Haunts & Jaunts: The truth is out there… sometimes

By Rick Hinton

Is it a ghost, or something else? *Submitted photo

   Paranormal groups who are entering into the ghost hunting arena have challenges ahead. It becomes a series of trial and error, checks and balances. Initially, techniques are often amateurish. That’s to be expected. The worst case scenario is embracing a preconceived belief about a particular location and its ghosts, rather than striving to obtain verifiable evidence while keeping a critical mind. Eventually it will happen. New groups will purchase lots of costly equipment with all the bells and whistles to aid them in their investigation of the unknown. Is it worth it?

   Photographs and video can be manipulated to portray something not there. It happens. Or,the investigator can themselves be manipulated unintentionally by interpreting “something” from equipment flaws or the environment. Audio recordings – Electronic Voice Phenomena – can have natural explanations: the rustling of clothing, whispers between team members, the passing of gas or clearing of throats, traffic outside, or even other investigators stumbling about in the dark. Equipment also falls prey to stray radio frequencies and magnetic or digital interference.

   Yet, there is still one burning question for me after all these years: if ghosts actually exist, and are recorded using this vast array of equipment, shouldn’t we have more concrete evidence and revelation about the existence of departed souls other than a ‘weird’ video or audio that pops up occasionally? Evidence that would hit the scientific journals and think tanks rather the National Enquirer and the television show “Ghosts Caught on Camera?” We still do not: only theories. Theories are based on assumptions, and there are a truckload of assumptions out there in paranormal land!

   I was a paranormal investigator for many years but now sit on the fence, with legs dangling on each side of the debate. On any particular day, it depends on how I am feeling about the subject. As my friend and writer, Alan Hunter, has always stated, “I am para-normally challenged.” I have become that way too, Alan, and with COVID and an altered lifestyle, these are challenging days! I only have time for so many challenges! 

   What do I believe?

   I have experienced “things” over the years that in the end have had a natural explanation. I have experienced other “things” that I could not explain; many of those in my own home. My experiences have included visual, auditory and with a group of people during a shared encounter. I am not on any medication. It is not my mind that created these situations. There  is no psychic projection drawing others into my evil web. I don’t have those talents, if you would call them that. I was once accused by an Indianapolis hack medium of being a “psychic vampire” to those around me. I find this hilarious because this person does not know me or anything about me. Did this mean I drew spooks in upon my unsuspecting group members? I don’t know.

   I read a lot, ask my wife. One recurring theme I have found in the Bible is the very real possibility of deception. This has drawn me into a different mindset moving forward. What if these are not the spirits of Aunt Edna or jolly Uncle Henry that we’re coming in contact with? Or on a personal level, my deceased mother in our home in Kentucky? What if it is completely something else and has fooled us? What if…

   Be safe out there!