The Shared Diary of a Novice Paranormal Investigator, aged 52 and Three Quar

When you believe in things you don’t understand, then you suffer.

(Stevie Wonder)

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,

Than are dreamed of in your philosophy.


Ri fol ri fol tol de riddle dee.


Stock Taking

Rifol has made it through the winter!  On her time line, many busy weeks have slipped by and she is overdue a little quiet reflection before dashing off on a new trajectory.  

It is time, once again, to take stock, to reflect on the stages of my journey and to plan the next.

At my first stock-taking, I was disgruntled because so little had happened.  That was in freezing January.  We are now, on May Day, safely defrosted and considering red peonies for the patio.  I cannot complain that too little has happened this time.  I am more like the politely puzzled customer in the hairdresser who murmurs ‘Well I am sure it is very nice, but it is not quite what I asked for…’

I have investigated with two different clubs, and I have a third waiting in the wings.  I have learned more about what makes the groups tick.  I have experienced contact.  I have used two machines to measure things, and, although I am ashamed to say I did this very badly, I did see how someone with more sense used one to good effect, and that was a special l moment in my journey.  I have discovered that I like dowsing rods.  I might have found a stone circle.  I have taken a strange photograph. I have swooped around the internet, picking up fascinating threads of history, science, mythology and anthropology; dropping them again when something even brighter and shinier winked at me from the horizon.  It has been great.

With no clear direction, I am still scrabbling around in the foothills, I suspect that I have not even arrived at base camp yet.  If I continue to dabble and dawdle, I will not get anywhere.

Club investigations were logical starting places, but they do not go very far.    My experiences on those club investigations were real, even if I was not certain what caused them.  The other punters may well have thought I was fantasising, when I exclaimed in surprise that something unseen had touched me.  They did not know me from Adam, just as I did not know them.  We could all have been liars and frauds.  The only satisfactory way of investigating a site would be in the company of known and trusted companions.  As a punter in a club, I can never have this.  I also want more than a moment of contact.  If there is ever a real contact I want to follow it up, to understand it.  As a punter, I will never have that, either. 

Of course, club leaders embark on other investigations without punters.  In fact, our trip fees fund their activities (and, it seems, sometimes pay their wages).  I think that is why they are so nice to us. 

I am aware that the club interpretation of ‘paranormal’ is not like the one I am developing in my head.  They are largely concerned with experiencing contact with what they call ‘spirit’ in the same public buildings investigated by all the other groups on the circuit.  They are operating within a belief system drawn from a religion.  For me, ‘paranormal’ covers many of the mysterious phenomena we may hear of or encounter at the edges of our mechanical, work a day world.  I am still mostly curious about hauntings and bumps in the night, but there has to be more on offer than that.  I am drawn to outdoor peculiarities, to dowsing, to earth mysteries as well.  I still have unfinished business on the moor, where we now have two possible contenders for the site of the stone circle.

I have not yet signed up for any one particular belief system, and I am suspicious of all of them, including empirical science and the evidence of my own senses.  However, at present, clubs are the only places where some of my odd experiences fit in, and that is why I need them.  It is very easy to find and join a paranormal club. 

For the next leg of my journey, I will continue to keep one foot in that curious land of punters, mediums and all-night junk food binging.  Clubs are fine, if you don’t expect any more of them than they are designed to give.  There are, hopefully, other organisations to explore, other people to learn from.  There has to be a wider structure than just me and the internet; I will grow an anorak if I continue like this. 

Since I like the dowsing rods, I will travel that road next.  A group meets just up the motorway from here and I can go on a training weekend.  The website, a model of accurate punctuation, inspires trust and hope. I have got my rods and my CD; the world is my oyster.

Stocktaking over, I am all set with my plan of action: enter the dowser!

Dear reader, if you like following Rifol's journey, tell your chums to take a peep.  Our numbers are growing, but we are still greedy for more, and there are lots of Good Bits to come.
If you have arrived half-way through, the beginning is still out there in cyber-land for you to (hopefully) enjoy. 

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