Define your area of paranormal expertise

Define your area of paranormal expertise

The following article is about the misuse of the term "paranormal investigator". It explains that the term "Paranormal Investigator" is a general term covering all things paranormal and the misuse of it by the paranormal community.

It explains that the term should be used properly as a general term for an investigator that covers a wide spectrum of research and not just one subject. It also goes on to explain that a group that only covers one subject in the paranormal field should have a title relating to that specific field of research in which they are involved and not use the broad title of paranormal investigator. 


This is Webster dictionary's definition of


Very strange and not able to be explained by

What scientists know about nature and the world”.

It doesn’t say ghost hunters. It doesn’t say UFO hunters. It doesn’t say psychics or cryptozoologists.

Paranormal is a broad term for a broad range of strange, unusual or unexplainable phenomena, which means that it covers the whole list in question.

A paranormal investigator is a person that investigates claims of paranormal activity. Unfortunately the term paranormal investigator has become redundant. Every popular TV show and movie over the past 20 years has related the definition of paranormal activity predominantly to the area of ghosts when speaking about the subject in a mainstream forum. Those people and those shows and/or movies have done a huge disservice to the term, leaving the laymen confused as to what the actual term entails.

When someone says they are a paranormal investigator people automatically think that they investigate claims of ghosts. Heck ghost investigators have gotten so use to the term paranormal investigator that they have lost touch with what the term actually means and they end up labeling their organization incorrectly.

Paranormal investigator to me, means someone that investigates all claims of paranormal activity. Not just ghost or demons. I’ve seen some “ghost hunting” organizations try to bridge the gap by making claims that they too can investigate claims of UFO sightings and alien abduction. Most of these groups don’t have the scientific background or the years of research behind them to back such claims. So their attempts to widen their field of research are foiled by the lack of expertise. They want the title but have yet to earn it. 

With that being said, you can’t claim the title “Paranormal Investigator” and then only research claims of ghosts. You are by definition a ghost researcher or if you want to sound more professional a researcher of the Etheric Plane or if you’d like “ethereal researcher or investigator”.

Personally I wouldn’t have someone come into my home to investigate my paranormal claim if they didn’t know their elbow from their ear.

If you went to college and you received a degree in electrical engineering you don’t tell someone you’re a chemist right? Of course not. Even though both fields involve science they are two very different fields. Just like a ufologist investigates claims of UFO’s and a cryptozoologist investigates claims of new species, they are different fields. Each label is there to help identify each individual field separating them into their own area of research in respect to its title.

This misrepresentation of titles makes sense though. Maybe investigators out there today have no prior background of performing any type of paranormal related research and so the term monkey see monkey do comes to mind, mainly due to the misleading TV shows relating to the subject matter.

Most folks in the paranormal field mimic what they see on TV and think that it’s just fine and dandy. Unfortunately within any field of research there must be guidelines or a least a general idea of how to go about researching a specific phenomenon.

I won’t go into too much detail but I will say this, you wouldn’t use a camcorder to see the electricity in the power lines outside of your house and you wouldn’t use a tape recorder to hear a smell. Both of those things are invisible. There are proper tools to see electricity. And as far as I’m aware we can’t hear smells yet, unless of course we were in cartoons.

My point is that there is a lot of misuse of technical equipment in the paranormal field. Mostly in the “Ghost” related areas of research. These organizations are always bickering about who is better and slamming each other with contrarian arguments while never really being able to give a straight answer to each other or their clients. If you ask me it’s kind of sad seeing it unfold on places like Facebook and paranormal related forums.

The field is loaded with untrained, undereducated sci-fi fans waiting to get their chance to be on TV or to become famous by catching just the right sized piece of dust in front of their lens when the flash goes off. Others are just looking for answers to their own mortality. Personally I think everyone wants to feel special by finding their own pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. That’s all well and good.

My only wish would be for the paranormal community to define their areas of expertise without dragging the general term of “Paranormal Investigator” through the mud. Some of us are true investigators. We work hard and some of us actually have really great backgrounds in the proper scientific categories that can be beneficial to clients that have had legitimate paranormal experiences whether it deal with ghosts, aliens, and cryptozoology or psychic phenomena.

I think we should all take more responsibility for what we claim and make sure that we aren’t doing a disservice to the paranormal community by claiming we are paranormal researchers when we only research one type of paranormal phenomena. In short, people need to stop saying they’re a mechanic when all they can do is change a tire.

I’m all for paranormal unity but I can’t idly sit by while others make a mockery of the term paranormal investigator and of the field. Some of these organization are really unprofessional.

Some folks that claim the title of paranormal investigator may very well be broad range paranormal investigators and rightly so. They may actually deserve the title. On the other hand others may not have a clue about one subject pertaining to the paranormal and an abundance of knowledge pertaining to another. Stick to what you know. If you know about ghosts then call yourself something relating to that specific area of research, ghost hunter or ethereal investigator, etc. Paranormal isn’t a genre it’s the idea. Music is the idea; the “type” of music is the genre. Get it? Unless you’re investigating everything then you need to pick a genre. 

Some people may disagree with this article. They may say paranormal is just a broad term and we can use it however we see fit.

If you can’t define yourself then maybe you shouldn’t be in the any category of paranormal research. How can we understand something beyond comprehension if we can’t understand basic definitions first?

Use this article as constructive re-evaluation. Take a moment to reflect and ask yourself some key questions that will change the way you conduct yourself as a member of the paranormal community.  

 What is my goal as a researcher in my paranormal genre?

What is my strongest area of paranormal knowledge?

Am I doing a service to the paranormal community or am I making a mockery of it?

Where did I obtain my knowledge of said paranormal phenomena?

Am I able to effectively help others with less knowledge than myself?

Do other investigators respect me as an investigator?

What are my chances of actually finding what I am looking for if I continue my current path?

If I did find proof of paranormal phenomena could I make a legitimate arguable presentation to scholars in the scientific community and be taken serious?  

 These are just some questions that will get you headed in the right direction.

Sometimes researchers pick up a camera and take a picture of an empty room just because they think they might catch something. What they really need to do is take a picture of themselves and reflect upon who they are and what they can offer to the field.

Take what you learned from this and become better than you were. If you already knew this and feel like you’re on the right path then good for you. Help someone that needs a little more direction. 

Ghost, aliens, and cryptids are all part of the paranormal realm but remember to define your field or expertise. Whether or not you decide to present yourself as a general investigator or single out a specific category is up to you. Be responsible. We must first master one house before moving on to the next. The first house is your own.

“Happy hunting my friends”