For months, I have been toying with the idea of bowing out of paranormal investigation. Two years have gone by since I joined my first paranormal team — if I had known that the experience would harbor some of the most disappointing moments of my life, I would have never signed up. Through those 24 months I met movers and shakers who practically all ended up being fakers.
My journey has been one of photoshopped photographs, “ghost sounds” that were really pebbles thrown by other investigators and magicians’ assistants who tweaked EMF and K-II meters to light up like the Fourth of July. I have seen this behavior displayed by both weekend warriors and paranormal rock stars, each creating his or her own brand of falsification and misdirection.
A few noble personalities — such as John Zaffis, Kristyn Gartland, and Loyd Aurebach — stand out as honest folks, willing to share with me their truths (and myths). A candid conversation that I had with Dave Tango gave me some hope in a dying field. I assume these folks offered their views because they recognized a shared passion for the paranormal. They occupy a rare place in the industry as the few truthsayers in a field of hyperbole-prone, self-indulgent liars.
Then there are those tarnished and lost souls who pilfer and rape the paranormal, squeezing out every drop of it in pursuit of personal glory and sensationalism. They’re like the so-called “spirit photographers” and “mediums” of 19th century Spiritualism — taking money from Civil War widows armed with cheese cloth and papier mache masks. They are the people who stymie any validation that the field may garner from outsiders. They are fuel for skeptics and haters, and at this point, I can’t say I blame anyone for harboring negative views about the paranormal field.
It’s like meeting Babe Ruth, and he punches you in the face, sleeps with your mom, and eats all your candy. And then you find out his bat is corked.
So, where do I go from here? Do I retire my fascinations and try to maintain what level of respect I have left for the field? Do I walk away from it, and just go back to the books that I’ve cherished since childhood? Or do I go all Fugazi on this bitch and DIY a new group that’s more iconoclastic in approach and definition? Do I even have the energy to even attempt that?
I’m not sure if I am willing to sacrifice a childhood love anymore than I already have.