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The Basics of Paranormal Investigation
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The word paranormal comes from the words "para" meaning beyond, and normal. So the term paranormal really means something that is beyond the normal scope of science or being beyond a scientific explanation. According to the Journal of Parapsychology, the term paranormal describes "any phenomenon that in one or more respects exceeds the limits of what is deemed physically possible according to current scientific assumptions."

Ghosts generate strong electro-magnetic fields. These fields cause disruptions in the magnetic field of a location which makes it detectable by both specialized equipment and psychics. Ghost hunters use many different types of equipment to detect an paranormal phenomena. A 35mm or digital camera is probably the easiest and least expensive way to begin. Pictures, whether digital or recorded on film have the ability to capture paranormal activity that is usually invisible to the naked eye. In addition to a camera, it's important to have a flashlight since most paranormal investigations will be in dark places like cemeteries, basements, attics, or old buildings. Also, most investigations occur between 9pm and 6am when it's dark. This is believed to be the best time to record paranormal activity. Along with the flashlight you'll need extra batteries, since batteries will sometimes mysteriously lost all their charge during paranormal investigations, literally leaving you in the dark.

Once you have these basic items, you're ready to start exploring the world of paranormal investigation. Some important things to remember are: never go on an investigation alone, and be respectful of the of the people, places and situations you encounter.

The first step in an investigation is selecting the place you're going to investigate. Once you choose a location, be sure to get permission to access the property to ensure you won't get into any trouble for trespassing. It's also very important to do some research on the location before you go out and physically investigate it. You can go to the library and look up old newspapers, visit the local historical society to find out about the history of the place and if anything strange has happened there, and of course talk with the owner of the property.

Once you get all your data collected you have to analyze it. Every picture, video, audio recording is reviewed to look for any sign of a haunting. When doing your analysis, be sure to be skeptical. Make sure you rule out any explainable causes for anything odd that may show up. Check for mirrors, shadows, light sources or anything else that may cause something weird to be seen or heard in your collected data. Most of the time, the things you initially detected during your investigation will have real world explanations as opposed to supernatural ones. It's important to make sure your evidence will stand up to any scrutiny by eliminating any other explanations. This will give your data more credibility.

Once you complete your analysis, you need to present your findings property owner. At this point you would recommend whether the owner needs to seek additional help, such a having the property blessed or if there is really nothing that needs to be or even can be done. Sometimes just having someone investigate the place and find nothing can help ease the mind of the person experiencing the haunting.

Denise Villani an author and the webmaster of several article directories. To find more articles and information on the paranormal, please visit Paranormal Investigation or

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