What to Look for in a Paranormal Investigator People who are dealing with a haunting in their homes go through a range of emotions: There is certainly fear from not understanding the events happening around them. There may be confusion or even anger toward the entity that they believe has invaded their private space. Some are thrilled by the notion of sharing their homes with spirits and don’t want them to go away, but they would like to understand the phenomena transpiring. As you can see from the myriad of ghost hunter television shows, the many thousands of Websites covering the supernatural, and even by the number of contributors to this very book, there are paranormal investigators everywhere. For people who believe they may have a haunted home or business, they may find that sharing their very personal supernatural experiences with a total stranger can be more daunting than the event itself. But there are individuals and groups out there who offer a lot of help in understanding and dealing with these paranormal events. Their objective is to study and learn about these phenomena and to help spread knowledge about the subject. Some things to expect from a paranormal investigator include help with background research on your property. They’re looking for deaths, accidents, or other events that may have been the trigger for the ghostly phenomena. They may ask you personal questions about any medications you may be taking, or your drug and/or alcohol usage. They may ask about other personal family matters, such as violence from or emotional problems with members of your family. They will explore the areas of your home where you experience the phenomena most often. Some investigators will use equipment, such as thermometers or meters that measure electromagnetic fields, or they may take video and audio recordings, while others may bring in psychics or other more esoteric tools such as dowsing rods or a pendulum to try and connect with any entities who may be present. Good paranormal investigators ask a lot of questions, and they are professional in how they conduct their research and how they deal with you. The vast majority of groups do not charge for their services, though you should ask, up front, if they do. You will want to ask how long this person or group has been doing this work and how many places have they investigated. Some investigators may even offer you references. Many groups today have legal forms that they will sign, promising not to disclose any information about your case without your 324 Encyclopedia of Haunted Places consent—these are the kinds of behavior and practices that should put you at ease. There are also various paranormal investigation certifications that larger organizations offer to their members who pass a required test. Some of these certifications are rather easy to obtain, while others are certainly more valid. When you are engaging the services of a paranormal investigator, you should speak with them over the phone or maybe in person at a neutral location, such as a coffee shop, and see what rapport you have with that person. A good investigator will help you understand what you’re going through, identify if there is, in fact, a haunting, and can get you further help if required. The following section is a directory of paranormal investigators from all around the globe. While their inclusion in this directory is not an endorsement, these are individuals and groups who are actively doing this work. They’re waiting to help.