Investigations 101

Written By Richard Caminiti
Founder: The Long Island Paranormal Research Association

No matter where I go, whenever someone realizes that I investigate paranormal activities it is inevitable that I hear how they know there’s a ghost in their house. Don’t get me wrong, it serves as great conversation. However when they are telling me how things go on and off by themselves, how things turn up somewhere they weren’t left at, how there’s a cold spot, etc. its hard for me not to start figuring out why something is REALLY happening as opposed to why they think it is.

I’m lucky enough to have had many different lives under my belt. In another life I worked heavily in law enforcement and security. This gave me the investigative skills I needed to pursue paranormal investigations. (It also helps that my father was a paranormal investigator and I was raised understanding investigative concepts since I can remember)

In yet another life, I was a plumber, adding another tool to my paranormal investigative arsenal. Understanding the creaks and moans a house can make, definitely helps to decipher normal from paranormal. No, because your toilet is bubbling up air does not make it possessed, more than likely it means that there is a venting problem.

And in my most recent (and current) life, I am an IT specialist, which involves being analytical, reverse engineering, having problem solving skills, etc. All these things combined, I find, make a great recipe for a paranormal investigator. I don’t know it all, (there are so many theories and schools of thought out there), but I do try and comprehend all that is thrown in front of me. Only a fool would claim to know it all, in my opinion.

Let me get back on track here. I have seen some unexplainable things. I’m sure the people that talk to me also have seen things like those as well. However it doesn’t necessarily mean it is of a paranormal nature. Spooky? yes, paranormal?, possibly, but more often than not the orb you might see could be a reflection from a CD laying on the window sill as some car headlights hit it the right way.

It’s the same for other happenings around the home. If your keyboard starts to type on its own, it doesn’t necessarily mean there is a ghost trapped in your computer, look to the keyboard for a stuck key. Or the weird moan you hear, could it be a cat crying outside? (trust me on that one folks, I just recently inherited three cats and one of them still spooks me out with his killer hunter meow)

If your faucet turns on in the middle of the night, make sure your water pressure is not too high. Things like that can and do happen.

Here are some tips to help you understand what you may or may not be experiencing;

Keep an open mind.
Understanding what you are dealing with is first and foremost the most important thing. If it can be explained, then chances are it’s not paranormal.

Try and find an explanation.
Because you smelled Uncle Harry’s cologne, doesn’t mean he is there. Try and look for a source of the smell. Sometimes it can take a while but chances are you may find a broken bottle of cologne, or something else tucked away in a closet somewhere.

Take notice of what is happening at the time of the occurrence.
If you begin to have an occurrence that happens regularly, take note of things like the time, the atmosphere of the house, what might be on or off at the time. For example, if there is a loud bang at 2 am every night, could it be your central air conditioning turning on?

These are just a few things to keep in mind when faced with what seems to be unexplainable happenings. No one should feel uncomfortable in their own house or apartment, nor should they be terrorized into wanting to leave. It’s been my experience that the living are MUCH scarier than the dead.

Now conversely, there ARE unexplainable happenings, that no matter how hard you try, you just can’t put an explanation to. But they too can be shrouded in mystery and skepticism, for example; recorded disembodied voices. (EVP’s). Believers in this phenomena would say it is disembodied voices from the other side imprinting their voice onto the tape or digital recorder.

Skeptics however believe that this could be a natural phenomenon called Auditory Pareidolia. This is a condition where the brain inaccurately interprets random audio patterns as being recognizable patterns.

So where does that leave the paranormal investigator? It seems that he or she is caught between a rock and a hard place doesn’t it? Searching for something that may or may not exist.

Keep in mind that in the fourteen hundreds, we KNEW that the earth was flat and at the center of the universe. So what happened? To answer simply, some adventurous people, technology and the courage to stick by convictions is what happened.

Will this happen with paranormal research? Only time and the advancement of technology will tell. Until then, we keep doing what we do because we have to. If I can borrow a line from a great movie “The Matrix”,

“It’s the question that drives us”