Total darkness!
You see it all the time on the paranormal shows how they love to go totally dark during their investigations.  Truth is it's not necessary and it can be dangerous. Having it dark is good but totally dark is not necessary.  How would you recognize a shadow entity if it were standing beside you in total darkness?  I've stood within arm's reach of a shadow man in broad daylight.  Spirits are active 24-7 and I'm not sure they know the difference between daylight and night. The thing is at night there will be generally less contamination of a location.  A dim light about the brightness of a candle (I do not recommend using candles) is good for all ghost hunting projects.  Battery LED lights, and LED night lights can provide a safe alternative for lighting a location during an investigation. Tripping over things and falling is no fun but falling down a flight of stairs or over a balcony can be life threatening.

Every team member should have at least one working flashlight.

I don't want anyone to get hurt doing a paranormal investigation.  If you have questions I'm sure either myself or someone else in this group will be happy to help answer your questions.

Dealing With Evil Spirits - 101 / basics.

It makes no difference if you call them demons, fallen angels, sub-demons or dark entities, it's all the same thing.

I was doing a show in Vegas once and had a witch tell me there's no such things as ghosts!  So I asked her, "What do you call the spirits of the dead?"  She said, "Spirits of the dead."

The witch said there is no such thing as God, the devil, angels, or demons.  The thing is different people perceive and refer to different kinds of spirits in different terms.  The fact is they do exist no matter what you call them.  The majority of those reading this will know when I say "a ghost" that I am speaking of a spirit of the deceased.  If I say "demon", "fallen angel", or sub-demon you know I am speaking of a dark entity having a malevolent nature.

Elementals and Altered Perceptions
While speaking of witches I knew a lady for years who was and I figure is still a witch.  She was an irresponsible mother and would frequently lock herself in her bedroom with her spells and potions to avoid taking care of her children.  I liked her, I worried about her and one day I asked God to send an illumination to her to show her the true nature of the evil spirits she was consorting with.  She called them elementals.  A week or so later I saw her at her business and she was wide eyed and frightened.  She said she had a terrible nightmare and it was REAL!  Then she told me she was in her bedroom on a hospital table and these 7 huge ugly beasts were taking turns on her.  I realized right away that was the result of me sending the illumination angel to her.  She had been allowed to see the true nature of her "harmless" elementals.  I told her it wasn't a dream, it was a vision or night vision and those are her elementals and that's what they are doing to her.  She screamed "I won't believe it!" And stormed out of there but fast. (None are blinder than they who refuse to see.)

Keep in mind that spirits exist all around us usually invisible to the human eye.  While spirits can and will inhabit animals what they do that is most visible is manifested in humans.  The reason being that humans have the ability to think, reason as well as to misunderstand things.  When humans begin to misunderstand things they can see demons in every tree. 
They have "witch-hunts" and innocent people become victims.  Nothing makes God more furious than when well intending people murder, discredit, or harass innocent people in His name.  Let's just say you will want to be sure you are not guilty of this on the judgment day.

Even the smallest angel can ward off the devil himselfDemons play upon the imaginations and fears of people then let the people do the evil for them.  Jesus said resist the devil and he will flee from you.  I've put this to the test and believe me and Jesus it works.

You don't have to put up with an evil spirit because God gave us the tools to deal with them but you may take some abuse from people who are under the influence of evil.  Many times that individual will be the one stirring up the trouble and will have
everyone in a group looking at the wrong people and suspecting the worst (crying wolf).

The average, oblivious human can become a playground for evil spirits, without the knowledge they are being manipulated. 
There's no place more prevalent than the religious for well intending people to do all the wrong things.

Evil spirits view truth seekers and anyone who has experience dealing with them as the enemy. The first thing they will do is seek to get rid of those people.  To do so they plant fear in the minds of the gullible. People who are easy to scare (paranoid). Satan is the name of the spirit that is known as the Accuser.  He's the one who points and says, "They are to blame!"  Finds fault with someone who presents a threat to him and then lets the paranoid people do the work for him.  They drive away people who might expose them and yet they remain in the warm trusting embrace of those poor gullible people who don't have a clue.

