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What should I do if my house is haunted?

I get asked this question a lot from my tour guests: “What should I do if I see a ghost?” The first thing is not to panic. I know it’s hard not to be scared, but always try to keep a cool head. Panicking could lead to you possibly hurting yourself or others around you. The second thing to do, if possible, is to try to record the phenomena somehow. If you have a camera, tape recorder, or smart phone, use it. If you're brave enough, try to communicate with the spirit. It may have manifested itself in front of you for a reason. Try to find out why.

Usually, a paranormal event happens so quickly that you will not have time to find a piece of equipment to document the event. In these cases, pen and paper are your best tools. After the event, you should always write down everything you can remember, no matter how insignificant. Document what was going on in the room, the time it happened, who was with you, and what you were feeling. You never know, someone, something, or some action may have triggered the manifestation. If that’s the case, it may be possible to duplicate the conditions to trigger another paranormal event. In my opinion, I would prefer to have someone’s detailed field notes than their pictures and recordings.

After the paranormal event, try to communicate with the spirit. Everyone has a smartphone, and the digital recorder app on your phone is probably better than anything you can buy. Sit down and calmly ask questions while recording. You may get lucky and get an answer. If you have a digital camera, use it to document your EVP session. Most paranormal investigators are willing to accept evidence captured by two independent devices used at the same time.

After you have done everything you could do to document the haunting, it’s time to contact a paranormal investigation team. It’s not a good idea to schedule multiple teams to investigate your home at the same time. As a general rule, and as a professional courtesy, I will not do an investigation after another paranormal team has performed theirs. Because teams may come up with different results, and this usually causes animosity. Keep in mind that hauntings tend to fluctuate between periods of activity and inactivity. So if you don’t get any significant results, wait and see if the house becomes active again. If possible, note the period between the cycles of activity. This may help in scheduling a paranormal team to arrive at peak times for the best chance of documenting your haunting.

Also, remember that the paranormal is not an exact science. You may have to open your home to an investigation team multiple times. Once the evidence of your haunting has been collected, then you have to decide on your next course of action. An experienced investigation team should be able to present you with several options.

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