By Larry Lawson
After much thought and a little research, you have decided to embark on this intriguing, exciting, sometimes perplexing world of paranormal research and investigation. You have decided to head on your own to explore and investigate. But you ask yourself “Where do I go?” and “How do I get there?”. Great questions and one that improper planning and understanding can lead you to problems – including going to jail!
Many folks get started by attending publicly sanctioned and supervised investigations. This, In my opinion is the best way to get started. By going to these planned events, they are usually supervised by experienced investigators that can show you some “tricks of the trade” that you didn’t know about or didn’t think about. You have to be careful to choose an event and an organization that is reputable and has the proper attitude towards conducting these events and the preservation of the venue. For example, if you attend an event whose object is to jam as many people into the venue as possible to increase revenue and they are willing to stage or exaggerate experiences to get enhance the event, you may not find that is the best place to start. Look for an organization that is willing to keep the guest numbers smaller and are working with the venue to maintain and preserve it. These will be the paranormal teams you should want to emulate.
Once you become a bit more experienced you will want to find spots that are worthy of investigation. Personally, while places that have well-known and advertised paranormal activities are exciting, I often prefer to find spots that are relatively unknown. Places that are not well known in paranormal circles can provide unexpected activity and can often offer opportunities to gather evidence that will help further your research. That’s not to say that the well-known places you see on the television shows won’t do the same, but sometimes they are investigated so much, they might not be as active as you would expect. But, that’s a topic for an upcoming discussion I’ll share.
So, you find this small, out of the way location that you have heard about and want to investigate. How should you approach the property in order to investigate? First of all, get permission! We have all seen investigators or explorers on social media who are taking their cameras into abandoned buildings and properties. Yeah, it looks exciting but if you don’t have permission to be there, you can very easily find yourself in a dangerous place that has hazards you didn’t know about. Getting hurt – or worse- is not worth it. You could just as easily find yourself getting arrested for trespassing. That’s right. Depending on state laws, entrance onto properties that are properly marked (consult your state legal statutes for further information) can result in your being arrested. And in some places carrying some type of item that is would be considered a weapon (such as a knife) could be an armed trespassing which can result in felony charges. Again, it’s not worth it. You might say well that’s part of the excitement of doing these investigations. Frankly every time an informed “investigator” gets in trouble for trespassing, it affects ALL of us in the field. It makes all of us look bad and causes property owners that might consider granting permission to investigate second thoughts and saying NO!
When you start your inquiry into the paranormal. Start slow and learn from others at supervised events. As you branch out on your own later. Just remember this simple piece of advice. Know where you are going. Understand what is there and get permission. It will go a long way in making you a better investigator.
See you on the other side!