Colorado Springs Paranormal Association Protocols
Investigation Rules and Protocols
(Courtesy of and credit to ICPIR & ICPIR Director Christy Necaise)
1. Always get permission to be on a property and NEVER trespass. If there are aren't any signs, such as "No Trespassing" or "Keep Out" then the site is ok to investigate, but we should still try to obtain prior permission before being there. If there are gates, chains, ropes, etc., surrounding a site you are to assume that you are NOT to enter the site because this is the same as trespassing. If we happen to find a sign while already on the property, and prior permission has not been obtained to be on the property, then the investigation is over. Immediately pack up and leave.
2. Always carry proper ID. Proper ID is a license and/or some kind of picture identification
3. Always survey and map out an area you are investigating before the investigation and preferably during daylight hours. This can be accomplished either through a preliminary investigation or a simple walk-through of the premises. Always treat the owners/operators and their property with respect, and as if that property were your own. Conduct yourselves in a professional manner during the investigation.
4. Interviews of residents and witnesses will be conducted during the Preliminary Investigation and at the Presentation of Evidence, not during your main investigation.
5. All equipment is to be checked prior to leaving for the investigation, as well as upon arrival at the location. This means:
a. You have plenty of fresh or charged batteries on hand.
b. Camera straps are removed or wrapped tightly around the hand and/or wrist. (Note: I am aware of what a strap can do when it gets in front of the lens, I am also aware of how much some of these cameras cost. The possibility of dropping one's camera is very high, especially when you are walking around dark cemeteries or unfamiliar ground.)
6. Long hair is to be tied back or kept under a hat.
7. No perfumes or colognes are worn during investigations. Unscented deodorant is to be used as well.
8. Photos and/or video taken in cold weather should be done with breathing in mind. Take steps to ensure a picture or video isn't taken after you exhale in cold weather.
9. Do not conduct outside investigations during bad weather. This includes snow, rain, fog extreme heat, and extreme wind.
10. Photographs are not taken indoors if there is an obvious problem with dust. If you can see it in the viewfinder, so can the camera. Documentation is your best friend if in doubt.
11. Camera lenses are cleaned only at the beginning of a new roll of film or disc.
12. No whispering is permitted during investigations. During investigations, make note of any external or natural noises. These include trains passing by, motor vehicle, planes, dogs barking, etc. This also includes any noises team members make. Document the noises when appropriate or verbally speak them so any team member knows that is recording where a particular sound came from.
13. Analog recorders must make use of an external microphone to eliminate noise from the recorders internal gears. It is also recommended that you have an external microphone on any of your audio recorders.
14. Reflective surfaces should be noted and avoided to the best of a team member's ability when taking pictures during an investigation. If one cannot be avoided documentation should be done to note the time and conditions in question so they can be compared with your picture later.
15. All investigators are broken up into teams of at least two each. This is for safety as well as having another person to witness an experience.
16. Evidence is not to be discussed with owners/operators until the members can evaluate the data you collect first. We don't want to provide a false positive or confirmation of a haunting when there is another explanation that may not be noticeable at the time.
17. No smoking is tolerated during any investigation. If the investigation is going to be exceptionally long or an overnighter, then a designated smoking area will be assigned and the investigation will break until at least ten minutes after the cigarette has been extinguished. This allows time for the smoke to totally disappear.
18. No drugs or alcohol is permitted before, during or after an investigation.
19. During any private home investigation, ask that only two people (the owners) be present. Any more than that can and will cause a disruption with our investigation.
20. Do not take pictures of moving objects or from moving objects. This causes a blurring effect on everything and renders the photo useless.
21. Keep your fingers away from the lens when taking pictures. Your Index finger and thumb should be in a "C" position with the rest of your fingers tucked in.
22. Check the negatives on any photo with an anomaly present.
23. All evidence collected by members of CSPA becomes the property of CSPA and their respective owners. All evidence collected from an investigation will be kept on file. Your files are to be kept confidential and are only shared with members of CSPA, with the obvious exception of the evidence posted on the website. All data collected on an investigation under the name of CSPA will only be posted on CSPA's main web site or official mirror sites of CSPA.
24. Investigative photographs are not tampered with or enhanced. The only exception is the lightening of the picture for better viewing, but this is to be noted and the original saved in its true form.
25. EVP is not to be altered or filtered in any way. If background noise is filtered out or any other alteration is done it may be posted, but listed as such although it will be considered invalid for investigative purposes. Always save your audio in its true form.
26. At no time will anyone represent CSPA in any manner unless they have been designated a team member or team leader. You must have an application on file with CSPA and an approval e-mail from CSPA.
27. Waiver forms will be signed and collected by a CSPA team leader prior to any investigation.
28. Absolutely no souvenirs are to be taken from any site you are investigating.
29. A team leader should ALWAYS be present for every investigation that CSPA does.
30. CSPA reserves the right to terminate any person's membership at any time as deemed necessary.
UPDATE: March 2008 Revised Procedures - (C.S.P.A. specific)