You are not alone in your opinions on uncontrollable changes in this field and industry over the past ten years especially, thanks to the paranormal explosion on tv and cable that has now leaked to almost every channel outside of the Cooking channel. Money, greed, fame and fortune have publicly changed the public society at larges view of what it's like to be a 'ghost hunter' and what it takes to be a ghost hunter. All you need is box sets of every episode of GH or GA or MH, a couch, a few friends, someone to create cool t-shirts, someone to build a 'professional looking' website, some IR camera's, dvr, k2, voice recorders, some bootleg software, a couple camera's and -Bam! Overnight you have a so called professional group and can claim years of experience if you start counting when you woke up at the age of three with a monster under your bed. Overnight you can enter perfect strangers homes, with no mentoring under a respectable group, no knowledge of how your equipment really works, what is was actually designed and created to measure and no understanding of the collateral damage you can cause a family in need of dealing with a legitimate spiritual problem. But you can provoke the spirits, get some cool evp's for your website and bail on the family in need hoping to eventually be the next big tv superstar. Or attend the next big conference with your own vending table, or start your own podcast.
Ghost hunter and Paranormal Investigator represent two entirely different caliber of investigators. Knowledge and experience, proper training and education make the difference. I know tons of ghost hunters, but few paranormal investigators. Most legit groups went underground and stayed off the radar years ago. Remember back to the season that GH stopped doing televised private investigations. Wonder why. The current disclaimer is " for entertainment purposes only". Hmmm. The locations they investigated after almost ALL cater to private tours and ghost hunts in exchange for cash. What happened to the private cases?
More groups today focus only in public locals for evidence and claim to fame with the next best YouTube clip of potentially contaminated evidence. Every orb, or spec of dust, is proof of a ghost, and, yes, many groups are charging weekly, and selling out weekly ghost hunting events at local paranormal watering holes they have obtained the rights to investigate with good favor from the owners. It is a huge money making industry. No doubt about that. The field has never had so much outright disrespect for the founders and old schoolers, the ones who paved the way for your new groups sudden success in the field. All the new investigations, conferences, gadgets and latest paranormal toy of the week stem from amazing individuals paving the scientific study of paranormal activity or anomalies while these new group members were still in diapers or not yet even a glint in their fathers eye. Always have and keep respect for the founders in this field more than your tv heroes. Why?
TV is entertainment. It is scripted. If your paranormal show has no evidence, you are cut 3 episodes in for a lack of ratings. It is producers, money and sponsors. No one. I repeat NO ONE gets evidence all the time every time on every show or every episode. True investigating is hundreds of hours of sitting in the dark waiting and watching an open toilet on night vision flush itself in a residual haunting. It's not going to happen on command. It takes a long time to obtain a valid piece of evidence that stands on it's merits and can't be debunked. That's real life. Not TV. I will say this. Once you and your team DO work a legitimate and valid haunting, you will NEVER watch tv paranormal shows in the same way. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you haven't experienced a legit and valid interactive or residual haunting.
I don't blame people emulating and believing everything on tv is real and emulates real life. I don't blame people thinking that getting their own ghost hunting show will make them rich and famous and that they will never have to work a 9-5 job again for the rest of their lives (now that was funny right there. Lol). We can all dream.
But cramming 200 people into a place like Waverly Hills at $50 a head is nothing but contamination. Not an investigation. The best investigations are the private ones , the small ones, but there are too many groups out there fighting and claiming locations like gangland that it's difficult to obtain a clean site to investigate, if not near impossible. Once again, the backstabbing in this field and personal attacks are at an all time high.
If your serious about this field:
be aware and informed
Be mentored by a respected group with time and experience under their belts
Know protocols, procedures, understand how to debunk and understand contamination
Understand we don't understand or currently have the proper scientific equipment or knowledge to prove that ghosts exist. It is all theory and fails the scientific method. All of it.
Understand if you don't know what your doing walking into a strangers home outside of provoking for a cool evp, you don't belong in the home potentially destroying a families home atmosphere, freaking them out, leaving them unassisted, potentially getting sued, and potentially leaving them with a pissed of spirit in a worse off situation than when you first walked in. Now this family will be 4 times as hesitant to ask in another group for help. In your search and quest for evidence only your destroying the reputation of legitimate groups who know what they are doing.
Do the right thing. Educate, practice, be mentored. Repeat......
Daniel Beck Mewhinney is a Lupus Survivor, writer, photographer, paranormal investigator, healer, actor and advocate for paranormal awareness, security and education on the web for over ten years. He founded TheDOTPproject.com and is currently a host on www.paranormaldestinations.com
. He, his wife and teams evidence have been featured on over 15 paranormal tv shows, documentaries and pilots over the years. He still helps out one client as a time as he is able. Protecting thousands with his groups messages and PSA's are still ongoing. One soul at a time. Be blessed. He can be contacted at email@example.com.