Writing can be a lonely and frustrating art that often leads down a path meandering between the solitude of thought and the mental struggle of creating a cohesive idea by stringing together seemingly random words.Writing about the unexplained can create even more social obstacles.The paranormal world’s response to a skeptic’s ideas or analysis may leave that writer feeling ridiculed, bullied and like they have fewer friends than the elderly shut-it who lives in the haunted house on the outskirts of almost every town and village around the world.
Throughout history, accounts of paranormal activity have remained relatively consistent.The mysterious lights Columbus recorded seeing over the Atlantic are similar to hundreds of UFO sightings reported annually to this day.The legendary ghosts haunting ancient European castles are much like their younger American counterparts.Despite this record of consistency, many paranormal investigators believe that the cases they choose to investigate are unique and that their investigation methods will provide the indisputable proof that both believers and skeptics are waiting to see.To these researchers, every investigation has the potential to open a door to new experiences and evidence but what the typical skeptics often see is just the repetition of historical folklore intertwined with science and psychology,being captured and recorded by unproven and unverified methods and equipment.The skeptical investigator has to ask if paranormal activity is so prevalent, why aren’t we collecting any definitive evidence?
Publicly criticizing the beliefs of well meaning paranormal investigators is not popular or exciting and it is rarely fun.What a believer sees as photograph of a figure caught hiding in the shadows, a skeptic will argue is nothing more than matrixing by the observer and what a believer hears as words captured on a digital recorder is nothing more than a barely distinguishable noise caused by a change of temperature on an old plumbing system. Arguing that pictures can be altered, recordings misinterpreted and that witnesses may embellish their actual experiences, skeptics are often left shining a light through holes in an event that dedicated paranormal believers don’t want to see.
Every scientific discipline has its debates and its debaters and skeptics are as important as the dedicated paranormal believer in the search for the truth.The skeptic not only forces evidence to be carefully examined and scrutinized from other points of view, they also help expose the fraudulent and deceptive investigators interested only in capturing a few minutes of fame or making a quick dollar while tainting the body of evidence that paranormal researchers claim to be compiling.Unfortunately, today many skeptical writers and commentators focusing on the paranormal seem to have become cynics masquerading as skeptics.
Media outlets for the open-minded skeptic are becoming harder to find.Instead, much of the media that claims to take a skeptical approach simply dismisses what does not fit within their view.Promoting the ideas of rational thought and free thinking, these media outlets are often not willing to accept or investigate an idea or theory beyond what they believe is possible and are often the most closed-minded.However, the steadfast paranormal believers are seldom much better.Often they are unwilling to accept criticism or a differing opinion and are equally quick to minimize the views of anyone who might see things from a different perspective.Unfortunately, they are also the group with the best opportunity to capture the attention of an audience,because while the honestly skeptical may ask questions that have no definitive answers and the closed minded simply deny, everybody loves a good ghost story, and most often that is the only kind of evidence paranormal enthusiasts can provide.