When you turn on an episode of Ghost Lab or Ghost Hunters or any other TV show dealing with the paranormal, you see the fun and exciting parts: the investigator startled by a strange sound, the footsteps in the attic, or the shadow in the hall. Then, you see the highlights from evidence review and all the neat stuff the ghost hunters found on their audio or video files.
What you don't see is the research that goes on behind the scenes. Every now and then, you get a client who wants to know everything about their property because you never know if what is haunting said client is tied to the land or the house.
This is what happened on our last investigation and how I found myself at the Cherokee County Public Records office. My head was spinning because this was the first time I had done this on my own. Words like grantee and grantor, quit claim deed, and plat spun around my head while I tried to research the client's property as far back as the records would take me. Four hours later and a deed from 1844, I had found the end of my search. I sent a text to my fellow investigator who then performed birth/death/cemetery searches for the people in whose hands the property had rested for over 160 years. Did we find answers for our client through this exhaustive search? I don't know. I just hope that these copies, the originals hand-written by a law clerk over 160 years ago, will give her a bit of peace.
I have to say that this is definitely the not-so-glamorous side of paranormal investigations. But if you truly want to do this and you can survive hours rifling through old, dusty books, follow it to the end, and maybe reveal a few answers in the process, then you've truly made it as a questioner of all things ghostly.