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- Frequently Asked Questions -

The following Frequently Asked Questions Page was written by Downriver Paranormal Researcher Ryan Sparks when he led OH-MI Paranormal. These are being shared because Downriver Paranormal supports these same philosophies.

What is a haunting?  Basically defined, a haunting is the repeated manifestation of a ghostly presence or presences that are attached to a specific locale.  We adhere to the idea that there are four basic types of haunting:  Intelligent, Residual, Poltergeist, and Demonic/Non-Human. 


Why are they here to haunt? There are many theories here are some common ones :

  • Bonded To earth

  • Sudden/Unknowing death

  • Afraid to move on

  • Unfinished business

  • Residual energy

  • Object/Person/location attachment 

Great.  It’s defined now, but what makes a location haunted?  We require corroboration of multiple types of evidence to make a determination.  Unfortunately, there is no formula to use, but we do have general guidelines.  First, anecdotal evidence of the homeowner receives the least amount of weight.  We need to accept clients’ stories at face value, but they are of little value without corroborating evidence.  Therefore, we need to first determine plausible natural alternatives to each “paranormal” aspect of their stories.  This will be known henceforth as debunking.  For any components that we cannot debunk, we will need to focus on obtaining additional evidence to substantiate them.  For each piece of evidence that we find, however, we will again try to debunk.  If we are left with part of a story and corroborating evidence, both of which cannot be debunked, we must consider this to be the result of paranormal activity.  If it appears that the activity does occur repeatedly, we must consider the location haunted.  If we are left with activity that is to be considered paranormal, but this activity does not appear to occur repeatedly, we will consider the investigation “inconclusive” but we may choose to state that we believe there to be paranormal activity occurring.


What evidence is most important?  All evidence is important, but there are levels of importance to the different types that we may collect.  In order of importance:

  • Conclusive video evidence

  • Type A or B EVP

  • Conclusive photographic evidence (i.e., shadows, shapes, etc.)

  • Obvious temperature variances

  • High EMF

  • Personal experience

Obviously, if we can obtain multiple types of evidence simultaneously, there will be far less room for doubt.


What do we think about orb photos/video?  Not much, really, on their own.  True orbs, by definition, are simply concentrated masses of energy.  They can occur any time, any place, in any situation.  Unfortunately, any type of energy can manifest as an orb, theoretically because a sphere is a very efficient means of movement.  So if we capture a true orb photo or video, there’s nothing saying that it’s of spiritual origin.


But the biggest problem with orbs is that it is extremely difficult to differentiate orbs from natural phenomena.  This includes but is not limited to lens flares, dust, bugs, precipitation, pollen, lens irregularities and/or damage, and the like.  It is very rare that we consider orb photos to be included as evidence.


What EVP will we consider and/or present?  Type A & B are obviously the cleanest, clearest, and most important types to consider.  However, we will consider all unexplainable EVP important and worthy of presentation.  Type C EVP will be given the least amount of weight, but even if we can’t clearly determine what has been recorded, the client has the right to be shown any piece of evidence, regardless of how minute.  Typically, we need more than one person agreeing that we have a genuine EVP in order for them to be valid; however, if only one person hears something, but they are certain of what they’re hearing, we will present it to the client as a possible EVP and tell them nothing of what we think we hear.  If they independently come up with the same conclusion as our investigator, we will determine it to be genuine and of importance.


Where does EMF fit into the equation?  High non-paranormal EMF has been shown in clinical experimentation to produce the following types of responses in control subjects:

  • Uneasy feelings

  • Feelings of being watched

  • Chills, goosebumps, hairs on the back of the neck standing up, etc.

  • Hearing voices/sounds

  • Seeing movement in peripheral vision 

Exposure to high EMF over time will be used to debunk the above-mentioned symptoms.


If we cannot find a natural explanation for high EMF that we encounter, we will consider this to be paranormal in nature, and we will adhere to the theory that the high unexplainable EMF is evidence of the presence of spiritual activity.


Ectoplasm.  By definition, ectoplasm is a slimy, semi-solid substance that is supposedly associated with spiritual activity.  The first known encounters with ectoplasm came well over 100 years ago, when spiritual “mediums” would sometimes produce ectoplasm from various bodily orifices.  There has not ever been a scientific study of ectoplasm, and it is generally accepted as being a prop that was used by phony mediums to help them appear more genuine.  Today ectoplasm is sometimes considered to be the milky, smoky substance that is sometimes captured in photos.  As with orbs, there are myriad explanations for photographs showing “ectoplasm.”  In virtually every circumstance, we do not consider ectoplasm to be paranormal.


Other Theories.  There are numerous paranormal theories that we take into consideration. 

  • The limestone theory – This theory states that some geological conditions exist which allow for increased paranormal activity, specifically residual activity.  Simply put, this is because the chemical makeup of limestone is very similar to that of magnetic recording tape.  So, in theory, areas rich in limestone may be more prone to recording activity throughout history.

  • Poltergeists & puberty – It is widely believed that some pubescent girls can somehow cause poltergeist-type activity.  The idea generally states that for some reason, be it hormone or chemical fluctuation, pubescent girls may cause this activity either by telekinesis or some other means.  There have been some recent ideas that this is not limited to females only, but that males may have similar influences on poltergeist activity.

  • Temperature fluctuations – Many investigators believe that when ghosts try to manifest, they draw energy from a particular area, thereby changing the temperature, either by raising it or lowering it.

  • Battery drain – Many investigators believe that when ghosts try to manifest, they can draw their energy from any source available, including batteries.

  • Children’s sensitivity – It’s widely believed that children may be more sensitive to spiritual activity at younger ages.  There are a number of ideas as to the ages which the sensitivity is strongest and when it generally is gone.  However, while we acknowledge this theory, we do not live by it as a rule.

  • Dowsing rods – Dowsing rods are somewhat controversial instruments for detecting electromagnetic energies.  These rods are simple metal rods, usually made of copper, bent 90-degrees so there is a small handle with the rod being about 12” or so in length.  The idea is to hold the rods in front of you, one in each hand so they are parallel and about 4” apart.  If the rods cross, there is increased electromagnetic energy.  We do not actively use these, but we are open to the possibility that they may be of some use.

  • Infrared video / photography – It is very widely believed that the use of IR is better than that of standard video or film.  This is quite likely because since most shooting is done at night and IR allows for nighttime illumination.  There is actually little evidence that supports IR being better than standard.  However, since we do much of our shooting in the dark, night vision (IR) is a must.

  • EVP & white noise – Should EVP sessions be done in complete silence?  Many people would say yes because often the sounds and voices that are recorded are very faint.  There is a theory, however, that states that the presence of white noise can actually help produce more and better EVP.  A possible reason is that it may be easier for an entity to use existing sound to help produce EVP than for them to do it on their own.  We don’t discount this possibility, but we don’t generally promote the use of white noise in our EVP sessions.  However, we would never discourage clients from using it or from using fans or other producers of white noise in areas where we have left a voice recorder.

  • Psychics & Sensitives – Psychics are people who have the ability to clue in on spiritual activity by various means.  Sensitives are people who are more susceptible to experiencing paranormal activity.  We absolutely believe that there are people in the world who are psychic and/or sensitive.  However, we have run into many people who claim this but really aren’t.  We believe in this, but it takes quite a bit of convincing for us to believe that a specific person is either psychic or sensitive.

  • Mirrors – If you place mirrors in a room so they are facing each other, you will create an infinite image in each mirror—essentially a reflection of a reflection of a reflection, to infinity.  The theory is that in doing this, you create a tunnel of light, as well as a tunnel of increased electromagnetic energy.  Since a popular thought is that spirits are made up largely of electromagnetic energy, placing mirrors in this configuration may open up the possibility of increased spiritual activity.

Negative Entities.  There are many different ideas regarding negative entities or energy.  In all of nature, we see that everything has an equal opposite.  Therefore, it stands to reason that if ghosts really exist, they exist in both positive and negative forms.  Just because current members of The PROS have not had encounters with negative energy or entities, it would be naive to think that they don’t exist.  Whether we call them demons, inhuman spirits, or simply “negative energy,” it’s unwise to dismiss the possibility of their existence.  Even if everybody in the group does not believe in them, it’s a good idea to have a couple moments of silence and reflection at the beginning and end of each investigation for each person to prepare a means of spiritual protection from entities on the premises and from said entities following them home.  After all, what can it hurt?


Ouija.  Come on, do we really think that Parker Brothers has cornered the market on direct spiritual communication?  There has never been definitive proof of Ouija boards actually summoning demons, but there is much anecdotal evidence suggesting that the use of these often has negative outcomes.  We will never use an Ouija board in our investigations, and we suggest that clients never use an Ouija board in attempting to communicate with whatever is causing their experiences.  While we don’t completely buy into the myths surrounding the Ouija board, there’s no good reason to push our luck with them either! 


Addiction/Negative Personal Energy.  There is a prevailing theory stating that addiction influences paranormal experiences.  Again, there isn’t any concrete evidence of this, but generally speaking, addiction is associated with negative personal energy, which in turn is often linked to above-average occurrences of negative paranormal experiences.  We don’t live by this as a rule, but it’s something to keep in mind.

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