During college, one of the elective courses I selected to take was an introduction to digital imaging. The class taught how to scan and save pictures onto a computer along with basic lessons on photo editing with an earlier version of Photoshop. At the time, the ability to manipulate images I viewed to be exciting as one would no longer be limited to errors of film cameras where flaws such as red eye could easily be corrected. In learning this technology, I realized I could never again trust any picture taken of something paranormal.
The first paranormal investigation I participated in was on the main floor apartment of a century old house. There were reports of unexplained sounds, moving shadows and strange smells within the dwelling. Now picture this, it’s the mid 90s, four guys working minimum wage jobs, just graduated high school and then image the type of equipment available to conduct this investigation. There was a bulky camcorder holding VCR tapes for video recordings, tape recorder with audio cassettes for EVPs and the old film cameras for picture along with a two day waiting discount envelope for development. Other tools were a measuring tape we used for recording distance, a compass on had to detect magnetic fields and an outdoors thermometer to take temperatures in finding those cold spots. We had these old 80s walkies talkies for communications, pens and clipboards to record any observation and a pair of 70s flashlights when stubbing in the dark. With the internet just emerging back then, the real research was done at the library or city hall to find any information about the history of the place. Lucky one guy on the team had access to computer which was only used to print documents and store any EVPs taken.
When I began this journey into the paranormal, I was excited with anticipation to seeing an apparition, encountering an UFO or discovering a cryptid. At that time, I was naive and would soon learn a hard lesson that not every photo was real, not every story true and not every haunting involves a ghost. The first year of investigations I participated in were either false sightings, misidentification, hysteria or lies. Ever since then, I have always taken the approach of a skeptic when dealing with any paranormal phenomenon and my advice to anyone or any group with a starting interest in the unknown. In any investigation, study, research or any other project conducted, before considering a supernatural cause, constantly look for a reasonable, scientific explanation to the event or situation occurring. Here are a few tips I have learned over the years.
Here is video I came across that mentions some of the old ghost detection techniques I learn about back in the day.
When trying to document evidence of paranormal activity, one of the most common techniques used is continuous video surveillance. Back in the day of VCR s, you would go through hours of tape hoping for some physical manifestation to been recorded, but in end the result was either nothing or if something did appearing it was under a second which could be argued as an orb or dust. This is where I learn of other techniques could be employed in the filming procedure to help in the detection of ghost. An example would be placing a compass or EMF reader off to the side of the area being recorded that if they were to suddenly react it would be documented on video. One of the newest methods I had come across in determining if a ghost or spirit was taped is the laser grid which concludes my series of lesser know paranormal investigation equipment.