Temperature Readings Protocol


In a paranormal investigation, temperature readings are taken to discover whether changes in the ambient room temperature do or do not accompany paranormal phenomena.

This protocol is designed to ensure that temperature baseline readings and mid-investigation readings are taken in a consistent manner that will allow comparisons to be made between sites, phenomena and different dates.


A thermocouple thermometer. Spare batteries. Recording tools (usually paper and pen).


  • Temperature work will be conducted with a minimum of one and a maximum of three investigators. Where more than one investigator is present, the investigator without a thermometer will record the readings.
  • Each room will be treated as a separate space if there are clear delineations (i.e. walls or doors) between one space and another, or as one continual space if these features are not present.
  • For the baseline readings: the room will be measured and divided into grid-squares, the scale depending on the size of the room, but being no more than a meter square and no smaller than one third of a meter (3ft/1ft respectively). Measurements will be approximate because homeowners are unlikely to allow a formal grid to be drawn out in their property.
  • An investigator who has been trained in the use of an thermocouple will pace the grid. He will stop for at least 5 seconds in each grid-square, hold the thermocouple where it can be read and take a reading. The investigator will remain still while he does this.
  • This will be repeated in each room to be investigated.
  • After the grid is established, any distinct changes will be investigated.

During an investigation, temperature spot readings may be taken using the following method:

  • An investigator trained in the use of an thermocouple will approach a location, stand still and allow the meter to settle. If the reading is higher or lower than the ambient room temperature, readings will be taken in the area to determine whether this is a localized variance.


  • Recording sheets will be used that are signed and dated.
  • Only temperature meters with a known calibration will be used. New meters will not be used to perform baseline or spot readings.
  • No temperature variance will be treated as significant in itself until it has been shown to be above the ambient room temperature or significantly below the ambient room temperature.

Data Interpretation:

  • Temperature data will be reviewed and documented by the Investigative Team Lead unless assigned to another investigator.
  • The temperature logs and the interpretation of the data will become a part of the SPI Investigation report.