With the elections behind us… and the holidays upon us… it seemed like a good time to set digits to the keyboard for a long overdue missive. Personally, I can’t say that I’m sorry to see 2016 in the rear-view mirror of life. Both Johnathon and myself have had more than our share of challenges and tragedies in 2016 which demanded and redirected our time, attention, and energies elsewhere. As we sincerely appreciate your continued interest and support of the Ghostly Encounters book project, and my occasionally clever musings; we collectively beg your pardon for the absence.
Despite our absence from the voluminous, sometimes vociferous paranormal social media scene, we’ve tried to stay somewhat connected to the outside world while continuing our volunteer efforts at historic Prospect Place. We even managed to make it to a couple of paranormal conventions and book fairs. It really is an immense joy for us both to get out and meet enthusiasts and fellow investigators; not so much to talk (which those who know me will say I possess an abundance of skill and hot air), but more so to listen to other people’s experiences and curiosities.
I think it is also worth noting some important changes we have noticed in the paranormal community over the past year. These changes, mostly for the good, have brought us all; passive enthusiasts and active investigators alike, to a place that seems calmer and less dramatic than in days past. In short, it seems that the paranormal community at-large has, or at the very least is in the process of maturing. And for all level-headed people, that’s a very good thing.
Though I confess, I don’t watch “paranormal TV” any more, it seems that a number of the junk programs have fallen to the wayside. Even some of the more venerable longstanding programs have lost their luster and appeal to the masses. Call it natural selection if you will, but the television market has spoken. Sure, there continues to be a lot of crap on cable, but… there seems to be a lot less of it and as noted, that’s a good thing! I also believe part of the "culling" is the result of investigators feeling frustrated, aggravated, or simply bored with the para celebs and their brand of entertainment. Once you've investigated and had your own paranormal experience, watching it on TV just doesn't seem to cut it anymore. Particularly when you find yourself spending more time critiquing the people you're watching, rather than watching or waiting for something to happen. Remember friends, ghosts don't show up on cue, if they show up at all!
Another indication of a maturing community is what might be best described as a “shaking out,” or falling off of those less committed to paranormal inquiry. In the corporate world, terms like “downsizing” or “right-sizing” come to mind. It seems many of the drama kings, queens, pseudo-experts and professionals have likewise folded up their tents and moved onto other hobbies… taking with them their demons and drama. In the wake of their exodus, we now seem to have a community more focused and committed to history and education, rather than hype and hooliganism… and that of course, is a very good thing!
In light of these mellowing times, I think it's worth reminding ourselves from time to time that even though the pendulum swings wide between conservative and liberal thought and suppositions, there is room for us all in the tent of paranormal inquiry. I also think it is fair to say that we’ve all had enough of the darts and mud pies of personal attacks; whether leveled against individuals, teams, or their beliefs. Like the election cycle; of which we’re all still recovering from, I think we have all had enough of the noise and nonsense. In other words, if you can’t speak with civility, do us all a favor and put a sock in it… because, chances are, if you can’t discuss, debate, or disagree respectfully, you’re probably not worth listening to in the first place.