The VERY personal effects of investigating

Another link on John Zaffis’s FB page:

Paranormal teams come and go. The odds for a team to last more than a few years is minimal. Obviously there are multiple variables. Some die out from lack of passion, money, or personal reasons beyond what we perceive. As a founder of a paranormal team I always stress to anyone venturing into the paranormal to be careful. Whether its an individual joining my team or someone starting their own group, there are risks that seem to follow that are unforeseen.

This article is a little personal for me because it is based upon what I’ve seen happen to friends in the field, members of my own team, and my very own experience. I started writing this article weeks ago. Between then and the time this has hit the web, more events had occurred than I would have thought. First off, to think that the only dangers in paranormal investigating is what occurs with the actual haunting entities is completely blind.
Since I have started investigating the paranormal, things in my personal life, as well as others, seemed to change. A lot of negative things came with the course in which I had taken. In the early years, things surrounded one of my team members. His fiance left him, his mother passed away, he had developed health issues, and fell into a financial pitfall. He was so passionate about the paranormal that through it all, he stuck with it. Until one day it seemed to get the best of him. This was a lot for him to deal with in just a short amount of time. We lost contact with him for a few years.

Around that same time (2009/2010) I myself had started feeling the effects. Things were going good for a while. We had done some things in the media as well as some investigations that we were proud as hell to be a part of. For me, it came in the way of finances. I had lost a store I owned, had no work, and was living out of a motel. Another member had three relatives pass away in a months time. He too fell to financial woes. We were struggling to keep afloat. Some time shortly, that member had decided to end his investigating. I had no choice but to put things on hold.

Things started to look up for me after a while. I started getting on my feet and eventually re-introduced the paranormal team but under a new name. We picked back up on a successful pace but with new members. After a while things started downhill again. One member disbanded from the group after he and his wife separated. My personal life again was taking a hit. My mother had lost her job, which resulted in losing her car, which resulted in loosing her mobile home. I moved to her and we lived in a tent on her property for six months. Catching an opportunity to make a generous sum of money, I took a job in Iowa to help her. I maintained in the investigative field even as I were in Iowa.

In Iowa, it seems things wouldn’t get much better. I lost my job within a week due to a chemical reaction with a product we used. I stayed with my brother while there. I continued investigating with a local group and helped manage my group in Missouri. During this time, turmoil hit home with my brother. They are now divorced. I moved back down to Missouri and got a small trailer for my mother. I quickly found work and everything started to run smoothly. Our team had grown as well as our time in the field. It was good… for a while.
Over the last year, we have all been hit with different, stressful, obstacles. Members of the team have lost people they love, separated from those they love, and were hit financially. Some may say its just a coincidental chain of events that happen over a matter of time. When you can count on two hands, detrimental variants that happened in a matter of weeks, you might start to think otherwise. I won’t go any further into what my team has been through but I will share my story.

As of now, I have lost everything I own. I have been unable to secure a job because of circumstances that had caused me to miss out on them. I am in essence, homeless. Its a crazy and scary thing to admit, and confront, but I personally feel that in some way it all comes down to the paranormal. Within the last couple weeks, I found that others in the field have had rough times. Some experiencing multiple deaths, freak accidents, and etc. Hearing some of these stories and curiosities has confirmed my suspicion toward the effect of paranormal investigating. It is also because of the people who have had their struggles, people who believe in what we do, people we’ve met and helped along the way, the love from our families and friends, that we continue to battle through.

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”
– Thomas Edison

This field is not for the weak. It can be oppressive, tumultuous, and will take its toll. You have to have passion, curiosity, understanding, and a love to take on everything thrown in your way. At the end of the day, is it worth it? I’d like to believe it is. That is why I will continue my journey. Not many would make public information like this. But I hope this helps people understand what they may be getting into. I hope this helps people realize, they aren’t alone. And when the dust settles, everything in front of you will be clear.

– I’d like to dedicate this article to those I’ve lost and to those who have lost along the way.

by David Glidden

and I would like to couple it with the article I linked where the paranormal investigator may have killed himself. (

I’ve been lucky. Really lucky, actually. I have NEVER had anything follow me home from an investigation. Actually, luck may not have a lot to do with it as I always pray, get cleansed, do whatever to make certain nothing does ever follow me home. Nearly every paranormal investigator has at least one story of how the paranormal worked its way into his or her personal life- the one with the spouse, the kids, the 9-5 job, the part not associated with the paranormal investigations. I’ve heard the horror stories of others who have not been fortunate enough to shake it off or even fight it off. I’ve heard of a team where a spirit- demon, actually- possessed each of them in turn. I’ve heard of one team member who was raped after it followed him home. I’ve heard of one team member becoming so obsessed with EVP that no one is quite sure how his story ended, but last known was that he would sit in his house recording and listening to EVP all day and night. I’ve heard of investigators that would end it the minute the kids would see or hear something upon returning home from an investigation. I’ve cringed at the thought of animals that disappear, are hurt, or die from paranormal dealings. I know the relationships that can’t handle an extra “person” in them, even if that person is dead. Especially if that person is dead!

I’ve been known to dissuade people from joining the ranks of paranormal investigation, but its never been out of some weird spite or self-loathing or potential competition. I’ve said a million times that it’s not exactly exciting business. I read somewhere it takes 65+ hours of footage to make one 52 minute episode for TV. So that’s some math for you guys. That’s a hell of a lot of sitting around with absolutely nothing happening. At all. And then getting to relive it all with evidence review. It’s also dangerous in a few ways. First, I’m a clutz and have been known to do incredibly dumb and dangerous things that can (and sometimes do) result in physical bodily injury. Zac Bagans inhaled enough dust, dirt, debris, asbestos, and who knows what else so now he has to wear a ventilator in some locations. Haunted buildings tend to be run down and filled with lead paint, broken glass, mold, and feces from various animals. Sometimes the animal carcass, too, and which ever animal comes to eat it. I’ve explored a place filled with strung out, homeless junkies and that’s rarely a safe or good time. It can be mentally taxing so if you’re not mentally strong, you’re in a for a long ride. You can’t tell if you’re hallucinating, if you’re tired, if you’re hungry, if you’re upside down. You switch your nights and days and constantly question your own sanity- after all, you are running around in the dark chasing things some people don’t even believe exist and if/when you see something, you wonder if you really saw it all. And then we come to the ripple/butterfly effect: it can come home with you and mess with your family.

Yes it can be fun. Yes it can be exhilarating. Yes it can be hilarious at times. It can also be physically, mentally, and spiritually damaging. Consider the trade-offs if you want to apply.

About Jane Arrow

Aspiring author
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