Frequently Asked Questions
Please note that these FAQ's are opinions of the CHAPS members based on education and experience, and are not proven fact.
What is a haunting?
Without being scientific, hauntings are the presence of past energies- elements of spiritual activity. We break the elements of spiritual activity down into 3 groups. Residual, which is a trapped form of activity. Literally like watching the same film over and over again, the movement is much the same every time it presents itself. An Intelligent Entity is a spirit with it's own mind so to speak. It has a purpose, most times benign and benevolent. These actions present themselves with subtle visible movement, appearance on film, and subtle physical interaction. The last type of haunting is referred to as a Poltergeist. A poltergeist is a haunting that has a powerful physical presence, and can often be very malevolent. This type of haunting can stem from a spirit that intends to do harm, to a spirit that has passed on without knowing or accepting it, and is frustrated by unsuccessful attempts to communicate with the living world.
What is an EVP?
Electronic Voice Phenomena-this is the method of using listening devices to capture sounds manifesting from the spiritual realm. We generally use digital voice recorders and magnetic tape style recorders to capture these sounds. Both styles have their merits as the digital recorder is more sensitive yet the magnetic tape style is closer to the actual type of energy you are trying to pick up. Therefore to make sure all bases are covered, we always try to use both devices during an investigation.
What is an EMF?
Electromagnetic Field-We use an EMF meter to detect fields of energy that are either present or manifesting. When a spirit is in the process of manifesting, energy fields are created, thus a reading is often picked up. It is very important during an investigation to have the electricity turned off or at the very least identify significant sources of electrical power as this will also be picked up on the EMF meter. An investigator must be very cautious of their surroundings while using the EMF meter as many sources of energy can skew the readings. For example, the EMF meter can pick up electricity from fluorescent light fixtures even after the power has been shut off, and from power lines on the street to name a few.
What is an orb?
This is actually a very arguable topic. Many junior investigators build their entire case on the presence of orbs. 99% of the time these orbs can be written-off as dust on the lens, dust in the air, bugs and paint flakes etc. When reviewing our findings, we do pay attention to orbs that have their own nucleus, their own flight pattern, or their own source of unexplainable energy, however we do not draw conclusions from orbs alone.
Why do investigations normally take place at night?
Again this is a highly debated topic. Investigations do not always have to be conducted at night. Most times this is more so the preference of the investigator and the team. Many investigations do happen during the day, however most just prefer the evening images on film, the quietness, and the fact that people tend to be more sensitive at night.
Are C.H.A.P.S. trying to prove or disprove paranormal activity?
We are enthusiasts, and therefore wouldn't conduct investigations if we weren't trying to gather conclusive evidence. First and foremost, we take the the scientific approach of debunking a haunting to avoid going down any unfruitful paths. However with having a trained Psychic and Medium on our team, we do take spiritual impressions seriously. Too many investigation teams simply pick one method or the other.
There are many paranormal groups out there. What makes C.H.A.P.S different?
On TV you will generally find two types of groups. Some groups use 100% science and technology, which is great because when they capture any evidence, it is pretty hard to disprove. On the down side, they overlook a lot of the "feelings" that you would get and the proof that can be presented by the findings of spiritual evidence. The other type of paranormal group will gather evidence using 100% Channelling, Psychic ability, and Mediumship. Mediums and Psychics train for years and the serious ones use a much more subtle approach. Unfortunately it is impossible to prove a place haunted using solely this method, as the grey area is just too large to be certain. For this reason researching the locations history after an investigation to prove any claims made by Mediums and Psychics is very important.
Psychic vs Medium - What is the Difference?
A Psychic works with energy, vibrations and visions, along with the use of ESP to find an answer. A Medium takes it one step further and works with the spirit. Most times a medium was first a psychic in the early stages of development.
But wouldn't psychics and mediums already have background information going into an investigation?
We do pre-research the physical structure of the location and the claims made in order to conduct the most thorough investigation possible. However in most cases CHAPS does not pre-research the history of a location in order to add validity and authenticity to the claims made by our psychics and mediums.
What is your opinion on mediums?
