If you've watched paranormal investigators on television and thought, "Wow - I'd like to do that," do you know your next steps? Chances are, there are plenty of groups you can join where you can learn how to become a paranormal investigator. So, if gallivanting with ghosts sounds up your alley, becoming a paranormal investigator is probably within your reach.
Do Your Research
Paranormal investigation is an extremely popular hobby. Many potential investigators have no research or investigation background, and that's okay. There are plenty of ways you can educate yourself before you get started, such as finding a mentor or enrolling in a few online paranormal investigator courses through different online colleges. These classes will provide foundational understanding about ghosts and paranormal investigation so you can move forward more confidently.
Contact Local Paranormal Investigators
Alternatively, seek local paranormal investigators and ask them about their background, experience, and where and what they have learned. Ask about their methods, their hypotheses, and how they test them. Evaluate whether they can teach you based on what you have already learned.
Get to Know Ghost Hunting Equipment
Once you feel confident about understanding your role as a paranormal investigator, you'll need some ghost hunting equipment so you can practice and feel confident using it once you start conducting investigations. Start with basics such as a camera and voice recording app on your phone. You can add more as you go along when your budget allows.
If you buy specialized equipment, read the manual and practice with it before you are in a live investigation. It's important you know how to use it, how to interpret the data it gives you, and its limitations.
Learn About Parapsychology
Before you embark on your first official investigation, do your own research and gain a thorough understanding of current and historic parapsychological research. Read books, websites, journals, and research papers from legitimate parapsychological authors and institutions. As you move forward as an investigator, continue to stay abreast of the field by pursuing ongoing knowledge of parapsychological research. Groups like the Society for Psychical Research (SPR), The Association for Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena (ASSAP) have online information and books that can help you gain a broader perspective about the paranormal research field.
Find a Team
It's always best to investigate the paranormal as part of team. Why? First, there's safety in numbers. If you went solo and get injured, you might not be able to get the help you need. Likewise, the more people you have with equipment, the more likely you are to capture an EVP, EMF reading, video footage, or other pieces of evidence.
If you took classes, then you have already begun to network with other investigators. Your instructors are a great resource for pointing you in the right direction to connect with a group. There are many special interest groups on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other online social media. When you join an online paranormal discussion group, take it slowly. Get to know the members and participate in group discussions by contributing in helpful and meaningful ways. This will allow members to get to know and trust you, and vice versa. Gradually, you'll connect with a few members. They can provide you with other networking opportunities and eventually you can ask members you've gotten to know for a referral. If there isn't a local group, you might consider starting one. That way, you and your fellow members can learn together as a team.
Research Places to Investigate
Once you have your team in place, divide the duties so each person knows exactly their role in each investigation. It's fun to swap roles from one investigation to another to allow members to gain more experience. Your case manager will do research on a potential place to investigate and liaison with clients. Make sure that you never ever trespass on anyone's private property. Choose potential places that are open to the public or get special permission from the owner to investigate. Follow the steps you learned in your classes and stick to your team protocols. Don't expect your team to perform perfectly the first few times out in the field.
Avoid These things
Do not learn from what you see on television. Paranormal television shows are entertaining, but they aren't always accurate.
Additionally, the following attributes may be helpful:
- You're not easily panicked.
- You aren't overly fearful.
- You are open minded.
- You have critical thinking skills.
- You are patient and methodical.
- You have enough skepticism that you will always seek alternative explanations for activity.
- You're confident under pressure.
- You are willing to make mistakes.
How to Become a Paranormal Investigator
After doing diligent research and understanding the fundamentals of paranormal investigation, it's time to practice what you've learned. As you investigate, notice what works and what doesn't. Continue to refine your methods in order to continue to learn and grow.