Saturday, January 8, 2011

My Paranormal Beats Your Paranormal!

It’s inevitable. Every one of us out there in the world of paranormal searching runs into a guy from “the other team” who wants to kick sand in our faces and make fat knuckled threats.

You have your monster hunters, your UFO folks, your psychic/PSI types, and then you have your ghost hunters. There’s a lot of other variations of this including those into magic and such, but most will adhere to one of these groups if forced to find their “people.”

A problem I’ve heard Gummerfan at “Gummerfan’s Monster Hunters HQ” blog discuss quite eloquently is the issue of the groups having poor communication (to say the least) and refusing to release information that could help the "other" group.

I can’t tell you how bizarre some of the conversations can be. One time, talking to a man about why I ghost hunt, he proceeded to laugh arrogantly and tell me “ghosts don’t exist. You really believe that?” He snorted as he shoved his pants over his pot belly for them to only slip back down the 12th time in 10 minutes. “You need to put that energy into something real.”

“Like?” I just had to prompt him. Arrogant men are one of my favorite victims.

“UFO’s. Now, those have been proven. You have to stick with things that we can study and capture. The government knows all about it…” He then proceeded to dive into a diatribe about Roswell and Area 51, Nellis Air Force Base, Phoenix Lights, yada yada yada…

“What do you suppose UFOs are?” I asked innocently.

“Aliens.” He snorted again. This time, I was ready and stepped out of his spittle’s reach.

“Hmm..” I considered that answer. “So, we’ve captured and studied these aliens?”

“Weren’t you listening?” His face turns bright red. “Roswell! Wright-Patterson!”

“Oh, yes.” I nod. “Have you seen the body?”

”You think the government’s gonna let us poke around at their bodies and know aliens are coming to take over the world?”

“So, these UFOs that you have not yet seen yourself, driven by aliens that we have not seen and examined ourselves, have a motive to take over the world without giving us an actual threat that any of us can read or listen to?”

He frowned, his face furrowing like a bull dog. “What are you trying to say?”

Oh, good ole boy knew what I was trying to say.

“Have you ever seen something move across a room on its own? Ever seen a shadowperson dart down your hallway? Ever hear a conversation in another room in an empty house?”

At that point he pivoted and walked away and I’m sure warned everyone at the party from the “crazy” lady.

The problem is that everyone has “degrees” by which they can believe. Some believe totally that ghostly activity involves the spirits of the dead. Others think it’s completely explainable. Still, others believe there might be some rules of science we haven’t yet determined that are causing this. Some people believe in Bigfoot and Yeti (the faithful). Others think it’s totally hoo-ha (the monster athiests). Still, others believe that until they see it, it doesn’t exist (the monster agnostics). A Bigfoot believer might not believe UFOs are ships run by aliens. Ghost hunters might not believe in the Loch Ness monster.

We all have lines we draw in the paranormal sand. "I believe this, but I'm not about to believe that."

For me, my general rule is that I’m completely open to any explanation for the paranormal. I’m not going to tell you that a ghost is a spirit of someone who passed on, but I will tell you I believe in the phenomenon—I’ve witnessed it way too many times. I’m also not going to tell you UFOs don’t exist—I’ve seen them myself, but I can’t tell you they’re driven by aliens. If there are legends passed down about phenomenon, I disregard them as folklore. Show me the person who proved that spirit activity is a soul trapped in a place because of a hasty death or unable to find a breadcrumb trail to heaven. Those are explanations passed down to us—but who proved those??? That we assume what appears to be a vehicle in the sky is driven by creatures from other planets is yet another explanation, but when did it become THE explanation?

So, until we look at the evidence we have and wipe the slate clean about the explanations for what they are—we won’t get anywhere. People are running around trying to prove spirits. What does that do for us? What if they’re not spirits? What if they’re from another dimension or another time period or perhaps nothing more than recorded residual? How will we ever prove what ghostly activity is until we admit we don’t know what it is—and anything is possible?

There is snobbery within each group, as well based upon what you believe in. I'm sure the cryptid folks run into issues, as well. I once stated that I absolutely believe in Bigfoot as a real creature sharing our family tree, but I don't believe in Loch Ness Monster in the least. That caused a lively conversation of which I was able to slip out of without the others even noticing. Sometimes, I'm a firestarter. I just set the fire and let people rush around it not recalling how it started.

