Copyright Tracy DeVore

When you started your group, it was likely either you by yourself, or you and one other person. You talked, you shared common interests and beliefs, and you decided to become co-investigators of the paranormal. Some people are content to leave it at that, but others would like to expand not only their knowledge and equipment, but their group.

Maybe you’re looking for some diversity, people with different talents who can add their own insight to investigations. You might be looking for a particular type of person, perhaps someone with some camera or other technical experience, or even someone with psychic abilities.

The first thing you’ll want to do is put some “feelers” out for people who might be interested (expect a lot of response to this query). Once you’ve got some names and contact information, the next step is to send out a questionnaire, something to give you an idea of the person’s background and strengths. A sample form might be something like this (with any other questions you might add that are specific to your group or needs):

Paranormal Investigator Application




Telephone Number(s) __________________________________________________________

E-Mail Address _______________________________________________________________

How did you find out about our group? ______________________________________________



What qualifications do you have to be an Investigator?





What, if any, investigative equipment (digital or analog recorder, camera, flashlight, etc.) are you most comfortable working with?




What, if any, investigative equipment (digital or analog recorder, camera, flashlight, etc.) do you now own?




What are your religious beliefs? Are you practicing?


Are you interested in the occult (Ouija board, séances, psychics, spells)?


If so, when have you used a Ouija board, been part of a séance, seen a psychic, or performed any


Have you had any personal paranormal experiences? If so, describe.





Do you routinely experience paranormal events or consider yourself psychic? If so, explain.





In the event you become a team member or meet our members for an investigation, would you be comfortable following our protocol (a copy is attached)?


Additional Comments:













Once you’ve received and reviewed all the questionnaires, you then narrow the applicants down to the select few who interest you. Then you’ll want to schedule a “live” interview, including everyone currently in your group, to see how each of you meshes with the new prospect.

Of course, the real test will be in the field, where you will then be able to distinguish between those you’re comfortable working with and those you aren’t. In any event, you’ll have the opportunity to meet many people who share your interests, and hopefully learn something new.


I Hear Dead People

Posted: September 15, 2011 in Paranormal
Tags: , , , ,

Copyright Tim A. DeVore

Electronic voice phenomena (EVP) are voices or noises that are caught on a digital voice recorder (DVR) that are not audible to the ear at the time of recording.

The idea of attempting to record the voices of the dead is nothing new and was experimented with as early as 1941 by American Photographer Attila von Szalay. The recent popularity in Paranormal television shows has brought the idea more into the public eye, or shall we say ear. There are rare times that voices or noises may be heard audibly during an investigation, but more often than not they will only be heard upon playback of the DVR that was present at the time.

Often times they will be faint and require the use of audio software such as the program Audacity,  that shows the audio in a waveform. By looking at the waveform you can see small “spikes” in the audio where it is otherwise silent, these are the areas that you want to focus on. The waveform would look something like this: although in an EVP recording the wave would be more of a straight line with more subtle spikes. Once you have identified the areas of focus you can then isolate and repeat them over and over to identify what you are hearing. This can often be a time consuming, tedious process and in the end may yield nothing unusual. However, there are those times when you hear something that sends chills down your spine which make it all worthwhile.

To conduct an EVP session you will need the following:

  1. A suitable digital voice recorder
  2. A location where you believe there may be spiritual activity
  3. Someone willing to ask questions or conduct the session
  4. Most importantly silence, silence, silence!

Number four cannot be stressed enough. Make sure all who are present are comfortable and not moving around. If they do make a noise have them identify that noise in a loud audible voice, no whispering. Digital voice recorders are very sensitive and can pick up even the slightest of noises so you should also isolate yourself from as much outside noise as possible. Keep the session short and to the point and always allow a reasonable amount of time between questions for a response.

The types of things you may capture varies greatly. You may hear a noise that cannot be explained, a faint whisper, or even a clear and audible voice. Some noises or voices are just random and others can be an intelligent response to a direct question.

