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My Journey in Becoming a Paranormal Researcher

What Propelled Me to Investigate the Unknown

I have always had an innate fascination with the supernatural, especially the field of ghosts, spirits and hauntings.  I had some unique experiences growing up in Las Vegas, Nevada.  It was the experience I had with my maternal grandmother’s spirit during undergraduate college that catapulted me into research and investigation of the unknown.  In my twenty years as a paranormal researcher, I have worked with some amazing individuals.  In 2009, I developed the San Diego Paranormal Research Society (SDPRS), which is one of San Diego’s well-respected groups. 

The San Diego Paranormal Research Society

I have always had a dream of founding and directing my own paranormal research team.  That aspiration came to fruition in 2009 when I developed the San Diego Paranormal Research Society (SDPRS).  The team primarily focuses on ghosts, spirits and hauntings but is well-versed in other areas of the supernatural.  You can find out more information by visiting the team’s website at http://www.sandiegoparanormalresearch.com

Investigative Methodologies

The SDPRS team blends various scientific and metaphysical methodologies.  These include paranormal vigils, spirit photography, Instrumental Trans Communication and electronic voice phenomena sessions, environmental monitoring, divining (dowsing) rod and pendulum uses and psychic mediumship. 

Blending Metaphysics with Science

Since no two intelligent energies are alike, it’s imperative to experiment with various methodologies. What works best for us is blending science with metaphysics as it offers a more well-rounded, holistic approach to paranormal research and investigation.  Some locations and ethereal entities will demand different methodologies.  What some experiments work for one locale won’t necessarily work for another.  In addition to client interviews and testimony, it’s important to study the site’s history, genealogy, geology, etc., as it will help you prepare the right experimentation. 

The Importance of Protocols

I am very systematic and methodical when conducting paranormal research work.  I have an overall process to how I approach a case study as well as certain protocol for various experimentation and methodologies.  This is needed to conduct a thorough, cohesive case study. 

Working With Clients

It’s vital that paranormal research teams build a solid, trusting relationship with their clients.  Part of a research team’s responsibility is to properly educate clients on its approach to research; paranormal theories and reasons for why a case study is recommended.  Our client interviews are quite extensive and we interview all eye witnesses separately to avoid bias.  We also offer various resources to our clients so they can better understand their specific situation. 

Top Cases

To date, I have investigated numerous private residences and businesses for paranormal activity.  Additionally, I have been blessed to conduct paranormal case studies at numerous haunted historical locations on the West Coast and in the Midwest.  Since 2005, I have been studying the RMS Queen Mary’s legendary history and paranormal phenomena.  Since 2011, the SDPRS team and I have been researching the Rancho Buena Vista Adobe, an iconic land rancho in Vista, California. 

Private Residence | Historical and Business Locations

The systematic, methodological way of approaching each case study will be similar for all three locations.  With private residence and/or business cases, you may run into a more concerned client(s); with private residences, you have to carefully balance the family dynamic and situation and conduct extensive interviews.  With historical cases, many of the museum curators and site owners know the history and paranormal phenomena that occurs; this is not typically the case with homes and businesses, so a lot of client education goes into these types of cases. 

Don’t Be Lazy

There are many facets to a paranormal case study.  Spending two hours at a location, taking a few pictures and recording some audio is not classified as a paranormal investigation.  There are hours, days and months spent on one supernatural case study.  This time includes supplemental research, client interview(s), preliminary work, actual case studies on the premises, data review and analysis, case study reports and meetings with fellow team members and clients.  It takes due diligence, passion and devotion on the part of each investigator and researcher to complete a research project. 

Core Values of an Excellent Paranormal Researcher

Our core values shape the culture of the SDPRS team and its individual researchers.  They guide us in our interaction with clients, the communities we serve and the paranormal community at large.

  • ACCOUNTABILITY: encouraging commitment and ensuring responsibility of actions
  • INTEGRITY: always being honest and conducting ourselves in an ethical fashion
  • TEAMWORK: working together as a team to accomplish our goals while respecting our individual differences
  • EXCELLENCE: striving to meet our standards, goals and expectations
  • ​RESPECT: treating ourselves, clients, locations and spiritual energies with the highest respect and reverence at all times

Our team principles include:

Listen to client concerns;

Approach each investigation with an open mind;

Treat every client / team member/ with respect and dignity;

Keep all client and investigation information confidential;

Conduct each investigation professionally, ethically and morally;

Treat all entities and spirits respectfully;

Help clients understand their individual situation;

Conduct research pertinent to investigation location;

Refer clients to specialized investigators when necessary;

Analyze all data collected thoroughly and in a timely manner;

Meet with clients to review collected data and possible paranormal evidence;

Recommend further case studies if warranted;

Spiritual Protection

It is vital that all individuals studying the paranormal engage in spiritual protection.  A person must be physically, mentally and emotionally healthy when investigating the unknown.  In addition to meditation practices, the SDPRS partakes in a group grounding session, which helps each member stay centered and on-track.  We also offer an opening statement to the energies where we state our intent for communicating with them.  

