For the last few years, I have been involved with running public paranormal investigations. To be honest with you, when I first started in the field, I never thought that this is what I would be doing. It wasn't something I really wanted to do at the time. As I evolved as an investigator however, I wanted to share things with others and the number one factor is that to be able to do things at new locations here in Melbourne, you have to do public events or the venue won't work with you. I spent a lot of time trying to open up some amazing places that we can all enjoy. Opportunities that I would have loved to have had as an investigator starting out that I can now share with people like me. I love it. I love meeting new people and I love being a part of the first investigation for many people. It is great because on top of investigating, you get to watch people. What I have noticed during this time, is how much other people can influence the experience that people have during an investigation. I came across two great videos on buzzfeed the other day which I think perfectly sum up what I am talking about.
Investigating with people who are more skeptical can completely change the tone of an investigation. They don't jump at every creak and bump and are pretty hard to convince that something paranormal is happening. More often than not, if it is a genuine paranormal investigation, the group will be honest about what is happening and it will be a pretty quiet night - as you can see in the video above. That being said there are certain times when people who consider themselves to be a skeptic start questioning things due to an experience. I have been there and witnessed it happen on more than one occasion. The key is to not go in expecting to change their mind. In the same way a skeptic is not going to change your mind just like that, you can't expect to do the same. Just do things and investigate the way that you do things. Be honest about what is happening and also listen to their explanations, you can learn a thing or two from one another. If you have that mutual respect there, it can be a great experience and you can probably all have a bit of fun. Don't expect too much paranormal to happen though. It is thought as well a person's attitude during an investigation can influence the 'energy' and whether or not a person is more likely to have an experience. For example, someone who is standing with their arms crossed and closed off to any sort of possibly is most likely not going to have a paranormal experience. If you are wanting an experience, don't expect one, but go in open minded and open to the experience.
On the other end of the scale, you have people who are very spiritual and very much believe in the paranormal. Some consider themselves to be sensitive and 'beacons' to activity. It doesn't matter where they go or what they do, they feel they attract the paranormal. If they are investigating for the first time, because they very much believe, some can be quite scared being in a dark room confronted with the possibility that they are about to have a paranormal experience. Some jump at every small sound - be it paranormal or not. I believe in these kind of groups as well, the power of suggestion can very much be at play. A person may say they are feeling something. It is human nature that then other people start believing they feel the same way. It is how the power of suggestion works. When people are very vocal about what they are experiencing, which spiritual people usually are, the whole room feeds off this. There are two thought processes here. Activity could be increasing because these people really are a beacon and because everyone is open to the energy lots of things are happening. From another angle, you could say that in some cases because they are so very much wanting to experience something paranormal that they may grab at anything to think they are experiencing something paranormal. It doesn't matter which way you want to look at it, at the end of the day these people believe they are experiencing something.
I am a big believer in the atmosphere that you create and energy within the group can also be a big factor. If you are all in tune with one another and in a fun positive environment which I am always trying to promote, things seem to happen. Sometimes you can get a certain group of people together and they are the right kind of mix. There are times however when this is thrown off. If there is tension, if there is negativity or perhaps a person in the group that is very loud or negative about things, it can go very quiet. I have had people on tours before that tell me they seem to be paranormal repellant. They are very loud, sometimes arrogant and very close minded. It can be difficult to be around them in small areas for hours so you have to wonder, if you don't want to be around them, a spirit may not either.
As an investigator, no matter what kind of people you have coming through and investigating with, it is important to stay true to yourself and how you investigate. If you are a very science based investigator go for it. If you are spiritual investigator, good on you. We all have different styles and there is not just one set way on how to investigate. We can all learn from one another and it is important to be open to the opinions and suggestions of others, but be the investigator that you want to be. What is important though is to be informed and educated. A lot of new people coming through will be looking up to you and possibly looking to you for advice. If you don't think something is paranormal, be honest. If you can't explain something, be honest and tell them why you can't explain it. I feel like it doesn't matter if someone has been investigating the paranormal for 2 or 20 years, we can still learn from each other as we come from different experiences and have different things to bring to the table. There is room for the field for all of us.
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