There are many different sciences of the past, each with their own methodologies. There is no one “scientific method” (cf. P. Feyerabend, in his book Against Method (2010). Ghost research can become one of them, if only it would discord the emphasis on recognition (via reality television as entertainment), and becomes a discipline of legitimate research and fieldwork that entertains. There are serious alternative forms of science that frames the existence of past presence, perceived as remains that “haunt” the present. Such a multi-disciplinary approach would be a welcome addition to the restricted approach of paranormal reality TV, and “ghost hunting” in general. A multi-disciplinary approach would provide legitimate forms of “beyond the paranormal” research, away from typical “ghost hunting” mentality.
The use (and often abuse) of the past (as “ghostly presences that “haunt” us with their continued uncertainty) engrain mental images as “materializations” of many contemporary egocentric individuals who desire for a “paranormal experience” from the past. This “paranormal” view leaves the conception and perception of that past (for many) vulnerable to entertainment-focused marketing techniques and their hints at “instant” fame.
Are “orbs” (and other light anomalies), “shadows”, garbled “soundings” from various “voice boxes”, and ambient measurements the “objects” and “subjects” of truth of how particular individuals (as “ghosts”) or groups (as “institutional” hauntings) want to be remembered? If these “ghosts” are indeed attempting to “communicate” with us, wouldn’t they have a “voice” and “vision” in that “communication”, instead of the “ghost hunter” as “spokesperson”? Are those images and representations, obtained in most “ghost hunts” (and “ghost tourism” with para-celebrities) not reality, but really are artificial imitations of what “ghost hunters” would like to believe about the appearances of past presences?
What has the use of technology (as “ghost tech”) done to the contemporary socio-cultural perceptions of “authenticity” in their documentations of manifestations of ghostly presence? What is the technological effect on understanding and explanation when individuals and groups “buy into” these homogenized and sanitized mass-produced perceptions of “apparitional experiences”?
The result is an illusion of “authentic”, becoming a “unique” and “paranormal” choice of explanation. What is the significance of all this “staged authenticity” for conceptions of meaningful value within ghost research as a legitimate fieldwork discipline? It has hindered research, such that we, those who seek answers to these questions, have not gained any ground in establishing “proof” of ghosts or a haunting.
The re-production of mannerisms, techniques, and devices from one “ghost hunt” to the next, repeated time and again by different groups at the same location, substitutes a multitude of copies for a unique experience. The repeatability of the same “form and function” in “ghost hunts” calls into question the authenticity of original past cultural behavior it (the “ghost hunt”) purports to document, and any subsequent manifestation of it in a future haunting!
What is “authentic” as an “original” example of actual past presence behavior? It isn’t the “orb”, the “shadow”, or a “sound” that is open for interpretation. It certainly isn’t an ambient-measured change. What is that measured change? Is it a contemporary change due to a manifesting past? Is it a past residual that is manifesting a past ambiance, and thus not relative to a “ghost” of a “dead” individual? And “who” has confirmed with certainty the “authentic” and verified relation between ambient change and a “ghostly manifestation” in a scientific (any scientific) journal?
It’s time, in 2013, that we learn to re-learn how to investigate and do legitimate research and fieldwork at haunted locations! There are experts, and there are fields of expertise, if only one does their “homework”. This website is a baseline for individuals and groups who seek answers, techniques, methodologies, and theories outside the “paranormal box”, and away (far away) from the “para-celebrities”. Let’s bury the egos, as a form of reverse archaeology (“incavate” not “excavate”). Let’s lose the expectations of gaining popularity and quick fame! This is hard work, so let’s work at getting this field a legitimacy that it needs to obtain credible results and institutional funding