~Written By Bill Stone~

People have been investigating ghosts, spirits, and other paranormal events since, believe it or not, before 100 AD. It would be only logical for one to assume that in all that time that we’d have made some headway in the field. That assumption would be dead wrong. We are in ‘The Dark Ages’ of the field, and moving beyond this dark time is proving to be a difficult, if almost impossible venture.

If you visit TheFreeDictionary.com, and look at their definition of ‘Dark Age’, you will see the definition as follows…

Dark Age (därk)

1. also dark age
a. An era of ignorance, superstition, or social chaos or repression. Often used in the plural: a novel depicting the dark ages in the aftermath of a global war.
b. The early or crude stage in the history or development of something. Often used in the plural: back in the dark ages of radio technology.

Sound familiar?

We’re in the dark ages, people. Why?

Because 99.9 to 100 percent of the time when people see a ghost, or supposedly capture one on film, it doesn’t hold up to any degree of scrutiny. MOST of the time the people who capture these things haven’t taken the proper steps to really back up their claims, and therefore have no credibility whatsoever. Many investigators have bad methodology, or are unethical in the work they do. Many just want to get famous. This is a field FILLED with people who lie to themselves, and in effect, to each other. How can we move forward like that?

These are harsh words. But am I wrong? REALLY think about it.

Orbs anyone?

Before you label me a cynic, or a disbeliever, I want to make something absolutely clear. I am 100 percent convinced that there is something ‘out there’. I’ve seen with my own eyes, that which I believe to be proof of paranormal activity. I’m writing this series of articles from the perspective of a believer. I’m writing it as a believer who is very weary of closed minded individuals claiming to be ‘experts’ in a field with no established facts. These ‘experts’ teach their less than accurate gospel to mindless disciples who do not think for themselves, and take it at face value. They then pass on this bad information.

In this series of articles that I’m writing here, I’m going to say a lot of things that will rub some of you the wrong way. The truth is sometimes hard to hear, but it needs to be said. Agree or disagree. I just hope to make you think about this stuff.

The paranormal field of study is FAR from perfect. Do some research on some of the investigation teams out there. The field barely functions at all. We are making no progress. Everyone has their own belief, and way of doing things. Methods, and ethics are rarely agreed upon. Are we spiritual ghost hunters, or scientific investigators? What constitutes actual evidence of a paranormal event? What are ghosts really? Those are all deeper issues that I’ll get to in other articles. For now, I intend to focus on what I believe to be the root cause of the biggest thorn in the side of paranormal progress.

That thorn is the lack of an open mind.

What does it mean to be open-minded?

The dictionary says that it means, “Having or showing receptiveness to new and different ideas or the opinions of others.” I’d call this definition true, but I think that in the field of paranormal studies, this concept must be more clearly defined, and go a little deeper because so many of us are confused on the subject.
Saying that you believe in ghosts, and the paranormal DOES NOT mean that you’re open-minded. I’ve found that it often means the EXACT opposite within the paranormal community. You see, the problem in the paranormal community, is that many of us take our spiritual beliefs, or lack thereof to an unhealthy extent. Our personal beliefs make us closed minded to other possibilities.

In the past 25 or so years the paranormal field has adopted a LOT of “rules and facts” that have been brought forth by ghost hunters and their PERSONAL beliefs. These ‘rules and facts’ have spread throughout the paranormal community like a virus. Most, if not ALL of these ‘rules and facts’ are as closed minded as the statement, “theres no such thing as ghosts.” Hunters and investigators take this information, they use it, and pass it on. They take these closed minded things as truth, and base their own research around them, cursing progress to a standstill.

