Questions and Answers

  1. How can I request an investigation? In order to request an investigation, please see the Investigation Request page and follow the instructions.
  2. Does SDPRS charge for investigations? No, SDPRS does not charge for investigations. However, we do accept donations.
  3. Can I observe an investigation? SDPRS occasionally allows observers to come and observe an investigation.  If you are from out-of-state or another country and are interested in coming on an investigation, please e-mail Nicole at [email protected]
  4. What places does SDPRS investigate? SDPRS investigates private residences, businesses and historical sites, including National Landmarks.
  5. Why does a place become haunted? No one absolutely knows why places become haunted. However, there are prevalent theories that possibly explain whya place becomes haunted. Some natural sources that might influence a haunting include water, electricity, electromagnetic field,ley lines, train tracks, etc. Places that contain a lot of human emotion might explain a haunting. Owning a lot of antiques might also explain a haunting. The specific area that a houses a particular location may have a specific history that could explain paranormal activity.
  6. Is it an imaginary friend or a ghost? Many young children (ages 2-5) have imaginary friends. Some of these so-called imaginary friends may in fact be a ghost.  Signs to look for include change in behavior, sleep pattern or general routine, distraction, talking to oneself, imaginary play, social and emotional changes.  If you would like more information about this, please feel free to contact the team.
  7. Does SDPRS travel out-of-state for investigations? Yes, SDPRS will occasionally trave out-of-state for investigations. SDPRS primarily serves the following California counties: San Diego, Imperial, Los Angeles, Riverside and Orange.
  8. How old do I have to be to join SDPRS? The minimum age requirement for SDPRS membership is 25-years-old.
  9. Is SDPRS available for conducting paranormal classes and/or lectures? Yes, SDPRS is available for conducting paranormal classes and/or lectures.  Please see our Classes and Presentations page.
  10. Does SDPRS endorse the use of Black Magic and Ouija Board use?  SDPRS DOES NOT endorse the use of Black Magic and Ouija Board use.
  11. What are paranormal phenomena? Phenomena are considered paranormal when they fall out of the spectrum   of being normal. Additionally, it is very hard to explain and many times, there are no explanations for the existence of paranormal phenomena. Some paranormal researchers believe that paranormal phenomena are more common than one would think.
  12. What are ghosts? A ghost is basically the survival of human personality and consciousness.
  13. When the human body ceases to function, the spirit and personality remains and continues to live. No one really knows for certain what ghosts are or why they are here. There are many theories that may suggest why a ghost remains on our plane of existence as opposed to going “home”.
  14. Signs of paranormal activity There are many signs that a location may indeed have paranormal activity or suggest a haunting. Some of the common signs include: cold and hot spots, disembodied noises, misplaced objects, poltergeist activity, disruptions in the EMF spectrum, tapping, rapping, knocking, banging, fleeing shadows etc. Some of the the physical signs include: nausea, malaise, headache, fatigue, sleep problems, feeling of being watched, etc.  See our “Signs of a Haunting” page for more information.
  15. Why are ghosts here? To be honest, no one really knows why ghosts exist on our plane of existence.
  16. However, these are prevalent theories that explain why. Many people die a sudden and/or violent death and many times do not know they are dead. Thus, they continue to carry on life’s duties, often what they were doing at the time of their demise. Other times, ghosts are stuck on earth or choose to remain on our plane of existence due to unfinished business or carry out a mission. Ghosts sometimes choose to remain here to be at the location that they loved and cherished. For non-human entities, it is theorized that they are here to antagonize the living and/or observe the living.
  17. Where to find ghosts? Ghosts seem to be attracted to places that have seen or have a lot of powerful emotion. Thus, places such as hospital, sanatoriums, funeral homes, cemeteries, churches, libraries, wedding halls, amusement parks, theaters, schools, antique stores, etc. tend to have paranormal phenomena. If you or a group of people want to start paranormal investigating, it is crucial to obtain prior permission to investigate!
  18. What is a vortex? A vortex is defined as having a mass amount of spiritual energy. Vortexes are also thought to have a mass amount of spiritual orbs. Other researchers feel that a vortex is a stage of spirit manifestation as well. A vortex resembles a camera strap or a piece of rope and seems to vibrate with spiritual energy.
