With social restrictions limiting the mixing of households, many paranormal groups have had to cancel most of their investigations since March 2020. With the government’s new guidelines restricting people to groups of six, but also encouraging those who cannot work from home to go back to work, paranormal groups have been struggling to interpret what this means for them and their teams.
For small teams, the government guidelines mean that for now, they are able to go back to investigating, provided there are no more than six on the team. However, for larger teams, or those that provide events for the public, they have seen their activities curtailed or stopped altogether.
The larger paranormal investigation ‘companies’ that provide 100s of large public events a year are registered as limited companies, which means they should be able to furlough their employees and survive the pandemic. However, while they are in the paranormal field, these events tend to be run purely as entertainment, rather than as a means to capture scientific paranormal evidence.
For many of the smaller teams, who may or may not be a registered company, but run the occasional small public event on the side to allow them to afford to carry out their own scientific investigations, Covid could spell the end. Cancelled events means having to return money to customers, while event locations are not always returning deposits, leaving these teams significantly out of pocket. Speaking to a few of the smaller teams, concerns were consistently raised about how they were going to afford to continue next year and the event venues were not returning deposits, simply transferring the booking, leaving them having to return money to customers out of their own pockets. For many, this means they are unable to afford new equipment, with some having to sell off their equipment just to pay back customers for cancelled events. This will ultimately result in a significant reduction in the number of teams carrying out paranormal research.
Many of the paranormal venues have had to limit access simply because of the burden of following covid restrictions. With the cost of all the covid precautions, many venues have decided to simply remain closed, as the government funding means they are actually better off shut. This has reduced the pool of potential venues, meaning valuable research sites are no longer accessible.
It looks like the only paranormal teams likely to survive this pandemic are the very small groups who are able to self fund and the large companies who run events purely for entertainment purposes. Plus with the lack of access to venues, this pandemic could ultimately set back the field of paranormal research by several years.