While you can expect a little competition between paranormal groups, sadly the field seems to attract more than its fair share of toxicity. Instead of coming together with the goal of proving the existence of paranormal activity, so many groups seem to spend a disproportionate amount of their time either bad mouthing other groups or defending themselves against online trolls. When a team post genuine evidence, they are often immediately bombarded with keyboard warriors, intent on damaging their reputation. Sure, there are some bad eggs out there who do fake evidence, but for the vast majority of teams that don’t, the continual negative battering they receive online can leave them feeling disheartened. I have known many good paranormal investigators give up after being hounded by a few keyboard warriors who had nothing better to do than try to destroy someone else’s reputation.
But where does this hate come from?
Some groups in this field are in it purely for the money. They are capitalising on the popularity of several well known TV shows and their events are run more like entertainment than scientific investigation. They do attract large numbers of attendees to their events, but without a controlled environment, it is hard to say whether any evidence they do capture is real or not. I’m not saying these organisations are bad as they often kick start a passion in attendees that leads to them forming their own team and carrying out the scientific experiments the field needs. However, they do stir up feelings within the paranormal community. It is not the people in these teams that are causing the problem. Instead it is those who are in it for the money, but aren’t actually making any. These are the smaller teams, trying to run large scale ghost hunting events, but are not as adept at attracting clients. This frustration at not being able to turn a hobby into a business leads to jealousy and ultimately means they start attacking any group that isn’t theirs in a hope that they damage the reputation of everyone else and attract more clients to their own events.
Don’t get me wrong, there are many small groups that run paid events in order to buy more equipment for their own private investigations. You don’t often find these people trolling the other groups. That’s because they are not in it for the money, they do it for the love of investigating and running paid events is a way to allow them to spend more time carrying out their own scientific investigations.
We are in the age of influencers and being internet famous is now seen as a legitimate career for young people. The paranormal world is no exception and there are so many vloggers / you tubers trying to become known in this field. Again, I have sadly seen so many videos where paranormal vloggers have spent ages dragging another team’s name through the mud in an attempt to build up the viewers on their own channel. It seems they can’t be happy just creating quality paranormal content, they must create drama in order to become ‘famous’.
The same goes even for authors and anyone trying to educate on the field of paranormal investigation. They are often called out as taking money for something no one is an expert in. Years of practice and experience goes into any book or course, so how is it any different to someone creating educational material for any other industry? Everyone has to start somewhere and for those new to the field, books and courses can help them to carry out a scientific and evidence based investigation. It can help ignite a passion for the field and that same person might end up inventing or capturing the one definitive piece of proof we are all looking for. But the internet trolls are not happy with this for the same reasons outlined above.
For some reason, some people in the paranormal field are respected e.g. The Warrens, Zak Bagans, TAPS, etc, but anyone else is fair game for public humiliation simply because they have not become ‘TV’ or ‘Internet’ famous.
This behaviour needs to stop. We need to stop spending all our time and energy ripping each other apart and instead focus on working together to build the credibility of our industry. Sure there will always be some individuals who get a kick off trolling others, but it is time to stand together and build each other’s reputations, not tear them down. The more we work together, the more likely we are to get the answers we are looking for.
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