Chapter 1: An Important Message
Before we get started with the “how to” section, we must understand a few things. In the introduction, I listed the basic types of ghost hunting. As mentioned, it can be a fun and safe endeavor as long as you exercise common sense and have a good idea about what you are doing. For the first three groups mentioned, there is little if any danger. You are simply trying to experience a few things and learn along the way. As you pose no threat to any spirit, the likelihood is that you will not run into anything negative. Exercise common sense: for example, if at any time you get the feeling that you are being threatened or some little voice tells you that it is a good idea to leave a certain spot, listen to that voice!
I have been studying the fields of parapsychology and demonology (they are not the same thing) and I have been investigating paranormal phenomena for well over a quarter century and I have learned the importance of following my feelings. This is not a fear thing we are talking about for fear is natural; it is simply knowing that something may not be right and listening to that little voice. I am not suggesting that you will be tarred and feathered if you ignore that little voice but you may find yourself in a hairy situation, one that may take away your interest in the field in a hurry. This is why I say that you must exercise common sense. If you get the feeling that you should leave, do it. There is nothing to be gained in trying to “tough it out.” You are not running from fear, you are using common sense. Hey, I have a high tolerance for pain but I know better than to stick my hand in the fire.
Investigating potentially serious hauntings is not the same as ghost hunting. Trying to compare the two is like comparing apples and oranges. Just because someone is an experienced “ghost hunter” does not make them an investigator and it does little to prepare them to battle potentially evil forces. I am not trying to dissuade anyone from getting into this line of work; God knows we need as many competent ones as we can find. The thing is that you must know exactly what you are doing before you are in a position to diagnose a problem and help with the solution to said problem.
Investigating a human “haunting” is not necessarily a dangerous thing but it does have certain risks. The possibility of having the spirit in question follow you home is fairly high, especially if that spirit has been able to determine that you are frightened by it. This can be disruptive in many ways. However, it is not likely dangerous unless you panic. Human spirits really cannot do much to hurt us. The vast majority of cases, injuries result from an over-reaction to phenomenon. You can translate that to mean that most injuries occur from ones attempt to get away from a frightening experience. There is nothing wrong with being frightened; every investigator has found themselves frightened at one time or another. The important issue is how you react to that fear. Panic during an investigation is dangerous in two ways. For openers, you can become injured. The second problem is that you will cause harm for the people you are trying to help. They will view you as a professional. If they see that you are terrified, how will that make them feel? I have seen this happen many times. The effect this has on the victims is devastating. If you have not reached the point where you can withstand frightening occurrences, you are not ready to investigate potentially negative hauntings. That is not to say that you will not be ready, it just means that you need more time. However, this field is not for everyone. Not everyone can pass the “basement” test. (That will be discussed shortly.)
When it comes to demonic hauntings, it is an entirely different animal. Should you find yourself in an investigation that has demonic overtones, the best advice in the world is to refer the case to someone experienced in those types of hauntings. There are very real dangers involved in demonic cases. Although they are very rare, (despite what you see on the Internet) they do take place. You must make sure you know what to look for whenever you do an investigation. If you see signs of a demonic presence, use common sense.
If this sounds like some arrogant, superior attitude, let me apologize for that is the last thing I want to do. There is a reason why I am stating all of this and it has nothing to do with you as a person. There are many out there who will make great investigators. However, there is a problem with our “information age.” A quick look through paranormal websites can be eye-opening, to say the least. There are literally hundreds of websites where people claim to be parapsychologists or demonologists or exorcists. In many instances, these sites are professionally done. A beautiful website means nothing more than the fact that they have a great webmaster. It does not mean they know “jack” about investigating demonic hauntings. You have to look carefully at the material on those sites. There are some in the alphabet game as I call them who claim to have been involved in “hundreds of exorcisms.” Any group that makes such a claim has probably never been confronted by a real demon. Most would not know a demon if it bit them on the ass. I am sorry to tell them this but a book or two falling off a shelf or a closet door that slams shut does not make for a demonic haunting.
Demons and devils do exist and they sometimes directly interfere directly with us but this is extremely rare. I cannot emphasize that enough. Reading some of these sites can be dangerous because they trivialize the demonic world and that does several things: 1) It hurts every professional in the field because it makes it look like we are all nuts. 2) It gives the impression that demons are no big deal and that they are something everyone can handle. Trust me when I tell you that is not so. There is nothing trivial about demons and their abilities. Should you find yourself involved in a demon infested house, you are in real trouble. You are in even bigger trouble if you have the mistaken notion that they are no big deal. I hate listening to stories told by other investigators about how they did “this and that” with the demon in the California case or how they “outsmarted” the devils in New York. These people are dangerous, no matter how good their intentions may be.
You are not going to see too much in this class about demons and very little about how to work a demonic haunting. Believe me when I tell you that taking this course, reading a few books, (including mine) do not make you qualified to work a demonic haunting. It takes years of learning and investigating and some extremely strong belief systems to qualify you for that type of work. If that is what you want to do, I am sure you will succeed at it and I would gladly offer as much help as I can. However, make sure you are ready for that because the stakes are high. Reading a book or two about the Warren’s, (the world’s most famous self promotion team) will not do it. Neither will attending a lecture or two about the Amityville Horror. There are plenty of people out there, some famous and some infamous who will trivialize demonic encounters or boast about them to make themselves look special. Run; do not walk from those types. They have never dealt with a demon before and they are dangerous.
Be careful too regarding the books you read. Some of the most popular books on the market today are about Deliverance. Here again, we find demons trivialized. Some of these books make it seem as if all we have to do is say a quick prayer or two, bind and cast the demon out. Then you can go to lunch. I repeat, people who act this way do not have clue one when it comes to a demonic problem. One hopes they never find themselves in a situation of that magnitude; they may be hurt badly.
Although the Catholic Church is often criticized about the way they investigate demonic cases, they know what they are doing. If you want to learn more about demonic hauntings, look for those written by Catholic priests.