, in visible form or other manifestation, to the living. Descriptions of the apparition of ghosts vary widely from an invisible presence to translucent or barely visible wispy shapes, to realistic, life-like visions. The deliberate attempt to contact the spirit of a deceased person is known as necromancy, or in spiritism as a séance. The belief in manifestations of the spirits of the dead is widespread, dating back to animism or ancestor worship in pre-literate cultures. Certain religious practices—funeral rites, exorcisms, and some practices of spiritualism and ritual magic—are specifically designed to appease the spirits of the dead. Ghosts are generally described as solitary essences that haunt particular locations, objects, or people they were associated with in life, though stories of the phantom armies, ghost trains, phantom ships, and even ghost animals have also been recounted.”

Merrian-Webster describes ghost as, “: the seat of life or intelligence : soul <give up the ghost>

2: a disembodied soul; especially : the soul of a dead person believed to be an inhabitant of the unseen world or to appear to the living in bodily likeness

3: spirit, demon

4a : a faint shadowy trace <a ghost of a smile> b : the least bit <not a ghost of a chance>

5: a false image in a photographic negative or on a television screen caused especially by reflection

6: one who ghostwrites

7: a red blood cell that has lost its hemoglobin

ghost·like adjective

— ghosty adjective

About.com has a description under Paranormal Phenomena that describes a ghost as, “A ghost – or spirit or apparition – is the energy, soul or personality of a person who has died and has somehow gotten stuck between this plane of existence and the next. Most researchers believe that these spirits do not know they are dead. Very often they have died under traumatic, unusual or highly emotional circumstances. Ghosts can be perceived by the living in a number of ways: through sight (apparitions), sound (voices), smell (fragrances and odors), touch – and sometimes they can just be sensed.”

Ghosts of Earth partially describe them as, “Ghosts are generally thought of as the apparition ( the appearance of) or spirit of someone or some thing that is no longer living. Many theorize that a ghost is simply caught between the world of the living and the afterlife. Possibly confused about their own death. This is why many people believe that ghosts are often found in places of terrible tragedy and sudden death.”

Jason Sullivan explains What is a ghost on YouTube in a nine minute video. This is another place to observe many explanations of ghosts.  So are you still confused as to what is a ghost? Aren’t most of us!

Is there something about the paranormal you would like to see in an article? Whether it is something from within the paranormal community or of the unexplained it could be viable as an article. Contact the author with your idea and it may be the next topic of discussion.

Written by Martha Hazzard Decker

January 10, 2012 at 9:36 pm

David Rountree Interview about the Probe, Part 2 ITC device for Paranormal Investigations?

with one comment


David Rountree interview about The Probe Part 2

by

Martha Hazzard-Decker

Author’s note – This author made several attempts to contact Andy Coppock to obtain his view regarding his modifications on the inductive probe. Coppock did not respond.

Dav Rountree interview about The Probe, Part 2, ITC device for paranormal investigations?. Just what is the Probe? Does it fall under the realm of Instrumental Transcommunication devices (EVP & ITC)? This is a question that can be debated probably all day long between ITC paranormal users and those investigating paranormal possibilities but in a more definitive and scientific manner. Part one of this interview was with author and ITC researcher April Slaughter. She believes the Probe works and contact can be made with the other side. In Part two one of the four Probe testers, David Rountree explains his thoughts about working with the Probe and if he thinks it works.

 

Slaughter had stated that there are other inductive probes out there and she didn’t want individuals to see photos of the Probe Andy Coppock gave her for fear that it could be mistaken with the common inductive probe. If you google Andy Coppock a vast array of information can be found about him and his device. However, there are not as many videos found showing Coppock using his Probe. It seems, according to quite a few comments on websites, that there used to be quite a few videos posted. There are numerous skeptics posting comments about how voice is coming from the device on these websites along with a few believers.

 

David Rountree has researched paranormal phenomena for about 25 years using a scientific point of view and is the director of Scientific Paranormal Investigative Research Information and Technology (S.P.I.R.I.T). Roundtree is also the co-director of New Jersey Paranormal Research Group along with several other groups, including those involving engineering. His primary research is studying electronic voice phenomena (EVP), environmental alterations present during possible paranormal activity and searching for the source. He has former law enforcement background and approaches paranormal investigations using his forensic training in conducting a search for possible reasons causing activity.