Evil plays upon the weaknesses of the living.  It alters how the living think.
The example of evil spirits being cast into a bunch of pigs caused the pigs to go insane run off a cliff and kill themselves.  A pig's mind and most animal minds are not designed to withstand that kind of energy. 
The evil energy is insanity.  It was cast out of a single man whose demon named it Legion, for they were many.

I shot and edited a production for NAMI concerning the mentally ill.  Their findings then were that one of every 4 people had a diagnosable mental disorder or mental illness.  The last report I saw on TV said 1 out of every 8.  From one survey to another the value varies.  Consider that spirits exist over all cities and towns.  The different people in these cities and the kinds of spirits they attract will  have a direct influence on the rate of those who have mental disorders in each city.  Many mental disorders are caused by abuse or other stress related things including hazardous jobs.

When we look through history we can see countless times when well intending people who claimed to be "of God" did horrendous things murdering innocent people.  I could make a list even from memory but it wouldn't be a drop in the basket.  The murder of the Knights Templar, the Spanish Inquisition, the Salem Witch Trials.  I can back up into the Bible and mention the Stoning of Stephen who was just a lad who saw the gates of Heaven open to him as he was stoned to death by an angry "self righteous" mob.

People escaped the mother land, England to get away from religious persecution.  Disregarding the 6th commandment the Catholic church at that time were quick to kill anyone who claimed to be of any other religious persuasion, including the Jews.  People today might have difficulty understanding the barbaric things done to innocent people in the name of God, but remember these spirits still exist and they still influence people.  God did not command them to murder anyone in His name so there's no need to blame God for what those people have done.

The Man Who Kidnapped Elizabeth Smart Believed He Was An Angel Of God.
I do some of my best work when I'm under the gun so to speak and the set of events triggered by a person who said she was an incarnated angel has been be useful to me in several ways.  There's nothing like the fire to purify the metal/product. It sets the mind working to organize the words that make the lessons involved clearer and more effective.  Angels do not incarnate but a fallen angel will inhabit, oppress, alter a person's perceptions of reality, and when they can will even possess a person's soul.

Humans make mistakes.  So we say to error is human, to forgive is divine.  We learn from correcting our own mistakes. 
God doesn't judge someone else on what you think about them.  He judges us on how we behave as humans.  Those who have the Holy Spirit can literally escape Hell but what we do with what we are given is the "talents."  Remember the parable?  A talent is a spiritual gift.  If the gift is not put to good use then it is taken away, given to someone else, and makes the Boss angry. Point here is God can give a person the greatest gift in the universe, what they do with that is up to them so they need to be wise in all their decisions.

Not everyone perceives spirits or reality in the same way.  Some altered perceptions are not caused by evil spirits.  Some people see sounds as colors.  Some people visualize various things when they pray to God.  In general people tend to relate to the things they immerse themselves in.  Things they enjoy in life.  When people are young they tend to lean toward their computer games but I remember long ago when I was a kid I related to the comic book heroes most of all.  My enemies became the bad guys in those comics and you can be sure they were all bullies.

Evil Things Hide In Plain Sight, something many may not expect.  It's not a TV show, but it is something a multitude of people take part in each day.

Today there are games and online groups that are not healthy and invite bad spirits into people's lives. Dungeons and Dragon type roll playing games use names and written spells that people must cast in order to play the game.  Some of these things can invoke and release evil spirits into that person's mind/soul.  The results on different people are varied but can cause problems in their lives and those close to them that may be difficult to calculate.  Stay away from these games.
In their own defense makers of these games say the incantations and spells are fictitious what they don't realize is the demons and evil spirits they are calling upon actually exist.  These evil entities are always watchful for any opportunity to take advantage of the unsuspecting.

