What does what you wear to an investigation have to do with ethical ghost hunting? Well, actually quite a bit. Not only do you want to dress in a way that won’t offend the client or the spirits, but you also don’t want to create the frustration that comes when reviewing footage and team members have to try to rule out if they are seeing something paranormal or something caused by a team member’s clothing choice.
When I am conducting a paranormal investigation, I am really strict about what my team members and I wear during an investigation. A large part of what I allow and don’t allow to be worn while investigating is based on things I learned from the team that initially trained me. Some of the rules are things that they required, and some are things I noticed interfering with investigations. If I have to throw out possible evidence because there is even a slight chance that it was caused something not paranormal, I get cranky.
All black clothing, including shoes and socks.
The reason for this is because black does not reflect the same as other colors. Lighter colors, especially white, will not only reflect on shiny services and windows when in dark settings (lights out or low lighting), but they also show up differently on thermal cameras. When going through footage, it is easier to rule out if you are seeing something paranormal in a window, mirror, or reflective surface if everyone is wearing black. While working with the team, someone would wear a light color shirt, and we would be trying to figure out if a reflection in a video or picture was them or a spirit. Not only does the clothing need to be black, but no logos or reflective surfaces. Logos cause the same issue of reflection as light-colored clothing, but if you want to use any of the footage in a for profit way, you would need to blur out the logo, and that is exhausting to do. As for reflective surfaces, this usually is an issue with shoes. There have been times when team members were reviewing footage and got excited over an orb following them, but after further review, a light happened to hit the team member’s shoe at just the right angle to cause an orb. I have also seen this happen on television shows where the investigators wore jeans with rhinestones on the pockets. They thought an orb was following them out of the room when in actuality, it was one of the gemstones on their back pocket catching the light just right to cause an orb.
No baggy clothing.
Baggy clothing can get caught on objects and either make you think that something paranormal is tugging on your clothes or cause you to knock something over. I have seen equipment or the homeowner’s knickknacks get knocked over because a baggy shirt or a flowy skirt got caught on it.
No jewelry of any kind.
Mostly I have this rule for the same reasons as stated above with shoes and bedazzled jeans; jewelry can cause unintended orbs. I also have this rule because I have been to locations where missing jewelry is one of the paranormal activity claims. I don’t want my team members to lose something that has sentimental meaning. If I go to a location with these claims, I will bring jewelry that I don’t mind if it goes missing, and I record when it is worn, so we know when reviewing the footage where to pay attention to possible causes of orbs or reflections. If someone on my team has piercings that can’t be removed (such as my nose piercing), I recommend that they use nude-colored jewelry or cover it with skin tone bandaid.
No perfume, cologne, scented lotions, deodorants, shampoos, etc.
This is one that seems to confuse most people except those who hunt. While on an investigation, we aren’t just using our sight to try to find evidence. We use our other senses as well. Smells are more often reported than objects moving or seeing things. When on an investigation, we don’t need to waste time figuring out if that lavender scent from something paranormal or a team member’s lotion. There are unscented toiletries options. If you need suggestions, let me know. I am more than happy to share the products I use or recommend to team members.
Long hair needs to be pulled back.
I have explained in previous posts that when I go on investigations, I will have my hair pulled back in at least a ponytail, if not a bun, and also wear a headband if my bangs are too short to pull back. This helps rule out my own hair causing the feeling of something on my face or shoulders. It is also easier to feel something touching your hair if it is pulled back. Also, if you walk through a spider web in the dark (which happens more times than I care to admit), you can brush the spider out your hair faster than if it was down.
No underwear showing.
Even I will admit that I occasionally wear outfits that might show a bra strap or the top of some the lace on a bra but never when I am doing any part of an investigation (ie, talking to clients or during the actual investigation). When dealing with clients before and after an investigation, I require everyone attending to be dressed in a business casual outfit out of respect for the client. During investigations, I am fine with yoga pants or sweats and t-shirts as long as they fit the previous requirements I have stated. I have sent team members home or made them stay at the base operations because their underwear was showing, and they were unable to fix it before the start of the investigation. I grew up in the Bible Belt. Not only have I seen clients be offended because of what a team member showed up wearing, but I have also encountered spirits that refused to talk or interact with us because of what a team member was wearing. I have also chosen not to use video evidence because a team member’s breasts were too much on display. I’m not just strict on females. I have sent home or had males stationed the whole night at base operations because their boxers were showing too much above their pants. There are exceptions to this rule, and that is when we are trying to trigger specific activity to happen, we need someone to dress a bit more revealing or in period clothing.
My rules may seem strict, but honestly, it helps make everything flow more easily. We can focus more on the paranormal when we don’t have to worry about contaminating potential evidence or creating more work by having to edit things. Whenever you edit footage, especially for none paranormal reasons, it opens the door for people to question your evidence’s validity. Also, who wants to do more work to fix things when you have already spent hours reviewing everything?
This post is just for investigations where we have been hired by a client or one that we plan to use for legitament evidence. I am not this strict when I am doing “fun” investigations where things aren’t taken as seriously.
Do you think my rules are too strict? What rules do you have when you go on investigations? Let me know in the comments below.