Chances are you know someone who has claimed to have seen a ghost, a strange creature or something else unexplained. Perhaps you have. So what should you do when you see something like that? It's not enough just to tell your close friends (or psychiatrist). It's important to document unexplained experiences.
Time Required: 30 minutes
- As soon after the experience as possible, find a way to record what you saw or experienced. It's important to do this as quickly as possible, while the experience is still fresh in your mind. Be sure to include these aspects of your experience:
- Record your location. Write down exactly where you were when the phenomena took place. Be as specific and thorough as possible. If at home, where in your home, etc? Out in your car? Where, as specifically as possible?
- Record your situation. Were you standing? Sitting? Lying down? Were you alone? If others were with you, how many? What were they doing? Had you been drinking or taking any kind of drugs or stimulants? Were you tired or wide awake? Do you wear glasses - and were you wearing them?
- Record the circumstances. If outside: Was it day - sunny or cloudy? Was it night - moonlit, artificial lights. Record any other weather conditions. If inside: was it dark, dim or well-lit?
- Describe what you saw. In as much detail as possible, describe what you saw. By your best estimate, give its size, dimensions, weight, colorings, apparel, transparency, etc. If the phenomena wasn't something you saw, describe the experience. Include what you felt, heard, smelled and sensed.
- Record your proximity. If it was something you saw, by your best estimate, how far away from you was it?
- Describe its action. If it was something you saw, was it moving? How? How quickly? Record in as much detail as possible the behavior of what you saw. Again, be sure to include any noises or sounds that accompanied the experience.
- Record the timing. How long did the phenomena take place? At what time did it begin to occur? At what time did it end? (Was their any "missing time"?)
- Record the number of witnesses. Were you the only one who experienced the phenomenon? If there were others, how many? Was their experience with the phenomena the same as yours or different? If different, how?
- Submit your report to a local and/or national paranormal research organization. (See Related Resources below.) Encourage other witnesses to do likewise or to at least co-sign your submission.
- Be sure to provide basic information. Although including your name, address and other such personal information is often optional, you should include your gender, age and other such information about yourself that might be relevant.
- Make a drawing. In some cases, making a drawing of what you saw or the circumstances of your experience can be helpful. If outdoors, a map of the place can clarify the situation.
- Take photos. It should go without saying, but if you have a still or video camera at hand when the incident occurs, take pictures. (You'd be surprised at how may people forget to use their cameras in the excitement of the moment.) If you didn't have your camera at the time and it's a sighting of a creature or something, consider returning to photograph the area.
- Be accurate and truthful. Paranormal experiences are difficult enough to believe, so it's very important to be accurate and honest in your report. Do not exaggerate or make assumptions about your experience. Report only the facts. Do not make false reports or claims.
What You Need
- Still or video camera.
- Tape recorder.
- Pen and paper.