I have found that video evidence is among the most common evidence recorded and posted about paranormal activity; however, it is also the target for those who like to fake or spoof evidence as well. One should keep in mind that there are those out there who do not believe at all in the paranormal and love nothing more than to waste their time (and yours) by creating prank videos to spark off great controversy and debates within the paranormal investigation community. With this being said, one should take caution while searching for video evidence on the Internet that may prove (or debunk) a paranormal claim.
Another caution I should mention is, there are those that even use this medium to prank researchers or investigators by adding footage to their videos that is shocking or disturbing in order to scare them while they are viewing the video. As a researcher, watching these videos late at night can come close to stopping your heart. On several occasions, I have been viewing video and someone with Halloween make-up pops-up and they are screaming at the camera. I have even come across videos of people who have recorded other’s reactions while watching these videos and they just find it be hilarious. Now, don’t get me wrong, they have the right to do this, and these videos have their own place. I am just warning you that these videos are out there, and they may be titled or labeled as exactly what you are looking for in the way of video evidence. Again, be warned.
Video cameras are now considered to be one of the most important items to have in your “ghost hunting” kit and just about anyone can get their hands on a video camera. As a paranormal activity researcher, one must be cautious when looking for video as evidence of paranormal activity. Through my research of paranormal claims on the Internet, I always stop by YouTube and do a search to see if there is any paranormal evidence already posted by creditable paranormal societies or researchers who have an established web presence.
Throughout the PANICd database you will find several videos that are linked to YouTube. The videos that we have posted have been reviewed several times by our researchers and are considered to be evidence that prove or debunk paranormal claims. When I select a video to post as evidence, I perform the following checklist before I even consider the video, and some of these items are just common sense:
- Is the video posted by a paranormal research society? – A paranormal society would not endanger their reputation by posting a video that is a spoof. In fact, they do quite the opposite. Normally these societies will post their videos for others to critique or make comments. These are great videos to use! (I have come across and used videos that were not posted by paranormal societies due to their quality and how it relates to the particular claim).
- How many times has the video been viewed? – Normally I have found, if the viewing numbers are large, the video is probably a spoof. This is because several people have forwarded the video to other people around the Internet; however, it could be real… it is worth watching and consideration.
- Read through the comments – This is a great way to determine if the video you are about to watch contains those pop-up creatures or not. If they do, normally the comments have expletives stating how much the creator or poster is an idiot.
- Consider the quality of the video – I have rejected some videos just based on quality. Either the quality of the video or the quality of the cameraman. If the camera is all over the place, it is just too hard to view evidence. Also, a person who has set out to capture paranormal activity on video would take extra precaution on recording efforts.
- Note the evidence – I find it an added bonus to provide the time on the video where the evidence is actually captured. When this information is in the comment sections, I find that to be awesome.
- When in doubt, throw it out. – Just common sense here. If you don’t see the evidence after viewing the video a few times, others will surely have problems as well. Also, if you are looking for potential evidence and cannot quickly determine if it debunks or proves a given claim, then it is better to just pass over that piece of evidence in search of something with better quality.