How can common sense factor into paranormal investigations? What role does common sense play? In what aspects of investigating the unknown are the most important?
According to Dictionary.com the definition of common sense is, sound practical judgment that is independent of specialized knowledge, training, or the like; normal native intelligence.
Now that we have the definition of common sense, we can factor into an investigation in several ways. The first and foremost application of common sense needs to be in safety. Always know your location. Scouting a location prior to the investigation will reveal hazards in the daytime hours that will help you navigate around them during investigations that take place after dark.
The second way common sense can factor into an investigation is research. Researching a location’s history, including the land it stands on, is an important way to clue in on what type of activity may be taking place there. Your research could likely indicate tragedies that occurred, sacred burial grounds, or different topographical ingredients that may play a role in residual hauntings. It has been theorized that limestone, quartz, and magnetite, can help events leave an imprint, much like that of a tape recorder recording, that plays back in the present world.
Common sense needs to be present during investigations in documentation. Documenting start times, end times, temperature, barometric pressure, moon phases, dew points, and current weather conditions are all important factors in backing any evidence you may leave the location with, whether they be photographs, video evidence, electronic voice phenomena (EVP). These factors, if documented may also guide you in further investigations when trying to recreate captured evidence in the same location at a later date.
Common sense should tell us to be aware of our surroundings when taking photographs. Paying attention to light sources that can create shadows can keep you from thinking you’ve captured a shadow spirit, when what you’ve actually captured is just the shadow of an object. Dirt, bugs, and dust particles reflect light sources which are often mistakenly categorized as orbs, unexplained balls of energy. Taking pictures in reflective surfaces can sometimes cause false positives. If a reflective surface has dirt, grime, film, or dust particles on it, your photo may show an anomaly, but an explainable one.
Using common sense in dealing with a location, and it’s owner/s is key to the field. Treating locations with respect reflects well on your team and the paranormal community as a whole. Don’t litter, don’t vandalize, and don’t steal.
Common sense helps us rule out the explainable from the unexplainable, but also helps us to maintain good relations with homeowners, business owners, and the land owners that come to us for answers whey they are experiencing the unexplained.