Besides looking for ghosts, paranormal investigators can be found doing several other things that most would label as “odd behavior”. Be it weird looking, crazy sounding, or just plain odd, there is a reason we do what we do. As it would be hard to mark one weirder than another the following is also in no particular order. Come with me as I share ten things that “ghost hunters” do that most other people do not.
One thing that some might find a little out of the ordinary would be that we all look very closely at photographs for any possible paranormal anomaly that may have been caught on film. This does not limit itself to pictures that we take after we become paranormal investigators, it also includes all of the pictures taken while we grew up, magazine pictures, newspaper pictures, group photos, work pictures, friends pictures, pictures from a family outing, pictures posted on the Internet, etc. No picture escapes an investigators scrutiny, though most are mindful that telling everyone what they are looking for may get them some side looks. Because of this a lot of paranormal investigators do not share the fact that they are looking for such things in pictures shown to them by people who are not in the “paranormal arena”.
Another thing that we do is talk aloud to people we don’t know and can’t see. While this may appear to be someone simply talking to themselves, sometimes an entire group will participate in this activity in the hopes that the invisible person (also known as a ghost or spirit) will bestow upon us a response of some sort. The vast majority of paranormal investigators takes this task rather seriously and can end up having entire one sided conversations, including pauses for possible unheard replies that may be recorded for and listened to later (EVP).
This next one may not seem quite so weird to some when looked at from a historical aspect. The odd part comes in when you take into account that as paranormal investigators, history of a location can peak our interest in the possibility of a haunting. You see, paranormal investigators have the oddest habit of trying to get into a lot of places that others never wanted to go when they had to. I’m talking about old prisons and mental institutions. Some of these buildings are quite literally falling apart, some have been converted into other things, some have been torn down (but that doesn’t stop us from walking around the land) and people with guns heavily patrol others. But we still try to get in…just to see (with proper authority of course).
This next one is something that many an investigator has been picked on about by other members of their team. We seem to have a tendency to watch shadows move a bit more closely than the “regular” person might. There is an entity called a shadow being (also called a shadow ghost or shadow person) that are quite hard to catch on film. Because of that, paranormal investigators watch all shadows around them to see if they move in a way that does not correspond to the lighting of an area. Team members often get picked on when they unintentionally end up watching their own shadow a bit too closely and do not realize it until it has been pointed out to them.
This one could be considered odd for at least two reasons. As paranormal investigators we end up with hours and hours of recorded data to go over after each investigation. Some of what we record is just the silence of a room, but we will still take the time to sit and listen to all eight hours (example time) of the recording. While non-paranormal people may think that is not only odd, but also a waste of time, it is actually what we are listening for that is the odd part. When investigators listen back through all of their audio recordings from an investigation they are hoping to hear disembodied voices (or noises) from those who have died. We call these EVP (electronic voice phenomena) and they are a very large part of most investigators evidence collection.
Most people have seen a dust orb in a picture that they or someone they know has taken. But watching dust orbs in night vision from a camcorder becomes a whole new experience. Dust lights right up in night vision and for the paranormal investigators who look for supernatural orbs of light this can become quite a task. All light orbs are watched carefully, sometimes for several slow-motion minutes at a time, to see if any show signs of intelligence (that is, don’t fall or float in a normal dust pattern but zing around instead).
This next one is admittedly odd, but we have a good reason for it. Whereas most people do not normally mostly ignore (depending on the severity obviously) their friends when they get hurt, paranormal investigators do, at least for a few minutes. I’m not talking about bleeding or life threatening wounds, but investigators do look oddly forward to one of their team members and themselves getting pinched, hit, slapped, pushed, etc. Some locations we go to have no apparent activity for a long time and then someone will get pushed and after all possible natural causes have been ruled out we wait for someone to get pushed again. The team knows this and expects it. They also think little about getting overlooked after having been hurt in order to try and talk to the possible ghost who did it. Allowing for the possibility of physical harm to yourself or your friends in order to find evidence of a haunting can be a bit odd when looked at in retrospect I guess.
Doing this next one has gotten me a lot of strange looks from other people. Normally I just smile and wave, though I do have an excuse at the ready if need be. One never knows if a cemetery is haunted or not. And the only way to find out is to walk around it occasionally with a camera and a recorder and try to get some evidence. Since most cemeteries in the US either have posted hours or enforce the dawn to dusk rule, it leaves many investigators with the only choice of doing this when other people are more than likely around. As not everyone who goes to a cemetery is there looking for ghosts, paranormal investigators tend to tread lightly if approached as to what they are doing. Depending on who the person is that asks them, they may be very up front (and more than one has suffered a long lecture after doing so) or they may have an excuse such as doing a documentary of the cemetery or such. So if you ever see someone walking around a cemetery you happen to be in with a camera and/or recorder, would you be so kind as to just smile and wave?
I have been asked more than I can count why I intentionally go into situations that most others are either afraid of or simply avoid. As I happen to know that I am not the only one who has answered this question in the paranormal field, I can tell you that the vast majority of paranormal investigators not only go into situations that most would avoid, we generally do it with a positive (or at the very least determined) attitude. A friend of mine was actually told that he must have a chemical imbalance of some sort to do paranormal investigating. He laughed. As do all paranormal investigators who hear that he was told that. We do what we do because we want to know what’s out there. That doesn’t make us all particularly brave, just curious.
I would have to say that many others would find it odd that when we see, hear or experience something that may scare us a little (or a lot), we go toward it, not away from it. More often than not we go towards it trying to get whatever it is to talk or react to us. We can’t find answers to all of our questions if we run away from everything unknown and unexplained that happens to us. The only way we are going to find answers are by toughing it out and pushing any fear to the side. If that makes us odd, then so be it.
I know that there are things that I have not mentioned that could easily be added to the “odd behavior” list, but for those not into paranormal investigating, they only get weirder and the question of sanity has been brought up more than once. I can assure you though that I am completely sane (would a completely sane person say that?) and my friends and I do not find such behavior as odd when we know that each of us does the same. To learn more about why we do some of the above-mentioned acts, I encourage you to continue reading and learning all that you can about the paranormal and those who actively search for “ghosts”.