Country to what popular TV paranormal shows would have you believe, paranormal investigation is not about an hour of thrill packed entertainment and scares. It is almost the exact opposite if truth be told.
We like to sit down with the client and discuss what is happening, how it makes them feel, what their concerns and worries are and what if anything they have done to try and resolve the issue. If you came to us and said your pipes are banging in the middle of the night, I would first ask if you had recently shut of your water and had a washing machine set nightly on delay for example).
Whilst we are eager to take on cases after talking to you we might deem we are not the right people to help you but will always go out of our way to make sure we do not leave you high and dry and put you in touch with someone who can help you. We have referred people to priests capable of performing exorcisms, in more malevolent cases, which we most certainly are not capable of doing.
We ask all our new clients to fill out our Client Investigation Agreement and Release form which protects our clients confidentiality and makes private any information they might divulge as well as making anything we uncover confidential and binds both parties to require mutual agreement should with party wish to share information. It also indemnifies us if we perform a cleansing (not to be confused with an exorcism) and your troubles are not resolved. I would have recommended an ordained minister long before we get to this point for the record.
We do have a lot of gear, mainly audio/visual to record whats going on as well as electrical diagnostic equipment to try and track down more mundane explanations. We might even help you track down the source of that cold draft even if it isn’t paranormal 😉
We will set up the equipment at the location and take base line readings to see what the environment is. If you are under an electricity pylon or next to nuclear power station we know that noise and false readings might creep into anything we record, although this would not explain the 20F drop in temperature (6F drops are common in equipment as most common equipment has a tolerance of usually +- 3F) you regularly encounter in the corner of your living room or the procession of apparitions that dance across the hallway.
Unless the location is a portal to hell or some other dimension things will take time. I know the TV shows show a lot of one night investigations, this is not reality and a week long investigation and analyzing data does not fit nicely into a TV show.
We will set up camera’s and audio recording equipment as well as environmental sensors for temperature and EMF (I believe that if ghost exist then their manifestation is likely to be electrical, see my blog post on Life after death). We then sit down and wait, and wait and wait. If something is detected that can not be explained by logical explanations we will further investigate that location, followed by by EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) using static recording equipment place in the location (we use multiple recorders placed to triangulate location of the sound, whilst this is not in realtime (sound localization systems are expensive) but tape measures and a little bit of math to work out time delay is not. it is still useful to eliminate external influences like noises from outside a window for example).
I have a lot of background in physics and computer science so we take time to analyze data and try and use as tried and trusted scientific methods as possible. Unfortunately ghost hunting does not have enough reliable data points and until we can categorically say what a ghost/spirit is then we are still searching for the correct way to measure it. Video and audio are good starts as they are what we as humans can easily relate to, temperature is also another physical thing we can sense and some people can arguably sense high Electro Magnetic Fields (I know older GSM phones used to give me headaches).