Lost Souls Investigative Process
The process of investigating for Lost Souls is a delicate one. To keep things transparent with our potential clients and folks that want know how we operate, we have put together a process, with the help of the San Diego Paranormal Research Society, to help people better understand what it is that we do and how we do it.
Stage I: Initial Client Contact, Client Interviews, Historical Research
- One person interviews the client. If there is more than one client to be interviewed, all interviewees will be interviewed separately.
- Interviewers do NOT share information with the rest of the investigation team until investigation is completed, at which time the client’s experiences can be shared with the team to corroborate results obtained.
- Each interviewer will complete a client interview report, which is basically a detailed summary of what the client disclosed in the interview. The client interview report will be attached to the client interview form with notes taken by the interviewer. Each client interview report will be put into case file and be a part of the entire case report.
- Utilize client interview form, but ask other questions as necessary
- Interviewer takes detailed notes, which will be included in the client interview report.
- Have an audio recorder handy to capture entire interview. This is helpful when interviewer writes a report on the client interview.
- Do NOT ask leading questions
- Keep in mind for the interview: What, when, where, how and why and the five human senses when asking questions
- Go with the flow of the interview.
- Let the client talk and ramble if they need to. You will have an audio recorder recording everything.
- Client needs to submit three pieces of information, which will be turned into case manager at preliminary:
- Client submits detailed notes of phenomena and experiences from the time they started through the initial interview/preliminary investigation.
- Client submits detailed notes of phenomena from interview/preliminary investigation through investigation.
- Client draws up a location map highlighting hotspots of possible paranormal activity.
Stage II – Preliminary Investigation / Supplemental Research
- Preliminary team should consist of no more than 3 people. Preliminary team does NOT share information gathered at the preliminary stage with rest of investigation team until after investigation is completed.
- Preliminary team divides up responsibilities. For example, one person responsible for EMF/TEMP sweeps, another person responsible for baseline photography, another person responsible for client interview.
- Preliminary team goes on a walk through with client, noting hotspots. Someone should be responsible for taking notes from walk through.
- Each member of preliminary team writes a summary report of their responsibilities during preliminary investigation. For example, EMF/TEMP, baseline photography, indicating what photos were taken and where photos were taken in location, and report on notes taken from walk through.
- Collect client’s three pieces of information (detailed notes and map)
Preliminary report includes:
- Client interview reports
- Map with hotspots
- Client’s notes of phenomena and experiences
- Individual summaries of EMF, temperature, baseline photos and walk through notes
- Notations of any oddities in the home or structural/electrical/plumbing issues
- The preliminary report will be a part of the case report.
- Supplemental Research: Geological, weather conditions, solar storms, moon phases, genealogy, etc.
Stage III – Investigation
- Investigation team will be divided into teams of 2 or 3 people.
- Each individual team will sweep all areas to be investigated at location and do so on a rotating basis. Each individual team will not share information with other members until after all sweeps are finished.
- After sweeps are finished, entire team gathers to discuss findings, which will determine what areas are best for EVP, ITC, spirit photography, videography, investigation experiments, etc.
- Once equipment is set up, individual teams will continue with investigation and rotate areas to be investigated. Investigation team will not share any information about the case until after investigation is completed.
Stage IV – Evidence Review and Analysis / Additional Historical Research
- All evidence needs to be reviewed in its entirety
- Use programs for analysis when necessary. For example, audio programs (Audacity, Adobe Audition), photography (Photoscape, Photoshop), Video (Need4Video, Movie Pro Magix)
- Make clips of any anomalies and/or interesting pieces (audio, photo, video, ITC).
- Make one copy for case file and another copy for client
- Make an EVIDENCE SUMMARY SHEET for all captured evidence, listing its title and synopsis of what occurred. Clients can use this sheet when reviewing evidence on their own terms.
Stage V – Case Write-ups, Additional Interviews / Recommendations
- Each investigator needs to complete a thorough case write-up and make sure that each category on the case write-up guideline form is addressed in the write-up.
- Any notes taken during investigation need to also be placed on the case write-up.
- The following categories need to be covered:
- name, date, location, time, weather conditions
- other investigators present
- investigators partnered with
- equipment used
- experiments conducted, noting what equipment was used for experiment
- investigation results—include start and end times and equipment times
- audio (EVP and ITC)
- photography (digital, 35mm, Polaroid, IR)
- videography (static camera, IR/DVR system, flip camera)
- experimental equipment (PX, Ovilus, Ovilus X for example)
- other specialized equipment
- Psychic impressions—noting any corroboration with equipment and experiments
- Suggestions and recommendations
NOTE: Obtaining relevant historical, genealogical, archaeological and geographical research is an ongoing process.