 

Rountree stated, “there isn’t a shred of evidence and no scientific explanation,” for voices coming through on the Probe. He explained that if an individual understands how the inductive probe works then they would understand how, “far fetched,” obtaining any EVP sounds. There are numerous inductive probes listed for sale on eBay. They come in a variety of sizes and prices. They are designed to work with tone test sets to identify and trace wires within a group with out damaging insulation. Using the inductive Probe is similar to using RF band radio and expecting it to, “magically pick up scanning words,” according to Rountree. He did say that using proper methods, “communication may be possible.”

 

Rountree said that EVP is possible, especially when using a dynamic microphone, but they are rare. In about 25 years of research Roundtree said he has about 25 recordings he would classify as an EVP. He described the use of Shack Hacks, ghost boxes and the Ovilus as entertainment and not actual professional, scientific tools. The Shack Hack is a radio which randomly scans AM and FM stations. Their speed of scanning can be adjusted by the user or maker of the modifications. The Franks Box operates with an AM chip and works the same as the Shack Hack, going up and down the AM band. According to Rountree, without an RF spectrum analysis three is no way to figure where the words are coming from using the Shack Hack or a ghost box.

 

“The Ovilus is a hoot and is sold for entertainment and not scientific.”  Tools like the Ovilus have a large amount of words programmed into their controls and when listening to it phonetically often words will make sense to the listener. There are 10,000 words programmed into a word memory chip that is triggered by environmental changes decided by the builder, according to Rountree. When it comes to individuals claiming they heard their name mentions, Rountree stated there are over 1,100 common names programmed into the vocabulary. This would stand to reason that should one be in a large group with the Ovilus running someone in the group might hear their name called out. “Any item sold as a phone app for $1.99 is designed to use when you get together with friends and you want to spook someone. It’s designed like an oracle.” Remember the old eightball nearly everyone had as a child? You would ask it a question then turn it over to reveal the answer to your question with a response of yes or no.

 

The Probe used by Coppock has been used by Rountree and others for years, but as a tool for work and not the paranormal. It’s used to trace out wiring. It’s used by moving down pins till you find the wire you’re looking for and it does pick up EMF, but the quality of the speaker is very poor said Rountree. He explained they have a cheap speaker and it would not be possible to hear a human quality voice coming from it. Roundtree stated he has seen videos of it in use and the voices allegedly coming from the Probe do fall into the human harmonic spectral range. Rountree said it is hard to ask him to believe it is coming from the Probe and to “buy into the myth.” Rountree said, “the voice is not coming from the wand (Probe) because of the quality.” Rountree does not know how Coppock is doing the voice with the Probe. He explained that anyone can do the sound analysis using files such as Audacity.  These programs can take apart the acoustic quality and will show that the voice Coppock said is coming from the Probe is definitely human and is “coming from somewhere.” Rountree said, “The Probe is getting interesting files but there is no scientific value to claim.”  The “ITC community has it wrong and there is fraud,” according to Rountree.  He said the key is in knowing EMF and EVP, how it works and how sounds are broadcast and received back. You can’t take one or two pieces of equipment to decide if it’s communication because that should take 10-12 pieces of equipment, according to Rountree.

 

Rountree believes one has a better chance of getting a good EVP by using a good quality recorder and a headset. One that he recommends is the ZOOM. He said a dynamic microphone and good headset should be used with recorders so one can hear in real time. “There is no button on them that says normal or paranormal.” What does Rountree do before he classifies a sound as an EVP? He will send the sound clip to five random  people he knows without telling them what he thinks it says and let them decide. If they say they hear what he heard, then he classifies it as an EVP.

 

Rountree is the author of “Paranormal Technology: Understanding the Science of Ghost Hunting.”  You can find a link for his book and additional information on his website Spin Investigations. This is Rountree’s first book to provide a scientific method to ghost hunting. It includes in-depth explanations, techniques, experiments and answers.

Written by Martha Hazzard Decker

December 5, 2011 at 9:01 pm

Weekend from Waco with Reverend Mark 11/06 by Dead air | Blog Talk Radio

leave a comment »


Weekend from Waco with Reverend Mark 11/06 by Dead air | Blog Talk Radio.

