Q:
I am very interested in becoming a Paranormal Investigator. My best friend and I have visited many "haunted" locations in an attempt to  substantiate claims of paranormal activity. We both feel extremely drawn to this calling. If you could possibly send me any information about your group, or about how to get started, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.



A:
Our group is located in the Mohawk Valley and investigates hauntings from Utica to Albany. We investigate free of charge.

Many IMOVES Paranormal Investigators have formal training and experience in the fields of investigation, parapsychology, psychology, counseling, teaching, audio/ video, surveillance techniques, information systems, documentation, and research. In addition, some of our members are “sensitive” to the paranormal environment. This added to the findings from our equipment has helped us to document a greater number of unexplained phenomenon. We do not use any method to “call in” spirits (such as Ouiji boards or séances).

The best help I can give you about the actual investigation part is to direct you to “
The Shadowlands” website. They have a section titled “Ghost Hunting 101” .  You will have to reorganize some of this info to suite your specialty but the site is very informative and helpful. There are also good books on the subject including The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits by Rosemary Ellen Guiley and many written by Troy Taylor (founder of the American Ghost Society). Troy’s book The Ghost Hunter’s Handbook would also be very helpful.

We at IMOVES have found that Paranormal Investigation is 95% boredom. Most of the “work” is research. For every 2 hours of actual on site investigation, we will have at least 8 hours of video to watch (most of which is boring, just watching the grass grow kind of stuff). Six hours of audio to listen to (mostly dead air- no pun intended), about 400 pictures to view, plus various other collected data from the site to review. In addition, a week or more in accumulated time hitting to books and Internet to research the site through news articles, etc. Sometimes we even have to hit the library’s microfilm. We do not play
“Where’s Waldo” with our images either. The images we are looking for have to “pop out” to the untrained eye.  If there is an anomaly, we try to disprove it. We only consider it good if we cannot explain it as being a leaf, mist or other naturally occurring phenomenon. Research into these anomalies also takes time. Then there is the writing up of the findings and cataloging everything. Proper cataloging and filing is necessary. We make copies of all our research for future reference.  Please visit our page Preserving Investigation Evidence Integrity for details.

It may be helpful to find a local group and “shadow” them on one of their investigations. However, be cautious. Some groups are not serious, law-abiding investigators.

Although we may have appeared to try to discourage you, that is not our intention. We at IMOVES find this to be a very challenging and rewarding hobby and encourage you to find your place in this field.
IMOVES
Q:
What makes IMOVES different from other groups?


A:
IMOVES is a group. No one person heads up our group. No member of IMOVES makes money from the paranormal. We do not publish books; give lectures, ghost tours, or TV and radio appearances. Nor do we have an internet forum, chat room, or any other kind of self-promotion. We concentrate on investigating and learning about the paranormal, not on advertising it. We pay for our equipment, website and transportation out of our own pockets. We do not charge a fee of any kind.

We try to put as much free educational information in our website as time dictates, including articles and investigation results (good or bad). Our website is listed as an educational site suitable for older children. It does not nor will it ever contain viewing matter not suitable for young viewers.

Most of our members have experienced paranormal activity in our past. We have grouped together to document phenomenon currently existing.  Some members of IMOVES have been investigating and studying the paranormal for over 25 years.

Currently IMOVES consists of 19 active members. Not all members attend each investigation. Usually we have about eight members at each investigation. Membership into IMOVES is by invitation only. We take a long time to get to know someone before we consider him or her for our group.