You can hear some of the EVP’s captured by Parallel Realmz Investigations here:

Copyright Tracy DeVore

Hannah House, Indianapolis, Indiana
Whether people believe in ghosts or not, most of them enjoy getting frightened out of their wits during Halloween at all the set-up haunted houses. But what about when “real” haunted houses are used in this capacity?

The thrill of seeing an actual ghost or experiencing paranormal activity draws more people every year. You then have a paranormally active building filled with unsuspecting, unprepared and quite a few underage people who might well become sweet fodder for some resident spirits.

A truly haunted building could be host not only to ghosts, but poltergeists or malevolent entities. These spirits seem to feed on the life force of young people and even babies in utero. The potential for having “something” attach to a person and accompany him or her home is not too far-fetched. At the very least, this could be stressful to children and pregnant women.

Aside from the dangers a casual visitor could encounter, the idea of using authentic haunted buildings for the Halloween crowd is somewhat vexing to serious investigators. Places that are already paranormally active tend to retain energy from everyone who visits, and this can confound equipment later with residual evp’s, among other things.

That being said, if you still plan to visit a “real” haunted house this year, following are links to a few of the more popular ones, if you’re in our area. It also wouldn’t hurt to say an opening and closing prayer. Just in case…


Alton Hauntings Ghost Tour, Alton, Illinois
The Avon Theater, Decatur, Illinois
Hartford Castle, Hartford, Illinois
The McPike Mansion, Alton, Illinois
Statesville Haunted Prison, Crest Hill, Illinois
Weird Chicago: The Ultimate Tour of Chicago’s Ghosts, Gangsters and Ghouls

If you’d like to schedule a group tour with our own team, contact us at for more information.

For more listings, visit Haunted

Copyright Tracy DeVore

Fr. David Price is an Old Catholic Priest in Louisville, Kentucky. He was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness, converted to Catholicism at the age of 16 years, and was ordained as a Catholic Priest on August 11, 2007. He currently serves as associate pastor at St. Christopher’s Old Catholic church.

Tracy DeVore: You refer to yourself as an “Old Catholic Priest.” You obviously aren’t “old” so I assume you’re referring to the religion itself? Does this mean you study the “old ways” of the church?

Father David: That is correct, the Old Catholic Church branched off from the Roman Catholic Church in the late 1800s over the declaration of papal infallibility in Vatican I. We hold that the pope is not infallible, meaning without error. We do therefore view him as the Bishop of Rome, not as the head of the Church. The Old Catholic Church has since started an independent movement that can be a wonderful blessing or quite the opposite. With no central governance, there are only Bishops. Most have no formal training for their priest, but some do. Some are extremely liberal, others are extremely conservative.

The Roman Catholic Church does view the Old Catholic Church’s sacraments as valid. We are the United States Old Catholic Church. We have quite an extensive seminary program for our clergy, and kind of fall in the middle between liberalism and conservatism.

TD: Did you already have an interest in the paranormal before becoming a priest?

FrD: Yes, I did have an interest before becoming a priest, but I was called to the priesthood from a young age. I grew up a Jehovah’s Witness and looking back, I was called to the priesthood ever since I was little, whether I knew it or not. It wasn’t until I converted to Catholicism that I started to volunteer at Waverly Hills Sanatorium. That is where my interest in the paranormal began.

TD: Did your interest in the paranormal have any bearing on your conversion from being raised a Jehovah’s Witness to Catholicism?

FrD: No, but my converting to Catholicism long before I was ordained did indeed have an influence on my interest in the paranormal.

TD: What sort of feedback, positive or negative, do you receive from your parishioners regarding your involvement with the paranormal?

FrD: I am lucky in that a lot of my parishioners are paranormal investigators, but those who are not are generally supportive.

TD: I see you study demonology. Has anyone ever called on you to identify or expel a demon from their home or business?

FrD: Yes, many times. Keep in mind I am a Demonologist, not an Exorcist. I investigate and can perform the Minor Rite of Exorcism on a place, but not a person. If someone is allegedly possessed and the investigation, physical report and psychological evaluation confirm, then my Bishop would get involved. As far as specific cases, I apologize I cannot go into details.

