If you investigate Cam enough times (and I can’t be more specific in terms of what and where this is), you learn some valuable lessons. It is now a university, so this makes sense; but what you learn is nothing you could pick up from a professor or a textbook. All those wandering the old wards looking for spirits are learning through direct experience. At some point, though, we need to move on and take those lessons to heart. The following is an admittedly incomplete list of what I have discovered. The challenge is to take this knowledge and figure out the best way to apply it to your life (the following is NOT intended to refer to anyone but me, as a way of forcing myself to be honest regarding my motivations and motives as a ghost hunter. Please write to me if you want to add to this or comment on it):
#1–The so-called “paranormal” is REAL.
When I started this journey, I wasn’t convined that it was REALLY happening. I could see how people could easily delude themselves, play off each other’s impressions, and create an emotional tone conducive to making things up. Do we invent phenomena or act a tad too dramatic at times? Of course we do; it’s human nature to want to please the group or show off our sensitivity, or simply create a little drama if the activity is slow or non-existent. We also stretch the limits of credibility sometimes with our interpretations of audio, photos, video or ITC devices. We look for patterns that may not be there; we collectively freak each other out. BUT: we all know that this is only part of the story. There is a certain percentage of experiences and data that point to the inexplicable, and some data that absolutely points to some kind of an afterlife. We KNOW when that happens. I won’t provide examples here, since all examples can be debated–but that doesn’t change the fact that every paranormal investigator has had that experience, or that series of experiences, that are so definitive, so beyond our current understanding of the spirit or soul, that nothing can bring you back to that original state of disbelief.
We would not continue the search if it weren’t for those blinding moments of shocking response to our queries and questions. We would not collectively “know” that we need to leave a building if nothing were actually happening. If all of this were illusion, we wouldn’t feel the intense drain–emotionally and spiritually–that results from the activity in certain places. When something sucks up your batteries, dims the lights, changes the temperature, creates noise and activity in a place where neither should happen and leaves you with a headache and a cold, YOU KNOW.
#2–We don’t know what or who we are contacting, even if that entity reveals his/her identity.
Let’s be honest here. None of us can claim that we know for sure that the child’s voice in the Surgical Suite or the Adolescent Ward is REALLY the spirit of a child. It sounds like that; it might ‘feel’ like that, but can we truly affirm the identity of the energy responsible for the laugh down a dark hallway? If you’re my husband, you would say that tricky demons can be whoever you want them to be; they can make you feel sorry for them, creating a bond that isn’t real, and can lead you straight to illness or depression. Others would say you are hearing nothing more than old memories replaying themselves through the walls. My opinion? Be very, very careful before deciding that what you hear is harmless. Do I feel sorry for the children I hear? No, because I am not at all convinced that what we hear has anything to do with children. I often do not respond or interact with something that seems to have come alive in the area where we are investigating. I am usually quiet. I don’t want to become “friends” with something that could create chaos in my life.
#3: You MUST regularly engage in some form of prayer, meditation, yoga, or other spiritual practice.
I used to think that prayer circles or protection rituals were silly, New Age-y embarrassments. Now, I am convinced that if you do NOT ground and center yourself through God or your equivalent, you are placing yourself at tremendous risk. There is such a thing as losing your soul or endangering your eternal life; I’ve watched paranormal investigators get sick, become depressed, lose their energy and drive, and become obsessed with certain places to the point where it seems terribly unhealthy. Those who take the time and energy to call upon the angels to guide them and keep them safe, continue to lead productive, positive and love-filled lives.
#4–Understand WHY you are engaging in these investigations, and what you hope to ultimately learn from them.
If you endlessly investigate locations asking the same questions and using the same methods for years on end, then you might be stuck. What are you learning? How are you progressing? Are you waiting for the Burning Bush, the Holy Grail, the Full-Bodied, Speaking Ghost who will prove–once and for all, and forever–that there is life after death? Or, are you an adrenaline junkie (I was recently accused of this by someone whose opinion I respect), using the Afterlife as your personal heroin? I am thinking only of myself here–I am not referencing any other investigator(s)–but if you see yourself doing this, then isn’t it time for some intense, personal reflection?
Waiting for the Sign is akin to asking God every day to “prove” that he exists. If you have no faith in the evidence you already have, then you will never be satisfied. Even if the ghost appeared and poked you, you would find a way to discount it. Investigators: YOU ALREADY HAVE ENOUGH PROOF. The question is: what are you going to do with it? How are you going to change the direction of your life? How are you going to improve the conditions of the living? What difference will you make in the world RIGHT NOW?
Life is forever–but clearly, the quality of that life varies enormously. Will you be the angry guy in Unit 44, endlessly trapped in his version of Hell, or will you continue to evolve as a spirit of love?
It’s your choice.