Intro to Investigating
Before going further...  Here is a suggestion for all those who believe they may be experiencing constant paranormal activity. That means that things that you can't explain that are happening on a regular basis, every week to every day.
Before you look for a Ghost Hunter or Paranormal Investigator to come to your home or business do this.
Get yourself a spiral notebook.    Record everything that is happening, no matter how trivial you may think it is. be specific and write down everything in as much detail as you can remember. Day, date, time, what happened, how you feel at the time and what you think it is and why at the very least.
What this will do is give you a list of occurrences that you can  compare to each other. In most cases you will be able to figure out if it is paranormal or not. If, after time has passed that you feel is sufficient and you don't have the answers you want. Keep the notes for investigators and then you can start looking for help.

The first and very important thing I would like to stress is that we at GhostBreakers have our own ideas, methods and beliefs which may not be the same as what the general Paranormal Investigative community believes. What is said may seem to come off as "this is so", but actually it comes from our own beliefs and experiences and do not wish people to think that it is our way or no way.

I want to stress that what ever is said here is in NO WAY to be misinterpreted that anyone else's beliefs, methods, etc., are wrong. No one can ever say any other investigator is wrong or that their beliefs, methods, etc., are the correct or incorrect ones.

So until someone comes up with irrefutable proof. We are all doing the right thing in the quest for the truth about the paranormal. Because all and every possible answer has to be explored to uncover the truth.

We at GhostBreakers respect all people’s beliefs and methods. We just don't subscribe to all of them.

In this section we will cover some of the GhostBreakers methods, ideas and beliefs on the art of ghost detection. I will not be able to cover everything however.

You will notice that I will try to mostly use the term ghost detection or something similar. I tend to shy away from the term Ghost Hunting as hunting suggests, searching for prey.

The GhostBreakers intention besides the obvious is to help educate the people who are interested in Ghosts but may be unaware that they too can detect ghosts themselves. Most anyone can and does, although they may not know it. Most people tend to shrug off individual experiences. It is when something becomes repetitive or a nuisance that people notice, and that is not always the case. Sometimes experiences are few and far between.

First, let’s start off with the notion, that we are mostly all in agreement that Ghosts were people who for whatever reason, died and remain Earthbound. Now that being the case. It should be safe to assume that a ghost is no less intelligent than its former physical being. (In short... you didn't get stupid by becoming a ghost)

This is important to understand and remember as it will make certain things clearer later when we discuss why we don't investigate certain claims or use certain methods and equipment as others
in the investigative community.

Now with this in mind let’s first discuss Ghosts or Spirits

We have taken the term Ghosts for our purposes, and classified ghosts into two separate entities, Ghosts and Spirits. We did this because we believe there is a difference. Ghosts being mindless rambling spirits. Sort of like a person walking around in a daze. Not knowing or caring what is going on around them. There may be several reasons for this. The person may not know they are dead. (many instances of instant death or maybe horrific death) Either instance rendering the ghost into not knowing they are dead or the circumstances making death incomprehensible to the ghost. War casualties and murder victims can fall into this category too.

Spirits we believe on the other hand are entities with purpose. People who know they have died and either want to stay due to having a wonderful life or not having fulfilled a certain task in their lives. Then there is always the reason of Revenge! Where some ones will to get revenge will not let them rest. This could explain a lot of the less than nice spirits that people encounter.

Now we believe also that there are other types of sightings which are neither Ghosts nor Spirits. A couple being Angels and Demons. Neither of which were ever a person or alive. Now my experience is limited in this area so I will not go into these areas and leave the investigating of these up to the
experts who have dedicated themselves to this field.

Let's touch upon one more type of sighting/Haunting that  happens to be a theory of mine.

This is my theory and has not had much exposure to the public that I have seen but In my experiences it does explain a lot. This is in reference to what others call Residual Hauntings. I don't believe in residual hauntings and think the word residual is being used wrong when used in reference to the paranormal. Residual - 1 : of, relating to, or constituting a residue.     2 : leaving a residue that remains effective for some time. So when some one refers to a residual haunting as like watching a movie as most do. It is incorrct. Residue means something is still there but just a remnent.  Maybe they need to use another word to explain what they mean.   My theory below will explain better what I think.

There are many sightings around the world which are repetitive in nature. Meaning that many people report seeing the same exact entity or occurrence, time after time in the same place. Like soldiers marching by. A lady walking down the hall. A child playing, etc., and no interaction with the living. This is what some call residual. I think it may be something else.

Now I hope I can explain this well enough for you to understand what I believe may be happening in these instances.

