Personal Thoughts on the Paranormal

Let me provide an analogy to help you, the reader, understand where I am heading with this opinion piece relating to the field of paranormal exploration and research.  The beginnings of a tsunami consist of seawater.  As it moves onto land, it becomes mixed with all kinds of debris originally foreign to the ocean.  As the giant wave and subsequent larger ones, approach dry terrain, the saltwater becomes a muddy mix of trash, dismantled buildings and other materials; cars, gasoline, petroleum, waste; deceased animal and human life, etc.  In other words, ocean water is not meant for dry land and vice versa.  Once the water comes onshore, it creates a whole host of problems and challenges.

Now, is where I enter into my thoughts about the field of paranormal research and where it’s headed if we don’t stop and look at things from a larger perspective. When I say “paranormal research,” I am including all of the branches of anomalous phenomena that people investigate.  The current discipline of supernatural study can be just like the tsunami that’s made its way well onto dry land; at least in some regards.  In addition to the many positives, it’s often full of foreign, degrading material, rampant egos, exploitation and misidentification of spiritual energies, make-believe and much more that’s cheapening it in many ways. 

While reading this, some may feel that I am looking at the glass half full, ignoring the positives and benefits to studying the unknown.  Instead, I feel that I am looking at things from a bigger lens and a wider panoramic view.  The following are more or less observations I’ve made over the years, not necessarily criticisms.  In life, sometimes we have to look at certain situations, which are often pushed under the rug instead of 1) addressing apprehension over dealing with them head-on and 2) bringing these particular conditions to light as a way to foster wider perspectives.

It's a privilege to study the unknown and supernatural realms.  It’s amazing to connect with those who’ve transitioned to the other side.  It’s equally enthralling to study and get a glimpse into other life forms and beings.  As such, those studying the otherworldly need to approach their work with sincerity, devotion and professionalism. Perhaps, if everyone involved, engaged in this mindset, the field of psychical research would be taken more seriously.  Those possessing an unwavering intrigue into the mysteries of the paranormal need to first ask themselves why they want to actively investigate and explore these outer realms.  Those who’s desires are dominated by frivolous reasons won’t necessarily last too long in the field nor will they be considered professional.  Even people who tirelessly engross themselves in paranormal investigation need an occasional reminder to take their explorations and studies in a more earnest manner.  Aside from surveying other preternatural creatures and interdimensional beings, the human spirit realm consists of once-living individuals and animals who’ve crossed the veil into the vast realm of the otherworldly.  It is with great opinion that we need to respect and honor those in the afterlife and beyond, just as we would treat the living.

I have been deeply involved in the field of psychical study for twenty years.  While that doesn’t make me an expert or any researcher an expert, it does provide me a front row seat in observing some of the discipline’s current trends.  There should be a cohesive, universal approach and philosophy when it comes to exploring the unknown.  Although researchers have their own unique approaches and styles, there should always be a strict adherence to protocol and standard operating procedures.  There should also be greater advocacy for the spiritual energies and beings we come across.  Instead, I am seeing some divisions that are catering to an almost polluted and scattered sense of what paranormal research has become.  I am also seeing the authentic paranormal world placed next to the paranormal world the living is creating.  The two are becoming quite incompatible and let me elaborate as to how.

Let’s examine the definition of the word, “paranormal.” Merriam-Webster, defines the word as, “strange events, abilities, etc., that cannot be explained by what is known about nature and the world.” The definition elaborates by saying, “…not scientifically explainable.”  Conscientious researchers don’t use the various impressions left over by entertainment and mass media to try and explain the supernatural.  One should never rely on the traits of fictional characters, such as Jason Vorhees or Michael Myers to examine and theoretically explain a ghostly being.  Instead, depend on what’s evident in the authentic world, not on what’s part of the world of make-believe and fantasy.

Original anomalous events exist on their own and should be left untainted and untampered with.  Of course, they can be explored, studied and analyzed by curious individuals but should be accomplished without instilling the unneeded subjectivity and bias that are completely foreign to the bona fide supernatural realm.  We are seeing the mortal world treating these raw events like a blank canvas -  adding various types of color and texture that ultimately transforms them into a polluted piece.  Once this happens, the once authentic world of the paranormal is now contaminated with what the human element places onto it – judgement of contrasting opinions, ego-based projections, inaccurate classifications and descriptions, superficial desires, among many others.

