MICKEY GOCOOL, founder of North London Paranormal Investigations, explains why it’s possible, mostly preferable, to do daytime ghost hunting
What is the difference between a “Paranormal Investigation” and a “Ghost Hunt”.
The latter is a collection of usually between 20 and 30 individuals, who personally seek the thrill of experiencing a ghost or other supernatural event.
Ghost Hunting events are well organised social events and a great night out for a group of friends, costing anywhere between £15 and £75.
The organisers film the events and deploy various ghost hunting gadgets for the guests to use.
The “evidence” gathered is usually posted the following day on social media for the guests who attended, to view and comment on.
Most are happy to share their experiences and evidence, and the locations are usually old and quite large with some history of hauntings.
A paranormal investigation is not something that happens at a “haunted” location for one night. An investigation can take many years to conduct and is a “job of work” as opposed to a social event.
I am the founder of North London Paranormal Investigations.
We are not a “Ghost Hunting” Events” company but a small group of researchers and investigators. NLPI respond to reports of “Paranormal Activity” supported by witness statements and evidence.
We often visit the location several times in the year for various reasons, mainly to gather visual and audio evidence.
We look for patterns in the data that we log, for example, the time of day or year a location is most active.
The beginning of an investigation always starts months in advance with researching the location to gather as much about it as possible, such as year of construction, who lived there, building use, floorplans, extensions, what was there previously, reports of deaths and more importantly, any reports of “Paranormal Activity” including images, video and witness statements.
The investigation itself is usually a laidback affair and not how any of the TV shows portray.
On some occasions, we have visited houses in the UK with amazing stories and accounts of “Ghostly Activity” and come away with nothing at all.
The team normally meet at the location and after a brief walk around, a briefing is held and roles assigned to the team members.
Our goal is to gather evidence of the paranormal.
Occasionally, one of us may have an encounter during the investigation, but it would not be followed by screams, made famous by Most Haunted’s Yvette Fielding or exclamations of “Dude” as the presenters of Ghost Adventures get their frights.
Getting a bit of a scare is part of the job and we have got used to it by now.
An old location at midnight is ideal for “setting the scene” and getting into the “spirit” of things, pardon the pun. But we actually conduct a lot of our Paranormal Investigations during the daytime.
There are many reasons why we conduct daytime paranormal investigations and I will list them.
It’s safer to do paranormal investigations during the day
It is essential for our team to be safe at all times, so a risk assessment for health and safety reasons should be conducted during the day.
Paranormal sightings happen during the day too
There are many sightings and phenomena reported during the night and some of these can easily be explained.
There are also reports made during daylight hours too. Evidence presented is not the usual “grey night vision still video frame” lifted from a video recording where the investigator has to thoroughly examine the image to make out what it contains.
Usually, grainy images result in pareidolia with the viewer seeing everything from demons to angels, Jesus to aliens.
By contrast, an image taken in good daylight will usually be in colour and have some definition to it, making whatever was captured, easier to see.
People get tired at night and may miss things
Daytime investigations are preferred as all participants are somewhat awake and therefore more “With it”.
Night time investigations usually take place at the end of a working day and into the early hours when one would normally be asleep or resting.
A tired team member can never give their best.
What do you mean “location consideration”?
What I mean is have I considered the buildings use in the past and currently?
If our location was once a former inn, then the location would have been full of people mainly during the day and at least till 11pm in the UK.
We call this the “consideration time” when the venue is at its busiest.
So, it would make sense to conduct our investigation of the location during the “consideration time” periods when we believe they would be most active and offer us a greater chance of recording evidence.
Night time is spookier and makes the investigation more atmospheric
That is true and is why TV shows and ghost hunting Events do “investigations” at night.
Hauntings do not just take place at night time so this is purely for setting the scene and providing a scary backdrop.
Night time investigations do not provide more evidence, just more work.
Here is a short video clip of a “Spooky Shadow” seen on a wall of a historic location in Hertfordshire.
This was filmed during a daytime Investigation and would not have been seen at night time.
The video image is clear and daylight can be seen streaming through the window.
This location has been investigated by NLPI many times and we have captured strange images, one supposedly of a 650-year-old Night Watchman.
And finally, one of the best things about a daytime paranormal investigation is being able to go for a swift pint afterwards with the team and debrief.
Grabbing some dinner or getting home at a reasonable time and spending the rest of the evening with one’s family.
MICKEY GOCOOL is the founder of North London Paranormal Investigations, which is very active in and around the London area, researching reports of ghosts, hauntings and other phenomena. You can follow North London Paranormal Investigations on Facebook.