Tools of the Trade

If you are an avid follower of the paranormal, then you most likely have a pretty good understanding of the “tools” of the trade, such as which equipment to use and when to use it. For many investigators the goal is to get the evidence. Whether it be EVP, still photos or videos of the paranormal event you experienced. Depending on the investigator’s preference, you may use digital recorders or the old fashion analog/tape recorders. There is the 35mm camera with a variety of filter lenses and color or black and white film, or the popular digital cameras. Then there are the camcorders. I like the Sony Night-Shot system with the infra-red arrays we use to boost the near infra-red capabilities of the cameras. There is a variety of electronic equipment used to monitor the temperature, atmosphere and energy at the investigation site. Some of the equipment used are natural tri-field meters, K2s, EMF meter, digital thermometers, barometers, and the double-blind ghost box (DBGB).


One of the best tools an investigator has is their own sensitive ability. Some people refer to this as their “intuition”, or that little voice in your head. A basic description I use of a sensitive is a person who can feel the energy/spirits around them, hear them or see them. In future posts I will go into more details about what a trained sensitive is able to do, believe me when I tell you it is so much more than just communicating or feeling emotions! But for this post, let’s just stick to the basics of how a sensitive can help in an investigation.


In my first book, Battlefield Guide to Ghost Hunting (currently off market for revisions), I introduced the method I used for my team structure, which included a sensitive. I called this technique the Intuitive Science Method of Investigating (ISM). In my second book Ghost Soldiers of Gettysburg (Llewellyn 2014), I updated ISM as I continue to refine the method and shared with my readers the application (and results) in action. As the team and I worked the ISM, we came up with new techniques and enhanced methods of working the spiritual and psychic methods on an investigation.


One of the main skills a sensitive brings to an investigation is the ability to locate the “hot-spots” of paranormal activity. Hot-spots is a term we use to indicate that a given area will have the best chance to capture a paranormal event. The best way to locate the hot-spots is to have the sensitive go with the team on the initial walkthrough; the sensitive should have a digital recorder on her or him recording, additionally the other team members using the various equipment to collect data. You would be surprised at how much evidence is caught when doing the initial walkthrough. When I was shooting for the DIY show Sell My Haunted House. The investigative medium (IM), her lead investigator, the cameraman, and I walked through the basement. In one spot in the basement, close to a door that led outside, the IM and I turned and saw a robed figure flying past the steps that led to the door. She had a camera in her hand and snapped a photo. Sure enough there in the frame was what looked like a robed monk with his hood up and hands tucked in to the robe…flying over the floor.


Another instance was when we had just finished setting up our remote cameras and one investigator called from the hallway, “what are you doing?” The other person setting up the cameras answered her, “just setting up the camera.” When the audio was played back in review, a man’s voice was captured saying “whatcha doing?” just before the girl asked the same question. So, it is vital to make sure you always have the equipment for capturing evidence on at the start of every investigation. The spirits are always interested in what is going on around them, and as well, they are drawn to our energy.


Just as in life, spirits move, having the sensitive in your team structure is going to help to “track” the spirits movement. You might have started with the activity level jumping in the foyer, but that level can drop suddenly. When that happens, depending on the sensitive’s ability, he or she will be able to move through the house and engage the spirits. So, let me breakdown the different levels of a sensitive’s ability, they are feeling (Empath), seeing (Clairvoyance), hearing (Clairaudience), and the final level is all three categories combined which many people refer to as a Medium.


First, what do I mean when I say “depending on the sensitive’s ability”; there are different levels to a sensitive’s ability. For instance, an empath is going enter an area and at the basic level of expertise, at least know that a residual energy/spirit is present. A more experienced empath will be able to differentiate between a residual haunting and a live-active haunting. As an empath continues to train and learn this skill set, they will eventually be able to feel the individual emotions of a spirit and begin to interact on that at the next level of communication.


If you have been on investigations, you most likely have had the experience of running into some negative energies. There are a number of ways to deal with these “nasty” little critters! One of the techniques we teach to all of our students and team members is to actively work their Psi ability to cleanse and shield. Having a trained and experienced sensitive in your group will give your team the ability to effectively deal with these negative energies.


In my next blog post I will talk about haunted history and how to work through the layered hauntings at these historical locations.