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. Part one of this article looked at what should be done as part of an outside walkthrough. We now turn our attention to the inside.
The procedures inside are basically the same as outside. You will want to draw a map of each floor of the structure and indicate the directions. You might also want to map out each room depending on the size of building. Again, start with the most obvious.
Start at the main point of entrance. Note the door you just came through. What type is it? Does it sit well in the frame? Do you notice any drafts? Check all the doors on the property to see if they are hung properly. An aligned door will not open on its own. Try opening and closing the doors. Do they open easily? Do the latches catch well in the doorjamb or slip out easily?
Check all the windows and their condition. Do they fit well? Is there condensation? Are there drafts? Could they be missing their screen? What are the window dressings and what are they made of? If there is a draft or movement of any kind, wood or plastic blinds can make a noise that may be interpreted as something strange.
Make note of the location of anything that emits EMF. This means, anything electrical. It will help you later when you do your pre-investigation walkthrough with your EMF meter. Where are the sockets, light switches, and wired-in lights located? Are there any extension or power cords in use? Indicate the items in use at these locations. Where are the appliances and any household electronics located? As you are checking out the appliances take notice of any noises they could be emitting. Do they vibrate? Are they level?
Take a look at the vents. Are any missing? If there are pets, could they possibly get into an area with an open vent and contribute to possible noises in the house? While you are looking at the floor notice the type of flooring. Is it carpet, wood, laminate? What condition is it in? Do you notice any sounds or loose flooring while you are walking around? It might be a good idea to mark locations where you notice the most noise.
While you are walking around look for possible reflective surfaces. Outside lights and even lights from cars can catch these surfaces and project quick flashes on other surfaces. Watch for surfaces that could reflect later when you are taking flash pictures. It might be a good idea to cover these unless you are specifically looking for something in the reflection.
You will want to check a finished basement the same way you have done the upper floors. Locate all the wiring, control panels and electrical outlets. EMF from these might leak through the ceiling and influence things on the floor/area above it. Vents and plumbing can also make funny noises when they are in use. Is the furnace/hot water heater old or new? Are they in good repair? How much noise to they make? If you can, look at the foundation and its’ condition.
Attics are not always accessible but do your best to check it out if you can, especially if the client has indicated a problem.
When you have finished your pre-investigation walkthrough take your drawings and indicate any and all hotspots the client has pointed out. Some of the things you have noticed may or may not have an influence on these areas and you can check them out during the investigation.
These paranormal investigation tips and tricks provided by Joanne Schiavoni, Paranormal Research & Investigation Society of Manitoba (P.R.I.S.M.)