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Paranormal Investigating Equipment 102

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Opinion Editorial

by Noah Voss

Continued from Paranormal Investigating Equipment 102 page 1

Very specifically I make great efforts to avoid terminology that requires qualifying such as orbs, ghosts, haunted, and or werewolf.  For starters these words have many different meanings to many different people.  So to does "ghost hunting."  In addition to that confusion there could be a debatable argument made that none of these terms are used to describe known and widely agreed uponFairy Rings discovered during a ghost hunt proven facts.  Even if in your mind, saying something like "I caught an orb in a picture at a haunted house" means something exclusively unexplained to you and nothing more, to half the people listening it sounds like you are subscribing to "orbs" and "haunted" as known facts.  To another portion of these pretend people in this example, orbs might mean the soul of a deceased person, where as haunted might mean something unexplained is happening at the home.  There are so many different interpretations that can be drawn from using semantically loose terms.  Let's tighten it up a bit then. 

'Fairy Rings', or 'Elf Circles'. Photography by Noah Voss.

If we are to tighten up our semantics then perhaps wordage such as "orb" can now be photographic anomaly, "ghosts" are now unexplained events, "haunted" can be unexplained occurrences perceived to be focused around a single location, and "werewolf" could be a large unidentified cryptid.  I don't mean to say that you should be interpreting what someone is saying when they use words like orb and ghosts.  Rather that when you are speaking about situations you may have investigated, use the terms describing only what was experienced, not what you used your subjective past to interpret the events as.  You are no longer going on a "ghost hunt" you are going to be following up on reports of paranormal phenomena.  Even that is still a bit vague and could be tightened up by saying we will be looking to identify the sources of unexplained occurrences.  That is what we are doing here, is it not?  If you are out there looking to prove or disprove that ghosts exist, you are in whole looking to substantiate your belief system.  That is not science, and not helpful to anyone but how you maybe sleep at night.  Labeling things with some of the old phrases like ghost hunting gives a predisposition for the existence of, and the belief in ghosts.  It also says that you are looking for and expecting to find—ghosts.  Working away from these old loose terminology will help create a reality of objectivity.

Now of course this day and age, clients are going to still be using terminology such as ghosts.  This should be simply noted in the written documentation, however there is a qualifiedly way to do so.  When documenting this we should include the comments in quotes such as the client reported experiencing a "ghost in the corner of the living room" due to her perceived feelings of cold and uneasiness followed by what she interpreted as a "moving shadow".  Notice how I qualified her statements before and after without changing the actual comments.  I also didn't take sides or mean to directly imply anything other than, this is what we can logically deduce as fact from the initial interview process.   

Bachelor's Grove spooky tree during ghost huntWe ended the paranormal investigating equipment 101 with a few quick thoughts on subjectivity.  In the last two paragraphs or so our focus on word choice removes much of the unqualified subjectivity from your research and investigation.  So then what are we left with if not subjectivity?  Objectivity.  This is the aim for any quality researcher or investigator in my book.  Remaining objective or unbiased in your endeavors into the paranormal allows you to follow the data to the most logical outcome.  This logical outcome is not the end-all be-all, rather it is simply the most likely to be factual with the current information available. 

Spooky 'tree-person-monster-looking thing" on investigation.  Photography by Noah Voss.

The alternative could be looking at the data and either consciously or subconsciously picking only the portions of data that could help fit a predetermined outcome.  This method is not science, it is substantiating your belief system in order to inaccurately prove your view point true.  A view point that could quickly be shown false, if someone were to view your entire data set, or recreate the experiment. 


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