If nothing happens on an investigation, that is OK!
I had a pretty epic night of investigating a couple of weeks back. My group hosted 2 paranormal investigations at McCrae Homestead for the National Trust of Victoria and just to add a bit more pressure, it was featured as part of the Australian Heritage Festival. Granted I made the submission to have us included in the festival to raise more awareness of the location but still! Pressure!
Probably the biggest stress that I personally worry about is how people will feel at the end of an investigation. Did they enjoy it? Would they want to come back? Did they think I talked too much? Did I look like I knew what I was doing or did I look like a fool? Yes I am pretty complicated and my mind never stops. I am constantly worried about what people are thinking. I am so passionate about the paranormal that I want people to enjoy it like I do.
In all honesty, it was a very quiet night. My first concern was that people were going to walk away disappointed and would think that we ran a crappy night. Much to my surprise, the people we spoke to after actually really enjoyed themselves. We were honest up front that it was a new location and we didn’t know if anything was going on. We told them paranormal stuff doesn’t always happen. Just because a house is old doesn’t mean it is haunted, that is what we were there to find out! We had something interfering with equipment and we were honest and didn’t use that equipment again because it wasn’t reliable enough and we were open about that (as we should be). I guess we gave them that ‘genuine’ investigation, because in reality we know it isn’t like on tv, and quite often we are sitting around waiting.
After 4 hours of solid investigating back to back, I was tired and a little defeated. Not a huge amount had happened. It turns out that maybe I am just a little hard to impress these days as for most people who had their first taste of an investigation loved it. A couple of small things happen which for them was pretty impressive. When you have been doing this every weekend for such a long time, a small thing doesn’t impress anymore. It relates back to another post where sometimes we as investigators tend to debunk a little too much sometimes. For these people though, they felt what I felt on my very first investigation. The revelation that perhaps there is something after we move on. It is enough to peak their interest and maybe delve into the paranormal a little bit more.
I always make a point where possible to have a chat with everyone afterwards, you know because I clearly love talking! A lot of what they loved about the night was the people and the interaction. I have realised from hosting tours that it isn’t just about the investigation itself. It is how you present yourself and how you interact with others. You could host a tour where it is the most active night in history, but if you are all jerks to one another, that will be what people walk away remembering. You have to make them feel like they are a part of it, because they are. I have actually made a lot of friends just by participating in the paranormal. Some of them are my best friends and will be forever. I have also met a lot of new friends by hosting tours. They aren’t just ‘regulars’ they are friends that I enjoy having around. This is what it is all about for me. The inside jokes, the witty banter, the tired arguments, uncomfortable moments and all the things that you experience together. This is what it is all about. It is about so much more than investigating. Yes collecting that evidence is great, but it just isn’t worth it if you are not having fun doing it!
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