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Different and (not) proving it.

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One more article from a self-proclaimed “expert in the field” about how paranormal investigations are “not done the way they are portrayed on television” and I’ll be spewing Para Geek chunks!  About once a month, some much-ado internet blog seeps … Continue reading

Para Geek Peeve #10

Para Geek Peeve #10:  You should probably be wary of any paranormal group that tells you to be wary of other paranormal groups which do not meet certain standards of professionalism (which, of course, they meet – since they set the standards, right?).  These naysayers often use comparisons to actual people who do actual jobs for an actual living in order to make their point.  They may also have a “to-do” list to base your decision around picking total strangers to tell you whether the noises you’re hearing are coming from a ghost or a just a loose pipe.

Then again, you could at least rule out a ghost if you just hired an actual person who does an actual job for an actual living in the first place.  But explaining how a guy in overalls fixed a loose pipe isn’t as mysterious as explaining how a ghost is rattling things in your wall whenever you flush the toilet.

Para Geek Peeve #9

Para Geek Peeve #9:  It only seems logical for a brand-spankin’ new paranormal group to blast off emails in order to point out how uniquely qualified they are to lend other groups their services.  It is refreshing to know that a band of well-educated and deep-thinking newcomers will be able to shed some light on the unexplained!  The ignorant masses of experienced researchers and investigators out there have probably just been sitting around pondering stupid things.

Para Geek Peeve #8

Para Geek Peeve #8:  Psychics that think it will increase their following by showing more cleavage than an FHM model are probably right… but only if the goal is to get middle-aged, balding men to stalk them.  Read my thoughts: The phrase: “less is more” works wonders for blogs and home decorating; not so well for interwebz psychics craving attention over credibility.

So You Want To Be A Paranormal Investigator

There comes a time in every paranormal investigator’s illustrious career when they look back on the last six months and ponder their relevance; all the meetings about where they’d like to investigate between trespassing in graveyards, all the scouring of paranormal forums in order to exclaim how serious they are about the field (while simultaneously shunning all that give the field a bad name), getting the matching tee-shirts… these moments of clairvoyant speculation stem from the realization that all they have been doing is walking around in the dark and not really getting anywhere.  They question what they’ve added to the ‘research’ part of their namesake (you know, like “Blah-Blah Paranormal Research Society”) and realize that it doesn’t really amount to much.  What to do?

Well buck-up, little camper – The Para Geek is going to give all you folks spinning in this predicament the fast-track to success!  You want to get into really cool places?  You just need to stand out from the crowd.  The good news is that you don’t need to provide something that no other group can or pretend that you take the paranormal seriously or that the ultimate goal is proving anything.  All you need is a few imaginative gimmicks and some luck.  No really – that’s all you need.

First, forget doing research.  Research is boring.  B-O-R-I-N-G.  It involves reading, cross-referencing, contemplation and a whole lot of time trying to make some connection between claims and past events or people that might be the cause for them.  That’s too much work and that’s not for you  Spend no more than fifteen minutes searching Google, writing down every single thing that comes up about a place and rumors of it being haunted.  There – you’re done.

Second, get the most advanced technological gadgets on the market in order to hypnotize would-be suckers clients.  Nothing says awesome like a $12,000.00 FLIR and a DVR set up that would make small television stations envious.  Be sure to also check out whatever they’re using on the shows.  This is important because if they have it, you had better have it, too.  Now this is going to be expensive… take out a second mortgage and consider selling any children you have.  If you can get away with it, steal it.  If you’re as serious about paranormal things as you say, then you have no problem with this – just tell yourself it’s all for the advancement of the field.  You have a reputation to protect.  Plus, property owners aren’t just going to let a bunch of freaks into their cool old building simply because Blah-Blah Paranormal Research Society says they are paranormal researchers.  Just because a few eager beavers band together and chip in on some video cameras and audio recorders doesn’t really provide the property owner with anything mind blowing that it is going to persuade them.  In today’s high-stakes ballin’ game of paranormal investigating, you need badass tech.

