If you’ve been around the paranormal investigation world for a while then you know what I’m about to write
about. If you’re new, you’re probably expecting a whirlwind of excitement (video evidence, audio recordings,
photographs, etc.). Of course, you may already be in the know about how the 99% of investigations go. I’m not
talking about the downtime we all experience, I’m talking about the countless first-hand experiences that,
conveniently, weren’t caught on tape.  

If you’ve done investigations you’ve experienced this irritation (let’s be honest, it’s irritating to be filming all
night with a handheld and the moment you pause to change batteries a shadow darts across the open doorway
in front you).  Even some of you that are new to paranormal experiences know what I’m talking about.  If you’re
at this site (or others like it) you’ve experienced things you can’t explain. You may have even gone so far as to
try and capture those experiences on video, audio, or in photos.  I suspect the majority of those attempts are
failures. This leaves you (and me a majority of the time!) wondering if your imagination is just getting out of

I expect that the full-on skeptics point to the lack of evidence gathered as proof that what we’re trying to
achieve is malarkey.  I don’t think that’s fair. Capturing one moment in time is incredibly difficult, especially
given that you have no idea when, where, or what that one moment will be. I liken it to a night of stargazing ..
yes, I might reasonably think that a shooting star will cross my field of vision, but I don’t know for sure, and
even if I did know for sure I don’t know what section of the sky it’s going to cross in, or even what time it will
cross at.  >> Yes, you could reasonably argue that multiple cameras could be set up to record all angles for the
entire evening. Unfortunately, most investigators don’t have the resources to invest in that much equipments
or the time to review that much evidence. It’s a lot of picking/choosing our locations.

This is exactly why most paranormal investigators utilize multiple evidence gathering devices (handhelds,
stationary camcorders, audio recorders, cameras, digital thermometers, motion sensors, various apps ...). We’
re always hoping to be in the right place at exactly the right time. Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen as much as
we’d like. As it is, some experiences can’t be measured, they’re strictly personal.

I know I’ve given examples in some of my past articles. Several years ago, at a theater in Buffalo, I had gone on
the catwalk to do an EVP session. Yes, I’d recently started antibiotics and perhaps I wasn’t in the best condition
to be on an investigation (though, as a side note, I’ve found I have more experiences when I’m sick and/or tired
– perhaps this is because some of our walls are down?).  The entire night I’d felt ok, no strange experiences,
but the moment I walked onto the catwalk I became dizzy and felt as though I had become bogged down in
quicksand. I wasn’t able to stay up there very long and while no equipment recorded any audio/video, I know
what I felt. Interestingly enough, as soon as I was back off the catwalk I felt ok.

On a more recent investigation at a personal residence, our group had pretty much decided to wrap things up
for the night when one member wanted to do another EVP session in the master bedroom. I agreed to go back
up because I was hoping for something to happen.  I only took my camera with me this time – no audio, no
video (the team member I was with was running audio).  We had slowly evolved from standard questions to
those of a more instigative nature when my jabs seemed to finally strike a note as the other investigator jumped
from where he was standing, insisting something had just yelled in his ear.  Not ones to back down quickly, we
kept pushing and about five/ten minutes later we both saw a black shadow dart from one corner of the room
across the wall and disappear at the door. As I said, of course there was no video to back up what we saw, but
neither of us can un-see it, nor can we explain it (both of us were sitting down, no weather events .. no cars ..).

I think I can probably relay more firsthand experiences then hard evidence, and that’s going back to the day I
started investigating. It’s frustrating because people who don’t believe you will just continue to smile and nod.  
But I can understand their skepticism. I remember as a kid when we played with the Ouija board (I know) .. I was
always certain that someone was moving it. I suspect I’d have to have used that thing alone and only then
would I have believed it was real .. and perhaps only if no one knew I even had it (because someone could
tamper with it right?!).

Paranormal investigations are a definite mix of various types evidence and none of it should be discounted. If
you’re experiencing things in your home and can’t necessarily get them on tape, try just writing down the
dates/times and what you know happened. First hand experiences are equally important in determining what is
going on.  It’s just as likely that when someone comes they’ll experience the same things and, just as you, not
be able to get them on tape.  As an investigator we want to get that proof for ourselves, you, and the entire
field. But spirits (ghosts/entities call them what you will) are much like many things in life and don’t always play
Monroe COUNTY PARANORMAL investigations
if you believe in the hereafter you know what we're here after
When Experiences Trump the Evidence
By: Jen Edmiston
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