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Levelheaded Paranormal Location Selection


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#1 EVP

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Posted 21 October 2018 - 03:31 AM

We need to make choices we will not regret….

I am not going to turn this thread into what I believe is important but offer a small contribution. I hope others will add with their own taste of common sense as criteria to a final choice on where to investigate.

I will concentrate in one area of concern.

Personal Health Concerns

I am seeing more and more exploration into abandoned buildings or institutions long forgotten. This may be tempting to investigate as they hold history and mystique but there may be latency consequences if research is inadequately performed.

I know of a sanitarium that has not been used for over a quarter of a century but the structure dates much further back where asbestos was used as insulation. The walls are broken and exposed waiting for a long-term victim to enter with curiosity.

Asbestos exposure: The primary risk factor for mesothelioma

You do not want this disease. It is incurable and it can take 20 to 40 years or more for mesothelioma to develop after asbestos exposure.

I cannot stress enough the importance of healthy lungs. I am a casualty of COPD. I can speak with experience.

Here is my short story of a brush with a toxic environment while investigating.

Our team took on a new member after one of our presentations. He was very experienced (or so we thought) and had several appearances on television as the tech manager for a prestigious paranormal team.

Much like other teams, we were always on the lookout for new locations. We adhered to protocols in selection. Other than research, we would schedule a preliminary scouting as part of our routine but we waved it this time because of the new member’s credentials. We assumed the proper inspections were performed by this recognized team.

The location was an abandoned tire company occupying several floors in a desolate part of a large city in CT.  Our setups were mostly hardwired with dedicated cabling of both video cameras and microphones. We homebased typically 100 feet plus from where the cameras and microphones were located.

The top floor consisted of broken windows beyond repair aiding the depositing of gulls bathroom duties. The floor was disgusting which ruled out even the remote possibility of even a single camera or microphone. We settled on wiring the second floor and home basing on the first.

Dropping cables on the floor and feeding them back to the home base was eye opening. The floor was so heavily ladened with dust and dirt, as we fed the cables back to home base they would literally disappear from eyesight.

Our investigation reaped no physical evidence, but our health was heavily tampered with. I was forced to see a doctor with difficulty in breathing. Three days later, I returned to work. No doubt, my lungs might be overly sensitive because of my COPD but one other member developed a cough immediately after that did not dissipate for several months.

Please don’t endanger your health in exchange for investigation.

So what’s your suggestions? I am sure everyone has something to contribute here. Even the experienced can learn from others. Greetings my friends....

Edited by EVP, 21 October 2018 - 03:43 AM.


#2 Vlawde

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Posted 21 October 2018 - 08:23 AM

There are some abandoned places I'd love to investigate because of their history and reported activity. I don't know that I'd want to investigate a place like you did though. Although it pains me to refer to Zak Bagans, you'll notice he wears a mask in older places like that. A must IMO, especially if asbestos is involved.

My personal preferences are investigating smaller businesses and people's homes -- although with homes we found were just people wanting their homes to be haunted because it looks cool on TV, or misinterpreting normal stuff for this reason.
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#3 ParanormalEmpath

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Posted 21 October 2018 - 10:42 PM

Not only is asbestos a concern but it can be found in major components of old buildings, including insulation, pipe wraps, floor coverings, wall coverings, ceiling tiles, roofing and many, many other building materials.  An equally dangerous concern in old buildings and homes

is the presence of lead paint, lead paint chips, lead paint dust.  Lead poisoning can have both short term and long term repercussions.  When a structure is breached by the elements, remains unheated and uncooled for years or even decades, water & moisture rot and decay wood and materials and can become a breeding ground for various types of mold (some deadly) and fungi.   I have been in commercial buildings where unidentifiable drums of chemicals have been left open on the premises or their contents leaking out.   I have been in the building science business/construction for 40 years and this is an important thread by EVP. Also, wood rot, termite damage, water damage, metal rust/fatigue can cause floors. ceilings and stairways to collapse without any warning.   Unsecured buildings can also have very alive squatters lurking in them as a potential threat.  You want to do a paranormal investigation not become one of the spirits that might occupy a building due to a tragic accident.   It is always smart to talk to several people who know the house or building well.  Find out how long it has been since someone has been inside.  Always get permission to enter from the Owner, take that person or persons with you.  Make a day time building inspection to determine if the building is safe enough to hunt.  Wear a proper filter mask (not a cheap paint mask) on your walk through.  If it is readily apparent that the building is in a huge state of disrepair photograph any dangerous looking areas and if you can't identify what something is (like black mold) ask someone who can.  Make a sketch of the building for your team and highlight dangerous areas.  For buildings or houses that still have active utilities in them (gas, electric, oil, etc.) there are other potential dangers as in carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide poisoning, sewer gases, natural gas leaks, shock or fire hazards.  All of this doesn't mean that you can't investigate,  it is just wise to identify unsafe areas or conditions so that if you decide to hunt, then you can quarantine areas that your team shouldn't go and make sure to wear the right protective equipment.   We always try to hunt safely and with rules so everyone comes home safe.  Also we restrict our investigation team to no more than 5 people so we can easily keep track of everyone.   Next time you watch a paranormal show and someone gets faint, sick or a headache just maybe it isn't being caused by contact with a spirit...



