Let me begin by saying that this is not about or directed towards anyone.
When I first started looking at a group to join I noticed an ad that said “No fly by night thrill seekers.” I laughed and thought, who doesn’t take this stuff seriously? As it turns out, a lot of people. The number of requests to “tag along sometime” outnumber requests to join about 10 to 1. I guess they want the thrill without doing the work or having to commit. No skin of our collective backs though since the number of paranormal groups explodes exponentially all the time. I would just prefer to see more serious people than those looking for a “cheap thrill.” This could also help to explain why paranormal groups experience serious turnover rates: ghost hunting isn’t as “sexy” as everyone is lead to believe. There are HOURS of sitting around, hearing nothing, saying nothing, seeing nothing, feeling nothing, doing nothing. It’s kind of like being awake for your own sleep session. Lie in bed with your eyes open, the lights off, and move as little as possible. Don’t talk, don’t make noise of any kind. No television or other electronic devises of any kind (phone, mp3, radio, tablet, etc). Now, see how long you last before you give up. That’s about how long you’ll make it as a paranormal investigator. It can be absolute insanity. After that raucous good time you get to listen to hours upon hours of nothing, and watch video of hours and hours of nothing.
Obviously this isn’t always the case but unfortunately it is most of the time. Jason Hawes of “TAPS” (aka Syfy’s “Ghost Hunters”) says that 80% of all their cases never air because nothing happens. EIGHTY PERCENT. If you do the math and assume they film 4 days a week, 4 weeks a month, that means maybe twice a month (MAYBE) they get something usable. No surprises why people want to the cheap, quick thrill. In this day and age of instant response via technology, sitting around for hours waiting is nearly impossible.
Then there’s the real danger. I don’t mean the whole “Something went bump!” during the investigation. I mean the times when a hand colder than ice touches you or an unseen fingernail scratches you or a shadow pushes you. The scariest, of course, being those of the underworld you most definitely do not want following you home. Those are hardly a cheap thrill. I don’t mind if friends tag along every once and a while but it has to be on a repeat investigation I’ve already cleared. I’m not bringing an amateur to a satanic cult. That’s just going to cause a slew of more problems than anyone involved needs.
So why do it?
Well, that’s the thing. To those of us who are serious about what we do there’s not amount of boredom to stop us. We feel privileged and honor to sit for hours and hours on the simple hope of getting some piece of evidence, any piece of evidence. Staring down the demons and devils is just a work hazard and having an icy cold hand touch you isn’t scary, it’s another day of the office. We do it because we love it. Because we can’t ignore the desire inside of us to continue, no matter how many times an investigation comes up empty. Because we want to do it day and night every day for as long as possible. Because we want to know the truth. We want answers.