Third, your group needs brand recognition!  You need something like a franchise (like having a bunch of groups that share the same name; make it sound like you’re more of a syndicate than a bunch of peeps sharing a common interest).  You need webisodes (since you won’t be getting a television show, you might as well put Youtube to good use).  And of course, you need merchandise (put your name on everything and sell it!  Because nothing says how serious you are about the paranormal like a coffee mug with BBPRS on it).  Make sure you’re on every single social network on the interwebs and assign one group member to spam all the sites that aren’t yours.  That way, all links eventually lead to the hippest paranormal group ever – yours!

One final thing that you’ll need… or rather won’t need: integrity.  Stay away from it by doing things like slamming and harassing anyone who doesn’t share your views.  Avoid integrity by spreading false rumors about people in other groups and posting their “evidence” on your chosen niche of paranormal forums (after all, those nutbags will help spread the hate and you haven’t been banned from their sites – yet).  Go so far as accusing groups in your local area of actually stealing your evidence!  With a bit of luck, you’ll drive them out of business (and it’ll mean less competition).  This may sound a little harsh, but remember: you aren’t in this field to make friends or add an ounce of credibility, you’re in it to win it.  If you want to get into dilapidated buildings and crumbling mansions (maybe even get on t.v.), you have to be completely hollow and shallow.

Okay, buckaroos – you have the knowledge.  You have the drive.  All that’s left to do is go put it to good use.

Para Geek Peeve #7

Para Geek Peeve #7:  If you say: “That guy’s an idiot!” and take it upon yourself to argue with him, doesn’t that kind of make you a bigger idiot?  The Certified vs. Anti-Certified debate has wasted precious seconds of what could have been better spent on something important.  Like spreading Nutella on white bread or perfecting the art of lint rolling.

Take me seriously, dammit!

The most annoying paranormal talking point is that orbs might be ghosts.  Only slightly less annoying (yet far more prevalent – go figure) is the “we must do THIS in order to be taken seriously!” talking point.

Somebody is always standing up on a soap box to declare how nobody is taking them seriously, usually in the form of a dictated way people should be doing things (it’s always those damned start up groups, ruining the reputation of everybody!).  Until they start doing it the way we say – because our 24 whopping months of being in a paranormal group with matching shirts affords us the right to dictate – they shouldn’t be lumped into the same boat as us!

Yes, yes – I get it: there is a huge difference between the “thrill seekers” and the “researchers.”  Researchers want to be taken seriously because paranormal research is serious biz after all, and anyone who puts considerable effort into this time-consuming work deserves to be recognized.  Right…?  I mean, the importance of this research will have mind-numbing consequences once they or their peers – but preferably they – eventually make that stunning breakthrough that has been overlooked  since the Dawn of Man, to reveal that one bit of elusive evidence that ghosts really do exist.  Dude!  How awesome will that day be?  They’ll be able to scoff at the skeptics, the cynics and lab coat wearing goons and say: “see!?  I told you they were real!”  The skeptics will rue the day, my friend – rue the day…

…Just one question, though.  Why?

Why do they care if people don’t care?  Why is it so important for people to stop in their  tracks and pay homage to this enthusiasm?  And why is it that the ones always demanding to be taken seriously are usually the ones that apparently have the “right way” to go about achieving the enormous task of getting everyone else on board?  This is the part that I don’t get.  At all.

Instead of telling everyone else how they should be doing things in order to create this mystical utopia where paranormal researchers are esteemed and prevalent as – oh, I don’t know… actual scientists – wouldn’t it be a little easier to just let their own research do the talking?  Maybe then, others would review it and say: “Gee, I want to do that, too.”

I guess leading by example is a dying art form these days…

Para Geek Peeve #6

Para Geek Peeve #6:  Why does trying to communicate with a ghost involve speaking in a voice like you were talking to a child and expecting them to do cheap parlor tricks?  “Make the flashlight turn on, make these lights blink, can you give us a sign of your presence…”

Seriously, if you were a ghost and a bunch of weekend ghost hunters belittled you like this, wouldn’t you just want to kick them in the groin?  I keep expecting investigators to ask a ghost if they made a poopee when they detect phantom smells.