1.     There is entertainment’s idea of what the supernatural realm is based on, which is conveyed through Hollywood’s numerous movies and television shows on the subject. 

2.     There is the real-life view of what the supernatural domain consists of, which is often swayed by Hollywood’s creations and further influenced by differing ideals and viewpoints.  Both of these have created a false sense of what the paranormal truly is.

The field of paranormal research is a melting pot of individuals with various levels of experience (beginner versus seasoned), principles, goals and belief systems.  Diversity is often welcomed in other aspects of life.  In this case, in order to make the field become a more stable, wholesome environment, not all individuals investigating the supernatural belong in the same pot.  For example, those who are just out to thrill-seek and get spooked may not be on the same psychological level as those who passionately devote time to the scientific study of paranormal occurrences.  Those who visit a haunted location to mainly thrill-seek most likely, do not have the same incentives as those who truly investigate a location through onsite case studies, historical, geological, archaeological and/or genealogical inquires, witness interviews and tedious data review.  Sadly, some are in the field to only try and make a name for themselves and will go to any lengths to do so even if they exploit / disrespect the departed and other types of beings.   These groups will not mix with people who are inherently humble and approach their work with ethics, respect and the Golden Rule. 

A paranormal occurrence, by itself, is left untainted.  It is consistent of the entities and their environment. The structure and intent of each anomalous situation stands on its own with authenticity and purity.  It’s when the human element gets into the picture when things become distorted, twisted and manipulated – often with ambiguous outcomes that cater to the naïve and gullible.

Ghosts, spirits, interdimensional beings, alien species – any entity dominating the outer realms – is not meant for our amusement and entertainment. Studying these beings and creatures just like a biologist approaches the study of biology, or a physicist approaches the study of physics, is fine.  As long as the investigative study is done with legitimacy and respect.   These energies are not here to be misclassified, mocked at or oppressed as is often seen with media and entertainment venues.

As with many professions, one needs a license or permit to practice that occupation.  There are sets of bylaws and standard operating procedures that need to be adhered to.  One needs to be of sound mind and be considered competent enough to engage in the specifics of his or her type of vocation.  Violation of the governing rules typically leads to suspension or expulsion from the position.   This same principle should be applied to the study of the supernatural as a way to keep it controlled and realistic.

Mixing Halloween, Horror, Science Fiction with Real-Life Paranormal Phenomena

It’s quite memorable to reminisce on our childhood years around Halloween, October’s main claim to fame.  As kids, we would anxiously anticipate, as the days and nights grew closer to the 31st of the month.  We’d excitedly plan our chosen costumes, who we’d go trick-or-treating with and what piece(s) of candy to enjoy first.  As the numerous decorations of fake ghosts, goblins, pumpkins, witches, zombies and black cats made their arrival into our imaginations, we’d soon learn to associate Halloween with various fear-provoking adjectives - spooky, scary, ghoulish, macabre, horrific, etc. 

Not everyone has read about the true history of Halloween, but that doesn’t interfere with the realization that the events during the month of October have nothing to do with the real-life supernatural realm – other than the thinning veil between our world and the afterlife.  A fake, cartoon drawing of a ghost is not the same as an authentic earthbound entity or evolved spirit.  The two are irrelevant to one another; yet, people are continuing to fuse make-believe with reality.  With this, enters some serious consequences and outcomes for the paranormal research field and its future leaders.  Collectively, we need to teach ourselves and the field’s next generations that genuine anomalous occurrences are mostly unrelated to the highly imaginative and unrealistic plots of numerous fictional television and film ensembles.

In fact, let’s explore the words, “spooky, scary, ghoulish, macabre, horrific,” etc., in more detail.  In reality, it’s not the spiritual entity that’s considered to possess the meaning of these adjectives; it’s the living person’s projections onto and reactions to experiencing something paranormal that are considered, “spooky, scary,” etc.  The spirits of grandma and grandpa don’t have ghastly features as often depicted in horror movies.  No shining, red, demonic eyes, blood and/or pus streaking down their faces, rotten-looking flesh, etc.  Humans are inherently taught to fear the unknown; thus, when we encounter something otherworldly, it’s normal to assign a daunting connotation to what we’re experiencing during that particular event.  However, we need to remember that it’s the living realm conveying these inferences not the other way around. 

