Is there room in the Para/Crypto/Fortean world for a gun-toting, paranoid, bipolar, opinionated bastard? A lonely romantic in search of his lost soul? A knight, Samurai, gunslinger, born in the wrong century? A self-destructive, doom-driven survivor seeking redemption? A heavy drinking gonzo outlaw cryptozoologist whose ego is exceeded only by his libido?
No, there isn't. That's why I'm here...

01 December 2010

"On To The Next" or "Back To The Same"?

One reason I haven't posted in a while is that I've been wasting a lot of time on Facebook. I've befriended a lot of Ghost Hunters and Paranormal Investigators on there. (it just kinda worked out that way really, it wasn't really intentional, same goes for the Wiccans, Pagans, and Witches for that matter).
And I read their updates about how they're going to investigate Waverly Hills, or Sloss Furnace, or Eastern State Penitentiary, or how they'd so LOVE to investigate the Lizzy Borden House, or Alcatraz, or that mecca of haunted places, the Stanley Hotel. The question I'd like to pose to these groups is: WHY???
Granted, as a Monster Hunter and seeker of Heavy Weirdness, there are certain hot spots I'd love to spend some time poking around, HOWEVER, these are places that haven't been investigated TO DEATH!! There's virtual 24/7 surveillance at Loch Ness, so why should I bother flying to Scotland for a crack at Nessie? There are numerous Bigfoot organizations staking out various sites from the PNW to the Big Thicket in Texas and the Florida Everglades. Great! Let 'em hunt & more power to 'em!
So, why is it that the Ghost Hunting community is so enamored of a few well-known, heavily investigated sites? Maybe I'm missing something, I don't know. As I've said before, I don't really "do" ghosts.
"But we got some interesting photographs!" (so have plenty of others!) "We captured some clear EVPs!" (yawn...) "We had some hair-raising personal experiences!" (show me the money!) "The mediums and psychics on our team picked up some fascinating impressions!" (well, if THEY say so...).
I just don't see the point in going to a well-known haunted site and repeating the same old investigations over and over. Sure, if you have some NEW technology, technique, or approach to try, these sites would make for nice proving grounds. If you have a NEW theory you'd like to test, then the popular McHaunted places would be a nice ectoplasmic petri dish, I suppose.
But how about getting out there and finding some NEW and DIFFERENT places? Why go to the same places and do the same things others have already done? Are you seriously investigating? Are you trying to advance the field? Are you trying to learn anything? Or, are you nothing more than a bunch of paratourists and wannabes?

8 comments:

Autumnforest said...

You are so right! A good hunter does their investigations. They look for the sites of old TB clinics that are unknown because now they are homes or businesses and sites of murder/suicides and other local murder/death scenes. There is no reason why a haunting can't occur in places we wouldn't expect and, as well, private homes are usually about 80% of the business of most hunting groups. Imagine if everyone went to Skookum looking for BF. Ridiculous!

Gummerfan said...

Let's take that analogy a little farther: suppose the Skookum Valley becomes such a BF hotspot that practically anyone who spends time there van have an eyewitness encounter, get a blurry photo, gather some unidentifiable hair or poop, record woodknocks and vocalizations. Yet that's all anybody does.No effort to try anything new, no new approaches or methods of study. Would that still be "investigation"? Or just duplication?
What if the guys in TX, MO, FL, PA and elsewhere stopped their local operations in favor of making road trips to Skookum?

Courtney Mroch from Haunt Jaunts said...

I know others who feel like you do. To some extent so do I. Sometimes I want to go to the "big" places because, well, they're big and famous and I want to see them for myself. Also, I figure while I'm there I can check out lesser known areas. One thing I think is beneficial about investigating a place over and over (same groups or different ones) is they can maybe start finding correlations. X happens when Ys going on, etc.

But it does get old after a while when some groups just rehash what's already been done. TOTALLY agree with you! (Really hate watching it on shows too. Take me somewhere new I haven't seen before!)

GREAT post. Worth the wait.

Gummerfan said...

Well, the subject of different groups actually working together and sharing findings is a whole 'nuther story, isn't it? :)
I don't mind seeing any NEW findings from the various "famous" locations, but all to often it's just more of the same. Plus, so many groups (and TV shows!) are passing up local or lesser-known locations in favor of the "most haunted", which is really a disservice to the field.

Autumnforest said...

BG;
I totally get you on the limitations. I'm so sick of ghost hunting shows (and teams around the country imitating) going around and calling out "give me a sign of your presence," and doing the same old/same old all the time. That's probably why I've just designed an idea for a new show. I passed it by Ben from FoF show and he loved it. I think its a winner and it involves an ongoing study over a lengthy period of time and adaptability of test methods and design of new equipment and looking for patterns and behaviors. The same would work for BF too.

Gummerfan said...

Funny how great minds think alike! :) I had a similar idea a while back. Take a diverse group of people and have them spend some long-term time in BF country, or some other crypto-spot. Just let the cameras roll as they go about their routine and investigations. Even if the monster hunt doesn't pan out, I'm betting the interpersonal relationships and assorted drama would keep folks tuning in.

Autumnforest said...

We both obviously see what's missing in our industries. I so want that show you describe. I would love a BF hunters show because people aren't scared of haunted houses anymore, but they are scared of the woods and the sounds and the darkness and what's creeping around. Even if nothing happens, they will be scared by the Blair Witch feel of it.

Gummerfan said...

Exactly. Sort of a cross between DT, and Blair Witch, with a dose of Big Brother thrown in. :)