Pre-investigation walkthroughs are done to familiarize yourself with the location, look for possible hazards that could injure you or your team during your investigation, and any possible natural or man-made elements that could be mistaken for something paranormal. It is best to perform this during the day when you can observe everything that can possibly influence your investigation. At this point you are not unlike building inspectors.
Look for things that could influence your equipment, your hearing, and your vision. Since there are a myriad of things to look for and notice, have a clipboard, paper, and pen with you and draw a map of the area. Drawing a layout doesn’t have to be precise or to scale it just has to give you a visual reference of the premises and any possible concerns. Marking what you find on your layout will ensure you don’t have to remember every little detail you have found. It is a good idea to have another investigator with you doing their own independent walkthrough. This way you can compare notes afterwards and add things you missed.
It will take longer to point these things out than it would to notice them, but the more you notice the more you may eliminate some of the alleged phenomena plaguing the area.
Start with the main layout, what jumps out at you right away. Mark the directions (N, S, E, W) and make note of the position and shape of the building. Which way is it facing? Include the building, unattached buildings (like garages and sheds, even pools), perimeter fencing, trees and bushes, placement of sidewalks, parking spots, driveways, back lane, and street front.
Note the type of construction and condition of everything. Main building – is it wood or concrete? How many stories? Is there a porch or shutters? Are the steps wood or concrete? What is the condition of the roof and chimney? Are there any openings where an animal could enter? Fencing – is it wood, cast iron, or chain link? Sidewalks, driveways, back lane, and street front – are they gravel, wood, concrete, asphalt (note the direction of traffic flow on the street and make note of how heavy the flow is, if possible)? Landscaping – what type of landscaping? Where is everything located? How tall are the trees? What condition are they in? Are they close to or touching the building?
Once that is done, start looking further out. What other influences are there? Look for hydro/telephone poles. Hydro poles can emit high EMF (an electromagnetic field) which may affect someone physically. Some symptoms of high EMF are forgetfulness, confusion or poor concentration, paranoia, headaches, hallucinations, and possibly the feeling of vibrations.
Is there any wiring to the house? Where are the air conditioner, central vac, or gas meter located? Are they in good repair? Are there any wind chimes? Are there any street lights, traffic lights, or even lighted business signs around? Where are they located and can they reflect into the building?
Buildings in and around the premises could also have an influence on the location, make note of the proximity and anything outstanding about it. Much like you have already done with your main location.
Once you have completed your exterior inspection you can now move to the interior.
These paranormal investigation tips and tricks provided by Joanne Schiavoni, Paranormal Research & Investigation Society of Manitoba (P.R.I.S.M.)