Today I listened to a witness.
It wasn't an interrogation. I asked no questions and demanded no answers. It works like this.
I've been looking at a likely location for a while. I've heard sounds but seen nothing definite and so far, recorded nothing. Initially, I doubted the place was a haunting since I thought it was far too new and had no likelihood of deaths on the premises, no reason for a ghost to visit. I actually had it marked as a 'control' location where I could calibrate equipment with zero paranormal activity.
Today someone said 'This place is haunted, you know?'
Such volunteered information must be treated with caution. Never lead the witness on. Adopt a sceptical but not scornful attitude because the latter will silence them. Just listen and ask for details, always taking the fine line between credulity and derision. No encouragement and no discouragement. Just listen.
The place in question is noisy anyway. There's a heating system that permeates the place with a constant grinding and the occasional BANG-clatter-clatter. Pipes creak and groan as they heat and cool. There are voices that come after a ringing sound and say 'I'm afraid there's nobody here, but if you'd like to leave a message...'
There are other things.
This volunteer told of footsteps at night when nobody is around, banging doors, people feeling someone push past, cold spots. I have checked his descriptions with others in the place and they agree. Without prompting.
The place isn't as new as it looks. New roof, new facings on the walls, new double-glazed windows make it look modern but it's been here a long time. It used to be a watermill. I have yet to find how far back it goes.
What interested me particularly was the description of what others have experienced. Staying here late, I have not felt anyone push past but I have heard doors bang (all doors are closed and most are locked. I checked that myself), I have heard footsteps and I have felt cold spots. The main entry doors are locked with a code-lock. The place is ten miles out of town and you'd have to drive to get here at night. It's not the sort of place you pass on the way to anywhere.
I have set up cameras over a few nights but there is no light out here at all at night. No street lights or other outside lights. The cameras record black screens. Tonight I have set up a new form of motion detector. With two video cameras, both of which can see the illuminated detectors and, if I've aimed them right, each other. So any tampering with one camera will appear on the film in the other.
I'll describe the detectors later. With a lot of luck, I might even have evidence that they work.