Do You Need a Paranormal Investigator?

Part 1 in our series The Investigation Process

One of our most popular programs is what we call our “Investigative Process” program. We cover the basics of being a paranormal investigator, like equipment, different types of evidence, and how we present case evidence to our clients.

From that, we’ve received a number of more specific questions around how we do what we do. This series of articles attempts to answer some of those questions and help to explain more about how, and why, we do what we do the way we do it.

“Do I need a paranormal investigator?”

Do you need a paranormal investigator?I often say that most of our initial contacts begin something like, “I don’t want you to think I’m crazy, but…” or “We have demons.”

I’ll address the second response in another article. For now, let’s look at the first.

We exist in an era where “the paranormal” is accepted, talked about, and even televised (sort of). What that means is that “paranormal” is more often an option when trying to determine the source of things we can’t explain, or don’t understand, than it was even a few years ago. And, more and more often, “paranormal” is the easiest go-to reason for what we are experiencing.

When people contact us, they are usually having experiences that they can’t explain or that they believe to be paranormal. That doesn’t actually mean that what they are experiencing is paranormal, but there’s only one way to find out the “what” of their circumstances. We have to ask some hard questions and, sometimes, we need to investigate.

The first step in our investigative process is determining whether there is a case that we can help with. Often, we can make that decision during our initial interview. Sometimes, we can’t make that determination until we arrive on-site and begin our preliminary investigation.

The Interview

When I interview a prospective client for the first time, I ask them to tell me their story – what they have been experiencing. I try to let them just get it all out while I take notes and make note of things I need to question more. At this point, I’m interested in all the facts I can get; who, what, when, where, etc.

Then I ask more questions to better understand the situation and to begin eliminating possible “worldly” solutions. For instance, if the person experiencing the phenomenon is on certain medications, those meds may cause them to perceive things as paranormal. Alcohol and drug use can have the same effect. Is there a history of such use/abuse or any psychological issues that could also affect perception?

Next, we look to environmental factors; is there physical or psychological abuse in the home or family? What are the living conditions? These things may seem irrelevant, but they aren’t, because they affect the energy around us and the energy we produce.

We once got a call from a family that was convinced that they were experiencing paranormal activity. During the interview, we discovered that there were eight people living in a two bedroom home. There were people living and sleeping in every room except the bathroom (there was only one) and kitchen. From an investigative standpoint, this situation offers a number of challenges. For instance:

  • Any audio evidence that the client is experiencing is negated simply because of the number of people living in the space. Any noise could have been made by anyone.
  • When that many people are living in the same space, everyone’s anxiety level is higher, stress is greater, and any issues that may otherwise be explained away suddenly become “paranormal.”

During another interview, a woman talked about how something “paranormal” was haunting her daughter. The drawers of her dresser and the contents of her closet would be taken out and thrown around the room when no one was in the room. Classic poltergeist, maybe?

During that interview, I asked some of the hard questions that we have to ask and discovered that the daughter was 17 years old and dealing with some drug and alcohol issues.

Was this a case for us? Possibly, if we wanted to document the daughter manifesting the behaviors she was experiencing. But was this a case we should take? No. Not from an ethical point of view. In fact, our interference could have made the daughter’s issues worse.

There have been numerous documented cases of (predominantly) pubescent / post-pubescent girls manifesting poltergeist-like activity and my discussions with this concerned mother led to self-manifestation being the most likely cause for the phenomenon.

I explained this to her and offered some suggestions, but I told her that it would be inappropriate – and possibly counterproductive – to attempt to investigate what appeared to be a very personal family issue. I did receive a call a few months later from the mother thanking me for our help. Things had gotten better without any other interference from us.

So, the answer to the question, “Do I need a paranormal investigator?” is not an easy one.

Our (translated “My”) philosophy is that everyone who contacts us deserves a hearing and an opportunity to discuss their issues. Having said that, after looking back at our case files for the last two years or so, less than half of the inquiries we receive become cases that we spend time investigating.

When you, or someone you know, starts to think “paranormal,” think about the things that we are going to think about and the questions we will ask. Look for worldly answers that can explain your phenomenon before you call us looking for help because we will certainly look to identify non-paranormal causes before we turn to investigation strategies.

But, if you’ve done all that, and you can’t think of anything else to do, give us a call!

Director’s Note – 2017 Updates

Wow! Can you believe how long it’s been since we posted something new? I should probably apologize to those that follow us, or may be searching for paranormal investigations in San Antonio, but it has been a very busy year or so, for the group as a whole, both professionally and personally.

As we prepare to leave 2017 behind and look forward to wonderful things in the year ahead, I thought I’d take a few moments to share a little bit of what has been and what we see on the horizon.

First, let’s talk about library programs. We’ve been doing paranormal programs for the public, mostly through the San Antonio Library system, since 2010. So far, we’ve presented just over 20 program at eight different libraries. This year, we presented several programs around the city, including a fifth consecutive visit to the Memorial Branch Library and a fourth program for the middle school students at Mission Academy. My thanks to those who bring us in and to the team members who’ve helped me make these programs happen.

For those of you who follow us, however loosely, we’ve had a few changes in team personnel and we welcome three new team members and one returning team member as we wind down the year.

One of those changes was my good friend, and long-time team member, Larry accepting an exciting new professional position in the valley. We’ve decided to make the best of that situation and Larry has agreed to lead up the effort to stand up a Sixth Sense chapter in the Rio Grande Valley. If you know someone who might need our help, or someone in the RGV who might be interested in helping with the kind of cases we usually do, please have them contact us via the website and I’ll make the connections.

As for cases, we were able to help several clients find direction and clarity with the paranormal issues they are (or were) dealing with. We also performed a number of house blessings and were able to lend a hand to a fellow paranormal group with a case here in our area.

So, in answer to the question I recently received via the Book of Face, “Are you guys still taking cases?” Yes! Yes we are. In fact, we move into the new year with a very active current case and two prospective clients looking for our help with their issues.

We are here. We will continue to be here. And we thank you all, supporters, team members, and clients, for your support.

Happy New Year!


Policy Change – Possible Evidence Review

Effectively immediately, Sixth Sense Paranormal will no longer accept unsolicited photographs and/or video for review unless those files are directly related to an active, on-going investigation.

It has become increasingly clear that most who send us such evidence are more interested in having us validate their perceptions of paranormal activity than they are in the objective, factual, and professional evaluation of seasoned investigators.

One of the things we spend most of our time doing in the early stages of an investigation is looking for rational explanations for phenomenon that our clients face. We do this because identifying that which is probably not paranormal helps us focus on phenomenon that may be paranormal.

Over the years, our team has evaluated thousands of photographs and hundreds of hours of video footage. That experience has taught us how to differentiate possible evidence from normal photographic anomalies. Given that we are a volunteer organization dedicated to investigating the paranormal experiences of our clients, we simply can’t continue to spend time reviewing unsolicited data only to have our integrity and experience questioned when we are unable to confirm claims of the paranormal.

If you, or someone you know, believes that they are experiencing paranormal phenomenon, please contact us to open a case so that we may investigate your case properly, professionally, carefully, and confidentially.

Disclaimer: Sixth Sense Paranormal reserves the right to use any images, sound or video files, whether obtained through investigation or received without solicitation, for any educational, informational, or promotional purpose we deem appropriate.

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