I would like to address some issues within the paranormal community from the scientific communities perspective a.k.a. myself and dozens of other well qualified paranormal investigators that I represent.
A paranormal investigation isn't a night of running around a house with 10 friends talking to alleged ghosts in the dark on camera, in fact paranormal research isn't about just ghosts at all. It's a thought out, well researched and properly planned out scientific endeavor that deserves the highest caliber of professionalism and dedication from the individuals charged with the task of investigating a claim.
Anyone can make claims to be a paranormal investigator but if you're not properly collecting tangible data from your investigations then you're just playing games. In fact the original movie "Ghost Busters" showed an example of the qualifications by telling a story of 3 scientists that formed an organization with the sole purpose of investigating paranormal phenomena.
Just because the organization in the movie was based upon catching "ghosts" doesn't mean that ghosts are the only form of paranormal phenomena out there today.
The fictional characters in the movie had proper scientific backgrounds qualifying them to conduct proper research whilst many real life paranormal investigators today lack that quality.
In fact shows like ghost hunters and ghost adventures while fun and entertaining, they also send an unrealistic message to aspiring paranormal investigators. After all what are they're qualifications?
To quote Dean Yeager from the movie Ghost Busters,
"The purpose of science is to serve mankind. You seem to regard science as some kind of dodge or hustle. Your theories are the worst kind of popular tripe, your methods are sloppy and your conclusions are highly questionable. You are a poor scientist Dr.Venkmen."
The dean said this to Dr.Venkmen because Dr.Venkmen was conducting what is referred to in the scientific community as Pseudoscience or fringe science. While not an exact science Dr.Venkmen being a scientist was more qualified to conduct this research than most paranormal investigators around today. Why?, because he was an actual scientist first before he began conducting questionable pseudoscientific research. Most paranormal investigators these days are barely high school graduates let alone actual scientists.
That's one of the biggest issues within the paranormal community today. You'll hear a lot of groups say paranormal research has nothing to do with science. How would they know if they themselves don't know the first thing about science?
Dates, times, locations. Data collected in the proper scientific format. That's real science. Even if you're investigating claims that would bring you into the pseudoscientific realm it's still better to at least attempt to use proper science than to use no scientific method at all.
If you do not log your data and conduct proper analyses of your data then you are a paranormal wannabe and nothing more.
Also what's the deal with everything being ghosts? Is that the only thing the brainwashed masses think exists in the paranormal world? What about aliens? what about advanced technology? Can any of these so called paranormal organizations recite the scientific method by heart?
Most potential clients should ask investigators these questions, especially if these clients are looking for realistic help with a paranormal problem. Unfortunately most clients these days are looking for a cheap thrill. Most just making claims to see if their house could be haunted and to see if investigators will actually find anything.
As for the investigators themselves. If you're not taking advantage of training from seasoned investigators with scientific backgrounds or you yourself are not educated in any form that would at least put you in a better position for gathering information and conducting a paranormal investigation then what are you really doing?
I'd hate to shatter your illusions but you're not doing the paranormal community any good at that point.
I've been conducting paranormal research since I was a teen and I'm educated in the proper areas to offer professional advice. I've literally worked with some of the top investigators in the world from all fields. Parapsychology, Ufology & Cryptozoology. I offer my professional advice to other organizations and I always promote paranormal unity when I can. The only reason paranormal investigators get a bad name is the way that most conduct themselves lately.
They fight over who is the biggest and the best and who will get the next big TV show instead of who has the better data collection methods and whom conducts the proper scientific research.
Lately I've also heard some really negative stories from credible clients that did not receive the proper help from the groups they've called.
If you're having trouble conducting an investigation don't hesitate to ask another group for help. It doesn't make you look unprofessional. In fact it will help you network with others and help the clients in doing so along with creating a gateway for paranormal unity and collaboration.
You might be dealing with something your organization isn't qualified to handle. Don't leave the client in the dark because of your lack of knowledge.. Don't call it a demon possession when it's schizophrenia. Don't call it sleep paralysis when it's alien abduction or vice versa. Know your facts, know your details. It's not always about science either, Sometimes there is psychology in the mix as well.
Ask for help when it's to much. Organize your group in such a way that you will always be able to help your clients.
My advice to potential clients experiencing paranormal phenomena would be this. Really do your research on what you're experiencing before you call upon any paranormal organization to come out and assist you with your problem. Also do your research on the group that you do call for help as well. Investigate them and don't let just anyone into your home.
Paranormal research isn't novelty entertainment but an important field of study that should be taken seriously when being conducted by professional investigators with credentials.
I speak for all credible paranormal investigators when I say this.
We're out there still. We're working hard gathering proper information to assist clients in getting the help they deserve because as the fictional character in the movie ghost busters said, "The purpose of science is to serve mankind".
We need to work together to help clients get answers not step over each other so that we can get a TV show or recognition. We need to stop being ignorant and start being realistic.
For those of you that would like to better themselves in the new England area please feel free to contact GreyStar about our paranormal training programs. We not only help our clients but we also help other organizations get the skills they need to help their clients as well. We provide our training services free of charge.