by Suzanne Philips
With the popularity of all of the Paranormal Investigation shows on television in the last few years, many people are looking to join an existing Paranormal Group or start their own. The Paranormal Field has been evolving and improving due to the recent influx of new groups and investigators. Unfortunately, as with any community, the Paranormal has it’s good and bad. Below is a list of Tips for people who are looking to start a new group.
- Mr. X runs a paranormal group and has been on a nationally televised Paranormal show a couple of times a few years ago, which he feels makes him an expert. Great for you Mr. X, now move on. Of all the paranormal groups in the U.S. alone, I would posit that probably 80% of teams have at least one person on their squad that have been on a television show, be it public access, the local news, or “Ghost Adventures”. The paranormal shows use so many people on their episodes, having been on one doesn’t necessarily make you an expert. It’s a nice thing to have on your resume, but how you conduct your group 24/7 really shows the type of investigator you are.
- If one of your team members is on drugs or alcohol, get it taken care of. Just because Mr. M is your bff, when they go off on a tweaked rant at 2am on Facebook for the world to see, it makes you and your team look ridiculous. This is a serious problem that needs to be addressed – not swept under the rug.
- Don’t wear high heels to investigate. You would think this would be a no-brainer because you are walking around in the dark in buildings that have seen better days, but it happens.
- Watching all of the paranormal shows does not make you an expert on investigating. Opening up shop as a paranormal group and charging people ridiculous sums of money to investigate and claiming to be experts is harmful to the paranormal community as a whole. It gives those legitimate investigators a bad name and sets our field back by leaps and bounds.
- When you go to a venue to investigate, be respectful. The people in control of the sites are the ones who are giving you access, whether you are paying them or not, so being cordial to them just makes sense. Going into a hotel that you want to investigate and telling them that you aren’t staying there because it is dirty and smelly is just not a good idea.
- Do network with other paranormal groups in your area as well as other parts of the country that you are interested in investigating. While this should be a given, many groups are very territorial and tend to stick to themselves. Working and getting together with other groups can expose you to new techniques and equipment. It can also provide opportunities to investigate in larger venues that you might not be able to afford within your own group.
- Don’t bash other Paranormal people to your group. If someone is touted as a paranormal expert and is on a television show or well known in the paranormal community as a “Para-Celeb”, there is a reason for that. Either they were in the right place at the right time, the luck of the draw, or they actually are that good. They are famous, you aren’t – deal with it. You may personally dislike one of these people, but bashing them in front of your group makes you look petty.
- Do have some policy in place in case there are conflicts within your group. In an ideal world, everyone would get along. In reality, this isn’t how life works so if you have a clear, defined policy on how to deal with conflicts among your group members, it will make life much easier. Hoping it will clear up on its own is probably not going to work out for you.
You might be asking yourself if the people from the above examples actually exist. Sadly, they do. All the examples are true to life and hopefully illustrate the points I am trying to make.
I hope everyone understands that this is a somewhat tongue-in-cheek list of do’s and don’ts. Paranormal Investigation should be taken seriously but it should also be fun. Most of us participate in our groups in our free time and at our own expense, so it should be something that we enjoy. I hope that everyone that wants to take up Paranormal Investigating gives it a try and has a fantastic experience with a great group!