Even if this is not your first time inviting an paranormal group, you'll still want to know what to expect when PPI conducts its investigation in your home or business. Here you'll find answers to the most frequently asked questions about how to prepare and what to expect.
When, and how long, can I expect the investigation to occur?
The length of any investigation usually depends on a combination of factors: size of the venue, number of rooms, and the degree of paranormal activity thought to be captured during the investigation. A nighttime period of at least six hours is standard. If you require stricter privacy about our services and would prefer that we not arrive with the PPI logo visible to your neighbors, please let us know ahead of time. We will come dressed in plain clothes posing as a college research group, and our cover story will be that you have volunteered your home for an environmental study.
How should I prepare my place for an investigation?
The investigation is conducted in relative darkness. Except for rare instances requiring the temporary shutting off of power, you will not be asked to turn off your electricity. Minimal lighting for safe navigation is useful, but PPI investigators will bring their own battery operated light sources for the actual investigation. Candles should not be used because their brightness is inconstant and their flickers create unwelcome variables in the recorded evidence. If you use candles in an off-limits area, they should be unscented so that they will not be confused with anomalous odors of potentially paranormal origins. Obviously, the less outside noise and activity there is, the surer we will be about our evidence results. To that effect, you should anticipate an evening with windows and doors closed. If interruptive activities outside cannot be controlled, PPI will likely have to reschedule or cancel the investigation.
Is there anything I should prepare for PPI investigators?
We respectfully request that the venue be in a safely maintained, uncluttered and moderately clean condition, which will make the investigation setup process more efficient and our investigative procedures more comfortable for all. We keep our equipment and cables clean, and we take every practical precaution to safeguard your floors, floor coverings, walls and furniture from soiling or damage. Inevitably, though, it’s your home, and we are just your guests. If your home is located in a muddy environment, or if the weather conditions are messy, we’ll need some place to wipe our feet before entering, or to take off our shoes altogether. Feel free to ask of us anything you would ask of your guests.
Also, we would appreciate you reserving a parking space on the premises for at least one vehicle from which media and electrical cables will be outsourced to rooms inside your home, and equipment will be carried to and fro. PPI uses equipment that would require uninterrupted access to 3-prong electrical outlets. Also, we may need to reserve a centrally located flat surface (such as a table or a desk) to set up our DVR monitoring system. If you're unable to provide this, please let us know and we'll be happy to bring along a utility table, ourselves. Because investigations take many hours to set up and conduct, we would appreciate access to restrooms.
Can I and others participate in the investigation?
It's actually encouraged that certain members of a household participate in some of the investigative sessions. Because the clients are the "triggers" for paranormal activity, having the client present during our vigils will improve our chances of obtaining better data and allow us to understand what the client is interpreting as a paranormal experience. Clients, however, are not obligated to participate in vigils, especially if the process makes them uncomfortable.
Regardless, a quiet environment and serious attitude are critical. You should not invite outside guests or other paranormal investigators to the home on the night an investigation has been scheduled with PPI. Although it can't always be avoided in the case of large households, the general rule is, the fewer participants, the more control over the investigative environment PPI can create. In some instances, PPI may have good reason to request that a child be included the investigative activities, but only with the consent of a parent or guardian, who must also agree to be present during the vigil. Otherwise, young children are discouraged from participating.
Where should I go while the investigation is taking place, and how should I behave?
We don’t want you to do anything substantially different to your routine except to work in darkness. Many of our clients automatically slip into “whisper” mode when they are in the dark. We dissuade this kind of behavior. Whispers can be misinterpreted later in the evidence because it is difficult to know whose voice they belong to and how far they have carried. Limit your vocalization while investigative procedures are taking place, but use your normal voice. If you make sounds in the dark (and, of course, you will; we will too), announce them so that we will know what they are and who is responsible. If you have hardwood floors in your home, use footwear that pads the sound of your footfalls or wear socks only. Please plan for an evening without television, radio or stereo music unless you intend to wear headphones; in the case of television, it would be better to view it in a room off-limits to the investigation and behind a closed door, so that the flashing does not register on our cameras.
If I become uncomfortable about the investigation, what should I do?
Talk to us, and at any time in the evening you become uncomfortable with the way the investigation is going, always feel free to discuss it with us. After all, we're in your private space, and your own security depends on knowing the facts. Ask us questions about what we intend to do. Tell us what you're feeling and why. In quite a number of cases, individuals, not houses, are haunted, and if you are sensitive to any potentially paranormal activity occuring while the investigation is taking place, of course we want to know about it and record it, test it, and measure it. If you are emotionally or psychologically unready for the investigation to move forward, it's best to let us know that in advance; we don't wish to push you into doing something that makes you uncomfortable. However, the same goes for any investigation in progress. Protecting you and making you feel safe in your own home or business is our highest priority, and if an investigation compromises that objective, we will stop at once.