Cultural Identity: The “Missing Link” In Ghost Research Sociability
In today’s modern world, through the venue of social media, there is a new landscape social setting in which people, communities of followers, and cultures (both popular and scientific) mix. This communicative and interactive (interactional) network (and networking) has created an alternative inter-cultural contextual reality, linking geographical spheres (horizontally) to multiple temporalities, both past and present (vertically). Existing cultural identities, once thought firmly grounded, have attained liminal roles in this global mix. Today, the internet fosters this particular liminal social identity by imposing a new perception of time and space, providing new meanings to “what” and “who” becomes popular, as internet links and pages re-define power and influence, attaching it to the importance of a “popularized” social identity.
This has also led to a shift in contemporary individual consciousness and historical “afterlife” conscious manifestations. The process of globalized communication has increased the perception of haunted space, and interactions with various forms of past presences once thought to be dead and buried. The “hunt” for “ghosts, in this spectral turn, also bring with it a cultural “badge” of identity, acts that define contemporary, not past, behaviors and technology. This has created an “identity crisis” in ghost research today. It is the result of the popular cultural trope of behaviors seen on paranormal reality TV programming, on “ghost hunts”, at “para-celebrity” events, and through social media. The search for a “legitimate identity”, attached to serious fieldwork, has been lost to entertainment and economics.
This is not all that “haunts” contemporary ghost research. A “ghost hunting” identity and mentality, with its stereotype “wardrobe” and “standardized” field acts, has become the basis of a popular individual and collective identity that certainly impedes the cultural understanding of a haunting, and the various means of communicating with interactive past presences. Unfortunately, the concept of “belonging” has become identified with this “ghost hunt” identity and mentality.
In a “ghost excavation”, we do not follow this “ghost hunt” identity. We “perform” to the past, and not the “audience” of the present. On these pages is a small sampling of what we do, hoping to change this “ghost hunt” mentality to a different cultural “identity”, one that resonates with those of the past with whom we are attempting to communicate with, by becoming a part of their continuing social world. Please review our site, and continue to drop by from time to time, as we update the site.