TD: Your web site states you work very closely with a paranormal investigation group in your area. Do you actively participate in investigations, or are you mainly called in under special circumstances?

FrD: Yes, we work very closely with After Dark Paranormal Investigations. We have trained them to look for what could potentially be demonic. On a typical case, they would do the preliminary investigation and if they believe it could be a demonic infestation or something along those lines, I will get involved to verify, perform the Minor Rite, bless the home/property or gather evidence to present to my Bishop.

TD: Do other groups contact you for your advice or insight?

FrD: Yes, in fact, so much so, we started the Paranormal Clergy Institute. When we began this ministry, we had no intention of getting involved in the paranormal. But, we had such a large amount of requests for help from within the paranormal, my Bishop founded the Paranormal Clergy Institute so that those looking for help in the field had access to clergy who were trained in demonology, and could offer the help they or their clients really needed.

It should be noted that their are many in the paranormal field who claim to be demonologists, but demonology is not paranormal, it is theological. A demonologist is a properly and validly ordained clergy member who is appointed to serve as a Demonologist under an Exorcist.

TD: If someone wants to contact you, what is the best way to do that?

FrD: Through our website at

TD: Thanks again, Fr. David, for the opportunity to interview you.

Copyright Tracy DeVore

Few paranormal teams dispute the validity of psychics, and many take advantage of their insight. But what about having a psychic on board during all investigations? Is it more of a benefit or a hindrance?

A true psychic on your team can seem to give you an added edge during an investigation. They are able to “feel” things nobody else does, and sometimes even pick up names and details you weren’t aware of before the investigation began.

But, how do you know what they’re saying is correct? Sometimes you can look up the history of a place and see if the names and other details match the psychic’s information, but in most cases, you can neither confirm nor deny their findings.

So, what do you do? Does your team just blindly follow the psychic’s intuition, information, or possible misinformation, when the facts might or might not substantiate their claims? Taking that route could potentially lead your team in a wrong direction, jeopardizing the entire investigation. On the other hand, if your psychic is so in tune with a place that he or she is getting facts that couldn’t be acquired by any other means, your chances of “connecting” with the other side could be greatly enhanced with the psychic’s assistance.

A good rule of thumb might be to conduct your investigation initially without a psychic along, and see what you’re able to pick up on your own with no outside influence. You might later want or need a psychic to help you “talk” to an entity or spirit to see if additional information can be gathered, or even to aid you in getting a spirit to leave a place, or cross over.

Whatever you and your team decide to do, if you want to be taken seriously, you must always be sure to cement your findings in fact and not in feeling or intuition alone (though sensitive people can be very powerful in aiding an investigation).

Please comment below with your take on psychics and their use in paranormal investigation. Meanwhile, Happy Hunting!

Copyright Tracy DeVore

A lot of things can go bump in the night and we get used to the sounds of a particular house or neighborhood. But, what if you’re hearing sounds or even voices that don’t belong? Does the hair on the back of your neck stand up for no reason, as if someone is watching you? Do you feel like you’re never really alone in your house? Are objects moving without any assistance? Are lights turning off and on? Do doors or cabinets open and close on their own?

Try to approach things calmly and scientifically. Keep a pen and paper handy at all times and record every unusual sound, feeling, smell, cold area, or occurrence that seems out of place. Write the date and time, what room you’re in, who witnessed the event, and what other activity was occurring at the same time (were you sleeping or watching television, cooking, showering, etc.). Were there any outside noises, such as a jet flying over or a train passing by? What was the weather like? All of this data will be very helpful in analyzing whether the event is something natural (such as an animal in the attic or old plumbing) or paranormal, and predicting when another event might occur.

If possible, take several still shots with your camera aimed into the darkness (use your flash setting), or set up a video camera to record any unusual activity. You might be surprised what you find in these images. Watch your pets, if you have any. Animals seem to have a sixth sense and are usually very in tune with anything out of place in their environment.

