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What's In Your Bag?


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#1 EVP

 

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 05:05 PM

For those who actively investigate, what tools do you feel are vital to perform a successful investigation and do you feel performing preliminaries are important? Your welcome to include the "WHY" part. The "WHY" part might be the best part of the thread.

I'll leave my solo details until later.

This might help Menet since she has plans conducting an investigation shortly.
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#2 Vlawde

 

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 05:59 PM

Prelimenaries are very important. Often we'd interview the clients and check out the place before setting up an investigation, and found many just WANTED the place to be haunted because they saw it on TV. There were quite a few we never investigated because they were obviously delusional or just wanting to brag they had ghosthunters in their house. Aside from those cases, we found it was a good time to ask questions, find out where activity and happened and what kind of activity was happening so we could be better prepared when we came back to do the investigation. One time we drove 2 or so hours out of town to do a prelim. Wasted trip, and no reason to think there was anything really happening. Whole town was tweakers and sex offenders (honest!)

I'd say a flashlight. I always have several maglights in my case, since you're in the dark a lot, it has a lot to do with safety, as well as looking for equipment in your case, etc.

I always carry a still camera (not a rotten cell phone camera). It's good for snapping pics of the area being investigated for future reference. However, I can say I've never gotten anything I'd consider paranormal using a still camera.

Videocamera with night shot capability. I think Sony actually discontinued their nightshot series. I have captured some interesting anomalies with it. Sparks and sudden flashes of light, some movement, etc.

A monitor may not be necessary for all investigations, but if you want to keep an eye on a room with a static camera, or even with an investigator in the room, it is helpful.

LOTS of extension cords and batteries, and video cables, especially if a monitor will be in use

And of course infrared lights so the videocam CAN be used in the dark. I started with a small battery-run IR attachment to the camera, but it tended to light up a small area like a flashlight would, so I invested in a larger IR light that ran on electricity, and did a good job of lighting up a room.

Digital recorder is a must. I think we got much more evidence in the form of EVPs  than by any other means. It's important to learn all it's functions before taking it out in the field.

EMF detector can be helpful, especially to determine if electrical stuff could be emitting high EMF and affecting the residents perception...or maybe stimulating paranormal activity

I've never found digital thermometers to be helpful, but your mileage may vary.

And of course a case to put all this in! I'm not a fan of ghost boxes/Ovilus type equipment. random words and radio snippets at best IMO. I used ones that belonged to others and didn't think they were worth investing in, but again. your mileage may vary.

Just as if not more important, is your senses. It may not PROVE anything, but take the time to sit in silence, listen, etc
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#3 Kristin

 

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 08:47 AM

I'm not to sure on this but I think if you got free hands video tape with your cell phone. I know a lot of people would disagree but I think you should Menet also after you do your thing in the dark. Go through again in the light. I don't believe they hide in the dark but once you've gone through in the dark, you now have their attention and you might get lucky and capture something in the light...  GOOD LUCK MENET!!!!!!

#4 Menet

 

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 11:17 AM

I think this is an excellent topic but I think it could be written for those that are younger and potentially up and coming investigators.  Unfortunately, young adults don't always have the cash for the equipment like those of us who have worked our entire lives and pursued what we were interested in.

It's an excellent topic.

I'm taking that flashlight, Vlawde and thank you, Kristen.   I'm sure that cellphone will come in handy.
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#5 moiraesfate

 

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 03:39 PM

I don't. The most I'll do is pictures. I'm a sensitive so I try not to do anything to encourage them to bug me.

#6 EVP

 

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Posted 19 October 2017 - 04:50 AM

Preliminary Walkthroughs

I will keep this list mostly for solo exploration. Working in a team environment allows much more complicated setups for audio/video monitoring especially when you have the cooperation of others.

Preliminary investigations/walkthroughs are very important for a multitude of reasons and preferably performed during the day. This gives you the opportunity of meeting the proprietor/homeowner and discuss at greater length experiences that might not have been mentioned either through an email or by the phone. Walking through the establishment also gives you a better understanding of the layout and possibly a game plan for the investigation to potential areas you might want to monitor more thoroughly. Make sure you audio record during the walk-through.

