Danger! Danger! Biased investigation!

As somebody who used to fully believe in life after death and the existence of ghosts I can understand how easy it is to accidently introduce these beliefs into a paranormal investigation without realising you are doing so.

There seems to be some general confusion about how involving your personal beliefs into a paranormal investigation an be a problem, people often question ‘What’s the harm?’ and don’t understand were I am coming from with my thoughts on this.

Basically, I think people need to step back and asses what it is that we are dealing with; ghosts – something for which there is no proof. Sure! Many people have witnesses things that convince them personally that ghosts are real and it’s their right to be convinced in this manner. However there is a difference between you believing what you do because you have been convinced and entering a location as a paranormal investigator to study the supposed haunting at that location.

I’m not claiming that those who believe in ghosts shouldn’t investigate but what I am saying is that people who hold a belief in ghosts, spirituality, an afterlife or whatever is it that they choose to believe should not allow this belief to have an effect on the investigation.

When you enter a location to conduct a paranormal investigation your main aim should really be to find out what is normal at that specific location. How can you understand what is abnormal if you do not know what is normal first?

When a group of people enter a building and use techniques such as table tipping, glass divination and seances as part of their investigation it will prove nothing because by using these techniques the group are simply trying to contact a ghost and therefore they have already decided that a ghost is the cause of what has been witnessed at the building or location in question. This is closeminded to the extreme and makes their investigation completely biased because they are only going to prove to themselves that they are right whilst possibly misleading other people at the same time by assuming an authoritive role. ‘They’re a researcher into this sort of thing and therefor they MUST know best.’

How is it close minded if they are trying to contact a ghost? Well, just because you believe in something doesn’t mean you are open minded. Being open minded is all about having the ability to explore different ideas without letting your personal beliefs conflict with them.

What you choose to believe is your business – but the moment you step into somebody elses home or premesis you are making it their business if you use your own bias’ to investigate their alleged haunting.

I often get criticised, as a rational researcher, that by not considering ghosts as an option I am being closeminded and this is a completely unfair assumption made about what my stance on investigation is.

I hold no belief in the existence of ghosts or an afterlife but I’m always willing to be proven wrong. When I enter a location I look for the more logical causes for what has been witnessed and it seems that we always come up with more logical causes than ‘it’s a ghost’ – does that really make us closed minded? I don’t think so.

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About Hayley Stevens

Hayley Stevens is a podcaster, blogger, writer, public speaker and ghost geek. She likes tea, cake, sci-fi books and being a humanist.

Posted on November 5, 2009, in article, ghost, paranormal, rational, thoughts and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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