Make your mark in the paranormal in a positive way
Since starting tours with Black Rock House and the National Trust, I am asked on a regular basis ‘How did you get such a cool job?’. In simple terms, a lot of freaken hard work. It was not something that was randomly handed to me, it is something I worked hard for and earnt. It was a position that did not exist. I created it.
Anyone will tell you in life in general that nothing is just handed to you. In anything you do, you have to work for it. The paranormal is no different. The paranormal community itself has changed quite a lot since I first started investigating on a serious level several years ago. A new group pops up on facebook every day. Some groups have never done a paranormal investigation before. Alarmingly, some of these groups offer their services to those who feel they need some sort of help in their home. Some even charge for this service which is just so wrong on any level but that is not what this post is about. I could sit here all day and bitch about what I think is wrong about certain elements of the community. Where is that going to get us? No where! It is not my style to sit and publically bash people. What I would rather do is reach out to these individuals and perhaps offer an alternative. Offer some advice or maybe some inspiration on how you can make your own mark on the paranormal community …… in a positive way!
Let me start by saying I am not by any means sitting over here up on my high horse telling you how wonderful I think I am and that I know it all. If you know me at all and have read past blog posts you will see that is quite the opposite to how I am. I am not in this for fame. I have turned down numerous opportunities which would have potentially furthered myself that have come my way because I am a team player. I have struggled and even declined interviews that focus on myself instead of my team. When people have congratulated me on achievements that I have made, I am quick to remind them that I am part of a team and none of anything I or the team has done is not possible without the 4 of us as a working unit. It was 12 months doing this seriously before I was comfortable referring to myself as a paranormal investigator as I did not feel qualified. Now there is no official certification to become a paranormal investigator. Anyone can call themselves this but I treated the role with a certain respect. From all of this the first point I want to make Is that intent is the first thing as an investigator you need to take a step back and look at.
Intent. What is your intent? Do you want to become a tv star? Do you want to make a viral video? Do you just want to trespass at locations and become a thrill seeker? Do you want to become Zak Bagans? Do you want to study paranormal and research theories? Do you want to be an admin on a facebook groups that talks about the paranormal? Do you want to help a local organisation? Do you want to work for a tour company? The list goes on and on and on. Out of all of these questions, when it comes to intent, the only question you should be answering is Why are you getting into the paranormal? If your answer is anything but ‘because I love it’ you really need to question if this is for you. Any fame if any is short lived. You will potentially encounter more lows than you will highs. You will constantly be defending yourself. You will forever be under the microscope from sceptics and critics. If you are going into the paranormal without the drive and the passion, you are not going to get very far. For some people, going with friends to a few investigations a year and maybe following a few pages on facebook is great for them and you know what, that was me for a really long time. It is a great way to enjoy the paranormal without a lot of the hassles. If you want to be further involved in the paranormal community, that is great but make your mark in a positive way.
When I say make your make in a positive way, you don’t want to be known as the person who is shamed by the community for charging for services that you are not qualified to provide. You don’t want to be known as the person who is faking evidence to get facebook likes. Do something meaningful. If you want to just run a facebook page and post up evidence that is great! Don’t however take genuine comments of people questioning or trying to debunk the evidence personally and block and remove them from the page. If someone has a different opinion to you, don’t start an argument and have them removed because you feel like you are being attacked. Have an open mind. There is no right or wrong answer because none of us know for sure. It is theories and opinions. Yes some people express them more passionately and sometimes aggressively than others but remember things that are written can often be misinterpreted the wrong way. Instead of getting defensive and starting an argument. Take the comments on board. You could actually learn something from them. You know what happens next? You actually start gaining respect because people will think you are genuinely serious about the paranormal because you are taking constructive comments on board to further yourself.