Tune into this link to hear East Texas Paranormal founder Martha Decker talk with Reverend Mark. The interview is about how she applies her law enforcement and detective experience to paranormal investigations and interviews. (Note – the show starts 4-5 minutes after the recording begins)

Written by Martha Hazzard Decker

November 11, 2011 at 5:18 pm

April Slaughter interview about The Probe an ITC device from Andy Coppock

with 23 comments


April Slaughter interview about The Probe

by

Martha Hazzard-Decker


Have you been probed yet? Do you know what the Probe, created by Andy Coppock, even looks like? April Slaughter is one of four individuals, in addition to Coppock, who are testing the Probe for its possible ability to assist in communicating with those who are no longer living. Slaughter has spent years in the paranormal community as a researcher, investigator and writer. It was only natural for her to talk to Coppock about his latest paranormal Instrumental Transcommunication device (EVP & ITC). Slaughter calls it “The Probe.”

Slaughter said the device, while similar to other devices on the market is not the same thing. She said that Coppock has modified the internal working of the device. He started using the device while investigating a paranormal case involving an autistic child, according to Slaughter. Then after getting unexpected results, Coppock began testing the device in other ways. He reached out to Slaughter because she has a daughter with epilepsy and there may be a way to help her with the device when she has seizures.

She said Coppock had the device present for a gathering at the Black Swan Inn and she initially went to strictly observe the participation and results. What occurred “changed her life.” This was her first experience with the device. There is a video one can view on YouTube to see how the Probe works, according to Slaughter. She doesn’t like to share any photographs of the device without permission from Coppock. Slaughter has only showed a picture of it once, and that was at the Haunted America Conference in IL and put together by Troy Taylor. She will be back again next summer to talk about how her research has been going with the Probe.

While she was at the Black Swan Inn, Slaughter had an unexpected and unplanned connection with her grandfather through the Probe. She asked to speak with her grandfather. It lasted 11 minutes and has profoundly changed her life. Slaughter said they talked about many family matters, including her daughter and her health. She asked a question everyone wants an answer too – what is it like over there. Her grandfather, commenting on their religious beliefs, told her, “It’s not like we thought.” Slaughter said, “it put me in a state of shock. It seemed like this was the Holy Grail of the paranormal world.” She would have liked it if everyone could have this experience. She said the experience with the Probe has validated her doubts and her beliefs. She feels her grandfather is around often and things he discussed with her were things she has told no one. It was the validation she needed to know that she was speaking with her grandfather. Slaughter said the experience has changed her life, called the event incredible and was able to witness 20 additional conversations held by other participants.

Saughter has researched and investigated the paranormal for 15 years. She now leans toward ITC research more than going on investigation. Slaughter said there are plenty of investigators in the field to conduct paranormal investigations. EVP work is important to Slaughter. She said that she has seen ITC devices used with successful results. She tries to consistently collect research and has a variety of devices to choose from. Slaughter said she has been fortunate to be able to acquire different devices from several different investors. She has Frank’s boxes that were built for her use by Frank Sumption. She has several different types of mini boxes, ovilus and what is commonly referred to as Radio Shack hacks. You can listen to some of her EVP sessions on paranormalsource.com, where she is a cofounder along with her husband.

Where does Slaughter use the Probe and her other devices? According to Slaughter she conducts most of her sessions at her home. She also visits locations that have given off “good energy.” She feels privileged to have been given the opportunity to work with the Probe and is “very protective” of the device.  She explained that she has not allowed anyone to hold the Probe and believes that she is imprinting with the Probe. Slaughter said that there are ITC devices that don’t seem to work as well when they are used by many different individuals.

Slaughter explained she received the Probe in Feb 2011 and has worked with it on a set schedule ever since it arrived. She said that it took Coppock a while before he was successful in using the device and she is still working on getting it to work well with her. Her routine includes set days and times. It’s important to Slaughter that she does not become obsessed with ITC devices and maintains an even keel with the rest of the world. She knows of individuals who have become consumed with ITC and EVP work. There are paranormal investigations which have come about due to an individual’s obsession with EVP work and what can happen when there are disturbing results. Slaughter believes individuals working with ITC devices should have a specific type of personality and have the ability to turn it off and out it down. She works with the Probe 2-3 days a week for about an hour at a time. She will set in the same place during her sessions and knows something is coming through when fluctuations begin with the Probe. She said it gets louder and louder as it’s approached. She said that a very distinct voice will come through the Probe, which is different than most ITC devices.

