Fear and the Paranormal
“The only thing to fear is fear itself”. How many times have we heard that saying through our lifetimes? The problem in the paranormal investigator’s line of work is that we work with the unknown which, to many people, can be frightening. In any given situation, no one knows what their reaction will be to something that frightens them, until it happens. Will they freeze up or be unable to move? Or will they run screaming from the room! In this article we will explore how fear relates to the paranormal investigator and what can be done to prepare for unexpected situations.
First off, fear is a common human response to the unexplained. The unknown is almost always frightening to people and the paranormal is the ultimate unknown. After all, we don’t really understand the mysteries of death and what happens after. Throw in unfamiliar places, sounds, and often darkness, then it is understandable how the investigator may become fearful. Situations can also get out of hand when one person is scared and their partner or group feeds off of that emotion until everyone is reacting.
Something that paranormal investigators have to keep in mind during an investigation is that in most cases, the paranormal can’t hurt you. There are exceptions, but these are exceedingly rare, and the chances of encountering one of these entities is not common. An investigator runs a much greater chance of injury by running into something after fleeing in a blind panic from a paranormal entity, real or imagined.
How can the paranormal investigator prepare his or herself mentally to react in a professional manner while conducting an investigation? One way is for the investigator to visualize how they want to react in any given situation, from disembodied voices to cold spots to full-body apparitions. Visualization has been proven a valuable tool by athletes to improve their performance and studies have shown that it works. Also, not everyone will react the same way and the paranormal investigator can use this to his or her advantage. Some members of the group may not be nervous at all in paranormal situations. This would be an ideal personality to pair with a more timid member of the group. Other ideas for minimizing fear would be to pair senior members with new members and avoiding pairing a newer member with other new members. Of course nothing takes the place of getting out there and doing an investigation and reactions on real investigations can be used as learning tools. The investigator can learn more about how they naturally respond to the paranormal. If the reaction was not ideal, the investigator can work on controlling their emotions for the next situation.
It’s important to get as close to the ideal reaction as possible in a fearful situation, not only does panicking appear unprofessional, it also has the greatest chance of causing injury to yourself or someone else. Of course, the paranormal investigator will ideally stay in a situation and do as much as possible to record evidence in a scientific manner. However, when the investigator feels extreme fear coming on and needs to leave, then the ideal response is to alert the person/people with you and calmly, quietly, walk out of the room. Not only is this more professional, this will also help forestall any injuries.
It’s important for the paranormal investigator to learn to control their emotions, especially fear. Knowing and doing are two different things of course, but every person can learn to control their fear and nervousness. For the paranormal investigator, the only thing to fear, truly, is fear itself.