Thank you to all the members of your Investigators team who put on such a great program for the Brown Deer Library last Wednesday. Normally, I'd sent a written thank you, but I realized I did not have anything but your email address. The library was very pleased with the turnout for the program and it was very interesting.
The presentation by each member added something and I think everyone went away with a much better sense of what is done in a paranormal investigation and how different it is from the stuff you see on TV. It was a pleasure working with your group. Karen did such a great job with all the publicity materials. I do hope you will consider coming back sometime in the future, perhaps next fall. Just give me a call ahead and I will book the community room. Thanks again for a very informative night.
Mary T. Dunn
Adult Services Librarian
Brown Deer Public Library
5600 W. Bradley Road
Brown Deer, WI 53223-3510
November 9, 2009
Re: Paranormal Investigators of Milwaukee
To All Interested Parties:
During the closing on December 20, 2006 I was informed by the seller that the property I was in the process of purchasing was haunted. I can only imagine what was going through their attorney's mind after they uttered that statement. For me, it made my lifelong dream of owning a small farm even more special and unique.
Three days later, I began what was to arguably become the most amazing phase in my life to date. Eight groups, including PIM, have investigated Willow Creek Farm – all reports are similar in their conclusion: the property, house and out buildings, although not proven, can be considered very haunted. Initially, I needed explanations for my experiences and also suggestions on how to deal with paranormal activity so I could get past the fear of staying in my own home. PIM performed its first paranormal investigation at my property in March of this year.
After nearly three years residency, I can probably be considered a veteran when it comes to living and dealing with a haunting. Learning about the paranormal is an ongoing process, but I've had enough experience now to understand there is no perfect method for performing an investigation, but there are preferred ways to achieve optimal results.
What I appreciate most about PIM is its balanced approach combining science and sentience (the capacity for sensation or feeling in this case through the use of mediums). I've also learned that there are generally accepted rules about conducting a good investigation including the use of proper etiquette. It is important to note PIM follows the accepted rules.
A resurgent interest in the paranormal has resulted in groups of hobbyists and amateurs. Hobbyists rely upon belief systems, do not properly follow the "Scientific Method," inflate credentials, use equipment improperly and report about "evidence" as opposed to reporting about data gathered. Amateurs use applied research to discover, interpret and develop methods or systems for the advancement of human knowledge. PIM falls within the latter category and this is apparent through its reports when compared to reports by other groups.
PIM sets itself apart from other groups not only because of its balanced combination of science and sentience, but also because of its personal interest in the client. I've been most amazed by the numerous, recurring similarities in what different people sense and report about their experiences at Willow Creek Farm. PIM has taken note of my interest focus and is helping create an investigation in a unique format that will be tailored to the farm's unusual character.
I wholly endorse PIM for its approach and also the personal interest shown in its client regardless of the client's need whether it is for confirmation of perceived occurrences, reasonable explanations and further information, or to allay fear and misapprehension.
Very truly yours,
Albert W. Kelchner,
April 25, 2010
Shortly after moving into my home in the Historic District of Wauwatosa, it was obvious an "ethereal resident" also inhabited the house. Objects were being moved and unusual noises were occurring, which could not explained. Was this an "intelligent" haunt or a "poltergeist"? After 9 years of these unnerving experiences, I invited PIM to do an investigation.
It was arranged to have 4 of the members (Noah, Karen, Michael and Steve) to spend an evening here investigating. After touring the home and setting up equipment, we all sat down to review the descriptions of my "haunting" experiences. Noah then detailed extensively PIM's philosophy and goals; the equipment and their functions; as well as the plans for the investigation that evening. All four members were polite and respectful through the entire six hours spent at the house. I was impressed from the get-go and throughout the evening with their professionalism, interest and passion.
Karen's follow-up was first class - delivering an audio CD and a comprehensive investigation report, which included extensive research by other PIM members, including photos on my 150-year old home. Karen took the time to sit down and go over the results point-by-point, page-by-page. She willingly and patiently answered questions and concerns I had.
I am excited and looking forward to the follow-up investigation, and will no doubt experience the same top-notch professionalism.
