Investigations

OWNE Site Investigations

What are we looking for?

The Otherworld North East team’s fields of interest is varying and covers most aspects of the paranormal. While our primary interest lies in alleged ghosts and hauntings, we’re also interested in cryptozoology, UFO reports and more besides. This page contains contact links for our Reporting Desk, where you can simply report a perceived paranormal event, or our Request an Investigation form which essentially does what it says on the tin.

When it comes to our casefiles, we can classify most into two categories, a Snapshot Investigation which tends to be a single visit to investigate the case, or an Investigation Project which requires multiple visits over a period of time.

Snapshot Investigations, when not in COVID-19 Lockdown restrictions, can be undertaken at relatively short notice, and usually entail the team members researching the case, talking to those who have experienced the case, and then attending site to investigate the location for physical evidence of the event. Unfortunately though, from an investigation point of view, the likelihood of a Snapshot Investigation locating physical evidence is slim, as tracking down potential hard data on paranormal cases takes time, effort and more than a little luck (otherwise the phenomena would be proven fact by now). As such, when Requesting an Investigation, as much detail as possible should be given to allow the investigation to be undertaken correctly. For example, if someone spots a ‘ghost’ that only appears at midday on the 21st December, there’s little point in an overnight investigation in the middle of Summer. It should be noted that the majority of paranormal experiences occur to people during daytime. 

Investigation Projects are our main focus when looking for phenomena to investigate. Projects involve the same background research and witness examination as Snapshots, but the fieldwork occurs over a period of time with multiple visits to the site in question. Projects are by far the method most likely to gain results, simply due to the time spent in the location means the team are more likely present if the anomalous activity repeats itself.

An important note though, is that we will not undertaken private residence investigations. The liability for such undertakings is too great (see our Code of Ethics below).

Otherworld North East Code of Ethics

The field of paranormal investigation is fraught with dangers. There’s the physical dangers from elements within the project’s locale (environmental, man-made etc) and then there’s psychological danger.

Its long been OWNE’s standpoint that we won’t undertake private residence investigations. By this we mean physically entering someone’s home to investigate an alleged ghost or haunting. For many investigators in the field, the chance to investigate a site with “high levels of activity” takes precedence over the harm that can be caused. This is not our way.

"Let me tell you a story... when reading this, please bear in mind that it is a truthful telling of the incident, and imagine how it could affect you, if you were in that situation. Back in 2004 I was asked to help a North East based group (who shall remain nameless) to undertake an investigation at a location in County Durham. It was a known 'hotspot' for paranormal activity, with even certain TV shows having visited and apparently experienced extreme activity. As well as public areas, the location housed the owners' family, with the wife/mother in particular, as well as the young kids, experiencing oddities. Myself and one of the team's regulars arrrived mid-morning to undertake a day of base-line testing, with the main team due in that night after dark set. It was a good day - within an hour of arrival we'd debunked the activity reported by the TV programme without a doubt and by early afternoon we'd gotten the hang of the old building's quirks. As we talked to the family though, it soon became apparent that the father/husband had no belief in the paranormal, with the main focus of belief coming from the mother/wife. The kids it appears hadn't really mentioned oddities much, with the mother reading supernatural explanations into mundane events. Discussions continued and it became more obvious, with certain medications on show, that the mother/wife was taking medicine for something stronger than depression. We spent hours chatting to the family, discussing the likely mundane explanations for the family's perceived activity. Most of the issues seemed to have arisen from the visit of a previous group: who had told the mother/wife that there was a demon in her mirror... By early evening, we'd settled things down and run the mundane explanations - including how the TV show had faked (sorry misinterpreted) the activity when they visited, past the family a number of times. The mother/wife even said she felt better than she'd felt for months, knowing then that there wasn't something demonic in the building out to get her and her family. I tried to contact the main team to call the night investigation off, but with no success. So, enter the investigation team, swishing in with long black leather coats and delusions of grandeur... I caught up with them quickly and told them what we'd learned. At that point the medium immediately went and had a word with the family. I assumed it would be time to pack up, but no... he emerged from the family room and told us to crack on. I went and talked to the family, to find that the medium had told her that we were wrong, and that there was indeed a dark evil presence in the building that meant harm to her and the kids... I challenged the team leadership at that point. And the reason why he'd said what he did? The team wanted the location on their CV as 'It will make a canny investigation', and the mother/wife was willing to pay for the building to be cleansed. That was the last time I undertook any work with that team."

Tony L, OWNE

The incident above highlighted the issue of ethics and harm to us back in 2004. The psychological impact of even undertaking an investigation in someone’s home when diagnosed, or undiagnosed psychosis is possible involved is too great to comprehend. The very fact of an investigator turning up can lend credence to a paranormal perspective… telling someone they have demons or evil spirits, well…

At present, OWNE investigators are not qualified to make a psychological/physiological diagnosis of potential issues within individuals and as such we do not feel qualified to investigate phenomena in private homes. If you do feel the need to bring an investigation group into your home, please make sure they are adequately insured, security checked and also have medical professionals as part of the team.

The Code of Ethics we utilise in fieldwork is a relatively simple one and we’ve based it loosely on the CoE adopted by the British Psychological Society. The aim of our CoE is to promote honesty, understanding and integrity and to ensure that no harm is done to either the client or the investigators, whether psychologically or physically:

  1. Consent and Risk Assessment: OWNE site investigations and experiments will require written or verbal (recorded on video) consent to participate in the investigation/experiment. This consent requirement extends to the investigators present as well as the clients. This consent will be required once the investigation/experiment has been explained in as much detail as possible, following the rules of Why (a statement explaining why the investigation is taking place), Who (who are the participants), and What (what methodology we’ll be using and why). If consent cannot be gained, the investigation will not take place. Part of this process will be the presentation of a Risk Assessment. This will be a separate document that will require signing by all participants, and will list the physical risks associated with the investigation/experiment. Again, if anyone is unwilling to sign the Risk Assessment, they will not be able to take part in the investigation/event and will be required to leave.
  2. Investigation/experiment withdrawal: If any any point any participant in an investigation, whether it be client or investigator, feels the need to withdraw from the investigation/experiment, their right to do so will be respected. If the event taking place collects data from the individual, they also retain the right to withdraw their personal data set.
  3. Confidential: All OWNE investigations will remain confidential unless permission is given by the attendees/venue for the results to be made public. OWNE will not approach the press with any information: if the client wishes to then we can participate. Our Reporting Desk has the option to remain anonymous. All data collected will be in line with GDPR restrictions. 
  4. Risk of Harm: If the venue/investigation is deemed potentially harmful in any way, it will be covered by the risk assessment, which will include measures to mitigate the harm identified. PPE will be issued to attendees as and when required.
  5. Deception: Deception and fakery will not be tolerated, unless the deception in question is part of a deliberate experiment (an example of an acceptable deception is a digital photograph of interesting looking candle smoke used to test spiritual mediums… in the case in question, every one tested described the smoke as a demon). If a client or venue attempts to deceive OWNE with false information and faked phenomena, we will not participate further communication with that venue/client.
  6. Debrief: In 1998, Harris explains a debrief perfectly: “The purpose of debriefing is to remove any misconceptions and anxieties that the participants have about the research and to leave them with a sense of dignity, knowledge, and a perception of time not wasted.”

Please remember we have a Duty of Care to do no harm. No situation exists where undertaking a paranormal research project should take precedence over someone's mental or physical wellbeing.

Please remember we have a Duty of Care to do no harm. No situation exists where undertaking a paranormal research project should take precedence over someone's mental or physical wellbeing.

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