MasterPo says: This blog is about topics and issues that are of importance to me. I am not one of the countless blogging lemmings that are tripping over each other scurrying down the hill and off the cliff of blogging oblivion trying to write the greatest blog on the latest topic de'jour. Your comments are welcome.

July 27, 2008

In the Beginning Was the Plan...

It is often been said that wars are won or lost not on the battle field but in the planning room. The same is just as true for a paranormal investigation. The success and effectiveness of the investigators and investigation can be made or broken by the planning, or lack thereof.

When investigating famous/infamous locations that are open to paranormal investigators (such as old prisons and hospitals) it is crucial to gather as much information about the layout as you can. Most locations have websites with photographs and diagrams. More information about famous locations can be found on other web sites too.

If practical, try to visit the site during the day time. If there is a daytime tour or visit possible take it even if there is an additional cost. When our group performed out first investigation of Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia we went on the day tour. This gave us a good understanding of the building layouts (as well as an historical background) so when we returned that night we knew better where to setup equipment.

During the investigation take photos of the facility for a record of the layout to help with planning future investigations. Make written notes too. Don't rely on memory. Use your photos and notes to carefully plan your future investigations at the same location.

Recently our group performed our second investigation of the Rolling Hills Asylum in upstate New York. Based on our knowledge and experiences learned from our first investigation the lead investigators were able to create very detailed plans, assigning exactly what equipment is to be placed where in the building. The result was a full setup of 7 cameras, 3 thermometers, a motion sensor, a laser, and several digital records all installed and ready in only 50 minutes!

Private home/business investigations have different challenges. Although similar, detailed photos and layouts are rarely available. That is why a pre-investigation interview on site with a walk through is important. This for both an understanding of the home/business layout as well as to note any safety issues. Most homes are not as big as more public locations so full equipment use is often limited. It also presents better to the client that you are going in with a plan and not discussing details of the setup on the spot.

And after the investigation write a post-mortem review of the investigation from the point of view of equipment use and setup. Note any problems/issues involved with setup (such as a lack of working outlets in a section of the location) or equipment issues (such as lots of unshielded electric wires that cause erroneous false high EMF readings).

Considering the cost and limited time at a location to investigate being on site without a plan is wasteful. While you do have to be flexible with what the specific circumstances are when you arrive at a location (even if you've been there before), a well thought out plan can maximize the time and effectiveness of your investigation team. It is an exercise well worth performing for each and every paranormal investigation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello PO!! Excellent read and OH so very true! I believe many "forget" the planning process. You have a gift with words and I plan to read more :) GOOD JOB!!

Jody (UM username She-ra)