As researchers of the unknown, we need to always be cognizant of the ethereal beings we come across; as for the high majority, these are the spirits of those cherished and loved by people.  You never know if you may run into the apparition of someone’s beloved mother, father, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, grandma, grandpa, co-worker, etc.  As such, it’s imperative to treat these earthbounds and/or spirits with dignity and respect.  But, if someone chooses to ascribe spooky nuances to such an encounter, it not only denigrates that once-living individual but the paranormal research field at large.

Motivations for Exploring the Paranormal

Inflated egos, personal entitlement and staunch competition are running rampant in the field of paranormal investigation and research.  It’s truly sad.  Studying the supernatural isn’t about fame, recognition or notoriety.  The quantity of social media followers a ghost hunter has or how many TV shows someone’s been on should not be placed as most important.  Just because someone has millions of “likes” on their Facebook page(s) or supporters on their YouTube page(s), doesn’t automatically place them in the category of most experienced and/or respected.  It’s often quite the contrary.  For example, one extremely famous YouTuber traveled to Japan to visit the Aokigahara forest, dubbed the region’s “suicide forest.”  Instead of respecting and honoring the young man who had recently took his own life earlier that day, this particular individual instead, chose to mock and disparage the deceased on video for views.  This immediately prompted outrage for this YouTuber who clearly lacked any veneration for the dead, especially someone who suffered with enough hopelessness to end his own life.

What’s imperative is the quality of devotion, time and work someone puts into his or her ongoing psychical enquiries – and what these contributions are doing to advance the discipline of supernatural study.  Arrogant attitudes often lend to unknowingly and sometimes knowingly exploitation of the deceased.  The afterlife and other realms are not here for humanity’s amusement and entertainment.  They are not placed in cages for us to merely gawk at and manipulate.  They are not here for us to control or possess.  Their preternatural existence is completely independent from those in the physical world.  All encounters between the two domains should occur without any misuse, deceit and/or false portrayals. 

Misidentifying Entities and Using Incorrect Terminology

We all know the saying, “Words have power…”  This is why we all have to choose our words wisely in an effort to avoid misunderstanding.  There is no exception with certain terminology relating to paranormal research.   I am seeing a lot of individuals misidentifying the ethereal realm and other beings by creating inaccurate descriptions and using incorrect terminology. In reality, is it entirely possible to classify and define something that can’t be proven?  Certain beliefs and/or a lack of informed knowledge is usually the cause for this.  Let me provide some examples:

Negative versus malevolent:  While the two distinctions share some commonalities, there is a difference between the two terms when describing the characteristics of an anomalous entity.  Malevolent denotes something purely evil and wicked with an intent to harm.  In adjective form, negative means something bleak, pessimistic, cynical, unfavorable, etc.   With this in mind, would you use the word “malevolent” or “negative” to describe a human earthbound energy that perhaps, lived a bad life and has the same unlikeable personality traits and behaviors in spirit that he or she had while alive?  To me, it makes more sense to use the latter term.  In my opinion, malevolent should be reserved for nonhuman entities that are considered malicious and vile.

Ghost versus spirit:  Yes, we all use both words interchangeably when describing the ghost or spirit of a once-living individual.  However, there are differences between the two.  A ghost is usually stuck or chooses to remain in the mortal realm due to various reasons.  With this, he or she either cannot or will not move on into the “light” and evolve into the spirit world, eventually moving up the reigns.  Spirits are the ethereal liveliness of those who’ve moved on peacefully but are willfully able to come back to the earthbound realm.  They also advance through the various levels in the afterlife. Thus, they are not stuck on this plane nor do they have unfinished business.

How many paranormal investigative websites have creepy, scary and menacing themes?  For the ones that do, what impression does it give off about the human spirit world and beyond?  What does this do to certain individuals who are experiencing something paranormal in their home or business?  For the ones who are generally unnerved, these sorts of websites may be a turnoff and/or increase their anxiety.  Yes, these sorts of designs cater to the thrill of encountering a ghost, spirit, Bigfoot, UFOs, etc., and may be a bit catchy, but don’t always accurately characterize them.  Does grandpa or grandma have green skin with black eyes and seeping pus?  No, they look just as they were when alive, albeit a bit younger and healthier, perhaps. 

