These standards and protocols are the basic guidelines for a beginner in paranormal and ghost research to eliminate the common errors by most amateur ghost hunters. Furthermore, these paranormal and ghost research standards and protocols are based on the Malaysian Ghost Research experience for the past 18 years, reviewed from time to time to ensure its significance. Moreover, some of the Standards and Protocols are adapted from the International Ghost Hunters Society Standards and Protocols to ensure professionalism in paranormal investigation and ghost research.
Motto for Paranormal and Ghost Research
To ensure high standards and protocols during paranormal and ghost research, Malaysian Ghost Research has crafted their very own motto for paranormal and ghost research; “We research the unknown with respect and kindness, and touch souls with love and humility”. This motto serves as a reminder to me during my solo paranormal and ghost research to maintain high standards of professionalism.
The Fundamental Research Nature of Paranormal and Ghost Research
Please be reminded that paranormal and ghost research is neither a common research subject , nor is gazetted under formal academic research. This research field requires more than fundamental knowledge required for formal academic research. Furthermore, paranormal and ghost research requires a great deal of understanding on the fundamental nature of paranormal and ghost research itself, rather than just a cursory knowledge of spirits. Moreover, a researcher must have a great understanding of his/her research subjects; understand the dualism concept in paranormal and ghost research; understand the fundamental nature of spirit manifestation that is governed by spirit metaphysic; understand how the environment works and its impact on paranormal and ghost research investigation results; understand technology limitations, its impact and how to take advantages of this limitation in paranormal and ghost research investigation results; understand how the human behaviour applies and its impact on paranormal and ghost research investigation results; understand the method of assessment processes for paranormal and ghost research evidences and to determine its status being paranormal or not; and most importantly a researcher must have a great understanding on how to be connected with the consciousness of the spirit world. All of these are what that would make your research findings appear more outstanding.
So, to ensure this high standard of professionalism during paranormal and ghost research standard and protocols during paranormal professionalism the following are what you should do:
1.0 Preparations and Equipment
Make sure you clean your camera lens before and after a paranormal investigation.
Prepare a checklist on what you may need during an investigation.
Test all your equipment to ensure that they are working before the actual investigation.
Get ready all your equipment in advance.
If you are going to conduct an investigation outdoors, it is recommended that you prepare a waterproof storage to keep your equipment constantly dry.
Bring only all the necessary equipment during a paranormal investigation. Remember, it is YOU and not how advanced your gadgets are which will determine your success.
It is recommended that you first visit the place that you are going to plan for a night investigation—during the daytime. If necessary, do acquire a permit to enter the targeted location.
2.0 Personal and Solo Researcher Manners Standard
Always be calm and put your focus only on your investigation.
Wear a cap if you have long hair.
Do not let your mind think negatively but always have an open mind during a paranormal investigation and ghost research.
Release yourself from daily life problems to ensure 100% focus only for the investigation.
If you sense strange activity or feel as if you are being threatened, then just stop for a while—as you may have trespassed someone’s private area or you may be near a portal. Calm yourself down, tell the spirit who you are and your purpose there. Start your line with “Forgive me for…” Always remember we are not invited to be there but we are actually intruding someone’s private home—so be respectful to the owner.
Always have an open mind during a paranormal investigation and ghost research.
The researcher must always maintain a positive relationship with the investigation field all the time by showing respect and reverence.
3.0 Group Manners Standard
If someone is of a nature that is easily angered, he/she should not at all be involved in an investigation. He/She will draw angry spirits and other non-angry spirits will avoid him/her.
Do not allow any members to past negative judgment or comment for whatever reason during a paranormal and ghost research. Negative judgment or comment most of the time brings negative impact on the social relationship with the spirit of the dead that will thus ruin the investigation success.
Do not bring along sceptics or those who are negative or want proof that ghosts exist.
If you come in a big group of investigators you may divide your group into a smaller group that may only consist of 2 to 3 members. Never exceed more than 3 members in a group.
