Last updated: September 05. 2013 1:04PM - 738 Views
Mark Joyner Contributing columnist

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Second of two parts

There is one option open to a person who is experiencing paranormal activity in their home: Seek help from qualified paranormal investigators. Too many dangers, some fatal, can occur to a layperson trying to discover this proof themselves and investigators have the further advantage of knowing exactly what to look for in their investigations. “I’ve experienced a lot of things over 8 years in homes,” Edwards said. “I’ve seen a lot of things occur within these types (of) homes. By the time I get involved with doing an investigation, I pretty much already have it where I realize that more than most likely they do have a haunting occurring. What I mean by this: I usually can weed through the cases that come in and usually know if something is legitimate or not.” “People without experience can sometimes do things that may cause undesirable activity to increase without knowing that they are doing it,” Edwards said. “If a person doesn’t mind having spirits around but wants confirmation, it is still better to call a professional to help identify the spirit and confirm its presence with scientific data rather than try to contact the spirit themselves.”

Joyner added, “(O)ne should most definitely contact a reputable group to assist in an investigation. Usually, when a person suspects that their home is haunted, it probably is.”

So the investigators are called in, the tests are run and evidence is obtained. The home’s resident may even have some evidence of their own, such as journal entries, tape recordings of video tapings of paranormal activity is taking place. Then a person skeptical of the whole thing suddenly steps in and decides that all of the evidence is worthless and that there’s no such thing as a haunted house, or even that ghosts exist. While this very notion can dishearten, even frustrate or intimidate the home’s resident who must live with this strange activity every day, it’s important to remember that there will always be someone ready to dispute the data at hand. “Much so called “evidence” can and has been disputed,” Joyner said. “Hard evidence is still in its infancy in the scientific community. Perhaps as the veil between the planes thin, we will be able to experience more phenomena that can be documented. There’s always those who simply cannot accept that there can be a life beyond the death of the physical body and that the soul lives on.” Edwards agreed. “No matter what you show them, they will do everything that they possibly can, and will, to discredit your evidence.” Still, Joyner offers hope in the face of these skeptics. “What we get on film, tape or instruments does not have to be proven. It is concrete. As long as the equipment is used properly and all contamination of evidence is eliminated (for example, by checking for high power lines when using EMF meters), the evidence is valid. We do not have to prove that the temp dropped at a given time. The thermometer proved that. However just as we study a great number of haunted places so we can compare data, there are skeptics going to great lengths to prove that hauntings do not exist. There have been studies done by psychologists that say the effect of magnetic fields on the brain causes hallucinations that can be mistaken for apparitions. That ghost sightings are really in a person’s mind. However although it may be true that magnetic fields cause hallucinations, I think it does not prove hauntings do not exist. The only way that study would be used as proof would be if every person in the study had the same hallucination in the same exact place. Then it would explain how people who do not know each other can see the same thing in the same place over a period of a hundred years without knowing anything about the location beforehand.” As Edwards pointed out, “To a skeptic, you never have enough evidence. To a believer, we have an overabundance.”

Paranormal investigators have learned, through experience, some of the better ways to go about investigating whether or not a home is haunted. “I think the best way to go is to have a good team of investigators who both are well trained in equipment usage and a cross section of personalities,” Joyner said. “To have no sensitive people as well as sensitive people will give data that is both scientifically and spiritually obtained, and that is important since we are dealing with an area that actually IS both science and spirit.” “Gut feelings and a few good photos wouldn’t hurt,” Joyner said. “Backed up, of course, by video, recordings and such.” “The easiest way for me is to interview the people in the home, people that have experienced things (who) do not live in the home,” Edwards said. “Look at any evidence that the family might have and the most important thing on my end is to be able to spend time in the home—but that does not necessarily mean that we will gain evidence by being there. Sometimes I can go back several times before I do get any evidence but it does not necessarily mean just because myself or researchers with me did not experience something that the family does not have a haunting. They (the spirits) will do everything they can to hide themselves when people come in from the outside.”

This capitalizes on one common situation a paranormal investigator can be faced with when attempting to establish that a home can be haunted: The game of cat and mouse. “Finding nothing is all the more reason to go back,” Joyner said. “The investigators are only there a few hours. It is easy to miss something if it is not occurring at the time if the investigation. For this reason it is easier to say that a house is haunted than to say that it is not. Sometimes it may take a few trips before we can say there are no spirits present.” Edwards agreed with this. “(T)here were times when a house has had a reputation of activity, and after hours of investigation, produced none. But that still does not mean anything-spirits are not active at ‘our convenience.’” Edwards is all too familiar with the cat and mouse game in finding proof of paranormal activity. “This is very common, that this will occur,” he said. “That’s why a lot of people that get involved with doing this type of research get very discouraged after going into several homes and nothing actually happens. You have to remember, spirit has no confinement. It can come and go. And when they feel the area they’re in is being threatened by someone on the outside, they can go dormant very fast.” To counter this in an attempt to establish that a haunting is taking place, Edwards and his team usually follow up on their visits. “What we try to do at that point is to spend an overnight in these types of homes to see if we can witness something at that point. That’s why sometimes I will go back several times.”

When everything is said and done, though, and a house is judged to not be haunted, two possibilities to explain later paranormal activity exist. “If this happens, I would begin to suspect poltergeist activity, which is not a ghost at all but a form of psychokinesis,” Edwards said. “This is more commonly found in when an adolescent, teenager or middle-aged woman is at the center of the activity. Sometimes removing the suspected person for a period of time will cause the activity to stop, only to start again when the person comes back.” Edwards noted that another possible explanation might be the reason for later activity in the home. “Sometimes the spirit can be dormant. We have what we refer to as seasonal hauntings,’ certain times of the year the haunting will kick back up and last for a few days and then stop again. We have a situation sometimes when people move in and out of homes, certain individuals can trigger the hauntings and things can start up again and certain people can move into a home and not experience anything at all.”

If such a situation arises, Joyner offered some advice: “(I)t will always be helpful to contact someone with more experience.” www.NightWhispersParanormalInvestigators.com Clinton, NC 910-850-8655 or www.southernparanormalsocietync.com Roseboro, NC 910-214-5887

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