22 March 2010

No. You're Not Crazy.

The one thing I hate doing as a paranormal investigator is preparing a client's final report with the words, No evidence of paranormal activity was found during our investigation.

Why do I hate writing that? I mean, you think it would be a good thing to tell someone their house isn't haunted. And it is when we have rational, scientific explanations for what's going on. Your refrigerator door keeps opening on its own because the floor is sloped outward. Your lights flicker because the wiring in your house is shoddy. The shadow you're seeing is cast by the light from your window and the angle of the mirror in the dining room. When we don't capture any evidence and cannot rationalize the client's experiences, then it's disappointing. And you're also telling the client, in a way, You're seeing things, ya looney tunes.

Well, I'm sure that's how the client takes it because that's how I would take it if I were the client.

OK. Yeah. So I've seen this and that and stuff has moved around my house and there are voices and yadda, yadda and you found nothing?!? So, I guess I'm crazy, right?

When I try to explain this phenomena to people, I use the following example. Imagine that you've been trapped in your house for months. Maybe even years. You can't leave, no one can hear or see you unless you make a huge effort that saps your energy. And any time said people do see or hear you, they run away scared. It's exhausting and maddening. Suddenly, one evening, a group of people come into the house, all wearing black and carrying electronic equipment. They tell you they're not there to hurt you or get rid of you, but everyone has been scared of you up to now and you, frankly, are terrified of these strangers throwing you to the abyss. You would probably hide. I know I would.

So, trying to convince a client that no, we didn't find any evidence because the spirit is most likely hiding and that yes, we would love to come back and try again even though we could leave with the same lack of results is... frustrating.

It's the hardest part of this job.

8 comments:

sybil law said...

Some of them are probably crazy, though, right?
I'd like to hear if any were. Hmmm...

Little Mrs. Jonesss said...

You are much better at explaining the no you aren't crazy theory. What I love is when they actually are batshit crazy and you and I have to figure out how to be nice and explain that! Haha

Hilly said...

I would immediately assume that I had a ghost rather than find myself crazy. I have no idea what that says about my personality but there you are! ;)

Miss Britt said...

I think the fact that this bothers you is a sign of your capacity for compassion. Which is awesome.

Ashlie- Mommycosm said...

That is a great way of explaining it...but my house WAS haunted growing up so I'm biased towards the the ghost theory over the bat shit crazy theory anyway.

Must be frustrating to walk away without evidence...both for you and them.

Finn said...

You're a paranormal investigator? Really? That is SO cool! Damn, I wish I'd known that when we met so I could have talked to you about my friend's dead mother who loves to play with all the electronics in her house!

Joe @ IrrationalDad said...

It's kinda like the mechanic who says, "couldn't find anything wrong with yer car, mister. That'll be $500 for diagnahstic tests and such."

tour and travel said...

wow great post
Keep posting stuff like this i really like it