As you may know, I have been involved with the team from Haunted Magazine for a couple of years now. I am fortunate to be the 'aussie' correspondant but more so than that, I have become friends with these people. One of the reasons I am so passionate about this group of people is the way that they try to help the wider paranormal community. While I am not privy to some of the dramas within the UK paranormal field, I have seen remnants of things I can relate to, one of those being people ripped off by dodgy groups. In the past, they have not only called out this behaviour, but helped people try to recover money they were scammed out of for no other reason than they had a platform to help and they used it. Ever the selfless promoters, I cannot begin to tell you how much they have helped me and LLIFS over the years. So when I saw their latest endeavour, I felt compelled to share it, but also it then sparked the need for another discussion which we will get to in a moment. The importance of connection.
This article here on Higgypop goes into full detail of their endeavour. https://www.higgypop.com/news/hauntedlive-goodwill-ghosthunting/
"Times are hard so we want turn ghost hunting on its head. We want to make paranormal events more affordable and accessible, especially for those who need some companionship albeit in a spooky setting. To do this we're letting you decide how much you want to pay to attend."
In full transparency, I was not asked to share or promote this at all and in fact, they don't even know I am writing about it. I have not even had a conversation with them about this in any way. While of course being here in Australia, I cannot attend, but it is a gesture that I think we can perhaps take a little something from. I am not going to get into the cost of investigating etc as I have talked about it before and I think the event really speaks for itself. While it is giving people the opportunity to indulge in their spooky in a more economical way, the part that stuck out for me was some important words that inspired I guess their real reason for doing this that I wanted to share and elaborate on.
We all know the world has changed, we all know that we are in a much different place than we were back in the early days of 2020. A lot of people have struggled for many reasons and continue to do so. We can even see it in the small paranormal bubble world that we see ourselves in, we all see the social media posts, we all see the cries for help but sometimes it’s the things we don’t see from people that are worrying.
We’ve promoted the awareness of many charities over the years – none more so than CALM – Campaign Against Living Miserably. It’s heart-breaking to read people’s stories and 18 people commit suicide in the UK every day. It’s 18 too many, and when it hits close to home, someone you know, it hits you even more. The events we have organised and attended over the years has shown us that by engaging with others, by talking and sharing with others this can actually help people, even if it brings that feel good factor to people. Every little helps.
How many people have you met through your interest in the paranormal that you probably would not have ever had any sort of dealing with otherwise? How many of these people do you speak to or see on a regular basis? When you attend paranormal events, while of course, you are excited to learn and hear talks and even do some investigating, a big part of you is also excited about the engagement. Put simply, being a part of the paranormal community in any sort of capacity gives us a sense of belonging. Maybe you feel like a bit of an outcast from the World or that no one else quite understands your fascination. Some people may be having experiences of their own they don't understand and don't feel they can talk to their friends or family out of fear of ridicule. Even though many of us are introverts, we still need human connection. I often think about the conversation had during paranormal investigations. There is often a lot of time to pass and you bare your soul sometimes to a group of people you have never met before. It brings people closer together and I see so many friendships form because of it. You can talk to these people on a level we can't talk to others, namely because we feel on some level that they just get it.
Sometimes it is the unsaid things. I had a random phone call yesterday from someone I know through the paranormal world. We don't see each other outside of paranormal events and we will sometimes have a chat here and there. Yesterday they rang because they said I had been on their mind for a while. They just wanted to reach out and ask if I was OK. The timing of this call was impecible. Truth be said, I haven't really been OK. The pressure of daily life has really gotten to me in the last couple of weeks. Between working, kids going back to school, organising their sporting commitments and just running a household has meant I haven't had the time to focus on what I love. What I love is writing and reading about the paranormal so I always feel it when I am unable to do it. I have been treading water for a while really and so when I received that phone call for no other reason than to just ask if I was OK, it brought tears to my eyes. I guess like above it wasn't what I was saying, it was what I wasn't saying and they felt something was off. Turned out, as soon as they asked, I didn't even know it myself but I was ready to let it all out. We had a great chat and they too had their own struggles. I ended the conversation with a smile and felt a bit like a weight was lifted. Just talking to someone who listened to me and I to them, comparing our struggles and letting each other know that hey life can feel tough sometimes but we are in it together.
We can sit and argue about the paranormal all day long. We can compare our stories and experiences. What we don't necessarily realise is that engagement is just as important as the work itself. Maybe it gives us a sense of belonging or it gives us that me time that we so desperately need. I suppose we know more than anyone that life can be too short. In our quest to find the answers of the afterlife we too must also remember to keep living. Whether you engage online or in person, think about the people around you. The next time someone reaches out for a chat, it could mean so much more to them than they really know.
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