Friday, December 31, 2010

Keeping Emotions in Check

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Written by Al Tyas

Being on a paranormal investigation can be very scary, very exciting, or very boring. No investigation will produce exactly the same emotions. However, a person’s feelings can directly affect the entire outcome of the investigation. This is why I suggest all team members always keep their emotions in check. Sometimes unusual emotions can come out without any realization, or rationalization. Sometimes they can be directly due to the nature of the investigation, but sometimes they can be directly due to the nature of the entity.

Some time ago, I was conducting an investigation with a few other teammates, one of who was on their first investigation. The night was very slow, meaning no activity occurred (yes, this does happen). The new person began to develop quite a negative attitude about being so bored. The excessive whining eventually put a damper on the rest of the group, making us all irritable and annoyed. The result of this became catastrophic. The other agents refused to work with the complainer again, and boycotted any investigation the complainer was on. Eventually this blew up into a major catastrophe with no winner. In other words, one negative attitude eventually hurt several people, with no one right or wrong, just damage. There are times when investigations require a lot of patience and no “action” and if someone cannot handle the slow times they really should not be in this business.

Panic is another emotion to keep in check. Everyone gets scared, and it’s justified. However, the reaction to the fear is what’s important. Although we all see the “Fear” based programs on cable TV, the worst thing you can do is let out a blood curdling scream in a suburban neighborhood at 2 AM. Especially when it was just the family cat that scared the screamer. It’s highly inappropriate at any time, and if someone is that scared of ghosts should they really be looking for them? Just imagine the reaction of the neighbors, the police, fire department and the client when a circus forms on the front of their front lawn all due to one investigator with unsteady nerves doing a bad rendition of Jamie Lee Curtis.

Finally, Sometimes a haunted area will produce unusual feelings simply due to the entity. Sometimes more sensitive people experience unusual feelings being in a haunted place. One time upon leaving a haunted location I felt irrational rage for no apparent reason. It took me two days to get over those feelings. They weren’t aimed at anyone or anything, but I was in an unusually terrible mood. I know two of the five ghosts in that house were quite hostile and angry in life, and I do believe somehow I picked up on that negative energy. Right after that investigation I was very sick with a major cold for about a week. Some professionals say the immune system is directly related to our emotions, so it’s very possible my sudden bad attitude triggered the bad cold. Fortunately I learned, although the hard way, to analyze my emotions more. I have also had people on my team experience extreme sadness with no rational explanation. Twice two different investigators nearly burst into tears with no apparent reason, once in a private home, and once in a battlefield. They just began to feel very sad.

A positive attitude is imperative in a paranormal investigation and if an investigator feels something negative in any way it’s important to let the team leader know exactly what’s going on. A pep talk, a breather or just a change of location may be needed to feel right again. If it lasts for more than a day contact the director, and a good director or founder should know what to do. Just remember if you don’t feel like yourself, there may be a “paranormal” reason.

Al is from Washington D.C. Metro Area Ghost Watchers

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