By Deborah Frediani

We have all seen them, an abandoned building or home. There are always rumors and stories swirling around their existence, fact or fiction. Sadly, people can often be too quick to judge the location based solely  on their appearance. Just because a place may look "scary," doesn't necessarily mean it's haunted. I have been on cases where we are investigating a brand new or fully restored historical home which has a high level of paranormal activity. It is not only the creepy, old buildings that have unwelcome residents. Simply judging by the exterior does not tell you of the rich history of the building, former residents or land. That is why I always do thorough research of a location and surrounding area before every investigation. I like to know what we are walking into and how we can utilize that information during our investigation. It is also very important to take the time to just stop, evaluate and take your time to evaluate every aspect of your client's claims along with the history.  Get a "vibe" for the place. Take note of any feelings you experience. That helps you do the best job getting answers for your your clients. For example, take a long look at this photo. At first glance, it does LOOK dark and "scary" but carefully look at the small details in the photo. For me, I see a neglected location rich in history. Keep in mind, it didn't always look this way. It was once clean and organized, filled with a family, love and light. Memories of holiday dinners and family celebrations permeate the walls and wood. You can almost hear the laughter, the voices from the former residents. The now dinghy light fixture was once shiny and new, and filled this now dark foreboding hallway with welcoming light. Take note of the beautiful table and the painting on the floor. The table maybe a family heirloom, the painting may contain the resemblance of a family that once called this place home. It always makes me sad to see historical treasures abandoned or torn down just because they have been abandoned or neglected. These treasures are rich in history if you really take the time to do your research. It is amazing what you can learn about that "creepy " old house on your street if you just  take the time to really embrace the history of it. In the long run, you will be glad you did.