Frequently Asked Questions
Q. I want your paranormal investigation team to come and investigate my house/flat/business. Will that cost me anything?
A. No, we don't charge for what we do. If we can get there easily enough we will come and investigate and not charge you a cent. Out of town (outside Wellington) investigations are a little harder to organise, since we are all busy people with families and jobs, but they can happen.
Q. I'd like to have an investigation of my home but I'm concerned about my privacy. Will there be any issues around that?
A. We can be discreet. We won't park our logo-emblazoned research vehicle on your front lawn. And we won't spread photos of your place all over the internet either. Some of our investigations are public but most are 100% private. Nothing will be published without your say-so. And, as you can see, there are no investigation reports on this website.
Q. In movies and TV, ghosts and demons often attack and physically hurt people. Is this based on any reality?
A. We think it unlikely but we can't be certain; we must consider and respect cultures in which these spiritual events are believed to occur. But for safety reasons, we say that signs of physical harm are far more likely to have been caused by humans than any kind of paranormal entity. Please read our Important Safety Issues section on this page (scroll down).
Q. I believe I've had a paranormal experience but I am too embarrassed to talk to total strangers about it. What can I do?
A. Please don't be afraid to contact us. It's only an email initially, it's private (see above), and we're well used to hearing accounts of strange events. We will take you seriously. We've all had our own unexplained experiences so we know what it's like. See our Contact page, and advice.
Q. You guys are said to be skeptics. Do you actually believe in ghosts?
A. We have a range of beliefs and attitudes within our team, some more skeptical (but open, not cynical), some more accepting of the existence of ghosts and other things paranormal. We try to be balanced overall. See our NZSOS page, and this blog post by James Gilberd.
Q. I want to become a paranormal investigator. Can I join your team?
A. We already have a team of ten or so, which is more people than we can usually include in an investigation. If we every have a vacancy in the team we'll say so on our Facebook page and on this website. We sometimes will take a guest or two along on an investigation provided we know and trust the people well already. Contact us anyway, if you're keen. Email is best.
Q. Do you take people on investigations with you?
A. If you are working at a place we're investigating, or you own or run it, you're most welcome to join the investigation. But otherwise, generally no. Sometimes we take along people we already know as guests on investigations, but not people we haven't met and know fairly well.
Q. Is there a code of practice, or some sort of ethical guidelines for paranormal investigators?
A. Alas, no. Anyone can call him or herself a paranormal investigator. There is no widespread or accepted form of training or qualification either. Check out the group's website, which will give an idea of how serious and experienced they are. Look for links to coverage in mainstream media. If the group has no website (only a social media presence) then they're not serious or long established. Try elsewhere. Also, ask around and try to get an indication the team is reputable, and currently active. If the website or social media page has lots of photos of orbs and they claim these to be spiritual manifestations, these people are probably crackpots and should be avoided!
Q. So, how do I know if the paranormal team I'm contacting is reliable?
A. They may have references on their site, and you could contact the people mentioned (but they're unlikely to list references that will give them bad reports). Posts and responses to comments on Facebook pages are give some indication. If you see lots of photos of orbs on their website or Facebook page, accompanied by claims that they are paranormal or spiritual manifestations of some kind, avoid the group. They will likely be inexperienced, unscientific crackpots.
Q. Why are there no investigation reports on your site?
A. We're not averse to sharing information, as can be seen on our media page, and in our book Spooked. We have kept busy over the years and we're happy to share our investigation reports with other reputable teams who are investigating the same site, provided client confidentiality is not an issue. We treat our client contacts and reports as confidential unless told otherwise, and our numerous investigations of private houses are always kept confidential. Other investigation groups are welcome to contact us for discussion and sharing of information.
FAQs with longer answers
Q. I have a video with strange little lights floating around in it. Are these orbs similar to the ones sometimes seen in still photos?
A. Probably. Video cameras often have LED illuminators that can show out-of-focus bits of dust floating past in the same way a flash shows them up in still shots. See this article about how orbs appear. We're happy to offer our opinion on your video if you can email it to us, or send a link to it.
Q. Do you guys ever work with a psychics or mediums?
A. We have had physics and/or mediums along as guests on investigations and will continue to do so when appropriate. We're interested in their purported abilities and what they can contribute, while being aware that genuine medium-type abilities are probably extremely rare. While no one in our team claims to be a medium, some team members are more sensitive to certain ambiences and historical associations (maybe to ghosts - who knows?) than others.
Q. After the investigation, am I on my own? Is there, like, back up service?
A. Yes, one investigation doesn't always provide all the answers. You can call us back any time if issues re-occur or if new paranormal activity arises. We have investigated some locations several times in order to try to understand what might be going on.