Sunday, June 19, 2016

How do you find locations to investigate?

Finding Locations

People always ask me how do I know where to investigate. The answer is simple. I don't.
I like to explore new places and am always on the lookout for possible locations. This does not mean that I do not like going back to a place. I do. This can be a source of great information. The first time I go, I know I am only taking base reading and getting the feel for the place. If I am lucky enough to be able to return, I can use that prior knowledge to delve deeper into a location's atmosphere.

What types of locations are suitable for investigating?

Any place that is safe, accessible and for which you have the necessary permissions, can make a great location. I do not shy away from a location simply because it is too new or too exposed. Even new built homes can be fascinating. A background check of the area often turns up some fascinating information.
  • What is the history of the immediate area? Could the house have been built on a graveyard, ancient cairn or other symbolic, yet long destroyed site?
  • Is there an old church, graveyard or abandoned institution nearby?
  • What stories are told about strange or unusual events in the area?
  • Was a battle fought close by?
  • Did a tragedy happen near to the site?
These are only some of the questions I ask as I build up a picture of the history of the location.

The Hell Fire Club, Dublin

So, I've found a possible location, what happens next?

The next things to consider are, can the location be reached easily? Is it accessible by road? Is it fenced off? Will I need permission to enter the location? Is it safe to enter the location? What type of equipment will work best here?

As soon as I have answered these questions satisfactorily, I can then plan the investigation.

I don't know where to start looking for locations

Some good places to start include:

  • Old abandoned buildings - houses, churches, institutions (seek permission)
  • Old graveyards (be respectful at all times and do not investigate if the graveyard is still in current use)
  • Mass rocks, stone circles, fairy rings and other places like these with a lot of stories or folklore attached to them (seek permission if necessary)
  • Private houses if the occupants request you to help them
  • Former battlefields
  • Ancient forests

There are many more, suitable places. I tend to treat everywhere as a possible location - even the local pub or butcher shop!

Abandoned farmhouse

Word of mouth

A lot of the investigations that I have attended have come about from a chance remark or a direct request from the owner or occupant of the property. On these types of investigations, the onus is on the investigator to try to debunk the claims made by the occupants.
  • Cold spots - could be just that. A current of cold air, which can easily be tracked, can often be caused by something as simple as a window not properly latched.
  • Dark shadows and feeling of being watched - can be caused by high levels of emf in the house.
  • Nausea, being ill at ease and even feelings of dread - can all be symptoms of the emf being too high.
  • Noises - even the sound of footsteps can be caused by water pipes, central heating or just the normal noises houses make at different times
Even if nothing of a paranormal nature is found at the location, it can still be a learning experience.

Look around at your local area. There are probably lots of possible locations. Why not try investigating a few of them? And if you don't feel like doing that...

Give me a call!

The former home of Edmond Shuldham

More questions

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Why Paranormal Investigating?

When I tell people that I am a paranormal investigator there are a number of questions I am always asked.
I can sum up these questions as follows;
Who What Why When and Where

Who do you go ghost hunting with?
There are a lot of people like me, who enjoy trying to find answers to what seems like unanswerable questions. I am happy to go with anyone so long as they are respectful, sober, interested (either as believers or non believers,  it doesn't matter to me) and can work as a team (in the event of an emergency it is important to know that you can trust the people around you)

Myself with some of the members of Cork Supernatural Society

What is the scariest thing you have ever seen?
It's not all about seeing things. All the senses come into play.

Sight I think the scariest thing I have seen was on my first ever investigation. I saw a black explosion of energy. It didn't feel evil or anything like that. it just gave me a fright. It was as big as an average person and just exploded into the doorway beside me. Nobody else saw or felt a thing even though we were all standing together.

Hearing I have heard footsteps echoing on the stone flags in an abandoned castle from an unseen pair of boots as the energy moved around the whole team. We had all heard movement in the corridor and asked if anyone wanted to come and join us in the room. The footsteps were loud and clear as if an actual person was striding among us.

Smell Sometimes, on entering a room - even in an old ruin, I have caught a quick aroma of cigarettes, cigars or perfume. Other team members have smelt sulphur like smells or rotting smells where, in each case, the smell disappears quickly and we were unable to trace the source.

Taste Occasionally, just before the emf meters react, I have noticed a coppery taste in my mouth.

Touch I have felt touches quite a lot of times. I slipped going up a stone staircase and an unseen hand caught my elbow and steadied me. I have felt an unseen arm go around my waist to give me a quick cuddle. Children seem to love making contact. I have often felt small hands pushing at my back if I am sitting down and I once felt a small child climb onto my lap and wriggle around.

Feelings I have been overcome with sadness for absolutely no reason in a particular part of my parent's home and later found out that a young woman from the early 1900s used to be seen (in her own lifetime) crying at the same window.

The beautiful Redwood Castle

Why do you only go out at night?
Ghost do not only haunt at night but as I, and most of the teams I investigate with, work during the day it is not possible to get everyone together during the day. Also, at night there is less risk of contamination from everyday events - mobile phones ringing or affecting the emf meters, traffic, people making a nuisance of themselves etc.

When is the best time to see ghosts?
There is no "best" time to see a ghost. If this was the case, there would be no paranormal investigators as we could all just go and visit a ghost whenever we wanted!
During our own investigations, I have noticed that the most active times are when the atmosphere is calm, relaxed and happy. Perhaps our positive energy is simply drawing other positive energy from around us? I don't know. This is what compels me to keep investigating.

Where do you go?
Anywhere - within reason. I prefer old abandoned buildings but I also enjoy investigating private houses. I love hearing stories about different places and then, when I get the chance to go and investigate for myself. I can't resist!

Elizabeth Fort

Further Reading