Learning how to conduct an effective ghost investigation is a process of trial and error, with far more error in the early stages. Investigations require experience, objectivity and above all, patience. They can be frustrating and frightening, but when you record that first unexplained sound, or photograph an image of something unquestionably from the realm of the paranormal, it will make all of your planning and waiting well worth the effort.


When I was gathering stories for my first book, Ghosts of Rockland County, I began by just interviewing witnesses and photographing buildings during the day. However, as a former research chemist, my scientific curiosity soon took over and simply talking to people wasn't enough--I had to try to experience and study the haunting phenomena. I soon acquired an EMF meter, a non-contact infrared thermometer, an infrared camcorder and a couple of motion detectors. While critics may say that these "ghost-o-meters" are a waste of time, they can provide crucial evidence that is hard to discount. For example: Feeling a cold spot is one thing, but when the EMF meter simultaneously registers an inexplicable electromagnetic field and the thermometer displays a sudden 20 degree drop in temperature, you can safely rule out your imagination.


In the past ten years, I have been in some strange places and encountered many bizarre things. Often, I find absolutely nothing, and that's okay. It's easy to get discouraged, but it is of the utmost importance not to force the evidence. If there is ghostly activity somewhere, chances are you will eventually detect it. Stay objective, keep your sense of humor and remain determined.
Some basic tips on conducting a good investigation: