The Paranormal community……
A place to come together, share evidence, discuss theories and ideas in an all together educated fashion, right?…….. Hardly!!
Todays paranormal pages and groups have become a breeding ground for toxic behaviour, where the topic gets lost in a haze of he said, she said, woe is me! And where the passion of the field is replaced by greed, drama and profit.
Lately I have become more and more exhausted by the antics that we see being streamed and disgusted with what is fed to the masses under the guise of paranormal evidence!
This blog is born out of our sheer frustration at the antics we see and have to swallow nightly… and while some may say ‘don’t watch if you don’t like’ – Yes it would be easier to turn a blind eye having to watch this happen to a field we love, and we as a team take our work very seriously … its not as easy as you may think especially with the SHARE..SHARE..SHARE antics that go off.
I am not quite sure where to start here, so I will begin by saying that this blog is not pointing fingers at any one person or team, and of course is just my frustratiom but is only my opinion.
With the paranormal being a subject that consists of theories and debates that do have a scientfic core, the topic is neglected by science its self.
It is no surprise then that discussions may get heated. In fact, it is to be expected since not everyone will agree. However, what we are currently witnessing in our community is not healthy debate about this shared passion of ours. What we are seeing is nothing short of narcissistic people with an over inflated sense of self importance who incite cult like behaviour in those that follow them.
We all have our loyal followers …those that are with us through thick and thin and support you, but do we not have a responsibility to ensure that they do not get involved in petty little squabbles?
The only thing, as content creators, lives streamers, we should be encouraging is continued support, self education/ research and discussion that broaden the mind and inspire.
As a team, we have had first hand experience with hate mail, malicious comments and harassment from fans of another teams.
I personally witnessed one teams Mod specifically mention one of our team members by name and our group which then turned into a toxic soup of name calling nastiness … and endless messages to the page incited by the team themselves. It was all school yard behaviour in all honesty.
Now, we all discussed as a team how this should be handled. We stayed quiet, we didn’t respond to the teams accusations or the verbal diarrhoea in the comments. We were the bigger people, the adults in that situation.(yes…pat on the back to us!! Yay! )
Joking aside, I haven’t mentioned this to highlight our response…. or even the word mess produced in the comments…. I mentioned this to shine a light on those who own pages and teams. Simply because, in a field that is unregulated, it still stands to reason that those that run paranormal social media pages on any platform, have a responsibility to ensure that they set an example!.
Remember the best way to handle a narassricist is no response at all. If your being targeted by a team and their viewers, as hard as it is just ignore it. It may seem they are the portraying themselves as the best by the amount of people who do watch but let’s remind ourselves on what a narassricist actually does do. They can seem very charming and often can put a mask on to a audience to portray themselves in a specific light, mainly a good one, however just take a look around them..how many people have passed through the revolving door of team members and how close are they really to those who know them most? I suspect in reality, they are actually quite lonely and one day all those who hear them big bad stories about you, do actually realise who the baddie actually really was!
Unfortunately, our personal experience is not a unique occurrence. It seems now, teams are using their pages as weapons, their fans and followers as spies and soldiers that spit out their ammo whilst the team leaders sit back and watch all unfold.
As baffling as it is, it does beg the question as to why? What is it that makes a perfectly reasonable viewer temporarily target people on the say so of their favourite team. They never even question if their fan favourite is telling porkies. They don’t see the bad behaviour, they don’t hear the hypocrisy, they ignore the contractions. It is complete cult-like behaviour at its finest.
It has been argued that psychologically, cyber-bullying and type behaviours arises in light of five criteria. Intention, repetition, power imbalance , anonymity, and publicity.
In the case of social media pages and fans engaging in the feuds, I would say that the fact that they are behind their devices, in the comfort of their own home gives them a sense of comfort, provides distance so they fail to really acknowledge the gravity of their words. They face no real consequence and perhaps feel ever more closer to their favourite through this self-perceived act of loyalty.
Which ever way you look at it, the responsibility lies at the feet of the team. They bleat and moan on videos and lives and regurgitate over and over all of the terrible ways in which they were wronged. Just stop, keep quiet …. but that wont happen, because as we have seen…. drama means views and yes, we have noticed that when the numbers drop, drama is created… shocker!
So, we have spoken about the drama side of things, but there is another issue that I believe lets this field down ten fold.
The lack of historical fact. When I say this I mean teams making up history to suit their investigation. I can’t stress enough if you are watching a investigation, please go away and research the place yourself to know what is being said is true.
We see self proclaimed experts wrongly executing experiments, we see those with the bigger viewing using paranormal theories in a fashion that is misled and quite honestly making a mockery of it.
One example of this is the head phone experiment, which we conducted this prior to COVID, actually more commonly known as the Estee experiment, which investigators have been trying for years.
Its a brillant experiment that involves one member of the team being blind folded with head phones on with the spirit box running, another investigator than asks questions to see if there is any relevance coming through.
You don’t need to fake it, the responses can be quite mind blowing if done correctly in a haunted location, however it is now being faked with the other investigator turning the volume down low so that they can hear all the questions being asked and so they can answer it correctly to make it seem that they have gathered fantastic evidence.
Be cautious of teams who state you can’t fake things on lives…yes they can, they just use very good trickery in order to fake it because sadly they think their viewers won’t dare question what they are doing and most of the time they don’t!
ADVICE – QUESTION EVERYTHING..EVEN AS A VIEWER QUESTIONED EVERYTHING THAT IS BEING DONE.
Another live I saw, one team say they were trying the Singapore theory, which, then concluded on one of said team running around a grave yard dressed as the Grim Reaper (wearing a tacky black cloak from pound stretcher ).
I sat there, watching this, mouth open, feeling my faith in Facebook live investigations slip further down the toilet.
The thing is, the team only mentioned the Singapore theory, they didn’t explain to the audience what it was and what the desired result is…. if they had, the audience could have deduced for themselves that the performance did not even slightly resemble the theory.
The fact that the history makes absolutely no mention of a Grim Reaper sighting. This would have been key since the Singapore theory is based on the theory of familiarisation that hopes to encourage phenomena by re-creating the times in which they lived. Had this been the only occasion in which this black cloak graced the screen, it probably wouldn’t have been mentioned…. but it wasn’t…. every…… single…..week ….this same hooded figure appeared on my news feed. It became gimmick, an entertainment factor, nothing more than that. People would just tune in to laugh at the spectacle they came up with next.
While I like to have a giggle as much as the next person, anyone who is serious about this field would not conduct a serious experiment like that!
This nicely links into my next paranormal pet peeve. People passing themselves off as serious investigation teams, when in actual fact they should market themselves as entertainment only. We have seen fakery beyond belief, cobbed coins, killer clowns and passing off homemade haunted items as genuine and let’s not forget the wind poltergiest that is when teams go out in the stormiest of weather’s passing it off as poltergiest activity.It beggars belief.
Having said all that, I do know that there are people out there who, in a way, are trying to regulate online paranormal content and do ask these teams to answer for themselves.
While I admire and love the idea behind it, no one can assume the roll of thee para-police.
As we are seeing with those we already have, it results in a bigger power struggle and it essentially results the para-police dragging people to the pages to watch the drama, then they see that drama brings views and the whole vicious cycle begins again. Drama creates drama, every action has a reaction…. so don’t give them the ammo!
All I want is for the community and the field to continue moving forward, and for investigators to be the best they can be. There is nothing wrong with ambition…. you may have the numbers… but your reputation…. where is that?
By Amy Sirdifield and Charlene Lowe Kemp