Slaughter described the experiences with the Probe and what often happens when it’s in use and interesting. She said the whole environment in her home changes. Knocks are quite common as are hot and cold spots. Slaughter said she has to pay attention and can often hear voices coming from other parts of her home. Now after several months of working with the Probe in her home, Slaughter said she often hears a variety of things occurring even when the Probe is not in use. Slaughter said, “It works,” but is still working on the connections.

Slaughter said it has taken her a while to get results with the Probe, but is a long way off from having it work as well for her as it does for Coppock. She now gets several words at a time for responses and is still trying to establish connection with someone from the other side to help her with the Probe. Slaughter said Coppock told her that she would get help from Don Carson and believes she has only just established a connection with him; she said her grandfather has also told her that he would help her make connections. In fact, Slaughter thinks that some of the information she was given during the session at the Black Swan Inn is now beginning to make sense.

She said that individuals have contacted her and asked her to try and contact family members, but she does not feel comfortable enough with the Probe to do this, but may do so in the future. She said there a device out there that looks like the Probe but it is not the Probe and hopes no one purchases it with the idea it is the same as the one created by Coppock.

Slaughter is the author of “Ghosthunting Texas,” a travel guide to haunted places in Texas. She can be contacted through her website aprilslaughter.com for additional information about her research or her book. She is in the process of producing two new books. One will be on ITC devices and the other on capital punishment.

This is part one of this article. Part two will go into more detail on the Probe. The Induction Probe in this video shows Coppock using it with a group of people.

If you wonder what to do if YOUR house is haunted there are some good tips in this article by Troy Taylor. In the meantime feel free to contact us if you have questions or need help. East Texas Paranormal is also on FB. Stop by and Like us. You can view David Rountree and Part 2 of this interview also on this site.

Written by Martha Hazzard Decker

November 1, 2011 at 8:07 am

Author Martha Decker Looking for Paranormal Hauntings Legends and Mysteries in East Texas for New Book

with 19 comments


dark day

Image by / // / via Flickr

Martha Decker

Solving Mysteries Surrounding East Texas in new book

by Martha Decker

Author Martha Decker Looking for Paranormal Hauntings Legends and Mysteries in East Texas for New Book. Martha Decker is a longtime published news journalist. In 1995 she won a first place Associated Press award for specialty reporting for an article she spent a year researching before it went to print. She is also the founder of East Texas Paranormal,  a paranormal group dedicated to helping individuals in need of answers for unexplained events.

Decker currently is working to complete a book about paranormal experiences, hauntings, legends, myths and mysteries in East Texas. This area consists of all counties east of I45 and SH 75 from the Gulf of Mexico to the Oklahoma border or from the Red River to the Big Thicket.

She has heard stories about Tool, Eustace, Gun Barrel City, Malakoff and Peeltown along with other places near Cedar Creek Lake. Surely someone has a story to be told. Out of the way, odd, weird or unusual might just fit the bill. Decker can always use more information about things that may have already covered by other individuals. What about mysterious lights, big foot sightings and so much more……….

Decker is interested in hearing your story. If you have any information you would like to pass on please send her email at marthadecker@live.com. She can be reached by mail at PO Box 73, Kemp, TX 75143. Feel free to use the About Us page on this site and I will get her the information.

Author Martha Decker Looking for Paranormal Hauntings Legends and Mysteries in East Texas for New Book

What to do when YOUR house is HAUNTED by Troy Taylor for AGS

with 7 comments


Keith Age and Troy Taylor

Image by merfam via Flickr

American Ghost Society

an article

by

Troy Taylor

 
Editor’s note: This article is reprinted with the written permission of Troy Taylor. The photograph is of (L) Keith Age and (R) Troy Taylor . For more information go to American Hauntings.
 

What to do when your house is haunted

Thanks to the type of work that I do, I meet people on what seems an almost weekly basis who have (or claim to have) a ghost in their house. These otherworldly encounters may not be occurring at the present time, or may have happened in a house where they used to live, but they assure me that strange things did, or do, occur at the place they inhabit.

Perhaps even more frequent than these chance, fact-to-face encounters are the phone calls and email messages that I receive from people who also claim to be going through the same predicament. All manner of strangeness may be reported and on many occasions, the callers and correspondents will ask what they should do about their uninvited and often spooky guests. Should they move out? Should they stay? Should they talk to the specters or ignore them? What is the best thing to do in this situation? And most of all, should they contact a ghost hunter to come in an investigate?