I believe that many of these instances are not Ghost or Spirit sightings at all. I believe what people are seeing is
the actual person(s) or occurrence as it is happening in the past. (
NOT what did happen) ( What IS happening)  I believe that this occurs thru what I call a rip or rift in the fabric of time. Many main stream scientists believe that time runs in a loop. That everything that happened, happens and will happen, occurs over and over again. Time runs it's course and then starts over. I believe that time runs in a loop but not in a circle. ( O ) I believe that time runs in a loop more like a figure eight. ( 8 ) But that because time is moving along constantly, the point where the line intersects ( X ) doesn't intersect at the same point but constantly moves. At the point of where the line intersects is where the rift occurs revealing an exact time in the past to the person(s) who happen to be in the right place at the right time. Sort of like in the movie "Time Bandits".

Except that there is no exact time when the door will open.

A story comes to mind that may lend credibility to this theory. It happened at Gettysburg College in the Admin building. The building was used as a hospital during the Civil War battle of Gettysburg as were other places.
A couple of ladies got into an elevator and pushed the button to go to the first floor. The elevator proceeded to go to the basement. When the doors opened. There in front of them were several people in Civil War uniforms and different attire working in some sort of operating room or field hospital. The person at the center of the attention beckoned her to come forth. She did not go but the doors closed and took her to the floor she first wanted to go to. I wonder if I would have gotten off? So the next time you open a strange door, be prepared...