If you want to start running public investigations, there is no problem with that but be honest. Don’t fake things on your tour for entertainment. Be honest with people and tell them that you can’t guarantee they are going to have a paranormal experience. Be transparent about where the money is going. It is fine to recover your costs and if you are running it as a business and you want to make a little bit of money fine. Put the money back into your equipment and make your experience better. In all honestly since I started volunteering for Black Rock House to run their paranormal tours, it has been so satisfying to see all the amazing improvements they have been able to make to the house. Seeing their numbers increasing from 3 people on an open day to 80. Hearing the wonderful feedback. I have been working tours almost every Saturday night for 6 months. I haven’t seen a cent but it is the most satisfying work than any paid job has ever done because I am contributing in a positive way to both the paranormal and the general community.
If you want to be known in the industry, put yourself out there. Goto local paranormal meet ups and events. Introduce yourself. Join facebook groups and have discussions. Befriend your fellow investigators on facebook. Follow your favourite paranormal groups. Learn from these people. Some investigators have been doing this for 30+ years so they kind of know what they are talking about. Listen to what they are telling you. They are where they are for a reason. Because they are respected and knowledgeable. Research your ass off. Learn about different categories of paranormal. UFO’s, spirits, parapsychology, cryptozoology, science – there are so many avenues you can go down. You don’t have to agree with everything you read and you can voice your opinion. Just make sure you have an informed opinion. The best debates can be between two individuals that are having an informed difference of opinion and it can really open your eyes. At the end there are no hard feelings it is a difference in opinion. Its not a personal attack on each other’s character it is simply stating facts.
You can start a blog if you want. It can be about famous paranormal cases or even something like mine which is just my stupid opinion on things or recaps of things going in during investigations. Start a facebook group and be a moderator for discussions if that is what you want to do. Again this is where the intent comes in. I do everything I do because I like keeping busy and I love doing it. I always said if just 1 person read my blog I would be happy. I didn’t expect to be covering large events or interviewing paranormal celebrities. I took the bull the horns and threw myself in. I am a busy person who likes to be entertained mentally constantly. Just attending a few paranormal investigations wasn’t enough for me. So I started researching. I would spend every day researching. I then started a facebook page with my friend to put up evidence where we could debunk photos. This grew to a paranormal group. We then started planning investigations. I decided to start a blog to talk about all of my adventures. I then decided to start studying photography so I could incorporate it into my paranormal world. When we found Black Rock House we knew it was too good to keep to ourselves so we decided to create Black Rock House Paranormal Tours and let the community in the South East of Melbourne finally have somewhere they can go because we never had that. When we were in contact with National Trust again we knew that we had to try and do something for the paranormal community and get us all in their amazing locations because in Victoria it is lean pickings so we negotiated a partnership to let us all in. Everything was done with a genuine and positive intent. It was not done for personal gain it was done for a sheer love of the paranormal and the paranormal community. I feel that the praise and success we have had recently is because of this genuine intent.
Be genuine and a small piece of advice. Don’t feel you are entitled to anything. Nothing happens overnight. When you see someone achieve something, it is a result of hard work and dedication. They have not been handed anything, they worked for it. It takes a long time to make a splash on the scene and it is usually done by people that don’t make a fuss about themselves. They are the ones that are out there with their heads down just doing what they do. These are the people that get recognised. It may not be straight away but that karma train will come rolling into station I promise you. Just remember, Karma works both ways and does catch up to those who are not genuine. If you are in this industry for the right reasons, your mark will be made and in most positive way. We as a team have all been saying we have to remember to be humble and just stick to how we are in this moment as this is what people are liking about us. They love our energy and our honesty. We cannot let ego get in the way and start thinking we are top stuff because we are not. The moment we do it will be our downfall. The way we see it, even if this success is only for 12 months we can always look back at this time and say ‘wow look at what we did!’. I don’t know where we will be in 12 months. I hope we are still out there and kicking goals but honestly we will just keep doing what we are doing because we love doing it and we will keep doing it until we cross over and we are haunting you all. Maybe then we can finally answer the question we have been forever seeking.
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