People contact us and ask how they can begin investigating hauntings. Below are some tips I hope you feel are helpful.
1.) Make sure that before you go to any investigation you are prepared. Find out as much as possible about the actual location. It is good to go to the location during the day so that you can familiarize yourself with the layout. There's nothing more embarrassing than going to an investigation unprepared. Knowing the layout will give you an idea of where to set up equipment, and begin your investigation. This will make you far more efficient. Conducting background research can wait until after you are familiar with the location itself.
2.) Keep at it! The most frustrating thing that a new paranormal investigator can run into is the fact that they find absolutely NOTHING! It takes patience and persistence. It may take several trips to the location before you can get any evidence. The more investigations that you do, the better you will be at interpreting the data you collect. Even L.O.P.I. investigations can take several follow up trips to get anything conclusive.
3.) TAKE NOTES! Take plenty of notes and write down everything. Even if it seems like it is unimportant, it may later be the most critical thing in the investigation. Write down any noises that are heard no matter what they are. This will help in analyzing any recordings for anomalous sounds. Write down the places people are in a room and what equipment they are using. This may help when analyzing photos and video. There's no such thing as too many notes. The one thing that you leave out may ruin the whole investigation.
4.) Remember to save everything that you collect during an investigation. This means that you save any audio tapes that have nothing on it and all photos and video taken. It may not seem to have anything on it, but when given to someone with a more experienced eye, there may indeed be paranormal activity in it. It's a practice of L.O.P.I. to save everything we collect during an investigation.
5.) Take plenty of supplies. Batteries, film, paper, writing utensils, etc....You never know when a piece of equipment may go dead or you may need more paper. Taking plenty of supplies ensures that you can get the most out of the investigation. Better safe than sorry on this one.
6.) Take lots of photos and video recordings! The more pictures you have the better your chance of catching an anomaly on film.
7.) Always conduct investigations with more than one person. Never go on an investigation alone. The fear is not from the ghosts, they can't hurt you. The problem is from actual flesh and blood. People are the real danger. You never know what kinds of situations you are actually going into when you go to a location. Don't overdo it with a large group. This can cause the property owner to wonder and ultimately ask you to leave.
8.) Provide yourself with plenty of knowledge. Read as many books, articles, and tips as you can. There are lots of theories and methods out there. There is no one method that is complete so read alot, and develop your own method. This will make your investigations more professional. Going to an investigation and not knowing what you are doing can destroy your name as a paranormal investigator.
9.) PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!!! Go out and investigate. The more you do, the better you will get. Use the knowledge that you gain and put it to work. Start with friends and family first. That way you can fine tune your methods and they can give you critical advise. Work at some cemeteries as well. This will get you familiar with the equipment and how to read it. Take lots of notes and use what you learn to better your next investigation.
10.) And most important of all. BE HONEST! Don't attempt to pass off evidence as truth when it is not. No one group or person is going to have positive findings all of the time. Do not be afraid to tell someone that you didn't get anything.
THE L.O.P.I. TEAM