Other games that are bad for people literally steal people's lives and you can find a bunch of them on FaceBook.  The battle games are especially bad for those who play them.  I know because I was invited into one of these games called Kingdoms of Camelot and the damage that game did to me was difficult to calculate.  I got a dose of it first hand and had to make a decision to leave that game and warn people what it does to them.  To explain a little about it when I began the game I saw no harm in it.  Before I knew it I had attack alarms going off at any given time of the night and day.  I didn't sleep, I couldn't work, I was a nervous wreck before I knew it, and I was not alone.  This kind of psychological abuse alters a person's energy.  Don't do it, it's bad for you.

Shadow people:  Many people who lean toward the frightened when it comes to paranormal things tend to think anything that scares them is of the devil/evil.  That's not the case.  If  you read the Bible you will also know that when angels of God have appeared to people they were so terrified they fell face first in the dirt.  The angel said, "Be not afraid, I am sent by God..." etc.  Spirits absorb energy where they can and when they are in the visible light spectrum they can appear as a solid dark mass.  It doesn't mean it's a demon and does not mean it's out to get you.  Get a grip and figure it out.  What did the thing look like? What did it do? If it spoke what did it say?  Did you smell or hear anything unusual?

Can a demon appear as a shadow man?  Yes.

Can a ghost appear as a shadow person?  Yes.

I've heard it said that people can invite demons into their homes just by watching a TV show about the paranormal.  The answer is no the demons can't come through the TV set into your home.  However people can invite evil spirits into their homes if there's all ready a bad spirit with that person or in their house.  The very worst kind to cause this kind of problem are those who are suffering from paranoia.  The moment they become alerted this person will send out spiritual energy signal like a bleeding fish in shark territory.  People who have this problem need to ...

1. Stop watching shows about the paranormal.

2. Avoid all online discussions about the paranormal especially those that deal with the dangers of the paranormal.  Just thinking about it causes it for people like this.  This is also a diagnosable mental disorder that is related to hypochondria.
Get help.

Remember when it  comes to this type of activity what affects one person may not have any affect on someone else.  Just because a spirit affects you doesn't mean the same applies to everyone else.  Not everyone is paranoid, not everyone is a junkie or alcoholic.  The last thing people need is someone who's in fear of these things spreading that spirit of fear among others.  Paranoia is contagious among certain people and some evil spirits feed upon it like parasites.

Testing The Spirits / Spiritual Discernment
Always be very careful to test all the spirits. Don't believe a person, or an angel who claims to be sent from God without testing it. Yes I've gotten myself in trouble with that one before by those who think they know when they don't.  The Bible says test even the angels of God because demons have presented themselves as angels of God and have lead many astray.  So have well intending, misguided people who don't verify their information first hand and find out what the truth is.  Don't be like those people.

Spiritual Discernment comes in two basic types.  Those who have the gift and those who use the manual method.  The spiritual gift allows a person to know if a spirit is good or evil and will even allow that person to know what type of spirit they have encountered.  A very good example is when I received an EVP from a cousin.  This EVP said, "You looked at me," so clearly it was astounding.  My cousin said, "It's not a ghost." Then told me how he came to have that EVP.  Thinking I would test a very good friend of mine who has some amazing spiritual gifts I played the EVP for him 3 times and he correctly identified it as the spirit of Cancer.

I asked him, "You mean cancer can speak?" He said, "Of course it can. Jesus spoke with unclean spirits and they answered."

The manual method is what most of us use and me questioning my friend as to what he thought had made the EVP was a manual test of his abilities.  His ability to know what the spirit was is in fact the gift of spiritual discernment.

An unclean spirit is a spirit that makes people sick.  Dark entities feed upon a person's spiritual energy if they can.  These entities are parasites, soul suckers, and a type of spiritual vampire that steals what it wants from the living.  Wounded or sick people are prime subjects to become hosts for dark entities.