#4 EVP

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 01:49 AM

View PostVlawde, on 21 October 2018 - 08:23 AM, said:

There are some abandoned places I'd love to investigate because of their history and reported activity. I don't know that I'd want to investigate a place like you did though. Although it pains me to refer to Zak Bagans, you'll notice he wears a mask in older places like that. A must IMO, especially if asbestos is involved.

My personal preferences are investigating smaller businesses and people's homes -- although with homes we found were just people wanting their homes to be haunted because it looks cool on TV, or misinterpreting normal stuff for this reason.

Thanks for chipping in Vlawde. The tire factory was an exception and that was a once done never again. Our team investigated mostly well maintained historical buildings. This was an asset not only to our personal health, but access to a level of historical research that typically can't be found in personal dwellings. Our presentations were location relatable that the audience could identify with. Much easier for one to grasp a popular Inn or a restored 18th century schoolhouse than John Smith's personal dwelling.

In my earlier days, I investigated personal dwellings but I noticed a pattern from the homeowner. that usually was disingenuous. After several interviews and discussion in our findings we found more than once there were unresolved issues with Aunt Betty that they felt we could help them with or they were interested in 15 minutes of fame. Investigating historical buildings offered a level observed professionalism. We sought to be a respected group, just one of our main mission statements.

Edited by EVP, 22 October 2018 - 01:51 AM.


#5 KlaineyGStudy

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 02:13 AM

Very good advice. Thanks for starting the thread EVP :yes:
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#6 EVP

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 03:52 AM

View PostParanormalEmpath, on 21 October 2018 - 10:42 PM, said:

Not only is asbestos a concern but it can be found in major components of old buildings, including insulation, pipe wraps, floor coverings, wall coverings, ceiling tiles, roofing and many, many other building materials.  An equally dangerous concern in old buildings and homes is the presence of lead paint, lead paint chips, lead paint dust.  Lead poisoning can have both short term and long term repercussions.  When a structure is breached by the elements, remains unheated and uncooled for years or even decades, water & moisture rot and decay wood and materials and can become a breeding ground for various types of mold (some deadly) and fungi.  


I have been in commercial buildings where unidentifiable drums of chemicals have been left open on the premises or their contents leaking out.   I have been in the building science business/construction for 40 years and this is an important thread by EVP. Also, wood rot, termite damage, water damage, metal rust/fatigue can cause floors. ceilings and stairways to collapse without any warning.   Unsecured buildings can also have very alive squatters lurking in them as a potential threat.  You want to do a paranormal investigation not become one of the spirits that might occupy a building due to a tragic accident.   It is always smart to talk to several people who know the house or building well.  Find out how long it has been since someone has been inside.  Always get permission to enter from the Owner, take that person or persons with you.  Make a day time building inspection to determine if the building is safe enough to hunt.  Wear a proper filter mask (not a cheap paint mask) on your walk through.  If it is readily apparent that the building is in a huge state of disrepair photograph any dangerous looking areas and if you can't identify what something is (like black mold) ask someone who can.  Make a sketch of the building for your team and highlight dangerous areas.  


For buildings or houses that still have active utilities in them (gas, electric, oil, etc.) there are other potential dangers as in carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide poisoning, sewer gases, natural gas leaks, shock or fire hazards.  All of this doesn't mean that you can't investigate,  it is just wise to identify unsafe areas or conditions so that if you decide to hunt, then you can quarantine areas that your team shouldn't go and make sure to wear the right protective equipment.   We always try to hunt safely and with rules so everyone comes home safe.  Also we restrict our investigation team to no more than 5 people so we can easily keep track of everyone.   Next time you watch a paranormal show and someone gets faint, sick or a headache just maybe it isn't being caused by contact with a spirit...


Great addition to the thread PE. There are so many posed toxic dangers in older building as you mentioned from lead paint, leftover chemicals that were not discarded properly, infectious mold and toxic gases.

I only touched the surface and you laid the groundwork for other possible invisible warnings.

I will add one more additional concern in case it is overlooked by other contributors.

Building Integrity

Aged buildings over time deteriorate and if maintenance is not properly introduced someone may find the misfortune of falling through multiple floors from disrepair.

Several years ago, down on the coast of CT, the police were called in to a grisly discovery. A vagrant trying to escape the cooler temperatures of the autumn had fallen through 2 floors of a sanitarium and landed in the basement with 2 broken legs.

Unfortunately, he was not able to find his way out being incapacitated and died from dehydration/lack of food and lack of medical attention. Definitely another case with “SAFETY IN NUMBERS”.

The sanitarium had No Trespassing signs but that did not stop his intrusion.

I hope someone addresses the “NO TRESPASSING” in this thread. It’s an obvious that frequently is ignored.

Edited by EVP, 22 October 2018 - 03:57 AM.