First of all, let me say that over the years that I have been involved in ghosts and ghost research, the vast majority of the cases that I have been involved in have perfectly natural explanations. These explanations may not be immediately realized, but they can be discovered. Of course, that is not to say that I have not been involved in some cases that did puzzle me and which did leave me feeling that (based on the witness accounts and my own research) the location really was haunted.

As the witness to a series of what could be ghostly events, you (the reader this article is aimed at) have to first determine whether or not you think the odd happenings in your house (or business, theater, etc.) are natural or supernatural. In order to do this, you should try and relax and be a good observer. Even if you are scared by what you have seen or heard (or what someone else has seen) you have to give the occurrences some rational thought. Could those “phantom footsteps” have been simply the house settling or the floorboards creaking? Could that “cold chill” have been merely a draft? Could the “ghost” that you saw out of the corner of the eye have been nothing more than a trick of the light?

Maybe the events have explanations, or maybe they don’t. Believe me, I know that it’s easy to let your imagination get away from you. All it might take are a few harmless comments to someone else in the house and before long, you have a “haunted house” made to order! Here’s how that works:

Let’s say that you and your family just moved into an old house in a neighborhood in your town. You don’t know anything about the history of the house but unknown to you, a family of mice lives quite comfortably in the cellar. One night, you wake up and hear strange noises coming from under the floor. Since you don’t know that the sounds are caused by the mice, you jump to the conclusion that the house is haunted. Of course, it’s not haunted… but that’s not the point. What is important is that you think the house is haunted! In fact, you get quite caught up in the idea and begin to think that every bump and creak that you hear is something ghostly. An odd reflection or a curtain moving in the wind might even look like a ghost. Combine all of these things together and you have a haunted house on your hands!

At this point, you have come to believe that you have a haunted house with bumps, rappings, ghostly footsteps and even apparitions that roam the hallways. It’s not long before your family begins to pick up on your fears, either consciously or unconsciously, and they also begin hearing the “unexplainable” sounds and seeing the resident “ghost”.

You can see why it might be easy to feed off one another’s fears and literally “invent” a haunted house. That’s why I try to ask the people who contact me to step back for a moment and try to look at the events they describe to me as a skeptic. I ask them to try and consider some other possibilities for the events besides supernatural ones. Sometimes this can be done and sometimes it can’t. I never tell the witness that their house cannot be haunted! Obviously, there is no way that I can know that and for several reasons:

1. I was not present at the time the reported events occurred.
2. At this point, I have never visited the location.
3. I cannot claim to be an “expert” on all things paranormal because no such thing exists.

What I am trying to do at this point is to simply assist the witness in looking at what they feel is a supernatural event in another manner. As a witness, you should not take offense at this. In fact, you should welcome the skepticism of the investigator. A legitimate investigator will not accuse you of lying but he will also not immediately accept your story as fact, based on the idea that he really has very little evidence to work from at this time. It is not that he doesn’t believe you, but only that he is keeping an open mind to everything, including the idea that the house may not be haunted. This is the sort of investigator that you should be looking for… not the one who immediately accepts your story at face value. This is a sure sign of inexperience with real cases and one best to be avoided.

However, at this point, I may have gotten ahead of myself a little bit. As mentioned already, it is best for the homeowner to try and determine for themselves if the possible ghostly activity has some natural cause. In many cases, if they do contact an investigator, that investigator may try and suggest some natural causes for the activity and it would be best to try and rule that out ahead of time. You might save yourself some embarrassment down the line, although a good investigator would never try to make you feel silly for some misidentified happenings.

Another thing that I recommend doing is to try and keep a log or a journal of any activity that occurs in the house. This will be extremely helpful and as a rule, I always suggest it to people who contact me about their possible haunting. It’s a great way to not only recall the events while they are fresh in your mind (so you don’t have to try and remember them for the first time in a later interview) but also to see if a pattern of activity exists. The determination of such a pattern would be extremely helpful to an investigator. It could show a natural cause for the activity (such as a furnace kicking on or a nearby fright train passing by) or might make it possible (if the activity turns out to be real) to decide when might be the best time for a paranormal investigation to take place. Obviously, if it looks like the ghostly events are occurring at a certain time (or day), then this would be the time the ghost hunter and his team would want to be present.