Here are a few examples of closed-mindedness from both the scientific & spiritual mindsets:

You should always say a prayer before an investigation to protect yourself from spirits.
A lot of teams, and sites preach this as one of their MAIN rules of the trade. Many take it as something that they MUST do. There is, however no evidence supporting that this is going to work in any way. Yeah, its POSSIBLE, so the prayer can’t hurt. The fact remains that we have NO IDEA what we’re really dealing with in the paranormal. With an open mind to that truth, the possibilities are virtually endless. Saying a few words of protection may not be adequate. I’m a religious person myself. I feel that religious and spiritual beliefs are a good thing, but if you’re looking for unquestionable fact, look somewhere else. If you’re a Christian, Wiccan, Muslim, Psychic, or or someone who possess any other type of religious or spiritual belief, I’m sure you KNOW that forcing them on others who do not share in your beliefs is ALWAYS wrong. (No matter how helpful you may think it is.)

Ghosts need energy, and will drain the batteries in your equipment in order to manifest themselves.
It IS a fact that during investigations batteries used in cameras, EMF meters, and other electronic devices will often go from fully charged, to completely dead in a matter of seconds. I’ve seen it happen, and if you’ve spent any time in the field, so have you. Someone, at one point said that ‘ghosts need energy, and they’re taking it from the batteries’. We have ABSOLUTELY ZERO evidence to back this theory up. This is only an idea or a theory that seems to fit the fact. In truth, we have no idea why the batteries go dead so quickly. Unfortunately, because so many people has taken this ‘theory’ as a fact over the years, they have no inclination to try to find out the REAL reason this happens. For all we know, it COULD be the truth. Then again, it might not. Until we open our minds, and start to question the things that we’re TOLD by others, we’ll never know.

To gain energy, spirits will use ambient energy in the air leaving a ‘cold spot’.
This is basically the same thing as the ‘battery theory’. If you’ve done an investigation, I’m sure you’ve felt at least one ‘cold spot’. Maybe your infrared thermometer even helped you document it. Does it mean that a paranormal event has taken place, or a ghost has sucked up the heat in the air? HELL NO. This theory SOUNDS great, but again, we have absolutely NOTHING to back it up. If you take this theory as a fact, you’ve made your decision. You see no need to investigate the ‘cold spot’ phenomenon any further. What if the theory is wrong? I admit, that even I follow this idea because I have nothing else to go on. But what if we’re wrong? It is very possible that we have no clue what the hell we’re talking about. If we’re wrong, how far off course has these sort of ‘theories’ led us because we don’t question them?

The best time to hunt for ghosts are between this time, and that time. (Everyone seems to have a different opinion on what times to use.) These are the psychic hours where spirits are most likely to be captured.
This one is just stupid. It states that paranormal events and ghosts are on a timetable, and that there are certain times of the day in which they are most active. How closed minded can you be to follow this? What about the other hours of the day? Can you REALLY say with ANY degree of certainty that paranormal events aren’t as possible during other time frames? Do you realize how much information you may be losing by following this idea? I understand if you have psychic beliefs or beliefs in this sort of idea. That’s cool, but in this case, it’s clearly getting in the way with research that someone can learn from. How do we know that ghosts even view time the same way we do? How do we know that the times are accurate? How do time zones factor in? There are too many questions to take this seriously.

There are tons of these little ‘facts and rules’ all over the Internet on various paranormal websites, far too many for me to list them all. The point is that if you take each one of them, ask questions, and break them apart, you’ll find that very few, if any hold water. Again, that doesn’t mean that they’re wrong. It just means that we don’t have the answers yet, and that we should keep looking.

It’s okay to be ignorant. It’s okay to not have the answers. Embrace that. You don’t want to be the guy that has all the answers. Someone who has all the answers is incapable of learning. (and usually delusional)

Many paranormal theories and ideas are believed so strongly by so many people that they are accepted as facts. Facts are absolutes. They are UNQUESTIONABLE. Absolutes leave no room for possibilities. The paranormal field has almost infinite possibilities. This is why it is so captivating to so many of us.

The cure to this epidemic of closed-mindedness is thinking in terms of possibilities instead of absolutes. Remember, that as stated before, the paranormal investigation, or ghost hunting field, has no established facts, so if you hear someone calling themselves or someone else an ‘expert’, or giving you a FACT about something paranormal… You should probably think for yourself, and take the information with a boulder of salt.

The Beyond Homepage

The Dark Ages Of Paranormal Studies: Part 2- Paranormal Segregation