It’s been quite a week already in the Ghost Hunting field here in the UK. What began on New Year’s Day with an article in the Daily Mail on seven ‘modern-day female ghost busters’ continued today with four of the seven making an appearance on ITV’s Good Morning Britain. Although both the article and TV appearance were only a brief and limited view of what ghost hunters and these ladies actually do, its caused a little bit of a storm.
Now before we get going and look into this more, I thought it would be wise to get some of my own opinion across on this. Firstly, I know many of the seven from the original article and certainly half of the four from the TV show. I personally think it is great that these ladies have been given the opportunity to highlight what they do in the field, it once again raises awareness of what we all do out there. However I am equally aware of the fact that the media doesn’t always give us the chance to deliver exactly the right message in these formats. That is a newspaper story can often present information a little incorrectly and a morning TV show with its limited time slot follows a line of questioning, which often means things can be misunderstood. That stated, personally I think the ladies done really well in the article and in their interview this morning. Neither of these situations are as simple as many may think, but we are all talking about it, which is always good.
As a regular blogger I often try to deliver fact or theory based articles for my followers to read, but that said I often follow a media trend and will write an article that hits current affairs or I know will be picked up by many readers. Avid youtubers will know this approach as ‘click bait’, which is where you title an article or write about a subject purely because you know it will deliver lots of readers. The reason we bloggers do this is simple, we know It’s something the wider audience is looking for and once on our sites we know they may read our other articles too. With any luck they may even keep coming back for more. Standard media, be it newspaper or TV have utilised this approach for many years now. Hence a story or interview will be designed to follow a certain theme for their readers. Not to mention the simple fact that they will likely title the piece to capture an audience or hook them.
Knowing most of the seven ladies that appeared in the original article and those from the TV interview, I am pretty confident in stating that none of them would refer to themselves as ‘Ghostbusters’ at all. They are serious about what they do in the field and most would prefer to be referred to as investigators. Some may even accept Ghost hunters or perhaps sensitive too. The reason I mention this is because many may have found the fact that the newspaper referred to the ladies as ‘Ghostbusters’ a little comical and perhaps even somewhat negative in regards to how serious they are about the paranormal. Remember I mentioned a ‘hook’, that’s all ghostbusters is here, a ‘hook’. You may have noticed that the TV interview utilised the recent reboot of the Ghostbusters film with females in the main roles rather than men. This was the simple inspiration behind the angle on the piece, in my opinion. Obviously that angle has been used to gain a more detailed understanding of the field, but that was done from the approach of ladies in the field. This was a great opportunity for the ladies that were selected to feature a little of what they do, the little businesses they and their passion at the end of the day.
Here’s the article – https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-6543281/These-women-claim-modern-day-ghostbusters-call-banish-ghouls.html?fbclid=IwAR02RRFiHWxZ9rbbFxeGRXS01Fq3qSmUMJP1lV-JW13BpdFQ32mLzh0z0_A
There are a few things in the article that I am not particularly impressed about though. Firstly, it’s the statistics regarding the paranormal. I would like to know where the writer got these from, as I have a feeling they maybe a little out of date now. Especially the claim that one in five people have seen a ghost could be slightly off. Granted I could be wrong and happily admit it should the valid source be shown. However as someone that has researched the paranormal and investigated it for many years now, many I have spoken to that have been on investigation events have never seen a ghost. Certainly nowhere near one in five.
Next up is the statement regarding ‘interest in the supernatural has become big business’; which in a way I can agree with to a degree. New locations for investigations pop up each year and each is charging for the pleasure of private paranormal teams or events teams going in. This isn’t a bad thing, as MJ mentioned during the TV interview the money paid to locations by paranormal teams is more often used towards the upkeep of these fantastic, but aging sites. During my years investigating it did slightly irritate me when locations started to raise their prices, but this was always accepted as I knew I was helping these great old locations upkeep somehow.
However there has been a couple of comments on social media regarding the ‘big business’ aspect that I think shows this may have been misunderstood in places. In all my years in the paranormal I have not really seen many make huge profits from what they do in the field. Often many groups will start events in order to help them to access more exclusive and often expensive locations or in order to fund their own team. There may be the one or two that earn good money out of it, but to date I have not met one. In fact many work a day job and spend their wages on their paranormal hobby.
