Paranormal interaction doesn't have to be negative!

17th April 2023. Reading Time: 7 minutes General, Paranormal Investigation. 1511 page views. 0 comments.

While reality television portrays paranormal experiences to often be scary with encounters with demons and negative entities, the reality is quite different. Paranormal interaction doesn't have to be negative!

Before we start on this topic, we can agree or even disagree that there are many different theories out there as to what a spirit or a ghost is.  How can people communicate and why do we experience what we do?  Regardless of whether a person is sceptical with their beliefs or all in, as paranormal investigators, many will investigate the paranormal in the hope of having some sort of anomalous experience.  Again whether or not their experience is paranormal or not is not up to me to decide because I wasn't there.  What I can tell you is that almost every paranormal investigator you talk to believes that have had some sort of experience with a spirit or entity even (whatever term you prefer to use).  Whether someone feels they are speaking with a spirit or telepathically connecting with an entity, from feeling a cold brush against their skin to being overwhelmed with emotions that are not their own, most paranormal investigators have experienced something they believe falls under that paranormal umbrella.  

Paranormal investigations are now more popular than they have ever been.  When reality television shows exploded a few years ago, dark tourism grew and so too did paranormal investigations.  Then came along YouTube and Tik Tok catering to a whole new audience and thus a new generation to the world of the paranormal.  It was no longer taboo, it was damn right cool to be an investigator!  When there are views and the word entertainment is involved, you have to keep people watching, especially on television when your show is not renewed if it doesn't get the ratings.  It will come as no surprise to those of you reading that a lot of these reality shows are not a true representation of what happens in a real investigation.   As an example, the footage shown in a 45-minute episode is really maybe 15 - 20 minutes of footage taken from an investigation (after they conduct the interviews, provide the history etc).  During that 15 - 20 minutes, it seems like there is activity all over the place from the moment they walk in.  What you don't see here is that in a lot of cases, filming is taking place over several days, sometimes up to 2 weeks so the best footage and captures were hand-picked and condensed into one small episode.  The order in which things happened is misleading as it is often shown as a series of events happening one after another when in fact they happened in different portions, sometimes on a completely different day.  Some even wear the same clothes so it looks like it is all taken in one night.  It is all in the editing. 

Of course, the investigators themselves need to have something about them for them to translate on screen and be received by the audience.  I seriously doubt me sitting in a room for a few hours telling everyone "no that was just a car door slamming outside" wouldn't be award-winning television.  Many people who have appeared in these shows have told me that everything they do has to be exaggerated and dialled up because otherwise, it doesn't translate well on screen.  It is why you see people react so enthusiastically with deep breaths, and "Bro what was that???".  With some people, it is almost like they are playing a character - and some are quite entertaining, and for that develop a devoted fan base.  One of the things that seems to be portrayed a certain way in most of the paranormal reality shows is that spirit interactions are bad.  When I say they are bad, I mean that they are portrayed as almost always being a negative entity, a demon, an angry spirit not happy with the new tenants of the house etc.  There always seems to be a story behind the haunting and that a family is being terrorised so they need these investigators to come in, record a few EVPs, yell a few obscenities at the spirits, wave around some sage and holy water and the negative spirit is sent packing and it is all fixed.  (Of course, this is a generalisation there are some good shows and creators out there I enjoy but you can see the point I am getting to.).  We also know that is not how it works.

I love talking to people that have had what are what you consider positive interactions with spirits.  They feel like they have had a chat with a spirit or felt the warmth of a kind energy almost like a big hug.  They don't run out of a building scared and screaming worried something is going to follow them home, they feel content and happy with what seemed to be a nice experience.  This my friends is finally the point I was getting to!  Paranormal experiences don't have to be negative!  The unknown can be really scary.  If a person is starting to experience weird things in their house, fight or flight can kick in and suddenly the sounds and knocks in the middle of the night become really scary and you have your guard up.  You may think you have a ghost.  That doesn't mean it is a bad ghost.  That doesn't mean it is a demon.  It may not even be a ghost at all but say it was, it doesn't have to be bad!

The move from television to more indie platforms gives people the opportunity to tell their stories and share their experiences their own way.  They don't have a network to please and producers trying to push a certain angle to meet the brief of the show.  I have been contacted several times by producers seeking information to help point them in the right direction to find cases or places that fit a certain narrative.  Every single time the angle has been along the lines of 'negative spirits'.  I guess to a lot of producers, negative means viewers.  On the indie platforms, people don't need to go down that line and it is where I think you will soon start seeing a huge shift (well I hope).  Some people are telling the stories of the people they are trying to make contact with.  Often you finish watching and you feel like you know this person from the past who has just had their story shared with the World.  In a lot of ways this is beautiful when done well (we also must be careful not to exploit them).  Some of the interactions shown with them seem to be really lovely and this is refreshing to see because it is not always demons and running out of the room because someone feels they are overwhelmed with negative energy.  This is also not saying there are not bad things out there.  There are bad things out there in our human world so in theory it would make sense that carries over to the paranormal world, but I am going to leave with a final thought because I am that person who always likes to focus on the positive. 

As you may or may not know, I volunteer at a historical house called Black Rock House.  Every month we run a small paranormal investigation to raise money for the house.  We don't use a huge amount of equipment as we don't need to.  The house has its own story to tell.  We don't need to exaggerate anything.  If the wind closes a door, we can confidently tell people "no, that was just the wind."  People appreciate honesty because they are not naive.  They try to communicate and sometimes feel like something is around.  When they have what they feel is an interaction, they often feel excited, happy and particularly warm after one particular room we visit.  Maybe we plant that idea in their head because we tell them that the spirit people believe in that room is a nice lovely person.  Maybe this spirit Annie was really a lovely person.  Maybe we are projecting those lovely thoughts and creating our own lovely experiences.  Maybe just being positive and going in with a positive attitude changes the whole tone.  I don't have any answers as to what things are or aren't and what is or isn't paranormal.  What I can tell you is that mindset is everything.  It doesn't have to be negative.  

Cover Photo by Charles Parker:

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