Evil spirits will frequently repeat certain things word for word.  People infected or influenced by an evil spirit will sometimes repeat the same things word for word as that spirit expresses itself through that person.

There are certain things some of them will always do and certain things some of them will never do.  Many of them love to make fun of the Bible, God, or the prophets of God.  Many of them will tell you there is no such place as heaven or hell.  Now and then they will make a true statement to get you to agree with them while following it with a false statement trying to trick you into agreeing with the false part of their message.  Do not let them trick you.  If you have ever had a run-in with a dark entity that spoke certain things to you remember what it said.  If you ever run into a person who says the same thing a dark entity has said you can be sure that person has a dark entity influencing them.  Some of the things they say word for word is a common thing among their kind and may not identify them specifically.

The Holy Spirit
Most preachers can tell you what it is but can't explain it in any detail.  The Holy Spirit of Christ was created through the incarnation, life and death of the Creator being.  The purpose of the Creator being incarnating was to produce a combination spirit between His own and yet compatible with the human spirit and soul.  The reason why He did the things He did while living had a purpose.  The way he died had a purpose.  When He saw Mary Magdalene in the garden and she was searching for His body, she recognized him.  She reached for him and he said not to touch Him because He had not yet ascended to the Father.  He had a reason for saying this.  The reason was because the Father had to receive and recognize the spirit the Creator had created for this purpose.  When his disciples begged him not to leave He said He must go because if He does not the Holy Spirit / Comforter would not come.

This is the really short explanation but I feel that everyone who deals with these things needs to understand the basics.

While there are a few people who have cleaned a house of evil spirits who didn't have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit the likelihood of their fix being undone is fairly high.  The odds of them paying some price for closing a portal or evicting an evil spirit is even higher. 
Deals can be made with demons but the end result is always bad.  The next thing you should know is demons lie, cheat, and break the rules any time they can.  There's nothing worse than a spirit that has nothing to lose by breaking those rules.

Having the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is critical for any Christian who is continually successful in evicting evil spirits.  It allows a person to communicate not only with God but with God's angels in order to perform a cleaning.  More often than not priests or some other religious person is brought in who has a spirit of religion but not the Holy Spirit and this is why their cleanings frequently fail and someone ends up being hurt before it's done.  I could name some cases from history or you can look them up yourself.  The Devil in Connecticut is one of those cases.  The original Exorcism the movie was based on is one of those.

If You Don't Get The Results You Seek Change The Way You Think
There are people out there in the religious and paranormal world who think they have power who think they have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit when they don't.  These people are heading for trouble like a run-away locomotive without having a clue that something is serious wrong and missing in their lives.  The spirit of religion is an "instead of God" demon creation.  It's there to fill the hole in a person's soul so they think they are saved and so they will not seek again to become saved.  It's a trick of the devil to give people a substitute to pacify them. A person who thinks they are saved will not turn again to God to have Him actually save them.  Not intending to preach here but there are some things a person doing this work needs to understand.  When things do not work as they intend there's always a reason.

Christians who do this work need a good working knowledge of the Bible.  Angels and demons alike know who Jesus was while on earth and they know who he is now that he's back on his throne.  Demons will test your knowledge if they feel they can pull a put down on you and cause you to doubt your spiritual abilities.  This works on newbies but does not work well with someone who has a working experience dealing with evil.

God will also sometimes test a person working for Him on certain scriptures that make a difference and I can't tell you which ones they are because you never know what God will challenge you with.

No evil spirit will deliberately give you the power to bind it.
Demon names are important and very helpful but understand this. No demon will give up its name without a fight, if it does then it's most likely not the demon's actual name.  A demon's base name describes its skill set, and what it does.  We might use the name Lucifer (bright star) from before the archangel's fall from the heavens.  Now we know him by other names, Satan (accuser) and the devil, or enemy of human kind.  He also goes as the Great Serpent, the Great Dragon, the Great Red Dragon, the Anti-Christ, (against Christ) and get this.... "Pappy."  There's no way I can list all the names the devil uses so there's no point in trying.