How to choose a Paranormal Investigator or Ghost Hunter?
    First lets distinguish one from the other. Now, please, at no time should anyone misinterpret the definitions to mean one is better than the other. This is just to explain the differences as I see it, whether you agree or not.
    The Paranormal investigator is someone who for what ever their reasons, are doing research in the field to try to determine the truth behind reported occurrences. They will, or should be meticulous in their investigating techniques and methods. Maybe to the point as seeming to over do it. They will document everything even if they don't look like they are at the time they will later. They will never ask you for anything. They will ask you what you want. In short they will or should come off right from the start as professionals.
    Now a Ghost Hunter is just what it sounds like. Mostly a group of people looking (hunting) for ghosts. The will employ a few gauges or meters and go to cemeteries and places that are generally thought to have ghosts to see what happens, if anything. The ghost hunter usually will relate to their outings as investigations, and they are investigations as they see it. Ghost Hunters are usually social groups who are getting together for a good time doing something they like. The Ghost Hunter also falls into two categories. The curious and the serious. The curious usually are disappointed quickly and give up and do something else. The serious are almost always disappointed but can't shake the feeling of not knowing for sure and eventually become investigators.
    I would like to set the record straight as I see it. You can be both and many reputable investigators are. The slight difference is that the serious investigator will Ghost Hunt as a hobby since it relates directly to what they do. I too do it for recreation. Since it is a pleasant distraction from the involved investigation.
    This is why I think both are needed. In a nut shell, the serious investigator is needed for the obvious. The disciplined documentation of reported occurrences. They are the link between the mainstream science (skeptics and the like) and the believers (people having the experiences). The Ghost Hunter is needed, if for no other reason, to do just what they are doing. Going out, finding new places, having fun, spreading the word of their findings, etc. because if history has showed us anything it is that... Although some famous people have taken credit for inventions and findings. It is usually some normal person who stumbled on it by accident but just didn't get the credit. So you see we need everyone.
Choosing who you need
    Now lets determine which is needed and what to look for when choosing.
    There are literally thousands of people out there that either investigate or hunt. Just browse the internet and you will see. You are looking at one now! Being that there are so many would lead one to believe that it is easy to find a reputable one. NOT SO! If you are serious about your experiences then you may need a serious investigator. If you are not sure or are just trying to find out if there may be something going on then you might need a Ghost Hunter. Which ever your needs you will need to do your homework on who you want to do it. There are also many out there that just want to play or worse. They don't fall into any of the categories I mentioned and need to be weeded out. Let's start with...
The Reputable Investigator?
    A reputable investigator will never ask you to come to your home or place you want investigated first. A reputable investigator will, like you, want to know if you are serious and to see if you really need their services. No serious investigator jumps into any investigation without knowing what they are getting into. In short they too want to make sure you're ok as you want to know they're ok. They will usually only take very general information and never ask for your personal information. (there is no need at this point so don't give it) If someone starts pry for personal information, discusses payment, etc., you may want to look elsewhere. A serious investigator will suggest a public place (of your choosing) for the initial meeting. They will want to meet to get a feel of the situation and establish a quick rapport. This is your opportunity to feel them out too.
There are NO guarantees
    A reputable person will never make any guarantees. They will not tell you they can fix things. An investigator is just what it implies. They are investigating to see if there is a reason for your experience. If during an investigation the investigator changes the terms, asks for payment to continue or cleanse your home etc. You should end the investigation immediately and if the situation warrants it. Notify the authorities. Not everyone out there is honest. It is up to you to make the determination. Hence, the initial meeting at a public place.
Reputable investigators don't consult with others as a rule, BUT...
    Now before you jump to conclusions. They don't do this as a rule because if they are consulting others then they aren't investigating, the person being consulted is.  If you are aware they are consulting someone else, maybe you should be working with the person they are consulting? Now this isn't to say a good investigator won't ask a fellow investigator some questions or bounce things off them. What I am saying is that you won't know about it. If you do, it shows a lack of confidence in their own abilities or they may be scam artists. Poor ones maybe but scam artists none the less.
Reputable investigators don't bring large teams
    Ghost Hunters bring a lot of people to cemeteries. Paranormal investigators have small serious teams. A good investigator will suggest 2 to 3 investigators besides themselves depending on the location. A good investigator is not going to bring a bunch of people. (that's only on TV) Besides almost everyone I have had contact with doesn't want a gaggle of people running all over their homes and most homes aren't big enough for that. However, a good investigator (if out of their general area) may contact another reputable organization in the area to let them know they have an investigation and see if they want to send one person to observe. It's just a professional courtesy. Reputable organizations almost always belong to a network where they can make contact with other organizations. One last thing is that a good investigator will suggest a day and night investigation. It is just good sense to (if for no other reason) familiarize yourself with new surroundings in the daylight first for safety reasons.
Everything should be above board
    Everything should be put out at the first meeting. Remember you (for all intents and purposes) are hiring this person. You are in charge. You set the boundaries. If an investigator balks at you setting boundaries. It may be time to look elsewhere. You can always lift boundaries later when you feel comfortable. A reputable investigator knows this. The first meeting will be like an interview for both of you. The good investigator should then suggest a second meeting if you wish to continue. You will then tell them you will get back to them. This may seem like a long process but your ghosts aren't going anywhere and if the investigator is reputable neither are they. Besides you would check out a plumber, carpenter or other persons coming into your home. Why should this be different. It just may need to be approached a little different. If you feel comfortable with the person then let them know and set up that second meeting for specifics. What you are looking for. Where the investigation is to take place, etc. Now that it is set. Let friends and family know what is going on and always have at least one person with you when the investigation begins.
Do people charge? If they do, what for?
This subject has been a big debate between investigators for some time. Most don't charge but some do. It usually is no reflection on their ability but may be on your decision. Some say reputable investigators don't charge. That is a correct statement in that they may not charge for the investigation or their time. However, some charge for hard copies of the investigation, DVD's or audio tape copies. You have to remember these are real people and don't have a TV show's budget and buy these items out of their own pocket. So don't be offended if they don't give you copies for free. If they are charging you to come into your home to investigate, you may want to look else where. It is up to you.
The Decision
That was the easy part. Now you will have to make a decision to whether or not you want to proceed. Ask yourself the normal questions. Who is the best qualified?  Will they do as you ask? (i.e., work around your schedule, etc.) If they are acting like they are in charge at any time? Look elsewhere.
NOW!    Is a Paranormal Investigator Overkill?
    Each situation is unique. Do you really need a paranormal Investigator or will a Ghost Hunter do. There are many more Ghost Hunters out there and they never charge. If you do enough research on the internet you may be able to do it yourself. Now remember one thing. Ghost Hunters usually belong to a larger club and have many members. But if you can get only a couple of them to come out. Maybe the head ghost hunter and one other. You may also find out what you need to know. You may then decide you will need further investigation. But never, never be disappointed if nothing happens when you are having your investigation. Because unless your experiences are happening 24/7/365. The chances of something happening when being investigated are remote. That is why investigators will suggest several visits at alternating times, etc.
Certified Investigators... DON'T be FOOLED!!!
This section will most likely make people mad. Especially those to whom it applies but the facts are here to see in black & white if you put aside your feelings and read it. If you are thin skinned you may want to skip this section.

UNDERSTAND!   I am not saying all certificates are bad. I am saying be careful.
Don't be influenced or impressed by someone who says they are a Certified Paranormal Investigator.  There is officially NO such thing. No acredited school or instructor grants a Paranormal Investigator's Certificate. Yes, there are many on the internet and elsewhere that will charge you money for a piece of paper they print on their computer but, it carries NO weight in the acedemic world.    If someone says they are certified, raise an eyebrow and ask where their accreditation is from. Then ask what qualifications their instructor/teacher had to to be able to issue them a certificate.
Any Paranormal Investigator's or Ghost Hunter certification program, may provide a basic background in paranormal research and it may carry a small amount of credibility depending on who you ask. (usually only the ones that received a certificate from them)  That too is only if the organization providing the certificate has any credibility to begin with. I mean think about it. If you can't get legal formal education in the field, how can someone offer a certificate in the field to someone else?
    I personally would not recommend anyone spend money for a Paranormal Investigators Certificate.  No matter how good the training might seem.
    The bottom line is that you can personally, on your own, learn just as much by reading ghost hunting books, doing folklore research, join a group and go ghost hunting yourself. For this all you need is a FREE Library card and some FREE time. Experience is always the better teacher. Remember my saying: There is No Substitute for Experience and No Wisdom without it.,
    If you feel you absolutely need to pay for some training. Then get formal education that is universally recognized? Take college courses in Investigations. OR, go for Private Investigator courses. These will give you recognized education and the discipline in Investigations. Then you can put your education to work towards the paranormal and be able to show legal accredited diplomas that you are qualified to investigate and it will be money well spent.

