Off into the Dark We Go!
Often as investigators we head out into the dark seeking the unknown, with little more than hope to keep us company. We are a funny old lot really, varying from thrill seeking ghost hunters to data collecting investigators searching to make the paranormal a little more normal. Not to mention that some of us are also seeking what is often conceived to be ‘evidence’ or at least something to support why we do what we do!
Seeking out an understanding of that unknown has long kept us busy and over the years we have utilised an abundance of gadgets and approaches, some of which may depend on our beliefs too. Whether its Harry Price sealing off a room with tape and using small bells and wire to indicate probable spirit movement; or Zak with a KII Meter in search of ghosts at various well known haunted locations around the world. Either way we are all looking for similar things and most probably the answer to exactly the same question; does human consciousness survive bodily death. A question that even FWH Myers founder of the Society for Psychical Research asked back in the early days of the SPR.
These days we do seem to have a much better understanding of that which we are trying to investigate. There are plenty of theories around the ghosts and spirits we seek, but equally science has also given us an excellent understanding of the environment we seek them in. Granted we dont all have a top understanding of classical science or even the sciences based in further education, but our schooling gives us some simple building blocks to start with. Go a little bit further, well perhaps a lot further and we begin to understand advanced science like quantum physics. These modern day understandings mean that we are beginning to formulate theory around the paranormal rather than continuing to seek the same as we have done for the last hundred years.
The Question Is…
These days psychology is known to many investigators, ghost hunters and para-enthusiasts; we all know that it plays a part somehow in the subject of the paranormal, especially as we are all aware of the field of parapsychology too. In fact just like psychology made its way into the sciences, the field of parapsychology is now out there too.
Universities even offer it as an additional and specialist area for those educating themselves in psychology. Dr Ciarán O’Keeffe from the TV show Most Haunted is probably one of the most well known Parapsychologist today and a really nice guy too.
In fact Dr O’Keeffe is also looking to push the boundaries of paranormal investigations by adding in elements which to date may be a little out of reach of us normal folk. I recently managed to speak briefly with Ciarán whilst he was a guest on Marc Richardson’s Paranormal Radio Show, when he mentioned the use of some pretty high techy tech glasses for monitoring the eye movements of individuals whilst investigating. Incidentally high techy tech glasses cost somewhere in the region of £30k which is currently way out of my investigation budget.
Still it would be excellent to try some experiments and gather some data around aspects such as these and start to look beyond just capturing the effect.
So, the question is, what is the forgotten variable?
The answer is actually relatively simple, we are the forgotten variable! As investigators we often head into a location that has been reported as haunted searching for its ghostly spirit residents basing much of our investigation on the loose information we have managed to research. This isn’t a bad thing, it’s what we do and enjoy. However for some (not all) this approach means that they’re approach may be a little blinkered. Any activity is often related to the supposed local ghosts and defined as intelligent communication. The problem with this is that we are not really taking into consideration everything we are truly presented with. This of course brings to light the very consideration of those Investigators present and the fact that without even realising it we can too influence the situation ourselves. In some cases this maybe referred to as the observer effect or simply be that we may make assumptions based on our own beliefs or opinions.
Although That’s Not Likely To Change…
Although many people investigating today do take a lot into consideration and do indeed have open minds, trying to gather good information on the paranormal, changing how things are done isn’t likely to happen any time soon. You see the problem is for many of us, myself included we love a good old ghost hunt and visit more for an experience than gathering important data that may one day change the field as we know it.
However it would be good to gather data and share it amongst the community to help us understand more about the paranormal. As someone pointed out to me recently; we do what we do in our own time and our approach to the research should not be hindered by specific governing bodies, otherwise it could stop us from thinking beyond the norm in order to understand the paranormal. Which I agree with to a degree, but hope that this wouldn’t stop us all from sharing.
Right I’m Out of Here…
Well I’ve plonked enough random thoughts onto this electronic page for one night! if I’m totally honest this has been a slightly ‘what heck was all that about then’ kind of a post, but heck I’m sure it meant something to someone out there.
Fundamentally what I think I was getting at was, whilst investigating don’t forget to include yourself in the paranormal equation. There’s always going to be a lot to take into consideration whilst investigating in a darkened haunted location, but don’t forget to question yourself too.
After all that spooky demonic growl you just heard could actually be a rumble of the belly thanks to a spicy dinner.