Which brings me nicely onto the next point. I am of course talking about the ‘astonishing twelve thousand professional paranormal investigators working in the UK’, which was hugely disappointing to read. Now I am sure the author was actually referring to a potential twelve thousand people investigating the paranormal on a regular basis in the UK. Very few of these people are professionals in the field, as they have a profession or main job. The paranormal is a hobby or passion to many, but certainly not their profession. I spend a hell of a lot of my free time doing paranormal stuff, be it research, investigations, experimentation or writing; and I still would never consider myself a professional in the paranormal. Let’s keep in mind though that this statement shouldn’t be seen as a negative. Granted its wrong, but equally there may be some that read that and gain courage to take up a more prominent position in the field, simply because they see themselves as supported by many others out there with a similar interest.
At the end of the day this article does seem to celebrate the diversity of the paranormal field and I am not just talking about the suggested increase in women out there either. Personally I think there have been many strong and important women in the field over the last one hundred years. Many of which have been impressive spiritual mediums at the centre of some very interesting cases, but also investigators and researchers too. Let’s not forget the great number of female academics that have contributed to the field too. I also mean the varying approaches that there are out there these days, which stretch from the Journals of the academics to the prime time TV shows too. In my opinion we could be experiencing a marked increase of the paranormal subject matters hitting mainstream, which means more and more will become aware of what’s out there. That’s great news.
The newspaper article broke off into individual interviews and detailed a little more about each of the ladies. This gave them a brief chance to explain what they do and also appeared to cover off any experiences they may have had too. This was interesting to read, albeit obviously cut down a little, but still good to hear what their time ghost hunting had helped them find.
The ITV interview is here – Meet Britain’s Female Ghostbusters | Good Morning Britain
As four of the ladies from the article returned to London yesterday, they found themselves on the sofa of Good Morning Britain this morning just before 8am.
As I mentioned earlier, a TV interview of this nature only has a very limited time slot and an outlined direction. That said I personally think that the ladies managed to deliver quite a lot of information in a short space of time. It was great to hear them deliver the fact that we don’t all go out as believers and think everything is paranormal. I believe that they even mentioned that often they will try to debunk things prior to accepting them as paranormal. Equally I think Jo said that even though she is sensitive, she often questions things from a sceptical viewpoint. Just because they rock up and search a darkened old building for ghosts doesn’t mean they will accept every knock and thump as a scary spook.
As in the newspaper article the ladies took the opportunity to mention their own focus within the paranormal field, but why wouldn’t they? At the end of the day an author would mention their latest book, these ladies are proud of what they do and want to reach more people. The newspaper article and ITV interview is perfect for this, so it’s only logical that they would do so. Personally in their position I would mention my blog and articles.
I have seen on one or two social posts that some consider these interviews and media coverage as exploitation of either the women involved, spirit or the field as a whole. Really folks is this real! These kind of comments make literally no sense to me. Please let’s just all try to get along and be happy for each other when we get opportunities like this, especially as in my opinion it once again raises a little awareness for the field. Plus the ladies presented themselves rather well on TV today.
Situations such as those of the last few days with these ladies rarely arise for the paranormal field, but perhaps they may become more frequent moving forwards. This could be the beginning of us seeing more people from the paranormal field turning up on our TV screens. There has certainly been a recent increase in paranormal stories hitting mainstream media too, even if some have been slightly different!
Personally I think its great news and think these ladies have done really well on this occasion. If you want to hear more from some of them, then tune into https://parasearchradio.wixsite.com/psukr
Gemma, Jo and Penny all host their own show on the ParaSearch online radio channel.
If you’re interested in a paranormal convention then check out http://www.sageparacon.co.uk/
If it’s a paranormal event you’re after then check out www.hauntedhappenings.co.uk
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One thought on “Britain’s Female Ghostbusters”
Good Morning Ashley,
As one of the ladies featured in the Daily Mail article I thank you for this well thought out and reasoned piece of writing.
Many of the statements made echo similar views to my own, especially in the roles of females within the field.
You also challenged the ‘facts’ as presented by the so called experts and once again I couldn’t fault your work. 12k professional investigators? Really? I’ve met a couple , no more. We supplement our passion by running a psychic cafe (Cobwebs and Broomsticks if you are ever down this way) which is based in Totton Southampton where we help many people, plus my husband drives taxis to help bridge any short fall, we certainly could not be called professional , there’s very little money to be made from this hobby.
I’ve read a few social media threads which have thrown some interesting theories out into the public debate, including things like “why pay to hire venues and charge guests to go when you could just walk the streets, ghosts are everywhere’
Well I don’t suppose the local police will be happy with 20 people standing in Shirley High Street on a Saturday night contacting Bill from the White Hart lol.
As you say we contribute to the upkeep of many historical buildings, some of which would struggle without financial support.
Once again thank you for the article and the time taken.
Keep it Real Paranormal Events