  19. What is an orb? An orb is a sphere of light that contains energy. Some people feel that orbs contain spiritual energy. In this case, it is thought that the so-called spirit orbs may contain faces of those who have died. Orbs are also thought to be a stage of spirit manifestation. Orbs indicate that energy is prevalent in the environment, whether or not they consist of spiritual energy.
  20. What is Electronic Voice Phenomena or EVP? Electronic Voice Phenomena is where ghost voices appear on analog and digital voice recorders. At the time of recording, the ghost voices are not heard; however upon playback of audio, the voice appears on the recorder.  EVP is a common technique employed by paranormal investigators. EVP can consist of words, phrases, footsteps, banging, tapping, rapping, knocking, singing, etc.  See below for more information about the four classes of EVP.
  21. Class A: An identifiable word or phrase loud enough to be heard without the aid of headphones.  Everyone agrees on what is said.
  22. Class B: A word or phrase that may not be recognizable by every  investigator,  but can be heard without the use of headphones.
  23. Class C: A word or phrase that is not identifiable and needs to be perceived with the use of headphones; very soft and faint in quality.
  24. Class R:  R stands for Reversible.  Occasionally, if you reverse the audio or segment, an identifiable word or phrase is understood.
  25. What is the Near Infrared Spectrum? The near infrared spectrum is the spectrum where ghosts are thought to exist. It cannot be seen with the naked eye. Cameras that take pictures in the near infrared spectrum sometimes pick up ghostly images. This is why it is thought that ghosts exist in this part of the electromagnetic spectrum.
  26. Are ghosts dangerous? Generally speaking, the majority of ghosts are not dangerous. Occasionally, people have reported being pushed or having their hair pulled, but not to the extent of actually obtaining a physical injury. Some poltergeist activity and of course, VERY RARE demonic-like activity can be dangerous.
  27. What is a portal? A portal is a passageway between our level of existence and the afterlife. It is a passageway where spirits can travel to and from our plane of existence. Think of it like a bridge connecting two planes of existence. Places that house portals seem to have a lot of paranormal activity.
  28. What is Instrumental Trans-communication or ITC? ITC is the use of electronic devices, such as spirit boxes, Frank’s Boxes, radios, televisions, computers, audio recorders, etc., to try and communicate with the deceased. ITC is rapidly evolving and many paranormal researchers employ ITC when conducting paranormal investigations. ITC is different than EVP in the sense that it is communicating with the deceased in real time. When ITC is employed, an investigator attempts to communicate with the spirit (two-way communication) in real time; that is the spirit voices are heard at the time of communication.
  29. What is the difference between scientific investigating and psychic investigating? The scientific method of paranormal investigating utilizes various types of equipment that seem to be capable of picking up paranormal activity. Some types of equipment consist of: video cameras, still photography cameras, audio equipment, EMF meters, Geiger and ION counters, thermometers, motion sensors, IR thermometers, night vision devices, etc. Psychic investigating is when investigators utilize their sensitive and psychic abilities  to pick up paranormal phenomena. Psychic investigators utilize their five senses when conducting a paranormal investigation. Many researchers use sensitives on their investigations as a way to corroborate scientific evidence of paranormal phenomena.
  30. Personality-retaining/interactive (intelligent) ghosts: ghosts that retain their former earth-bound personalities and exhibit them in the afterlife.  These ghosts can include, familial, historical, anonymous personalities; able to interact in a way that the living can sense their presence via the five human senses; show a variety of emotion.  Most of these ghosts are harmless.
  31. Non-interactive/residual ghost:  more or less imprints or residual energy, like a tape recorder playing itself over and over; has no concept of time and space.  These psychic imprints repeat the same actions over and over, sometimes with relation to an important anniversary or time of year; unaware of the living; it is questionable whether a residual ghost is really a ghost or just a psychic imprint.
  32. Living ghost:  the possible projection of a still living person that appears.  This encounter is rare and usually happens with the living ghost is encountering a great deal of danger or turmoil or right before death.  This is more or less similar to an OBE where the subject is alive at the time of appearing to another person, but unaware that he or she did so.
  33. Crisis apparition: a ghost that appears to a living person at the time of a crisis, usually before the subject’s death.
