T H E O R Y
Theories are what you steer by when you can't definitively prove something. The world of paranormal study is full of theories.
Proof is sought after for every aspect of the paranormal. While there are many individuals who believe in the existence of
spirits of the departed, psychic premonitions, extraterrestrials visiting Earth and the like, there has yet to be presented
scientific proof. Belief is not good enough for the scientific community -- and it shouldn't be. Theory, however, is a sound
base from which to work in the pursuit of proof.
Theories are derived from careful observation, detailed notes and study of others' research and findings. Among paranormal
researchers, theories are often spoken of as facts. This is just for ease of conversation. So, if you hear an investigator
say something like, "I'm capturing orbs with concurrent temperature drops. Looks like we have ghost activity," don't
assume the person is taking this evidence as hard, proven fact. It's simply easier to speak to other investigators in this
E X P L O R A T I O N
The actual team investigation is the act of exploration. This is where a team gathers evidence with equipment and by interviewing
witnesses. This is also where debunking occurs. To debunk is to find a mundane explanation for a seemingly paranormal occurrence.
This is the first thing an investigator does -- when all normal possibilities are exhausted, that only leaves the paranormal.
E V I D E N C E
Gathering evidence during an investigation is obviously important. Without it, it is impossible to prove anything. Without
proof, you're back to theory. Evidence includes (but is not limited to):
* digital and film images (both still and video) of orbs, ectoplasmic mists, unexplainable shadows, vortices, disembodied
heads/faces, movement of inanimate objects, full and partial apparitions, etc.
* unexplainable electromagnetic field meter spikes
* recordings of disembodied voices (EVP)
* unnatural temperature changes
* eyewitness accounts
R E S E A R C H
Before and after an investigation, the site needs to be researched. This is true of any site, including cemeteries, and is
not confined to the existing structure (if there is one.) The history of the land and its surrounding environment should be
obtained, as well as any previous structures built on the property. The Internet can be a help and a good place to start but,
inevitably, the library and historical societies need to be visited in person.
Maps, floor plans, ownership, are just the tip of the research iceberg. There are endless questions and answers can be
elusive. Here are some general sample questions we ask ourselves when we delve into the history of an investigation site:
* What was the land like before non-native settlers arrived and was it utilized by Native Americans?
* Has the land been part of a natural disaster in which lives were lost, such as fire, flood, earthquake, tornado, volcanic
* Are there police, coroner, medical records or historical accounts that indicate any murders, suicides or accidental
deaths on the land or in any structure that ever occupied the site?
* What was the structure(s) used for; dwelling, business, industry, agriculture, spiritual, medical...?
* Even if it's not a cemetery, have there been any burials or remains found at any time on the property?
S C I E N C E
The second definition of SCIENCE in Webster's New World Dictionary states: "systematized knowledge derived from observation,
study, and experimentation carried on in order to determine the nature or principles of what is being studied." That
is exactly what we are doing as paranormal investigators!