Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Science vs. Metaphysical

While I understand that science plays a huge role in what we do as paranormal investigators, we must always remember that we must also focus on the human factor, or better put, the Average Joe factor.

When we go out on a case, we are not only dealing with phenomena which could very well be explained but we are also dealing with someone's emotions or their mental state.

Now, I am not against those science-based investigative groups. My own team has its share of science investigators but we also have our share of believers and utilize psychics as well.

See? I can actually hear the collective groans of the science types as I write this but my team and I have been conducting investigations for more than 10 years and I can write from experience.

Granted there are those groups who go out with the intention that every case is haunted but we do not. Those types of groups may do more harm than good. You have to have that balance between science and the metaphysical.

My group does that balancing act very well.

We look at every case objectively from start to finish. Everything, including the paperwork that we use is done meticulously.

The all important preliminary investigation takes from two to three hours. Why? Because we try to get as much information about the case as possible and that includes going from room to room in the location and taking meticulous notes on room condition, temperature, furniture location, window location, outlet and EMF location to name a few. Then we go outside and look at conditions around the property. How close is the neighbor? Are there any electrical poles nearby? Are there any trees near windows or near the roof? Where are the outside lights? The list seems endless but it all helps when investigation night comes along.

The main step in all of this is to have that one on one interview with the client-we ask about 100 questions. Yup. You read that right. One hundred questions. We ask about the family, we ask about the events which are going on in the home, we ask about what they witnessed and delve into religious beliefs. We also look at demeanor during the questioning.

With the advent of all the ghost hunting shows on TV, we have found that a lot of people want you to come out because it's cool. Our preliminary investigation weeds out those types of people. We also have three staff members who have training in social work and psychiatry so we can offer additional help.

During the investigation, investigators are armed with pertinent information taken from the preliminary. The information includes all high EMF readings in the home, room details, case details for debunking purposes and any information needed that will assist the team with the scientific portion of the investigation.

In addition, I will email out a picture of the location to a psychic for a remote reading. Team members never hear the results of that reading.

The field psychic who is assigned to the investigation goes in cold with no prior knowledge of the location or its history. Their role is to obtain a reading of the location and, if they do encounter anything, they will aid the investigators. That aid consists of suggesting where to place monitoring cameras, asking investigators to take photos in certain areas at certain times, and asking those investigators with EMF meters to measure certain areas at certain times. They also aid in our EVP sessions. We know if we are dealing with a male or female and what era they are from.

Now don't start thinking that the psychics run the show-they do not. They are simply used as a guide for the investigation team. There are many times that the psychic team will find nothing in the location.

For those scientific hard cores who are cringing right now, relax...breathe in...breathe out....

When used properly, a psychic can be a great aid on an investigation. Most of the psychics on our team also look at things scientifically and will do debunking on their own.

Again I have nothing against the teams that are completely science based but I also strongly believe that some in the field go out without an open mind and this can hurt clients. Sometimes all a client needs is reassuring that what he or she experienced is “Uncle Bob”

There are many clients out there that will not believe what science says about their cases. Do you just chock that up to them being nuts? No. As investigators, no matter what we believe or how we do our job, it is our responsibility to serve the clients as best as we can.

That service can include suggesting counseling, electrical or other repairs and even a cleansing of the location could help. In addition, we may suggest that a bedroom or room for that matter be rearranged because of EMF levels and locations. In one case, we suggested that a client move out of an apartment because EMF levels were so high that she was living in a “Fear Cage”. As things turned out, she did move and never had another issue.

No matter what we do as investigators, it is our responsibility to help those in need.

So to close this off, what do I think is better a science-based group or a metaphysical-based group? Both have their place in the field but we need to be careful of what damage can be done. We walk a fine line and we are responsible for somebody's well being. This is not a game.

No matter what you do in the field, always make the client the foremost priority. You need to take a lot of factors into consideration and then investigate accordingly.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Too Many Bad Eggs

I ran into something recently that makes me angry beyond reason.

My team has worked so hard to establish itself over the past 10 years that it angers me that other teams just seem to be in it for the fame or whatever you want to call it.

Recently we were asked to access a case in rural Northern California that another team had investigated a couple of years ago. The client involved claimed to be experiencing an extreme amount of paranormal activity in and around her home since moving in in 2001.

During our four-hour interview/prelim the client stated that the other group came out to her residence and, in her opinion, had a party as they came in a large number and took off in various directions. They also filmed the investigation and were using the info for an upcoming book. When all was said and done, she was told that due to the fact they did not obtain any Electronic Voice Phenomena or photo evidence, that she more than likely did not have any activity going on in the home or property.

During the interview with her, several things became evident. One is that she has psychic abilities. Two, is that somewhere along the line, being inexperienced, she opened a door that she could not close.

All psychics will tell you that once that happens anything can come through whether it's good or bad. In this case, the client had been inundated with ghostly visitors for years. One visitor really alarmed her as she thought it was a demon.

As we did our walk-through of the home and garage area and took EMF readings and pictures, the sensitive who was with me stopped short in the garage. Her hands began to shake as she described a three foot tall creature resembling a bat that was just staring at us. She said it was very ominous and she was very uncomfortable.

That weekend, we returned for an investigation. I had both skeptics and psychics on hand. One investigator became physically ill and threw up. Another became physically ill as well. I witnessed a motion detector which I set up on a table near my DVR go on and off as if something kept walking past. In addition, we all witnessed a short dark shadow moving through the house. It would move under furniture as if hiding. Another investigator set a clipboard on a counter in the bathroom and as she sat, the clipboard flew off the counter by itself.
California Haunts Shaman Sharon Roe performs a cleansing on the client (Identity Protected)

In the master bedroom, female investigators felt as if they were being touched by unseen hands.

We obtained five EVPs, two of which are Class A.

We remained at the home until well pat 2 a.m. As our team Shaman Sharon conducted a cleansing of the home and also a cleansing on the client. We also cleansed the garage and outdoor area.

The point of this blog is that I am very irritated with the other team. Why did they not do a proper prelim? Had they done that, they would have been better informed going into the investigation. The kicker part is that they are a well established team that does a lot of investigations and honestly this is not the first time that we have had to clean up after their mess.

It burns me that this client has literally been suffering and the attitude of “Because we didn't get any hard evidence, therefore it doesn't exist,” was used, she continued to suffer.

I thought that we as paranormal investigators got into this field to help people, not blow them off and do a half-assed job.

If your going to investigate, for God's sakes do a proper job. Do your research, do your prelim. Don't go in cold and expect to have all the answers.

This person was suffering and had been suffering for years. They needed help and all you did was tell them there was no proof of activity and make them feel stupid.

Paranormal groups whether science based or psychic based or a combination of both like my team, need to wise up and listen to what their clients are saying. That is what the prelim is a all about. Sure you may run into people who want you there just because or people who truly need psychiatric help but everyone deserves to be heard and everyone deserves to be helped in some way.

Don't do what the above team did and conduct a half-assed investigation! The client was literally screaming for help and the team did not listen.

Remember one thing. You are dealing with people's lives and mental states. It's not a game. Each and every client deserves respect and their story deserves to be heard.

we have a responsibility that does not include TV or books. Our responsibility is to the client.