Author Topic: Hard Earned Pointers for Paranormal Investigation  (Read 460 times)

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Hard Earned Pointers for Paranormal Investigation
« on: January 15, 2012, 06:04:32 PM »
Interesting companion to Ken Summer's article, Greg Newkirk wrote a clever piece last month:

Quote from: Greg Newkirk
When asked for advice, I’ve always responded in a particular manner. Rather than provide a list of books, people, or equipment... I like to give a list of the most important lessons that I’ve learned, often the hard way, over close to fifteen years of gallivanting through the fringe... It’s a list of all the things that I wish someone would have told me early on in my adventures.
  • Your expectations are too high. Drop them. Considerably. Go into the wilds of the weird with a sense of adventure and an open mind and you’ll be rewarded. Sure, you probably won’t see a ghost, but you’ll have a good time. That’s what you’ll remember.
  • You aren’t a scientist. Don’t try to convince anyone you are, it will just make you look foolish. A tape recorder and a digital camera aren’t the equivalent of a hard earned degree in the scientific fields. Leave the “science” to the people who have dedicated their lives to it.
  • Leave the “helping people” to priests and psychologists. You will only make things worse.
  • Trespassing is not that big of a deal, and the rewards far often outweigh the risk of a fine. Use the urbx rule of “take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints” and don’t get caught.
  • Orbs are dust.
  • Ghost Hunters / Paranormal State / GhostLab / Haunted Collector, etc. are labelled “docu-soaps” for a reason. They are not real. Hawes, Buell, Zaffis, et al are performers. They know nothing about the paranormal that you don’t, they’re just decent bulls**tters.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment. In a field that is inherently silly, no one should be afraid to look a little ridiculous at times. Make mistakes. People are chasing ghosts with studfinders and tape recorders for Christ’s sake. Your “stupid idea” might be the next big thing in the paranormal community.
  • Ouija boards are not dangerous portals to hell. On the contrary, they are portals to your subconscious. It’s often twice as scary.
  • For the love of God, don’t come up with a cute acronym for your team name. In fact, don’t call yourselves a team and don’t give people titles like “lead investigator” or “tech specialist”. It’s bad for morale, it’s lame, and it will cause you problems.
  • The paranormal is a pretty broad subject. Make use of that.
  • Read. A lot. Hans Holzer for inspiration. The Fortean Times for attitude. Belanger for locations. Radford for critical thinking. Never buy a how-to book. In a field with no rules, it’s pointless. (Sidenote: “legend tripping” is the stupidest forced name ever, please don’t use it.)
  • Write EVERYTHING down. Save it.
  • Don’t let it become a competition. If you choose to participate in the ‘community’, the amount people snub you is directly proportional to how unique you are within the community. Everyone wants to be the ‘next big thing’. Chances are, they won’t be.
  • Wear pants.
  • It’s ok to have fun. There’s a popular attitude in the paranormal community right now, particularly with ghost hunters, that one must be in this for a “purpose”. Simply not true. The crusaders with a mission are simply using the paranormal as a means to make up for the social status that they lack in everyday life. It’s easy to appear an important person in a field that requires no credentials.
  • Most psychics are liars and drama queens. The quicker/more often they share their “gift” with everyone in earshot, the faker they are.
  • Keep your religious beliefs to yourself. Atheist, Wiccan, Christian, whatever.. just shut up about it.
  • Just because it’s not real doesn’t mean you have to write it off.
  • Most skeptics you will meet are former believers that set their expectations too high and never got the payoff they wanted (see #1). Remember that when they inevitably come around to pick a fight.
  • It’s probably sleep paralysis.
  • Every good gang needs at least the following: a fat kid, a nerd, a girl, and a guy who doesn’t really want to be there.
  • Paranormal conferences are a waste of money.
  • The best tool you’ll ever have is your flashlight. Don’t scrimp on it.
  • It’s the journey, not the destination, that will change your beliefs. Remember, opinions evolve. Let them.
There you have it. I’m sure that there are many good tips that I’ve missed, a whole bunch that a lot of people won’t agree with, and even a few things that I might begin to feel differently about somewhere down the line, but after growing up in the embrace of the strange, it’s the best advice, and the most honest, that I can give.

Now go chase some monsters.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2012, 06:44:41 PM by Jake »

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Re: Hard Earned Pointers for Paranormal Investigation
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2012, 06:29:42 PM »
Oh dear, this is the best, funniest and truest thing ive read in a while  :laugh:

Every good gang needs at least of the following: a fat kid, a nerd, a girl, and a guy who doesn’t really want to be there.

Just like ANY gang out there, really, hehe.