Thursday, May 14, 2015

Paranormal Challenges 2015

Hey everyone!  I had enough responses on Facebook to go through with piecing together some type of monthly Paranormal Challenge!  If you missed that post, the basic idea is this:  Each month I'll post a different challenge and an example of how I completed that task.  If you choose to participate, you have an entire month to complete the challenge, then post your results, thoughts, etc. in the appropriate Facebook thread. 

These challenges are meant to be short, fun activities designed to get us thinking about and researching the paranormal investigation field.  They are meant to help us practice our investigation skills and hopefully become better investigators, no matter what our current level of expertise. 

Throughout the month, I'll be posting  articles and information that will be related to the challenge and perhaps will give you some inspiration and some ideas on how to complete it. This information will also help explain why this particular topic and challenge are important to paranormal research. You won't need any special equipment or skills to complete these challenges, and there really won't be too many (if ANY) set rules---do as many of the challenges as you like and complete them anyway you see fit---creative thinking is another vital skill for investigators, after all.  I'll be posting more information about each challenge, both here and on Facebook each month and if you have any questions, concerns, or ideas for future challenges, please let me know. 

As of right now, there are no prizes, but if we get enough people interested I'll definitely see what I can do about sending out some small gifts, or at least certificates saying you've completed the challenges! Here's a quick run-down of the challenges I've come up with---subject to change.

Paranormal Challenges 2015/2016:

June:  Observational Listening
For this first exercise, I'm going to have you sit and observe for a set length of time, probably somewhere between 5-10 minutes.  I want you to simply LISTEN. Write down EVERY little sound you hear! This exercise is designed to help you practice your observational listening skills, identify background sounds, and practice documenting, all skills used during EVP sessions.  More info to come!

July:  Make Your Own Ghost Photo
Use whatever means you want to 'create' your own ghost photo, then let us know how you did it! This challenge is to share our knowledge about the many, many false positives and downright hoaxes that can be mistaken for a paranormal photo.  Feel free to use apps, Photoshop, long exposure times, etc. If you don't have access to camera equipment, feel free to find and post an example you've found online---just be sure to give credit where credit is due!

August: Preserving the Past
This month I want you to interview someone, preferably older than you, about a paranormal experience they had, or their thoughts about a local haunted location.  If you'd like, you can videotape or audio record the interview.  Throughout the month, I'll be posting a few interview questions that you might want to use. This challenge isn't meant to analyze or debunk these claims, but rather to practice interviewing skills, finding the right questions to ask during the interview, and of course, preserving oral history for future generations.

September: Investigation Critique
Pick a documentary or television show that features a paranormal investigation team or individual investigators investigating a haunting.  Write THREE positives about what you're seeing.  Now write THREE things you would have changed or done differently. Only constructive criticism, please.

October:  Field Trip Time!
I know October is a VERY, VERY busy month for many in the paranormal community, but if you get the chance, I want to use this month to do a little field trip. I want you to visit your local historical society, genealogy library, state archives, county courthouse, etc....any place where historical research can be conducted.  You don't actually have to research anything if you don't want...but I want you to be able to locate your local sources for historical information and familiarize yourself with the resources available therein.  If you are unable to get out to complete this task, see if you can find any completely awesome sources for information ONLINE.

November: Get Educated!
There are a LOT of FREE courses/classes out there that can be of benefit to the paranormal investigator, both in your community and online.  I want you to find and share at least one course that you personally feel is of value.  Some places to look might be edX, Coursera, Open2Study, etc.  Bonus points if you actually sign up and take the course!

December: Random Acts of Paranormal Kindness
December is a time where people start becoming really aware and interested in community service and helping those less fortunate.  I'll be posting some ideas how you as an individual, as a family, or as a team can add a paranormal twist to your community service, be it on a large scale, or simply through small, everyday things you can do to brighten someone's day. 

January: Paranormal Book Club
I want you to read ANY non-fiction book of your choosing dealing with some aspect of the paranormal or paranormal research.  Give us a brief synopsis of the book and whether or not you recommend it.  If possible, try to get some of your friends/colleagues to read the same book and organize some type of book club-type discussion.

February: Ghost Apps
There are a lot of different apps out there geared toward the paranormal investigator...many of which, unfortunately are actually 'for entertainment use only.' But, there are some decent apps that a paranormal researcher may find useful.  Find and research at least one paranormal-related app.  Feel free to download it and try it out for yourself, especially if its FREE!  Let us know what you find out---could it be potentially useful in paranormal investigation, or is it simply a toy?

*Again, there will be more information about each of these topics when they're presented at the beginning of each month.  Hopefully after the first one is posted and everyone gets a feel for how the setup will go, it'll make more sense and go smoothly.  I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with for these projects! Thank you so much to everyone who has expressed an interest!*

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