8 Common Misconceptions about the Paranormal

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Here are some of the most common misconceptions paranormal investigators face, according to RICK HALE

8 Common Misconceptions about the Paranormal 1

As a paranormal investigator who has been around for a while I get asked lots of questions.

This is one of those questions: What are some common misconceptions about the paranormal?

The answer is: Let’s face it, we are involved in a field of research that is, by its very nature, filled with misconceptions. 

There are millions of websites out there filled with not only misconception but straight misinformation. However they are also filled with the person’s own personal beliefs. This is the nature of the beast.

Although I am a firm believer that nobody, including yours truly, can really say they are an expert in matters of life, death and afterlife.

I have always held the belief that all the experts are dead. Meaning, you won’t understand fully until you die. It’s a bummer but it’s a fact. 

With that being said there are a number of misconceptions that can be cleared up by using good old fashioned common sense, research and experience.

These are misconceptions created by the pop culture status that the paranormal now enjoys. Or doesn’t depending on your point of view. Here is a list of the top 6 misconceptions that I observed after many years of working in this field.

1. You don’t always catch world shattering evidence upon your first visit to a haunted place.

 This is one of those misconceptions that can be cleared up with experience and common sense. Ghosts, spirits, specters whatever you may choose to call them are not circus monkeys.

You can’t demand that they show themselves. In many respects spirits at a haunted location might not even want you there so they may not give you what you want.

You may have to go back several times before you catch any evidence of a haunting.

2. Psychics do not predict winning lottery numbers.

The question, “If that person claims to be so psychic why can’t they predict winning lottery numbers?” Is a question that gets me a little riled up. 

If a person outside of the field asks this question it really is acceptable because they don’t know. But when a person claiming to be a paranormal researcher asks it my only only response is, I guess you really haven’t done your homework.

Psychic is an umbrella term for a plethora of abilities. The majority of “psychics” working in the field are ones that are in contact with the spirit world. 

Citizens of the spirit realm could care less about winning lottery numbers because they’re dead. They are concerned with getting a message across and not personal financial gain. 

3. Poltergeists are not demons or ghosts.

I have written on this extensively in the past, but it’s a huge misconception. Poltergeists is Recurrent Spontaneous Psychokinesis, it’s latent psychic ability that has gotten completely out of hand. Demons and human spirits are something entirely different. 

4. Ouija Boards are not a gateway to hell.

Ouija boards are really popular these days.there are hundreds of books, movies, websites and other forms of mass media that has given the ouija board urban legend status.

What we know, or what we think we know, about ouija comes from second hand information and tons of fake videos on YouTube.

Personally I wouldn’t toy with them but are you really going to throw objectivity out the window because of a supposed demonic possession caused by ouija board video on YouTube? I didn’t think so.

5. Just because a spirit is negative, doesn’t make it a demon.

This really should be a common sense one but folks believe this. A person’s personality does not change because they died.

If they were a thoroughly unpleasant person  in life, chances are they will be that in death. And human spirits don’t magically become demons. Demons, assuming they exist, are an entirely different class of spiritual being. 

6. You will not get a good education in the paranormal by watching a TV show.

Now before you scream hater allow me to explain. In any paranormal reality show what you see is highly edited for content and what we see is maybe 5-10% of what really happened.

We don’t see all the hours of research, every move the investigators make,  you don’t even get to see all the evidence. Researching the writings of great investigators and field experience will give you that proper education.

7. It’s not always a scare a minute.

Paranormal tv shows tend to show some rather terrifying moments. Something unexplained happens and people either scream or run. This, of course, is anything but accurate.

Take it from me, investigating haunted locations can be somewhat boring. I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent in a haunted place and nothing happens.

Again, this goes back to ghosts not being circus monkeys there for your entertainment. Chances are you will sit alone in a darkened room and experience nothing more frightening than a bang or a cold breeze.

8. This will not make you famous. Sorry.

I once read that if you’re an athlete you have a greater chance of being struck by lightning twice than going pro. That’s just a statistical fact and believe it or not, the same goes for the paranormal.

You have folks who have been involved in this field for decades, written several books and are still relatively unknown. And you know what, that’s ok.

You should want to do this work because you genuinely love it and have a thirst to understand the unknown mysteries of life.

However, if you should happen to be one of the lucky ones, remember where you came from and don’t let it change you.

Well, there you go, that’s 8 misconceptions of the paranormal field. If you can think of anymore, please, feel free to share. Because knowledge is a great thing to possess.

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Rick Hale
Rick Hale, is a native of Chicago, Illinois and first became interested in the paranormal after having a positive interaction with an apparition at a young age. Rick is the author of The Geek's Guide To The Strange and Unusual: Poltergeists, Ghosts and Demons. Behold! Shocking True Tales of Terror...and Some Other Spooky Stuff. And Bullets, Booze and Babes: The Haunted History of Chicago and Illinois. Rick is the co-host of The Shadow Initiative Paranormal Talk. Rick was featured in the documentary Ghost Tapes 2. Rick is a featured writer for Spooky Isles and Paranormalstudy.com. Rick has also been published by Haunted Times, Paranormal Underground, The Supernatural Magazine and Legends Magazine.



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