Paranormal research is not something that I do merely for fun.  I am conscientiously devoted to the scientific study of supernatural phenomena and how metaphysics fits into the overall equation.  Not everyone is and that’s fine.  However, if you call yourself a “paranormal researcher,” then you better be doing more than prancing through a cemetery at night to have a thrill.  Researchers of the unknown devote a lot of time to their case studies and exploring the anomalous. 

Investigating the supernatural is both beautiful and mysterious.  It enables us to step outside the confines of mortality and connect with and learn from other beings and those dwelling in the afterlife.  It also gives us a front row seat in knowing that we will eventually learn the secrets of the universe once we transition to the spirit realm.  For these reasons and many others, the field of supernatural investigation and exploration should be treated with dignity and integrity.

Published in Paranormal

"Formula of a Haunting" Review

“Formula of a Haunting”

Review by,

Nicole Strickland

 "Insightful, engaging and thought-provoking – 'Formula of a Haunting' is the essential content the paranormal realm begs for!"

Having a bachelor’s degree in the media arts spectrum, I know that specific aspects need to be met for a video series and/or film to be successful.  Specifically, the framework of the project – i.e., the filming, editing, special effects, sound, lighting, etc. – need to be spot on.  However, that’s just one side of the coin; the content featured in the project needs to have a depth that not only grabs a person’s attention, but leaves an everlasting impact on the viewer.  “Formula of a Haunting” does just that and more!

It’s no surprise as it’s spearheaded by Brandon Alvis, a passionate filmmaker and one of the paranormal research field’s most accomplished and dedicated.  In this engaging film series, Brandon and his crew have answered the clarion call to do what many in the field won’t even attempt to touch:  the careful examination and meticulous scrutiny of a haunting’s nucleus; dissecting it bit-by-bit to see if humanity can potentially answer the many questions it has regarding ghosts, spirits and hauntings. 

“Formula of a Haunting” comes at the perfect time as the proverbial spotlight is on the paranormal these days.  More than ever, ghost investigators and supernatural researchers need to step out of their comfort zones and apply better objective observation and critical thinking.  “Formula of a Haunting” serves as a motivator to get this done; it further showcases the importance of utilizing the symbolic magnifying glass to look at each piece of a haunting from various different angles.  It’s only then will we be able to gain a further understanding of what goes bump in the day or night.

“Formula of a Haunting” is not only expertly filmed and produced, it provides a healthy dose of profound substance that is often lacking in the field of paranormal research. 

Published in Reviews

Dreams and Goals - "The Afterlife Chronicles and Beyond"

I think every person understands the amazing feeling you get when dreams and goals are achieved.  For some, it may take years to finally achieve personal aspirations; for others, it can happen almost instantaneously.  I personally believe that our individual desires emanate from the nucleus of our soul.  The universe places wishes and wants on our path where they patiently await our arrival.  Beautiful things happen when we eventually meet up with them. 

I have been a paranormal investigator and researcher for twenty years.  Having an innate fascination with the unknown since childhood, it wasn’t until a profound experience with the spirit of my maternal grandmother that catapulted me out of the lab – so to speak – and into the trenches of active exploration of anomalous phenomena.  Over time, I have not only met some amazing, like-minded individuals, I have also discovered more about my own unique personal makeup, skills and interests.

Being a paranormal researcher has granted me opportunities I never thought I would accomplish.  When I was younger, I loved to read.  I still do as an adult.  Not in a million years did I ever think I would become a writer and publish books.  To date, I have authored various books, which were all joys to research and write.  As a child, I was always super nervous to step up in front of the class and give a presentation.  Yes, I had that proverbial stage fright complete with sweaty palms and a racing heart.  Yet, as I have grown into myself as an adult, I have learned to cherish public speaking.  It’s something I am quite confident in; I yearn and desire it just as a painter craves his or her next artistic creation. 

