Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Ten questions every ghost investigator should ponder

  1. Why am I doing this? Or, why do I want to do this? No, not the generic “solving the mysteries of mankind” answer, but why do you personally spend your time, effort, and money pursuing this? Is it a personal quest for answers? Search for spiritualism? You may not have a definitive answer or you might just be doing it for the thrill, but the further down this list you truly go the truth may rise to the top.
  2. What do I want to get out of this? This question rides on the back of the why question. Once you know why you are doing it you may realize it is a personal pursuit or desire for subjective stimulation or even a quick way to fame. If this is the case you should stay away from client-based cases. If your answer to question 1 is to prove ghosts exist with cameras and EVP you'll need to do more than merely be a ghost hunter as subjective hunts will only create more questions than actually providing answers. Many do this from the allure of those on television, but ask yourself if an ego-driven motive is worth all of the hassle for just 15 minutes of fame.
  3. What am I willing to invest? A follow up would be, “And is it worth it?” A financial stake is more than some people can do let alone giving up weekends and many evenings pursuing this. The costs of a serious team can weigh down on anyone and the more you go down that path the more of an investment of time and money it will become.
    The bad side of this is that for many the investment in tools means an investment in evidence. In other words, if they spend a lot of money on gear they will ultimately get "evidence" no matter what the cost. You will also have to learn many new skills if you wish to become proficient at seeking the unknown. -These first three are just to get to gauge the basics, but the next one digs into the heart of your beliefs.
  4. What are my beliefs about the paranormal? This is an important one. This one question will define what type of an investigator you are as well as how you approach cases as well as whom you surround yourself with. This includes, but is not limited to; belief in ghosts, demons/angels, camera orbs, use of various equipment, full moons creating better ghost atmosphere, solar storms creating better ghost atmosphere, investigating in the dark, investigating during "dead time", lockdowns being a good method of investigating, what ghosts are defined as (parapsychology definitions versus spiritual), and so on.
  5. Am I willing to challenge my own beliefs about the paranormal?
    Are you willing to review the work that challenges your beliefs with an open mind? If you are not willing to even think about challenging your beliefs than you’re not really an investigator you’re merely a believer that is looking to support your views through subjective experiences as well as taking evidence and skewing it to fit your beliefs. I've met far too many people who are merely in this to find things that they can quickly state are ghosts merely to support how they feel. This is not objective or scientific and is merely a form of thrill-seeking. This is fine if you merely want to go to haunted prisons/hospitals, etc., but don't claim to be "scientific" and certainly don't act like you're doing anything constructive.
  6. Am I willing to continue to learn? Certification courses cause anger with some individuals, but where else can one become educated in this field? Books offer a good start, but eventually everyone needs to ask others who have come before them in order to make true sense of things. It's one thing to regurgitate facts, but it's completely different to put theories to work. This is why many teams merely walk around in the dark asking silly questions. Many certification courses are garbage since those that created them are merely passing on beliefs and opinions or only know book definitions and have never applied much of it in the field. However, there are some courses that provide some great information and education (IMHS and TFU). Are you willing to look to others to continue to make yourself a better researcher and investigator? (Interviewing skills, electronics, critical thinking, science, parapsychology, etc.)
  7. What are my goals with doing this? This question creates a focus of the first and second question now that you have pondering the above questions. This goes beyond getting a television show or writing a book and is an evolved look at what you want out of the field and what you are willing to do in your life to make it happen. Think of how you would want to be remembered as a person after you are gone. Imagine, as grim as it sounds, standing at your own funeral –
    how do you want to be remembered? What will your friends say, how will those who knew you in the paranormal field remember you? This question takes a deep look at your character and if all you want to do is visit haunted locations and meet celebrities that's fine, but don't assume this sets you apart from everyone else - people see this and are judging you on your actions!  
  8. What path will I take to get to these goals? This heavily relies on pondering the above questions. If you are not willing to evolve with your beliefs as well as your knowledge your path will be a short one, guaranteed. This is true with any type of goals in life and shortcuts and laziness will lead you nowhere. Wishing and hoping just don't cut it and while timing and luck may come into play nothing is better than working hard, making sacrifices, and pushing yourself to new limits.
  9. What have I learned so far? Occasionally stepping back and looking at where you came from can help give your perspective on what you have learned and experienced along the way. This can aid you in identifying weaknesses or potential flaws in your methods or beliefs and may serve to help guide you on a better path. Taking stock every once in a while can help you reorganize your direction and help you obtain new goals and set new personal expectations for accomplishments such as writing books, being a vendor at a paranormal convention or even getting up and speaking at one.
  10. What can I do better / and how do I get there? Creating a personal business plan around goals or self-improvement needs is a good way to motivate as well as compartmentalize obtaining goals. If you break things into small chunks within a timetable and provide a pathway to getting to each goal you will be able to become better in all aspects of life. Once you have reviewed and pondered the first 9 questions the tenth will be much easier than thinking about it right now.

            These questions will also work with cryptid and UFO investigators as well and you may even be able to use these questions for any other aspect of your life.