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.

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…