Lately, I’ve been a thinking about something Autumnforest touched on in “Are Ghost Hunting Shows Ruining Belief?” and Terri pondered in “Regulating the Paranormal Field” –the effects the (many) ghost hunting shows are having on people.
It started off good. It got people interested in and talking about the paranormal. But now…now it’s getting nuts.
“WE’RE BETTER THAN YOU”
In addition to the glut of shows flooding the marketplace, which seems to be increasing skepticism and apathy, I’ve been noticing something equally troubling: people (specifically ghost hunting groups) becoming more competitive.
I don’t belong to a paranormal investigation group myself. I prefer to Haunt Jaunt rather than ghost hunt. (Yes, there is a difference. But that’s a post for another day.)
However, in my conversations with people who do belong to such groups, increasingly I’m hearing more tales of teams “hoarding” evidence, not wanting to work with other teams, and don’t even get me started on the locking each other out of locations.
GHOST HUNTERS GONE WILD
- Autumnforest (Ghost Hunting Theories) and Bobby Garcia (When Ghosts Talk) addressed how ghost hunters gone wild in certain locations make proprietors leery of letting other teams investigate, if not full on bar access altogether.
- Grim brought up the appalling lack of cooperation he’s noticed in a comment on my post about SCARED! (Not in relation to them, though. The SCARED! team is among the good guys. They’re more than willing to cooperate with other teams and welcome the opportunity to do so.)
- The other day on Twitter I followed an interesting exchange between @ParanormalRG (a.k.a. Paranormal Research Groups) , @HauntedPlaces (a.k.a. Ghost Eyes) and @boicghost (a.k.a. Boise City Ghost Hunters). It was on 2/4/2010 to be exact. It was late at night and I just caught the tale end of it, so I’m not quite sure what the whole conversation was about, but I took the following snippet from @ParanormalRG‘s Tweets (the newer Tweets are on top so you’ll be reading the exchange in reverse):
@HauntedPlaces Yes, Lead by example!
I kind of got the flavor what it was about. More troubles in ghost hunting paradise with wanna-be start-up ghost hunters acting inappropriately and giving the rest a bad name. (a.k.a. the “They play ghost hunters on TV, so we think we can play ghost hunters in real life” syndrome.)
MONKEY SEE, MONKEY DO
It’s not that ghost hunting shows are bad necessarily. Many were started with the best of intentions.
But the unforseen danger was that people have seen how hugely popular two Regular Joe plumbers from Rhode Island became. The green-eyed monster bred in their heads. After all, what are they doing that’s so spectacular? What are they doing that just about any schmo armed with an EMF detector and camera can’t do?
Except they got a sweet TV deal, fame and fortune.
Suddenly it’s become less about finding evidence, and more about upstaging other teams using any means necessary.
In short, it’s sad.
I rarely see such bad behavior in the blogging world.
SPIRIT OF COOPERATION
Don’t get me wrong. I have stumbled upon some bloggers who might mention another blogs name in their posts, but they don’t necessarily link to specific posts or even the other blog’s home page.
I used to think this was done with mal-intent. I’ve since come to realize it has more to do with one of two things: (1) not understanding the value of hyperlinking, or (2) laziness.
In general, though, I’ve been absolutely astounded by the generosity, camaraderie, support, and exchanging of ideas I’ve found in the paranormal blogging community.
Not that it’s always a kumbaya kind of coming together. There are disagreements about certain theories and such.
But there’s always respect. It’s the rare blogger who throws flames just to throw them. (Because another thing I’ve seen when someone’s unjustly under attack is fierce retaliations. No one’s ever allowed to get too far out of line.)
Something I should point out is that some of these bloggers also happen to be ghost hunters. Not ones who just decided to pop on the scene in the last few years either. They might have decided to start blogging in the last few years, but they’ve been around before that.
They’re not in it for the glory. They’re in it for answers. They understand the value of working with others. They understand what Helen Keller meant by “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
Newbie ghost hunters would be wise to follow in their footsteps.