There are many different beliefs as to what happens when a person dies. Many describe being "haunted" by loved ones who have passed or by people they don't even know. The people who scientifically study and try to determine what is beyond the ordinary realm and what is not are called paranormal investigators. It is not necessary to be certified in order to become an investigator, but the courses required for certification can provide added skills and investigative methods to this field.
Sign up for courses taught by experienced investigators. Flamel College is an online educational institution dedicated to paranormal studies, the healing arts (such as acupuncture), magical arts (for Wiccan studies and wizardry), and hermetic sciences (tarot card reading and the Kabbala.) Through their paranormal studies department, students can receive a paranormal investigator certificate. Students learn how to find and research haunted areas, how to start their own paranormal investigator groups, how to use electronic detection equipment in their hunts (such as electronic voice recorders, cameras and video), how to assemble affordable ghost hunting kits and how to investigate special areas, such as graveyards.
Invest in study materials and tuition for the course; as of 2010, the price is £61, which includes the textbook, "How To Be A Ghost Hunter," by Richard Southall, and an EMF (electromagnetic field) meter.
Enrol in an Advanced Paranormal Investigator Certificate program which offers more hands-on training than the paranormal investigator course. Step-by-step methods of investigating homes, commercial buildings, old churches and graveyards are taught. The course also includes conducting interviews with eyewitnesses and using research equipment, such as 35mm cameras, and audio and video recorders. The goal of the advanced course is to teach students how to put research and theory methods into practice and gain confidence as an investigator.
Complete the advanced certification course by setting up a paranormal investigation from beginning to end, then documenting the findings in a 1,500-word official report. Students also have the option of conducting a "virtual" investigation of a location known to be haunted by writing the report as though they had actually visited and investigated the site. The course comes with the highly regarded "Ghost Hunters Handbook," which includes "official" forms such as the Investigation Permission form, the Information Release Form, Paranormal Vigil Log and Logbook page. Investigative software is also included to track investigations, events and evidence. Students also have access to a 45-minute DVD of an actual filmed investigation, as well as a paranormal resource CD which includes cases, reports, photographs, EVPs (electronic voice phenomena) and more. The cost of the course and textbook is £61, and there is no prerequisite for the class.