Over the years, I have been a guest on numerous supernatural-themed television, film, radio and print mediums.  Out of all the media outlets, there is just something uniquely special about radio and podcasts.  The stars aligned just right in 2009 when I met radio guru Todd Bates aboard the RMS Queen Mary for its then annual “Ghost Fest IV,” a yearly paranormal conference set aboard the glorious liner.  Prior to the convention, I knew of Todd Bates and his accomplishments in the field as an EVP (electronic voice phenomenon) specialist.  He was even mentored by the late Sarah Estep, who was a forerunner in EVP research and founder of the American Association of Electronic Voice Phenomena.  Like a little kid meeting her idol, I was electrified when I saw Todd in person and got to shake his hand.  As they say, the rest is history.  Since our very first meeting aboard the ocean’s most iconic ship, Todd and I have become dear friends.  

It was an honor when Todd asked me to be a guest on his veteran radio show, “Haunted Voices Radio,” one of the field’s longest running radio programs.  This started a chain of future guest appearances on the show, including annual “Queen Mary specials,” where he and I, along with other special guests, discussed various aspects of the legendary ship, including her rich historical tapestry and internationally known paranormal phenomena.  Although 2020 has brought its own inimitable set of challenges for all, it has granted me an opportunity to further flex my hankering for being on air in the radio field.  Back in May (2020), I became the executive producer of the exact show (Haunted Voices Radio) I revered back in 2009.  The show, as well as others, is broadcast via the WLTK-db or “The Let’s Talk” network.  This producer role has allowed me to join forces with other commendable investigators in the various branches of paranormal research. 

Over the years, I have contemplated having my own radio show.  For a long time, the desire for it was more or less the occasional fleeting thought of, “Maybe I should have my own show some day.”  Like bees attracted to honey, that notion never left.  I am a firm believer that the astral stars need to align just right for destiny to meet its fate.  It just so happened that Todd had some open radio show slots on the WLTK-db network.  So, I went for it and created my own program, which is an extension of my upcoming book, The Afterlife Chronicles: Exploring the Connection Between Life, Death and Beyond.  Aptly called “The Afterlife Chronicles and Beyond,” my show focuses on the undying connection between mortality and the spirit realm.  Various topics will be explored, including afterlife encounters, spirit guides, spirit communication, paranormal research methodology, metaphysics, psi experiences, near-death experiences (NDEs), grief and loss, and much more.

The show debuted on October 8, 2020 at 9pm EST with my mom, Norma Strickland, as my first guest.  She shared some of her unique encounters with the spirit domain as well as some of her experiences with the dying process as a registered nurse of 30 years.  Since then, I have interviewed Linda Myers, a paranormal researcher, reiki master and intuitive hailing from the Pacific Northwest as well as Tami Benjamin and Jason Cobb, accomplished paranormal investigators I teamed up with aboard the USS Hornet in Alameda, California.  I have a strong line-up of individuals for future shows. 

Todd once said, “I am warning you; radio is addicting.”  He’s absolutely right about that.  There is just something so filling about talking with folks on air.  It’s so engaging and a lot of fun.  I am indebted to Todd and his WLTK-db network for granting me this opportunity to flex my wings as a radio host.  I am enjoying every single bit of it!

“The Afterlife Chronicles and Beyond” radio show airs LIVE on Thursday nights from 9pm EST to 10pm EST at http://www.wltkdb.com or http://www.theletstalk.com  “Haunted Voices Radio” airs LIVE on Tuesday nights from 9pm EST to 11pm EST on the above websites. Check out the other amazing shows on the network! Archives of all the shows can be heard on the major audio listening platforms. 

Remember, “here at the ‘Afterlife Chronicles and Beyond,’ we’re bridging the gap between mortality and the afterlife one experience at a time.”

Published in Paranormal

Some Paranormal Research Trends

Paranormal Research Field Trends and Implications
 
   Just as with any other specialty, paranormal research is an ever-evolving field that goes through various changes and trends.  There are many aspects that affect the shifting developments in supernatural study, whether they include new theories, advanced equipment, fresh experimental methodologies, metaphysical approaches, etc.  As with any field, time yields these augmentations so as to prevent stagnation; in other words, it’s imperative that we maneuver through these inevitable trends so we can keep the door open to expanding our knowledge and understanding of what lies beyond the mortal realm.  This article will explore some of the commonly pervasive trends in today’s study of the supernatural and how they affect the field at large.
 