It is recommended that each member of the group may carry out a paranormal investigation solo too.
All groups should have a device to communicate with each other and each group should report to the group leader every 30 minutes or when necessary.
4.0 At the Field of Investigation
When you arrive at the field of investigation, greet the spirits around and tell them who you are and state your purpose.
Start your investigation only after 10 minutes from the time you arrive at the place, while preparing your equipment.
Before starting your investigation please note the ambient temperature, the moisture level, the earth geomagnetic field, any kind of electrical sources and other explainable sources.
Always keep in mind that you are required to greet the spirits around and tell them who you are, and state your purpose again at intervals of every 15 minutes during a paranormal investigation or when necessary.
Avoid making too much noise during the investigation.
Respect posted property, ask permission and do not trespass.
Always conduct your investigations in a professional manner.
Show reverence and respect all the time in cemeteries, battlefields, historical sites, etc.
No running or hose play in cemeteries or historical sites.
When you have done your investigations always thank the spirits for their co-operation.
Be aware of the insect type that can be found at the field investigation.
5.0 The Standards and the Protocols for Paranormal Photography
Remove or wear the camera strap so it does not hang loose.
Take photos of dust particles, pollen, moisture droplets to see how your camera records these kind of orbs.
If you are taking photos with an ordinary digital camera make sure you take a photo within 9-12 feet only.
Avoid taking pictures with a flash at reflective or shiny surfaces.
Keep fingers away from the lens of the camera.
6.0 The Standards and the Protocols for Paranormal Videography Outdoor
Video recording must only be done with a tripod and after 10-15 minutes, stop the recording and go to another area.
Don’t stay too near your video camera in order to avoid being distracted by mosquitoes. Do other things while the video camera ‘works’ for you.
You need to be at least 10 metres away from your video camera while it is recording.
Never leave your camera video for a long period of time, even more than 5 minutes. You must be around 10 metres away from your video camera at all times during an investigation.
Never make yourself the focus of the video recording. Remember that spirits are human too, and they respect your privacy. Make sure the focus of the video recording is the spirit themselves.
You can stand up in front of the video camera only for a minimal number of times.
Use another video camera to record your investigation if you need to document that investigation.
Whenever you start a new recording in a new area, always treat it as a new fresh investigation. You are required to greet the spirits and tell them who you are and your purpose again.
7.0 General Standards and Protocols
If possible it is recommended that you let the spirits know of your intention to conduct a paranormal investigation a few hours prior to the actual field investigation.
Treat your visit at the field of investigation as an actual investigation, even if you have just come to the place for scouting purposes. Remember to greet ‘the owner’ of the place and let them know who you are and your purpose there.
Leave nothing at the field of an investigation except for your footprints.
No smoking, drugs or drinking is to be allowed during an investigation.
We do not consider Ouija boards, dowsing rods, pendants, séances or any other forms of ritual as valid investigation tools.
Do not cry out or try to challenge the spirit to appear or spirits may avoid you. Moreover, do not document anything as you may be exposed to the danger of angry spirits and low level spirit attacks.
Based on Malaysian Ghost Research experience, all times are best for paranormal investigation—as long as you have the focus towards your paranormal investigation as every matter exists in one definite existence that has no beginning nor end—it is God’s Mind that holds everything. Therefore, the best time for conducting paranormal investigation is embedded in YOU. It is not necessary to follow the time of geomagnetic storm or the lunar cycles as Malaysian Ghost Research has found that the lunar calendar has nothing to do with ghost activity.
An Associate International Member of the UK Geographical Association, the Assistant Afternoon Supervisor of Gurun Secondary School (Kedah, Malaysia), a Geography teacher with 28 years of teaching experience and holds a masters degree in Geography, former outdoor education trainer, an education application developer, an environmental researcher, a photographer, a videographer, a book author, a solo paranormal and ghost researcher, as well as the sole founder of Malaysian Ghost Research.