Recently, my team was invited to investigate a residential area that the owners said had been previously investigated by another team. The previous team, we were told, never got back in touch with the residents and so the residents had no idea what, if anything was going on in their place.
The information we were given by the residents somewhat followed the information they provided to the previous team: the smell of wet dog food, dishes ending up on the floor, black shadow chasing them, preaching overheard on the baby monitor, and a baby hanging from the curtain rod in the bathroom.
Details they were given that differ from what we were told: artifacts found on the property (we were told they were found at the local college down the street), a woman walking her dog has been seen (no mention of this to us), the toddler hanging by the bathroom has been reported twice (we were told once, and it was a baby, and it wasn’t hanging as much as floating), and being chased in to the woods by a shadow (we were told two residents from separate apartments were walking through the woods and a black shadow followed them home). We were also told the downstairs neighbor had been raped by a ghost, the husband had been repeatedly attacked, no animals will go into the daughter’s room, and the belief the daughter’s imaginary friend is actually the husband’s grandmother.
When I first learned another team had investigated I contacted them. I wanted to know if they had any evidence, if the clients were kooks, or if they had somehow dropped the ball entirely in their gathering of information and/or investigation. Their only response was that the case file was on their website and that the residents seem to be into the paranormal so there is the high likelihood non-paranormal occurrences are being called paranormal. I went to the website where there were only a few EVPs. This lack of supplemental information compiled with the misinformation between both groups and the client led me to believe the group was a bunch of unprofessional amateurs who had no business going out there.
But then I got to thinking, we are only as good as the information we are provided. Maybe the client just can’t get their stories straight. Maybe they had forgotten the apparition walking her dog as it was a one-time thing. Perhaps when the client called me she had recently been spooked and was having a case of verbal diarrhea from the startling occurrence.
So the client is partly to blame, but unfortunately so is the other paranormal investigative team. My team is lucky; we have a librarian on hand who is extremely knowledgeable and able to land research like nobody’s business. Once we get an address, we are able to pull all kinds of records about the place – tax records, previous owners, newspaper articles, etc. We found multiple deaths at this place. Everything from overdoses to stabbings to old age showed up in our research. The other team found no such information. Did they look? Who knows but knowing this information can be crucial to a good investigation because you know where to look and who to ask to speak to. It helps you formulate a better and bigger picture of what is going on in any one place. Furthermore, we are usually able to dispel rumors, folklore and urban legend. We found nothing about a baby falling to her death. The dwelling area is only 25 years old so it is unlikely such a tragic story would have gone untold. While the other group mentions a historic cemetery, they fail to mention that it is less than 4 miles away or that another cemetery is less than 2 miles away. Did they really fail to mention any findings at all to the client? Hard to say only because we provided our findings and have yet to get a response from the client regarding said findings.
The most interesting difference I found was the photographic evidence. The previous group had none. I alone had 61 pictures with orbs and anomalies inside the home. How is that possible? Could the spirits really just like my team more? Unlikely. In one year they became more active? Doubtful. So why the big difference in the investigations? I’d like to think it is because, simply put, my team is better.
UPDATE: This post is from a few years ago and I’m sorry to say the state of things has not improved. Over the last few years API has been called in as a second or third team after the first one or two have failed to properly investigate. This makes me angry and sad, but also gives me pride to know we at API are professionals who know what we’re doing.