One grounding exercise that I have found helpful, goes as follows:

  • Take some deep breaths.Inhale for six seconds; exhale for six seconds. 
  • Imagine yourself sitting on a chair in an empty room. There is one window present.
  • As you envision your feet touching the ground, you will imagine pure energy coming up through your feet, move through each chakra; cleansing it in the process of unwanted energy.
  • Envision a white, pure energy filling through your entire body.Say, “the only energy that is allowed is energy that will serve my highest good.The rest is not welcome.”
  • You can picture the unwanted energy leaving your body and dissipating as it exits through the window 
  • Continue to take some deep breaths.Once you feel grounded, you can say out loud, “I am now grounded and ready to communicate with the spirit world.”

The Importance of the Golden Rule

You will get back what you put out.  It is imperative that all paranormal researchers treat themselves, their clients and the spiritual entities they come across with respect and reverence.  You will be more successful in your case studies and build a trusting relationship with the spirit world. 

For more information, please visit the SDPRS website at http://www.sandiegoparanormalresearch.com

Paranormal Research Trends and Implications

Just as with any other specialty, paranormal research is an ever-evolving field that goes through various changes and trends.  There are many aspects that affect the shifting developments in supernatural study, whether they include new theories, advanced equipment, fresh experimental methodologies, metaphysical approaches, etc.  As with any field, time yields these augmentations so as to prevent stagnation; in other words, it’s imperative that we maneuver through these inevitable trends so we can keep the door open to expanding our knowledge and understanding of what lies beyond the mortal realm.  This article will explore some of the commonly pervasive trends in today’s study of the supernatural and how they affect the field at large.

Technological Advances

Indeed, the field of paranormal study has progressed technologically since the days of the field’s founding fathers.  In the early days, those studying the supernatural relied on non-technological ways of approaching field methodology.  Today, many modern researchers still employ many of these ingenious ways of approaching paranormal investigation in addition to using various constructed devices specifically for supernatural research.  While this article doesn’t focus on this aspect entirely, it will mention that each family of electronics (photography, videography, audio, surveillance and environmental monitoring, etc.) has seen drastic industrial advances and improvements, which obviously provide benefits, and even some drawbacks, to supernatural researchers. Again, this concept should be solely addressed in another article altogether.
 
   One common trend lies in the ability of engineering / technological specialists to augment a device so it functions better for paranormal research standards.  For example, AM/FM radio scanners / ITC devices can be altered to allow for less static noise, ultimately allowing the researcher to better hear any anomalous voices or sounds emanating through the device.  Another illustration is evident in the Xbox Kinect system, which can be plugged into a laptop computer and highlight with lines and dots, the exact positioning of an alleged apparition.  Various environmental monitoring devices have “three-in-one” utilizations.  For example, some of the versions of the “Mel Meter” have EMF, shadow detection and KII functions built into one device.  Of course, this provides for convenience; however, there may be drawbacks to lumping all of these uses together in one device. Please keep in mind that there is no such thing as a “ghost detector.”  There isn’t one piece of equipment that has proven the existence of ghosts, spirits and other paranormal entities. 
 
   The utilization of technology in paranormal research may seem fool-proof; thus, it’s always beneficial to realize that even the most advanced, up-to-date apparatus comes with imperfection and flaws.  This is why it’s mandatory that all researches completely understand a gadget’s design, function and reasons for use.  I continuously ask myself this question, “Do all of these various improvements in technology help or hinder us in terms of paranormal research?”  In discussing this aspect with trusted colleagues, I have found pros and cons to modern-day leaps in technology.  As you shop around for more modern types of equipment, please be aware that your chances of capturing an anomaly may be increased with more gadgetry.  However, too many pieces of technology may create a distracting environment for the energies. Another drawback affects the investigator directly as he or she will have to spend more time monitoring excessive technological pieces when he or she could be entirely focused on the environment.  In my opinion, you don’t have to own every single technological gadget utilized in paranormal research.  That would be ridiculous.  Carefully study and choose which devices you want to own so you can create an equipment arsenal that includes those designed for photography, videography, audio and environmental monitoring, etc.

Metaphysical Instruments

This leads me to the next popular trend occurring in today’s supernatural research field.  In addition to electronic gadgetry, the use of metaphysical instruments is becoming more mainstream for many researchers, including psychics and mediums.  Many intuitively inclined individuals use metaphysical tools in communicating with spiritual energy.  Those deeply based in scientific approaches may cringe at the thought of using items like gems and crystals; however, you have to realize that paranormal study is not an exact science.  Thus, all the more, should someone welcome a variety of approaches to the field’s ongoing study.
 
