A few weekends ago, I booked a tour for a paranormal investigation with the Gettysburg Paranormal Association in Gettysburg, PA.
Known for their booming paranormal industry and the collected number of reported ghost sightings, Gettysburg, PA is well known for spiritual activity and when we arrived in town, nearly every other shop is one focusing on ‘ghost tours.’
My experience with paranormal investigations is minimal, though, I have many clients and blog readers who participate regularly in investigating the spiritual occurrences found in homes, historic sites and famous locations. All that I knew about paranormal investigative teams have come from what I have learned from television, online searching and . . .well, that’s about it.
I’ve never wanted to be a paranormal investigator.
The thought of going into a place in the dark, with Spirits I don’t know present and trying to communicate seemed like too much work to me. And also, kind of scary. Plus, I have plenty of Spirits that I see and communicate with naturally on a day to day basis and as part of my business, I really didn’t see the need.
I felt the same way about paranormal investigations the same way I have always felt about deer hunting -
“That’s great, but I don’t want to be the one out there to sit alone in a cold place in the dark, when I could be cozy in my bed. To each their own, I guess.”
Still, I knew I needed to learn more.
Blogging about Spirits as a medium, how could I not have an educated perspective on the whole other half of my field - investigators?
I never needed physical evidence, because I receive so much validation from clients, but I understand some people do. I have also thought many times about ways to physically reproduce the sensations I feel before sessions. But, being a scientist at heart, I wanted to learn how to record the physical data that so many mediums struggle with providing their family, friends and clients.
So, I booked a tour to do a paranormal investigation - to go out with some ghost hunters and be given an opportunity to learn about and use all the investigative tools that these people face.
The tour was on a Monday night and it started at 9pm EST.
Before the tour, as we waited, we decided to waste some time and went to an old, underground Tavern for Pumpkin Martinis before we had to use our skills. Was I doing a professional reading? No. I was just a guest! And they were delicious.
While at dinner, we contemplated.
Would we tell them who we were?
Would I admit to being a medium?
How under cover do we want to be?
Who will the other guests be?
Will they be professional, or like the ghost hunters on TV?
After we finished our drinks, we walked next door to pick up our tickets. The woman who helped us had beautiful blue eyes and was very friendly. She gave us some coupons to use at other shops while in town and asked us to fill out a release form, which basically said, “You can’t sue us if you fall through a floorboard and don’t look where you’re going.” Fair, I thought. And I signed.
Before we left to the sites with our group - we’d be investigating two that night - they went over how to behave in an investigation, how to use the equipment we’d be given and basically, the best practices of investigating for ghosts.
In my paranormal toolkit, there were these supplies:
Electromagnetic Field Sensors - one to carry around and one you could sit down and leave in a room
A Shadow Net Sensor - a laser pointer that cast a shot of mini beams into a space, which would be non-existent or lighter in the case of a denser (Spirit) presence in the room)
Two Temperature Sensors - one to measure the temperature in one space vs. another that also measured electromagnetic fields (dense energy fields, present when a Spirit is trying to manifest).
Two Dowsing Rods - to use to communicate with Spirit in the way you would use a pendulum, for yes/no communications
An Infrared Light - to capture energy outside of the visible human light spectrum and use it with the video camera
A Video Camera - to capture images caught with the infrared light on film
A Scanning Radio - to capture Spirit Voices in the white noise while the radio scanned
A Thermal Imager - to capture energy changes that are non-human, such as shapes of spirit bodies, handprints or footprints that are from a non-human source
A Digital Voice Recorder (EVP) - to capture everything we said, and Spirit said in the in-between human conversation, when we were asking (or not asking) questions.
A Digital Camera - to capture frozen images of things caught while attempting to communicate
Why did they give me so many different ways to capture a Spirit?
“Why do we need all this?,” I asked Lacey.
Lacey replied, “Because different Spirits like to communicate in different ways. Some of them know how to use certain tools to communicate, while others don’t. It depends on each Spirit, but they all have a preference for how they like to communicate.”
I was shocked, but I don’t know why. This is exactly what I teach.
Each Spirit is an individual and as such, they all have a preferred way of communication. It’s up to the medium to be proficient is as many types of communication as possible to be able to pick up the messages. In the classes, we teach you all the direct (tool-free) communication methods, so you can be proficient.
So, with our tools, our black bag, and our excitement, we were off to the first site.
We went spent over 3 hours investigating and trying out all the physical communication tools and recorders and afterwards, our opinion on Spirits was basically the same - they exist.
After the Investigation
My opinion on paranormal investigators had changed.
At no point did anyone yell or instigate.
In fact, it was strongly discouraged - just like I advocate.
At no point were we placed in a dangerous situation to get a rise out of any Spirit.
We had our external (physical) communication tools and if a Spirit wanted to communicate, they did. If they didn’t, they didn’t.
And my significant other pointed what I was already thinking - there is a huge disconnect between Spirit Mediums and Paranormal Investigators. While some mediums are on paranormal teams, by and large, they are two completely different sides of the same coin.
Both groups seek to communicate with Spirit.
Both groups have fundamentally different ways of doing so.
Both groups seek to understand the Spirit World, in a by and large, respectful way.
Mediumship is direct, intuitive communication.
Paranormal Investigation is direct, physical communication.
They are simply two processes to get to the same place - authentic communication with Spirit.
Neither groups are inherently doing ‘it’ better or worse than the other. And neither group is inherently better or worse at their approach to connecting with Spirit.
And while I still strongly state that I don’t need the evidence produced by paranormal investigators, I will admit that it’s necessary . . .and, that I’m looking forward to reviewing mine.
Until then, Paranormal Investigators, I appreciate you.
As for the recording of my sessions?
I’m thinking about getting a temperature gauge, a shadow net and a electromagnetic field sensor and plan to record the data I receive from before, during and after my own connections with Spirit. Kind of like a field notebook for a biologist, but rather than using it for wildlife interactions, I’ll be data recording known Spirit interactions.
And we’ll see what I find.
P.S. Are you interested in going on a ghost tour? I highly recommend that Gettysburg Paranormal Association, whose tour guides operate entirely on donations. If you go, make sure to bring ample gratuity to support your knowledgeable, professional and educated guides.
The sites we visited are unlisted on purpose, to preserve the safety, security and historical integrity of each location. For a complete list of sites the group visits, please contact the GPA directly.
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