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NWPR HANDBOOK
 Mission Statement:

  Our goal is to gather and collate data that will lead to a better understanding of ghosts                               and haunting.  In the process of pursuing that goal, we also wish to aid any individuals having problems dealing with or understanding a situation.  We hope to do this by educating them as to the true nature of their situation and giving them the information and understanding to create a livable resolution for the person and the spirit.  We will also assist people who cannot live with their situations or put them in contact with trained professionals who can assist them.  We are open minded to all theories and  methods as this is still not an exact science.  Everyone in the field of supernatural research learns as they go.  Hopefully, in the end, we will collect the necessary proof and field-tested theories that are vital to bringing the subject of ghosts into the mainstream.

Code of conduct:

As a member of NWPR, it is your duty to remember that before, during, and after an official investigation, you are not only representing yourself, but your team and the entire organization as well.  Failure in following the codes as set forth by the Directors will result in the termination of your membership.   Also be aware that an official NWPR function cannot be performed without a Director or the expressed written/verbal consent of a Director.
     All investigators performing investigations must be dressed in appropriate attire for both the physical and social environment of the site.  This means comfortable, but safe footwear, dark non-reflective clothes and jewelry, and no loose objects such as wallet chains.  Please refrain from revealing, torn or ragged attire as you represent not only yourself, but the entire group as well.  We also ask that all long hair must be tied back or under a hat so as not to interfere with photographic data.  Dress code for individual investigations is at the Directors discretion.  Members must obtain at least one official NWPR shirt as is part of the standard uniform.

     I.D. badges should be worn at all indoor investigations and select outdoor ones.

The onsite team leader makes all decisions concerning the investigation.   Failure to follow directions and NWPR policies is grounds for termination.

No matter what, please direct all questions from the media, police and others to the onsite team leader unless the team leader has informed you otherwise prior to the start of the investigation.
All investigations must be performed in a courteous and professional manner.

All investigators must respect the privacy of the people, families and places we are investigating for.

All investigators are to respect the site of investigation.

No littering at site of investigation.

No obscene, foul, or abusive language.

No pranks or practical jokes.

No handling of objects without owner's permission.

No alcoholic beverages during or prior to an investigation.

No illegal drugs.  If you take prescription medication, please inform your team leader or Director before the investigation begins so as to avoid future complications.

No weapons of any type are to be carried during investigations.  

Other policies listed in the NWPR by-laws


New Members and Training:

Quarterly we open up membership to the public.  Once a new member has met with NWPR at a meeting, they will be given trainee status.  They must complete the following before they can be considered for full membership:
     Cemetery Investigation - outdoor training, basic protocols, procedures and policies.
     Indoor Training  - an indoor training session or a low profile indoor investigation.
     Written/Practical Test - simple overview of material from training and this handbook.
Trainees have 3 months to complete their training.  The directors will make exceptions to the rules, if necessary, on a case-by-case basis.

What to bring to an Investigation:

The bare minimum:
35 MM Camera w/ at least 400-speed film (800 works better outdoors)
Extra film and batteries for the camera
Flashlight w/ spare batteries
Notebook w/ pens and pencils and log sheets or hand held tape recorder

For the more advanced and experienced

Video camera  (optional tripod)
Tape recorder w/ external microphone and high-grade tapes
Candles & matches (batteries often run low so you may run out)
Compass (spirits often mess up the normal magnetic fields)
Thermometer (to detect rapid temperature drops and cold spots)
Motion Detectors
Barometer (cold spots will also have strange pressure readings)
Electromagnetic field detector (EMF) this will sense disturbances in the area
Night scope
2 Way Radios

Common sense items:
First aid kit
Cellular phone
Food and water
Baggies and/or clear containers for evidence
Watch


Equipment usage and tips:
Cameras are a valuable tool for investigating a haunting.  They provide a visual documentation of the site and the phenomena occurring.  Cameras are neither for nor against the supernatural allowing what we do not see with our closed minds to be photographed.
When attempting psychic photography you should load the film into the camera about 20 minutes after your arrival to the investigation site, this will show the intention you have and by this recognition draw spirits to you.  When taken pictures it is also wise to say flash.  Psychic photography is best achieved during the hours between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., the most opportune time for you will be when you have the feeling something is near you or watching you, you will know that feeling.
While photographing at the site you should try to avoid any unnecessary focus points that might have lights, reflective surfaces, poles or any other obstruction that will interfere with evaluation or determination of the photograph and it’s elements. All photographs should be cataloged with the corresponding negative for archival storage.

