The first time I heard the term “Paranormal Unity” I had mixed feelings.
First, I thought back to my Girl Scout days, when we’d sit around a camp fire singing Kumbaya, feeling a togetherness I haven’t felt since. We promised to always have one another’s backs and help each other succeed in the world. I saw us as this unstoppable force that could change the world. I imagined the paranormal world embracing this attitude; sharing information and helping us understand the unknown a little better.
Then, I just shook my head and thought, yeah right…
This could never happen in the paranormal community, mostly because we aren’t a community at all. We are nothing but a bunch of islands scattered in a vast sea. Some of us play well with others, reaching out to various teams for support and to share ideas, but most of us don’t. There is more bickering between the teams than ever before.
I’m not sure I even got into the field for the right reasons. So many people claim they investigate because they want to help people or help ghosts find their way to where they’re supposed to be. I got into it because I was curious. It’s as simple as that. I had several experiences that I couldn’t explain and I wanted to know more. Once I dipped my foot into that ocean, I was hooked. I wanted to know more and more and more. If I helped people or ghosts along the way, that was even better.
Now I’m reconsidering this field. You can’t go on Facebook without seeing someone bashing someone else over how they investigate, or whether a house was even haunted. People open their homes or businesses up for investigations and other people get on social media or radio shows, telling the world they are frauds or thieves, or whatever strikes their fancy. I find myself defending people – defending my friends. And then I find myself under attack for standing up for my friends. Seriously?
I had a very bad experience two years ago that truly scared me. It made me question everything I’d ever heard about ghosts. It made me believe in demons and angels and spirit guides, things I would have rolled my eyes at a decade ago. It was a very humbling experience for me. It made me realize that everything isn’t always as it seems. And that bad things can and will happen, even when you’re as careful as you can be. It makes me understand why a homeowner could flee their house, but still love the house enough to not want to give it up.
In the aftermath of my own experience, I’m still strangely curious about the paranormal. I still go on the occasional investigation if it intrigues me. I try to keep myself protected and I only go to places where I think it’s safe. I don’t go to old prisons or old TB hospitals any longer. I don’t go to cemeteries, because who knows what you’re going to find there? I’ve gotten some flak over it. While most people understand, others will try to discredit my story, telling me that someone who went through what I endured would never willingly step foot in a haunted location again. I don’t know what to tell these people except that it did happen and I am still intrigued. I’m just more careful now.
When I do go on investigations, I try to help out as best as I can, knowing the most I can do is collect data. I’m not certain how much this helps anyone. Is knowing really better? Are psychic mediums the only ones who can help trapped entities? Is that even possible? I’ve been told there is no such thing as trapped ghosts. I’ve been told that ghosts are literally everywhere, but don’t usually bother people unless they are upset. I’ve been told things that directly conflict with other things I’ve been told. And every single person who told me these things held firm in their convictions that they were right and the naysayers were wrong. So, who’s right?
Honestly, nobody knows for sure. I’m sorry. I don’t care who you are and what you do; you can’t truly know these things until they happen to you. There might be a light we all go to. There might not be. There might be a demon in the basement. There might not be. There might not even be such a thing as demons. Who knows? All we do know is that something happens to us when we die because we’ve collected enough evidence supporting this. The best thing to do would be to make it a group effort, pooling our resources.
And stop hurting each other.
Paranormal Unity and a dollar will buy you a cup of coffee. That’s about all. While I love the concept, it just will never work in this field. You just have to find people who you enjoy spending time with, and who won’t hate on you the moment you turn your back, and just do what you do. Or maybe we should just all leave well enough alone. We could all be doing more harm than good, despite our best intentions.
When it comes right down to it, the only ones we’re truly hurting with our negativity is ourselves and our field. The more we bicker, the more we discredit everything we’ve collectively done. We tear down each other’s evidence, we point fingers, we say snide things when we don’t agree with what we’ve heard. And through that, we make ourselves look foolish. We make people outside our field scratch their heads, wondering if we’re all just a little crazy.
