Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Keeping a Journal

In general, journaling has a ton of benefits. It's a great outlet for one's creativity and even has some therapeutic properties. It's also a great way to organize thoughts and keep a written record of things to remember.  And that's why I HIGHLY recommend journaling as a first step to anyone who is experiencing paranormal activity!

Journaling is really important if you're dealing with potentially paranormal events, and especially if you plan on calling in a paranormal investigation team to help you sort things out. But WHY is it so important? There are plenty of reasons why journaling is a good idea, but there's two main reasons I want to focus on---documentation and analysis.

Documentation:  The human memory is not that great. Not only do we tend to easily forget things, but we tend to not remember things very accurately. And the more time that passes between the actual event and when you try to recall it, the fuzzier the details are going to be. So, writing everything down as soon as possible gives you the best possible chance for accuracy. Further, if you're experiencing paranormal activity on a fairly regular basis, you might not be able to remember the details for every single event. If you have a paranormal investigation team come to your location to check out the claims, this is absolutely crucial. With journaling, you are able to give them a more complete look at what is going on and how often it is going on. Which, leads to the next major benefit of journaling: analysis.

Analysis: So, you've got your written record of what is going on. What are you going to do with it? Keeping a journal can actually help you and anyone else you call in come to some conclusions. You might start seeing some patterns emerge. Perhaps activity increases during certain times of the year or only at certain times of the day. An investigator can use this information to plan on the best possible date and time for an investigation. Perhaps you notice that potential poltergeist phenomenon is preceded by the sound of a train whistle---you or a paranormal investigator can use that information to see if the activity is correlated, either as being a naturally explained result of a train going by, or perhaps some paranormal reason.  In order to best see patterns emerge, there has to be enough good information included in each journal entry.

What to Include:
1. Date and exact time of experience.
2. How long the experience lasted.
3. Who witnessed the activity.
4. Who else was present, but did NOT witness the activity.
5. Exact location of the activity.
6. Weather conditions.
7. Explain what you SAW in as much detail as possible.
8. Explain what you HEARD in as much detail as possible.
9. Consider adding a drawing of anything you saw.
10. What did you SMELL, if anything?
11. How did the activity end? Did you see/hear the conclusion to the event, or did you leave the area?
12. Did you try to interact with the activity? If so, what was the result?
13. What did you do to try to explain/debunk the activity?
14. How did you FEEL---before, during, and after the activity?
15. Has the location changed physically lately...moved furniture, renovations, etc.?
16. Have there been any visitors to the property lately---anyone that doesn't live/work/etc. there?
17. Have there been any major personal changes, such as new job, new baby, divorce, etc.?
18. Include anything else that you feel may be relevant to the activity.
19. If you've done any research on your own, consider adding documentation of that to your journal.

A few extra things to keep in mind when journaling your paranormal experiences:

1. Each person who has witnessed the activity should provide their own journal entry.

2. Each person should write up their experience BEFORE discussing the event with any other witnesses.

3. Journaling doesn't have to be done in a standard notebook. If you're more comfortable, you can keep your notes type-written on your computer (just make sure you have a back-up saved) or if you prefer, you can even keep audio notes with a voice recorder or voice recording software.

4. Children who witness the activity can journal, too! They can draw pictures of what they experienced, and/or you can transcribe for them if they are too young to get their thoughts written down. Just be careful to avoid leading questions and influencing the child's experience with your own thoughts.

5. Most importantly, document the event(s) as soon as possible after they occur! The fresher they are in your mind, the more accurate your information is likely to be. You can always go back and add additional details later as they come to you.

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