If you are more experienced photographer you may want to try infrared film.  We have seen results from Polaroid and digital cameras but we suggest you only use these along with a 35 mm camera so you can compare the results. We have used Kodak film primarily but have also used Fuji and a department store brand with similar results.   When you develop them you don't need to go to a camera shop, the local drug store or department store is fine.  Let them know you want all the pictures developed so that you get the pictures that they might think are bad ones.  These "bad ones" are normally your best ectoplasm mist photos.
     Video cameras are an important instrument for an investigation.  Unlike still cameras they provide us with constant visual and audio surveillance for review and observation.  Unfortunately video cameras do not have the success rate of taken psychic photos that a still camera had, but it still had its advantages.  With video any phenomena occurring can be documented in its entirety.  This will show the length of time the phenomena occurs, what is happening, the conditions surrounding the phenomena, and possibly even the cause of the phenomena.
     When setting up the video camera place it in an area that has an unobstructed view of the whole area being investigated but not in the way of the investigators, an entrance, or an exit.  When videoing state the location, time, investigators names, and weather conditions.  It is extremely important to state any obstruction in the focus point of the video camera that may be perceived during review as an anomaly, such as a light source for example.  Do not use any external light source when videoing.  Most video cameras are low lux or have a nightshot setting on them, if so, use that setting.  When reviewing the tape, be sure to mark down all the times a phenomenon occurs.
     Tape recorders are with out a doubt one of the most important pieces of equipment that you should have in you investigators toolbox.  Tape recorders are used for many different purposes throughout an investigation.  Recorders are used for interviews, spontaneous thoughts, and electronic voice phenomena (EVP).
     When using tape recorders be sure to state the location, time of investigation, and investigators names.  When recording investigators names it would be wise to have each individual present state their own names, which will make it easier for distinction amongst voices heard on the tape during review.  Voice activation mode should be deactivated during use when electronic voice phenomena is trying to be achieved due to the fact that it usually cuts off beginnings of words, sentences, and phrases.  If the recorder comes equipped with a tape counter record the locations on the tape where any audible phenomena is being heard during review.
     The Electromagnetic Field Detector, also known as an EMF, is the modern day ghost researcher's tracking device, a very important piece of equipment.  With this instrument it is possible to locate and track energy sources.
     Before using the EMF as a ghost research tool on an investigation be sure to walk around the area and take readings around energy sources such as light poles or electrical outlets to be sure of the readings you receive while scanning the area during the investigation.  Most units when purchased come with a manual describing most household and major appliances and their corresponding electromagnetic reading.  
     When using the EMF as a tracking device look for fluctuations of 2.0 to 7.0, this usually indicates spirit presence.  Anything higher or lower is normally has a natural source.
     Parabolic microphones are an advantage to have when ghost hunting.  These microphones amplify sounds that are a great distance away or below your range of hearing.  When used with a tape recorder this will increase the chances of recording electronic voice phenomena.
     Night vision scopes are a benefit when used on an investigation that is being conducted in low light conditions.  They provide vision in darkness as if it was day can be adapted to a video camcorder, which will provide the investigation with an illuminated view while recording and reviewing.
     Thermometers are an inexpensive instrument that no ghost hunter should be without.  When used on an investigation this will aid as a detection system for spirit presence.  Rapid temperature drop will indicate spirit presence.
     The compass is a useful instrument to an investigator due to its compact size and low cost price.  When used on an investigation this will indicate spirit presence when the needle cannot come to a precise heading or spins/moves erratically.
     Motion Detectors can be used to sense movements by often-unseen forces or spirits.  You can get battery operated ones for about 20 dollars and they are great for inside but we have seen them used successfully outdoors as well, just watch the placement.  You don't want a tree branch setting it off.      
     2-way radios are a good communication system for an investigation team.  Often the investigators tend to split up and this will allow quick and clear communication to avoid searching and yelling.
     Flashlights are a must for any investigator.  In most investigations this will be the only light source you will have.  When using the flashlight, if possible, the investigator should have a red filter fitted to the lens.  This will still provide clear vision but tint the light keeping your presence unknown to deter detection from the public.
     The serious ghost researcher knows that the most valuable tool for their investigators toolbox is plenty of extras.  The toolbox should include extra batteries, extra flashlight bulbs, extra tapes, extra film, etc.  When on an investigation you want to be well prepared.  You do not want to have that once in a lifetime opportunity such as a full body apparition to float on by because your batteries were drained or you did not have enough film.  In this field there is never enough when it comes to equipment.  Remember to bring spare batteries for everything.  Due to spirit activity, batteries often run down very fast.

NWPR Indoor Investigation Protocol

Here are a few guidelines to follow during an investigation in a private building or house:
1- Every member must keep a log of events/times or call them into the central logger- everything needs to be logged, not matter how trivial.  You sneeze, log it in, it may have sounded like something else to another member elsewhere in the building.

2 - EVP recording should be done in the “background”.  This means no questions posed toward the spirits while the clients are present.

3 - Psychic/Sensitive detectives - Log everything (events, feelings, etc) in notes or on tape.  Do not state observations out loud if the client is present unless directed before hand by the on site director.

4 - Reports must be turned in by each member that attended the investigation within one week.  The form is mailed to you from the directors and you just fill in the blanks.  We do this so that a formal report for the client can be given to them within 30 days of an investigation.

5 - No conclusions, judgments, etc. of events and/or the property should be made in front of the clients.


