By Chad Wilson, Publisher
Paranormal Underground (www.paranormalunderground.net)
What makes a ghost hunter? The question was recently asked on our forums at www.ParanormalUnderground.net here in this thread. Ghost hunter, paranormal investigator, paranormal researcher, which is the correct term, or are they all correct? In my opinion, it boils down to why one particular person looks for signs of spiritual activity.
Here’s how this shakes out in my mind.
Ghost hunters: There are plenty of people out there who are looking for something new. They are akin to those who might travel the country riding the newest roller coasters at the various theme parks, or BASE jump from bridges . . . basically a thrill seeker. I think to some degree that is true of many who go in search of the paranormal, some more than others. To me, the thrill is part of the fun, but I am here for more than thrills.
This brings me to my next category, paranormal investigators, or more commonly those who seek spiritual counsel in order to glean the how’s and why’s of the spiritual world. They are the seekers of the truth as to what really happens after we die. I lump myself mainly into this category. But does calling myself a paranormal investigator mean I need formal training? I can see how it would help, but in my opinion all you truly need is a desire to know. As for investigating this field with tried and true methods, how can we when so little is known about the subject of spirits? I’m sure Karen has a blog in mind about this subject, so I will leave that to her. I will say this though, methods can be developed, but only after we understand what being paranormal is first.
Karen, bless her soul, font of wise words as she is, came up with the moniker paranormal researcher. To me that is slightly different than paranormal investigator in the fact that the researchers are the ones, such as Marcus Leader, Loyd Auerbach, and Bill Chappell, who try to find ways to help us communicate with, and define the spirit world. I also put a lot of the free thinkers out there who try and think outside the box when it comes to the other side in this category. They discuss, debate, and sometimes, together through the exchange of ideas, come up with new ways of approaching old problems. A recent example is battery drain, which we have discussed at length in our forums at PUG here.
To me there is room for all of these approaches to the field of the paranormal. I would even say a mixture would be the ideal. To me the sense of adventure that results from a desire to be thrilled by a ghostly encounter goes a long way toward keeping the interest level high. Spirits tend to not act on demand, which means usually you encounter nothing on investigations. But the thought that I could keeps me going.
Then there is the side of me who wants to know why the spirit world is the way it is. This is the driving force behind me becoming a paranormal investigator, the magazine, and any future involvement I will have in this field. This is why I do it, and I am sure it is also why a lot of others do it as well. Truth be told, the answers aren’t very forthcoming, but little by little I think the understanding of this field will become known. You can’t fault investigators for trying. The desire is there, I just think we need to understand the workings behind the paranormal more clearly before we can find definitive answers.
As for paranormal researchers, I’m not one to create devices. I do love to come up with new theories of my own about the elusive subject of ghosts and the afterlife. I do try and be open to all possibilities, and I try to foster that attitude on the forums at PUG and in our magazine. I feel that through true openness, the bouncing of ideas off of other enthusiasts can lead to new ways of thinking. As the saying goes, two heads are better than one. I think that holds true here as well.
That being said, I think all of us (the ghost hunters, the paranormal investigators, and the paranormal researchers) ultimately are in the same boat. I think it important that we put aside any differences and work together to further the field of paranormal investigation. Only in that way will we get true answers.
As a great man once said, “A house divided cannot stand.”