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What Is Paranormal Investigating Really Like: Reality TV vs Reality

Kate

By Kate

Being a Paranormal Investigator can be a tough gig sometimes. There are many doubters and even more critics. Being taken seriously can be a challenge especially for those new to the field.

There Is More to Investigating the Paranormal Than You May Think

The recent influx of paranormal teams and TV shows seems to be a double-edged sword for those who have been in the community for the long haul. While it brings awareness and additional social acceptance to the subject, it also leads people to believe that all you need is a recorder and a video camera and you too can be an investigator just like so and so on TV!

It sensationalizes what we do in the dark and makes it appear as if it’s hours of nonstop action and excitement with evidence constantly being captured and spirits interacting with every piece of equipment. They tend to leave out the hours upon hours of sitting in silence, the mountains of research, the lengthy evidence review, the expense and all of the other small details that go into a successful investigation.

New teams are popping up left and right in an attempt to get rich and famous quickly and I find that concerning. The notion that anyone can do it without any knowledge or dedication to the craft and assumptions that it will be nothing but fun is just not true.

Ghost Hunts Are Rarely Like TV

The reality is, more often than not, it’s quite boring. You can sit for hours and not get any activity or you can walk into a location and have something happen in the first five minutes. It’s unpredictable, it’s time-consuming and most importantly it’s about making a connection.

The majority of investigators are genuine and are truly looking for answers. They conduct respectful investigations, look to collect concrete data and care about those involved, both living and not.

The Purpose of Paranormal Investigation is to Make Connections

For me, it’s all about making a connection with someone as well as the location and being there to listen if they have something to share. Shows that highlight the provoking of spirits, call everything demons and lead the public to believe that spirits always act on command cheapen the reputation that real investigators strive to maintain and make it difficult to advance the paranormal field.

There are shows out there with real investigators as well and they are incredibly easy to spot. They have a completely different approach and show a different side of the investigation including some research, interactions with the living and actual resolution. They show that sometimes they sat in a room and recorded for three hours and captured nothing. They are real. They show the truth and that’s why they are credible.

The rest are about entertainment first and actual evidence second. Paranormal investigating isn’t a hobby or a way to entertain yourself. It’s a lifestyle, a passion, a dedication to increasing your knowledge and awareness. It’s about wanting to help people, having experiences and going back in time through amazing locations.

When a spirit gives you evidence it’s a gift. Be thankful and above all, be respectful.

 

Growing Up Haunted: Memories of Strange Activity in My Childhood Home

By Laura

Did you ever want to go back to the childhood house you grew up in? You know, out of curiosity to see all the changes they may have made to the house since you last lived there? Or maybe to see if a special item you had hidden in a floorboard, attic, or a ceiling tile was ever found? To maybe see if your growth chart on a wall was still there marked in pencil? I would like to do that. Of course, I would! But my main reason for wanting to go back is to spend a few more nights there with all the ghosts and spirits or whatever that had haunted me as a child and teenager.

Scary Books and Movies

I grew up in a small village along Lake Erie, just outside of Buffalo New York. I was told since the earliest of days that the homes in my neighborhood were originally lake cottages. I was also always told that my house used to be a funeral home. For that I am not exactly sure, I never did the research to figure it out. Maybe I didn’t really want to know back then. But it sure was fun scaring the crap out of all of my friends when they slept over.

From an early age, I became obsessed with ghosts and vampires and all kinds of scary things. I had books on the supernatural, and scary movies of all kinds. I grew up with Stephen King books, and REAL scary movies like “Children of the Corn”, “Pet Cemetary”, “Burnt Offering”, “The Gate”, Freddy Krueger, and Chuckie. The types of movies that don’t come close to any of the movies they make today. I have yet to find a scary movie in these modern days that are worthy enough to even scare me. “White Noise” is probably the only one that gives me real chills.

Early (Ab)Normal Experiences

So aside from enjoying scaring my friends and watching countless horror flicks, things did happen to me in my childhood home that I am not sure how to even explain. There were always normal, or should I say abnormal, weird noises and bumps in the night, but there were stranger things. Which is why I want to go back. I need to go back. I would even pay the current owners to let me come back to the house for a few nights on my own.

My earliest possible paranormal experience occurred when I was about 4 or 5 years old. I was taking acrobat classes at the time and learning how to do somersaults and cartwheels. My house was two levels. You would walk up the stairs about 20 steps or so from the living room, up to a landing, and then go up five more stairs to the bedrooms. Going up the 20 steps there would be a wall to your left and then we had a 1970s type railing to act as a barrier on the right. My father had remodeled the stair area and decided to remove the railing for a more cleaner look.

For some reason one day as I was coming down the stairs from my bedroom I felt the urge to stand at the top of the landing, look down at the 20 or so steps below, and decided to somersault from the landing down. So I did! Like any 4 or 5 year-old girl new to acrobats would. As I was somersaulting down I saw what looked like angels appearing to the left of me where the railing used to be. I didn’t even feel myself hitting each step as I went down. It kind of felt like I was just floating. And when I got to the bottom I just stood up and walked away. To this day I still envision that exact scene in my head. I believe perhaps they were my guardian angels.

