A concept conceived by Don Collins
Ever since its inception, the field of paranormal investigation has sought the respect and acceptance of the scientific community. In the beginning, methodology was sorely lacking in this field. Investigating ghosts or other paranormal activity consisted mainly of snapping photographs or consulting mediums. The belief in the other side led to a great interest in the Spiritualist movement. This movement served mainly to line the pockets of conmen claiming to have a special connection to the other side but did nothing to further the field of paranormal research. With the emergence of Harry Houdini onto the scene as a debunker of spirit phenomena things finally began to take a turn for the better. With the decline of Spiritualism, serious investigation of paranormal activity would take center stage.Perhaps the one man who is most responsible for many of the modern methods of ghost hunting in use today is Harry Price. Although he did not possess an advanced education, Mr. Price brought scientific methodology to the paranormal arena in a most successful fashion. He came up with the first so-called “ghost hunter’s kit” which included such things as still cameras, motion picture cameras, fingerprinting kits, and portable communication devices for use among investigators on a case. Harry Price’s methodology and instruments are still in use in some form or another to this day. In the 1950s, Duke University began its successful parapsychology program that also used scientific methodology to examine claims of the paranormal. Up to the present day, for the most part, paranormal research continues to use science to collect data in the quest to explain the paranormal. However, one thing is still lacking, a means of classifying or rating events as it specifically relates to so-called hauntings. This is where the “Collins Paranormal Index” comes in.
Most reports on any investigation of an alleged haunted location will contain a lot of information. Such information includes weather data, environmental data, historical data, and empirical data. The purpose of such data is to aid in spotting patterns relating to locations experiencing activity. For example, if a researcher finds that a certain location always has an upsurge in activity during a full moon then that could be a significant pattern. If two or more different locations report similar occurrences and environmental factors then this may also be a significant pattern. The problem then becomes sorting through reports and finding similarities. For example, assume that a researcher is researching EVP phenomena. Up until this point, the researcher has had to comb through countless investigation reports searching for locations that meet his criteria. The Collins Paranormal Index or “CPI” greatly relieves the burden of the researcher in his task. By assigning an Index to each investigation summary the burden of sifting through and classifying reports is greatly eased for the researcher. The EVP researcher in this example merely needs to glance at the reports and select those which rate either a CPI 2 or CPI 3. One could take this a step further and mark all locations on a map according to their Index. If one finds that certain areas contain an abundance of a certain Index level, that may be a significant pattern.
The Collins Paranormal Index is a scale composed of eight levels. An explanation of the workings of the index follows.
CPI 0- no data or activity of any sort is experienced at a location.
CPI 1 Environmental Anomalies – any type of minor fluctuation or manipulation of the immediate area. For example: flickering lights; EMF surges; power fluctuations; cold/hot spots etc
CPI 2 General EVPs – the location produces EVPs of a general or random nature which are NOT in response to any questions asked.
CPI 3 Direct EVPs – the location produces EVPs which DO respond specifically to questions asked.
CPI 4 Primary Grouping – any combination of two or three of CPI 1, CPI 2, or CPI 3. A location that presents the required combination automatically becomes at least a CPI 4.
CPI 5 Intelligent Environmental Manipulation– the location presents evidence of an intelligent presence upon request. For example: a knock or rapping is produced at the request of the investigator or a sensation of touch at one’s request. Any activity must be upon request to fit this index level.
Activity NOT occurring at one’s request would most likely be debunked or relegated to CPI 1.
However, activity NOT occurring at one’s request MAY be placed at this level if it is of a significantly “violent” or noticeable nature or is such that natural explanations are extremely unlikely. Such activity must be fully documented.
CPI 6 Visual Evidence – Any type of visual evidence such as video, still photos, or personal sightings witnessed by more than one person.
CPI 7 Physical Manipulation – the obvious movement of objects in the environment by intelligent design. For example: objects are thrown; items levitate; electrical appliances operate on their own accord.
A request for this activity on the part of the researcher is NOT required. Strange odors and aromas could also be placed in this category.
If the researcher is unsure as to whether movement is due to intelligent design, the activity may be relegated to CPI 6
CPI 8 Secondary Grouping – any combination of one or more Primary Group CPI 4 (CPI 1, CPI 2, or CPI 3) levels AND any one or more of CPI 5, CPI 6, or CPI 7 OR any two or more of CPI 5 CPI 6 or CPI 7
Explaining the scale
The scale above excludes events have been explained by natural causes. The index DOES include events which remain unexplained. All events that cannot be explained by natural causes are then placed into the appropriate category. The scale is set up so that as one progresses from CPI 1 up to CPI 8 phenomena should become less typical or less apt to be natural in cause. Most investigators may have experienced some sort of environmental anomaly (CPI 1). Fewer researchers will have discovered EVPs in direct response to questions posed at an investigation (CPI 3). Fewer investigators yet will have evidence on film or video which cannot be explained (CPI 6). Even fewer investigations will produce Direct EVPs, visual evidence AND phsyical manipulation (CPI 8).