Let me start with an apology…I’m sorry. Really sorry. Recently, I have found myself becoming incredibly busy with investigations (more of that later), and personal events have taken priority recently in my private life. No excuses though. I’m back and ready once more to discuss all things paranormal. To take a light-hearted yet critical look at recent events in the paranormal world and to maybe have bloody good grumble too on occasions.
I shall start with the biggest difference to have occurred in the last year or so – joining a fellow investigator and skeptic, Dale Makin, in order to investigate supposedly haunted locations and live-streaming the majority of these via the Youtube channel, Paranormal Truth. Without doubt, joining Paranormal Truth, has been the most fun I’ve ever had as a paranormal investigator. Not only does it allow me to continue investigating on a regular basis, but it has also meant that I can do so whilst enjoying Dale’s company. A guy with exactly the same mindset towards the paranormal as myself. Quite often, we have both been left incredulous at the lack of critical thinking that groups and other individuals give when presenting their ‘evidence’ of the paranormal. Surely, the priority of any investigator, whether they believe in the paranormal or not, is to critically look at their evidence. To debunk where possible or offer alternative possible explanations that might explain phenomena that might be captured, whether that be in the form of visual or auditory evidence. I shall give one example:
Recently, myself and Dale enjoyed a rather interesting but largely uneventful evening investigating a location in the UK called Hoober Stand. You can find the video of our investigation here. Hoober Stand is a 30ft high tower, a folly on the Wentworth Estate, in Northern England. First built to commemorate the quashing of the Jacobite Rebellion in 1745, Hoober Stand has in more recent years, due to its relatively isolated position, been linked to rumours of witchcraft and black magic. Hoober Stand then, has become a location inextricably linked with the paranormal and tales of ghosts. Like I said, despite such dark tales, Hoober Stand was largely uneventful (other than a local resident warning us that the estate is used by local farmers to shoot game in the area and that we might be a target ourselves if weren’t careful!).
Before visiting Hoober Stand, both myself and Dale like to find out a little of the history of the location and to find out why people might think a location is haunted. Note: we never go to a location with the pre-conceived notion that it IS haunted. During a trawl of the internet, including videos posted by other paranormal investigators, we came across one video which we found, quite frankly, hilarious. You need to understand that we have both become quite used to seeing people using a whole range of decidedly dodgy methods whilst investigating, from Ouija boards and spirit boxes to flashing torches and dowsing rods. All of which are examples of pseudo-science at its worst and I’m afraid, complete and utter bunkum.
The video showed an investigator walking around Hoober Stand at night (aren’t they all), and sporadically, as the torchlight panned across the scene, moths and other insects, attracted to the light, would flit and fly around. Nothing surprising there you might think. Oh no. But these were not moths. They were incarnations of demons according to the investigator! Demons in the torchlight. The video would be slowed down for dramatic effect too. When Dale first showed me the video, I laughed so loud while drinking a mug of coffee, I snorted it all over my laptop.
Such is the desire to present anything, ANYTHING as being paranormal. As paranormal groups grow exponentially and as more investigators strive to show that their ‘evidence’ shows genuine paranormal activity, people have seemingly lost the desire or inclination to really look at what they are presenting to the public. All of sudden, the faintest natural noise might become ‘proof’ of the paranormal, either to satisfy the general public on ghost hunting events or to satisfy their Youtube subscribers. At best, such an approach damages the reputation of the paranormal field. At worst, it borders on fraud.
Trust me, if nothing happens on an investigation with Paranormal Truth, we’ll quite happily say so. (And trust me, we frequently do!) The public has frankly had enough of TV making a mockery of the paranormal. It’s time, as a field, we had a reality check. To redress the balance and to deliver investigations in the most honest, up-front way possible.