Strange Dreams and Sleep Paralysis

As I grew older into my pre-teen years, I always had strange reoccurring dreams. Almost as if something very large and bulky was sitting on my chest, holding me down, almost smothering me. I would wake up during the night and feel it, but could not move. I would also have reoccurring dreams that someone or something would be standing right next to my bed, with their face right next to mine looking at me while I slept. I remember waking up and not wanting to turn my head, but just opening my eyes and seeing something peering at me so close that I could almost touch it with the side of my face.

It wasn’t until I was about 16 or 17 years old when I believe I had some sort of a night paralysis phenomenon occur while sleeping. I can remember it happening on two occasions. I remember waking up in a panic, needing to get up and out as fast as possible. But I couldn’t move. At. All. The feeling of paralysis in my whole body panicked me more. I try yelling out for help thinking I must be having a medical emergency. My yell is silent. I panic more and try to lift my shoulders to get up but something is pushing me back down. I open my eyes wider and see dark shapes over me, not sure if my mind is playing tricks on me.

But the paralysis is frightening me more, and my yells turn into blood-curdling screams. I can feel my mouth stretch open wide and I can hear my screams in my head, but nothing comes out. And all of a sudden in stops. Just stops, all done, like nothing happened. I get up, and walk into my brother’s room across the hall and wake him up asking him why he didn’t help me when I was screaming. He tells me to go back to sleep, that I am nuts. I go back to my room to sleep.

Hunting for the Feeling Again

Into my adulthood, I’ve had those paralyzing dreams just a few more times. They were still just as scary. And now that I am what you call a so-called ghost hunter, I am only wishing that it would happen to me now. I am sure it will happen in due time, when I least expect it.

Until then, I will patiently wait and hope that one day I will be brave enough to knock on the door of my childhood house to ask their permission to visit my old spirits another time.

The Method to my Madness: One Investigator’s Look at How to Investigate the Paranormal

Kate

By Kate

When most people hear I am a paranormal investigator, they immediately think of a ghost hunter on TV, provoking spirits and being assaulted by demons. It’s a lot of yelling and scary and nonstop action. The reality is much different. Three quarters of a typical investigation is sitting in the dark talking to yourself. Every investigator has their own unique style. Some prefer to isolate themselves, others investigate together as a team. There are those that use a ton of gadgets and wire the place like they’re going on air, while others are perfectly content to sit in the dark with a voice recorder and a KII meter.

How I Investigate

Regardless of the method, the thing that is most important to me is respect. Respect for the location, respect for the spirits and respect for the living. When I get to a location, I like to walk through alone and get a feel for the property. I wander aimlessly from place to place, absorbing the energy, and simply listening. If I feel drawn to a certain area, I’ll go that way, I try to let the spirits lead the way. Sometimes I stop and sit quietly to see what happens.

During my initial walk, I’ll introduce myself to anyone who may be around, tell them why I’m there and what my intentions are. I think it’s crucial that they know I understand they were once living, had feelings, had a life. I acknowledge they may be afraid and try to connect to them on an emotional level. I’ve discovered as I continue to do this, that I feel a strong need to be understanding and build trust before I ask for anything from them in return. I want to bring a human element to my investigations as if I’m having a chat with a new friend. I want to know about them, what they’re experiencing, what we can do to help them.

I often think about my Mom who has been gone eight years now, and what I would want to know if I ever had the chance to speak to her. When asking questions during an investigation, it’s important to me to really listen to the answers. Many times the line of questions and the investigation itself takes a completely different turn than expected based on the responses given. Keeping an open mind and not getting caught up in what you think you know is huge. When wrapping up, I think it’s just as important to say goodbye, thank them for their time and for speaking with me and to let them know that they aren’t forgotten.

Investigations Are Opportunities

There aren’t any experts in this field and it’s one of the things about it that I love most. Every investigation is an opportunity to learn. Every location has a story to tell, even if it’s not the story you were expecting. Many may disagree and find that spitting out the same questions at every location and sticking a REM pod and a camera in a corner is investigating. That an EVP or two and they’ve done their due diligence and proven a location is haunted. To me, the victory is in the connection. It’s walking out in the morning and feeling like you’ve made a difference. Not only for those who still roam the property but the living who may share the space.

We Are Kicking Off 2017 in Big Ways!

 Detroit Masonic Temple

On Sunday, January 15, 2017, we will be the first team in many years to investigate the historic Detroit Masonic Temple. Members from Marter Paranormal Research Team, Portal Paranormal Society and Erie Shores Paranormal will join us to investigate this location, which is the largest Masonic Temple in the world. Words cannot describe how excited we are for this. If you would like to hear about how the investigation went, then tune in the Sunday after the investigation to…

 

 

Deeper than the Grave

The live recording of our brand new podcast will premiere Sunday, January 22, 2017 at 7:00pm EST on the Podcast Detroit Network (www.podcastdetroit.com).  Tune in every Sunday at 7:00pm for a new episode.

Deeper than the Grave will not be your typical podcast about the strange and unusual. As the name suggests, it will go deeper than spooky stories and kooky characters. We will analyze evidence, scrutinize stories, and interview experts in an attempt to understand paranormal happenings. The show will be hosted by our team members and will feature informative, entertaining, and fun discussions with other investigators, authors, experts, and more.

Please stay in touch with us on social media to find out what else we have planned for 2017!

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