Ever since the popular TV show “Ghost Hunters” first premiered on the SciFi (now SyFy) channel in 2004, many paranormal groups and like-minded individuals have popped up. Most of those groups disappear as quickly as they surface, with new groups trying to take their place.
Many people see what is on TV and think instantly that they can accomplish the same results – astounding evidence and perhaps even 15 minutes of fame. Little knowledge is actually taken into account of what is truly needed to achieve or even surpass those goals. Due to that, failure is the envitable course of action for the aspiring paranormal investigator.
The paranormal-interested individual requires a guideline of what they can do to succeed in the field and make it further than they could ever imagine. Side note: When one says “further than they could ever imagine,” this in no way implies they will be rich and famous. Instead, by following the guidelines, one may find themselves locations that they only dreamed about and meeting “top level” people in the field. In the same vein, the following guidelines are just that – guidelines. Each person is left to do what they want, understanding the repercussions are theirs and theirs alone.
Guidelines to live by in the paranormal field:
Research, research, research. One cannot stress enough the very crucial rule that should be followed to every letter of the law. Jumping into this very real field of ghosts, spirits, humanity, etc should never be taken lightly. What, at first contact, seems to be passive in nature can attack you and/or the client, causing real harm and stress. Read as many books and newspapers as possible, talk to people already entrenched in the field, and go to as many presentations as possible.
Forming a group is not a quick process and the new investigator should not walk into a location with false confidence after reading a chapter in a book. It took four to five years of heavy reading and researching before the New England Spiritual Team was formed. No matter how old the article may be you are reading, the advice and information contained within is beneficial. You never want to make the mistake of rushing into things with your head held up high, thinking you are the best in the field as you will look unprofessional in the long run.
Realize the costs. Investigating the paranormal field requires investing out of pocket, plain and simple. It is never okay to charge anyone for any service you may provide to them. It is not only disrespectful, but shows that your motives may not be to help the client(s) but yourself to their money.
With investigating, equipment to do so does cost and while some of it is rather cheap, the higher end equipment will be more substantial in cost. You must realize this before seriously throwing your hat into the mix. If you don’t, you will get in over your head and be in trouble, fast, with cases piling up and no way to help them out.
Down the road, you may have shirts and such featuring your group name. Great! This will not only help advertise your group, but also help to generate funds for more and better equipment. Be reasonable in the cost of that gear and also make sure that the money goes to where it is needed…the team! But, don’t think about that until you have a foothold in the field and really are set with it.
Know your team…well! When looking to start your own group, begin by talking to close family and friends, maybe even co-workers. The paranormal still seems to be taboo to many people, but once you talk about it with them, you’ll be surprised. Everyone seems to have a ghost story or legend and even more, may have interest in going on a case or two. Paramount to anyone who wants in this field is dedication and passion.
You must have either or both to make it better, if you want any chance of succeeding. The same applies to anyone that wants to do this with you. Without it, they are not too helpful to your team and you must look elsewhere. Surely, you will have people who state their interest only to not follow through on it. That is the nature of the beast. It happens all of the time, more times than you’d ever imagine.
Key word: Fad! Finding like-minded people is difficult, but once you have that team assembled, the sky is the limit. Make sure, however, that you can trust your team, as sensitive material will pass from hand to hand.
Always obtain permission. This is the one rule that is the biggest of any here. Going to a location without permission is not only against the law, but can also open your group up to harsh criticism. Trespassing can result in a fine or arrests. If you see an abandoned building with a “No Tresspassing” sign or the doors locked, chances are that it is very dangerous inside, with asbestos or falling apart. You’d be very surprised how welcoming people are to talk and grant you access if you just present yourself in a professional manner.
Being yourself and confident will always win out against breaking the law. Many books, such as ones put out by author Thomas D’Agostino, will give you full details on some locations, including names and phone numbers to contact people. If it is off-limits, he states so, making your research all that much easier. Many websites also state information to this extent, but the validity of it should always be checked out before attempting to reach out to them – back to the research!
Set up a Web presence. Whether by Facebook, Twitter, or your own website, setting up a Web presence will help others learn of your nature, helping potential clients to seek a way of reaching you. Networking is very key to your growth so having a way to say “thank you” to other groups/people is also of importance.
Many options exist for creating your own site, with the cost ranging from free to reasonable ($10 or so per month). Thus, going back to “realizing the costs,” you must be ready. A free website is great for those new to the field, but know that ads may plague your site, causing it to become cluttered and unprofessional. Clearing it of ads by paying monthly or owning the site outright makes it that much more professional and a sense of accomplishment on your part.
Combat the criticism. Time for some straight talk. There are people out in this great big world of ours that will attempt to bring you and/or your group down. Humans can be nasty creatures, envious and jealous of others’ hard work and success. Sad but true. There are those who think that their methods and ways are gospel and only their ways should be followed.
Lest you bring your own views and thoughts into the fold, ridicule will come your way. Not always but present nonetheless. To fight back against that, there is one rule to follow, just be yourself! Your hard work and determination to help people will always best any judgments against you.
Do not get into it with those offending you, as that will only bring you down to their level and they will reap the benefits of upsetting you. You know who you are. People whom respect you for your hard work will also.
The paranormal field is simply full of passionate and dedicated individuals. Great stories, history, and legends, too, encompass this great place. What you think happens or not on any investigation makes you the better for it, enriching you with more knowledge to use on the next case.
Learn from others and help educate anyone you can on what you know. Together, as one, only then will we ever be able to properly handle what afflicts those that have passed on and those that have passed on afflicting the living.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Stay true to your morals and goals. If a location or person says “no” to your inquiries, move ahead and go to the next case. Don’t let rejection keep you down, as you may let fear of failure creep in and leave this great field.
Keep your head up high and your nose in a book. Satisfaction will come to those who aim to succeed.