84th Street Resident
*Name withheld for confidential reasons*
Once a case has been identified, the first step would be setting up a face to face interview with anyone who witnessed paranormal activity at the property whenever possible. If the investigation site is a half hour more away from Milwaukee then an interview over the phone is acceptable. If an over the phone interview does occur, than more time will be needed durnig the actual investigation so the other steps taken during a face to face interview can be completed.
1. Interview - During the telephone call to set up the interview, a brief history of activity should be taken over the phone. This allows for more specific interview questions to be prepared, which will allow for a smoother interview. Make sure to bring a Client Waiver form so it can be filled out during the interview. Also, for taking base readings, make sure to bring an EMF detector, something to get a temperature reading, a camera, and a digital voice recorder (for use during the interview). The interview should be conducted in the following order:
1a. Tour: If the interview is going to be held at the investigation site, then the first thing to di is to request a tour of the property. (if the interview is not held at the investigation site continue to part b. A tour will have to be given the night of the investigation instead.) Be sure to ask to be shown any specific areas where activity has occured. This will not only allow for a feel for the size and layout of the property, but it will also make it easier to visualize what the witness is talking about when they are recounting their experiences. During the tour make sure to take note of where the mirrors, windows, and heating vents/ducts, etc. are located, as these may become important clues to figuring out logical explanations to certain phenomena.
1b. Interview: Once the tour is over, find a comfortable place to conduct the interview. Begin by having the witness describe their experiences one at a time, making sure to ask specific questions for each experience. If there is more than one witness at an interview, try and interview each witness separately. This will ensure that each witness will describe what happened according to what they remember and not by what the other witness is saying or has said. This will allow for a more accurate recounting of the event. It is better that witnesses not remember something and to have less evidence than to have a witness THINK they remember something just because someone else said it. Once all of the personal experiences have been recorded for all witnesses, ask them if they have any questions or any additional information they would like to share with you.
1c. Baseline Readings: After the interview is completed, (as long as it is ok with the owners/tenants) take some base readings of the property. EMF and temperature readings should be taken as well as pictures of each area. If the property is small, take readings in every room, moving diagonally frmo one corner and moving to the other. Try to take 4 readings for each room and then average them. Also take at least one picture of each room. Not only could some evidence be captured, but at the very least these reference shots can be used if photo evidence is gathered during the investigation. For a larger property, focus on the areas that have had reported activity. Take the baseline readings the same way and make sure to take pictures as well. This will allow for a faster baseline measurement and there is no reason to take baseline readings in areas that have no activity and thus will most likely not be part of the investigation.
Once this is completed, make sure to leave contact information with the owners/tenants and either let them know when they will be contacted to set up an investigation date or determine the investigation date before leaving. Make sure to thank the owner/tenant for being invited into their h ome and for taking time to be interviewed. Also
ensure that the owner/tenant has signed the Client Waiver Form so that everything will be in order for the investigation.
2. Research - Research is the most tedious and least interesting part of any investigation. It is also the most integral. Reasearch allows us as investigators to spearate fact from fiction. There will be many stories of people who have supposedly died at a property or things that purportedly occured at a property. Determining whether all of the t hings that may be said about a property are true or not will be nearly impossible but some things can be determined definitively simply by visiting the library.
Any names given during an interview should be researched as to if they ever owned or lived on the property and any record of death should be located as well. Also a property may be rumored to have been a hotel or a bar at one point. This should also be determined by using the city directories. These list each address and what was there and who ran the business for each year going back decades.
Overall, research may be fruitless sometimes, but it is necessary to do. Many times you will only come up with a chronological list of who owned the property, but this may be of interest to the owner/tenant. Overall, any research done on a property will only be another piece to the puzzle. Once the research is complete, then the investigation can be planned.
3. Investigation - Each investigation will be different. Each property will have its own little nuances that will need to be addressed during the investigation. Thus this procedure is merely a guide. Each property will have an invetigation plan made up specifically for it that will include most, if not all, off the guidelines listed below and may include some extra guidelines not listed below. Careful planning of the investigation will result in a smooth investigation.
