Supernatural Magazine

Paranormal: The Cost of Proof

Enter the term “Ghost Hunting Events” into the search engine of Google, and you will find close to one million results for the UK alone. A worldwide search brings up a staggering 1,690,000 page suggestions. Events range to anything from a night in a haunted hotel room, to an all-night gadget-filled investigation led by popular names from the paranormal field. This relatively new trend, which has seen strong growth in popularity, brings in people of all ages, backgrounds and faith with one aim only: to see for themselves whether ghosts truly exist.

The question regarding life-after-death has plagued mankind since the beginning of our existence. Whether it be through the sacred burial methods of the Egyptians who wanted to depart their body with their belongings with them, or whether it is the Catholics, who want to be buried instead of cremated - ensuring that their bodies are ready for the resurrection - mankind has found ways to look forward to whatever lies beyond this realm. The rise of the Spiritualism movement in the late 1800s also had a massive influence in our modern day thinking, leading to many of the practises adopted today by ghost hunters and paranormal investigators.

To find answers to life’s greatest mystery, many are taking part in ‘Paranormal Tourism.’ The ghost events advertised online are usually honest enough to say that paranormal activity cannot ever be guaranteed, but the events themselves normally take place in famous locations that are otherwise inaccessible to the general public, as well as offering access to the latest gadgets, and sometimes the opportunity to work with popular psychics, mediums and hosts.

As somebody who has attended several paranormal investigations myself – including at the Ragged School Museum of London, and Bodmin Jail in Cornwall, I can attest to the fact that if you are attending the event with professional and organised groups, then the experience can truly be an exciting, unique and sometimes an eventful one. The evenings themselves left me wondering about how we are moving forward in modern society, regarding issues of spirituality and beliefs in the after-life.

With a 2014 survey, which was conducted to mark the beginning of a UK TV series entitled Believe, it was seen that more Britons are more likely to believe in ghosts than God. According to The Daily Mail, it was concluded that more believed in the supernatural than any religion. With several online organisations and polls (including Humanism.org and ChurchTimes.co.uk) also indicating that church attendance is also on the decline, one is left to wonder if the massive rise in paranormal popularity and in ghost hunting events is reflective of the gap that religion is leaving in our modern society.

Are we still seeking validation that there is life-after-death, but on a more personal level, rather than through organised religion? Could it be that personal experience of the paranormal outweighs the traditional experience of religion and church attendance?

Of course, one may have nothing at all to do with the other, but few can argue that the search for answers and truth are spurring us on to explore these mysteries in ways never before thought possible. With ‘Paranormal Tourism’ reaching a popular peak, it is easy to believe that many are no longer satisfied with the answers on paper, and want to venture into personal experience.

The dividing line between faith and paranormal exploration is a thin one; after all, the ultimate goals are to find what lies beyond, and the purpose of existence. Whether attending paranormal events across the world will help somebody find proof – or personally peace – about the after-life, remains to be seen. If the experience brings somebody their own personal answers and validation, then that is, ultimately, all that any of us can wish for, on this side of life

Fiona Dodwell

Fiona Dodwell

Fiona lives in Torbay, Devon, with her husband. She has been passionate about the paranormal since she was a child, and several paranormal experiences of her own have led her to personal study of this fascinating subject. Fiona has had three horror novels published, and has been studying the paranormal under Dr Ciaran o’Keeffe.