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So you want to be a ghost hunter: Tips from paranormal investigator, Bill Payne

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Television shows like to make ghost hunting look glamorous. However, there is more to paranormal investigating than going out to large, public locations and trying to get evidence of a haunting. Shows like Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures and other similar ghost hunting shows make it look so great to be a paranormal investigator. When in all reality, it is truly harder than it looks.

As a fellow paranormal investigator, I have to agree that conducting investigations and seeking to collect evidence is fun. But we are a rare breed. You have to have patience and be willing to help those who cannot help themselves when it comes to the paranormal. It is not all about getting in front of the camera and asking the ghosts to appear, because they generally do not perform on command. Sometimes they do, but not often. (That would make this so much easier if they would.)

So, do you still want to be a paranormal investigator? Great. I have asked paranormal investigator Bill Payne, founder of Hopkins County Paranormal Society to answer a few questions to help newcomers to the field get a better understanding of that they have to look forward to.

Payne agrees and said the paranormal field is not for everyone. “Things can be pretty dangerous,” he said. “I have witnessed partial possessions, people being scratched, being pushed, objects being thrown, doors slamming…” he continued. “I have been cussed at, threatened, have had my voice mimicked and things have followed me home.”

These are not everyday occurrences when conducting paranormal investigations, but he has seen them all happen. “Don’t go in expecting things to happen,” he suggested. “But be prepared for the unexpected.” Great words of advice for anyone just starting out as a paranormal investigator.

There are many other things, besides the dangers, that make being a paranormal investigator a difficult duty. Payne said the hardest thing about being an investigator is being away from his family. It is not just go do the investigation and you are done. There is a lot more to it and he said the investigation is actually the easiest part. Reviewing the evidence is the most time consuming duty of a paranormal investigator.

Payne said the other hard part about being a paranormal investigator is all of the labels people put on you for what you do. “I have been called a Satanist, devil worshiper and an occultist,” he added. “Been told I am doing the devil’s work and so on.” People have been so judgmental of what he does, Payne said he has been unwelcome at churches and even had to switch pharmacies.

Still think becoming a ghost hunter is for you? Good. You can continue reading.

Make sure you are not getting into paranormal investigating for the wrong reasons. Do not do it because you think it is cool, for the money or the thrills. Payne said your heart has to be in it to truly love it. There is no money to made, unless you find sponsors like the shows on television and succeeding at that is very rare in this field. He has been told several times he and his team could have their own show, but that is not why he got into the field.

“I do this to help people,” he said. “If we were to get our own show there is only one way I would do it and that’s to continue doing what we do not. That’s helping families who need help.” He added that too many people lose their perspective once they get on television. “They forget who made them who they are, and that’s the families they help.”

So what additional advice does Payne have for a seasoned paranormal investigator? Let’s find out.

“As a seasoned investigator, I just hope they are like we are,” he said. “They reach out and help other investigators as we do.” Payne believes it is important for paranormal investigators to stick together and help each other out. Whether it be by sharing evidence and location leads or even teaming up and conducting an investigation together.

“We should be pulling together more and not be in this for the competition.” Payne believes to many people are turning paranormal investigating into a competition and that is not what it is about. “It is about helping people and trying to find answers.”

Payne is the founder of Hopkins County Paranormal Society in Nortonville, Kentucky. It is a non-profit organization he started five years ago to help others suffering from the unknown. His paranormal group believes in debunking claims before claiming it is paranormal. “Most times if you can find a logical explanation of why they may be having the experiences, it makes them more at ease,” he added.

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