Greater Michigan 
     Paranormal Investigations

Rules, Guidelines and Protocols

The Greater Michigan Paranormal Investigations members follow a strict set of Rules, Guidelines, and Protocols during all investigations or anytime the group is being represented for any reason. We take a scientific approach to investigating the paranormal and look at all natural explanations before we determine what we find is of paranormal origin. We follow the protocol below at all times!


1. NO Smoking on investigations as this will create false ectoplasm mist pictures while photographing.

2.  We DO NOT and WILL NOT take pictures in the rain, snow, high winds, or when fog is present.  This will also create false anomalies to appear on pictures.

3.  When breath is visible ectoplasm mist pictures will be thrown out and determined to have a natural explanation.  It is fine to investigate in cold weather because bugs are not usually as bad as they are in the warmer months. Cold weather can also cause your camera lens and film to fog so all mist pictures must be thrown out in cold weather.

4.  No drugs or alcoholic beverages at any time.

5.  All camera straps must be placed around the neck  before a picture can be taken. This will avoid the camera strap from getting in front of the lens and creating false vortex like pictures.

6.  Cemeteries, buildings, houses, or any other location that we investigate will be treated with respect and left undisturbed. 

7.  Tombstones will not be touched or leaned on at any time unless we are fixing a stone.

8.  Vandalism or any type of destruction to property and/or disrespect toward the dead is strictly prohibited and any member(s) caught doing this will be removed from the investigation and banned from the GMPI immediately.  Local law enforcement will also be notified!

9.   No trespassing or investigating on private property without written permission.

10.  Do not enter any cemetery or other location after dark that is posted with a sign saying: closed from dusk till dawn.

11.  It is advisable not take pictures of reflective objects like mirrors, windows, road signs, or smooth surfaced tomb stones.  This will create flash reflections and can cause false anomalies on film and video. 

12.  When taking pictures near a gravel road wait at least 30 minutes before attempting to photograph. This will give the dust particles time to settle.  Walking and driving will create a large amount of dust particles in the air.  Also be aware of passing cars in dusty locations.

13.  Do not use any vulgar language while investigating.

14.  Eliminate any light sources in the back ground or turn off lights when investigating inside a house or any type of structure. When investigating outside you might have to change your angle when photographing to eliminate natural and manmade light sources in the background.  Any light source can create false anomalies.

15.  Always survey the area that you will be investigating before the actual investigation.  This is a good time to look for reflective surfaces, background lights, dangerous areas, places to set up equipment, and look for power lines or any other man made source that might interfere with your EMF meter or any other equipment.

16.  Never investigate alone.  Always go in a team of at least two or more.

17.  Always set up a controlled environment when possible.  Monitor everything and know where each investigator is at all times.

18.  Use a million candles to shine in the air before investigations and look for dust particles in the air before taking pictures.  If there is dust present in the air you must determine that all orb pictures are from a natural source.  A laser light can also be used for this; if the beam becomes visible then it is too dusty or foggy to investigate.

19.  During the warmer months of the year you must be aware of insects, humidity, and pollen floating in the atmosphere.  All of these can create anomalies that look to be paranormal but are actually something completely natural.  Bugs are very easy to identify and more times than not you can see wings or legs when examining a picture of one.

20.  Always clean your camera lenses and equipment before and after each investigation.  Check your camera lens often during an investigation and make sure that it is not smudged, fogged, or dusty.

21.  You must be extremely quite during all investigations, especially while trying to capture voices of the dead on audio tape (EVP).

22.  Always use new audio and video tapes when investigating.  Reusing an audio or video tape can degrade the quality and value of your findings.

23. When photographing keep all objects away from the lens of the camera.  This includes fingers, hair, hats, camera straps, and any other objects that can get in front of the lens and create a false anomaly on your photograph.

24.  When going on an investigation do not wear any strong smelling colognes or perfumes.  Ghost or spirits sometimes make their presence known by certain smells.

25.  Do not take photographs directly into the sun or any other light source.  This will create sun flare on your photographs.

26.  Always use a new role of film so you will not double expose your pictures.

27.  Do not load your film in the sun light or near bright light of any kind to avoid over-exposure of your film.

28.  Do not allow your film to get extremely hot or cold.  This will damage your film and can create fogging of your film if you go from one extreme temperature to another.