   Historically speaking, various gems and crystals are deemed to hold supernatural powers of their own.  Wearing them on your person may assist (almost like a liaison) in communing with spiritual energy and empowering your innate psychic powers.  Using them in conjunction with technology may assist the device in picking up spiritual energy. I believe that everyone has some intuitive ability; however, it’s similar to a sport in that the more you practice, the better you will get.  Various gemstones and crystals are utilized for promoting mental and psychic clarity (Amethyst), absorbing or deflecting negative energy (Amber, Black Tourmaline), removing stress and unwanted tension (Celestite), uniting the mind, body and soul (Celestite), etc. – all useful for anyone working in the paranormal research realm and beyond.
 
   In my opinion, blending intuition, technology and metaphysics allows for a more holistic approach to working with spiritual energy.  It is for this reason why the San Diego Paranormal Research Society often employs the use of divining rods, pendulums and certain crystals as they can serve as an adjunct to technology.  For example, let’s say we capture an EVP of “Yes” in response to the question, “Is anyone here with us?” in addition to our divining rods also crossing, which can indicate a “Yes” response.  That’s two pieces of corroborating evidence, ultimately authenticating the spirit reply all the more.  
 

Spirit Resolution versus “Paratainment”

 Thankfully, many paranormal investigators and psychics are taking up more of an interest in providing spirit resolution to many ethereal beings that may need assistance.  This is the focus of the San Diego Paranormal Research Society whose projects are twofold: conducting an investigation as well as offering some spirit counseling.  If our research is suggesting that life does exist after the physical body ceases to function, then all the more should we offer to help provide peace and harmony to those in the spirit realm.
 
   Investigating and acquiring potential evidence of the paranormal is important for the ongoing study of the supernatural.  However, I am always left with the question, “Okay, what now?”  It seems that the cosmic universe is onboard with assisting us in the appropriate communing with the ethereal world.  Perhaps, the pervasive intrigue into the supernatural realm exists as a way to recruit those who will genuinely assist those who are in need of help.  There seems to be a shift in our collective outlook regarding mainstream media and “para-tainment” as far as the paranormal is concerned.  More and more people are realizing that the various sensational TV shows do little to authentically advance the field of paranormal research.  While these shows serve mainly to entertain the masses, they don’t accurately portray real-life supernatural research and investigation.  Furthermore, the sensationalism surrounding these shows does little to promote spirit resolution as it more or less exploits the dead via egotistical objectives.
 
   It seems as though the once feverish intrigue into the ghost hunting phenomenon is finally on its way out as more and more individuals are on a quest to delve deeply into what matters: not only discovering what lies beyond the mortal curtain but devising ways to genuinely connect with spirits and other ethereal beings.  Those who fervently engage themselves in down-to-earth paranormal research, including proper protocol, standard operating procedures and empathy, are becoming more comfortable calling out those amateur groups of people who act in manners that disrespect the departed and the field at large. All in all, I do see more and more genuine, grounded paranormal research teams expanding their repertoire by helping the ethereal energies they investigate and commune with.  In my opinion, this is vital in the rapport building between the living and departed – the ultimate, natural way to improve not only the research arena but how the public at large perceives it.
 

Getting Rid of Ego

This brings me to my next point, which is to highlight how human ego and working with spiritual energy do not mix.  In a sense, they are like oil and water, having nothing in common.  Ghost hunting teams sprouted like grass after a long rain once the televised paranormal shows commenced their craze.  During this time, it was common to see teams sporting their t-shirts and other team promotional items, initializing a phase of competition between groups.  As the concept of ghost hunting wanes, we are seeing an influx of those who want to delve deeper beyond a superficial façade.  We are seeing certain groups of paranormal investigators coming together to not only assist each other but to improve paranormal research as a whole.  This is so vital and necessary for the eventual building of one, giant collective supernatural study unit – where all like-minded teams can unite for the purposes of not only advancing the field but helping those otherworldly beings in need of assistance.  I am hoping that one day, this will be accomplished in entirety; but for now, we need to all realize that “ego” needs to be removed from the equation when communicating, studying and working with the ethereal world.
 

Education is Needed

More and more paranormal research specialists are jumping onboard to educate the public and each other about various aspects related to the supernatural.  Again, technological strides and improvements in social media directly assist in these educational concepts reaching the masses.  Individuals are volunteering their time to lecture at libraries, local events and national conferences all designed to bring together those who possess a budding interest in the paranormal.  The same goes for researchers who educate those at colleges, universities or via local avenues.  The online presence is even expanding with new radio shows, informative documentaries and television designed to teach those about haunted locations and history, paranormal research experimentation, etc.  Many teams are starting to blog more about their conducted investigations and findings or even offer live-viewings of actual investigations.  More and more books discussing diverse aspects related to the supernatural are being published.  Indeed, education is at the forefront as it allows people to come together and expand their minds; in doing so, the field of paranormal study will also continue to develop.