Paranormal Stereotypes Part 2
On Part one of Paranormal Stereotypes we discussed some stereotypes such as ghost hunters and paranormal investigators as well as the terms paranormal investigations and ghost hunting being used interchangeably when they are two completely different things. We discussed how to maintain a level of professionalism by not using some various bogus equipment with no scientific backing such as the SLS Camera, Ovilus, and Frank’s/Ghost/Spirit Box. We also discussed why you should not put videos and photos of orbs up on the internet as orbs are not paranormal and there is a big stereotype that they are.
Today on part two of Paranormal Stereotypes I will discuss sciences that you should be familiar with in order to overcome stereotypes, an experience I had with paranormal television shows, and how to present your team on the internet in a professional way so that your team doesn’t get balled up and thrown into the box with paranormal stereotypes.
If you start claiming theories be ready to explain who coined the theory and deep scientific explanation behind them. Many of the theories that are blindly spread around the paranormal field are ridiculous and impossible, yet they continue to be passed around due to people wanting more than anything for them to be true. I have rejected many theories that I have heard being used in the field because they have no scientific backing. So without the crazy theories what do I focus on during my investigation? Mainstream science is my first go to. My job for my clients is to find the truth, not paint a picture of spooky because it would be more fun for me and would get me more views on YouTube and likes on Facebook. So what mainstream science subjects do I use in investigations? You wont see most of these on television shows because it wouldn’t make for interesting television except for science nerds like myself. Such subjects in my investigation that are included include Alice in Wonderland Syndrome, apophenia, autokinesis, availability cascade, Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon, Barnum Effect, blind spot phenomena, Butterfly Effect, Charles Bonnet Syndrome, chronostasis, claustrophobia, clustering illusion, cryptomensia, dark adaption, déjà vu, dermo-optical perception, Doorway Effect, Dunning-Kruger Effect, electromagnetic radiation, Hutchinson Effect, hypnagogic hallucinations, hypnopompic hallucinations, ideomotor phenomenon, Infinite Monkey Theorem, infrasound, ionospheric radio wave propagation, isochronic tones, jamais vu, Jürgenson Frequency, lucid dreaming, Mandela Effect, matrixing, meteorology, Misinformation Effect, misophonia, musical ear syndrome, New House Effect, Observer Expectancy Effect, palinopsia, parasomnia, pareidolia, presque vu, peripheral drift illusion, piezoelectricity, postdiction, power of suggestion, psychometry, quantum entanglement, Schumann Resonances, scopaesthesia, Semmelweis Reflex, Singapore Theory, sleep deprivation, sleep paralysis, stone tape theory, synchronicity, synesthesia, tachypsychia, Thatcher Effect, tinnitus, and ultrasound phenomenon to name a handful. How many of those have you seen on the television shows? Very few I imagine. Television shows are not sources of education on how to conduct a paranormal investigation. It is imperative to deep research in various sciences so you don’t misinterpret something as paranormal when it isn’t. No, it may not be as fun as finding spooky everywhere (when it really isn’t everywhere you go as television would lead you to believe), but being able to explain things with science is just as fun, and when something can not be explained by science then your opinion can be taken much more seriously and you will be able to overcome falling into a paranormal stereotype. Science and a lot of it must come first. As I always say science before the spooky.
There is a stereotype that all paranormal activity has to be negative or evil. This really took a stronghold after the series of television shows such as A Haunting were released. They make every bit of paranormal activity seem as if it was some sort of evil entity that is out to get you. You often see some shows refer to everything as a demon. Most importantly I will say right now that a demon does not exist in paranormal science. That is a fabrication of ancient Greek Christianity which has carried on through the years. We have ghosts, spirits, tulpas, thought forms, and poltergeists in paranormal science. A spirit may be somewhat malevolent in rarer cases, but that doesn’t make the label demon appropriate. Television shows and movies have taken the term demon and made it sound like most paranormal activity is due to a demon. That is not how it works people. So let’s get the word demon out of your vocabulary if you are using it in the paranormal investigation field. Our job is to help people not scare them or draw attention to ourselves. The great majority of paranormal activity is benign in nature and not remotely as spooky as television shows and movies insist on projecting them to be.
