A common question we get asked is what does an investigation entail? There are many misconceptions about what an investigation may entail that we feel it would be a good idea to clear up those misconceptions.
To get started I want to emphasize what an investigation DOES NOT entail. It has been mentioned by the WISPS website in several places that we do not use Ouija Boards, Séances, Psychics, or other means of “divination”. We believe these means do not further the cause of science, and such means have a substantial likelihood of making problems worse by inadvertently opening the door to negative and potentially harmful entities. If you are considering this, doing this, or have tried this I would encourage you to stop immediately. If you feel you have already inadvertently opened the door to a negative entity, contact us. We can and will help.
As to what an investigation does entail there are typically two types of investigation; the ghost hunt, and the ghost investigation. Both are carried out in a similar manner, but both have different ends.
A ghost hunt usually takes place at a location that usually has a “known history” of being haunted. These types of locations are usually cemeteries, old abandoned buildings, historical sites, museums, etc. Investigators often return to these places time and time again in an effort to gather evidence of a haunting. These places have usually already been thoroughly researched and their histories are well known in advance. These hunts are conducted to obtain evidence, train investigators, and simply put they are fun.
A ghost investigation is usually done at a home, place of business, or other location where the property owner/caretaker has been experiencing or hearing reports of strange occurrences. In these instances, a team is called in to try and determine if a haunting is substantiated, attempt to debunk occurrences, and gather evidence. If necessary we will attempt to help alleviate any problems at that location.
The first step in an investigation is to interview those who live in the home or place of business and anyone who has witnessed or experienced phenomena at the locale. This gives the team an idea of what specifically to look for, what areas are considered hot spots, and my help in determining the source of the phenomena. A lone, or pair of WISPS team members will usually come out to conduct this interview, and scout the location. This gives us an idea of where to place cameras, and how many investigators will be needed to conduct the investigation.
For an investigation, WISPS will be as discrete as possible. We will generally want access to a location when it is free from people as they may inadvertently contaminate evidence we try and collect. Although day or night doesn’t particularly matter as far as when a haunting occurs we prefer to do investigations when it is dark. Sometimes entities can be seen with the naked eye as dim moving orbs of light or moving shadow forms. These things are impossible to see in a well-lit room. Usually, after dark, the hustle and bustle of the day are over and things quiet down making it easier to collect evidence.
Once an investigation begins the team will move in with some scientific tools. Various meters that measure things such as temperature variations, electromagnetic field variations, light variations, etc. We will use full-spectrum still and video cameras, full-spectrum lighting which is invisible to the naked eye. We will use flashlights, lasers, and audio recorders in an effort to collect evidence. WISPS members will also document phenomena as it occurs so we can keep track of what is happening at the site.
After the evidence has been collected, WISPS will analyze audio, and video recordings, photographic evidence, and any other evidence collected. WISPS will then attempt to research the location to see if we can account for the reason behind the haunting at that location
After the evidence has been thoroughly evaluated, which in some cases can take several days if not longer, WISPS will present the findings to the property owner/caretaker. If necessary, at that time we will work with that person to find the best solution to their problem. On the rare occasion, if a haunting is malevolent and we feel that time is critical, WISPS may attempt to help alleviate the problem before reviewing the evidence. (See the article on spirits versus demons.)