Standards and Protocols for Field Investigations To Follow When Ghost Hunting:
Mistakes do occasionally happen during experiments and investigations. So to cut back on the chance for error, there must be a set protocol for procedures and conduct. This helps to maintain the integrity of any findings and decrease the percentage of error.
Start with the interview process. This helps to establish if an actual investigation is warranted. If the witnesses are credible, or there is enough historical evidence to back it up, the second step is the investigation itself. Immediately following the investigation, it is important to process the data collected.one of the first things I do is sit down and type out my findings from my notes and put together a timeline for the investigation. Little things are easily forgotten if they are not put down immediately on paper. The final step is to present the investigation findings and discuss with other group members. never go alone to any investigation. There are several reasons for this, but first and foremost is that there is no better evidence for any occurrence than having credible witnesses with you.
1. Carry Picture I.D. - To verify who you are.
2. Stay off private property unless you have permission.
3. Never go on an investigation alone, particularly in a secluded area.
4. No horse play during an investigation. Show reverence and respect in cemeteries, battlefields, etc. Be respectful of the locations and of the dead.
5. Never dare spirits to come around. You might get your wish and they aren't always friendly in this situation.
6. Promote positive energy during an investigation or ghost hunt. The "good" ghosts might sense fear and stay away. The "bad" ones seem to feed off of one's fear. Either way, for best results always go into an investigation with positive and compassionate feelings. In other words think happy thoughts. Positive mental attitude is very important for all investigations. Skeptical minds may possibly generate negative energy if not kept in "check".
7. It's always a good idea to have a cell phone with you, just in case...
8. A ghost hunt is no place for cigarettes and alcohol. Cigarette smoke looks like ghostly forms in photos and alcohol can distort your senses, you surely don't need that. This goes for any other mind altering substances as well. If smoking, be very careful not to photograph the smoke.
9. Check batteries and clean all equipment prior to the investigation - This is to insure accurate data and to prevent equipment failure.
10. Always remember, the living come first. Never endanger the other members of your team.
11. Make no conclusions. Share no conclusions or opinions with clients. All the reports, photos, and tapes must be reviewed before we can make any conclusions. The on site director can alter these protocols if necessary. These guidelines will make us look professional and caring to the clients needs.
12. All members and clients, if possible, need to walk through the location upon arrival. One member should map the location noting: air vents, heaters, fuse boxes, electrical appliances, computers, light sources, reflective objects, etc. One member should take 10 - 15 test photos during the walk through.
13. Do not wear perfume, cologne, or anything else with a noticeable scent. This is so someone doesn't mistake the smell for a supernatural occurrence. Spirits often use smells to get our attention.
14.Ask the spirits of the dead for permission to take their photos.
15.No alcohol before, during or after an investigation if remaining on site.
16.No smoking tobacco products during an investigation.
17.Always conduct your investigations in a professional manner.
18.Hold your breath when snapping photos on a cold night. Exhaled breath can show up as mist or fog on film.
19.Tie long hair back so it doesn't show up in front of the lens.
20.Make sure your camera lens is clean. A large smudge can look like an anomaly. Your camera must be kept clean at all times.
22.Avoid taking pictures of shiny objects. This means glass, mirrors, reflective objects, and anything else that shines or could cause a reflection. Do not take photos while walking on dusty roads. Do not take photos of moving objects - Any notable pictures of objects such as cars, balls, people, etc. should be omitted from evidence.
23.Let the ghosts know what you are doing and why you are there. Invite them to have their picture taken.
24. Be objective about the things you encounter. Try to find other rational explanations for everything. If there is no other explanation for what you witness, you may be on to something.
25.EVP recording should be done in the "background".
26.Flash is only good for 9 - 12 feet from the camera so focus on that range.
27.Do not take photos from moving vehicles on dusty roads.
28.Do not take photos while walking.
29.Remove or wear the camera strap so it does not hang loose.
30.Positive Mental Attitude is very important for all investigations.
31.Skeptical minds will generate negative energy during an investigation.
32.Always check batteries prior to investigations and carry plenty of spares as some paranormal activity drains batteries quickly.