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Lessons Learned in our investigations or from other investigators...
Never go ghost hunting alone. Hunt with at least one companion at all times.
Verify location, accessibility, safety, and related issues ahead of time. Check each site during daytime hours to identify parking, paths, and hazards. Carry a working flashlight, even during daytime ghost hunts.
Wear suitable clothing including sturdy yet comfortable shoes. Dress for the weather but try to avoid "noisy" materials like vinyl or leather jackets.
Eat a sensible meal before and pack some healthy snacks and water for those long hunts.
Always respect the dead, never joke around and never taunt them.
Leave your cell phones behind as they can often interfere with sensors and equipment, even when turned off.
Leave cameras and recorders running in unattended areas. A good DVR system is a great way to watch unattended areas.
Don't spend all your time in the "hot spots". Explore areas where perhaps there has been no history of activity.
Be patient and do not get discouraged! Some of our best evidence has been gathered at the 11th hour (after 3am). Remember, paranormal activity is not predictable and does not happen on command.
Remember, there are no documented cases of anybody being seriously physically harmed by a ghost. If you are worried about this, choose a different hobby. Ghost hunting should be fun.
Keep a log of events and personal experiences. It will make the evidence review and reporting so much easier.
Taking quality photos:
If you are taking flash photos, use a simple verbal warning like "Flash" to let others know to look away to avoid getting blinded!
Let the dust settle! When you enter an area and move around, you will kick up dust. Flash photos taken during this time will almost always produce false orbs.
When taking photos, take 3 or more photos in succession. This will allow you to compare photos if you get an anomaly in one of them.
If you do notice an anomaly (shadow, noise, orbs, etc.), try to recreate or debunk it immediately.
Conducting Good EVP Sessions:
Initiating - When starting your session, announce the date, time and location.
Voice Check - Have everyone in the room announce their names, this will allow you to have voices to compare to.
Questions - Use the history and knowledge you have acquired about a location to ask good, personal and direct questions.
Always wait at least 5 seconds for a response. Responses are almost never immediate and the last thing you want is to talk over a spirit's response.
How to avoid EVP contaminations:
Avoid whispering at all costs! An innocent whisper can later be mistaken for something paranormal.
Try to stay perfectly still and silent. If you have chronic ants in the pants, at least wear quiet clothing so you don't make a lot of noise when you move!
Be aware of your surroundings, including locations of others in the building, outside noise, etc. If another group is working the area, know where they are at and what they are doing. It is best to work in small groups, but only if all other persons are accounted for.
Tag everything! - If someone coughs, moves, whispers, etc., "tag" it by saying what and who it was.