If a person says they are a demon or angel and give you a name that you can look up, be assured they most likely found the name somewhere and are pretending to be something and someone they are not.  Do not believe them at face value.  Either ask more questions to see where they are coming from or say a prayer for them and hope they get on the right track.  Generally if someone actually believes they are an incarnated angel they are all ready far enough out there to need some serious help.

Commanding Angels
A skilled, gifted person of God can even send an angel to bring back a report of who that person is and what their "house" looks like.  Basically that's asking the angel of God to discern that person for them.  Their house represents their belief structure.  The condition of the house tells you if that belief structure is solid or not.  Now recall when Jesus gave the parable of the one built their house upon the sand and their house was destroyed another built upon the solid rock.  The theory and principle is the same.  An angel will view a person's house (belief structure) the same way.  If that house is a shambles or has parts that are not solid their beliefs and teachings are not solid either. It's always better to know who you are dealing with before you do or say something wrong that you will regret later.

If you know a demon's real name you can bind them secure.  Remember the story of the men who saw the disciples casting out demons in the name of Jesus and they tried to do the same?  And the demon in the man said, "I know Jesus and I know Paul but I don't know who you are."  He jumped on them beat them all within an inch of their lives.  People who don't have God's authority are going to have serious problems doing the job and will find their own lives complicated by problems and people that wouldn't have been otherwise.

A demon's name is directly connected to their skill set. The problem now is that many people can go read a book on demonology or find demon names online and think they know what they are doing when they have no clue.  Just because you read the book and know a few demon names you don't know squat yet.  You know just enough to get into trouble.  I could post a few demons names here and it wouldn't be any help to you.  You might go off thinking you can deal with a demon and have the wrong demon and the wrong name.

It's better to general binding on that evil spirit to start with in the name of Jesus Christ.  Then command him to tell you his name.  You might be surprised to find it's a name you never heard before and a name you've never seen in any book on demon names.  About 25 or so years ago I got a book on demonology and began to study but in my experiences not one of the demons I encountered whose names I managed to get from them was listed in that book or any of the lists online.

Be warned demons are deceptive and may not give up a correct name or set of names the first time you ask.  Ask them at least 3 times and see if you get the same answer each time.  Now and then there will be a human name connected to the demon.  Someone else who holds their leash.  Someone they have made a deal with in the past that you may also be required to bind in a spiritual sense.

Demons frequently work in teams.  Never think just because you bound one and got rid of it the job is done.  A general rule says that if someone has tried to remove a single demon from a person or house and failed, that demon will go out and bring in more demons even meaner and stronger than it is in order to prevent them from being exorcised on another occasion.  Sometimes these demons will disguise themselves as ghosts in order to hide who they are and cause the exorcist to fail again.  The more times someone tries and fails the more evil entities will come to reinforce the others.

To show my point on this the man who had a Legion of evil spirits inside him had been through many attempts to exorcise them at the hands of people who did not have the knowledge or the power to do so.  Each time they failed more evil spirits would come into the man.  It was Jesus then who the man ran to in order to be free of these demons.  The demons were terrified of Jesus begging him not to cast them into outer darkness or to hell.  That's why he sent them into the pigs nearby and why the pigs went crazy and killed themselves.

Evil spirits love to pit sides against each other.  They love fighting and arguing among people.  You've seen the angel on one shoulder and demon on the other.  There's a lot more fact than fiction in it.  While one is telling one person one thing another will be telling someone else something else.  While they are all pointing their fingers at one or a few the bad thing will be patting them on the back standing right next to them pretending to be some kind of angel of God.  I sometimes refer to this as the "sucker factor."  The humiliation of realizing they shot the sheriff instead of the one's to blame is off the scale.  Often enough the guy claiming to be the sheriff isn't.  No one said it was easy.