Sitemaps help you define the haunting area and target areas for intensive EVP and visual recording. It has nothing to do with SEO.
You want to have an idea of suspected haunting activity before you come in with EMF meters blazing.
That means getting a general layout, or sitemap, of the house or property.
Using Graph Paper to Create a Sitemap
You don’t need to have the official blueprint. You can make one as you survey the area using graph paper.
I usually let each square represent a 1-ft. by 1-ft. area. So, a 8-ft. by 10-ft. room would be 8 squares up-and-down and 10 squares left-to-right. Pretty obvious, eh?
Next, you want to take baseline reading with an EMF meter in each room. Specifically, measure the reading from all outlets, lights and appliances. They can leak EMF and cause bad readings. If you mark it up front, you can debunk activity. If the EMF spike is outside the recorded mark, then you could have something ghostly.
You also want to mark the areas of paranormal activity at the haunted site. If a witness reported an apparition, mark it on the graph paper with a red ‘X’ and list the activity, like ‘Apparition.’ next to it. Then, you know what kind of equipment to set up in the area. It will also help the other ghost hunters on your team gear their questions–for EVP collection–or digital video/camera settings for apparitions. You can also add the schedule to each sitemap, so you know who will be in the area during the investigation.
Using Sitemaps for Well-Known Haunts
If you investigate a well-documented site, you can probably find the blueprints online or at the local historical society. Just print it off and take it with you. You still want to do a site survey to collect baseline readings. You can add the ghostly activities to the blueprints for your investigation.
Ghostly Activities investigates public places, so we find most of the site layouts online. Then, we mark where the activity happens and set-up our equipment for extended questioning and recording sessions.
You can find many sitemaps, or blueprints, at these sites:
Stats for a site: http://www.city-data.com/
Blueprints for modern properties: http://www.zillow.com/
Architecture styles: http://www.realtor.com/basics/allabout/typesstyles/index.asp
Examples of old houses and mansions: http://www.oldhouses.com/
If you need help finding information about an old, haunted house, try the Society of Architectural Historians: http://www.sah.org/
For the really hardcore researcher, use The Digital Archaeological Record: http://www.tdar.org
Jacob Rice began investigating and writing about the paranormal in 2007. He has published 3 books on ghost hunting, ghost stories and paranormal protection. His podcast, Ghostly Activities, dives into these topics even more. You can also watch his ghost hunts on the Ghostly Activities YouTube channel. He lives in Olympia, Washington.