There’s an upside and a downside to everything. You can’t have one without the other – like good and evil, beautiful and ugly, smart and stupid. You know how it works – if you don’t have one, how do you define the other? So, the downside of researching anything paranormal begins when people outside the field expect you to have answers. Most of my responses have to begin with “I have no idea,” because I don’t. Occasionally, I feel a little bit like a terminally ill patient being asked to conjure a cure. In both cases, a non-committal shrug seems appropriate.
“So, don’t you think it makes sense that…” Well, I guess so, but it’s a little more complicated than that. “Maybe everyone is a sensitive and we just don’t know it.” Maybe so, but if literally no one knows it, how would we be? And why do so many people want to be sensitive anyway? “Ghosts only show up at 3:00 am, right? How come?” Do they? I don’t actually see a lot of ghosts – almost never, but I think it can happen any time. “As long as it’s dark, then?” Good grief, I don’t know!
There’s so much more that I don’t know than I do, and the more experience I gain, the truer that seems to be. It’s not like being a mechanic or a doctor. There are no paranormal carburetors to fix, or broken bones to set, and you can go years without any results whatsoever. I cringe when their interrogations begin because I can see the expectation in their faces. Surely I must know something I can share with them; some other-worldly secrets; some kind of scoop on where the dearly departed have gone.
What they want, I think, are lots of really good, provably true ghost stories. Like the one where the old man walks the halls with an ax every night and watches the children sleep, or how the beautiful heiress meets her dead lover once a year in dreams. (It could happen!) I mean, why would anyone do this kind of research if there’s no payoff, right? It doesn’t make sense to keep coming up empty-handed time after time. Which means I’m either a terrible researcher, enjoy wasting my time, am unwilling to share, or I’m incredibly stupid. Hmmm… I wonder which one fits?
I often try to answer the questions with one of my own – “What do you think?” This usually results in some crazy scenario that I then feel compelled to deflate – out of professional pride, of course. Well, I can’t let them think deceased family members are turning into demons on the other side, or that when someone dies in the house it automatically becomes haunted. It’s a vicious circle! I have no answers, but I better come up with something, or else… Don’t misunderstand me, I don’t mind sharing what I’ve learned, and offering a theory or two is certainly not beneath me, but the bottom line is always the same – I know a lot more about what is not paranormal than what actually is paranormal.
The other day, an old friend called me full of questions, and I had absolutely nothing to tell him. “Well, you don’t know anything,” he finally said – incredulously. Oh, we know a lot, I told him – we just don’t know anything conclusive. There’s not very much we can prove. “Let me know when you figure it out,” he snarked. “Okay?”
Sure thing! I’ll get right on that. Whatever happened to “How’s the family?”
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Voices From Forever by Randall Keller http://goo.gl/ZBBmj Available on Amazon
There Is No Silence by Randall Keller http://goo.gl/U6KY7 Available on Amazon.