We all know that there is no official certification to be a paranormal investigator. I too can make up a fake certificate on the internet (which I may or may not have done for giggles once) but it doesn’t make me any more of a paranormal investigator as the next person. Regardless of what you want to call yourself – paranormal investigator, paranormal enthusiast, ghost hunter or just Joe Blow that likes attending the odd tour here and there, you have some sort of passion there for the paranormal. Passion is needed so much more than any piece of equipment or extra sensory abilities. Without any sort of passion, something then becomes a job and then is that at the point where you go, maybe I need to be doing something else.
The level of your passion will determine how far you take your paranormal activities. This is like anything in life. We all know someone that used to maybe love their job but has been in it just a little bit too long and they don’t enjoy it anymore and are a little bit bitter about it? The same can apply to the paranormal field and it is also really easy to get lazy.
I am pretty lucky. I had the whole career thing and was pretty successful and used to travel all around the world in business class on a company credit card. Did I love my job? No not really but it paid well and I didn’t have a family and was saving for a house so I had to work. I then left my job permanently when I fell pregnant with my first son. I didn’t return to work straight away, I was a stay at home mum for a couple of years and then as most of you know I became very ill and spleenless and had to take extra time not working. I started working in a new industry where I stayed for 2.5 years. The pay wasn’t fantastic but it helped to pay the bills but I really just didn’t like it at all. I would get anxiety before work and try to think of reasons as to why I didn’t want to goto work. Was I sick? Was one of the kids sick? Did someone have an appointment I could goto or something? It is not like I worked a lot. I worked 1 day a week for 6.5 hours and I got paid to do it. Yet here I was spending an average of maybe 4-5 hours a day/night talking, planning, researching, writing anything to do with paranormal. Every Saturday this year I pretty much have some sort of investigation or event on. I think over the entire year (at this stage) I have maybe 6 weekends where there isn’t anything planned. It is full on and you know what? I don’t get paid a cent to do any of it. I don’t get paid to travel 2.5 hours to Aradale or 1.5 hours to Geelong. I certainly don’t get paid to travel the 45 minutes to Black Rock House. I spend pretty much every Saturday night not going out for a drink with my friends or at home watching a movie with my family, I am out at an investigation. By Choice because I absolutely love what I do. It doesn’t at any stage feel like work. This is where my passion drives me. I didn’t feel the same about my job, it felt like a job that I just disliked so much and I wanted to spend my days with my youngest son who is at kinder and is off to school next year. So with the support of my husband, I am in the lucky position where I was able to quit my job so I can figure out what it is I want to do while being able to focus on the paranormal. You can’t make a living out of paranormal and I personally wouldn’t feel right about that either. Any money should be going towards these beautiful locations and not in my pocket.
This is why I get so passionately angry when I see that some people are just exploiting our community for either fame or money or both. I ask these people, are you passionate about the paranormal community or are you passionate about your standing in the paranormal community. These are very different and where your stance is I think is pretty important. It doesn’t matter if you are the biggest or smallest group out there. It doesn’t matter if you have 100 or 10000 followers on Facebook. It is the work you are doing and how you conduct yourself. That is all people care about. Do you think when all is said and done someone is going to remember you for how many Facebook followers you had? They will remember you for the work you do and how you conducted yourself. Where I start drawing the line is when you are charging people for some sort of investigation or experience and you just don’t really care about the people attending, you are just after that money or the status of ‘I run tours’. Are you passionate about the paranormal or is it a ‘job’ to you that you see an opportunity? I have been promoting another post that I have done about ‘Making your mark in a positive way’ and again it is all about how you conduct yourself. I am so passionate about this because I spend hours every day delving into the paranormal. I spend my weekends away from my family and my children. I don’t get to go out with my friends. I have even lost friends because they think I am a bit weird now or upset that I don’t have as much time for them. My marriage has suffered to a certain degree because I am so passionate about the paranormal that I tend to put that first. So when I see someone making a mockery of what I am so passionate about, I get freaking angry. Angry because you are potentially risking everything. You don’t just represent yourself out there, you represent all of us. If you put on a shitty tour that people go on, people might start thinking it is a waste of time or money. If you screw a location over, guess what – they close the doors and then no one can go there. Word travels and then other places start closing their doors or even refuse to open them. Take it from someone who works very closely with venues, they are watching and some are unsure if they want to go down the paranormal road. If you stuff it up, you don’t just stuff it up for yourself or your group, you stuff it up for everyone. Trust me I know because I have been involved in trying to clean up the mess other groups have left behind with venues.
I am asking some of you to take a step back and look at what you are doing. This isn’t a joke. This is my life. Please don’t stuff it up for the rest of us because you want to earn some money or be on tv. On the flip side there are some people out there doing some really awesome stuff and they are always happy to have a chat with you. We have several groups/investigators we talk to and swap ideas and help each other and this is the side that I want people to think about when they think about our community. That we can work together and that we all care about the paranormal and these beautiful places not just ourselves. So in closing I want to say please don’t screw these people over either. Don’t try to use them to further yourself or use their name to get into places. They worked really hard to get there and again if you use their name, you are suddenly representing and reflecting them without their consent and that also isn’t fair. I guess you can see the point I am trying to make is that your actions reflect not only on yourself, but the whole community. We have come a long way but there is a long way to go and if we are going to get people on our side, we need to start really looking at why we do this. If you have the passion for the paranormal itself, I believe this will give you the drive to do things in a way that can benefit us all because none of us with the passion want to lose what we have.
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