On Peer Review for Ghost Hunters: A Case Against "Paranormal Unity"

On Peer Review for Ghost Hunters: A Case Against “Paranormal Unity”

We all have our own opinions on what credible evidence is, and what methods to use in paranormal research, and some of it not only has no common ground, but is also a completely opposing viewpoint. “Choose your side even if you’re the only one on it”.

Just as in mainstream politics, although we may listen to the views of an opposing candidate, we don’t lend our support to them, paranormal research shouldn’t be any different. One paranormal investigator showing unity with another merely because they are a paranormal investigator is like a Democratic candidate showing unity with a Republican because they happened to be a politician.

Unconditional paranormal unity is counter productive; it is just an ill-thought-out buzz word. Why show unity with people that continually post false or easily discredited evidence or demonstrate questionable investigative methods? It reflects badly on anyone that associates with them. Not only should you not be unifying with them, you should be actively working against them and the negativity that they promote.

Respect needs to be earned, not automatically given without justification. This is the only way that credibility can be restored to the paranormal field, not by mutual toleration of everyone’s ideologies no matter how illogical or scientifically invalid they are. And if you can’t take personal criticism of your own beliefs, what that really means is that you haven’t enough evidence to justify them, not just to others, but more importantly to yourself. If you have one opinion and someone else has another which contradicts yours, you clearly think that the other person is wrong. And presumably the other person believes they are right and you are wrong.


As we obviously don’t all agree on the methodology, objectives and techniques regarding paranormal investigation, we can’t all be right, but the people with evidence to back up their statements are going to be “more right” then someone that can’t. This doesn’t mean that people aren’t entitled to an opinion; everyone is, including the other person that believes that an opinion is wrong.

The mainstream scientific communities aren’t all united in one method and theory, and it’s the diversity and the conflict that is created as a result, that has enabled some of their greatest advancements. It is disunity that pits one set of ideologies against another and gives each the incentive to attempt to prove their own beliefs, over that of someone else’s. The battles to prove germ theory, nuclear fusion, and evolution, were fought and won, not through mutual cooperation but through a war of words and technology backed up with evidence. Each conclusion reached ultimately not as a result of propaganda, but because it was the best method to solve the problem presented. In both instances alternative explanations and methods were met with strong opposition, but it was people working not only to promote their own opinions, but actively working to disprove the opinions of others that caused such breakthroughs. In paranormal investigation it is about applying the best tools to the job and some of the tools simply don’t fit.

It is not merely a numbers game; it is about the credibility of the evidence being presented. If you wish to follow scientific protocol regarding the paranormal, part of that process is peer review. If you have a public presence, even if that is just a website then the general public become your peers whether you wish them to or not. In many cases they may choose to reject the evidence presented because it is poorly researched, of questionable validity or defies logic. Most of the general public are not scientists, but they can accept and understand science when it is presented to it, because of the logic of the methods behind it, and the credibility of those that do the research. Logic and credibility are traits that cross many barriers, but the consequence is that when it is missing, the entire community it originates from will suffer as a result.

Paranormal individuality doesn’t mean you can’t research and exchange information with others, but it does mean you can be selective what method, theory and evidence you chose to accept. And it won’t stop you from listening to other people’s opinions and ideas, if you did that, how could you possibly criticize them? How much of joining, a family, network, or crew, is actually just a propaganda tool for the people that started them. And when it’s related to a group that has a T.V show, or puts on high profile events, who actually joins for the unity and who joins for the reflected glory? Instead of relying on someone else to open doors for you, why not try to open them yourselves ? When your not bound by anyone else’s rules or protocols you can still learn from them, but only if you chose to do so, rather then having them inflicted upon you by being a member of a group that imposes them.

Editors Note: Graphic removed.



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