by Roger Marsh, Paranormal News Examiner
Reporting paranormal activity is a touchy subject in an evolving society where some folks want the experiences to just go away and some seem to enjoy the intrusion and actually promote its continuation.
The paranormal is never black or white - but the two extremes might be a family who has encountered odd circumstances in a new residence and have actually become afraid of the events - to a more public venue like a restaurant or hotel which seems to draw patrons who choose to get up close to those seemingly otherworldly events.
There is also a fine line between paranormal activity perceived as either good or evil. One family may be fighting off a perceived evil force while another site claims feelings of intense calming and good.
Look beyond those glitzy network shows as you have to think - what are the chances my case will be investigated? And do you really want the entire world stepping inside your living room for a look around?
Just about every region in the country has one or more paranormal investigation groups - generally an all-volunteer army - who will consider your case. Most do not charge for their services. Having talked to many of these groups, there will be differences between them on exactly what kind of cases they will take on or how far they will travel. If you're an open-to-the-public business who wants documentation that your site is actually haunted - sometimes openly for promotional purchases - there are plenty of groups who will fulfill your every wish. But some groups will only investigate if you have a paranormal situation you want resolved - pardon the language - but, dead and gone.
The following Strange Facts list is geared toward either side as you make decisions on exactly who will investigate and what you want accomplished.
If any type of activity is causing harm or you feel there is potential harm - dial 911 - and allow local authorities to step inside for a look. Rule out anything related to human intervention or from Mother Nature.
Google is an excellent web tool to search for paranormal investigators near you. Trying simple searches like: Denver paranormal investigators - obviously substituting your town or region or state for "Denver."
You may want to interview several groups by telephone - or peruse their web site - to attempt to understand their style of investigation - to review their past cases - or talk to references.
Keep track of the paranormal activity you are experiencing - consider keeping a running computer-based log, or a written diary of events and feelings.
How long as the activity been going on?
What type of activity are you experiencing? Be prepared to describe each type or style of event.
Is the paranormal activity being experienced by just one person, or multiple people or members of the family?
Have you been able to record or photograph the activity?
Consider taking photographs or video of any visual evidence left behind following paranormal activity.
Use video or sound recording devices to document ongoing activity.
Remember that some types of experiences - though they may look and feel like something otherworldly - may be caused by something manmade or natural. Be open to this as your case or situation is investigated.
Many paranormal groups write about or discuss their cases with the public or with media. Make sure you consider your personal situation in advance and make it clear to investigators what information you are willing to have released that may allow your identify or location to be known.
Some paranormal activity at sites seems to be traced to past events or people who once lived at or visited your site. Research your site through public ownership records, newspapers, and other ways to develop an understanding of the past. If you live in a 200-year-old former stage coach stop - it's obvious you have a history at that location that might be tapped for background. But don't sit back on your research if your home is brand new - perhaps it was once a sacred burial ground or housed a structure long torn down.
If you feel comfortable with the idea, talk to neighbors to see if any of the same activity might be happening at nearby locations.
Most paranormal investigators will warn against the use Ouija Boards or other similar games or devices that purport to facilitate communicating with the spirit world. While the jury is still out on this subject, it may be suggested to you that you not dwell on the phenomena or attempt to "invite" spiritual visitors to your site.
Consider meeting with your local clergy or ask for a site visit for a blessing or other religious ritual in line with your beliefs to put a positive bent on the site and what is happening.
Remember always that you are in control of yourself and your site - and whether real or somehow imagined - you may overcome some paranormal activity with a positive attitude and a personal insistence that what you are experiencing is not permitted.
Local psychics or spiritualists may be able to offer insight into exactly what is affecting your site. Treat this group the same as the paranormal investigators - interview and talk to references first - and decide in advance if you are willing to pay for services or are only looking for volunteers. While there are many good people in this field, beware that the industry is also filled with hoaxers only looking for dollars.
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