The One

Everybody knows that most paranormal investigations are boring, and everyone hopes for one that isn’t. You go inside with the anticipation that this will be “the one” that turns out crazy; where things fly off of shelves, and black shadows dart through the upstairs bedrooms. This time, a residual woman in full 19th century regalia might actually walk through the wall of the dining room. You’ll smell cigar smoke in the parlor, hear someone scream from the basement, and a soft hand will stroke your hair repeatedly. By the time you shut things down, everyone will have several mind-blowing experiences, and you will have captured all of it on video and digital recorders. This scenario even includes a few moments of actual fear – the kind that really tests you, but you kept it together; you did your job perfectly.

If we’re honest, that’s the kind of investigation we all yearn for, but sadly, it almost never happens. Most likely, it will be a quiet night instead. You’ll say “what was that?” a couple of times, but it won’t be anything out of the ordinary – a creaky stair, a click of the grandfather clock. Maybe something will fall off the top of the refrigerator – a poorly placed loaf of bread perhaps, dislodged from its precarious perch by gravity or a mouse. If you’re lucky, there will be something you can debunk – a kitchen cabinet that opens on its own or a faint unexplained smell. One of your meters will go off around midnight; the K2 will act a little weird in the living room – nothing too dramatic, and nothing concrete.

You’ll hope something will show up during analysis – EVP perhaps, or maybe some unexplained movement on the video. How many hours of video have you watched this year only to come up empty-handed; how many times has movement in the corner of your eye turned out to be your imagination? How many hours of audio have you labored through – reliving every moment over and over, always with the same excruciatingly predictable result?

That’s how it goes. The field is anti-climactic for the most part. You will probably begin to wonder, at some point, why you even do this. Surely there are better, more productive ways to spend your time. There are better ways to spend your cash too. How many digital recorders do you really need anyway? Secretly, a part of you wants to be Zak or Aaron. You want to hear a voice threaten to “kill Nick,” and it sure would be nice if your Spirit Box performed as well as theirs. If only you could walk the grounds with Jason as he catches something on the thermal, or survey the old mill with Steve – just once.

Oh hell, you’re doing everything right. You’re calm under fire and you know when to be quiet. You’re the consummate professional – you know the equipment, understand how to handle every situation, have totally prepared for any eventuality, and you don’t run. It’s always a great investigation because you’re good at what you do and your team is spectacular – one of the best ever, a well oiled ghost finding machine, ready to take on all comers. If only…

Still, all the training and experience has served you well. You’ve secured your share of solid evidence over the years, so it’s all been worth it, but tonight – on that long drive home as the sun comes up, and the world slowly stirs, you feel a little unsure about things. It’s difficult to explain – you could simply be spent. You’ll probably get over it – all you need is some food and a little rest. But is it all worth the effort?

Well, you can’t answer that one tonight. As you pull into the drive-thru, you hear yourself order that breakfast burrito and a Diet Coke, and you recognize your voice, but you’re not certain you actually spoke. It’s Sunday morning, and people are up. Just an hour ago, it was still Saturday night, and you were still on location; still frosty, and the adrenaline still pumping. While the world slept, you were in search of the truth. You were gaining understanding and knowledge; gathering proof of forever.

Yeah, you just need some sleep. Better get on that evidence as soon as you can though – next Friday night you have to do it all over again, and you need to be ready. People are counting on you. As you pull off the parking lot and onto the highway, your eyes are getting heavy, and your face feels like leather, but all you can think about is next Friday, and you really can’t wait. And so it goes. Maybe next time will be “the one.” Maybe the time after that – who knows? It doesn’t matter, but thanks – we need you. We appreciate the effort, and love the commitment. We’re sure you’ll find “the one” real soon.


One response to “The One

  1. All I can say is… Word! Exactly! I just wish my group had more opportunities to find “the one”. I mean, I keep myself busy with other research, but sometimes the space in between actual investigations is too long.

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