Ghost Hunting Process: Conducting an Interview (Research)
An interview is nothing more than a series of questions asked and answered to help understand the ghostly activities of a location. In the best case scenario, they are conducted in person with the people living in the haunted site. This isn’t always possible, so you can do a phone interview. I do recommend recording them, so you have more context when you review the answers later.
Remember, it’s better to do the interview at the site and to use this time to get baseline readings.
Paranormal Interview Tips & Questions
Here are the general, common sense guidelines that can’t be stated enough:
- Dress appropriately – you don’t have to wear a suit, just don’t look like a homeless person off the street.
- Arrive on time
- Be courteous – you are a guest in someone’s home.
- No foul language
- Listen, Listen, Listen – this is the time for the person experiencing a potential haunting to give you all the details. Write it all down or record it. Withhold judgment, too.
Now that the common sense stuff is out of the way, let’s get into the details of the interview and things to know and do.
First off, the initial contact should have been qualified. This may be as simple as screening calls for any hoaxing type comments; or, an email exchange about the potential site. Usually, the case manager handles the initial contact.
Secondly, expect the unexpected. There are some crazy people or lonely people out there, who may contact you just for the attention. If you sense something is wrong, it probably is. Use your BS meter.
Thirdly, try to do the interview 2 or 3 days before the expected investigation night. If you hunt on Saturday night, the interview should happen on the previous Tuesday or Wednesday. This gives you time to review the interview, brief your teammates and gather your equipment.
If you remember our post about hunting in abandoned buildings, you know to treat each location in the house as a mini-investigation. You’ll want to ask the same questions below for each spot.
Lastly, don’t interview the household together – do it separately. This stops the group-think mentality. Each person will then have to answer on his/her own and this could indicate the haunting’s legitimacy. If the responses don’t add up, you have something rotten on your hands.
Now for the fun stuff – the questions to ask. By the way, I’m using questions from the book, “Picture Yourself Ghost Hunting” by Chris Balzano. He has a great question list and we recommend the book.
What time did the experience occur?
Is there any location in the house with more activity than others?
Did you notice any sounds, smells, sights in these locations?
How have your pets reacted to these locations?
Has the electric bill increased during this time (Remember, ghosts use energy to manifest)?
Have you had any sudden mood changes in these locations?
Has your sleep been disrupted?
Have you had any increases in your stress levels before the haunting began?
Have you felt threatened by the spirit?
I think the most important things to remember is the journalistic approach of getting the who/when/why/what/how/importance/indication type questions for each suspected location in the house. Also, don’t give the witness your general thoughts just yet: Collect the evidence and review it. Your thoughts go into the investigative report. I’m not saying you should leave them impatiently waiting. Say it’s better to investigate, get the facts and then provide the results with consultation.