When you are compiling your journal or logbook, here are a few things that you want to be sure to include:

1. Note the exact time and date when the activity occurred.
2. Make a note of everyone who was present and what they saw. If possible have each witness record their thoughts in their own words.
3. Try and note the weather conditions at the time.

The journal will be an invaluable piece of research if an investigator comes to call and it will go a long way in establishing evidence about the haunting in your home.

Now that you have been able to try and rule out natural explanations for the events in your house and perhaps have even kept a log of the weird things that occurred, you have to decide what you want to do next. Admittedly, many witnesses will not have gotten this far with their own research. Many people are frightened by what is going on and very few of them understand it. The fact that (if you think your house is haunted) you have gone as far as to read this article is something you should be commended for. People are frightened by the unknown and by things that they don’t understand. I should tell you though, that in all of the years that I have been involved in ghost research, I have never run across anything that I would consider to be “evil” or “demonic”. Yes, I have run across some cases that are outside of the norm, and were certainly strange, but they were not “demons” disguised as ghosts! Despite what some people would have you believe, the cases of people actually being hurt by ghosts are very, very rare. There is an extremely remote chance that you have anything at all to be afraid of, so try and relax and keep your eyes and ears open to any other developments.

At this point, you have a choice of what to do next. You can either learn to live with the novelty of a ghost in your house, or you can get in touch with a legitimate ghost researcher to help you understand it better. You may also decide that you can’t abide the idea of sharing your house with a ghost and we’ll talk about what you can do about that later. Even if you decide that you want to “get rid of” the ghost, it’s likely that an investigation team would need to determine the veracity and extent of the haunting first.

This leads up to you getting in touch with a qualified ghost hunter, who can come into your home and determine what sort of activity is taking place. This is not as easy as it sounds! There are literally hundreds of websites on the internet that claim to be affiliated with paranormal research and it would seem that you have scores of ghost hunters to choose from. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Once you discard the inactive groups who still have websites, the “wanna-be” ghost hunters who offer all sorts of services and yet have never actually done a real investigation and the ones who think that wandering around in cemeteries with cameras makes them “researchers”… you don’t have near as many to choose from as it first appeared!

Here’s some information though that may help when it comes to actually choosing a ghost hunter to do an investigation at your location:

1. Make sure they offer a phone number. While there is nothing wrong with making contact through email, make sure that the group or ghost hunter you are contacting offers a phone number where they can be reached. This does not insure credibility but it does at least rule out the wishful ghost hunters who are living in their parent’s basement! In many cases (as with the American Ghost Society), larger organizations may not offer the phone numbers of their area investigators but they should offer a main number where information can be given out.

2. Make sure that the contact information on the ghost hunter’s website lists a first and last name of the persons who are actually doing the investigations. If they are listed by their first names only, then it’s likely that they are not serious investigators but rather more wishful ghost hunters looking for thrills.

3. Try and determine from the website if the investigators are someone that you would like to have in your home. Remember, the website is the method of advertising that they chose to offer their services through and if the site is questionable, the ghost hunters are likely to be as well. Anyone can put up a website but the quality of the material on it will speak volumes about who is behind it.

4. Avoid ghost hunters who dabble in magic, the occult or offer “magical cleansings” of homes. All of these things are the ghost hunter’s own business ( and on their own time!) but should not in any way be a part of a legitimate investigation. If anything like this appears on the website, move on. And be sure to ask about this when you speak to the person on the phone because solid researchers will not employ these methods.

5. Legitimate ghost hunters will not charge for their services. If you are asked to pay for an investigation, then you should look for something else. Only services that produce concrete and tangible results are worthy of payment and paranormal research is too unpredictable for that. In most cases, very little may occur in an investigation and no one should be expected to pay for that. It should be noted however that if the ghost researcher is expected to travel (especially overnight) to reach your location, it should be expected for you to offer that person reimbursement for their expenses.

6. Remember that legitimate ghost hunters will come to your home by invitation. If you are contacted and are asked if an investigation can be conducted in your home, quickly decline. Trustworthy ghost hunters don’t go where they are not wanted! This may not be the case in public locations though, so if you are involved with a location that has a reputation for being haunted, you may be contacted by someone. At that point, you should simply judge the researcher on his merits.

