About twenty years ago I began researching the paranormal. I had had “experiences” my whole life (including talking with my great aunt as a toddler) and they only got more interesting as time passed. All that screeched to a halt in May 2020.
I was diagnosed with a fast growing brain tumor. It came out of nowhere and can’t be removed by surgery, so we shrunk it as much as possible and now we just watch to make sure it doesn’t grow. The biggest effect though has been now I question everything that isn’t recorded somehow. Mothman could come shake my hand I would still think it was in my head.
That’s not to suggest that all paranormal experiences are hallucinations or even perspective. I had fifty years of things I have seen before my tumor even started. I’ve experienced things that also included others in my group-I call them “co-witnesses”. I have experienced just about everything over the years and never seriously questioned whether they were “real” or not.
Researchers of quality research the witness too. Some mental illnesses can mean the witness is having hallucinations, is seeking attention, or is just gullible. We are trained to always ask what has recently been on tv and to peek into bathroom cabinets for medications. To get “proof” it has to be pristine. Always log the reports, but some of them are just not quality enough for serious follow up. The influences mar the believability, or more often, the accuracy of the report.
We need to be aware that this issue is a risk for investigators too. In the past few years we have lost a lot of paranormal researchers to cancer. Post diagnosis stress, or like in my case a brain issue, can skew things. Lots of us are on antidepressants, which are a good thing for the most part but when initially started can make your mind play tricks on you like it did before you medicated.
There are few researchers that I will cite in my writing. I can’t vet everyone like I need to, so I will reference only those I know don’t have these issues. None are on “reality tv” and only a handful do respectable podcasts.
One of the finest researchers I know is suffering from life threatening cancer. His work with EVP is well respected and credible. This isn’t his first bout with cancer. He is even kind of a personal hero in that regard. He is, however, wise enough not to work right now. Anything he reports hearing that can’t be confirmed by someone else is suspect. That means me too. Anything I report as having happened to me after 2020 is absolutely suspect. I didn’t realize how important the misconceptions are, but more importantly I didn’t realize how wide spread this issue is.
Learn what you can about individuals and teams who are collecting and interpreting evidence. Don’t be shy about asking tough questions-serious, quality researchers will not be offended. If you are a researcher, have a serious look at yourself. You must be above reproach if you are to be taken seriously. If you are a serious researcher, you will want to be taken seriously.