We strive to develop a scientific method and approach suited to studying spontaneous phenomena, particularly ghosts.
In the meantime we can at least avoid working with an assumption-driven, belief-led
approach (see essay link below). By the same token, we are not hardline debunkers either. That would involve
the belief that ghosts absolutely do not exist - a fixed position - and we endeavour to be open minded.
We collect evidence, make observations and develop hypotheses to explain them. We always look for the most natural
explanation and never assume a paranormal cause. We do not jump
to conclusions; rather, we're prepared to remain objective and go where the evidence leads us.
During an investigation we usually record video footage, digital and analog sound, and we take still photos; this is for documentation as well as in the hope of
obtaining hard data as evidence of paranormal activity.
We examine all our recordings closely for unusual effects. A single inexplicable thing caught on tape or film won't
prove there's a ghost, but if it coincides with unusual EMF readings, temperature fluctuations and things
we observe with our own senses and feelings, the cumulative evidence may suggest that something strange is occurring.
We employ a method of examining sites that involves some investigators having no foreknowledge of the reported experiences
or the history of the site. This enables us to later weigh their more objective observations against those of investigators
who are looking for a specific thing. We also work in pairs or groups during investigations, never alone. This is for safety
reasons as well as for evidence-gathering and corroboration of observations.
Equipment; technology & how we employ it:
Here is a selection of the gear we regularly use. The most often used equipment is ready in a single 'Go bag' that can be carried by one person to an investigation.
The rest is brought in as required, depending on the nature, size and complexity of the investigation. We don't always take the DVR camera system, for example,
and the oscilloscope only comes out when really needed, or as a prop to make a more interesting press photo :-)
Natural EM meter
Library + NZ Books
HEY - WE'VE BEEN BURGLED! - See this page for list of paranormal investigation equipment
stolen from our place in Wellington on 30th December 2011.
We would dearly love to recover this equipment, so if you come across it, please email us
and/or contact Wellington Police.
Although we have some high tech equipment, (yes, we've finally buckled and got a DVR system...) we are more influenced by the famous "ghost hunters"
of the 19th and 20th
centuries; William James, Henry Sidgwick, Frederic Myers, Harry Price, Elliott O'Donnell, Andrew MacKenzie (a Kiwi!), Peter
Underwood, et al. We take ideas and lessons from their low-tech methodology and combine it with the New School
approach employed by investigation teams such as
TAPS. (Having said that, I'm sure the TAPS guys also respect the old school methods.)
The danger of taking too much equipment to an investigation is that the employment of it tends to dominate proceedings. It can
become a distraction from what you are actually trying to achieve. You can spend a good part of the available time setting up a DVR system, troubleshooting it and packing it down afterwards,
taking away from precious investigation time. And, being honest, how effective are DVR systems in capturing paranormal phenomena?
"Whatever high-tech equipment you use, remember to connect it to your brain, otherwise it's useless."
For more, in-depth information about how the Strange Occurrences team approaches and conducts paranormal investigation, please purchase our book:
SPOOKED - Exploring the Paranormal In New Zealand which will be available in good bookshops in NZ
from 5th August 2011.
"A deeply emotional thought, for example, may have capabilities little dreamed of by its conceiver; effects not merely
transient nor confined to a lifetime, nor limited to any definite number of years nor to any limited space."
Elliott O'Donnell, from 'Haunted Britain', 1948.
firstname.lastname@example.org - James Gilberd.