Brandy Stark, PhD
Mid Pinellas Comic and Maker Con
Sept. 10, 2016
What is it?
Paranormal investigation: Investigates
claims regarding the presence of ghosts,
demons, spirits, aliens, lake monsters, and
other "strange and bizarre" things. –
Usually does not have a background tied
to parapsychology, or other related field
For this talk, the focus is on ghost
investigation/ghost hunting: The process
of investigating locations that are reported
to be haunted by ghosts.
Paranormal investigation teams will
attempt to collect evidence that they see
as supportive of paranormal activity.
Harvard psychologist and philosopher William
James (late 1800s) studied oddities such as
In the early-to-mid-1900s, Joseph Banks
Rhine helped to pioneer the study of ESP by
founding a (now-defunct) parapsychology lab
at Duke University.
Harry Price debunked many natural
A list of ten notable paranormalists can be
investigation is done
Dr. Andrew Nichols, a world-renown parapsychologist,
said here that he believes that they also push
questionable science on the TV-watching public.
Issues include assumptive behaviors – ghosts only
manifest at night and so investigations should be at
night. (Why would ghosts come out only then? How
can you be a good observer in the dark?)
• Personal observation: I have spent 20 years doing investigations
in the evening, early night, and a few during the day. Entities
have manifest at all times; some daytime investigations have
proven useful to actually rule out phenomena or false “sensitive
Investigators use unproven, “scientific seeming”
instruments like magnetometers, which have ultimately
failed to produce replicable results
Shady Science of Ghost Investigation: Less scientific
methods used to prove ghosts
• Personal observation: I have tried a number of the “new” tools
that have come out. None of them hold water or produce results
-- Cell phones/apps: No.
-- A basic kit seems to work fine. An EMF reader, thermometer,
notebook, video camera (infrared is great), digital and film
cameras, digital recorders, notebooks or word processing
They suggest that every oddity are signs of
ghosts (orbs, “ghostly touches”)
• Still a problem; people are swayed by the shows
and believe obvious false positives are real
More generally, as Nichols put it, “they just
run around like little girls.”
• These shows are for ENTERTAINMENT purposes,
not serious study
• These are also staged to bring forth excitement
Ripleys Believe it or Not 1949-1950,
2000-2003Paranormal ABC, TBS
One Step Beyond (Alcoa Presents…)1959-1961ParanormalABC
In Search Of…1976–1982ParanormalU.S. syndicated
Beyond Reason1977-1980ParanormalCBC (Canada)
Next Step Beyond (The)1978-1979ParanormalSyndicated
Arthur C. Clarke’s Mysterious World1980ParanormalU.K.
Arthur C. Clarke’s World of Strange Powers1985ParanormalA&E
Unsolved Mysteries1987, 2001ParanormalNBC, CBS
James Randi: Psychic Investigator1991PsychicsU.K.
Haunted Lives/Real Ghosts1991-1995
(mini-series [3 eps])GhostsCBS/UPN
There are more shows…many, many more shows.
The TV shows are a
great source to learn
how to do paranormal
They make for good entertainment and people are
really interested in them
Desire to believe already exists
Critical thinking needs to be applied by the
audience because these shows are heavily edited
and even scripted.
Suggestion is rampant
Have over-populated the field with copy cats,
people who want to be paranormal TV stars; have
not created strong standards (read more here)
They draw attention away from people who have
researched the field, years of experience, and long
lineages in the field
Designed to make money
From Ghost TV Shows Scare Up Major Cash:
Paranormal reality shows make a lot of sense from
a money standpoint. The cameras and production
equipment are low-cost almost by necessity.
Ghosts don't demand craft services and a bigger
trailer. And the qualification for being a
professional paranormal investigator consists of
declaring, "I am a professional paranormal
investigator" and not much else. This might literally
be the cheapest form of reality show on TV.
Casting call, posted July 29, 2016
Are you a skilled paranormal investigator who has what it takes to work with stylish, superstar
clients in Los Angeles and New York?
The producers of Ghost Hunters are putting together a sharp, exciting team to investigate
celebrity homes and businesses on a brand new TV show for a major cable network.
It doesn’t matter where you live in the U.S., as long as you have solid experience as a
paranormal investigator, case manager, researcher or tech expert, AND you’re savvy enough to
work with famous clientele.
This is your opportunity to investigate high-profile cases on national TV!
CONTACT PRODUCERS TODAY!
Send an email to NOPE with your name, location, phone number, a recent photo and why you
want to take on Paranormal Celebrity, or fill out the form below.
PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT YOU MEET THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA:
You must be at least 18 years of age as of August 1, 2016.
You must be a legal US resident.
You must not be a candidate for public office and must agree not to become one until after one
(1) year after the initial exhibition of the episodes of the Program in which you appear, if selected
as a participant.
Applicants must be available in September, 2016 (final dates TBD), to film in-person casting
footage. Producers will transport applicants to the casting location (TBD) to film interviews and
other content, which may include a sample investigation with other applicants. If necessary,
Producer will provide lodging.
So why do we do it?
Proof of afterlife
The odd times when something does seem
What are you curious about? What do you
want to know?