7. Once you believe you have found an investigator that you are comfortable with, you need to check his qualifications for an investigation. Ask how long he has been involved in paranormal research and about investigations in the past, especially those involving private residences. If he claims to be some sort of “doctor”, ask where this certification may have come from. Just because he chooses to pay for a questionable “doctorate” from an internet university, does not make him qualified to interact with people. Believe it or not, many ghost hunters have never conducted an investigation in a home (no matter how experienced they seem) and you have to decide if you are comfortable with this person starting out in your house. They may turn out to be great investigators, but you have to decide if you want to be their first one!

8. Also ask the researcher if they are affiliated with a research group or a national organization. Just because they are not does not make them less legitimate, however being affiliated with a group that has a good reputation can help you make a decision about allowing the researcher into your home. You can also get in touch with the main number for the group and check this person out before working with him.

Just remember though, once you have decided on the person that you want to contact, you have to be patient when requesting help. Although there are people out there claiming to be legitimate and charging large sums of money to “bust your ghost”, genuine researchers do not charge for investigations, being more interested in collecting evidence. Because of this, there can be a shortage of funding for most people involved and witnesses are often asked to wait until the investigator can be freed from his “real job”.

Once you have a ghost hunter to work with, they will need to determine if an on-site investigation of your home is needed. They will do this by asking a lot of questions and by referring to information that I mentioned you should gather earlier in this article. They will need to know that you have already tried to rule out natural explanations for the phenomena and perhaps even that you have compiled dates and times for the reported events.

Should the researcher then decide that an investigation of the house is warranted, then prepare to be invaded! Even though legitimate research groups will consist of no more than 5-6 individuals, a good team can seem like many more. An investigation can be very invasive and there will be photographs taken of the house and hundreds of feet of video shot. The investigators will ask you to describe the events that occurred (perhaps several times) and your statement will be recorded. They will ask you dozens of questions and many of them will seem unconnected and perhaps even embarrassing. Bear with them however, because the questions do have a purpose and the investigators will be working to try and not only legitimize your story but also to try and determine if the reported activity is real.

Here are some things that you should be aware of when it comes to legitimate paranormal investigations:

1. The investigating team should be no more than 5-6 people in your home. If the group is larger than this, then they have no idea what they are doing and should be questioned by you.

2. The investigators should not be drinking or smoking at any time.

3. Remember that they should arrive at your home with healthy skepticism. No one is trying to debunk your reports but have to keep an open mind to all possibilities. Good investigators must remain non-committal until they have had a chance to gather their evidence.

4. Make sure that the investigators seem to know how to use all of their equipment. If there is anything that you don’t understand, be sure to ask them to explain what it is used for. If they cannot, you may have a problem.

5. Unless the investigation was set up through you with a local television station or newspaper, the investigators should not be accompanied to your home with a reporter or media person. This should never occur without your permission! The investigators are duty-bound to keep all aspects of your case confidential unless they have your permission to disclose anything.

6. As mentioned already, the investigators should be able to explain to you what they are doing and don’t be afraid to ask. If there is anything that you want to know or need to information to feel comfortable, a legitimate researcher will give it to you. Just remember that any natural explanations that are discovered that might show the “haunting” has nothing to do with ghosts should be properly explained. This is not an indictment against your honesty, so don’t be offended. You asked this person in to give you an honest opinion and you have to be prepared to accept it.

7. You can also help by making sure that everyone who experienced anything unusual is present on the night of the investigation and that you keep out friends and relatives who want to come over to watch the proceedings. This can be very distracting to you and the to the investigators and can interfere with an accurate investigation.

8. Also remember that if you become uncomfortable with what is going on at any point in the investigation, you have the absolute right to call a halt to everything. The investigators are present at your request and are “guests” in your home. They should be given the respect that such a title signifies, but they also have to respect your feelings and fears as well.

As the investigation continues in your home, the team members will divide up their duties and while you are being thoroughly interviewed, other investigators will be filming and mapping the house, taking photos and looking for any anomalies with their equipment. They will likely ask you to show them where any odd happenings took place and may ask you to recreate what you were doing when they occurred.

If the phenomena that you have reported occurs on a regular basis, or has a set pattern, the investigators may want to conduct a vigil or “ghost watch”. This means that they will set up themselves and their gear in hopes that the activity might occur again. This can be a long process and can be very boring for you and the investigators. At this point, you may want to consider going (quietly) about your activities and to let them work.

