Logging the Paranormal – Get Better Evidence
Personal encounters with the paranormal represent some of the most compelling evidence for the victim, but to the outsider these events usually mean nothing. One of the biggest issues with personal experiences is the lack of effort spent recording the details of the incident. Most personal encounters with the suspected paranormal are treated as an exciting event to sit around the camera and discuss. They are not treated with the crime-scene like attention to detail necessary to call them evidence. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
A New Method to Record Paranormal Encounters
I recommend paranormal investigators adopt a set of standard practices to record these experiences. From equipment malfunctions to being scratched by something unknown, everything should be recorded in detail. Treat these incidents like a murder investigation. Separate the eye-witnesses before they can talk to each other. Record the date, time and specific location of the incident. Take pictures, video and audio to record any evidence the incident occurred. Make sure to get good images of damage to equipment, red marks on skin or anything else that was left behind. I’ll talk about this in more detail a bit later in the incident report.
Pre-Investigation Equipment Checks
Once all your equipment is setup you should conduct a pre-investigation equipment check. This includes checking batteries for charge, cameras for signal, power and proper setup, radios and any other gear you will be using. Establish baseline readings for EMF across the location. Record all of these checks so you can review them later.
Pre-Investigation Personnel Checks
Before conducting the investigation do a quick check of all of the investigators too. Note any illnesses, strange feelings or recent injuries. To be even more thorough take pictures of their bare back, stomach, neck, face, arms and legs. This way if the investigator experiences strange scratches or a giant red spot appears on their back during the investigation, you have a before and after photo to compare it to. This gives any claims of a paranormal encounter more credibility. Use your investigators like human measuring devices! But don’t go overboard with it.
The Event Log
Consider using an event log for every investigation. The event log is used to keep track of every significant event that happens. When a team goes out to investigate a certain area it goes in the log. When a faulty camera is checked it gets logged. When teams return hear an unexplained noise or heat signature, it gets logged. Everything gets logged by a dedicated secretary. The reason is to help others “see” how you investigated a site. This will also help substantiate claims that you had multiple strange experiences or equipment failures in a certain place. Whenever a paranormal group says we went to X location and our batteries were drained or the equipment failed, the first criticism is it was bad equipment. If you log your investigations you have evidence to show that the equipment worked fine at other locations and it was inspected before the investigation. That gives your claim more credibility.
The Incident Report
Now when you actually have a suspected paranormal incident record it in your event log but also fill out an incident report. This incident report will go into more detail than the event log.
These measures may seem a little over the top, but if you are serious about recording suspected paranormal events this is the level of professionalism that is needed to generate solid evidence. It is your choice whether to be an organization dedicated to the scientific pursuit of the paranormal or a casual team of investigators.