Go to the library and research your property. The research librarian is always a great help in tracking down records on a house or piece of land. If you can, contact previous occupants of the house. Maybe they can tell you stories about the property that aren’t available at the library. Are they aware of any violence or death occurring in the house? Did they experience anything similar to what you’re experiencing? If so, how did they handle it?

If you are convinced your house is haunted, you need to decide how you want to deal with it. Do you feel threatened by the spirit or entity? Do you believe it is a true haunting (a spirit existing in the same time frame) or a residual haunting (a spirit living in its own time, simultaneous with yours and possibly oblivious to your existence)? The odds are, the spirit is not malevolent. Some people are comfortable trying to communicate with the entity in their house. If you feel you’re able to do this, encourage it to move on, people are waiting for it on the other side.

Finally, call a group that specializes in paranormal investigation. As a rule, these groups do not charge anything to come to your home and investigate. They will use the most sophisticated equipment available and will share all their findings with you. They are usually discreet and professional, and will keep your personal information confidential, though might request permission to share photographic, video or sound evidence that doesn’t disclose the identity of you or your property.

In the east-Central Illinois area, Parallel Realmz Investigations (P.R.I.) is a group with an excellent “track record” and plenty of references, but there are reputable groups available in most all areas. Any of these groups should be able to assist you in dealing with your paranormal activity to a satisfactory conclusion.

Copyright Tracy DeVore

An EMF meter measures electromagnetic field radiation levels and can be very useful in paranormal investigation. Though many things give readings on an EMF meter, investigators look for abnormal readings that have no apparent source.

Let’s look at the structure of the electromagnetic field. First, it is sometimes described as the combination of an electric field (produced by a stationary charge) and a magnetic field (produced by currents). It is an invisible area created by electrically charged objects, including but not limited to ceiling fans, electrical wiring, microwave ovens and other appliances…the list goes on and on. The EMF field of any of these objects can affect area in the vicinity of the field and create a fluctuation in frequency. Radio waves or infrared lights might create a low frequency in the field, while x-rays, gamma rays, etc., will create a higher frequency.

It is generally accepted in the paranormal community that an entity must gather energy from its surroundings in order to manifest itself. This seems to hold true when fresh batteries lose all power when a spirit is suspected to be nearby. The fluctuations in frequency are what investigators look for when using EMF meters during paranormal investigations. When the EMF readings spike or dip, it alerts the investigator to a change in the immediate area. Since a steady reading is usually a good indicator of an artificially created field such as from wiring behind a wall, one thing to watch for is if the reading changes several times in one spot.

High energy readings can usually be followed to their source, and teams will seek out explanations for the readings before deeming them paranormal.

Once all artificial possibilities are exhausted, the investigator might then “follow” a moving spirit around by using the EMF meter’s readings as a guide. The meters are commonly used by paranormal groups as a means of ruling out other sources and pinpointing what they consider to be genuine paranormal activity.

Copyright Tracy DeVore

Many people never heard the word poltergeist before the 1982 release of the movie “Poltergeist” (co-produced by Steven Spielberg). Following that and even to this day, people will still use the terms “ghost” and “poltergeist” interchangeably.

Though there are some definite similarities (the main one being they both belong to the spirit world), there are many differences.

Poltergeist is a German word, meaning noisy (polter) spirit (geist). It is called this because it tends to cause disturbances and likes to make its presence known, such as by slamming doors or moving objects. One might not always “see” a poltergeist, but will almost always “hear” it. On the other hand, a ghost presence tends to be more elusive and rarely disturbs its surroundings. One might never “hear” a ghost, but will only catch glimpses of it manifesting, usually in a mist or fog.

A poltergeist might physically touch a person, thereby making its presence nearly impossible to deny. You might only be aware of a ghost because of a sudden whiff of perfume or pipe tobacco.

