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What makes up a paranormal investigator?

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It’s a dark night under a clear sky. The moon is full, and hovers over the old, crumbling building. Even though it’s been empty for years, a small white light appears in one window high above. A black shape flits across another, and a scream can be heard dying in the night. This is what paranormal investigators seek, spending countless hours sitting in dark rooms, recording audio, filming and using other technology to measure and detect, waiting patiently for something to happen. But how does someone become interested in investigating? How does someone get the initial urge to look for ghosts? If you pose this question to the paranormal community, odds are there will be many different answers. Some have been searching for years, while others are relatively new to the field. With the birth of paranormal reality tv in the last decade, there has been a surge in popularity and a garnered general interest in the paranormal.
Investigating can be a hobby for some, or even a serious career for others. Some go solo, while others form teams with varying numbers. There are no real accreditations, as explained in a previous post on this blog, so this makes it accessible to everyone. However, with no formal professional expectations or limitations set, it can also be easily tarnished or abused.
Because it is a past time that can be enjoyed by the young or old year-round, it is relatable, attainable. Most people have been subjected to a ghost story, myth, or legend, at some point in their lives, whether it’s through a friend or family member, or at a campfire tale. Ghosts have purportedly been around for centuries. Even the ancients, Homer, and Virgil, were telling ghost stories, as part of tradition. The stories themselves could be based on a truth, embellished, and long spun out of control, or may be used to incite fear and respect for a location.


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People are inherently curious about what happens to us after we die, and this is how ghost stories have become a part of our culture, a part of who we are. This brings about the desire to find answers to the mysteries, and real, tangible evidence to refute the claims or prove them. Some people say they are interested, but never act on it, whereas others will leave their homes, armed with various technical equipment, and spend hours logging data and jotting down personal experiences to analyze later. The people who become investigators have a passion for it, and are drawn to have their own experiences and search for answers. It is an unending quest for the one’s who investigate, yet one that is redeeming and fulfilling.
The paranormal community has a kind of black and white dynamic. There are people who adamantly believe in ghosts, and there are people who are more on the skeptic side, who may approach aspects to try and debunk them.
Many want to bring respect to the community, but there’s always someone who will resort to devious claims in order to gain attention. From faking evidence, to committing various types of fraud, these are the one’s who can pull the paranormal community down into the depths of doubt and non-credibility. To the skeptics, our work is foolish and unnecessary, and we work hard to establish a sense of professionalism and respect for us, for the field, and for others like us. It only takes one bad example to tarnish many reputations and it’s incredibly hard to regain the respect.
That being said, I feel that most of us are out there, spending our nights diligently looking for answers, sacrificing our time and sleep because we truly love it. The few who are nefarious, while they can’t be avoided, can be counteracted. Perseverance will show that our work is legitimate and worthy of respect.
If you are a paranormal investigator, what made you want to do it? If you’re not, do you remember the first time you heard a ghost story? Please share your answers with us below in the comments.