Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Where Paranormal Investigators and Ghost Hunters Tred - Part II

By Skarlet Rae

Continued from: Where Paranormal Investigators and Ghost Hunters Tred - Part I

This is the continuing segment to my last post, where I started discussing questions that have been circling my mind.  Questions like, 'What is the intent of paranormal investigators and ghost hunters?',  'What do paranormal investigators and ghost hunters ultimately accomplish?', and 'How do paranormal investigators and ghost hunters help?'.
In the previous segment I covered what, in my opinion the intent of most paranormal investigators and ghost hunters are.  In this segment I will continue and talk about what paranormal investigators and ghost hunters accomplish and how they help.
Establishing that paranormal investigators and ghost hunters gather evidence to document and prove the existence of the paranormal, I now need to explore where it leads.  As in any scieintific field, after evidence is gathered and proof is presented that something 'exists', then what?  As in finding molecules and atoms, or as in finding anything that wasn't 'proved' previously.  Once scientists discover and prove the existence of those things, then what?  What did they do with it?  In the same way, what are the paranormal investigators and ghost hunters doing with the information they gather?
It must be a great relief to those, who have been experiencing paranormal activity, to have someone come in and give them concrete proof that what they were experiencing wasn't a figment of their imagination.  It'll confirm to them that others too are hearing, seeing and feeling what they've been.  To many, it confirms to them their sanity.  Ok, great.  But then what?
How do they or we know exactly what it is that they've gathered proof of?  What is it that they caught on evp's, on videos, on their cameras?  Those who think they have discerened correctly what they have documented, how do they really know?  Even if they do know.  "Then what?".   "What exactly does it achieve?"  All that time and effort, what was it for?  Just to prove that there IS something there?
At this juncture we could easily stop and say, "Well, we don't know exactly what it is, so let's just forget about it".  Yet those who are experiencing activity, especially activity that is unsettling, disturbing and to some frightening, most of the time, want to know what it is and how are they to deal with it.
Today, there are many shows on television dealing with the same genre, namely paranormal investigators, paranormal investigative groups, ghost hunter's stories and the such.  They all run along similar lines.  A specific place has paranormal activity. The team goes in, gets evidence, present their evidence at the 'reveal', and the show is over.
Just out of curiosity, I've mentally put myself in the position of the 'client'.  The person who initiated the investigation by calling in the paranormal investigative team.  Let's say I'm the caretaker for a historic building and many day that I work there I experience 'things'.  So I call in a paranormal investigative group.  The team has completed the investigation and they have collected all the evidence.  They have done the 'reveal'.  They have shown me that what I've been seeing and hearing is actually there, and not my imagination.  I've received proof that something is there when I feel my hair being lifted, when my shoulders get touched.  I understand better when papers fly off my desk by themselves without a window being open and the hvac system being off.  So I wasn't crazy when I discovered drawers opened, when I know I shut them.  Then it wasn't a dream when I couldn't open the door, it being seemingly locked, only to find it wide open ten minutes later.  Ok.  I'm grateful to have validation of what I've been experiencing.  But then what?
Can they help me somehow?  Can they help when the activity is present, and fear hits the pit of my stomach like a boulder, making me feel like I just want to run?  What exaclty can they do?  What ultimately do they accomplish?  I've heard many, many stories where a homeowner, having paranormal activity calls in a paranormal investigative team.  After all is said and done and the team leaves, the activity increases.  Increases?  Yikes!  To me, personally, that would be quite unsettling if not scary.

As exhilirating as it might be, to investigate and gather evidence using modern technological equipment.  My question still stands..."What do they accomplish?" and "How do they help"?
I've read the mission statements from many paranormal investigative goups and teams - those who have one.  Most of them seem similar.  Their goal is to investigate and document paranormal activity.  They want to scientifically prove the parnormal.  Some also add that they wish to assist those with paranormal problems.  Therefore, my question remains.  How do they do that?  What exactly are they qualified to do to 'help'?  There were those that state they use their gifts combined with scienitific equipment to collect scientific data.  That's great, but how does that help?  If I was someone in need of help in the paranormal, I would be expecting to know what help they offer.  Is it scientific?  Is it from their 'gifts'?  What exactly are they going to do?
When I go to a doctor (another scientific and gifted helper), I'm usually told what test is going to be done.  It's not shrouded in mystery.  I know what a tongue depresser does, or an x-ray machine.  I know that when I get an injection what it's for, what that needle contains.  I am told by the medical professional what was found through the testing and what options there are to 'help' the situation that was found.  So again, what exactly do they do to help?
You might think to yourself, what about those who have the most altruistic intents?  Well, from my point of view, even those who have the best intent, how are they able to help?  Where is the handbook that tells them (or us) how to deal with all the different types of entitied that are documented at an investigation?  Many use aids from the metaphysical and parapsychological communities.  Things like burning sage and other herbs.  Walking through the property saying positive affirmations while carrying the burning herb.  Sounds mystical, doesn't it?  I would have thought so too, if I didn't clearly know that many times, it does little, sometimes nothing, and at worst, those types of positive affirmations and sage burnings only seems to increase the paranormal activity that was bothersome to begin with. Sometimes it only temporarily puts things at bay, for things to only return stronger later.  Again, Yikes!  For those who are enjoying the paranormal activity, naturally this doesn't apply.  They are happily living with the activity, even deriving pleasure from it.  I'm referring to those individuals who are bothered, unsettled and even frightened by paranormal occurances.
Now don't get me wrong, I do understand that encompassing the paranormal in a fully scientific way is in it's very early stages, if it's at all possible to encompass this field in a fully scientific way.  That, from a scientific standpoint it's a new horizon of discovery.  We need to remember though that ghosts and what goes bump in the night have been around as long as man has.  It is not a new phenomena.  It's just being approached in a new scienitific way.
All that is great.  I applaud all who go forth to conquer new frontiers.  Yet I have a great apprehension in the pit of my stomach.  As described above, where activity can increase after an investigation, it is a pretty tentative proposition, in my opinion, to jump right into something that one knows nothing or very little about.  Especially when there are real dangers that could be encountered.