In the world of the “paranormally passionate”, there exists two hemispheres of thought: the believer and the doubter. For the sake of playing up stereotypes, the believer intuitively knows every knock, whisper, and scent is proof of the existence of communication from the other side. There are endless conversations with ghosts, encounters with elementals, and fights for souls. Psychics are sought and tarot cards read and horoscopes consulted if there is a burning question about future love, finances, and career changes. They don’t question production methods when watching any reality television show dedicated to investigators prowling around abandoned hospitals who manage to witness things *just* to the right or left of the screen. Believers have devotion that is unflappable, even in the face of derision. Which they face. Alot.
Skeptics, conversely, look at any unexplained event as less than ghostly. Rats in the walls? A crumbling foundation? Detached retinas? There is always a logical and reasonable explanation for creepy bangs, groans, and white floating orbs. And yes, while they may enjoy getting an adrenaline rush from being scared, they don’t necessarily believe it is anything but what they have allowed themselves to experience. In other words, they put themselves in a weird, dark place and it would be logical that they would feel heightened awareness and overly sensitive to stimuli. These folks only use the word “haunted” when describing the famous mansion at Disney World (or Land…their choice.)
But what about those who inhabit both worlds? The Mulder and Scully mashups who eagerly search for things that can’t be seen in the daylight but don’t really expect to find anything. Or those who have no innate psychic abilities but enjoy new age jewelry and have crystals in their homes because they are aesthetically pleasing. Where do they fit in?
O.K., full disclosure. I am a Ghost Adventures girl. I’ve watched every season and I’ve read both of Zak’s books and Nick’s as well. Frankly, I like my paranormal investigators slightly socially awkward and highly reactive. “Why?” you may ask. “These do not seem to be good reasons based on, well, anything.”
And that would be true. Except…
I’ve watched the show evolve and the cast change over the past ten seasons and rarely does my attention waver. It’s intriguing. But do I always buy what is happening? Really?
Do I like watching people my own age engaged in a career that they love?
Can I appreciate their earnest attempts to prove they’ve encountered the paranormal.
Absolutely. Or I wouldn’t watch the show. My screen time is pretty limited.
Personally, I’ve had encounters that I can’t explain. I’ve also had experiences that I wanted to make paranormal when it was pretty obvious that they could be easily debunked. But have I lost my interest in researching and going on ghost tours? Not at all.
The fact that I am an open-minded skeptic only works to keep me motivated in my own journey. Hearing other talk about what they have seen, heard, and/or felt,( and not just through their five senses, mind you) is endlessly appealing to me and I am honored when someone chooses to share a story.
But there are always questions in the back of my mind: was the air conditioning on? Is it a highly intensive area filled with electronics? Was it a reflection from headlights?
When doing something that brings you joy, thrills, shivers, and bountiful bushels of curiosity, pursue it earnestly. Bathe in it, breathe it in; welcome it to your life and make room for it on your couch. But always leave room for that little voice in your mind that sounds like “ehhhh” when things don’t ring true. It’s O.K., really. They can share a litter box.
Keep an open mind and I’ll see you when the next storm brews…