We all have different reasons and motivations for our exploration of the paranormal field. For some, it has been a lifelong quest for answers after an experience as a young child. For others, it is something that happened later in life after years of curiosity and maybe now they finally have the time and resources to dive in. Some may have watched a television program and attended a local ghost hunt and caught the paranormal bug. Others just enjoy reading or watching things about the unknown. We all have different reasons for being a part of this unknown World we have created. It seems that a person's involvement in the paranormal field is beyond just a passing interest in the things that go bump in the night. It seems to fulfil something within many of us that were missing. It allows us to express ourselves in a way.
I myself joined the paranormal field officially in my very early 30's. I always had a strong interest in the paranormal. I loved watching television programs like the twilight zone and the extraordinary. I always skipped to the spooky stories published in magazines and often read the obscure books in the school library. Soon followed the reality paranormal programs like most haunted and ghost adventures and I realised that it was something I could go out and do myself. After finally gaining the courage, I went on my first paranormal investigation, and the rest they say is history. It came for me at a time in my life when I was very much finding myself again. I had young kids, had been through quite the health ordeal and I didn't really know who I was anymore. I wanted to be more than just 'Mum' and I wanted to be able to express myself and also enjoy something that was selfishly just for me. I feel like I see my story a lot in the people that come and attend paranormal investigations. While we get people of all ages and genders coming through, the large majority are women in their 30's, 40's and 50's. They are women that are often getting back in touch with themselves with some even exploring a more spiritual side. They gave so much to their families over the years that now it is their turn to do something for them. As we get older maybe there are more questions we want to be answered about the World and about ourselves.
I then think about the very large number of paranormal groups, YouTube channels and blogs that pop up weekly. Again people like myself that always had an interest in the paranormal and now have the time and means to be able to share their thoughts. Some have wanted to do something creative and not know what to do to be able tap into that creativity. Their interest in the paranormal has given them not just a place and community to be able to talk about something they love and are passionate about, it has given them a creative platform to be able to express themselves as well. The paranormal field is not just about finding out the answers to the unknown, it has also become about self-expression.
We talk about the motivations that people have behind exploring the paranormal. People often assume that if you start a paranormal group or YouTube channel that you just want to be famous. I am sure this is true for some individuals, but I believe it plays a much deeper and more important role for most. It is a tool that allows them to express themselves which in turn can help them cope with their own thoughts and beliefs within the paranormal. Sometimes they just want to know that things are going to be ok when it comes time to pass to the other side. Maybe it gives them comfort knowing that it is not necessarily the end. Some get validation that experiences they had were genuine and not 'in their head' as they may have been led to think over the years. For many, they finally feel a sense of belonging among a community of people that share the same kind of ideals as them. When you grow up in certain backgrounds - you may be made to feel like an outcast for believing in a topic that was once taboo. It is much more widely accepted now which is why so many people are now flocking to the field to not just seek answers, but to help deal with their own feelings and beliefs through their own self-expression.
For many, they like to attend an investigation for the thrill of it. Others want to deep dive into academia to try and explain or understand experiences. There are so many ways that we can appreciate and explore the paranormal, and we may not realise that in doing so, we ourselves are going through a kind of therapeutic process. For myself, I had always wanted to be a journalist. Of course that never happened and after dabbling in the Fashion World and then becoming a Mum, I ended up as an IT technician, far from the career I thought I would be doing, but we have to pay the bills somehow! Somewhere along the way, I started writing about the paranormal. When I first started investigating the paranormal, I took particular joy at researching the history of locations and the everyday people behind those locations. Through my blog and now also being a writer for Haunted Magazine, I have been able to share that information and those stories with the World. Suddenly you have someone who was an everyday person living their life in another era immortalised by the words I have written in tribute to their life. There is something about that which is so satisfying to me. Maybe it makes me feel like I am more than just Mum at home or the lady that fixes the computer at work. I have had the opportunity and platform to be able to give them a voice after years of not having one. Even if only 1 person reads that story, that is one person that now knows their name and their story and I find that absolutely remarkable.
So the next time you see a new channel pop up or someone who finally gets the courage to start sharing their thoughts, don't automatically think they are after fame or money because let's be honest, for the majority of people you aren't going to find either. More than their search for the answers within the paranormal, it is an expression of themselves and one that is important to them in some way. When someone passes away, there are stages of grief and healing that a person goes through and we are quite tolerant and understanding of this process. I dare say that for a lot of us, paranormal research and investigation itself is a form of healing and acceptance to get us through life on our inevitable path to death.
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