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CakeOrDeath

Parnormal Investigators - Why do you move on?

32 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

I have given this quite a bit of thought, and I hope some believers can put aside their vitriol for a few moments to give me some honest and thoughtful responses to the question I pose here.

One of the biggest recurring issues in this field and a big beef between skeptics and believers can be summed up by the following:

Skeptics: show us evidence, or at least some type of recurring measurable activity that can be tested/ monitored to build some type of hypothesis.

Believers: ghosts/paranormal activity are a fleeting, ephemeral and cannot be readily predicted and therefore will never be suitable for true scientific study.

And here is where the disconnect, and my actual question comes in. There are hundreds if not thousands of locations purported to be haunted with several people claiming to have experienced things at said locations.

Why do paranormal investigators move on? Why not “camp” and investigate the same sight for months even years gathering and collecting data to form the basis for an in-depth more scientific investigation. Especially in cases where they “hear” or record something, or see something, why would you look elsewhere? (Sincere question here.)

In every other branch of science and scientific investigation, it is painstaking, often very unrewarding efforts to find and prove things. I mean think of the zoologist who has some evidence of the white spotted lemur, found droppings, some hair samples, that person or team is camping that area or returning to that area until they finally get conclusive evidence of the creature. They don’t find some evidence and say “close enough” let’s go look for some elsewhere.

I can honestly say I would be very intrigued to see the results of a long term study of a single, well known haunted area, with logs and data spanning large time spans. To me, if paranormal investigators would approach their investigations in a manner more similar to other branches of science, it would add credibility and weight to their discussions.

Thanks in advance for your responses.

Edited by CakeOrDeath
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That's a very good question and I have some not-so-flattering thoughts about paranormal teams that do this, especially the ghost hunter shows that seem to abound. I agree that there should be an in-depth study over a period of time at any given 'hotspot' although I'm still of the mind that they won't find anything significant. You're probably going to hear all kinds of excuses why that won't work, or even be a good idea though. I'm actually a bit intrigued as to what the believers will come up with. :tu:

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Posted (edited)

Ya, I really hope this topic doesn't turn into a flame war, honestly. I would be super interested why the more "serious" investigators don't do this, and their thoughts on why.

I know for like a private residence they can say "well the homeowner or bed n breakfast owner only let us stay for the weeked.." and stuff like that will happen. But there are PLENTY of known "hot spots" that are public or atleast accessible and abandoned, so that really shouldn't be an overall mitigating factor.

Some will say, they don't have funding to stay that long, my contention would be, fine, but everytime you do go out, it should be to the same location.

Anyways, I will await some responses. Sadly, when there is a mundane honest topic like this, it tends to get less traffic.

Edited by CakeOrDeath

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Getting grant money for science is not easy, no matter how promising the subject. Studies like what you propose would probably have to be self-financed. Still one wonders why it doesn't happen, since the rewards for finding something to confound the skeptics would be enormous.

One reason why they "move on" is that they set up camp at a site and then quickly find there is really nothing there except misinterpretations. They find the reason for the thumping that occurs at one every morning, and it's something silly. A few disappointments like this and if they are honest they give up, or run out of money.

Another problem is the quality of evidence the skeptic is going to need. The more "out there" the claim, the stronger the evidence required, and ghosts are way out there. A few photos and temperature readings won't do, neither will testimony of witnesses. In fact, thinking about it, I think what you need is a demonstration of ghosts angry at being ignored so long organizing a protest in front of the White House.

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Hi Frank, thanks for your response, but it was too predictable and easily refuted. These "ghost hunters" go out all the time, it's like their weekend hobby. So my question is, even on a limited budget, why not retutrn to the same place?

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Posted (edited)

Frank to the last two paragraphs, all of it is broken logic. If a site is known and have had hundreds of reports, then a "real" investigator has to have some understanding that spending 8-12 hours on a site won't generally yield valuable intel.

Remember my question wasn't "how can investigators get info that will satisfy a skeptic" I assume investigators are investigating for their own interests, no? So, isn't their best bet to spend as much time at a purported site as possible?

This thread isn't about proving to "us" I only mentioned that I would put more credence in a "story" posted here by an investigator if they said...."my team and I have been researching the Percy House for the last 18 months, and over the last 3 months we have captured some interesting and reoccurring phenomena.."

Edited by CakeOrDeath

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You answer your own question; the investigators have agendas; which renders the topic a bit pointless.

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Hmmm not sure I follow, I'm just curious if there are any legitimate reasons why paranormal investigation differs so much in protocol from other invetigative work.

Sorry if you thought I answered my own question, I guess I should have listed the standard answers that I knew I would see, and ask if there were any other more insightful ones that might carry some weight.

I do appreciate your participation and apologize if my follow-up post was offensive to you. I didn't mean it to be.

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Hi Cake,

A very interesting question! A few colleagues and me are forming a group so we can investigate in areas where we live in the UK. While there are many different places we would like to explore due to the area having some really old buildings and lots of history, we have unwittingly decided to go back to some of the same places once we are set-up. Especially if we experience something unusual at a certain location. I agree that TV shows very very rarely re-visit places that have already been "investigated", primarily due to ratings and keeping their audience interested, but you would think that serious group would re-visit the same locations multiple times.

Will be interesting to see what more established investigators reasoning is for not going back.

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Skeptics: show us evidence, or at least some type of recurring measurable activity that can be tested/ monitored to build some type of hypothesis.

The " activity " they measure, they use tools designed for other specific things. None of them are accurate, and all of them will get " readings ".

Readings that the tools were designed to take, and that is not of the " spirit world ".

Like using a cutting torch to hammer a nail in.

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Hi Sakari, I get what you are saying, but again, from their perspective the tools "work" atleast to a degree, so what not use the tools over and over in the same "well documented" haunted locations?

I mean I think you and I would concede that a good camera, perhaps infared and some high quality microphones could be considered feasible tools to garner some phenomena. Sorry question is more like, "why not make 120 hours of recording at one location as opposed to 8-12 hours at 80-100 locations as seems to be the "thing" in this field, both TV and otherwise.

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Thanks for the reply Murk, I would highly encourage your group to do that. And also keep logs of how much time you spend viewing/listening actively at each site, not just recording when you do experience an "event."

Again, my question is not meant to be hostile, I know a couple of people both on the forums and IRL who participate in these type investigations and this question just kind of occurred to me while "reviewing" some of the many places one of my friends has visited.

I wonder what Colorado Paranormal would answer with, I always enjoy his posts on such threads.

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Most places groups investigate (ie. not what you see on the telly) are either private residence or a business (such as a hotel) and neither would want a team around their premises for a long period of time, especially when for a business premises they have to be insured too - at the expense of the business, not the group.

I don't do ghost hunting in the traditional sense, and I doubt I ever will, but I do know it's not as black and white as simply deciding how long you want to investigate a property for. You should probably accept that it's highly unlikely there will ever be evidence the skeptical community would accept, despite the fact there is a lot out there (even the odd gem on youtube). Of course the downside of video/photographic evidence is that there's always the possibility of manipulation and with technology getting better and better, fraudulent footage becomes harder and harder to spot. Unfortunately, some skeptics simply shrug off any evidence of this medium because they can't possibly begin to comprehend the idea of everything physics has taught them is wrong.

There probably ARE groups in the world somewhere that conducts long investigations, in fact I'm sure of it, just because it's not readily available on the interwebs, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. As for suggesting people essentially waste their time knowing that ghosts don't exist and that a long investigation would explain a lot of activity, I find that quite condescending. Many groups look for the rational explanations first for any activity they encounter.

As for the comment that Sakari made about instruments used to detect activity, his response is unfounded and clearly demonstrates he lacks knowledge in this field.

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So your only idea is basically one of the 3 pattented responses I assumed would be put forth. (Not sure if you read my follow-up post?) But like I postulated, there are PLENTY of available "known hot spots" that are abandoned and availble for on-going study.

Your ascertation, that there are likely lots of groups setting up camps world-wide is also not consistent with the "ghost hunter" movement that we see, not just on TV but on discussion boards and in RL. I have yet to find any group that has really hunkered down in one spot, hence my question.

As far as the "tools" used by ghost hunters, I didn't want to turn this thread into a bashing thread, but just know that Sakari and myself know quite abit about the "tools of the trade" and what they are "really" used for and how they have not been proven to assist in any meaningful way in hunting ghosts.

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There are places where there are '24 hour stake outs' so to speak. Take Loch Ness. Everyone is always watching for Nessie and they've even dragged the Loch and never found anything. Still after all the years people still look and believe.

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Here's another predictable response for you.

Maybe it's not complicated at all. Maybe, ghost hunting is like dating. And maybe ghost hunters have commitment issues.

Or maybe it's something simple. Maybe spending all their time at one location would take the allure away from it. Going from place to place keeps it exciting.

Commitment issues are what I'm sticking with.

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Posted (edited)

So your only idea is basically one of the 3 pattented responses I assumed would be put forth. (Not sure if you read my follow-up post?) But like I postulated, there are PLENTY of available "known hot spots" that are abandoned and availble for on-going study.

Your ascertation, that there are likely lots of groups setting up camps world-wide is also not consistent with the "ghost hunter" movement that we see, not just on TV but on discussion boards and in RL. I have yet to find any group that has really hunkered down in one spot, hence my question.

As far as the "tools" used by ghost hunters, I didn't want to turn this thread into a bashing thread, but just know that Sakari and myself know quite abit about the "tools of the trade" and what they are "really" used for and how they have not been proven to assist in any meaningful way in hunting ghosts.

You're going to have to do a little more research than just making a thread on some random forum, then. If you're actually serious about your question, you can't be so lazy. I mean (just an idea here) have you tried approaching and asking these groups yourself? I'd have thought they'd be more informed about the answer to your question than a bunch of randoms on some forum.

If you and your friends know what tools are "really" used for and why people "really" investigate places, you're frankly taking the p*** with this thread and wasting your own time, which says a lot. You obviously don't need to discuss this topic, you clearly know it all already my friend. Question though (since you know it all) is there a reason whenever a skeptic's view/knowledge/experience is questioned, its "bashing", but its different the other way around? Just wondering.

By the way, "abandoned" areas are usually regulated and/or monitored by the local authorities and there's normally a reason they're abandoned, it's called being derelict and unsafe. Though I'm sure that was also one of your "pattented" (patented) responses.

I honestly can't see any reason you opened this thread but to try and stir up a fight since effectively you've already stated those pursuing evidence already know that ghosts don't exist and they don't stick around because their apparent findings would be debunked over a longer stay. Even if we take away the "tools" you and your friends know so much about (I assume you're talking EVP recorders, EMF etc?) it doesn't really explain unaccountable footage or photographs and it certainly doesn't explain eye witness accounts.

If you don't believe in ghosts, rather than stomp on everybody elses beliefs and experiences (just because they didn't happen to you and the world revolves around you, obviously) maybe just move on with your life and not worry about what others are doing with their time? There's much more important (and more fun) things you can do than trying to be right on the Internet. If you're actually serious about this thread and it wasn't made for a fight, make strides to answering your question with a little balance. Ask your friends all day long for their opinions on the subject and they'll be happy to provide the answers you want. But to not ask those who are actually out there doing what you're questioning? Seems kinda silly and very lopsided to me.

And they say "believers" have it all one sided...

Edited by Heaven Is A Halfpipe
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Posted (edited)

I have given this quite a bit of thought, and I hope some believers can put aside their vitriol for a few moments to give me some honest and thoughtful responses to the question I pose here.

One of the biggest recurring issues in this field and a big beef between skeptics and believers can be summed up by the following:

Skeptics: show us evidence, or at least some type of recurring measurable activity that can be tested/ monitored to build some type of hypothesis.

Believers: ghosts/paranormal activity are a fleeting, ephemeral and cannot be readily predicted and therefore will never be suitable for true scientific study.

And here is where the disconnect, and my actual question comes in. There are hundreds if not thousands of locations purported to be haunted with several people claiming to have experienced things at said locations.

Why do paranormal investigators move on? Why not “camp” and investigate the same sight for months even years gathering and collecting data to form the basis for an in-depth more scientific investigation. Especially in cases where they “hear” or record something, or see something, why would you look elsewhere? (Sincere question here.)

In every other branch of science and scientific investigation, it is painstaking, often very unrewarding efforts to find and prove things. I mean think of the zoologist who has some evidence of the white spotted lemur, found droppings, some hair samples, that person or team is camping that area or returning to that area until they finally get conclusive evidence of the creature. They don’t find some evidence and say “close enough” let’s go look for some elsewhere.

I can honestly say I would be very intrigued to see the results of a long term study of a single, well known haunted area, with logs and data spanning large time spans. To me, if paranormal investigators would approach their investigations in a manner more similar to other branches of science, it would add credibility and weight to their discussions.

Thanks in advance for your responses.

I have thought of the same question before, and i agree with this 100%. The paranormal is paranormal because no one cares to make it normal. However as far as i am a where there aren't any good paying jobs out there to actually support a living for the study of this kind of stuff. So for now i guess it will stay paranormal.

Edited by stevemagegod
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I think money is the biggest reason people don't stay at a location for very long. If you are working for someone they may only give you so much time to make an investigation. These haunted house series aren't going to let you camp out there too long. They want a show wrapped up in a certain amount of time. Then a lot of these people that are doing it for fun have other jobs so a couple of days may be all that they have.

I have seen a ghost, it was of my cat and I only saw her once. You could camp out in my house from now on and it may never happen again. I think she was just passing through.

It does look like in places like the civil war battlefield you would see something after only a few days. Who knows maybe not everyone can see a ghost or maybe the ghost doesn't want to be seen by them.

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Posted (edited)

Heaven I'm sorry but rather than get all angry, do you think it seems abit counterproductive to move from a known haunted area instead of setting up shop, so to speak?

And the "zomg the police will kick us out" part is so cliche, some areas like sanatoriums sure, but parks or abandoned buildings, cemetaries etc. The list goes on and on, any responsible group would even approach then authorities in advance and let them know they were doing some research and possibly writing a paper etc.

Do you disagree and suggest that the best method is to only take small samplings from one site and move on? Would other sciences benefit from this approach or could it very well be one of the reasons we don't have more "evidence" for the paranormal?

You seem smart enough to know better, considering how well you corrected my spelling. But seriously, you need to relax, it's not personal, I don't even lift brah.

Edited by CakeOrDeath

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You're going to have to do a little more research than just making a thread on some random forum, then. If you're actually serious about your question, you can't be so lazy. I mean (just an idea here) have you tried approaching and asking these groups yourself? I'd have thought they'd be more informed about the answer to your question than a bunch of randoms on some forum.

Pardon? This is one of the biggest forums of its type and numerous folks here represent (or claim to be) PN investigation 'teams' or 'experts'. Why on earth is it inappropriate or lazy to ask here?

If you and your friends know what tools are "really" used for

I'm not the OP, but I have spent a large part of my life in genuine research fields, including managing a large marine research centre. I'm very familiar with a huge range of technology and 'tools' and I know what works, and how things become accepted in any genuine investigative discipline... I do NOT see many accepted, properly tested and documented 'tools' being used in this field... more on this in a sec..

.. you're frankly taking the ???? with this thread and wasting your own time

Wow. I think you need to cool down and not assume you know other's motives. It's a public forum and as far as I am aware, people are free to spend their time doing whatever they wish within the rules...

Question though (since you know it all) is there a reason whenever a skeptic's view/knowledge/experience is questioned, its "bashing", but its different the other way around? Just wondering.

I'm just wondering where you got that interpretation. Be specific and quote the part you thought said that - note that's what I do...

Otherwise, it's a strawman..

By the way, "abandoned" areas are usually regulated and/or monitored by the local authorities and there's normally a reason they're abandoned, it's called being derelict and unsafe. Though I'm sure that was also one of your "pattented" (patented) responses.

Picking on spelling? Sigh.. And where I live, I don't have to drive far to see completely abandoned areas, with no fences or local authorities monitoring them.. So perhaps it might not have been patented, but it was an unwarranted generalisation..

I honestly can't see any reason you opened this thread but to try and stir up a fight since effectively you've already stated those pursuing evidence already know that ghosts don't exist and they don't stick around because their apparent findings would be debunked over a longer stay. Even if we take away the "tools" you and your friends know so much about (I assume you're talking EVP recorders, EMF etc?) it doesn't really explain unaccountable footage or photographs and it certainly doesn't explain eye witness accounts.

It's rather difficult to read that and not think that you have an intimate knowledge of these tools and their effectiveness, and/or some very convincing ('unaccountable', you said..) footage or evidence.. So can we be specific? Which tools? What unaccountable footage? And do you really accept eyewitness accounts as accurate? Science (and the legal industry) will tell you that is very unwise..

I'd be delighted if anyone would like to start up a thread looking in detail at the efficacy of say EVP/EMF recorders and what is actually being 'captured' - I know the topics reasonably well, and have been involved in many successful long term research projects (in 'normal' science) involving some very exotic, state of the art stuff.. but none of it found anything paranormal. When I've raised some issues with people claiming to be paranormal investigators - like how they have tested their equipment, and how they have addressed things like proper testability (inc. blind testing), falsifiability, repeatability - it seems no-one wants to stick around...

If you don't believe in ghosts, rather than stomp on everybody elses beliefs..

You missed an apostrophe... Annoying, isn't it..

If you DO believe in ghosts, rather than stomp on the OP's beliefs.. oh wait.. :D

Maybe you should just offer a polite contrary view, preferably backed up by something, rather than criticise the poster for simply raising a topic...

maybe just move on with your life and not worry about what others are doing with their time?

Isn't this the exact opposite of what you are doing? I'm confused.

As for the topic.. Telling ghost stories is fun. Making movies and mocumentaries can garner money/fame. The number of genuinely weird places or cases of genuinely unaccountable footage or eyewitness accounts that are repeatable (and there is the main killer) is .. um .. rather small. Vanishingly so, unless Heaven or others come up with the goods...

So.. I'm not sure there is a mystery...

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Posted (edited)

By the way, "abandoned" areas are usually regulated and/or monitored by the local authorities and there's normally a reason they're abandoned, it's called being derelict and unsafe.

Until a couple of years ago when they were demolished or converted into apartment buildings and a supermarket, there was an abandoned swimming pool and an abandoned dance hall within walking distance of where I lived. Although technically trespassing, all it took was a climb over a low wall or under a chainlink fence to get in and have a mooch around. There's also a great creepy old abandoned pumping station that when I was a kid, we loved to visit and explore at nighttime for the thrill of it.

I spent some time last year with others exploring and photographing some of the abandoned ruins within short driving distance of where I live. Mainly abandoned houses of the Anglo-Irish aristocracy.

None of these as far as I know are of any paranormal interest, although one was the site of a murder I heard a radio documentary about and another was the site of a tragic accident in which a boy exploring it fell from the roof and plummeted to his death. I just love exploring and photographing old ruins when the fancy takes me.

However, you are definitely right about one thing, some of them are not safe places. Crumbling walls, rotten woodwork, gaping holes in the floors, etc.

Of course, with the collapse of the housing market, there are shitloads of abandoned half-built housing estates all around this country (ghost estates they call them) but they're not particularly interesting and not likely to be of paranormal interest.

Anyway, my point is that (and it probably depends on where you live) there is no shortage of accessible abandoned places that anyone can explore and investigate.

Edited by Archimedes

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I haven't had the chance in awhile, but I just love exploring old cemeteries in Europe, especially now that they've opened up, some of the really old ones in the Balkans. I've even spent the night in a few, but not sleeping, more avoiding the authorities.

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Posted (edited)

I haven't had the chance in awhile, but I just love exploring old cemeteries in Europe, especially now that they've opened up, some of the really old ones in the Balkans. I've even spent the night in a few, but not sleeping, more avoiding the authorities.

As part of our exploration of local ruins and places of interest last year, visiting old cemeteries was part of the agenda.

There's one which is the source of a great local legend.

The cemetery is in the grounds of an ancient long abandoned church. Legend has it that a man was buried inside the church, but because the man was either a known sinner or a non-Catholic, he had no right to be buried on such sacred ground.

Anyway, one night there was a very severe storm, and the next day, the locals discovered that one wall of the ruins of the church had broken clean off and moved a couple of feet to the inside of the church. The man had been buried just inside this particular wall. The story goes that the church itself was so offended that such a man was buried inside it that it eventually decided to take matters into its own hands and moved one of its own walls so that the man was now technically outside the church and was thus no longer buried on very holy ground.

Here's a photo to illustrate what I'm talking about - you can see that the wall has broken off just above the ground and cleanly moved a couple of feet to the left. The story of the wall moving during the night of a storm seems to be verified fact. It's definitely a bit weird that a storm could move such a large chunk of wall (several tonnes) so cleanly and leave it still upstanding.

kildemock05.JPG

Here's a plaque telling of the story (it was supposedly an excommunicated person):

1772410_43455f86.jpg

I love local legends like this. I think everywhere in the world probably has similar stories.

Edited by Archimedes
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Neat post Archimedes thanks for sharing! I loved the pics.

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