You may have noticed in this article that I mentioned several times that activity rarely occurs during the investigation. In some cases it does though, and this can be exciting for everyone involved. However, in most cases (if the investigator has determined that there seems to be a strong possibility that the reported phenomena is genuine) a follow-up investigation will be required. This usually means a return visit that will be much less “painless” than the first, as the initial groundwork has already been laid.

It should be stressed that a legitimate researcher will always follow up on a case. If you do not hear from him, and the phenomena persists, then call him yourself. Don’t be afraid to get in touch with him and ask him to come back.

The information that has come before has been mostly geared to the witness who has experienced something out of the ordinary and while not completely frightened by it, is curious enough to contact someone who can tell them more. Truthfully, I have worked more often with this type of person than any other. They aren’t necessarily afraid of the activity they have reported, but are bothered by it to the point that they decided to seek some help.

This is not always the case though. As a witness, you may call in a researcher to decide whether or not your house is truly haunted and once you realize that something is actually happening (and that others are seeing it too!), you may want to call the proceedings to a halt. This can happen when the witness is afraid of making the ghost “angry” and you may decide that you want to just leave well enough alone, who knows? Some witnesses also may decide that they want to get rid of the ghost and if this happens to you, the investigators that you have contacted have no choice but to go along with your wishes.

But unless the investigator is a psychic (and I don’t recommend contacting a psychic for your investigation unless they are accompanied by a legitimate team to back up their findings), they will not be equipped to get rid of the ghosts that may be haunting your house. Most ghost hunters are merely investigators. We do not talk to ghosts and we don’t see them around every corner. If we are going to be able to help you, we are going to have to contact an outside source.

Let me reassure you again though that ghosts are not present to hurt anyone and in almost every case, a family can peacefully coincide with a spirit. Obviously though, not everyone wants that and some even insist that the ghost itself would be better off passing on to wherever we go at the time of death. In this case, the ghost hunter should be proactive in helping you with your wishes.

If you have a family minister, the ghost hunter will likely suggest that you get in touch with this person and ask them to come to the house and to pray for the soul of the spirit that is present. This is not an “exorcism” but simply an attempt to get the ghost to leave in peace. It can be of great benefit to you and your family as well.

If a willing minister is not available, then the ghost hunter should be able to suggest or find an expert in getting rid of ghosts. They may not be a professional medium or psychic but someone who is sensitive to spirits and who has a good reputation. It should be someone the ghost hunter has either worked with before or someone who was referred through a legitimate source. There is usually a complete lack of ceremony with this type of person as they are not a phony psychic or exorcist. They are likely going to want to look over the location and sit down and talk with you before proceeding.

Remember though to beware of any medium that tries to pump you for too much information up front! It is obviously more legitimate if this person can gather impressions that match the information you already have. If they come up with weird things that you have not experienced and seem to be making things up out of thin air, they most likely are!

If an authentic medium detects a spirit that is present, they will try and convince it to move on. How effective is this? It’s hard to say. It has been my experience that sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. It usually has a positive effect on the house though, no matter what else it does. I often get calls from people who ask for this service but in my years in the paranormal field, I have found very few people that I can recommend as someone trustworthy enough to be given this assignment. They are out there though and if you request it, the ghost hunter you work with should do all they can to get you in touch with them.

In closing, I hope that this article has been worthwhile for you and has provided you with some of the essential information that you need in order to find a legitimate ghost hunter. I always say that ghost hunting has several goals. Not only is the ghost hunter seeking evidence of ghosts, but he is also there to help the person who called him in to investigate the case. It is the ghost hunter’s main responsibility to alleviate the fears of the witness and to help them deal with the activity they are experiencing. The witness should never be shut out of the investigation but should be treated with the utmost respect .. for man always fears what he does not understand.

If you are experiencing a haunting and have been thinking of contacting a ghost hunter, then I hope that you now know what to expect from this experience. In some small way, I hope that this knowledge can contribute to the end of people being taken advantage of by the questionable and inexperienced ghost hunters who are out there. A little knowledge can go a long way and now that you know what to look for, you can avoid the problems that so many have encountered in the past. Good luck!

© Copyright 2008 by Troy Taylor. All Rights Reserved.

For even more information you might want to get the Bump in the Night newsletter.

If you would like an investigation please contact ETX Paranormal. Our information is on our About ETX Paranormal page.

Written by Martha Hazzard Decker

April 21, 2011 at 5:44 pm

%d bloggers like this: