By Chad Wilson
I was recently discussing the issue of conducting paranormal investigations in the dark with a few friends, and we all wondered . . . what are the benefits of ‘going dark’ during an investigation?
When I initially began investigating, I thought all investigations were supposed to be done in the dark. But what did I know? I was going on information gleaned from a TV show that used that particular lighting technique to push the drama. We all know things are far scarier in the dark.
It didn’t help that my first experience investigating the paranormal was the Mecca of haunted locations, Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Lexington, Kentucky. That place is geared toward going ‘lights out.’ This methodology continued through my subsequent investigation at the Villisca Axe Murder House. There we were, six investigators stumbling around in the dark, even though we had electric lanterns.
A recent “Paranormal Underground Presents” podcast with esteemed mentalist, paranormal investigator, and cultural anthropologist Loyd Auerbach shed even more light on this issue. Investigations should be conducted in the atmosphere in which paranormal occurrences take place, but most definitely not always in the dark. In fact, most investigators that I’ve spoken with investigate the paranormal with the lights on.
Now that I look back, I realize how silly my notion of always investigating in the dark truly was. Do spirits care, or even know, that the lights are out when people are stumbling around in their haunts? I lost track of the number of times I was scared at Waverly when I suddenly came upon someone in the dark halls.
Granted, Waverly doesn’t have artificial light that I know of, at least there were no lights on during my investigation there, but we could just as easily have investigated the drywall during the day as opposed to at night. Strangely enough, instead of providing lighting for night-time investigations, Waverly runs electricity for their many IR cameras. I wonder if they catch anything on those cameras?
If there are spirits, I bet they get a chuckle out of watching strangers walk around in the dark, scaring the bejeezus out of each other. I know I would. So, from now on, I have decided I will investigate in the light, whenever possible.
I know sometimes it can’t be helped that I will have to investigate in the dark, but that is what Infrared is for. So, whether it be in the woods, a cemetery, or even an old, abandoned building with no electricity, if I am unable to investigate during the day, I will use my IR at night. I’m sure the spirits won’t mind.
I’d love to hear what you think about this issue either here in the blog comments or in our forum: www.paranormalunderground.net/site/forum/index.php?showtopic=289.