While I may not be that old, I mean I am only 38, I feel that I have been involved in some shape or form with ghost hunting for the majority of my life. I have written about the subject, turned ideas into scripts and short stories, lectured on the subject to college classes, and started whole folklore groups on college campuses. I documented my shift of mentality from perceived scientific studies, to actual scientific research, in an article I wrote for a website I ran for years called Hoosier Heartland Ghosthunters, the article was called Growth of a Ghost Hunter.
In that I looked at how actually learning what true science was turned the way I looked at ghost hunting into something different. Below is a snippet from that article.
“I found that the manner in which data was, and is, collected was not the problem, but the lack of coherent methodology was. Everyone claimed that what the field needed was Peer Review to be scientific, however if nobody really knows how you are collecting your data they cannot fully review your findings. During my courses, I came to realize what I was missing. Everyone claims that what he or she is doing in the paranormal field is scientific. Now I began to see what it takes to carry out scientific research, and I can see what is missing in paranormal research at present.”
From then on, I was bent on proposing changes to how we make someone different. I wrote article after article and talked to everyone I could in the field. Some agreed with me, some just blew me off, however, in the end nothing came of it. Those on the tv shows, the so-called “experts” who were just rehashing the old stuff, kept on moving along and nobody listened.
Now I am not bitter, but I moved on. Gradually I moved from the ghost hunting to looking at the modernity of ghost lore, and focused on understanding folklore and its evolution through time. I don’t care anymore about what is going on, rather how we look at the stories that build up around places. I am interested in how they change with passing years to fit what society is concerned about in the present.
Call it the eventual growth everyone goes through, or something tied to my studies, I don’t know. Starting this page has made me look through my old folders to see what I had stashed away, and I found the almost forty articles that I had written in the past. Looking through, hoping that I can connect with what I had written so many years ago, I found that most of my ideas were sound. Just not interesting to me anymore. I don’t want to go out into the night and construct a standardized methodology, argue for new term usage, or tilt at windmills like I did in the past.
So is it growth, or just apathy? Maybe it is just a change in interests that normally happen over time. One can never tell.