If you are always curious about things that go bump in the night, if your idea of a good date night is searching the dark woods for signs and clues that Bigfoot might exist, if you’d rather watch a good scary movie or sci-fi drama involving aliens and the supernatural, then you might also be interested in turning your sometimes hobby into something more seriously resembling a career. OK, so investigating the supernatural isn’t always easy. And it isn’t always respected. But if you already have an interest in it, well then you are halfway there, my friend.
Step One: Don’t be a ‘Fraidy Cat
No. But seriously. You have to be pretty brave to venture into the unknown and have other people trust you with their paranormal needs. You can’t jump at every boo or run screaming every time you feel a cool breeze. Shaggy from Scooby Doo you cannot be, people! So ask yourself: Are you cool under pressure? Do you like the idea of a ghost rather than feel frightened? Would you stay and take a photo of Bigfoot or run? If you can answer these questions and still feel confident, you are ready for step two.
Step Two: Gather equipment
You at least need: Video recorders and cameras with infrared capabilities, thermal cameras, magnetometer, X-ray and UV scanners that can “measure magnetic properties, internal ‘structures’ and surface properties of objects that move on their own,” and an accelerometer to measure vibration. These items are expensive, but you might be able to get them used or through groups you join once you start to establish yourself.
Step Three: Try Investigating Places That May Have Paranormal Activity
Once you have some basic equipment, the next step is to start to use it. Experiment with it in places you suspect might be haunted or places where you think there might be paranormal activity. Set it up in the woods over night and then investigate your footage. See what happens. You might find nothing. You will probably find nothing, but you will at least have the practice for the eventual big moment where you do find something.
Step Four: Network and Join a Group
Once you have established yourself by starting to independently work, it’s time to join a crew. Networking clubs and organizations can help you swap and share stories and equipment, get in on big projects, and generally learn how to do things from more seasoned pros who can help make you better as you learn and grow. ParanormalInvestigators.org is a good place to start.
Step Five: Volunteer to Help
One of the good things about clubs is that you can offer to help others who might have more experience. If they invite you along, consider it an apprenticeship and go and learn as much as you can. A beginner has to begin somewhere.
Step Six: Set Goals and Don’t Give Up
Being a paranormal investigator is not a well-established or respected occupation. You will get teased. You will fail. You will try and try again and may have to exercise extreme patience to get even the hint of success. If it matters to you, you won’t let that stop you. Push ahead. Believe. In yourself and all the craziness you want to uncover. The more you believe and push, the more likely it is to happen.