Port City Paranormal
                        Investigate the Investigator Program

  Due to the popularity of ghost shows on television, there has been an extremely rapid growth in the number of ghost teams
advertising their services.   Today, everyone wants to be a ghost chaser, and now it's easier than ever to become one.

The first step is to find a team name hopefully one that the initials spell out something equally as cool as RAPS, SAPS, FEAR,
SPIRIT, or ORBS.  After thinking (or copying) a team name and drawing a logo, all you need to do now, is get some
investigations!  That's right ! No need to study, take classes, or get any education , you have already learned all that is needed on
television!   To become an expert in demonology, exorcism, spirit removal, home clearings, or blessings, all the information
needed can be found on Wikipedia and is explained in a few short sentences. A printable certificate in demonology or other
speciality is cheap to print !

  It is  up to the public to protect themselves from potential harm and  fraud.  We urge everyone to be aware of the human
dangers of "paranormal investigation" that can be far more devastating than those caused by  any ghost or spirit.

First:  What you want from an investigation?
  Some folks just want to know that they are "not crazy" or that the family is not in danger. Not everyone is frightened or wants a
spirit banished or "crossed over".  They just want some facts.
 Other people like the entertainment factor, they want the thrill of experiencing something  unexplained. Establishments with
haunted histories can bump up prices with a documented haunting
.  People love a ghost story!  The third type wants to study
phenomena using applied science to answer the question of what happens after we die.  All these are good reasons  to  investigate.
But the danger lies in another type of paranormal investigator, one that the public needs to avoid.   There are people who only
want to gain fame and fortune from anything paranormal.  Perhaps they want to get on television and have their own show, but the
bottom line is to make money, regardless of what they have to do.  The teams to avoid seem to be sincere, but in the end, you
realize this is not the case.
  To begin the process of narrowing the field, find web sites and study them carefully.  Face book pages are not web sites. and
remember, " Meet-up groups" are not investigators. These groups are at best enthusiastic, but usually have little or no training.  An
official web site contains a large amount of information and will  sometimes can tell you more than the author intended if you look
closely.
 Professional investigation teams will explain their mission, methods, post evidence backed by data, and educate.  Entertainment
paranormal web sites are fun to look at but it is entertainment, not research.  There are various means of making web sites more
attractive to users and not all are honest.  Beware of paranormal hoaxes, here are some examples:

Beefing Up the Numbers:
   The more clients you appear to have, the better your services look.
Posting a counter on a web site will show the number of hits the site receives. Counters can be big and flashy, and the count can
appear high when it has been started with a very high number.  Another way to imply high traffic is   friends log on the site
multiple times each day.  Mass e-mails are sent for friends to "like" the site and can include an automatic link to that site that also
trips the counter. In other words the counter is not a reliable gauge use or credibility.
Another way to falsely impress potential clients is to list years of experience using this method:  Take the age of each team
member and calculate how many years since their first "paranormal event"( If you were 2 years old and saw a ghost under your
bed and are sixteen now, that would be Thirteen years of experience). Add each team member’s' "years of experience"  and post
that number as "years of paranormal experience" the whole team claims to have.   Just like the number of "years" can be
misleading, the date the team was established has no value when deciding which team is right for your needs.
 Making multiple listings for a team can boost web presence and is a  great source of free advertisement.  Slight variations of
names will show up more frequently in a search. Variations include adding  a letter, vary spelling or adding words such as society,
group, radio, team, seekers, research, and researchers. Teams may buy multiple domains ( .org, .net, ..com, .Anything.) that link
back to a main web site.  
  Currently there is no school for paranormal doctorate studies, but there are experts with experience we can learn from. If
someone claims to have a doctorate, ask where they received this title and in what field.  The number of "years", the date the team
was established has no value when deciding which team is right for your needs.

