Does the way you investigate help you toward the answers you are looking for?
When running a Facebook page, it is important to keep the engagement up and conversations flowing so that your posts will continue to show up in your follower's timelines. It also means you can have some great discussions and a bit of fun as well. I posted a meme the other day which was funny and all, but it made me realise something quite significant. I used the tagline, if you could ask a spirit one question what would it be? - to the accompanying picture:
Herein lied my problem. I didn't even know how to answer my own question. In all of my research and investigating, I guess I never thought I would actually get the answers I was looking for. Allow me to explain. Throughout what must be well over 100 investigations over the last 5 years, while I have had many experiences I haven't been able to explain, (and even one that completely made me question everything), I always left with a million more questions than gaining any sort of answers. Most experiences I can debunk and I come back the following week and do it all again. When you are constantly leaving an investigation each week with no answers and possibily more questions, I guess you get used to the fact that maybe there are some things you will just never know.
When I classify myself as a paranormal researcher, I have to sit back and think, well what is it that I am researching. Does my research match how I investigate? When I looked at this in depth, I was surprised to say that no my investigating style hasn't quite caught up to my research. On many occasions, my investigation style can emulate what I guess is the typical kind of format . It is to be expected with the amount of events I have worked and the month investigations I run at Black Rock House. There are the usual questions during EVP sessions asking 'What is your name? Who is here with us?'. This is of course investigating on the assumption that a ghost is the spirit of someone who has passed away. This is the general consensus of a lot of people that go out and investigate the paranormal and certainly is the belief of the majority of the people that come through at Black Rock House. I guess those investigations in some ways don't count towards my research because they are investigations for them and not myself. What they do allow me to do however is to sit and observe. While I may not be able to collect the data I want or conduct the experiment I may be researching, it allows me to sit back and watch. I observe human behaviour and their responses. It doesn't necessarily allow me to find the answers I am looking for in my paranormal research, but it allows me to observe the human response to perceived paranormal experiences which quite honestly I find fascinating.
My research is currently leading me away from the theory that a ghost is a spirit of a person who lived. So with this in mind, my investigation style needs to change. I need to get out of this 'rut' and start investigating and conducting experiements in a way that will help aid my research. If I am aimlessly running around in the dark asking the same questions, I am likely never going to get any answers. By asking the same questions that I don't get answers to, I am likely to never get the answers I am looking for. While I am committed to running paranormal investigations to help educate others, I can also perhaps offer them a different perspective on things. While showing them all the 'common' techniques that they want to see, I can also maybe offer something a little different and challenge them to really think about what it is they are looking for when coming on an investigation.
When we go out an investigate, we can tend to go into 'auto' mode. I can't tell you how many times before an investigation I have made all of these plans of things I want to do, experiments I want to try and some theories I want to test. It can be very difficult to plan an investigation because you just don't know what will happen and where the night will lead you. When things are happening, you get caught up in that and everything you wanted to do is thrown out the window because you have to roll with it if things are happening. By the end of the night, I haven't done half of the things I had planned. This is where in some ways I also need to change my ways as an investigator. When things start happening, instead of getting excited and going into 'auto' mode, I need to start taking advantage of the situation. Maybe this is the time I could possibly get a lead. It is not something that will happen overnight, but it is something I am going to make a concious effort to start doing.
Take a step back and look at what it is that has you researching the paranormal. We are all looking for different things so there is really no right or wrong answer to this question as it is deeply personal. What you need to do though is make sure that you are getting something out of your investigations that helps you with what it is you are looking for. When you go out investigating, try to get the answers that you are looking for. While it can be difficult to do this on a public investigation with other people present, there are way to get the most of the experience without it affecting the rest of the people in attendance. Even just sitting back and observing can be more beneficial than you think.
Paranormal research and investigating is a time consuming and expensive hobby. When you are lucky enough to go out into the field, make sure you are making the most of it. Look at how you investigate and compare it to the research you are doing and the answers you are looking for. Does the way you investigate help you toward the answers you are looking for?
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