When I first started in the paranormal field, one of the things that excited me was the prospect of an all-night investigation. I would rock up in the early hours of the evening, watch as night falls and carry on my investigations. Some people sleep in the notoriously 'haunted' areas of a building while others keep going all night. My motto used to be, 'why would I sleep when I can investigate?'. Of course the next day I was beyond exhausted and my body clock would take a few days to recover. There was a term I used to use called 'Paranormal insomniacs' which was for people like me who couldn't sleep because their body was used to being up all night investigating. We would then all be on social media late at night talking about how we couldn't sleep because investigating ruined our body clocks!
As the years went by and I had a lot of investigations under my belt, the lure of overnight investigations seemed to dwell. I don't know if it is because my own research as an investigator has changed, or if I had been there done that. Maybe I was just getting old. I don't exactly have all-nighters at night clubs and bars anymore either (although I still like to goto rock concerts and brave a mosh here and there). The fact is that I very simply enjoy my nice warm bed. I'm one of those people that doesn't like to stay at other people's houses because I only like my own bed. I also enjoy spending time with my family on a weekend. My boys are now 8 and 9 so it won't be long before they won't want to spend time with me on a weekend.
When I had all-night investigations, it meant the whole weekend was a write-off. I would leave on a Saturday to drive hours to my destination, investigate all night, drive home in the morning and then spend all day sleeping - or attempting to while my kids wanted my attention as they were pretty young at the time - 2 & 3 years old. I was a stay-at-home mum at that time, and investigating was my escape and the kids were not at school so we had the whole week together. Soon they grew older, started school and I started working so the weekends were the only time we really have together. I wasn't very present and I would get snappy because I was tired beyond belief so I wasn't giving my family 'the best of me' during the times we could spend together. I also have a couple of chronic illnesses and health issues so an all-nighter for me can take up to a week to recover from. Now that I was working and the kids had to get to school and do homework and all that, I couldn't afford to be exhausted all week. I had to ask myself, was it all worth it?
When I looked back at my investigations, there was nothing I couldn't do before finishing up at a much more reasonable hour. In fact, when I look at my investigations, nothing profound or life-changing ever happened to me after midnight. 3 am a popular time people like to investigate as they believe the veil between the living and the dead is supposedly the thinnest was never a very active time for me. (It isn't a theory I personally believe anyway). Eventually, I wondered why I tortured myself by forcing myself to stay awake in a cold dark room if I didn't need to. I had investigations that were only an hour-long as that was all I could get at a location. In some cases, I feel like I potentially experienced more than if I spent 12 hours at a location overnight. If something is going to happen, it is going to happen. You can be in a location for days and get nothing. You can walk in at the right time and only spend 10 minutes there and get something. That is the thing about the paranormal. It cannot be predicted.
I guess in a lot of ways it falls under the great debate of - can you investigate during the day instead of the night? The answer is of course you can. While there are benefits to investigating at night and while a location may only be available for you to use at night, there is no reason why you can't do it during the day if you have the resources available to you. In fact, a lot of sightings happen during the day so it would make a lot more sense to investigate these claims during the day. When you interview a lot of venues, the majority of the activity that lures investigators in the first place is happening during the day and not at night.
For myself, I think the only time that an all-night investigation is truely beneficial would be if I was investigating certain activity that is said to occur at a certain time. If for example there are certain things that happen in a room always at 3:45 am, it of course makes sense that you would do your investigating at 3:45 am to validate this activity. For many people, a 12-hour slot is all they have and you better believe they will make the most of that time ( I would too). I think if I had a bucket list location that I knew I would likely never visit again, I would probably make an exception to my no overnighters rule. Some people, however, LOVE doing all-night investigators and I honestly admire your energy, I wish I could keep up with you!
My research has also changed a lot. I used to want to catch all the evidence and in a lot of ways I still do, but for me, I am more about trying to understand the hows and the whys of paranormal phenomena. It means it is something I can research at any time of day and often from the comfort of my own home. I enjoy reading all the books and obviously writing. That is a big part of my own research now. I still investigate a minimum of once a month, but I try to wrap up by midnight so that I can be up the next day and still enjoy my time with my family. I found a balance that works well for me.
The way you investigate the paranormal is completely up to you! It is your life and we all know life is too short so you better go out and enjoy it. If that means you like to spend all night in a 'haunted location' go you! I wish I had that energy! If you don't get to go out and investigate the paranormal as much as you like or you don't have the opportunity to do all night investigations, it doesn't make you any less of an investigator or researcher. There is plenty you can do from home too - like research! There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to paranormal research and you have to do what works for you. While we all say we have the same goal, we really don't. We are all in some ways looking for answers, but we are all looking for different variations of those answers based on our beliefs and experiences. This is why you have to do what works for you to help you get closer to the answers you are looking for! I personally believe, if something is going to happen, it will happen regardless of what time of the day or night it is. Hopefully, you are lucky enough to be around to experience it.
Do you like doing all-night investigations or do you enjoy a nice warm comfy bed like me? I get really cranky when I am tired so it is for the benefit of all of those around me that I don't stay all night!
* I also don't wear jeans and black hoodies anymore, a staple of many investigators, but that is a story for another day LOL!
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