Technological Advances
 
    Indeed, the field of paranormal study has progressed technologically since the days of the field’s founding fathers.  In the early days, those studying the supernatural relied on non-technological ways of approaching field methodology.  Today, many modern researchers still employ many of these ingenious ways of approaching paranormal investigation in addition to using various constructed devices specifically for supernatural research.  While this article doesn’t focus on this aspect entirely, it will mention that each family of electronics (photography, videography, audio, surveillance and environmental monitoring, etc.) has seen drastic industrial advances and improvements, which obviously provide benefits, and even some drawbacks, to supernatural researchers. Again, this concept should be solely addressed in another article altogether.
 
   One common trend lies in the ability of engineering / technological specialists to augment a device so it functions better for paranormal research standards.  For example, AM/FM radio scanners / ITC devices can be altered to allow for less static noise, ultimately allowing the researcher to better hear any anomalous voices or sounds emanating through the device.  Another illustration is evident in the Xbox Kinect system, which can be plugged into a laptop computer and highlight with lines and dots, the exact positioning of an alleged apparition.  Various environmental monitoring devices have “three-in-one” utilizations.  For example, some of the versions of the “Mel Meter” have EMF, shadow detection and KII functions built into one device.  Of course, this provides for convenience; however, there may be drawbacks to lumping all of these uses together in one device. Please keep in mind that there is no such thing as a “ghost detector.”  There isn’t one piece of equipment that has proven the existence of ghosts, spirits and other paranormal entities. 
 
   The utilization of technology in paranormal research may seem fool-proof; thus, it’s always beneficial to realize that even the most advanced, up-to-date apparatus comes with imperfection and flaws.  This is why it’s mandatory that all researches completely understand a gadget’s design, function and reasons for use.  I continuously ask myself this question, “Do all of these various improvements in technology help or hinder us in terms of paranormal research?”  In discussing this aspect with trusted colleagues, I have found pros and cons to modern-day leaps in technology.  As you shop around for more modern types of equipment, please be aware that your chances of capturing an anomaly may be increased with more gadgetry.  However, too many pieces of technology may create a distracting environment for the energies. Another drawback affects the investigator directly as he or she will have to spend more time monitoring excessive technological pieces when he or she could be entirely focused on the environment.  In my opinion, you don’t have to own every single technological gadget utilized in paranormal research.  That would be ridiculous.  Carefully study and choose which devices you want to own so you can create an equipment arsenal that includes those designed for photography, videography, audio and environmental monitoring, etc.
 
Metaphysical Instruments
 
    This leads me to the next popular trend occurring in today’s supernatural research field.  In addition to electronic gadgetry, the use of metaphysical instruments is becoming more mainstream for many researchers, including psychics and mediums.  Many intuitively inclined individuals use metaphysical tools in communicating with spiritual energy.  Those deeply based in scientific approaches may cringe at the thought of using items like gems and crystals; however, you have to realize that paranormal study is not an exact science.  Thus, all the more, should someone welcome a variety of approaches to the field’s ongoing study.
 
   Historically speaking, various gems and crystals are deemed to hold supernatural powers of their own.  Wearing them on your person may assist (almost like a liaison) in communing with spiritual energy and empowering your innate psychic powers.  Using them in conjunction with technology may assist the device in picking up spiritual energy. I believe that everyone has some intuitive ability; however, it’s similar to a sport in that the more you practice, the better you will get.  Various gemstones and crystals are utilized for promoting mental and psychic clarity (Amethyst), absorbing or deflecting negative energy (Amber, Black Tourmaline), removing stress and unwanted tension (Celestite), uniting the mind, body and soul (Celestite), etc. – all useful for anyone working in the paranormal research realm and beyond.
 
   In my opinion, blending intuition, technology and metaphysics allows for a more holistic approach to working with spiritual energy.  It is for this reason why the San Diego Paranormal Research Society often employs the use of divining rods, pendulums and certain crystals as they can serve as an adjunct to technology.  For example, let’s say we capture an EVP of “Yes” in response to the question, “Is anyone here with us?” in addition to our divining rods also crossing, which can indicate a “Yes” response.  That’s two pieces of corroborating evidence, ultimately authenticating the spirit reply all the more.  
 
