Updated: Mar 25, 2020
These are the tips and steps that we suggest to guest investigators and use to train new team members.
Prepare yourself for an investigation:
You will be out late. Do what you feel is necessary to be alert for the entire evening. You can meditate or take a nap. Be sure to bathe.
Be sure to use neutral-scented soaps and hair products. That "Tropical Heaven" body wash can be mistaken for an unexplained odor, as it isn’t uncommon during an investigation for unexplained smells to occur. Do not wear cologne, perfume, or scented body sprays, for the same reason.
Eat before you go, and bring snacks. If you don’t eat before you go on an investigation, your noisy stomach can contaminate audio evidence. Be careful what you eat. If there are certain foods that cause you to have flatulence, avoid those foods. Nobody wins in that situation. If you do get hungry throughout the night, it’s okay to take a break. Go grab a snack.
Protect yourself. The best way I know is to ask God to protect me. If that is not your thing, seek out other means of protection.
Appropriate attire to wear to an investigation:
Dark clothing. A dark shirt with blue or black jeans or pants. Dress comfortably. Your clothes should be clean and in good condition. You want to look your best, but keep in mind that you are going to an investigation, not a black-tie affair or a grudge match.
Avoid “noisy” clothing. Corduroy pants or a nylon athletic outfit are good examples. Also, wear quiet shoes. Tennis shoes, sneakers, or soft-soled shoes are best.
Regardless of the temperature, you should always wear long pants. You may not know where you will be investigating. For example, we commonly investigate attics; not all attics are finished, and often there is exposed insulation. Your investigation may have you outside. You can see poison ivy during the day, but you certainly won’t see it at night.
Please don’t wear ripped clothing. Although it may be fashionable, it is not appropriate on an investigation. First, ripped clothing doesn’t give the best first impression. Second, ripped clothing has a risk of getting caught on objects. This can cause further tearing, injuries, or damage to property.
Choose your fabric wisely. Some guest investigators found this out the hard way. The pants they wore were probably made from a thin synthetic material. Infrared or IR cameras can have an x-ray vision effect on certain materials, and unfortunately, their undergarments became noticeable on film.
Do not wear loose jewelry. Big bangles or long necklaces can cause noise contamination and run the risk of getting snagged on something.
Avoid clothing with logos or reflective surfaces. These can cause photo and video contamination.
Create a checklist of everything you will or might need. Make sure your equipment is working and you are familiar with how it works. The night of the investigation is not the best time to get acquainted with new equipment. Have working batteries in your equipment and replacement batteries on standby. If your equipment requires SD cards, be sure they are new or cleared of previous data. This applies to audio recorders. If you are using digital cameras, make sure they can capture all the photos you want to take.
If you are a team leader, make sure you have all the legal releases available. There are many different forms. Refer to legal representation to determine which forms you’ll need.
Bring snacks and beverages. These will help you get through the night. If you take prescribed medication, bring it.
Arriving to the investigation:
Always, always, always be courteous. I know this seems obvious. Introduce yourself if you have not made introductions. Be sympathetic to your client’s claims. Be respectful of the client’s property, including their pets. Do not use inappropriate language.
You should get familiar with your surroundings. Take a tour of the whole house while the lights are on and take visual notes about where the furniture is placed, electrical cords, different levels of the home (step-down living areas), etc.
If you take these tips and follow the steps, you will be on the right path toward becoming a good paranormal investigator.