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.


What are all these spirits up to, then?

Now a veteran of two club investigations, I have lots of questions to put to the experts.  I need to understand more about their beliefs.

Why do we have to investigate in the dark?
Why do we have to investigate at night?
Where do the spirits live and what do they get up to over there?
Why are they sometimes here?
Are we supposed to look after the unhappy ones?
Why were some spirits in the Victorian building dating from pre-Victorian times?

There are a small number of sites from organisations like National Rational, which I would describe as Scientific.  Some are more academic than others, but they all wear their badges on their sleeves in that their sites lay out what they believe in and what they are trying to do.  My questions are, however, about the doings of a different kind of organisation; the kind I have experienced, which tend to be the most easily accessible for the beginner.

There seem to be countless numbers of these clubs, all similar to Cosy Local and the A Team.  I have now found four based within a half–hour drive from here. These are the ones which will take punters out for a fee and they use mediums to gain access to spirits.  I am calling them club-style, because there is a social element to their function.  Cosy Local’s site has a jokes page, for example, and an internet chat room, in which members shriek joyfully in textese.

It is oddly difficult to gather information on belief systems underlying these paranormal groups.  They share in common the same loose connections to Spiritualism but, trawling through site after site I have found very little written down about how these spirits may operate and why.  The reader has to deduce it, to tease out implications.  Site after site explains fully the use of equipment and tells detailed stories of investigations; some even define what a spirit or a ghost may be, but the information is very limited and simple. This reinforces the conclusion that these clubs share the same limited aims; namely experience and contact (and making money, I guess). Nothing wrong with that, of course, but that is why their sites carry so little metaphysical explanation.  They all do have forums, however, and if a punter poses a question, someone will always reply.  It is not always clear if this is someone of understanding and experience, or someone repeating what another punter told them in the pub, but I got friendly and helpful replies every time I asked a question.  Potty or not potty, you meet a nice crowd in the paranormals.
I summarise what I learned below:

Where do the spirits live and what do they get up to over there?  Why are they sometimes here?

 Spirits dwell in another place.  According to some, it is several places and spirits progress from one to another as they grow in understanding.  The places are given different names, like ‘the other side’ or ‘the spheres’ by different sources.  Spirits have to study, for their own development, and they have to help or teach, to assist others.  Sometimes, their duties demand they help the living. 

The living may also encounter other entities, such as ghosts.  These are not the same as spirits.  Some sources say that ghosts are not sentient.  Elementals and demons are non-human entities.

There are some spirits who have remained here with us instead of moving on.  They may be unwilling or unable to leave.

Some spirits might be destructive or dangerous.

Are we supposed to look after the unhappy ones?

 Some of the clubs have an additional function in that they might remove troublesome spirits from some locations if requested.  This is called ‘psychic rescue’ and it involves advising the spirit to move towards a white light, which is the way of leaving our world in order to arrive in the spirit world.  Other people who replied told me that they would not presume to know what might be best for the spirits, and therefore would not interfere.

Why do we have to investigate at night?

 It is easier to move between the two worlds between 1 and 5 a.m. (cheap rate tickets?) The A team responded that, ideally, they like to investigate during the times when most paranormal activity has been observed.  This could be day or night.  However, many buildings are in heavy use during the day and investigators cannot have access to them.

Why were some spirits from pre-Victorian times sensed in the Victorian building?

I asked Cosy Local this question, as it arose when I was in their company.  The medium had told us that he thought two men who looked like Cavaliers were fighting with swords in one of the larger rooms.  This puzzled me because I knew the building had not existed at the time of the Civil War.  I asked him if they were having a fancy dress party, and he ignored me.  The team member who replied explained that the spirits were not necessarily connected to the building currently occupying the ground, but could have connections to earlier uses of the land. 

I wonder.

A quick trip to a local history website revealed that, prior to the Industrial Revolution, that settlement had been ‘a small hamlet’.  Not a likely setting for cavaliers, then.  Should there have been a surprise Civil war skirmish in that small hamlet – perhaps Cromwell was after someone’s pig - I am certain it would have merited a proud paragraph or two.  There is something not right here. 
A few sites made references to spirits roaming freely around via ‘portals’ or ‘vortices’, possibly even being attracted by the activities of the punters, and not necessarily connected to the building at all. 

This implies, of course, that we do not have to uncover the facts from history behind any spirit story we are told, since the spirits could have wandered in from anywhere.  We are excused all need for logic, knowledge or research.  Once again, anything goes and every story must be believed.  I cannot cope with that.  It is intellectual anarchy!  Sloppiness!  I bet these people don't tidy their rooms either.

Why do we have to investigate in the dark?

 Yet again, the A team were good at explaining stuff.  According to them, we do not have to investigate in the dark, but many people find that switching off the lights helps them to concentrate. 

Of course, a big part of investigations run by social style clubs is the ‘sensing’ of stories.  This may be easier in the dark.

Some of what I read is so outlandish that I enjoy it like a fantasy novel.  I know it is complete nonsense.  Despite this, I still cannot dismiss all of it out of hand.  Too much has happened for that. 

A few years ago, we stayed overnight in a very old B&B.  It was a fascinating building and I was sorry just to be passing through.  We arrived late and left early.  When we got to our room, I knew we were not alone.  I saw nothing, and I heard nothing, but I knew, sure as eggs, that in our room there was a woman who had maybe very large hips, or a wide skirt, or something wrong with her hips.  I also knew, by some mechanism, that her being there was not a problem for us.  I felt only mild irritation because I was tired and wanted privacy.  I said nothing, and I could not identify the moment she left, but I was aware after some time that we were alone again.  If that was not the start of sensing a story, I do not know what was.

Who am I to poke fun at spiritualists and sensitives, when I have felt the same?  I cannot dismiss the notion that Stuff Goes On just because I do not trust the other punters.

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