Ghost Hunters - Shadows of Superstition or Scientific Endeavour?

In recent times Ghost hunters have become part of the popular culture and many of us have either watched ghost hunting shows on television or have a friend or relative who does.

Referring to themselves as paranormal investigators these individuals can make a full time living hunting ghosts for the purpose of producing spooky television shows.

I know I have spent many a happy hour peering at the TV wondering what some of these intrepid explorers would turn up next. I love watching these shows despite the fact that they can become somewhat hair raising when objects begin flying through the air with no obvious means of propulsion involved.

The guys and girls who regularly undertake investigation of the paranormal are often from completely different backgrounds however, without doubt they all share a mutual passion for anything that goes bump in the night.

To aid in their research and investigations most ghost hunters now use lots of electronic equipment such as digital cameras, digital recorders as well as a variety of electronic gadgets which keep track of things like the temperature in a specific room or heat sensitive cameras which highlight hot and cold spots.

These are just a few of the items on the average ghost hunters “must have” list; it should also be noted that some investigators believe that modern science may hold the answers to much that has previously been considered as unexplainable.

It should also be noted that when a group of investigators decide to undertake an investigation, before they really get into it they must determine what type of phenomena they are dealing with. For example hauntings can be classified as residual, intelligent or portal.

As befits its name a residual haunting is considered to be one that although it may make a very dramatic impact on an awestruck onlooker, it is actually no more than a repetitive playback of something that has previously occurred in a certain spot at some previous moment in time. Residuals are quite common in terms of the supernatural however despite this a residual haunting does not actually mean that a spirit is in fact present. These events are merely occasions when a certain historical or emotional occurrence is deemed to be replaying a traumatic experience or situation that took place previously.

Portal and intelligent hauntings however are very different to residuals as in both these instances a spirit or ghost is believed to be present.

In the case of a portal event, it is widely held that the entity has entered into a room or particular place via an unseen doorway which allegedly provides access for entities to and from the other side.

Contact with or symbols of communication, for example lights being switched off and on, are firmly placed in the field of intelligent hauntings. On these occasions ghost hunters will often upon checking their equipment find that the temperature in the room has gone up or down or their heat sensing camera picks up cold spots and even shapes and outlines that appear to be in the room but are not visible under normal circumstances.

Unfortunately however, modern life has pretty much rubbished and decried the unexplained to such an extent that the more sensitive personalities amongst us on becoming aware of the extraordinary can often experience terror and extreme distress in the face of such an experience.

It is therefore incumbent on the friend, partner or relative to whom that person has turned for comfort to give them a sympathetic ear and moral support. Instead of reacting with skepticism, useful suggestions such as requesting that a team of ghost hunters attend to assess the situation. Such an approach will probably help to allay the person’s fears inasmuch as they will feel better knowing that their story has been taken seriously as well as receiving some practical advice on how to go about dealing with the issue.

Consequently, it would seem that ghost hunters can and do provide an avenue of assistance to householders who may suddenly find strange or unusual activities or noises taking place within their homes.

It would also appear that these teams of paranormal investigators have very high fear factor levels as no matter how dark or spooky their surroundings they are able to concentrate and focus on the task at hand. Frankly, there is no way I would go walking around abandoned asylums, old castles, jails or deserted buildings at all hours of the night. In contrast, the dedicated hunter of ghostly apparitions appears to thrive in these surroundings.

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In conclusion, it should be remembered that ghost hunting involves working long and unsociable hours often in cold dark and daunting surroundings.

In an effort to get to the truth in regard to the supernatural investigators will often also face a certain level of ridicule from skeptics and non-believers but despite all these drawbacks they stick to their chosen path and we should all be thankful for their efforts to bring this fascinating subject into the mainstream.

They have not quite won their battle as yet but I do believe that one day science will prove their case to the world at large. Maybe when the physicists at CERN locate the god particle much more will be brought to light despite the rantings of Richard Dawkins and those of his ilk.

Until then I shall continue to watch the spooky scary television shows, and to read and relish the recollections and writings of others who have had the opportunity of glimpsing at the possibilities of exactly what may lie beyond the veil.

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