By Chuck Manning from Voyage Into Paranormal Society
Most teams do not have a fee for their service. I would be very weary of teams that do charge a fee. Even though you will most likely not be charged, you are still receiving a service. So the title of this post is a figure of speech used to have you understand the process.
When you hire someone to do repairs to your home, you tend to look for someone you can trust. Unfortunately in the paranormal community that might be much more difficult to do. Most of us aren’t listed in the Yellow Pages. It becomes even more difficult when you search the internet. Websites can be deceiving. One site may not look very professional, but the team could have decades of experience. Then there are the groups that spend much more time with their appearance then they do with studying the field.
So how do you find a reputable investigation team? Take a good hard look at them. Most of the things you have come to expect in any other service industry are true for the paranormal investigation teams in your area. I have listed a few things below that might help you decide which teams could be considered reputable.
- Is the team accessible to you when you need them? Do they respond quickly to you? Many teams have a simple email contact listed on their website. That isn’t always a bad thing in this field. We receive countless crank phone calls every year. These people do not or will not accept what we do. So although it isn’t the ideal way to have communication, in most cases it is necessary. If you contact a team and they do not respond in a timely manner then obviously you have to wonder if they are serious about what they do. Most teams that consider themselves professional will respond quickly since you are reaching out to them. Any team that is serious about this field is doing this to help people. If they do not respond quickly then that should be a red flag.
- Most teams function like any other business. We know that doing things in a way that is familiar to you will make you more comfortable. The team you contact should conduct themselves in a way that you would expect from any other contractor you deal with.
- No team that is considered professional will tell you that your property is haunted over the phone, in the interview process, or immediately after an investigation. The reason is very simple, evidence. It is impossible to determine or validate any evidence over the phone, in an interview, and many times after only one investigation.
- Teams to trust are the ones that promise nothing, but will attempt to explain the explainable and provide evidence of the unexplainable. Most of the work we do is trying to prove things are not paranormal. Quite frankly we find many more explainable things then we do unexplainable. So beware of teams that shake your hand and say I feel your house is haunted from the get go.
- Also beware of ANY team that comes to your property and begins an investigation without collecting baseline readings. These are the numbers we use to set a standard for your property. That way variances can be looked at closer and considered possible evidence. If a team does not get baseline readings they have no starting point. A team should do baseline readings a few times during an investigation as these numbers can change periodically.
- Any team that does not have a lengthy interview process should be looked at closer. The interview is one of the most important parts of the process. These interviews help the team determine many aspects of an investigation. Your answers are even more important as they can define the direction of the investigation. Teams that ask only the basic questions will most likely be cutting the same corners during the investigation and evidence review after the investigation.
- Much like a baseball team or Police Department a uniform is identifiable to most people as professional. The team that does your investigation should be somewhat uniform in their appearance.
- Ask the team you contact to offer the contact information for other teams in the area. Any reputable group will not mind if you contact other groups in the area. If they refuse to do so then it is likely that they themselves are not respected in the field. Any team that is reputable will provide the information and welcome a second attempt so that they can share their findings.
These are just a few but important things to consider when looking for a team. Use your judgment when dealing with the team members. You can cancel any part of the service if you become uncomfortable or lose faith in a team. Always remember that just because we deal with the unknown doesn’t mean the team that you choose has to be unprofessional.