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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, lak...
For this talk, the focus is on ghost
investigation/ghost hunting: The process
of investigating locations that are reporte...
Paranormal
investigation is a
new phenomena.
 Harvard psychologist and philosopher William
James (late 1800s) studied oddities such as
“crisis apparitions”
 In the e...
Paranormal
investigation is done
using scientific
methodologies.
 Dr. Andrew Nichols, a world-renown parapsychologist,
said here that he believes that they also push
questionable science...
 Investigators use unproven, “scientific seeming”
instruments like magnetometers, which have ultimately
failed to produce...
They suggest that every oddity are signs of
ghosts (orbs, “ghostly touches”)
• Still a problem; people are swayed by the ...
Paranormal TV is
a new phenomena
 Ripleys Believe it or Not 1949-1950,
1982-1986,
1999 (animated)
2000-2003Paranormal ABC, TBS
 One Step Beyond (Alcoa Pr...
The TV shows are a
great source to learn
how to do paranormal
investigation
 They make for good entertainment and people are
really interested in them
 Desire to believe already exists
 Critical ...
 Designed to make money
 From Ghost TV Shows Scare Up Major Cash:
Paranormal reality shows make a lot of sense from
a mo...
 Casting call, posted July 29, 2016
 Are you a skilled paranormal investigator who has what it takes to work with stylis...
So why do we do it?
Proof of afterlife
Fun
Research
Interest
Comradery
The odd times when something does seem
to happen!
What are you curious about? What do you
want to know?
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The facts and fiction of paranormal investigation

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The facts and fiction of paranormal investigation

  1. 1. Brandy Stark, PhD Mid Pinellas Comic and Maker Con Sept. 10, 2016
  2. 2. What is it? Paranormal investigation: Investigates claims regarding the presence of ghosts, demons, spirits, aliens, lake monsters, and other "strange and bizarre" things. – Skeptics Dictionary Usually does not have a background tied to parapsychology, or other related field
  3. 3. 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.
  4. 4. Paranormal investigation is a new phenomena.
  5. 5.  Harvard psychologist and philosopher William James (late 1800s) studied oddities such as “crisis apparitions”  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 phenomena  A list of ten notable paranormalists can be found here
  6. 6. Paranormal investigation is done using scientific methodologies.
  7. 7.  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 impressions”
  8. 8.  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 capabilities.
  9. 9. 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
  10. 10. Paranormal TV is a new phenomena
  11. 11.  Ripleys Believe it or Not 1949-1950, 1982-1986, 1999 (animated) 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 networks  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.
  12. 12. The TV shows are a great source to learn how to do paranormal investigation
  13. 13.  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
  14. 14.  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.
  15. 15.  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.   ***ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS***  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.
  16. 16. So why do we do it? Proof of afterlife Fun Research Interest Comradery The odd times when something does seem to happen!
  17. 17. What are you curious about? What do you want to know?

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