Ghost hunter contradictions

Recently, along with my friend and fellow co-host of Strange Frequencies Radio, Bobby Nelson, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jenny Stewart.  Jenny is the founder of the Paranormal Research and Resource Society, and we had her on the show to discuss a few of her beliefs about the philosophy of ghost hunting, as well as her own research into spirit communication.  While we disagreed on pretty much everything, the conversation was pleasant until close to the end, when Jenny began to raise her voice in objection to a line of questioning that pertained to a myriad of contradictions we were noticing.  While those contradictions are certainly not unique to her, I thought a post about them might elucidate some of my thoughts on the frequency of which they appear in the ghost hunting community.

Early in the interview, I talked about how many paranormal investigators have things they don’t like about their community, and asked her if there was anything in particular she found distasteful.  She responded by saying that too many investigative team’s websites are like trophy cases, indicating they appear more interested in fame than in helping anyone.  I agreed, but I found it curious when, just moments later, she mentioned working on a television series for A&E about her team’s ghost hunting activities.

Later, we began talking about her ghost box research.  She is quite fond of it, believing that she has contacted entities that have given her team pertinent information on several cases.  She even recounted a story where her ghost box divined the future; foretelling a murder, in fact.  While she went to great lengths to testify to the usefulness of this particular technique, she said she uses it only as a tool; not as evidence.  How funny, then, that her team’s website has a copious amount of ghost box sound files on their evidence pages.

Finally, we talked about her rationale for being in the paranormal community.  While she does not consider herself a ghost hunter in the traditional sense, she does seek her own style of evidence for the existence of ghosts and the paranormal.  She also said that she isn’t trying to prove anything to anyone.  In my opinion, many ghost hunters get into the field because they want to prove the existence of ghosts.  I know that was one of my reasons, and I’ve talked to many who say the same.  But it is strange to hear someone say they aren’t looking to prove ghosts but then, as Mrs. Stewart did, say we are basically denying reality unless we agreed she has captured the image of a spectral baby in a window.  While Bobby told her it could be an example of pareidolia, I told her it was unfair to try and force our opinion when we had never seen the photograph in question.

This article is not about what is or is not proof of ghosts.  I’ve made it clear before that I used to believe and have explained the reasons I no longer do.  This isn’t even about whether or not people should go ghost hunting.  I have nothing against it.  I may not believe in ghosts, but even I enjoy creeping around allegedly haunted locations.  No, this is about the lack of honesty and consistency I see among ghost hunters.

I’m sick of hearing ghost hunters say they aren’t in it for fame while simultaneously seeking out their own reality show.  You have an ego; we all do, so at least be honest.  I host an internet radio show and, while I don’t want to be “famous,” I know a little something about wanting attention for what I do or say.  If you so much as have a Facebook or Twitter page, you have to admit that you do as well.

I also don’t have time to listen while you tell me your team doesn’t use certain items as evidence, or how you aren’t trying to prove anything to anyone.  I especially don’t want to hear it when what you are saying is demonstrably false, or while you are yelling in my ear about how right you are, like Mrs. Stewart did.

Now, to be fair, Jenny did end up writing to apologize a couple of days later.  She said that she originally got angry when one of us brought up science but, upon listening to the interview again, she doesn’t understand why she got mad [1].  And that’s fine.  It is not like I harbor any kind of grudge.  Many people have written to me to express their surprise at Mrs. Stewart’s reaction to the questions we posed on the show.  It surprised me too, but I also very much want to have her back on sometime to discuss the points we disagreed on.  One thing I want Strange Frequencies Radio to be known for is that we went out of our way to invite guests on simply because they disagree with us.  I continue to believe those types of conversations are important, particularly in the paranormal world.

Why are so many in the paranormal community so inconsistent?  Do they really not recognize their own contradictions, or is it, as I suspect at times, they divert attention away from their motivations in the presence of someone they perceive as an outsider?  In other words, when they are around other people who believe as they do, will they still downplay the significance of their ghost box, or talk about how little they want attention or to prove anything?  Somehow, I seriously doubt it.

Why?  Because I’ve been there.

NOTES:

[1] This is the impression I got from Bobby, who received her letter of apology.  However, Jenny has written in the comments of this blog that she was apologizing for having done the show at all, since she was exhausted from lack of sleep.

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2 thoughts on “Ghost hunter contradictions

  1. Actually, my letter of apology was for my lack of not canceling the show prior to the start. I stated in the letter that I had arrived back home in NC from MD that morning and not having sleep for 2 days played a huge role in all of this. I stated that because I was so exhausted I should have canceled the show.If your going to write at least get it right!

  2. Ah, my apologies. Your letter was to Bobby and this was the impression I got from him. I guess he was probably just trying to make you sound like a decent human being. I'll edit the article.

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