I’d like to see more dialogue between paranormal researchers. We never get anywhere until we open up dialogue. No one’s paranormal is better or worse or more provable than the other’s.

In fact, it wouldn’t be paranormal if it wasn’t outside of the normal. It would be proven science.


  1. I consider things such as religion and the paranormal (not that I'm saying they're related) to be interesting trivialities, but I love discussing it and even suspending my disbelief and looking from a different angle. I would never, could never, tell somebody straight up that they are wrong without some form of discussion and evidence first. This includes taking in thier position on the matter and how they reached thier conclusions.
    But mostly, I opt for a "live and let live" policy.As long as it doesn't effect me, go do whatever you want.

  2. So even the paranormal hunters have the same problem as every other group of people ever... no one will listen to anyone else.

  3. Les;
    Great attitude. I have it too because even though I'm a ghost hunter, I'm not sold on the ghosts are souls scenario. I tend to think more towards natural sciences, but the fact is everything in the world we encounter we interpret subjectively so there is no "right" way there is simply "your way," based on life experiences, education, religion and influences of others. Self-explanatory style gets its own chapter in my book about ghosts coming out soon. It's that critical.

    Yeah, there's real snobbery amongst groups and a lot of groups who are territorial about their haunted sites. Until we share information, we can't find what is typical at any given site and what is atypical and make conclusions and come up with experiments based on repeatability.

  4. religion, Reiki, UFOs, ghosts, Anthropogenic Global Warming,... It's only a problem if believers try to impose their morals, or worse, their costs on the rest of us.

  5. Sucio;
    Yes, true. I feel that way about tax-free religion--absolutely wrong. Churches are businesses--very profitable ones and they should pay taxes. It's obscene.

  6. That is why I'm starting my own church. The church of "Why Can't We All Get Along?"

  7. That's me: I believe the phenomena being reported are real, in some fashion. However, we don't have the answers so...

  8. Yeah. I gotta say, Cullan, I grew up in a really dysfunctional but lovable family and one thing it taught me (I believe all bad things have a really good thing that comes with them) is that I learned to be skeptical when dealing with subjective viewpoints. I know there's a lot of bias and wishful thinking in the way people interpret things. I've been in a situation where phenomenon occurred and all the participants who experienced it had completely different stories to tell about it. Thus, I can only gauge these things by my own criteria and I wouldn't be in this field at all, because I'm terribly logic-minded, unless I had experienced things that could not be intellectualized or explained by any means imaginable. So, yes, phenomena exists. It's just so damned hard to weigh and measure and verify, so we still have to fall back on humans who are the witnesses of such events.

  9. Some people are just full of themselves to their detriment. For crying out loud! There are plenty of ghosts to go around; and I'm sure even more ways to attempt to prove they exist!

  10. A big problem with various researchers of (insert phenomenon here) is that most all of them suffer from that greatest of human weaknesses: The pathological inability to say "I don't know".
    Ask most paranormalists about a subject and
    they'll repeat someone else's theories or opinions, or give you their own, and try to convince both you and themselves that it's an accepted fact. My favorite researchers are those who suggest ideas, consider possibilities, but don't pontificate.

  11. BG;
    Yeah, I get ya. It bothers me when their stand on the paranormal becomes a belief system. Then, their ego is at risk. They are inflexible. It scares me. I honestly tell people, "I have lots of ideas about ghostly phenomena, but I cannot say with certainty what we are talking about."

  12. I am with Autumnforest and everyone else when it comes to being lovingly openminded and mom-judgemental. Frankly, I don't believe one has a right to judge another. I don't, by an means.

    What doe the crap out of me, though; is being judged and/or uses by others. Yes; I DP see and communicate with the deceased and always have. Yet; I've never witnessed a monster or UFO. That doesn't mean I don't believe they're beyond the realm of possibility.

    While you can never convince anyone of anything; sometimes you just have to believe, have faith, and honor another's beliefs and experiences!

  13. This is what makes observing some of these groups so interesting. Some feel so put upon for not being taken seriously and yet are so quick to dismiss others.

    The narrow acceptance of unproven "facts" makes it so difficult to be objective about any phenomena.

    You will see the same animosity in traditional science when people are trying to prove diverging theories.

    I love a good mystery and I love to hash out ideas. Nothing gets in the way of that more than refusing to recognize our tendency to be focus-minded (not even necessarily completely closed-minded).