Ghosts are deceased spirits of humans or sometimes pets and are most often trapped in the houses they lived or died in or another place of comfort or violence that occurred in their lives. Poltergeists are sometimes linked to demons, though some theorize poltergeist energy is unintentionally created by people as a result of severe physical or psychological trauma. Poltergeists are commonly linked to a person or people or even an object.

Ghosts tend to remain unchangeable and appear in places familiar to the person in life and generally remain there, while poltergeists seem to be free to journey anywhere and gain strength by gathering energy from various sources.

While ghosts aren’t physically violent as a rule and cause more mental anguish than anything else, poltergeists can become dangerous to the living, capable of inflicting physical harm.

If you suspect you have poltergeist activity, seek help from a local church leader or paranormal investigation group. If it is determined that the entity is attached to an object, the object will need to be cleansed and disposed of. At the very least, a cleansing of your home will need to be conducted and the entity encouraged to move along.

Do not attempt to confront a malevolent entity on your own or try to ignore it because you’re worried people won’t believe you. There are many groups and organizations at your disposal willing to assist.

Copyright Tracy DeVore

Divining rods (also known as witching rods or dowsing rods) have been used for thousands of years. They might have originally been used to divine things such as the will of the gods, future events or even point out the guilty party in a crime.

The first knowledge of using divining rods to search for metals was found in the early 1500s in German mines. The rods became associated with the Devil during the Middle Ages and in 1662 were decried as satanic and superstitious. The Inquisition finally ceased using dowsing rods in trials in 1701.

The rods are still used in an effort to locate underground water (sometimes called “water witching”) or buried metals and gems. Some people believe they can find missing people, determine the sex of an unborn baby, or heal illnesses with the use of divining rods.

Many paranormal teams enlist the use of divining rods in their investigations as an attempt to locate and read spiritual energy. The dowser might ask an entity in the area to exhibit its energy by moving the rods in a certain manner, such as pointing in toward the dowser or spinning and reversing. The faster the rods spin, the more supposed energy in the area. The dowser may then attempt to communicate with the spirit by asking questions to which the entity will be requested to signify responses by moving the rods in a specific way.

Many people dispute the validity of dowsing rods and some even accuse the dowser of manipulating the rods. First, consider the “feel” and movement of the dowsing rods. They are usually very light and easily manipulated into motion, but not so simple to control. When the rods are reacting in a deliberate way and responding with accurate answers the dowser has no conscious knowledge of, it’s easy to at least entertain the idea that paranormal forces could be at work.

As with any instrument you offer into the hands of the unknown, use divining rods with a healthy amount of both caution and respect. Take into account any possible evidence collected, but always remember to back up your findings with facts.

Copyright 2011 Tim A. DeVore

There is a clear and definite difference between ghost hunting and paranormal investigation. Ghost hunters simply go out and look for ghosts, perhaps for a cheap thrill or to check out an urban legend. Paranormal investigators do just that, they investigate. Just because a claim of paranormal activity has been communicated, doesn’t mean there really is activity. A paranormal investigation is much like a criminal investigation. Someone calls and tells their story of an incident that took place. A team of investigators is dispatched to validate the story, interview the eyewitnesses, conduct an investigation, collect evidence, review the evidence, and build a case.

The primary difference is that an officer on a criminal investigation does not have the task of proving anything. Paranormal investigators are more like the officer, prosecution attorney, defense attorney, and judge combined. The other difference would be that the people mentioned above are professionals at what they do, while in the paranormal investigation field there are no professionals. Any team or individual that claims to be professionals in this field are probably out to make a quick buck. However, there are teams and individuals that are more experienced in the field than others. Teams that have a proven track record should lend more credibility than others, and any good team will always try to find a logical explanation for an occurrence before deciding that it’s a paranormal one. A really good team will offer you help in alleviating your problem.

If you are having occurrences that you think are paranormal activity be very careful in whom you select to help you. You don’t want to call on some ghost hunters out for a cheap thrill that may possibly stir things up and make them worse. You want to call on an experienced team that will take the right steps to prove, debunk, and help you in every way possible.