Your flashlight scans the walls in this old, dark, and creepy basement. The light dancing from your nervous, unsteady hands. The thud of your heart is the only sound you can hear, beating as if it will explode through your chest. The anticipation growing as the night goes on. Wanting to see your first shadow, your first figure, your first anything. Hours go by and the sun is starting to come up, and you feel disappointed that you did not experience anything. That is how a typical night of ghost hunting may go.
When it comes to the basics of paranormal investigations each investigator will tell you something different. These are going to be the basics according to how I run my investigations.
There are a few things that you will need to get done before you begin the lights out investigation. I usually start by doing research on the place that I will be doing the investigation on. Some of the information that I collect while doing the research will be the history of the place, the past residents, did anything significant happen at the place, and first hand experiences from people that have been there.
Safety for the team is my biggest concern so the next thing that I do is go out to the investigation site during the day. I do this for several reasons, the most important (as I stated before) is safety. I want to make sure that there is nothing that the team will trip/fall over, or run into because it will be pitch black the next time we go out there. I also want to see the layout of the site this way I know where the most contact has been made and will be able to set up the equipment accordingly. You never want to go out on an investigation with broken equipment or dead batteries so the day before, you want to check all of your equipment and make sure everything works and has fresh batteries.
The day has finally come for the investigation. You pack up your gear and get on the road. You get to the site, unload your equipment and set things up. It is now time to go lights out and start the investigation. You never want to investigate alone so send your team in pairs. During the investigation I will use a digital voice recorder to record Electronic Voice Phenomenon ( EVP's) and a digital camera to take pictures. If you have more advanced equipment such as a thermal unit or video recorder feel free to use it as well.
Those are the basics of how I run investigations. Go ahead and change them as you see fit to better adjust to your style. Stay safe and happy hunting.