Below are my notes from the interview portion of a very typical residential investigation that took place in Southern California. As an investigator you've got to be able to read people and be a bit of a psychologist or at least be able to logically discern various human behaviors. In this short interview what can we immediately learn, or at least suspect and what are you going to immediately focus on in the course of your investigation according to the information given? It's pretty simple.
Team arrives at 9:05 P.M. Oversize town home. Male and female resident use this location infrequently. Primary male has owned the town home since November of 2001. Primary male resident had a dog, a sheltie, who exhibited abnormal behavior on premesis. Owner described the dog as "fearless" and became alarmed when the dog seemed fearful and would remain “frozen.” Owner finally resorted to carrying the dog to move him.
So, we know right off that the couple experiencing these things are in a house that is largely unfamiliar to them. They aren't used to the sounds, the lighting, the feel of the place as they would in a regular "home" experience. On average we're all at least a bit uncomfortable in unfamiliar places, especially when we hear sounds we cannot discern. People generally don't sleep well away from home, this includes animals. Speaking of which - the dog mentioned - dogs, like children pick up on our inner emotions, feelings, energy whatever you want to call it. Man alarmed equals dog alarmed.
Also, note that this is a town home. If you've ever lived in an apartment, condo, town home etc. you KNOW that you can pretty much hear everything that goes on around you. High volume of outside car and pedestrian traffic to boot.
Male resident said unusual things would occur but he would “block them” out, as he was too busy to worry or wonder about them. One such incident occurred in the vanity area of the master bathroom, while he was shaving. He reports that a hairbrush, which was in the attached bedroom, hit him in the upper arm. He responded by saying, audibly, “Stop it! I’m late.”
The male resident doesn't seem to pay much attention of these "unusual" goings on, so his accounts are not the most dependable. The brush has me stumped, especially since we tried throwing it into the space he said he was standing in. It was blocked by a wall that jutted out, making it pretty much impossible for someone or thing to have thrown it, unless it was a boomerang. I asked him to show and tell this incident a number of times to see if the story would change, a pretty reliable way to know if a witness is lying or embellishing or otherwise. His reenactments were constant and dependable. Still stumped. Dammit.
Others that have visited the residence also reported feeling a “negative” energy or presence in the master bedroom.
When people make this claim there are two main things you as an investigator are going to do - the first is ask if they had been told about any odd occurrences, a suspected haunting, were they reading some Stephen King before bed or just anything at all that would have influenced them. Next, put your EMF detector to work. High and unusual readings can be the cause of a plethora of problems: anxiety, paranoia, depression, nausea and yep, that old feeling that someone is watching you.
Primary female resident also feels distressed when in the master bedroom, or other areas of the home. Describes herself as feeling “restless” and “nervous.” One night, while alone, she set up a “booby trap” for fear of intruders and placed against the closed bedroom door a chair, ironing board and pillows. Upon awakening, everything was found to be in its original place, with the pillows stacked up on the floor.
She's already made herself out to be somewhat of a nervous wreck. She's taken it a step further and constructed herself quite a trap there. You have to understand it isn't to keep someone out, or in hopes of preventing an attack - its to buy her time to escape or fight. See, most girls I know, all really, if you actually ask them, have at least one story to tell. A story about a time, when someone tried to violently hurt or violate them, to do something to them or succeeded in doing so. In result, we're left with a sort of post traumatic stress disorder, where many girls actually hide "weapons," and devise elaborate escape plans, or like this one, set up traps to buy time to escape. With someone who has this kind of anxiety they very well are the culprits behind replacing the very objects they put in place for their own protection. You'll have to approach all of this very gently with your client and hope they'll agree to being video taped a number of nights, to see if you can catch them "sleepwalking."
Approximately a year ago, both residents were in bed and viewed what was described as “small, orb lights, the size of fingertips," moving upwards and along a section of the upper wall above a closet and near an air vent. They were described as “Bright. Like Christmas lights.” And then faded out.
Of course, you'll want to debunk this one. If there are windows, go outside shine in flashlights, drive your car by, anything you can think of, while another team member takes notes and films what they see. Could have been a reflection off of a bracelet or earrings being worn by someone passing by.
One week prior to the interview the bedroom lights were turned on while they were sleeping. The light switch was in the “On” position.
Any possibility they could have fallen asleep with the light on? Set a camera up on that spot anyway.
On another night in the master bedroom, a heavy bankers light fell over.
The lamp was on a small, unstable table upstairs. It was up against a wall that had the staircase on the other side. Some jumping on the stairs knocked that thing right over. The woman was close to my own height and weight and when I ran up the stairs (like a gazelle mind you...not an elephant!), again, the thing fell. Look ma..no ghost!
A guest claimed to have heard knocking noises.
As I mentioned previously, this is a town home, you're going to hear all kinds of unexplainable things. Also, it was a guest, who is even more unfamiliar with the "ordinary" sounds of this residence.
Primary female resident has been experiencing nightmares, centering around people dying.
All that anxiety, no wonder. Be sure to ask if the subject watches tv - especially the news - before or while going to sleep. If so, tell them they might wanna stop.
Incidents always occur at 3:00- 3:15 A.M.
There are all kinds of crazy theories about why "paranormal" things go down at this time. They usually have a religious bent, but really, it isn't all that demonic. A human being's metabolism has a spike around this time. Many of us find it hard to remain sleeping through it and so we wake, all disoriented and dreamy and then our thoughts enter crazy town. Just keep your eyes shut and go back to sleep.