It seems to be a common discussion that I have had with many in the field over the last few months both here in Australia and overseas. You know that location that you used to go to all the time and almost every time you walked away with some sort of personal paranormal experience. Even just feeling the energy as you walked through the door told you that there was something there. Fast forward a few years and all of sudden you walk through the doors and you feel nothing. The energy feels like it is gone. Nothing happens, no personal experiences, no spikes on the equipment, it feels like whatever was there is gone. It begs us to ask the question, can a location be over investigated?
There is no denying how beneficial hosting paranormal events, investigations, ghost tours etc are in promoting a venue. In today’s climate it is quite common for a lot of these places to be sold off, knocked down and to have new housing developments etc built in it’s place. Whilst this is sad, this is the reality of our world at the moment. Developers don’t necessarily care about the history, they want to make the best use of the land and get the best possible return. In order to stop this from happening, these venues need to get people through the door. Hosting paranormal type experiences are a way of getting a younger generation through. My brother and I often joke that the new generation of investigators are the ‘Ghost Adventures’ generation. They are people that have an interest in the paranormal that are inspired to investigate from watching tv shows like ghost adventures. They are the people that are buying tickets to attend investigations. We meet them all the time. Say what you want about Ghost Adventures, but it has bought a whole new bunch of people into the field. Many locations now want to inject younger blood into these locations, because if they don’t, then one day there will be no one left to visit the locations. Typically a lot of younger people are not interested in the history of an old building. I know I never used to be. Once you inject the mystery of the paranormal into the picture, all of a sudden they want to visit the location, they want to learn the history and the stories behind the people there. These events help pay to maintain the properties which is extremely costly when something is ‘heritage listed’. For example, at Black Rock House, as it is heritage listed, to hang a picture on the wall, it needs to be hung by a special tradesman qualified to hang pictures in heritage listed building. This of course comes at a cost. How do you pay for these kind of things? You need people through the doors. Let's face it, dark tourism is really popular right now. The more gruesome the history of a location, the more people want to visit it.
So with all of this interest in these old buildings we felt had so much going on in our past investigations, is it possible that some locations are having too many people through the door?
Some locations have an investigation once a month. Others have them every weekend. Some have them almost every night. Is it possible that some locations are being over investigated or over commercialized to the point that there is no more activity? How does this even happen? We say that spirits need energy to be able to communicate. If you have hundreds of people coming through each month trying to talk to them, are they draining all the energy? If so then what is the answer? Do we reduce the number of people coming through the doors losing a potential income for the venue? I personally do not know how to answer this question. Why put on paranormal investigations if there is nothing there anymore to investigate? But in the same breath, what if these investigations are the only thing keeping the venue open? In no way whatsoever do I think that anything should be faked during an investigation. If there is no activity there is no activity and any decent group or operator would have a disclaimer to clients telling them that paranormal activity is not guaranteed. Is it time to start going back to the drawing board to think of new experiences or new events that we can put on to keep the venue and to keep things interesting? The last thing we want is for these places to close down!
Why could this be happening. Is it because the spirits do not have the energy to connect with us anymore? Is it because they are not performers and are sick of being asked to light up a k2? Is it because they have found their peace and moved on? Another perspective is that spirits seem only want to connect with certain energies? I have had people contact me regarding Black Rock House who have been there at times for a normal tour and felt like nothing was there. Are they waiting for me and my brother because we have that relationship with them? I course don’t have the answers to any of these questions, it is simply me pondering. We don’t really know anything about the spirit world. We can only speculate. What I do know is that this is something I am hearing of more and more from people I talk to when I ask them about the locations they visit. People are talking about locations they felt were active and now tell me ‘There is nothing there anymore.’ Why is this happening and is it because we are over investigating? Maybe we expect too much?
I guess another option here is as well, maybe we are overestimating true paranormal activity. When we first investigate, we are fresh and sometimes naive. Every bump can seem like it is something paranormal. We gain an attachment to a location so we keep going back to relive that one amazing experience we had there. When it doesn't quite live up to our expectation, is this us thinking it wasn't as active as it used to be? Suddenly we are a little more smarter with how we interpret what is going on around us. We know a location well enough that we know what a door slamming sounds like and we know where the drafts are etc. I know my brother and I talk about this all the time at Black Rock House. We are 'used' to certain responses and certain activity because we have been investigating the same location for so long. Other people seem to think what is happening is amazing yet we are a lot harder to impress. Is it really just all down to our interpretation? Are we taking interactions and experiences for granted?
I would love to hear your thoughts because I really do not have an answer. I of course have a huge respect and connection with the spirit world, but I also understand the importance of getting people through the doors to keep a venue open to keep it’s history alive. How can we find the right balance? This is a discussion we as investigators and lovers of history need to have, to not only save our favourite hobby, but our favourite buildings as well!
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