  34. Animal ghosts: the survival of personality of animals; due to a pet’s strong bond to its owners, animal ghosts have been known to appear intelligently or residually.  Dogs, cats and horses are the most common.
  35. Inanimate ghosts/time slips: phantom sightings of ships, boats, cars, trains, airplanes, etc.  This type of haunting is more along the lines of an imprint or residual type of energy on the environment or that the living person operating these vehicles somehow caused the inanimate ghost to appear.
  36. Poltergeists (PK):translates to “noisy ghost” in German; usually the psychokinetic work of a human agent who is under unusual amounts of stress.  Pubescent teenagers are usually the culprit of PK activity.  Signs include:  knockings, rappings, tappings, movement of objects of their own volition via the kinetic energy of the human mind.  Occasionally, PK events can be caused by an actual ghost and not a human agent.
  37. Psychokinetic/Telekinetic:  The word psychokinetic has actually replaces the word telekinetic.  Basically, it is the mind’s ability to move and object and has its place in Poltergeist cases.
  38. Man-made ghosts: This is similar to a “tulpa” in that a human being creates the ghost from excessive imagination and thought.
  39. Extra-celestials: another type of intelligent being that does not originate from planet earth or from a different universal dimension.  Maybe they once existed as physical entities on another planet or are entities that have always existed in a non-corporeal state or pure energy.  Some examples can be: angels, inter-dimensional beings, aliens, Men in Black, malevolent beings, such as fairies, elementals, Djinn etc.  These beings may be on a different plane of existence but seek communication with our plane of existence.
  40. Spirits:  a discarnate being that exists in the visible realm.  My own take is that they have spiritually evolved and moved on to a brighter place, but choose to come back to our plane in time of need or desire.
  41. Elementals, Fairies, Elves, Djinn: Beings that are usually associated with malevolence and trickster personalities.  They sometimes appear disguised and take other forms typically associated with a bad smell and bad intentions.
  42. Orbs:  round, opaque balls of light that are captured on film or by the naked eye.  Most orbs can be explained away naturally, but orbs can represent paranormal and spiritual energy.  The classic signs that an orb is of spiritual nature is the brightness it exudes, its erotic flight pattern, and the presence of a nucleus/facial images in the center.
  43. Mist/fog:   a stage in an entities manifestation; typically white, grey or black mists are seen.
  44. Ectoplasm: a term that originated in the spiritualist movement whereby mediums would exude ectoplasmic substances via orifaces after channeling a spirit.
  45. Vortex: A vortex is complete with massive amounts of spiritual energy; a connecting bridge between our plane of existence and the afterlife.
  46. Partial manifestations: this is an example of when an entity appears with parts of the body missing, such as the limbs, hands, feet.
  47. Shadow Person:  A stage of ghost manifestation whereby the witness sees a dark shadow that resembles a human figure.  This is different from the “Shadow People Phenomenon.”
  48. Classic Shadow People: These entities are mainly concerned with watching human beings; they are non-interactive.  They are usually seen as very tall, wearing a black cape and wide brimmed hat or very short in stature.  They have been known to have the trickster nature and are sometimes malevolent.  It is believed that they originate from another dimension, but tap into our dimension to study us.
  49. Full manifestation: The Holy Grail of paranormal evidence whereby a ghost is fully manifested and resembles a living human being.
  50. What is a haunting: a repeated occurrence of paranormal activity in a specific location.  The activity may appear in many ways, such as apparitions, sights, sounds, smells and cold spots, etc.  Hauntings can last for a long time or just last for a very short time.  In my opinion, the paranormal activity has to have some sort of connection to the location/environment to cause a haunting.
  51. Intelligent Haunting: a haunting that takes place with interactive ghosts and entities.
  52. Residual Haunting:  a replaying of psychic imprints.  For example, a Civil War soldier firing a cannon in Gettysburg can be classified as a residual haunt.
  53. Poltergeist:   see types of ghosts
  54. Portal Hauntings: a portal is where ghosts and spirits can travel to this plane of existence, kind of like a bridge connecting our plane and their plane.  Places that are known to be extremely haunted may have portals, such as the RMS Queen Mary.  Portals may also be evident in locations with Ley Lines, water sources, railroad tracks, etc.
