Do We Rock Up To An Investigation With Pre-Determined Belief?
Over the years I have investigated quite a few places and many of those haven’t been the most modern of locations. Often as Ghost Hunters or Paranormal Investigators we rock up at probable haunted location with anticipation of seeking out some particular ghosts or spirits that have been drawn to our attention as being associated with the location. However it can often be that very perception and anticipation of what we may find that runs us into trouble in the first place, as it can often suspend our natural ability to question everything.
So, with this all in mind I wondered if we sometimes have a pre-determined belief ahead of gathering data during an investigation or ghost hunt, which could effectively bias our conclusions?
Now I am sure that many of us, if not all would firmly believe that we are particularly fair and balanced when investigating. We would never jump to conclusions, right? However lets look at the supportive evidence for this. The most important and fundemental issue is that we as paranormal investigators and ghost hunters pack up all our gadgets, then head off to these supposedly haunted locations. Perhaps the very fact that we head to these locations with the hope or question that they may be haunted means that we begin with a certain bias.
Then we often base our investigations on the previous reports, which means depending on our approach defines our belief a little. Granted some out there enter locations looking to debunk the previously reported activity, which could be seen as an attempt to find logical reasoning for the activity. However in many cases this approach is also seen as a methodology to seek proof, by ruling out the logical. Thus whatever is left unexplained is exactly that, the Sherlock method I think!
Weird huh! So, it appears no matter how we look at it there seems to be a certain level of understanding or belief, which in turn indicates a pre-determined belief at play.
When Spirit Communication Turns Out To Be An Alarm!
This kind of pre-determined belief prior to even arriving at a location to investigate was highlighted greatly to me during one particular investigation of Wardown Park Museum in Luton.
We had started our investigation with some understanding of previously reported spirits at the location and the established communication with them. So, when a few of the team picked up what seemed to be timely responses on an EMF device (I think it might have been a KII) to certain questions, the initial feeling was that we were communicating with a resident intelligent spirit.
It made perfect sense right? Wrong! This was where many of the team jumped to the simple conclusion based on what they were seeking rather than all the data in front of them. You see an EMF meter, yes even the KII doesn’t pick up spirit communication, it doesn’t even detect ghosts or spirits! Wait what! It detects Electromagnetic Field (EMF) changes, which may be linked to paranormal activity, but there’s no conclusive evidence to support this.
So, as members of my team asked general questions attempting to communicate with he spirits of Wardown Park, their KII flashed up from time to time in response. Wel I say in response, what I actually mean is that the KII was reacting to fluctuations in EMF at the same time as the team asked questions. The two were not connected, even though we added a connection.
Luckily for our team, Graham was on the ball and noticed that the EMF responses weren’t just in line with the questions we asked, but also seemed to be occurring in a particular pattern. Realising this we stopped asking questions, but continued to measure the EMF and every minute or so there was a fluctuation. We then managed to trace this fluctuation down to certain areas in the room, which turned out to be the location of an alarm cable. Ha debunked as Ghost Hunters would say!
Now many of you maybe thinking you always debunk and never jump to conclusions as I’ve explained here. I’m not saying that paranormal investigators and ghost hunters don’t. However I equally don’t believe that all of us haven’t misunderstood a situation and categorised it as unexplained, but realistically there was an explanation to be found. There’s also probably quite a few situations where we’ve debunked the heck out of based on what we believe to be true, but in reality those may have been unexplained.
It’s important to have a balanced approach considering logical reasoning as well as out of the box explanations. No matter how you look at it, sometimes it can simply be a case of dodgy electrics!
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