29.  Always look in front of you and beyond before taking a picture. Look for people, cars, and other objects that might be mistaken for something paranormal. Car tail lights and other parts of a vehicle create reflections.

30.  Always write down time and location of any event that might take place. Accurate records need to be taken & accounted for!

31.  Keep a log of times and locations of every picture taken.  Also keep a record of any abnormal readings on equipment that you might have while investigating.  If you capture a paranormal anomaly on film you can then go back and see if the time and location match up to any abnormal reading you might have gotten on a meter.

32.  We WILL NOT and DO NOT conduct séances or use Ouija boards on our investigations.  Those methods are not reliable ways of investigating the paranormal.  Even the use of psychics (which we do have) are used but not documented as approved research methods. Our psychics are only used for their "intuition" abilities. They have no bearing on the actual outcome of the investigation nor do we document their comments or feelings. We take paranormal research very seriously and do not have room for nonsense on our investigations.

33.  We WILL NOT and DO NOT say chants or perform any kind of rituals or ceremonies.  We are strictly against this.

34.  We WILL NOT perform exorcisms or eliminate ghosts or spirits, but we can recommend a reputable person(s) to adhere to your request if one is needed. We also do not have the capability to handle requests for haunts of a demonic nature.

35.  Always look at the negatives to any picture that you think might contain some kind of paranormal activity.  If the image is within the negative and not on the outside then whatever you captured was probably there.  Dust on the negative will cause a raised bump when you hold it flat and look across it.  Also look for scratches on the negative. Dust, scratches and other debris can get on your negative during the developing process and cause lines or orb shaped anomalies on your picture

36.  When taking pictures always look for cobwebs floating in the air or stretched between two objects.  Spider webs can create a line that looks like a streak of light on your picture.

37.  Never take pictures from a moving vehicle or from the inside of a vehicle.

38.  Always carry a first aid kit and a cell phone or two way radios. Investigations can take place in some remote places and you never know what could happen.

39.  Always be aware of animals in the area that you are investigating.  Animal eyes can reflect and cause green or orange dots on your pictures.  Also be aware that when using a night shot video camera the eyes will glow and reflect because of the infrared light.  Be aware of raccoons and opossums located in trees off in the distance.  When you get your film developed the eyes can look like two green balls of light side by side.

40. When trying to capture EVP, always write down the natural noises you hear in the background so you will not confuse it with something else later. Example- dogs barking, coyotes howling, cars passing by, owls, birds, ect.

41.  When trying to capture EVP always survey the surrounding area for people, and cars parked with their radio on.  You might hear music and later discover that it is a car parked the next road over.  Always look for a natural explanation first!

42.  Never run in a cemetery or any other location. This can lead to damaged tombstones or yourself.

43.  If an apparition (ghost) is sighted or appears in front of you, remain calm and still, take as many pictures as possible.  It might be a once in a lifetime opportunity.

44.  Always maintain a positive attitude when investigating.  Negativity can cause poor results.  We have found that a positive attitude can increase your success rate at capturing a paranormal anomaly on film or video.

45.  Always research the history of the location that you are investigating.  Many things can be discovered during this process.  Without history there could not be a haunting!

46.  Always make a map of the location being investigated. This can be done during the site survey of the area.  You can then go back and mark active spots and study the layout of the location.

47. Always interview any witnesses that have experienced paranormal activity at the location being investigated.  Write down in detail their experiences.

48.  When investigating a site always write down any unusual smells, feelings, or noises that you might encounter.

49.  ALWAYS look at all natural explanations before determining that what you have found is something paranormal.  Examine every possible natural explanation first!  Be skeptical but yet open minded.  That noise in the attic could be a raccoon or that thumping in the wall is more than likely the water pipes.

50.  Be an investigator and investigate. Do not jump to conclusions!

51.  99% of all unusual occurrences will have a completely natural explanation for what is occurring.  It's that other 1% that we are interested in!

52. When representing the GMPI organization for any reason, you MUST act with the utmost respect towards the members, clients, media, or any other related individuals. Acting with a professional manner and polite attitude at all times is a must! In order to be taken seriously we must act seriously and not give people a reason to find any fault with this organization, its team of researchers, and its members. Membership will be revoked if a person is found to be acting in a negative or unprofessional manner towards or while representing this organization.

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