  55. Ghost lights/Spook lights:  different phenomenon then orbs.  These can almost always be explained away as a logical phenomenon.  Ghost lights are found in areas, such as swamps, mountains and lakes.  The scientific theory is that gases are emitted from substances, such as manure or compost, which create the mysterious balls of lights.
    Types of Equipment used in Paranormal Investigation
  56. EMF Meters: EMF meters are a vital tool for paranormal investigators.  It is thought that ghosts and spirits can interfere with the electromagnetic field, which can cause EMF meters to fluctuate.  It is also thought that ghosts and spirits can cause EMF or EMF can cause the manifestations of ghosts and spirits.  Typically, EMF readings between a 2-7 milligauss can suggest ghostly activity.  Today, many EMF meters on the market also have simultaneous temperature meters built into the device.  The following EMF meters are on the market today
  57. Cell sensor
  58. Ghost meter
  59. Ghost meter Pro
  60. E-pod
  61. E-pod AMP
  62. Mel 8704
  63. Mel meter natural
  64. Mel meter combined with KII meter
  65. KII meter
  66. Gauss meters
  67. Tri Field meter
  68. Tri Field Natural Meter
  69. EMF 822A meter (digital EMF meter)
  70. ELF zone EMF meter
  71. EMF Hunters
  72. Cameras and Video cameras:  Spiritual energy has been captured on cameras for years.  Different types of cameras used in paranormal investigation include Polaroid, Instamatic, 35mm, digital, IR and full spectrum.  Today there are also full spectrum and IR video cameras available as well.  The following are examples of the types of cameras and video cameras available:
  73. Full Spectrum Camcorder
  74. Deep infrared Digital Camera
  75. Full Spectrum Digital Camera
  76. PRO series Full Spectrum Camera with HD video
  77. HD IR and Full Spectrum video cameras
  78. Polaroid
  79. 35mm
  80. Digital cameras
  81. Needed accessories include:  external IR illuminators, tripods and necessary camera brackets, hot shoe mounts and memory cards
  82. EVP and ITC Equipment:  Voices and sounds have been captured on audio devices for many years.  EVP has also been known to appear on answering machines, via radios and cell phones.  The most accessible audio device out there is the digital audio recorder.  However, analog (magnetic) recorders are the favored device for EVP communication. EVP is captured by magnetic induction.  Today, there are many specialty items available to aid in your EVP work.  The following are EVP/ITC items available:
  83. Analog tape recorders
  84. Digital Recorders
  85. EVP Field Processor (EFP device)
  86. Ovilus X:  Experimental ITC device (
  87. White Noise Generator (
  88. Audio software programs:  can directly record audio via computer
  89. The RT-EVP:  Real time EVP device with spirit box built in.
  90. The Reverse EVP transmitter: Attempting spirit communication by reproducing sound in a magnetic field.  This device is used in conjunction with audio recorders.  You plug a microphone into the unit and your voice will be broadcasted as a magnetic field, which can be picked up by EMF devices. (
  91. Parabolic microphones (preferably attach a recorder to the parabolic microphone
  92. Spirit Boxes, Sangean Devices, Frank’s Box, etc
  93. Needed accessories:  Noise cancelling headphones, external microphones, tapes, patch cables (if needed), sound amplifiers (if needed)
  94. Air ION counters/Air ION detectors: Can be used to detect artificial and natural ions.  Natural ions can be the result of decay of radioactive materials and radon gas; fires, lighting, storms, evaporated water.  The ION detector can gauge the output and coverage of artificial sources, such as ION generators, plasma-discharge ions in air and other gases, air-conditioning units, etc. Can be used by paranormal researchers to detect ion levels as a theory suggests that ghosts may be made of ionic energy.
  95. Geiger Counter:  Basically surveys radiation and presence of radon gas; will give levels of local radioactivity.  There is a theory that radioactivity can fluctuate in presence of paranormal activity.  They are also available on EBAY and they have used ones available on EBAY as well.
  96. Negative ION detector (Static Field Detector): Detects the amount of relative free ions in the air. Detects ion emissions from high voltage areas, ion generators, static electricity sources and electric field gradients.
  97. Compasses:  All compasses point to true North unless they come into contact with a strong magnetic field or electromagnetic field.
