The amount of complexities of an investigation into the report of ‘paranormal’ events magnifies the difficulties of scientifically documenting evidence. The job is always made easier by reducing as many variables as possible. For this reason, a good investigation is preceded by an interview of those who have made the initial reports. These interviews may contain some questions that strike at some sensitive, personal level. These questions may be uncomfortable to ask and for the client, even more uncomfortable to answer. Such questions may include: “Does anyone in the house hold partake in the recreational use of drugs” or “Are you being treated for any emotional or mental instabilities” and also “Is anyone in the household prescribed medications for these psychiatric issues”. Now some would think you ask these questions in order to find out if the person is crazy or if they are truly experiencing paranormal events. Correct? What if these people are ‘crazy’? Do you pack up your gear and leave? Or perhaps, you continue with the investigation in a less complete manner?
Before you write off these instances as the delusions of an unstable mind, it would be wise to carefully consider how these people work and the nature of their experiences. Granted these instances will be ultimately more difficult to investigate and a stretch to document, please keep in mind that these cases can (and often do) yield results that are greatly educational. While there may be little or no video/photographic/audio proof from these cases that can be shared with the scientific minds of our fellow investigators, what you will come away with will help you be more thorough of an investigator and will add to your personal catalogue of knowledge on the paranormal.
A simple way of looking at this is…
Many elements can cause a person to experience shifts in perception such as:
- Mental or Emotional Instability
- Prescribed Medications
- Recreational Drugs and Consumption of Alcohol
- Religious Practices
- High Electro-Magnetic Fields
- Irregular Sleep Patterns or Lack of Sufficient Sleep
- Ultra-Sonic and Infra-Sonic Sounds
- Lack of sensory input.
However, it is important to understand that this does not mean anything experienced by individuals in an altered state of consciousness are not ‘real’. In fact, the investigator may be well advised to take a serious tone when dealing with this issue. These people are far more delicate and vulnerable to non-physical entities than someone who is completely stable.
In many cultures throughout history, it is these sensitive and largely unstable individuals that were considered to be knowledgeable about other worldly matters. And it is these individuals whom are ‘open’ to communicating with the ‘other side’ although they may not do so willingly.
In our society however, we reward stagnation and status quo. It is the constant stream of internal dialogue that reaffirms the world around us and makes it limited by society’s boundaries of what is ‘real’ and what is not. We agree on what is ‘real’ and give value to these ideas based on the number of those who share our state of mind. For this reason, many people who are not ‘sensitive’ to spiritual encounters are approached in dreaming states by the restless denizens of the afterlife. Dream sequences can easily be dismissed as products of the mind but after I have had a few of these experiences, I can say that chalking it up to coincidence is ridiculous. As my fellow investigators can attest, I am far from sensitive. In fact, I rarely see, hear or feel anything out of the ordinary during investigations. All of my experiences dealing with the paranormal or within the realm of the occult have been sought out and induced with great effort and intent. Dreaming is the exception. It is the time when we aren’t concerned with upholding our images (or society’s image) of reality. Our internal dialogue begins to slow and our minds open. I am expressing this point because those people who experience altered states of consciousness, for whatever reason or by whatever means, become open to experiencing more of the unseen world around them. People with mental instabilities, using medications, or people who have shifts in consciousness for any other reason may be more open to paranormal experiences than those sitting in the same room with them.
If we allow ourselves to accept the possibility of a dimension that is separate from our own (albeit somewhat overlapping), why should we not also remain open to the possibility that people with specific conditions may make them more in tune with this overlapping of two separate, but equally valid worlds?
I would never ask a paranormal investigator to abandon the scientific process and proceed on faith in anyone’s theories. I am asking the reader to understand that if they are investigating reports of paranormal events, then they must at least be willing to accept that these things could be true.
Remaining ‘open’ can lead one to an experience outside of what one gets simply by moving room to room with a K2, Video Camera or Audio Recorder. In the spirit of open exploration a person can consider the following experiments when investigating claims reported by people whom fall into this ‘questionable’ category of mental instability.
Experiment 1: Sleep at the location with the intent of observing dream images.
If the team is large enough to spare a person and will be at the location long enough to attempt this experiment, it is usually effective. Even if you don’t believe dreams are anything but random reactions of the brain, the results (at times) are too relevant to be considered coincidence. This experiment is done by the most sensitive person in the group. Be sure this person can often recall their dreams (many people claim not to dream which is false; they simply do not remember their dreams). It is also wise to have another member sit with them while they sleep so that they remain safe. Before falling asleep, the person is to merely keep their mind fixed on communicating with non-physical entities. Be sure that you set boundaries in your mind that the entities are not to transgress. The person must sleep for at least an hour in order to have enough time to enter REM stages and cycle through all phases of the sleep/dream cycle. Be sure to keep a written record of all images, communications, etc even if they don’t seem relevant at the time. Later research can uncover an astounding amount of connections between your dreams and the history of a location.
Experiment 2: Sensory Deprivation.
Sitting with ear plugs and a blind fold in a quiet darkened room with an assistant can also provide bizarre ‘sights’ and ‘sounds’ in an active environment. In this experiment an investigator is to sit in a dark quiet room with a blind fold and ear plugs. The idea is to have as little sensory input so that the investigator can become hypersensitive to his/her surroundings. A good variation of this experiment is to replace ear plugs with headphones that are connected to a white noise machine to provide a medium in which potential communications can become audible.
Experiment 3: Hyperventilation.
In this experiment, the investigator induces a state of hyperventilation. Despite how this sounds, it’s really not dangerous (don’t do this technique standing up) and only mildly uncomfortable. You can hyperventilate by breathing rapidly. Breathing is controlled by the autonomic nervous system, based mostly on levels of CO2 in the blood. Hyperventilation causes CO2 levels to drop below normal which causes the pH of the blood to rise. In a healthy person, you cannot make yourself pass out from hyperventilating or holding your breath. Hyperventilating will make you very dizzy, but unless there is some physiological impairment, you cannot override the autonomic nervous system that controls breathing. Hyperventilation can lead to shifts in consciousness that will induce some strange effects that may lead to a greater sensitivity of the surroundings.
Now it must be said these techniques do not lead to ‘evidence’ that can be shared with others, however these experiences will help the investigation team focus their efforts in the right directions that will allow data to be collected. Also, these techniques can help the client with answers to questions they may have. Questions like, why are they here, what do they want, etc… are rarely answered by data collected by electronic means. The devices collect enough data to deem a location haunted or not and they can help determine if the haunting is intelligent or residual but they rarely answer the finer questions the clients will ask.
Beyond Sanity and Reason, Lies REALITY…