Why We Investigate At Night Part 1
When you watch paranormal investigation television shows you may have noticed that the extreme majority of investigations or ghost hunts are completed at night. Have you ever wondered why this is so? Today’s blog entry is part one of a two part series where we will discuss this phenomenon. Today we will discuss the human component of why we investigate at night.
I will start off with a quick reminder that what you see on television is not how a paranormal investigation actually proceeds. The goal of the producers and production companies is to put out a presentation that will draw the most viewers possible. If they televised what an actual paranormal investigation consists of the show wouldn’t get past the pilot episode. No cable channel or network would pick up the show. The only people that would watch the program are those who are hard core into paranormal investigating. Unlike what you see on television you don’t go into a location with a bunch of devices, most of which can’t do what is claimed of them, and find paranormal activity everywhere. That is just not how it works in reality. Even the more respected television shows such as Ghost Nation and Ghost Hunters don’t show in its totality what an actual complete paranormal investigation consists of, because if they did very few people would watch it. There is a TON of science that comes into play that you don’t see on the television shows. The science plays a much stronger roll than the usage of equipment. Thankfully the shows Ghost Nation and Ghost Hunters don’t seem to use the junk science equipment that you see on other paranormal shows, however they don’t remotely use the level science that is used in serious paranormal investigations. While I strongly respect the people involved with Ghost Hunters and Ghost Nation I have to say that you can not rely on those television shows as a strong source of education for paranormal investigation procedure and philosophy. I am not knocking those two shows. I enjoy watching them and remain a series long dedicated watcher of those two shows. I have personally engaged in paranormal investigations with some of the people on those two shows, and lead investigations and educated the public with them at a series of weekend long events that they put on for the public around the New England area a decade ago. However, I don’t watch other paranormal investigation or ghost hunting shows as most are theatrical, use junk equipment, have very little respected investigative procedure, and have very little or no actual science. Those shows focus on the spooky and most of what you do see is not actually paranormal, but the power of suggestion making you think that you are seeing paranormal activity. While I am sure that angle is entertaining to lots of people, for me I need the science to enjoy the investigation.
Why did I include that last paragraph in this blog post? I did so because most of the investigations that you see occur on television are completed at night, however their reasoning isn’t scientific for the vast majority of the television shows. They do their investigations at night simply for what I call the “spooky factor” as it makes for better television. Picture the television shows doing their investigations during the day. They don’t use any of the science that is better used at night so day or night wouldn’t make a difference, however the television shows would have a much different feel to them if the investigations were done during the day. I personally choose to do paranormal investigations after dark, but that is completely due to scientific reasons and not for any level of “spooky factor.” Some time ago I asked one team leader why they did their investigations at night and they said because you can’t see orbs during the day. I gave them a long explanation as to why orbs are not paranormal and why people began to believe that they were. I then asked them to answer my question without their false premise on orbs weighing in on the answer and the person responded that it was because that’s what they learned on television. I have seen time and time again very well meaning paranormal investigation groups completing investigations based upon what they saw on television. They didn’t realize that what you see on even the most respectable television shows is only a few pieces of a much larger puzzle. A synonymous situation would be watching a television show about a police investigation. Just like paranormal television shows you are seeing highlights of an extremely more in depth and time consuming investigation. An actual police investigation can take weeks, months, or even years including hundreds or thousands of hours of work, but you will see it shrunk down to 30-60 minutes of highlights not including commercials. The same goes for paranormal investigations. Serious paranormal investigations can take dozens or even hundreds of hours of work involved, but you only see the highlights on television. However, even the more respected television shows don’t use much science in their shows, so my reasoning for doing paranormal investigations at night aren’t going to be something that you have heard about on the television shows.
Please also keep in mind that paranormal investigations and ghost hunting are two completely different things. A ghost hunt is an event purely for enjoyment and typically includes very little or no science. Almost anything is perceived as paranormal because that is what the event is for, to have fun finding the spooky. A ghost hunt is a one and done event with no investigation involved. A paranormal investigation includes a lot of science and research and can take dozens or hundreds of hours, while a ghost hunt may be just a few hours long. I know over the past decade many people have been incorrectly using the terms interchangeably, but they are two completely different things.
When it comes to ghost hunts they are almost always done at night for the dark spooky factor. There isn’t any explanation beyond that is is solely for the spooky. It is very rare that you see a publicized ghost hunt being done during the day. The same goes for ghost walks which is another form of a ghost hunt.
While the majority of paranormal investigations are done at night there are some reasons that this is done that are not due to scientific reasons. Firstly paranormal investigation is an unpaid venture unless you are on television, and even at that it usually doesn’t pay enough to where you don’t need to have side gigs to make ends meet. People have to work full time jobs unless they are retired and usually do so during the day so they can investigate in the evening and night. In most cases clients feel more comfortable being present during investigations for security reasons and if they work during the day they are only available in the evening and at night for investigations. Frankly some investigators just do it for the spooky factor so because to them it is more fun to do it in the evening. There is a huge spectrum of the seriousness and skill set of those involved in the paranormal field. On one end you have the recreational ghost hunters who like to see spooky and have very little or no knowledge of related sciences or how any of the equipment they use actually works or what can interfere with them. They only go on ghost hunts for the fun of it and see paranormal everywhere. Low mid range is the stuff you see on Ghost Adventurers where they do perform an investigation to some level, but almost no science, and will use any piece of equipment even if there sent any science behind it. It is more of a glorified ghost hunter level of dedication to the field. Mid range you may have a paranormal investigator who does investigations at the level that you see on Ghost Nation or Ghost hunters. They are knowledgeable and could teach basic and some advanced investigative procedure and use some various sciences in their investigations. They may put the science before the spooky, however they see more things as potentially paranormal than those who are on further torwards the high range on my hypothetical spectrum due to not diving deeper into various sciences. Low high range would be someone like me who is very familiar with a wide variety of sciences and employs them during investigations, focusing on the science over the spooky. People like me are able to explain many more perceived paranormal situations with science that you will never seen mentioned on television programming. We exhaust what scientific knowledge we have before entertaining the thought of something being paranormal. We also confer with a network of people who have Masters and PhD degrees to get expert opinions on situations that could have a scientific explanation before considering it to be paranormal. Then you have the educated elite who are paranormal investigators who have masters degrees or PhDs in sciences that takes their knowledge above my well informed skill set. They tend to be able to explain even more situations away with science and will only perceive something as paranormal after all science has been exhausted. What I described is not meant to be perceived as a peking order where one is better than the other. It comes down to what you enjoy and how much you dedicate yourself to the field. Due to this wide spectrum of levels of interest and knowledge people in the field do things differently based upon their preference and skill set. It is synonymous to the sports world. Some people couldn’t care any less about it and pay it no attention. Some see it as a business full of scandals and don’t take it seriously. Some look at the results online or in the media, but don’t typically have the interest to watch the games on tv. Some people watch the games, but pay very little attention to stats or things going on outside of the games. Some people watch the game, understand all of the rules, and keep up on statistics and some behind the scenes stuff. Some people are super fans and know everything that is going on. Someone may go beyond the super fan level and be interested in the biological and physical sciences behind the sport. Just like in the paranormal field, in sports there is a large spectrum of interest and dedication and one is not better than the other.
This is why there are various reasons why paranormal investigations are completed at night. It could be the spooky. It could be the convenience of scheduling. It could be the science. Today we discussed the human factor. On part two of Why We Investigate At Night we will discuss the scientific reasons why paranormal investigations are done at night.