As any paranormal investigator will tell you, it’s easy to find that perfect location, but not as easy to gain access to the property if it’s restricted by the property owners to perform an investigation. This is what differentiates an experienced ‘Paranormal Investigator’ from an inexperienced ‘Ghost Hunter.’ Because the Ghost Hunter will simply ignore the law, and enter the property without permission, often giving these criminals an extra boost of adrenalin, which makes it that much more exciting. Not only is this ILLEGAL, it’s the reason why it’s that much more difficult to get permission for the legitimate paranormal team, wanting to do some serious research, from getting in at all! Not only is this an inappropriate way to perform an investigation, but you could be faced with some time behind bars (especially if you’re a repeat offender) and some pretty fines. The legal consequences aside, entering property illegally will your gang’s credibility. Because how are you going to explain where your evidence came from, if you’ve commited an act of vandalism! Nothing will damage your group more than having your team name, and all its members in a public court record for trespassing and vandalism, or better yet published in your local newspaper! Not only will you have damaged your reputation, but you will have closed the doors for any legitimate, law abiding team from ever getting permission, legally! Thus alienating yourselves from the paranormal community altogether. In the Shadows Paranormal Project is well aware of how difficult it can be to get permission to perform an investigation on private property; including a local cemetery, considering the millions of dollars in damage (world-wide) vandals have so often committed during their trespass. But just as any respectable business will tell you, it’s always difficult when you’re trying to get started. First, you must prove yourself and the respect will follow. Respect is earned, not a given. Nor is it impossible to get! It all begins with a legitimate reason for wanting to gain access to that purportedly haunting property. The best way to do so is by first doing some ‘research’ on the property, before you even consider contacting the owners about it. This can easily be done by visiting county courthouse for records, the local library, and sifting through old micro-fiche records (a transparent sheet of photographic film containing micro-images of old newspaper articles viewable through a magnification system – this was used long before computers were even thought of, much less used). One more point to ponder, is that yes, the Internet can be helpful, don’t believe everything you read on it! Be sure to discover everything there is to know about the history behind the property, and verified any rumours you may have have heard regarding the haunting. Until you do this, assume the property is not haunted. It’s when you discover something about the property, that could point to a possible lead to a haunting that you will have hit ‘pay-dirt’ and be more likely to confront, and convince, the owners of the property to give you permission to conduct a ‘legal’ investigation. Getting Legal Permission It’s Not as Difficult as One Might Think Legal Paperwork to Include Prepare a portfolio with the evidence you’ve gathered, including a ‘Letter of Intent’ (to conduct and investigation) that defines your purpose and provides a plan. Being prepared and well quipped with your research will provide the property owner with the necessary information about the case as well as impress them with your professional approach. Often removing the barrier of scepticism , and preconceptions or assumptions about paranormal investigators, to allow your team onto the property to perform an investigation. Granted, there will be owners that want nothing to do with paranormal investigator, nor their property associated with ‘ghosts and spirits.’ Often an underlying reason for denial of access or even an interview, is liability. For this reason, be sure to also include a ‘Assumption of Risk’ (a release of liability) contract to give to the owner, that you will release them from all liability for you and your group while performing the investigation. Meaning, if you or any member of your team are hurt, the property owner will not and cannot be held accountable for the accident. [Note: Also an internal ‘Member Waiver of Liability’ should also have been signed and ‘on file’ to release you as the team’s organizer from any liability for any of your team members, should they get hurt during an investigation or training session.] Some owners do not want any type of publicity regarding their property, and will express a Confidentiality Agreement’ be in place to avoid or limit any adverse publicity (this contract should always be included in your paperwork regardless giving you the same consideration). This document should provide you permission to publish any results publicly and/or retain and publish any evidence collected at the location, while keeping the owners information private from the public. Simply meaning, that results of the investigation, its location, and any personal information gathered of the owner and his property will only be viewable by you and your group. Nor will it ever be released to the general public. This contract should always be part of your paperwork and will help protect you from any legal allegations by the client. Sometimes no matter how hard you try, you fail to get permission. In which case provide the property owners with your team’s business card, should they have a change in heart, and move on. In some cases they may not have even looked at your research, so either leave them a copy to read at their leisure or mail it to them. Because without their permission, an investigation is out of the question. Some owners, however are extremely excited to see what you’ve discovered and will allow you to perform an investigation of their property. This is partial thanks to the success of paranormal television programming. More and more owners can see the benefit of having their property declared, haunted, or even clear. Then there are the property owners are well aware of the hauntings occuring on their premises, yet will refrain from allowing you to investigate. Often this is from the fear that the entities may retaliate for your intrusion on their territory. When this occurs, you have a couple possibilities; on is simple to respect their wishes and go on to the next case. Or educate them on your investigation processes and methodology. Often your client base (if you have any) can provide a positive reference to overcome their fear. Also point out that there is a possibility that you may be able to help them clear the premisses of these unwanted entities, or at the very least be able to deal with them and live in a peaceful coexistence with them. However, only offer this if you have the experience to do so, or know of other paranormal specialists that do. So when getting started, just member it takes a lot of hard work to gain the reputation, and the credentials, you’ll need to do what you love doing most...But commit yourself to never ruin your reputation in breaking any laws, trespassing or otherwise! You’ll get there with due time. Overcoming Obstacles DISCLAIMER – The legal documents provided herein are merely for reference only and may vary from state to state, or country to country. Be sure to consult professional legal advice in your area. As World Nexus Publications© has provided you these documents as examples only and cannot be held responsible for the legal responsibilities of your paranormal team! Paranormal Teamwork A Step by Step Methodology The content of this website is the copyright of World Nexus Publications © 2008-2011