What is Back of the Beyond?

Today, rather than relate a specific haunting or ghoat story, let me just comment on general about a few things relating to the paranormal that I think are worth discussing.  Some out there may disagree with me on them, and that’s OK; but here are my two cents of sense.

First, while I do believe there are such things as ghosts and other paranormal phenomena, the explosion in “professional” ghost hunting I find a bit much.  It is all well and good to go to sites that have a reputation for being haunted and bring along truckloads of paraphernalia but bear in mind that is not any more scientific than someone who has had an entirely subjective and undocumented experience.  I have read of some ghost hunting groups’ accounts that I personally find impressive but also know that insofar as the genuine scientific community goes, it will not convince anyone.

Cable TV shows in particular yank my chain.  Some, admittedly, are worse than others; a bunch of idiots running around an abandoned sanitarium with flashlights attached to their faces and scaring themselves is not only a waste of time, but just plain silly.  Likewise some dude on tv daring a spirit to come out come out wherever you are is  an exercise in the moronic.  The latest is some of these celebrity ghost-busters offering–for money–certification to people as ghost hunters.  No doubt, if any of these pro’s read my criticism, they are crying all the way to the bank.

Similarly, with the professional mediums, whether on TV or not, who charge a hefty amount of chump change for their services.  In my new book, The Paranormal Presidency, I chronicle to birth of Spiritualism and their relationship with Abraham Lincoln.  In the book I tried to maintain a certain objectivity about the subject and at that time and certainly since, there have been many sincere people involved in medium-ship, either as mediums or as participants in seances.  But the truth is that there has also been a chronic problem with phonies and fakes who pretended to be psychic and have bilked gullible people over the years.  Again, with the advent of cable tv these charlatans have gotten a mass media following.

Unlike the professional debunkers, I refuse to throw the baby out with the dirty bathwater.  Paranormal phenomena are real; I know of many people who have genuine experiences.  Similarly, I have met a few people whom I believe may be genuinely psychic; in fact, I think that everyone has that potential.  But there are also those only too willing to exploit popular interest in the subject.  Some people want tell us what is back of the beyond when they don’t even know what is beyond their backside!

Well, I could say more, but for now I’ll hold my piece and return to telling authentic ghost stories of the spooky South in my next blog.  Thank you for letting me vent!

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