The investigation is over and now comes the time to look at all the evidence you have gathered. In front of you you have written notes, audio, video, digital photos, and maybe even film photos. It’s a daunting task and is probably the most time consuming part of your investigation. Each investigator should analyse their own evidence, however, not everyone can take the time needed.
Do your analysis in a quiet room with no people or distractions (if possible). Take your time reviewing your files. It is a good idea to have at least two people going over the data. That way you can ask them for verification if you find something interesting or even have them go over an item you’ve looked at or listened to for anything you may have missed.
Transfer all your digital files to a computer. Note the medium and the date and time each file covers. Your photos contain this information and can be found if you look at their properties.
- Audio. AVS Audio Editor or Audacity are a couple of good free audio analysers you can download. Using headphones while listening will remove outside interferences and allow you to hear any possible EVPs clearer and with more precision. If you hear something, note the time, date and time stamp so you can easily find it again. Use the programs to cut and copy snippets of conversations that you can clean up.
- Video. AVS Video Editor is another great free program to use when analysing your data. Video analysis is time consuming and hard on the eyes. It is recommended that you do your visual analysis in short bursts to give your eyes a rest. Tired eyes can miss evidence. If you see an activity you believe could be paranormal, document the time, date and time stamp on the program. Cut and copy the section for a more precise analysis.
- Photos. Use a graphics program to view your photos. Use the zoom feature to examine areas of interest. If you have film photos, use a magnifying glass to inspect the finer details. Make sure you look at the whole picture from edge-to-edge and top to bottom. Anomalies don’t just happen in the middle of the picture. Before you start manipulating a picture, save a copy and work on that one.
Cross-check any possible evidence between the three mediums. If you catch an EVP on audio find the same spot on your video file to see if you can hear it there. If you hear an EVP on your video compare it with your audio file. You might be lucky and get video evidence to go along with the EVP. If your pictures capture an anomaly it may be possible to find the same frame in your video file. This is where documenting the date and time will help you find the spot easier. Use your video programs’ frame-by-frame feature to narrow it down.
Remember, don’t rush your analysis. Take your time. If there is something there you will find it.
These paranormal investigation tips and tricks provided by Joanne Schiavoni, Paranormal Research & Investigation Society of Manitoba (P.R.I.S.M.)