Many times on paranormal social media pages, you'll see interactive questions asked of viewers. A popular choice of question is always, "What is your biggest paranormal pet peeve?" Such a question will often illicit some pretty universal replies, such as provoking of spirits, not gaining proper permission to be at a location, investigators being too quick to call something paranormal, and other infractions that deter from the scientific integrity and professionalism of this field. Those are all great answers, and I agree. However, my answer is almost always the same.
My biggest paranormal pet peeve is when people use the term 'lockdown' in place of 'investigation!'
I'd rather see 'ghost hunt' used over 'lockdown' any day of the week, and even thought it seems like such a trivial thing, it just irks me, lol. Here's why:
1. For starters, this bit of phrasing didn't enter the vernacular until Ghost Adventures first aired, and Zak began an instant para-celeb. If you are using this terminology, that gives me the impression that you're emulating this group and the way they conduct their research and investigations. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I've been in this field long enough to spot a red flag or two. If you're naming your investigations 'lockdowns,' because that's what Zak does, chances are you are doing some of the other things that Zak does that just aren't examples of good, scientific and ethical investigating. I've even seen a few people who have obviously learned EVERYTHING they know about paranormal investigation from this particular show, never having cracked open a book, shadowed another group, or researched the field through any other means.
2. Secondly...are you REALLY locking yourself down? Are you physically locking, from the outside, all exits from the building you're investigating? Are you locking yourself in from the inside? If you aren't, then is it really a LOCKDOWN?
3. If you are actually locking yourself down, you have to ask yourself WHY? What is the purpose, and is it beneficial for my goal in this investigation? I do understand that security can be an issue, especially during the filming of a television show with popular para-celebrities. Even we little people run the risk of unwanted visitors coming onto a site and contaminating our potential evidence, but I've personally never had to resort to chaining myself into a location. Why?
4. Because it is SO unsafe. I absolutely hate the fact that they actually show Zak and the gang being locked in from the outside. If there is a fire, or if someone needs medical attention, I want to be able to quickly get the help needed. And, I don't want to put the client/owner of the property in a difficult liability situation if something goes wrong and I and my team are injured or worse because we couldn't get out of a building.
5. If you're 'locking down' as a means to show that you have no fear of a location, you might want to find another way to get your thrills. If you have to prove what a badass you are, you're not devoting your time, energy and resources into what really matters during an investigation: finding answers.
I know my words seem a little harsh, but again, I'm really not trying to judge (too harshly, any way, lol!) anyone who is guilty of this behavior. I would just like to encourage everyone out there to examine their own investigation style and philosophy. Ask WHY do I do things this way...and is there a better way? In a field as dynamic as the paranormal investigation field, there are very few absolutes and plenty of room for growth and improvement.
Hop on over to Facebook to let me know where YOU stand on the lockdown debate!