Three reasons why Haunted Collector is the best show ever

The newest Syfy show to titillate our paranormal senses, Haunted Collector, is great!  The Para Geek would even go so far as to say it is possibly the best paranormal television show… ever!  If you haven’t seen it or heard of it because you have a life, let me give you the breakdown:

Some old guy goes to garage sales antique shops haunted locations, digs through all their stuff and picks out an object that is the root of all the paranormal problems, takes said item to his home basement museum, and boldly states that the haunting behavior has kinda-sorta gone away.


Not only does the old guy get some shwag for his pad, he gets a television show to inspire millions thousands an UNofficial fan website to thankfully tell us that “90% of the haunted items have no significant value” and that most haunted items don’t go over very well on internet auction sites (whew!).  So shut up, all you haters.  I for one don’t need to read any more criticism now that I’ve had the chance to read what’s really going on here.  Let me watch Zaffis Goes Collecting in peace!

If that isn’t enough to trick persuade convince you that Haunted Collector is the best damn paranormal show period, let me toss in three reasons of my own why this show rocks it:

  1. Zaffis is the Godfather of the Paranormal.  I don’t know why, but it doesn’t matter –  it says so on the Googly, so it must be true.  This alone is enough to back up any of his claims.
  2. Zaffis has a crack-team of paranormal investigators behind him, which proves that he is legit – who they are or where they come from doesn’t matter!  I don’t need to know the specifics because I can see that they are uber-serious (they totally called out all them orbs in the Libaree video).
  3. Ever since they moved the time slot for my favorite show, American Pickers, there is now a show that covers my insatiable need to watch people on t.v. rummage through garbage and put them pesky ghosts in their place (which is in Zaffis’ basement museum)!

Still, there will always be the haters and the instigators, the liars and those who want to put out terribly biased articles out there to discourage us from realizing how awesome Haunted Collector is.  As ShockJenn said:

They haven’t done anything half as professional and cool as being on t.v.

Total burn.

Paranormal Theories = Awesome!

That’s right: paranormal theories are awesome!  Despite the fact that nobody actually does any scientific research to prove or disprove the vast majority of theories that are pulled from the ether of dumb, paranormal theories are the cornerstone of belief for every ghost hunter, UFO researcher and cryptozoology buff.  They are the stuffing shoved in the turkey’s ass of let’s-pretend-it’s-all-real!

Let me just say that The Para Geek is a big fan of dumb (and stuffing).  My hobby’s glass is dripping over the brim with dumb and I wouldn’t have it any other way, because it lets us pretend we’ve put our brains to good use by creating a “what if” proposition and then stating it as fact.  It is fun and – more importantly – it is the best Jedi Mind Trick ever pulled on an entire community of peeps.

Have you ever heard that if something is repeated often enough, people will eventually believe it?  Same thing.  Take a peek at orbs – not paranormal – but enough people have stated they are, so many people will insist they are.  Or consider why paranormal investigators use some type of EMF meter to “communicate” with an entity, or that ancient civilizations couldn’t possibly be smart enough to move a bunch of heavy rocks so it must have been alien intervention!

I would put money down on the odds that 99.9% of people couldn’t tell you exactly where these theories came from without looking it up on the Googly.  I’d put money down that you can’t, either – but I would bet the farm that you’ve either heard these theories or believe them…  The question is, why?

…I have a theory.  Most people jump into the paranormal hobby with both feet and start reading everything about it from the best resource in the world: total strangers on the internets.  These people know everything from what color Santa’s underwear is to how tall Justin Bieber is, so naturally they’ll have the answers to why spooks haunt mansions and if chupacabras roam the alleyways of Mexico like a street gang.

The thing is, thinking it doesn’t make it real.  Neither does repeating it.  No matter how fast you can say it three times in a row or spin it to fit your chosen interest, paranormal theories are still just random flavors of  Stove Top spooned from a turkey butt.  Most theories that have to do with ghosts, little green men or Bigfoot are often so stuffed with seemingly plausible yet completely unprovable mantras that a three year old can poke holes in them easier than coloring on a wall with a crayola.

So the next time you’re perusing your favorite paranormal forum or monster website and find yourself reading some theory, ask yourself what it and stuffing have in common.  That’s right… turkey butt.