Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Without the PAST, we have nothing to learn from

Today, we no longer have to cover our mouths denying our beliefs in the oddities that are all around us. It’s ok to scream from any rooftop or crowded street “I’m A GHOST HUNTER! And I LOVE TO DO IT IN THE DARK!” Or proudly carry your Ghost Lover’s membership card and say, “YES! I am an official member” without retreating to the nearest closet. The battles have been fought, and now as the smoke clears, we stand among the survivors, taking for granted the acceptance of our love affair with the things that go bump in the night.

Before there were hit ghost hunting shows polluting our minds; paranormal podcasts filling the air; or the dim glow of a green infrared screen lighting our way through the darkened halls of a haunted site; before any of this was even heard of, we the living, breathing ghost hunters hid in the dark, not only in search of ghosts, but hiding from YOU.

It’s hard to believe there was ever a time when the topic of ghosts or hauntings was such a hushed thought among most people. Anyone caught peeking into a ghost book on the dusty shelf at the library was sure to be one of those outcasts in society. But just like most controversial beliefs or ideas, there were folks out there searching for the truth.

A few names like: Hanz Holzer, Harry Price, Loyd Auerbach, Dr. Barry Taff, Peter Underwood, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Ed and Lorraine Warren or Joseph B. and Louisa Rhine, pushed their ideas publicly. And if you don’t know who these people are, then how dare you call yourself a ghost hunter, SHAME ON YOU! These are “and were” our soldiers, the ones fighting when fewer than one in ten believed in their quests, at a time when skeptics would slaughter us publicly.

The problem is, so many are looking to what’s hot now; they are not looking at how we got here in the first place. Let’s NOT forget where this all started. NO! Jason & Grant of “Ghost Hunters” fame did not launch the idea of ghost hunting; they just kicked the door open. The pursuit of seeking out ghosts has been around for centuries.

So, to run towards the future of ghost hunting, you have to be able to look back and know our paranormal past. Before the digital age, many paranormal researchers captured oddities on film and on tape, which I personally feel should remain in use on investigations today. However, we are now seeing so many new faces claim the title “Ghost Hunter” and I question whether they deserve the title.

Some of these ghost hunters are stepping into the field so young that they still have their mother’s breast milk on their breath. HELL!, if they get any younger we’ll be throwing fetuses into haunted houses with EMF detectors strapped to their backs.

If people are going to be venturing off into the unknown, I feel they should be better prepared than simply watching last night’s episode of Paranormal State. There is so much more to understanding the strange goings on than what we are finding on TV. First and foremost is education. And without our past, we have nothing to learn from. So let us take a moment and reflect on those who have cleared the path for us, those who pursued this constant challenge all their lives and some who died without recognition. It is their ideas that I have learned from; their efforts that drive me, and their endless quests that inspires me throughout my life.

Ghost Hunters of the past, I salute you.

Your legacy will not be forgotten.