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SHGHRS Standards And Protocols

The Strange Happenings Ghost And Hauntings Research Society Organization does not limit itself to the ancient "standard" ghost hunter protocols that most other organizations follow. However, we do follow some of the standard, common sense protocols. In truth, the standard ghost hunter protocols followed by most ghost hunters were set forth by the overly superstitious/overly religious and not so credible International Ghost Hunter Society founders - Dave Oester and Sharon Gill. This is by no means a complete list of of protocols, as our list of protocols are ever changing. We add to them regularly as new situations arise out in the field. Other investigators are welcome to adopt any of the SHGHRS' protocols they see fit and we encourage them to develop their own "real world" ghost hunter protocols as well.

The following protocols are not listed

in any particular order of importance

Unlike most other overly superstitious ghost hunters, we welcome the use of Ouija Boards, as well as any other "forbidden" occult - type methods of obtaining evidence during our investigations. We fail to see the difference between using other "apparent' means of spirit communication and walking around, telling spirits to come out for a picture or asking them to talk to us! We feel that if ghost hunters are afraid to have direct contact with spirits, ghost hunting is not for them. Afterall, direct contact is really what we're after, right?

We do not consider the "claims" of psychics, sensitives and age old superstitions to be credible enough to be considered as factual, let alone as evidence. However, we do welcome any opportunity to put such claims and superstitions to the test out in the field in order to formulate actual hypotheses and scientific theories. Additionally, we do not give our own "feelings" a whole lot of relevance out in the field. Though, we will mention them in our reports on occassion. We feel that the feelings of "not being alone" or "being watched" are pretty normal and it seems that the fewer people there are on an investigation, the more we will experience such feelings.

Paranormal investigators must leave their personal and religious beliefs at the door! Our goal is to obtain actual scientific evidence of ghosts and the after life, which differs entirely from what people's religious/spiritual beliefs will lead them to believe. We have repeatedly seen how people's spiritual beliefs will cloud their views and judgement.

Location is everything! We prefer to investigate locations that are very old and rich in ghostly history whenever possible. Especially locations where great tragedy, sorrow and devistation have taken place and also places where other groups have already collected good evidence. Proper paranormal investigation and reviewing evidence is EXTREMELY time consuming, so why waste time going out on "wild goose chases"?

Formal investigations should always be scheduled for the nights of full or new moons, but this is not to say that other random ghost hunts cannot be conducted in between those times of the month. In fact, doing those random, in between ghost hunts gives us additional data to compare with full/new moon data and it gives us the opportunity to "scout" other areas for ghostly activity for future formal investigations. We've just had a lot of great luck during the nights of full and new moons and we feel that we might as well give ourselves the best chances for having the most spirit activity.

We always try extend our investigations past the peak of the "psychic hours" (3:00 am). At present we cannot say that we have noted any significant increase in ghostly activity after 3:00 am, but we feel it is worthy of further study.

No daytime investigations! Daytime photos notoriously produce a multitude of false positive images, due to light, shadows and a multitude of other factors.

No smoking at any time while pictures are being taken. We always have a designated area, where we will take cigarette breaks throughout the investigation.

No whispering or mumbling throughout the duration of the investigation. Everyone must always do their best to speak in a loud, clear speaking voice from the moment we arrive at the investigation site until the moment we leave. If someone happens to forget (and they will) everyone who notices is to verbally state outloud that someone made a wierd noise, etc. This is so we will know it wasn't something paranormal when we are reviewing our audio.

Members must remain with their assigned group/partner at all times and not wander off by themselves.

In most cases it is best if as many different instruments are being concentrated on the same areas at the same time. The ideal situation is to be taking pictures, recording audio and video, monitoring EMF's and temperatures at the same time. It is even more ideal to have enough investigators and equipment to divide up into multiple groups and conduct our investigations as described above.

We never conduct formal investigations while it is raining or snowing.

All investigators are required to clean their camera lens with an approved camera lens wipe before every investigation.

Keep all camera straps around your neck/wrist at all times or remove them.

Always keep fingers away from camera lens.

Always keep long hair pulled back and away from camera lens.

Always hold camera out at arms length when taking pictures. Never look through the camera's view finder when taking pictures.

ALWAYS hold your breath for at least 5 seconds before EVERY photo. A person's breath can show up in a photo in any temperature that is 68 degrees or lower, even when you can't see your breath. It is best to just make it a habit to hold your breath for at least 5 seconds, even during the warm summer months. We are currently experimenting with some new ideas for containing our breath entirely during colder months.

If an investigator's camera continuously produces photos with swirly beams of bright light they will be required to mount their camera on a tripod during investigations, as this is caused by a combination of slow shutter speeds, an external light source and camera movement.

Camcorders must ALWAYS be mounted to a tripod.

Only exceptional orb photos are considered as evidence. Examples would be an orb photo that was captured on video at the same time the picture was taken, exceptionally bright or colored orbs, orbs that were captured during the time temperature or EMF fluctuations were recorded, if a noise was heard or an investigator experienced "the deathly cold chill" just before the photo was taken and orbs with distinctive facial features within them. See our "Orb Study Reports" for more information on orbs.

Always do everything possible to sift through urban legends and myths by researching the history and stories that surround haunted locations to find solid facts.

All members are required to conduct experiments with their own cameras by taking pictures in adverse spirit photography conditions (in rain, snow, foggy weather, dusty, bug infested conditions, etc) and learn how their cameras photograph natural elements. Different cameras photograph these elements differently than others.

Always take at least 2 consecutive photos at a time for comparison.

Always keep a careful, accurate log of all activity and the exact times of occurances and especially the exact times evidence was obtained. Digital audio recorders are great for keeping a verbal log as you go for later review.

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