Although my original topic mentioned solo as in “What’s In My Bag”, I cannot stress enough the importance investigating in pairs in case of a collective experience and more importantly from a safety aspect.

Equipment in No Order of Preference

Lights

Flashlights are indispensable in dark environments and having multiple sources of light are a necessity in the event of a failure. I am particularly fond of headlamps because it will keep your hands free for other equipment.

Notepad & Pen

This is a carryover of old school methods but they are just as important now as they were 20 years ago. Logging events with a timestamp could collaborate a mutually shared experience. Pen & paper can also be it effective in location logging when one moves around the establishment.

Audio Equipment

Thankfully, digital audio recorders have been much more affordable than the yesteryears and having multiple recorders allow you the freedom of monitoring several locations at one time. I use several different types but a quality recorder can be found for sixty dollars. Olympus seems be very popular.

I also bring an analog cassette recorder (Marantz PMD 430) along with a pair of dynamic microphones but that is not practical nowadays for most as quality tapes are now astronomical in price.

*Note* In my exploration the single most often found evidence is audio.

Cellphone

To place calls, obtain weather data & general information if need be but I turn the phone off when I am actively investigating. If you are monitoring with AC EMF meters, the cell towers cycle periodically which will spike your meter.

EMF Meters

I use both AC and DC/Magnetic meters and prefer the Tri-Field Natural for anomalous monitoring. AC meters are useful for manmade field that could affect humans. The Tri-Field Natural is unique as it zeros out and monitors fluctuations from a base reading. Unfortunately, this meter is a stationary meter and is not meant for one in motion.

*Note* I do not consider meters a necessity and have reduced their use primarily for readings at the start of an investigation and at the end. The exception would be when the atmospheric conditions seem to change and looking for a validation.

Digital Camera

There are mixed trains of thought about using a camera for evidence collection. I see them useful for documenting but I always have one available at an investigation. Including a tripod and remote trigger will aid in low light conditions removing camera shake.

You do not have to spend a bundle on camera equipment for paranormal use. In fact, I am using an old Canon T2i that can be found cheaply on eBay. I would recommend an APS-C sensor for lower light conditions. This will remove artifact commonly found in camera with sensor sizes proven inadequate. I am a Canon fan boy but the best value right now is a used Nikon D7000. It is great under low light conditions with an abundance of features found in higher end cameras.

Film cameras are for the brave.I am not one of those regardless of having a SLR background.

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Handheld Video Camera

Definitely a mainstay for validation. Nothing beats visually a video camera capable of producing 30 fps to record an investigation. Accessories IR boosters can be a benefit but there is not any crime leaving the lights on either. Performing investigations in the dark can be interesting but not a necessity. The media loves the photo reflective eyes produced in dark environments with IR for drama.

Sony has now discontinued all of the Sony Handi-cams that were consumer grade with IR. Unfortunately, they hold a patent on the technology and other manufacturers are limited in usage. If thrifty, one can find analog and some HD version on eBay still.

Spare Batteries

I only use rechargeable Panasonic Eneloops because of the significant cost on throwaways on long term. They are consistent and do not suffer from failure found on low-end batteries. They will also save your equipment from damage. Unless you remove store bought batteries, you stand a chance in bursting if left in for long durations.

Folding Chair

This was learned from experience in several ways. Sitting quietly during a “dark vigil” cannot always be obtained by parking yourself on the floor. Less noise equals less contamination in audio.

Most importantly, I witnessed a huge no no when a tired investigator decided to sit on some historic furniture and yes, something broke. That was the real catch-point for importance. ALWAYS bring a folding chair when investigating historic locations.

Other Considerations

• The most important piece of equipment is a logical, critical mind. Make sure you are well rested.
• Always bring food and beverages.
• Ensure you have eaten prior to investigations. You need to stay focused and not worry about your stomach.
• Walkie-talkies if you plan on roaming with another investigator.

