Paranormal Investigators Share Secrets of the Trade

Paranormal Investigators Share Secrets of the Trade


What’s it like to be a paranormal investigator? Several pros in the field were recently interviewed and they shared some insider secrets, myths, and tidbits of the trade many people are unaware of.

1. Most paranormal investigators work for free

If you’re looking into becoming a paranormal investigator yourself for the promise of money – think again. Most paranormal investigators do not accept compensation for the work they do. It’s kind of an unwritten ethics rule of the trade, with many investigators believing it’s inappropriate to charge people who are desperate for help in seeking relief from hauntings or other forms of otherworldly harassment.

2. Most presumed hauntings have simple, reality-based explanations

The mysterious occurrences that people often attribute to hauntings, such as strange noises or weird electrical behavior, are usually traced to an explainable factor in physical reality, Mental Floss reports. Rather than ghosts or demonic presences, it turns out to be things such as rats, raccoons, squirrels, or simply faulty wiring. A lot of these critters tend to be more active at night.

3. Tools of the trade: You can buy them on Amazon

While Hollywood movies show a lot of devices used by paranormal investigators, real pros in the field say a lot of those devices are made up. However, there are certain tools that real-world paranormal rely on in investigations. Much of this paranormal investigation equipment can be purchased these days on Amazon. One of the most important pieces of gear is an electromagnetic field (EMF) meter, which detect sources of electromagnetic radiation.

Amazon even features complete kits such as the original ghost hunting kit or the ultimate ghost hunting kit.

4. Apartments are more difficult to investigate than houses

Mental Floss interviewed Anthony Duda, who’s been working in the field since 1992, and is a partner of SPIRITS of New England, a paranormal team that has been investigating since 2009. He says haunted apartments are particularly challenging for a number of reasons.

“The landlord isn’t going to tell you what happened—they want to rent the place, and they don’t want to open themselves up to a lawsuit,” Duda says. “And also, they may not even know, because there’s a parade of people renting the place, and you don’t know what someone did in that apartment or what took place. That’s the hardest.”

5. Most paranormal activity is human-spirit based, not demonic

Duda says that, while he has encountered “nonhuman spirits,” what could possibly be demonic, before, it is a rare occurrence. He says he doesn’t call them demons: “That makes it seem like Hollywood.” When there are growling sounds or mysterious injuries or animals, he regards them more as a negative entity.

6. October is the busiest time of year

If you had to guess what month out of the year would be the busiest, most people would probably guess October – and they’d be right. Actually, it’s when business picks up and continues throughout the winter months. The reason for this? Paranormal investigators believe it’s because of a couple of things. The Halloween season tends to make people want to notice things more. Secondly, people are home more and spending more time indoors during fall and winter.

“The more time people spend indoors, the more likely they are to question every creak in the floorboards and strange shadow in the attic,” Duda says.

7. Lastly, please don’t call them “Ghost Hunters”

Because of what they do, these experts say “paranormal investigator” is the most apt title for what they do, since they investigate the entire gamut and spectrum of the paranormal. They dislike the term “ghost hunter,” not only because it’s limiting, but it suggests someone who is probably more of a hobbyist. And on the subject of Ghost Hunters, not all paranormal investigators are necessarily fans of the reality show of the same name.

Mainly, because it can make the whole experience look more like entertainment, and the shows tend to come up with more places that are supposedly haunted, which isn’t necessarily as many as the variety of ghost and hunting-based shows make it seem.