C.A.S.P.E.R Research Center

One Step Beyond: Tactical Survey and Strategic Performance in C.A.S.P.E.R. Field Investigations

Media/Press Announcements

There are two key concepts involved in the spatial-temporal symmetrical relationships at haunted locations: strategy and tactics. Many ghost investigators are not aware of the distinction between these concepts. This has led to much confusion in the field regarding the engagement of scientific practices at haunted locations.


A ghost research strategy involves the process of spatial parameter awareness. This is a “created” place (etic distinction) that is based on prior knowledge and test excavations. It is the location of specific (observed and recorded) anomalous sensory manifestations that are not attributed to “natural” causes. This is defined as the S.I.M.S. (sensory information memory system) Zones. They are the known locations of haunting phenomena.


In contrast, a ghost research tactic is the process of acquisition. It is a calculated action that is based on a lack of prior knowledge of a site’s haunting potential. This is survey work, conducted during the preliminary stages of an investigation. It also could be an the use of recording and measuring devises.


Both processes are based on interaction intersections or nodal points. There is a potential exchange (and symmetry) of information within the moment of contact at these nodal points. This is predicated on the amount of “silence” (ghostspeak”) that is involved, itself based on the perception of a socially-identifying role (for the investigator) on the part of the interacting entity. Since a haunting is a repeated (even in an interactive entity) action that occurs over and over again, the process of reiteration can be strategically “tuned-in” through actions made by the investigative team. Articulations between past experiences and memories are initiated through performative acts in the present. When this occurs at a pre-determined (and controlled) moment, it becomes a strategic performance. This strategic process creates appropriate contextual moments. Tactical procedures, in contrast, are the absence of pre-determined contexts. Site surveys are tactical procedures of recordings and measurements made to determine the locations of anomalies. The excavation of these anomalous zones is a strategic process. Within this “digging”, however, we can employ a tactic of “test” rehearsals. These rehearsals are used to determine potential “trigger” objects and activities.


This methodology is part of an overall participant-observer strategy that can be successfully utilized in ghost field investigations. Rehearsals, for example, are a way of tactically selecting various “target” objects and activities (as elements of emotions and experiences of a pastscape). From an analysis of the ethnographic and historical record, through the participation of these “target” objects in activities, we can begin to strategically select, simplify, and clarify those objects and activities which might “trigger” a response from an interactive entity. In the process, through the use of these test procedures, the investigator becomes a socially-identifiable person for the ghost.


Parallel to this, we are also strategically recording and measuring the various manifestational aspects of this performance “test”. This is the observer strategy. The physical framing of the outcome of the rehearsals strategically “shrinks” the “world” (socio-cultural) of the pastscape to the dimensions of a haunted mise-en-scene by “setting-off” and protecting (controlling) the temporal/spatial symmetry (past/present unfolding). We do this by transforming the tactical natural possibilities (environmental cycles) into strategically-composed haunt drama elements. This is achieved through a process of actualization (socially-identifying performances). This results in the occurrence of repeatable anomalies triggered by these strategic and contextual performances. The resulting manifestations are verified by scientific instrumentation.


This is the tactical and strategic participation-observer approach the C.A.S.P.E.R. Research Center uses in their field investigations.       

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"Unearthing the drama in the fields"

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