Most of you know I work with a paranormal investigation team. Not as often as I would like these last few months, but my heart was with them. Between knee replacement and Hubby’s ticker trying to un-tock, we’ve been doing the medical mambo.
I just agreed to take over as Case Manager for the book we’re putting together of haunted destinations in the South, while Helen, our original case manager, helps nurse her parents during recovery. So interviews for entries in the book will take front seat the next few weeks. (Hint-hint. If you know someone with a B&B, store, restaurant, bar, etc. with paranormal activity or history, we’d love to include them in the book! We’ve covered places in Memphis, Atlanta, Pensacola, Bay St. Louis and Ocean Springs so far. Feel free to give them my email addy. It’s RunereMcLain@hughes.net)
One of the questions I’m asked quite often is what do you do on investigations, and what type of person joins a paranormal investigation team? After all, ghost hunting is not glamorous, as depicted on TV, and there aren’t responses or viable evidence during every investigation. It requires long, overnight hours of asking simple questions then sitting quiet with recorders and infrared cameras rolling, all in hopes of picking up a voice or visual anomaly. Other times you closely observe monitors, marking down times and possible events to be double checked when recordings and film are later reviewed. Sessions usually last about forty minutes, there’s a short break, and teams switch rooms or positions. We always work in teams, and always carry blessed medals. And enough pictures are taken that you’d think a herd of paparazzi had descended on the place. You can get a little flash drunk, blinded by the flare of multiple cameras in a confined space in the dark.
I love all of it; the travel, the site histories, the setting up, the investigation, tearing down and reviewing. But if I had to name a favorite part, it would have to be my fellow investigators. Not everyone can go on every investigation. So members have to blend easily with others, be willing to take the lead, or willing to step back and let another take the lead. Members have to be willing and able to travel on weekends, get hot and sweaty, get cold and wet, get sandy, muddy or dirty, sustain long hours and be able to keep quiet. Finding people with the ability to stay quiet is more of a challenge than most think. It’s only natural for people to want to converse, and during long investigations, boredom prompts the urge to exchange information.
I don’t want to bore anyone so I’ll just touch on a few of our members at the last get together to show the diversity. We had a government worker, a self-employed business woman, self-employed business man, a police officer, an EMT, a young male technical advisor and father, a single mom, a Native American specialist, a model, a skeptic, and a paranormal writer.
Back up, you said? Model? Yes. Real live working professional model. Tessie is one of those rarities who is beautiful inside as well as out. She showed up at our fundraiser in crisp shorts, feminine top, full make-up and four-inch cork-soled platform sandals. And I’ll give her this much, despite her band box appearance she’s no Barbie. She has no problem getting her hands dirty with any aspect of an investigation. Traffic may have problems keeping up a steady flow when she stands roadside displaying the Ed Hardy skin care products basket she brought to raffle off, but she takes the squealing brakes, honking horns and moon-eyed guys in stride, distributing her mega-watt smile without prejudice to age, appearance, type of vehicle or wolf whistle.
Susan is our Native American expert. There are six siblings in her family of Irish-Indian ancestry. They all favor, yet three have such fair complexions they could have stepped off the boat from Erin yesterday; the other three look like they just stepped off the Reservation. Susan has the reputation for physical encounters, some violent. If we’re working a case and hear thud, “Son of a bi–!” you can lay money on it being Susan. She was picked up and tossed across a hall hard enough to put her head through the sheet rock at one house. Dolly is our founder, and she’s a ghost magnet. Jared, her son, is our resident skeptic and torments us all, but in a good way. Bobbie is our mom, and is one of the fastest to pick up on a change of atmosphere or a visual. We also had Scott, Jeff and Harold there, newbies learning the ropes. If I left anyone out, I plead old age.
How did I get into investigations? As a paranormal writer I asked to go out with the team to give a character realism, and was hooked immediately.
So who makes up a team? You. Me. Retired Aunt Martha. The college student off for the summer. A policeman. A fireman. The techno-geek and the Skoal-ringed country boy. In other words, anyone with a desire to explore the unknown.
Come take a walk on the wild side with us. We’re taking applications right now!