Friday, October 5, 2012

Paranormal Musings and Coincidences

As I'm sure most of my readers already know, for the past six years I have been a member of Huntington Paranormal Investigations and Research, serving as Historic Research Manager.  Because of this position, I've been blessed to have the opportunity to really dig into the past of so many Huntington and tri-state citizens that have been "forgotten" over the years. 

HPIR's motto is "Telling Huntington's History...One Ghost Story at a Time," and denotes our strong reverence for history and historic preservation, but I often wonder if there is a deeper calling for me in that simple phrase.  I'll try to explain as best I can, without going too philisophically new age-y ...

Like many in this field, I got into paranormal investigation as a way to not only find my own answers, but to help others along the way.  Taking my own experiences and combining them with years of researching natural causes that mimic paranormal activity, I thought that I could really help those who needed help in understanding their own paranormal issues.  I am proud to say that I do believe I have helped fill this niche, whether it has been giving someone the support, tools or education to live at peace with whatever paranormal issue they have in their life...or by simply showing them, through hard science, that what is plaguing them is NOT paranormal.

However, the deeper I get into this study, strange things and odd coincidences pop up that make me wonder if there isn't a whole other class of citizens that I'm REALLY meant to help.  By those citizens, I mean those who are no longer with us in body, but, quite spirit.

Throughout my time as Research Manager, I've had small bits of what I would call simple good luck.  When researching a case, even the more frustrating ones, many times things would fall into textbook perfection, or I would stumble upon a vital piece of information in the weirdest of locations...or through the weirdest of coincidences.  In one such case, I was working on a very popular, nationally known case here in the tri-state.  There was one aspect to the legend involving a drowning death of a baby girl, and I was trying to verify that death for a television production team.  I had manually searched hundreds of death certificates, going on a hunch and VERY little second hand information to no avail.  That's when I closed my eyes, asked whatever power was out there for help, and clicked right on the death certificate I needed, which gave enough information to also pull a wonderful newspaper article on the subject.

Speaking of newspapers, I also tend to stumble upon much needed newspaper articles on a regular basis, lol.  Many a hour has been spent on the microfilm reader at the Cabell County Library, and often when I'm pulling an obituary or an article for another case, I'll just happen to "land" on an article pertaining to another haunted location that I need information on!

I know these are just silly little coincidences that can easily be dismissed, but at times, I do feel like it is my calling to tell these stories of people who would have otherwise been lost to history.  These feelings intensified this past weekend with our latest investigation, and an odd coincidence that happened later that night.

We investigated an old farm house where a man recently passed away, alone and under sad circumstances.  There was just something that didn't feel right with the case, and both myself and the member of the team who arranged the investigation felt like there was definitely something this man was trying to tell us.  I often find myself absorbed fully in researching a case, almost to the point of it being an obsession, and was shocked to feel like this lady too, had similar feelings when it came to this house.  Even though it was an uneventful night, I went home feeling a strong connection to the man who had lived such a mysterious life in this old house.

The investigation was relatively short, and I was home by midnight and still wide awake.  So, I decided to finish a book I had started reading earlier.  That book was Brad Meltzer's Book of Lies.  In an unexpected twist at the end, the reader learns that the key to living forever, and possibly, the greatest gift from God we can get, is having our story told and passed down.  At 3am, and after just talking about the subject earlier, this revelation felt quite profound, lol.  Astoundingly, it still feels impactful a week later.

I don't know why I was chosen to devote so much of my life to the field of paranormal research, but I do feel that this is exactly what I should be doing.  Along with the rest of HPIR, I am doing my part to give a voice to those who can no longer speak for themselves.  Will you listen?

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