  98. Temperature Measuring Devices: A fluctuation in temperature can be indicative of a paranormal presence.  Typically, cold spots and hot spots may be the result of paranormal energy.  It is thought that entities can draw in the heat and thus make the environment briefly cold.  There are a variety of instruments on the market to measure temperature.  The following are some of the devices used by paranormal investigators:
  99. Infrared Thermometers/Ambient Air Thermometers
  100. IR non-contact thermometers
  101. Dual IR non-contact thermometer with air probe
  102. Digital thermometers with sensing probes
  103. Weather stations:  monitors weather conditions, temperature, humidity
  104. Hygrometers:  measures humidity of an area
  105. Motion Sensors: Motion sensors can detect the motion of any paranormal energies.  There are different types on the market, used by paranormal investigators.  The following are some examples:
  106. Passive IR motion detector:  usually left in a room when no one is present.
  107. Easy alert motion sensor digital camera (  Allows investigators to take photos after motion sensor is tripped
  108. DVR/IR Monitoring Systems: Digital Video Recorders with IR lights.  This system monitors a minimum of 4 areas at once with IR illuminated light, which will be displayed on a split monitor screen.  There are many varieties available.  You can also plug in your static video cameras into the DVR monitoring device as well.  This is a great way to monitor an area or multiple areas in total darkness.
  109. Infrared Still Camera (Trap Camera):  This device can take IR photos and IR video.  No flash goes off, as a burst of IR light is sent out approximately 50 ft or more. There are many varieties of this device; some of them also have motion detection capabilities.  Thus, when the camera senses motion, it will simultaneously take a photo, series of photos or videos.  Available at sporting goods stores, such as Bass Pro Shops, Cabelas or
  110. EM Pump:  Creates a low level magnetic field or magnetic field white noise.  Since it is thought that EMF can cause paranormal activity, it is a good device for paranormal investigators.  Think of it like a trigger device.  Ghosts can feed off the EMF that the device pumps out. (
  111. Van de Graff Generator: This device deposits a very large amount of positive electrical charge on the metal collector. It’s use in paranormal investigation is a known energy source.  By starting the unit, a room can become charged with electrical energy, which entities can use to manifest for EVP, spirit photography, videography, other experiments.  However, CAUTION must be used near stereos, cell phones, televisions, computers, etc. as the energy emitted from the unit can harm such devices.
  112. Geophone: Similar to a seismograph in that it picks up vibrations given off by movements. Can detect very subtle vibrations in floorboards, table tops or any object that can transfer energy waves through.
  113. Paracorder 667: Senses paranormal energies via ION and electrostatic presence. It also has a communications platform where entities can touch the wire, which will activate a light and sound when the wire is touched; energize entities by way of EMF field without any false alarms.  This device is available at
  114. Note:  Original Ovilus, Paranormal Puck, PX device, the Talker, Video Ovilus are NOT MADE anymore. 
  115. Ovilus X: Basically a combination of the original Ovilus, Paranormal Puck and PX device.  This is an ITC experimental instrument.  It has several modes, including the dictionary mode, phonetic mode, reverse phonetic mode, white noise generator mode, energy (produces a low level of EMF) mode, play last words said mode, touch mode and sync mode. Has a built in ON/OFF switch.  Available at
  116. EVP Booster:  A new device that emits EMF that can energize entities for EVP communication.  Available at
  117. Frank’s Box/Spirit Box/AM and FM Radio Scanner:  Specifically used for Instrumental Transcommunication or ITC.  It is thought that energies can use the radio frequencies to manifest words, which we can hear in real time communication.
  118. Thermal Imaging Cameras:  An expensive device used by paranormal researchers to detect entities that are not visible to the naked eye.
  119. Some MISC. Equipment
  120. Memory cards
  121. Batteries and battery chargers
  122. Camera lenses
  123. IR illuminators
  124. Laser grids
  125. Tripods
  126. Mini tripods
  127. Flashlights
  128. Head lamps
  129. Noise-cancelling headphones
  130. Dowsing Rods
  131. Equipment cases
  132. Trigger objects (varied as applicable for location)
  133. Two way radios
  134. The equipment described in these pages is not complete by any means as there are other types of equipment on the market for paranormal investigators.  However, what’s listed here are the common and most popular types of equipment employed by paranormal investigators.