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The Power Of The Paranormal Witness

Paranormal Witness evidence experience personal experience ghost disembodied voice

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#1 dmitchellcsum

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 10:39 AM

Just an observation, please don't get your panties in a bunch when you read this:

It seems like personal experiences are not taken very seriously on this forum.  I know that without proof you have nothing, but is there really a need to rub that in a persons face? They came here knowing that they didn't have proof and were hoping to find people who believed in the paranormal to console them and tell them that they aren't alone.

**Rant ended, now on to what the topic is about.

I've been thinking about people who experience activity a lot lately.  Why do I think about them? They are the ones who are calling in paranormal research teams to investigate the activity, which means they are important to me as a paranormal researcher.  There have been very few times that the client's experience was nearly as terrifying as what we documented at the location, however you have to realize that when you leave and take your equipment with you, the client is still left with THEIR memories of what happened and THEIR experiences.

What do you do as paranormal investigators to address the client's experiences, especially when their experience doesn't match the evidence you collect?

What goes through your head as a Paranormal Witness as you are told that there is no proof behind your experience?

What can the paranormal research community do to better address the client's needs rather than ghost hunt and leave a location with little to no activity?



Notice, there are questions for people on both sides of the issue, that is because I want to hear from both investigators and witnesses.

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#2 InquiringMind

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 11:45 AM

Good questions.  I am somewhere in between witness and investigator.  Having been exposed to the paranormal on and off through most of my life, and various other things (I am a child of the 60's, so I did the crystals, seminars, trips to Indian ashrams, tarot, psychic readings, etc.) I know there are things that are just plain unexplainable on the physical plane.  I'm sure I've picked up and thrown away as many theories as most people here.  That said, it is appalling the way I've seen some people treated here.

Some people come with questions and pictures and are labeled fakes to their faces.  While it may be true the photo has natural causes, there is no reason not to be polite to the person and explain in a courteous manner why it is fake.  Or why the haunting experience they had elsewhere may or may not have natural causes.  After all, they were the ones there, not us, and, as dmitchell said, still have their emotions and memories to deal with.  Some experiences are so jarring they walk away with PTSD.

I'm not an investigator as I am just learning, so I don't know what to do about locations and what to do when nothing goes on.  If I were a witness, I'd be relieved, but would still want the support and understanding that I had an experience that upset or terrified me, and just because I didn't know it was natural, the fear was there just the same.  

And personally, if someone told me there was no proof beyond my experience I would be stubborn enough to study and learn myself to prove it for myself!  But, that's me.
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#3 Vlawde

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 01:01 PM

I don't know about rubbing anything in a persons face. But often a person can take something non paranormal and assume its paranormal.....as seen most often on My Ghost Story.
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#4 dmitchellcsum

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 01:33 PM

True, and I've been on cases where it is clear that the experience is nothing more than the refraction of light through a piece of glass.  The concern is that more important than dealing with whether or not the actual experience is paranormal, there must be a way to communicate that while dealing with the fact he or she truly believes that what they are experiencing is paranormal.

I guess my point is that it seems like a lot of people are moving forward with the science but they forget that there is a human element involved.  Very few clients have ever contacted me and asked, please come document the strange activity in my house and then leave; they call asking for help dealing with the activity. The science aspect works great for those that show up with evidence for us to look at but can we really cast aside every personal experience just because we can come up with an explanation? (P.S. I've come across some pretty rotten explanations on here. Including one to my strange K2 readings where it was insisted that the readings came from wires in the floor, despite the fact that there was no reading on the floor, walls or ceiling).

Maybe I'm in the minority here but I believe that a paranormal research team has a responsibility to help the person deal with what is going on, even if it is explainable. IMO that means starting at their point of view and then working towards the logical explanation rather than starting with what we see as obvious. Walking them to the conclusion that what they are experiencing has natural conclusions just seems to be better practice than standing on our logic and calling them to us.

I usually achieve this by asking the person questions about the environment they were in and having them look at the elements that I'm looking at rather than having them look at my conclusions.

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#5 crystal

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 04:16 PM

dmitchellcsum.... are you NOT the one who just posted that you're always looking for photos to practice debunking (referring to the gallery)?  I'm sorry- but to me that is a contradiction of your post here...  
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#6 dmitchellcsum

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 05:00 PM

How is that a contradiction?  finding a list of photos that I can use to practice looking for explanations doesn't mean that I feel the need to outright slam a person for not being able to offer proof of their own experience.

As you can read in my last post on this topic, I'm advocating working with the witness to help them see what I am seeing to work towards the conclusion that what is being experienced is not paranormal.

Are you suggesting that the only way to focus on the human aspect of paranormal investigation is to not look for the truth?

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#7 crystal

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 07:50 AM

I must not be understanding your points correctly.  To me it still looks like a contradiction so I'm just going to leave it.
To die will be an awfully big adventure.
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#8 dmitchellcsum

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 08:56 AM

And I don't understand how there is any confusion.  I have a desire to find natural conclusions but believe that when dealing with those who are trying to cope with their experience, compassion and understanding should be shown towards them in the process of explaining what we are seeing as possible natural causes.

When did taking the time to help a person understand what is happening in a kind way suddenly become blindly accepting every piece of evidence as fact?

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#9 Safire973

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 09:43 AM

The fact of the matter is that we can't proof every post before someone makes it, so sometimes, a post that seems condescening or rude makes it here before any of the mods get a chance to see it.  If you see something that is offensive, rude, generally obnoxious, etc, click the word Report under the post. The next screen allows you to type in your issue with the post, and sends an email to all the Admins & Mods here.

We do NOT condone rude behavior, and believe me, it DOES get dealt with by the Admins & Mods.

I repsectfully disagree that personal experiences here are not taken seriously.  The first questions from people replying usually deal with the mundane at first, because there's a need to rule out natural occurrences.  Just because someone thinks whatever it is is paranormal, doesn't mean that's actually the case.  Many people tend to go the "Oh well, I don't know what it is, so it scares me and therefore must be something not of this world" route.  It's easier for someone outside the situation to ask the obvious questions.

I can't speak from an investigator point of view, because I've never done that.  All I know is the experiences I've gone through, and what I've learned here and from varied other places.  I don't need someone to believe me, or have proof that something exists.  Then again, I've never been scared out of my wits or had to deal with a sufficiently bad haunting.
I fully believe that not everyone is meant to see things; some things you just aren't meant to know.

#10 dmitchellcsum

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 11:59 AM

Sorry @safire, the first part of my comment turned into a rant about the minority of people, who have driven me nuts.(not only on this screen name, but the one I deleted about a year ago that was specifically for a paranormal research team I was on.  The apology is specifically for making a generalization of a large group based upon the actions of the very few. Also I want to add that I don't see the mods responsible for what comes out of the mouths of others.

The intent of the post has always been about dealing with the client in a sensitive method of presenting facts.  Anyone who knows me knows that I'm extremely blunt and more often than not rude; however as I read up on paranormal psychology, I'm starting to understand that it doesn't take a true paranormal event to scar a person. On a human level I feel it is wrong to leave a person emotionally scarred just because we couldn't add evidence to our collection.  My questions are asked with the intent of finding out what other caring people do in order to help in this situation and to try to grasp an understanding for what the client is experiencing.

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