Opinion: Paranormal Shows and “Evidence”

I’m sure you’ve heard or watched shows about the paranormal and “ghost hunting”. Many people watch the shows and take to heart, 110%, of what the show airs: “It’s true! (Insert name of celebrity here) said it was!” Most notably, many shows have EVP’s, or electronic voice phenomena.

It’s my belief the people who are asked to do the show (or hosts) have high hopes for actual evidence and the actual process of an investigation, but I’m sure the producers and executives want to keep the show “exciting” and ask them to fake evidence (such as Real Ghost Hunters and Paranormal State).

Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP’s)

EVP’s are said to contain voices of people who are deceased. Some even claim that they capture voices from people who used to live at the location in which the EVP was recorded that are still alive; however, this is more of a rarity.

If you ask professional paranormal investigators, you will find (perhaps much to your disappointment) that EVP’s are extremely rare along with all other “evidence” boasted on many paranormal shows.

If you go on YouTube and search “EVP”, you’ll find a plethora of supposed EVP’s. For example, this video:

Obviously, this person does not claim to be a paranormal investigator, but does claim he captured EVP’s from a church in Arizona. Well, two things:

  1. It’s very difficult to assume you caught something when you are in a public place. Even though it may not seem people are constantly talking, it is very difficult to discern.
  2. Our brains are truly magnificent and are always processing information, even if it is from an unreliable source. Sometimes, we hear things even if they are not meant to be a voice, but a random noise (Pareidolia, a type of apophenia, pronounced “ap-o-feen-ya”).

Another thing to consider is that we do not know equipment was used or what the place itself looks like. It could have been people talking.

Orbs

A personal “pet peeve” of mine is the phenomena known as orbs. Orbs are said to be spirits of the deceased or energy. I can tell you from experience that these “orbs”, 99% of the time, is either dust or insects that have reflected off the surface emitting light.

The following picture was pulled from https://oraclesandhealers.wordpress.com/tag/orbs/:

dust_corn_field

Once on Facebook, there was a woman who lost her child who posted a photo of a basement with “thousands of orbs” who said she felt her child there with her. Hundreds of people gave “likes” and comments, such as “SO MANY SPIRITS, WOW” and “you are a gifted psychic”.

I can’t even begin to imagine what an awful and terrible ordeal she has (and is) going through. I can’t even begin to put myself in this woman’s shoes with the heartbreak she has endured and can understand, completely, why she feels this way.

After telling someone who believes without so much as a second thought that it was a dusty, old basement in which the flash reflected off, you will quickly learn how truly mesmerized people are with the phenomena and want so badly to believe, even if the evidence against it is overwhelming.

I use this (extreme) example to show how people are drawn to the paranormal and how engrossed they become. This is one of the many reasons why it needs to be actually studied and not just thrown under the “it is not real, period” bus. Although I am aware that, even if you lead a horse to water, you can’t make them drink it.

Now, I definitely do not want to be a die-hard skeptic, but we must remember that if we are to indeed study the paranormal and the occult, we have to have a firm grasp of common sense.

I don’t want to come off as someone who completely is on the side of skepticism, but again, we have to view ALL possible angles. It can be frustrating and seemingly “hopeless” to find legitimate evidence, but we must be diligent.

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