There will be a lead investigator appointed for investigation. This person will make judgment calls regarding where and what should be done during an investigation. The lead investigator will follow the investigation plan set up earlier. There will not be set teams as people will be paired or grouped differently each time. Also, before any investigation can be conducted, a Client Waiver Form must be signed and returned. There are a few things that you need to make sure you do before proceeding with any investigation. First, make sure that someone else knows where you are planning on being and always travel in pairs. We have more to fear from the living than the dead. Make sure to bring some legal form of identification with you in case something does occur. Ensure that somone has a working cell phone with them in case of emergencies. These are a few guidelines that will help make the investigation safe as well as fun.
a. Investigation Setup
I. Once arriving at an investigation site, the first thing to do is ask the owner/tenant if any activity has occured on the property since the last time they had spoken. If so, take down the information in the same manner it was done during the initial interview and if the area where this activity has occured was not included in the investigation plan, make sure to view the location of the activity and add it to the investigation plan if needed.
II. Next, determine where base camp will be. If cords need to be run and cameras set up, it is important to know where to run everything to. Now if cord lengths are limited, the cameras may need to be set up first to determine the best place for base camp.
III. Once base camp is set up, then a sweep of all the pertinent areas should be done to ensure no one is present. Baseline readings and pictures should also be taken at this time in each pertinent area.
IV. Once all the baseline readings and pictures have been collected, the equipment can be set up. Make sure to securely attach cameras and ensure that cords are tucked out of the way whenever possible to limit the danger of tripping on them in the dark. Test each piece of equipment to make sure it is working properly.
V. Once the equipment has been set up and tested, it is time to go dark. Any light source should be blocked out or turned off whenever possible. The less light contamination that is present during the investigation, the cleaner the evidence will be. Once the property is dark, the investgation can begin.
b. Actual Investigation
I. Depending on the investigation plan, break into the teams that have been assigned and move to the assigned areas. Each team should have an EMF detector, voice recorder, camera, two-way radio, and some sort of temperature reading device with them. Each person within the team will be responsible for some of the equipment and for using that equipment to take readings.
II. Begin by taking readings using the EMF and the thermometer. Also snap pictures during this time.
III. Next, simply pick a spot in the area that the team is in and just sit and listen. If unknown sounds are detected, investigate them. Take pictures in the area that sound occured in. Stay calm and always stay together.
IV. After sitting for a while, try and do some EVP work. If a name of someone who is known to have died on the property is known, use it. If there are rumored names, those names may be used as well. Simply ask questions regarding why a spirit is still here, how they died, why they do certain things (this can be specific if certain activity is known for the location), etc.
Make sure to wait at least 10 seconds after each question in total silence to allow ample time to picky up an answer that may be given.
V. If any activity is encountered, from the slightest noise to a full body apparition, always remain calm. Try and look for logical explanations for what is occuring and always try to duplicate what is experienced. Panicking, screaming, running, etc. are not conducive to the investigation, and look unprofessional to the owner/tenant. If there is a need to leave an area for whatever ereason, simply let the other team member(s) know and calmly leave the area.
IV. Once the allotted time is up for the area that the team is investigating, continue on to the next area and repeat the above steps. Make sure to share any experiences that have occured in the area with the next team that will investigate it, so that they can try and have the same experiences. The more people that experience a phenomena, the more validity that phenomena will have in the paranormal community. Remember that any experience that does not have physical proof is only a personal experience and can only be presented as such. Once all of the areas have been investigated, meet back at base camp and begin to break down. (Note: This is only a guideline for an investigation. Some may like to do these in a different order, add things, or subtract things. Again, this will change for each invetsigation and depending on what equipment we have available.)
c. Clean up and Leaving
I. Make sure that all equipment is safely repacked and stored. Make sure that anything from the owner's/tenant's home that was moved during the invetigation is replaced, and that all trash is properly disposed of. It is important that the property be left as we found it.
II. Thank the owner/tenant for allowing us to investigate their property, and let them know that the evidence will be analyzed and they will be contacted with the results in a few weeks.