I would like to address something that I find odd. Our team seems to get a lot of EVP's when we investigate while other paranormal teams do not. (Either that or they don't post it) While our team realizes that some hauntings can be residual and others intelligent, when we get EVP's that pertain to the place, people or circumstances we are investigating we feel they are all relevant so we post them. When you consider that "spirit boxes" only stay on a station for 1/10 of a second, odd words coming through seem to have more of a purpose even though we may not realize what that purpose is at the time.
If we are asking questions about something like how, "How old are you?" and get a response of "garage", a few things go through my head. What does the word "garage" have to do with anything about a person's age? Is there something else we should be asking or another place we should be looking? In some cases, (try as we might) there is no reason for some random words to come up in EVP sessions (unless they are residual). Then again, we may not have the same agenda the spirits do. For that reason we post EVP's that seem out of context, only to find out later that they do indeed have relevance.
When you consider that spirits have the same personality they had when the were among the living, it only seems natural to talk to them as if they were standing there in the flesh. We joke, we have fun and we ask relevant questions. Another way to look at it is... If you were stuck in a lonely uninhabited building with no one to communicate with or in a building where everyone seemed to ignore you and a group of people took the time to specifically to talk to you, what would you want to tell them after all those years of silence? After all... a piece of them is stuck here for a reason. Let 'em talk.
Another important element to an investigation is site history. Most old building have some sort of history. Some have a paranormal past and others are relatively free of paranormal activity inspite of their age. Just because a building is new or the land was recently developed, doesn't mean there isn't a history to it. Often times they are not one and the same anyway. The structure may not be "haunted", but the land is or vice vesra. If you watch any of the popular "Ghost Shows" currently on TV, then you'll see what I mean.
A lot of places have had buildings torn down years ago, that later have new ones built on them with no memory that another building(s) even stood there many years ago. Look at places in history like Troy and other lost cities featured on the History Channel. Its almost impossible to walk across an open farm field or any parcel of land and be able to tell what has taken place there over the years. All physical traces may be gone, but the paranormal ones can still linger. If a certain town had its first structure built in the early 1800's, does that mean that nothing of significance happened there prior to 1800... On a planet 4.5 billion years old, that's not likely. Does it have to be paranormal... no, but it could be!
Something else we have experienced during investigations are what I call "proximity haunts". Maybe the area or building you are investigating really doesn't have much (if any) paranormal activity, but a site nearby does. I believe that if the spirits and or entities know that someone is nearby and seem receptive to "the other side", they would seek you out if their message needs to be heard. For that reason we have encountered spirits that aren't necessarily connected to the structure we are investigating, but one or more nearby. A good case and point was our investigation at the Summit Co. home. While we did communicate with spirits associated with the structure, we also communicated with spirits from surrounding structures. We had no control over "who" or "what" came through.
In still another case, an old Indian village use to be nearby, but now there is absolutely no trace it existed. Is it possible those energies still linger... of course. Could they effect the outcome of one's current investigation... yes, especially if you don't know it was ever there. Other factors play a roll as well like the proximity to water, limestone/quartz, magnetic fields, natural disasters, etc.
For these reasons we find it necessary to find out everything we can about a particular investigation we are on from the people that lived there, to the sites history. It only takes one disgruntled spirit from the past to bring things to life in the present. If we know "who" they are or "what" happened, then we have a leg up on the investigation. Sometimes we don't get all the info until after the investigation. We may find out "who" or "what" while we conduct the investigation and tie it all in later.
Use your county's map room, deed office, historical society, library, or genealogy department to help uncover the history. It may take a little extra effort, but it will pay off in the long run. Its one of the reasons we schedule our investigations at least 2 weeks in advance. It helps us get the facts before we go.