~ Written By Pattyhap1863 ~

It is common to find evidence of the paranormal in newspapers, on TV shows and on the internet. You can look at their video clips, listen to their audio, and read about their investigations. However, it is difficult to find debunking evidence out there. Research is what is very necessary in the paranormal field. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to test and experiment to see the results we get?

When we watch paranormal TV shows, we are fed video clips of apparent paranormal evidence caught ‘on tape’. We can sometimes view debunking articles or video clips of that said same evidence, but these are not readily found or advertised. It almost seems as if these famous paranormal investigators wish the debunking to go unnoticed.

Richard O’ Connor is a paranormal investigator who belongs to the Swadlincote Paranormal Investigations team in the UK. His interest in the paranormal started when he was a child and he has been a part of the team for four years now. His main interest is centered in research, and analyzing different evidence. A lot of his work is trying to disprove so-called ‘evidence’ by experimenting. And his work is very thorough. One has only to click on the RESEARCH button on the Swadlincote Paranormal Investigations website to be taken to his articles where he writes of his experiments and how he debunks various anomalies thought to be paranormal.

How many years have you been in the field?
Although my interest in the paranormal spans deep into my childhood, I have only been a member of a paranormal investigation group for about 4 years now.

What are your accomplishments?
On a personal level being involved in the paranormal has opened up my eyes and made me realise that there is a lot more to it all than I initially had though. Recently I was asked if I would like to be on the first “White Noise Paranormal Radio” show which was a huge privilege and I enjoyed the experience very much.

Which investigation do you remember the most and why?
There are so many I could choose but it has to be an investigation at Gresley Old Hall about two or three years ago when I was lucky enough to see a full apparition, and even though I am a rational person I still can not find a logical explanation to my experience.

The worse part of investigating a location is:
The worst part is definitely the waiting around for something to happen, especially when you know that 99% of the time nothing at all will happen. I think a lot of people have watched Most Haunted where something incredible happens on every episode however in reality that is not the case and anyone who has been fortunate to witness any kind of activity at all should feel very privileged indeed.

The best part of investigating a location is:
The best part for me is the urban exploration side of things, being part of a paranormal investigation group has literally opened up so many new doors to us and we have investigated everything from small homes and businesses to large industrial premises like Fazeley Mill and TG Greens Pottery. More recently we have investigated a west end theatre in London and even some incredibly old caves.

Why do you do this?
Part of it is for the urban exploration, the chance to see places we normally wouldn’t but the main reason for me is that I have seen things and now I want to know what they are, it is a search for answers and the truth and I feel this is going to be a lifetime-long journey.

What is your favorite tool when investigating and why?
When it works, it has to be my camcorder. Although when it comes to detecting paranormal activity the most reliable tool is yourself, the investigator. Many things that can appear on a camera that can at first appear to be something paranormal actually have a logical answer such as orbs. It is just what as we don’t understand the way the equipment behaves we jump to the conclusion that it must be due to paranormal activity.

When did you first encounter something paranormal in your life?
My first encounter with something paranormal was when I was at a very young age, possibly about 6 years old when I was watching the lightning storm out of the back window at my god parent’s house in Swindon. I remember seeing something which I can only describe as the outline of a roman soldier, I recognised him as being this because as a kid I was a big fan of Asterix and Obelix. It was as if someone had drawn him and the details of his armour with a green pen but you could see straight through him.

Have you ever had an unpleasant encounter with either an inhuman entity or evil spirit? If so, what was it?
Personally no I haven’t and I don’t expect to because I cannot understand why people are so convinced that ghosts are out to hurt us, isn’t this just playing on the stereotype of what we expect ghosts to be? If they were once people then wouldn’t they behave like normal people and treat other people the same as we would? When we see people on the street do we all run around screaming and leave the area? No, we just walk past them so why should paranormal investigations work any differently?

What advice would you give newcomers in the field?
My advice would be not to take lessons from Most Haunted, do not expect anything to happen and do not look for ghosts because if you do you will be disappointed. Be rational and let the ghosts come to you. Don’t go investigating graveyards and don’t fall for what I call a Scooby-doo-ism which basically is anything stereotypical about the paranormal such as having to investigate in the dark. There is no single rule book on the paranormal, many people including myself will talk about experiences and our beliefs as to what ghosts are but at the end of the day these are opinions not facts so feel free to agree or disagree with others as you please.

What would you improve in the paranormal field and why?
I would like to improve the respect the ghosts get from investigators and mediums, have you noticed that on Most Haunted when Yvette is talking to a ghost she has a tone of voice similar to as if she were addressing a child or an animal? And that television mediums often shout at the spirit they claim to be in contact with? But why? As I said before if they were once normal people then shouldn’t we treat them as if they were normal people rather then thinking of ghosts as savage ill-educated animals?

What do you do in your spare time?
For me the majority of the actual investigation work is done away from the investigation itself and involves mainly sifting through the footage and analysing the evidence at home. Aside from the paranormal a lot of my spare time is used up with my college work and strength training as I have recently taken up Javelin as a hobby.

Visit Richard O’ Connor’s website: http://www.swadlincoteparanormal.co.uk/

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