I believe as a rule they are overused and improperly used these days. Everyone seems to be a medium of some sort, this lends to a very dramatic investigation. Drama is exactly what you do not want. We do have a medium, a very unsensationalistic person with 50+ years of experience and verifiable training. She is used either upon request of the client or if we deem it needed. Her opinions she is aware is used as a barometer. Only will her findings be used as any submission when backed up with previously uninvestigated facts that match her observations. I will not base an entire investigation on the findings of a medium.
When should I call your team, when should I not?
You should call us when you wish to have some scientific proof to some degree that there is activity in your home. When you have dispelled what you can to explain it. You should not call us when you are convinced that there is a haunting and are looking for us to prove your point. There is a possibility that we may come back with results you do not wish either way. This is why it is called an investigation.
Do you charge a fee?
No, we do not charge for services. Niceties are always accepted, I may generally mention to have some coffee and cookies at the wait. Most clients are set to have all that ready regardless. Donations are not turned away but not expected. If the investigation is required at some distance and will be exceeding cost to the team, who is unpaid. We may ask simple lodging, a basement floor will often do the trick.
What is the process to obtaining an investigation?
The investigation procurement process is pretty simple for us but multistage. When the client submits request for an investigation 3 levels occur. 1st the Director will contact the client and verify the validity of the claim or requirement of service, some just want advice and others just attention. That is the 1st line, then the case is put to the Case Manager to obtain all the needed information....claims, activity, address, people involved. All the logistical needed info to determine the need of the actual team. Finally the case is then allocated to a Lead Investigator who will receive all the info, contact the client, set up a date and form a team. It will also be their job to review evidence and submit for production.
What do I expect when you come to my home?
Our team would like to do every investigation to a standard operating procedure. So this is how it is done normally. The Case Manager will call, email, meet with the client ahead of time to discuss times and occurrences, set date for investigation. CM will follow the case through to the end. At the date of investigation, the Director or Lead along with the Tech Manager will greet the client and do a brief walk through of the location to obtain our camera angles and positions for equipment. The rest of the team will enter and we will start bringing in equipment and doing the set up. After the set up is complete we will do a set of base readings in each room to act as the control factor we base activity off of. We will then “go hot” our team will start systematic sweeps from each room, asking questions and taking readings. Reading of EMF and temperature themselves, fluctuating does not itself denote a haunt. It can be other causes we will look into. We call this anecdotal evidence. A video camera will follow and document the team as will set night cameras from a DVR system. Once these sweeps are done then we will do solo EVP sessions, more invasive question periods. Then breakdown and such. 3-5 hrs should be allotted and as little persons on premises as possible being very quiet to eliminate false positive EVP’s
What do I expect from a finished product?
The material that was collected that night is now taken and imported to our computers with the filters and such. It takes time as your sound files need to be review and all the video files. If we find anomalies they all have to be cross referenced to have anything eliminated caused by the team. Then a determination based on anecdotal evidence, visual, photographic, sound and personal experience. All as they pertain in conduciveness to the claims of the client. It may be that nothing was gathered that evening; there is no schedule for a haunting. Our findings may be that you have a haunt of varying degrees. Or that there is no haunting at all. These will be presented a few ways. If merited and most times there will be a DVD made, this takes a few weeks to edit and present. A YouTube video at the very least of the investigation and a write up on the website with all links. You may agree or disagree; this is your prerogative to take and only one team’s opinion. We would ask that you search for other opinions that may solidify your claims.
If I do get on with the team, what is the process?
The process to become a member of C.H.A.P.S. is 3 fold and multi layered. There are multiple requests each day to be a part of the team. Obviously we cannot accommodate everyone in the matter, investigations would become anarchy with too many members and untrained people. If the need arises in a certain area, the steps are so. Guest stage, just that. You get a chance after some chatting and training to make it out to a few investigations and get your feet wet. This is where most either leave or we don't contact beyond. Then it is prospect, a voted upon position. Just that, you are a prospective member. A little more will be expected of you, finally is Probie. For all intents and purposes a member, full expectations just no voting rights. Maybe some hazing and coffee buying but you have proven to the team that we want you, finally a full vote. Time in takes about a year to become a full member with picture on the site and such. 1 out of 10 have made it to this point in past numbers.
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