Evidence:
  Many teams say they are looking for answers about life after death, historic facts, or information about a loved one. They
announce they seek proof of paranormal events. So where is the evidence? To look more impressive, teams will  list investigations
they have never done but appear as" Private Cases" such as "Pvt residence in Joetown Pa," or "Private residence in Somewhere, NJ"
etc. Groups add these bogus cases, as experience, knowing they cannot be verified.
 Posting photos of well-known haunted places is an old trick used to suggest the team has performed a full investigation, when in
reality they may never have been there. Posting a investigation without evidence is meaningless.
  Take a good look at the quality of evidence (if any) that is available on a site. Is it clear? Has it been altered in any way other than
to increase clarity?  So called "paranormal photographs" can be the result of smudged or dirty lenses, be cigarette smoke,dust, an
insect, or due to camera shake more often than a Spirit.  Knowledgeable investigators know their equipment and are careful to
discard photographs of dust, rain, mist and photographs that induce paradolia.
  Finally, Do not accept evidence gained only by psychic means as positive proof of spirit activity unless there is objective evidence
to support it. Taking anyone's "word" they have contacted the spirit world with out question can lead to fraud.

Testimonials and Awards
   Multiple flashing awards are used to get attention and prove this team is the best. These awards are pretty  worthless for the
most part.  One site lists twelve awards for content, photographs, evp, horror, scariest, etc., but out of the twelve: TW
O were in
Japanese, THREE sites are no longer available, ONE domain was for sale, TWO pages listed"not Found", TWO had no link, and
one linked to an ad for a few website. Out of the 12 awards, listed TWO were linked to a site that offers free awards….
To get a real award one must work or perform some excellent service to be eligible to display one, not just link up.
Testimonials offer a positive review of a business and rave about their service and knowledge, but that is all. There is no way to
check a testimonial statement when presented as..
"..Joe C from Whoville, Ar. Says "so in so")... Who is Joe anyway? Are he part of
that team, maybe a friend?
 No amount of testimonials can replace a list of good references. The best references are from others who work in the field or
have hired this team in the past. . Good references are those who can be easily identified and contacted.  Finding a team with a
good reputation is the key to knowing who you are allowing to enter your home. Don’t just accept endorsements.  Call and check
for how they know that team and what services they received. Call all public sites and ask the staff about their experience with
team. You may be surprised.

More Dangers
 Investigators sometime ask home owners to leave while they investigate: This is a major red flag when dealing with an unknown
team! Only under special circumstances the  entire family need to leave, and certainly not for the initial assessment.
  Homes have been entered on the pretense of finding paranormal evidence, unfortunately the owners return to find more than
they bargained for. Are these teams really looking for evidence or are they "casing the joint?" Are they holding sceances and
dabbling in occult practices, provoking or using Ouija?  This type of investigation in your home could result in something nastier
than you started with.
  The home owner or a responsible person should be present during any vigil, more if the home /building is large. This one
precaution can deter theft, fires, damage, evidence planting and in some cases large ghost hunting  parties.( Yes, teams have even
been caught selling tickets for public "Ghosts Hunts" at  private homes without the consent or knowledge of the owner)

 Finally, When the investigation is over, and the team pronounces your home to be haunted, possessed, or a portal to the gates
of hell, Ask how they arrived at this conclusion and where the evidence is to back it up.  
If you hear the word demonic, don't be frightened, be a skeptic !  Ask the team what they can do about it, and if they quote a
price, ask them to leave. Scaring a family into paying for spirit removal is a scam.
Never take someone’s word on any information reportedly gained through ‘psychic means’.   What someone says Uncle Harry
told them is not valid evidence unless backed up by physical evidence. A good "psychic" con will do serious  background research
to perpetrate even a small hoax.
   Be careful, and continue to look for truth. The paranormal has always been a hot bed for scam artists, that has not changed,     
The scams have just become more sophisticated.

                 
       We all want to believe and  know the answer to what lies beyond death.

                                Those answers will come, and they will be free of charge.
Port City Paranormal ®
Copyright 2008