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with Joshua P. Warren

Following is an interview JOSHUA P. WARREN, founder of L.E.M.U.R., gave to an online magazine in 1999:

1. What do you feel is the minimum experience required for being a
paranormal investigator? What types of training or experience are helpful?

JPW: There is no specific set of requirements for a paranormal investigator. That�s why it�s sometimes difficult to separate between the frauds and the valid researchers. However, the most basic component of learning about anything �unexplained� is observing or studying your subject under varying conditions over a period of time: I personally would recommend 100 individual field investigations spread evenly over the period of at least a year. A year�s passing gives a good sample of each season�s variables. This will help to draw conclusions about the relevance of atmospheric conditions or other time-dependent factors. Using an even number like 100 makes it easy to deduce percentages in your results.

As with any science, one should take theories inspired by the results and attempt to test them. As we all know, valid science experiments must be repeatable under controlled conditions�and anyone should be able to garner the same results using the same procedures. Therefore, you must certainly be conscious of the basic techniques of gathering and analyzing scientific data effectively. Don�t assume anything. Always require specific PROOF to draw ultimate conclusions.

And, of course, it�s important to study research others have done. Each generation of scientists stands on the shoulders of scientists before them.

2. How often do you find that a site labeled "haunted" by the people who
hired you is actually haunted?

JPW: A good 2/3 of the places we�re hired to investigate are indeed �haunted.� Of course, it makes sense that someone willing to pay for us to investigate already feels pretty sure that there�s �something� to investigate. It usually takes dramatic events to make someone that intrigued (or worried) by the activity.

Of the places we investigate on our own, we usually find some kind of anomaly 50% of the time. However, most places on this planet experience some kind of paranormal activity at one time or another. After all, thousands of years of humans have died all around us. Who knows what happened exactly under your feet 500 years ago? It�s possible that a subtle �ghostly� realm co-exists with our physical plane�and we can often detect it with our sensitive instruments. However, a �haunted� place�or a location that consistently experiences DRAMATIC activity, is rare. We may find moderately affected locations 20% of the time, and severe ones 2% of the time. Of course, these figures are merely �off the top of my head.�

3. In the event that the site is haunted do you attempt to remove the
entity, or do you merely record the existence of such entity?

JPW: People often jokingly call us �ghost busters.� However, we�re really just the opposite. I don�t want to get rid of ghosts, I want to preserve them for study! In that sense, we�re inherently opposed to removing entities. However, we sometimes meet home and business owners who want their resident spirits gone. In that case, we have a few scientific methods which may help them.

Generally, our primary role is to find evidence to add validation to the client�s beliefs. A cynic in a haunted house begins to think he�s crazy.