Due to having a great reputation and maintaining that reputation there was something that happened over a decade ago when the paranormal television show craze was in its prime. I had been contacted by a few dozen different television show producers in the hopes that I would be able to be on their shows or give them spooky investigation stories to make into television show episodes. Do you know what happened when I told them I would only focus on reality and not over exaggerate and sensationalize the spooky for ratings? Not a single one of them were interested after that. I chose to uphold my integrity and reputation over being put on a paranormal circus television show or to make money selling my paranormal experiences. I don’t regret those decisions in any way, shape or form. I am not in this to make money or gain notoriety for myself. You will notice that I don’t mention my name on every podcast or in my blog. I am in this to help people and help the general public and to help educate paranormal investigators.
Many paranormal investigators and ghost hunters are more worried about quantity of views over quality of material in regards to video content that they put up on the internet. In my blogs and podcasts I discuss paranormal science, and don’t use special effects. If I used spooky music, spooky voices, and special effects would I gain more listeners and readers? Absolutely I would. But, I don’t put out a product to get as many listeners and readers as possible. I put out an educational product that will benefit those who choose to absorb the material that I present. If you wish to be taken seriously as a paranormal investigator I would suggest to not put spooky content out on the internet. No spooky music in videos, no spooky voices, no throwing shadows to make it seem more spooky, no over exaggerating benign occurrences, etc. I once quit working for live events put on by an extremely popular and long living paranormal television show because the event producer, which was one gentleman, wanted me to exaggerate evidence to make the events seem spookier in the hopes of drawing more people to the events. Needless to say some of us quit and the events didn’t last long because word got out that evidence was being fabricated and over exaggerated. People want the real experience, not a show that you design in the hopes of making them believe that something is occurring just so you can make more money. Paranormal investigations are not and should not be a fabricated haunted house experience. I would suggest focusing on reality and putting out the truth, versus putting out something just to gain bigger numbers on the internets.
My paranormal group website is based out of the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Do you know what images are on my website? My group logo is a very modified version of Boo from Super Mario Brothers. Yeah I am a big 8 bit fan. The header image on my website is of the snow capped White Mountains. The background of the informational material on the website is an image of the town that we are in overlooking the mountains. There is a friendly looking cartoon ghost made to look like a scientist. You will find my website is friendly, inviting, and bright and not full of dark spookiness because some people think it is cooler to be spooky. We don’t need to push the spooky and feed the stereotype if we want to be taken seriously as paranormal investigators. We are not ghosthunters. I am not knocking ghost hunters. I love them. I have some friends who are ghosthunters. I have done it a little bit of it myself over the years. But if you are a paranormal investigator you want to market yourself as such. Forgo the spooky, embrace the science.
How many people in the paranormal field that you know have helped push along the stereotypes that I discussed today, and in the previous blog entry, because it may seem more fun to do so or to get more views and likes on social media? There is a lot of misinformation being spread around the paranormal field and to outsiders much of what insiders claim is obviously bogus. It doesn’t do well for our image in general. Do your homework and learn about a multitude of sciences such as those I listed on the previous blog and podcast as well as what I mentioned today. There are blogs and podcasts like mine out there if you look for them, but to do so you have to choose to follow the science and not the spooky. I have seen plenty of paranormal over the years, but I do not chase it. I chase the science therefore when I can say something is paranormal I have ruled out tons of science first. Again television shows are not remotely qualified to educate you on how to conduct a paranormal investigation. The vast majority of vendors that you find on YouTube aren’t either. You must find an extremely reputable group to work with that focuses on the science and not the spooky. Fight the stereotypes and don’t add to them. Chase the science and not the spooky. The spooky is more enjoyable if you can rule out the science first. Science can be fun! Don’t push it away, embrace it.