Are investigators providing a service?

Are investigators providing a service?

ParaScience founder and TV presenter Steve Parsons nailed a crucial point in a social networking quip that paranormal investigation is such that it is a hobby, and that it is not providing a service.
To be an paranormal investigator means at the core meaning, played the guise of a detective.

“I am Inspector Clouseau and I am here to find ghosts”

Using critical thinking and tried methods to come to a result. To find out firstly what it is not, as often phenomena can be typically explained as a mundane occurrence. Not that some events and things, don’t result in an eye brow raising and Mr Spock style delivery of his reputed line “Fascinating”. While it would be easy to go into the different sub-types of investigation – thrill seeking/entertainment, interested observer, phenomena researcher the list goes on as the truth is there is so many levels of why people are interested in looking into the strange and the curious and the methods they believe in doing so.

Paranormal Investigators are not akin to plumbers, engineers or electricians, who do provide a service. Though once had a phone call from a well spoken, sharp tongued lady demanding we go to her house and get rid of the ghost in her kitchen and another who claimed a ghost who goes into the bathroom. Ribs aside.

Plumbing service!

Like all hobbies from horse riding to flying scale model kits, it comes with expenses. Often groups find themselves seeking ways of raising revenues to buy more equipment, to “investigate” the renowned locations because survey says they are allegedly more “active” and the results to prove your teams credence as a legit group is to visit to one and many of these locations.
Covering the travel costs, buying further equipment – in the hope of detecting or capturing more evidence. The passion evolves for the group, some moving often to becoming an events and/or marketing company – flogging everything from mugs and t-shirts to paranormal kits and other alleged ghost hunting tools for others on the same quest of discovery. Some groups indeed have been very successful in the business of paranormal themed events and retail products.

Events companies – they should not necessarily be flagged up with the bad rap that they do. They are providing a service, however it is a commercial service. One that is organized at a location of some reputation to strange occurrences…. ok maybe not all are organized well. But generally it is a safe enclosed environment, health and safety, risk assessments already done ahead of time before the “investigating punters” come at a pre-determined time and are out by a pre-determined hour. Its a relatively safe way of exploring the unexplained. Some even find intriguing results.

A sub heading, that has been added and deleted here a good half a dozen times, before a quick phone call to a friend and asked if they believed they are truly providing a service. So yes, its being included mainly out of my view that they are not really…

There are those who claim to offer their “services”, mediums and psychics, allegedly providing information from the other side of death by way of spiritual communication. Picking up impressions from objects and the environment for a fee, whilst there are many do not charge.

“Feeling my healing hands…” yeah ok

Reiki practitioners and healers also fall into this service provider catagory allegedly channeling and projecting spiritual energy. It is more likely these people, are on something more akin to a religious direction. Connecting to deities, spiritual guides and characters of ancient name.
They consider themselves to be “service providers”, however it is debatable they are providing a service other than feel good, pseudo-service.

So what about the time when you do need a service?
You can call the fire, police, coastguard and ambulance services to have an instant response to the emergency or event you have found yourself part of. So lets play hypothetical advocate here.

If you’ve just saw a a semi transparent horse with a headless rider walk through your wall or perhaps just had a 40 minute conversation with 2 beings who came out of a saucer like craft dressed in protective suits and ask you about agriculture and fertilization who do you inform or report it to?

Let us explore this dynamic a touch further for example. To those who have seen the kind of phenomena the reports claim.
If they are still out there do you call the emergency services? Who may likely not respond.
Do you call a paranormal investigation team?
(or insist on the military (whose number isn’t exactly in the phonebook)

Stretching it a little further still. If it happens to be there when they turn up whether lets joe bloggs paranormal society, the police service or a jeep, what would they do? Who would they call?

Who are they gonna call?


Headless horse Image taken by the Skyrim Tourist (


One response to “Are investigators providing a service?

  1. I wanted to offer my compliments to Mr. Parsons re: his interview with the Wall Street Journal. I LOVED it. The article embodies my own sentiments which developed with the television shows and has continued to echo what was written in the article. I am a PhD and an academic, though I study more of the aspect of Humanities and Religions (culture). I have done many papers and academic forums with the paranormal in the local area and I have found so much frustration in this field for years. I have even been questioning my own place in it. Reading this article provided a sense of relief for me to hear another say the same, and to have it stated in a respected newspaper. I thank you. I truly hope that someone listens.

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