1st hour on scene:

1 - Any witnesses that have not been interviewed before should be interviewed by 2 members (and taped/videoed if it’s ok with the witness.)  Use the official witness questionnaire.  
2 - All members and clients if possible, walk through the location. One members map location noting: air vents, heater, electrical appliances, fuse boxes, computer, etc.  One member should take 5-10 test photos during the walk through.

2nd hour on scene:

Load remaining film and tapes.  Begin surveillance as directed by on site director.  We will try to rotate positions as often as time allows.  Do not leave a post unless directed by a team leader or director.  Always stay with a partner.

Wrap up:

Make no conclusions.  Share no conclusions or opinions with clients.  All the reports, photos and tapes must be reviewed before we can make any conclusion.  The on site director can alter these protocols if necessary.  These guidelines will make us look professional and caring to the clients needs.

NWPR Outdoor/Cemetery Investigation Protocol
 Meet at designated place on time.
     Upon arrival gather together and say the St Michael prayer.   Members who do not wish to participate in the prayer may use similar techniques to get into a positive frame of mind.  Discuss these alternatives with the directors first.        
     Get your team and equipment assignment and begin investigation.
     Keep all logs and records for yourself in a notepad or a tape recorder.
     When the directors end the investigation, gather back at the vehicles and say the binding prayer before exiting the cemetery.
     Smoking and eating must be confined to areas specified at the beginning of the investigation.
     NWPR Reports and Logs
     Each member of an indoor investigation team must fill out a report.  Even if there is a central logger, you are still required to fill out a report.  The report will be E-mailed to you after the investigation and you must return the report via email within one week of receiving it.  These reports are available for all members to view on the archive section of the members only page of the NWPR website.  
     Cemetery investigation field reports are due within 2 weeks of the investigation.  They should contain all the data collected by an investigator including times of events.
Signing Up for Investigations

On the schedule posted on the members' only page there are links for contacting us if you are interested in going to a specific investigation.   E-mail are also sent out asking for availability for each investigation. Full members may apply to be included on any investigation team.  Trainees are limited to those investigations that are training exercises or low profile investigations.  It is noted under each entry what type of members may attend.  Some investigations are limited in the number of members allowed.  We will try to be fair and rotate all members in to these jobs as evenly as possible.  Some cases may require certain skills and/or equipment.   In those cases, the directors will hand pick a team.  We need to know as soon as possible whether you are available for cases.  Members must respond no later than 3 days prior to an investigation in order to be considered for a position on the investigation team.

NWPR BI-WEEKLY Meetings

NWPR will hold monthly meetings that are open to all members and trainees.  The purpose of these meetings is to discuss new cases, debrief members concerning old cases and hold training exercises and classes.  Four meetings a year will be open to the public and prospective new members.  Current NWPR members are not required to attend the public meetings, but you are required to attend a certain amount of meetings per year.  That amount is listed in the NWPR by-laws.

NWPR Attendance Requirements

Active members are required to attend the following in order to remain on the active list:
     50% of all investigations
     75% of all meetings
     25% of Special events
If a member has a problem meeting these requirements, please discuss this with a director.   Exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis.


NWPR Contacts and Website
The official NWPR website is located at http://members.tripod.com/labtec7 and includes news, case files and more.  There is also a members' only section that members and trainees will have access to. The members' only section is where you can find our investigation schedule, forms and case archives.  This page should be logged into as much as possible so that you are aware of new dates and information.  The phone numbers for all the directors and offices are posted there.  The NWPR by-laws are also posted in that section.
The directors will also keep you posted of events via email.  If you do not have an email account, make arrangements with a member who does so that they can call you with the information and email updates.
All members email addresses are posted on the publicly available NWPR "Members" page.  If you do not want to have your email listed let the directors know so we can assign you a email address.

The Investigating Team:
     The most crucial part when preparing for an investigation, and sometimes the hardest, is putting a team together.  For an investigation the team should be set up like a military ranking system.  At the top there should be a director or team leader.  This person would be in charge of all the investigators at the site.  They will be responsible to match up the participants into teams and designate their post.  This person should also be able to answer any questions that might be presented to him from any of the team during the investigation or ghost hunt and act as a spokesperson for the team.  This leader is normally one of the directors, but in their absence a director will assign someone to be in charge in advance.  This person must be certified in all aspects of NWPR procedures.
     Underneath the team leader there should be some assigned as assistant team leader.  This person should be able to handle any of the problems or answer any of the questions on an investigation should the team leader be occupied or overwhelmed with tasks.  The team leader and the assistant should have the same knowledge on the facts of the case and familiar with the persons who have brought them in.  This person must be certified in most aspects of NWPR procedures.
     The team leader will give each member of the team a special duty.  There should be an interviewer, videographer, recorder (audio), and scanner (EMF, thermometer).  All of the team should have a camera.
     When picking the interviewer, a good candidate would be a person who is personable and possess good communication skills.  The videographer must know how to operate the camera and all its functions.  The recorder should have a clear and distinct voice if Electronic Voice Phenomena is going to be attempted and the scanner should be well informed on the fluctuations of the EMF detector and thermometers.