By Rick Hinton

It’s been said – when one paranormal investigative group begins its maiden journey into the murky exploration of the unknown, another is calling it quits. This is often quite true. The years have been a witness to a continuous cycle of beginnings and endings. What would cause these endings? Possibly, individual members of these groups did not get what they wanted out of the experience. Perhaps, aspirations from watching paranormal television fell short. It’s not as neat and tidy as portrayed on the small screen. Or … were there serious omens that this hobby might just be on the tad side of dangerous; a slow dawn of truth and revelation? Maybe these individuals just found a better (and cheaper) way to spend their time?

There is no right or wrong way to join a group; rather it’s a decision after hours of soul searching; the way it should be. Ghost hunting is not for everyone. Groups come and go on a frequent basis, as do their members. Television makes it all seem so mysterious and somewhat glamorous. It can become addictive as it transcends normal routines of our day-to-day life. Yes, it does! “Did you see that! Hear that! I’ve got goosebumps! My heart is racing!” Yes … it can quickly get into your blood. Yet, the question one should ask – should it? It becomes a pondering of exactly why you’re doing it. It boils down to your intention.

Are you the new kid on the ghost hunting block? (Photo by Rick Hinton)

Is it to help others in their time of need? Or, just a thrill ride for the participant? Is it the adrenaline rush that accompanies an encounter with the unknown? Maybe answers to questions harbored since childhood? Possibly for some, the pursuit of fame: a television show and the next paranormal celebrity? A history lesson? Or … a combination of all the above? (Mine was all of the above, except I could care less about the fame. I turned down two ghost shows.) We need to be honest with ourselves on our intentions before moving forward. How far do you want to go on this pursuit?

If you’re wanting to get your feet wet there are opportunities out there. My first venture was with the local hobbyist group Indiana Ghost Trackers many years ago. It was a learning experience of monthly ghost hunts and meeting others with similar interests and varied skill levels. We traveled to many purported haunted locations and got to play with a variety of “paranormal” equipment before spending a small fortune buying our own. With this type of club, will you get evidence of a true haunting? Most of the time not (too many people), but it gives you a platform to decide if you want to dive a little deeper into something of a more serious nature. Every paranormal investigator starts somewhere. …

You’re the new kid on the block. Maybe you have your investigating degree from watching the ghost shows. Possibly you are contemplating a hobbyist type of group, an established group with a history or one just newly formed. Maybe you want to start your own group? They’re all out there, and often looking for new members to fill the roles. There is a process and learning curve involved, and the skill set doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, and generous donations of cash to boot! Do you have it?

Choose wisely!

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