Here is the difference between them and us to give you a better idea of what I mean.  
We at GhostBreakers are or were real police officers. I have a wall full of diplomas & certificates from colleges, the federal government, etc., in Criminal Investigation. We have taken our legally, universally recognized, accredited skills and experience and adapted it to paranormal investigation.  In fact we and others like us may be the only ones who can really call ourselves Paranormal Investigators because of our skill, education and experience. See the difference?  Basically, everyone else would be considered Ghost Hunters if you want to get technical and debate the terms.  Now please don't misinterpret what I have said as a bad thing. Ghost Hunters just lack formal education in investigations. They may however have more experience with the paranormal. I just bring this up to expose the scam artists and non-serious. A dedicated person will not whine over what they are called. It is the ones that insist that they be called Investigator instead of Hunter that I balk at.  Actually for the serious ghost hunter I would like to see them called Paranormalists. That has a nice ring to it.

So they are telling you they are a Parapsychologist? A parapsychologist is not a Paranormal Investigator or Ghost Hunter. They can be both but they are different. Look up the definition for yourself.

The following was obtained from qualified parapsychologists and condensed for this site while doing research for this site.

If you want to be a parapsychologist and you have the aptitude, attitudes and values needed for success in a scientific career, then it is time to consider what concrete steps you need to take to become a parapsychologist. This involves primarily education. To begin with, you should plan to get an advanced degree, at least a Masters and preferably a Doctorate. But even in undergraduate school you should plan to take courses that are relevant to parapsychology. As noted above, psychology is probably the most relevant field to parapsychology, but the field is so interdisciplinary that many other fields are relevant as well. Foremost among these I would place physics, anthropology, sociology, biology, philosophy, and history. Choose as your major the field that you find most interesting and congenial based on your experience in the introductory course. What most parapsychologists end up doing is studying PSI by applying the concepts and methods used in their mainstream field of study. For instance people trained in anthropology might study psychic beliefs and practices of people in “primitive” cultures, whereas someone trained in philosophy might study the implications of PSI for the mind/body problem. However, regardless of the field you choose for your major, I would suggest that you take some psychology courses, particularly experimental psychology, tests and measurements, and statistics. The reason for this is that parapsychology borrows its research methods primarily from psychology, and you will need familiarity with these methods regardless of what approach to the subject matter you finally adopt, including specialization in the study of spontaneous cases. If you decide to major in psychology, I would recommend that in addition to the method courses, you take courses in cognitive psychology, abnormal psychology, and physiological psychology. If you are fortunate enough to attend an accredited college or university that offers a good undergraduate course in parapsychology, you of course should take that as well. However, you will not be able to major in parapsychology. Likewise, you will not be able to get a graduate degree in parapsychology at a standard university. However, there are such places where you can get a doctorate in psychology with a specialization in parapsychology. Foremost among these is the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. 

Unfortunately, such specializations are not available in most Western countries including the USA, although you may be able to find a professor who will supervise a thesis or dissertation in parapsychology.

So the next time you see the word parapsychologist. You will understand what it entails and what the person went thru to get his/her degree, if in fact they are really a parapsychologist and not just saying so to impress. It is easy to check too. Just ask to see their diplomas. Most people I know with advanced degrees are more than happy to share it with you. Some even carry credit card sized laminated copies.

So, if you already have a college degree you may find somewhere to get a grad degree in parapsychology.

As of mid-2006, no accredited American College or University offers a formal parapsychology degree. It is because they want to distance themselves from wild and extravagant claims made by small (but vocal) fringe elements within the New Age movement and Paranormal Fields.

    Many "degree mills" have sprouted up since the late 1960's. Their letterheads may look impressive and they may now claim a 30+ year history in the field, they are still degree mills. They have NO accreditation and command very little respect in the professional community. They are a big waste of time and your money in our opinion. So BE CAREFUL!
Now if you got anything out of what was written above? Then you will realize that YOU have the big decisions to make and the most work to do in the beginning to find the right person for your needs. Remember, never be afraid to ask questions. Ask questions of one group and compare the answers to another. The more questions, the more you will know and the easier the decision. I know it sounds a little involved but the best decisions usually are.


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