I carry most of this equipment in 3 bags. Equipment requirements will change when working in a team environment.

Most of what I have written is redundant. Vlawde did an excellent job of outlining essentially the same I have. He was thorough and detailed which is an absolute being a consummate investigator. I also appreciate others willing to contribute their valuable time and post in this thread. Thank you all!!

Happy Hauntings All!

Edited by EVP, 19 October 2017 - 06:11 AM.

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#7 Kristin

 

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Posted 19 October 2017 - 06:24 AM

EVP!!  LOL!!! Your suppose to take pics with the cell phone!!!! Not go surfing the web!!!! :)

#8 EVP

 

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Posted 19 October 2017 - 06:59 AM

View PostKristin, on 19 October 2017 - 06:24 AM, said:

EVP!!  LOL!!! Your suppose to take pics with the cell phone!!!! Not go surfing the web!!!! :)

I have a digital camera for images, I sometimes forget to log daily solar activity, moon phase, weather conditions and most importantly nearby coffee houses and that is where my cellphone comes in handy :)

Edited by EVP, 19 October 2017 - 07:00 AM.

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#9 PIT leader

 

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Posted 19 October 2017 - 07:43 AM

My friends and I are amateur hunters and do it for the experience rather than as a scientific study (although we do take it seriously.) We stick to public places like parks, rather than doing private investigations. I always bring:

- a digital camera
- smartphone (can take photos, can be used as a light and is useful if somebody fell in the dark or for any other emergency)
- 2 flashlights, one operated by batteries and another that you wind up
- a rune necklace I bought from a stall that apparently protects against evil spirits
- food and drinks (I always get hungry around midnight, I swear I'm a gremlin haha)

Any significant events during the night are written down in the notes section of my diary as soon as I get home (usually 1:30-2AM) and any photos I believe have potential evidence are uploaded to my laptop the day after.
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#10 EVP

 

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 12:07 AM

View PostPIT leader, on 19 October 2017 - 07:43 AM, said:

My friends and I are amateur hunters and do it for the experience rather than as a scientific study (although we do take it seriously.) We stick to public places like parks, rather than doing private investigations. I always bring:
  • a digital camera
  • smartphone (can take photos, can be used as a light and is useful if somebody fell in the dark or for any other emergency)
  • 2 flashlights, one operated by batteries and another that you wind up
  • a rune necklace I bought from a stall that apparently protects against evil spirits
  • food and drinks (I always get hungry around midnight, I swear I'm a gremlin haha)
Any significant events during the night are written down in the notes section of my diary as soon as I get home (usually 1:30-2AM) and any photos I believe have potential evidence are uploaded to my laptop the day after.

To be perfectly honest, I have given up private home investigations entirely for several reasons. It becomes increasingly difficult resourcing historical data. I remain unconvinced historical data always has a link to a haunting, although historical findings can sometimes point to avenues that would remain unexplored. The owners sometimes also have a hidden agenda as already mentioned  Some homeowners are looking for answers of relatives passed while others are interested in using a paranormal team as a conversation piece when in fact there is little evidence of any activity. During presentations, audiences identify much easier when a historical location is mentioned instead of Joe’s Garage.

I see you have implemented a more spiritual side to your investigation than myself. I have worked with pagans, mediums, diviners with some very interesting results.

I cannot say I work in a scientific manner because I cannot replicate events with consistency but I do enjoy documenting and looking for clues that will remain unexplained or have an applied natural cause.

Thank you for sharing your words. It is through different approaches in this field we all can grow.

Edited by EVP, 20 October 2017 - 12:39 AM.

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#11 KlaineyGStudy

 

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 12:55 AM

I am going to take some time to read it all EVP. :)
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#12 EVP

 

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 02:02 AM

View PostKlaineyGStudy, on 20 October 2017 - 12:55 AM, said:

I am going to take some time to read it all EVP. :)

Thanks Klainey, it's nice to know I'm not always ignored. LOL :)
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