Spirit Resolution vs. Paratainment
 
   Thankfully, many paranormal investigators and psychics are taking up more of an interest in providing spirit resolution to many ethereal beings that may need assistance.  This is the focus of the San Diego Paranormal Research Society whose projects are twofold: conducting an investigation as well as offering some spirit counseling.  If our research is suggesting that life does exist after the physical body ceases to function, then all the more should we offer to help provide peace and harmony to those in the spirit realm.
 
   Investigating and acquiring potential evidence of the paranormal is important for the ongoing study of the supernatural.  However, I am always left with the question, “Okay, what now?”  It seems that the cosmic universe is onboard with assisting us in the appropriate communing with the ethereal world.  Perhaps, the pervasive intrigue into the supernatural realm exists as a way to recruit those who will genuinely assist those who are in need of help.  There seems to be a shift in our collective outlook regarding mainstream media and “para-tainment” as far as the paranormal is concerned.  More and more people are realizing that the various sensational TV shows do little to authentically advance the field of paranormal research.  While these shows serve mainly to entertain the masses, they don’t accurately portray real-life supernatural research and investigation.  Furthermore, the sensationalism surrounding these shows does little to promote spirit resolution as it more or less exploits the dead via egotistical objectives.
 
   It seems as though the once feverish intrigue into the ghost hunting phenomenon is finally on its way out as more and more individuals are on a quest to delve deeply into what matters: not only discovering what lies beyond the mortal curtain but devising ways to genuinely connect with spirits and other ethereal beings.  Those who fervently engage themselves in down-to-earth paranormal research, including proper protocol, standard operating procedures and empathy, are becoming more comfortable calling out those amateur groups of people who act in manners that disrespect the departed and the field at large. All in all, I do see more and more genuine, grounded paranormal research teams expanding their repertoire by helping the ethereal energies they investigate and commune with.  In my opinion, this is vital in the rapport building between the living and departed – the ultimate, natural way to improve not only the research arena but how the public at large perceives it.
 
Getting Rid of “Ego”
 
  This brings me to my next point, which is to highlight how human ego and working with spiritual energy do not mix.  In a sense, they are like oil and water, having nothing in common.  Ghost hunting teams sprouted like grass after a long rain once the televised paranormal shows commenced their craze.  During this time, it was common to see teams sporting their t-shirts and other team promotional items, initializing a phase of competition between groups.  As the concept of ghost hunting wanes, we are seeing an influx of those who want to delve deeper beyond a superficial façade.  We are seeing certain groups of paranormal investigators coming together to not only assist each other but to improve paranormal research as a whole.  This is so vital and necessary for the eventual building of one, giant collective supernatural study unit – where all like-minded teams can unite for the purposes of not only advancing the field but helping those otherworldly beings in need of assistance.  I am hoping that one day, this will be accomplished in entirety; but for now, we need to all realize that “ego” needs to be removed from the equation when communicating, studying and working with the ethereal world.
 
Education
 
   More and more paranormal research specialists are jumping onboard to educate the public and each other about various aspects related to the supernatural.  Again, technological strides and improvements in social media directly assist in these educational concepts reaching the masses.  Individuals are volunteering their time to lecture at libraries, local events and national conferences all designed to bring together those who possess a budding interest in the paranormal.  The same goes for researchers who educate those at colleges, universities or via local avenues.  The online presence is even expanding with new radio shows, informative documentaries and television designed to teach those about haunted locations and history, paranormal research experimentation, etc.  Many teams are starting to blog more about their conducted investigations and findings or even offer live-viewings of actual investigations.  More and more books discussing diverse aspects related to the supernatural are being published.  Indeed, education is at the forefront as it allows people to come together and expand their minds; in doing so, the field of paranormal study will also continue to develop.
 
By,
Nicole Strickland
Paranormal Researcher, Author and Lecturer 

Published in Paranormal

My Journey into Paranormal Research and Investigation


  • What propelled me to investigate the unknown

I have always had an innate fascination with the supernatural, especially the field of ghosts, spirits and hauntings.  I had some unique experiences growing up in Las Vegas, Nevada.  It was the experience I had with my maternal grandmother’s spirit during undergraduate college that catapulted me into research and investigation of the unknown.  In my twenty years as a paranormal researcher, I have worked with some amazing individuals.  In 2009, I developed the San Diego Paranormal Research Society (SDPRS), which is one of San Diego’s well-respected groups. 

Published in Paranormal