I’m not going to say anything bad about anyone else. People come to the place they are because they’ve lived through things that shaped them that way. I’m not perfect either. I just try to stay away from the bullies and find the people like me, who just want to learn more. And I write books about it, because that’s what I do.
I will go on to protect my friends, because that’s also what I do. I’ll help people who need my help, if it’s something I’m capable of helping with. I’ll tread lightly, trying not to do more harm than good.
But just know, that inside when I hear you talking badly about one another, I will shake my head sadly.
We’re all people, having a human experience. We should help one another, at least a little.
And we should stop all the hating. It doesn’t help anyone.
Joni Mayhan is a paranormal investigator, as well as a free-lance writer. Please check out her paranormal thrillers on Amazon.com and BarnesandNobles.com. For more information about the author, please see her website: https://jonimayhan.com/
The Soul Collector – The true story of one paranormal investigator’s worst nightmare
Angels of Ember trilogy – in this post-apocalyptic thriller, follow sixteen year-old Ember Pain as she fights for survival in a world that has become dark and deadly, fighting against all odds to prove that good truly does conquer evil.
Beautifully said, Joni; I couldn’t agree more. I’ve been part of several paranormal groups in the past few years, and I ended up leaving every one because of the silly bickering and drama. It was so disappointing; I felt like I was back in high school! Men, women, younger people, it doesn’t matter… seems whenever you have a group of different personalities together, there will inevitably be clashes and power struggles.
I like to think that one day I’ll find a group of down-to-earth people who are respectful of one another’s opinions and beliefs, can work harmoniously as a team, and just enjoy the raw excitement and discovery of investigating (no matter what “evidence” is found, or not found). But I have my doubts a group like that exists.
I don’t think being “curious” is the wrong reason to pursue this area. Curiosity is a natural and wonderful part of being human and it’s probably what draws most people into this field initially. Unfortunately, bullies, naysayers, and egomaniacs are also a natural occurrence, which makes ‘paranormal unity’ a pipe dream.
Thank you, Susan. It’s like finding gold at the end of a rainbow, but I hope it exists too. I have faith in humanity that there are others like us out there. It’s just a matter of finding one another.
I think we both know what you’re talking about. Believe it or not, I totally agree with you!!! I too am sick of the lying, bickering and backstabbing. I’m especially tired of those that are using the deceased for profit! It is both unethical and disgraceful. We should be honoring and respecting the deceased and if we are one of the few that is lucky enough to make actual contact with a spirit we should thank that spirit for the honor. I’m sorry but I feel that if you’re the property owner of a location that is in fact “haunted” and you’re letting people in that in many cases are disrespecting the spirits attached to that location then you have no right crying about how bad things are getting. Also please keep in mind that many more feel that way I do and like it’s your right to defend your friends, it’s the publics right to RESPECTFULLY speak their opinion. Like I always say, GHOSTS WERE PEOPLE TOO, and if you disrespect them they are going to fight back…period.
Now there are some great groups out there that like my team are truly in this field for both the research aspect and to help the public understand what’s going on. Unfortunately there are many more hobbyists joining the field that have no idea what they are doing, just copying what they’re seeing on TV and doing more harm than help and worse off there joining respectable teams and causing havoc. Most of the “original” members of my team are no longer with me for reasons I won’t go into but I feel they were in it for the wrong reasons. I can honestly say that neither myself nor the team I have now care about being on TV or becoming rich & famous from “ghost hunting”. In fact we no longer reach out to locations asking if we can come investigate and definitely do not associate with locations that charge fees. We are only preforming investigations for those who reach out to us for help and we try to provide the best service we can for them without doing more damage or embellishing any facts or findings.
This field has taken a turn for the worse and I blame the media. The deceased deserve our upmost respect and we’re not giving it to them. The thirst for money has reared its ugly head just like it always does and with that follows greed. Researching the paranormal supposed to be a collaborative scientific research effort, not a means of someone’s income…..
All the best to you and your continued success with your books!!
Joni, well stated, and it needed to be said!