Paranormal Community. Hmmm... “Community?” Why do we even say it’s a community? Do scrapbookers have a scrapbook community? So many times when I hear others use the term “In The Paranormal Community” it sounds so Hollywood to me. It makes it sound like we have a secret club that only certain people are invited to. Using the word community should mean that we band together to share ideas and show support for each other. That we plan "get togethers" just to hangout and that we care how each member of this “community” are doing. Are they well? How’s their investigations going? Any new discoveries? I’ve believed in the paranormal since I was a very small child. I had experiences that would not allow me to become blind to the other side. Often when I spoke out about these experiences, sharing them with my mother or my friends I was immediately brushed off. My mother said I watched too much TV and girls at school thought I was a freak. Sure they didn’t mind playing the game "lite as a feather stiff as a board" a million times at every sleepover and giggling about it but if I wanted to be serious and raise real questions, suddenly the tone changed as the first response was always“Wow! We were just joking”. I learned to keep my mouth shut and honestly just never really be myself in front of anyone. Just fit in Wendy, Just fit in...
I had actually known Chris, my now paranormal partner in life, for years before we truly had a real conversation, just the two of us. We had the same mutual friends growing up but in my eyes Chris was so much cooler than I was. She wore baggy jeans and carried a chain wallet, she didn’t seem to care what anyone thought of her. I never really talked to her one on one. I didn’t really even know her all that well. It took seven years for me to discover she had the same obsession for all things odd and unexplainable. One Halloween sitting around sharing ghost stories, Chris and myself got into a serious discussion far past our other friends interests on the topic and before I knew it she and I had just planned out our very first paranormal investigation! For Anchorman fans you would get it when I say “That escalated quickly!” Next thing I know we are creeping through a legendary cemetery, where stories had been told for years about a strange beast that appeared from the woods surrounding the cemetery and would chase out any night time trespassers. We only had an old cassette camcorder, a digital camera, and maybe one flashlight between us but we walked through that cemetery ready for whatever was coming our way. We sat and waited together.
Nothing happened that night, we never found that beast but we have spent countless nights since then over the last 10 years waiting together and we have shared some of the most amazing, and exciting moments I’ve ever experienced. In every long car ride to locations and time spent going over evidence together we have found something much more satisfying than a legendary monster from a small town story, we found each other. I can be myself and be accepted because she’s just as weird as I am. This friendship and level of trust has allowed us to build a partnership in investigating that I feel we are so fortunate to have found. We completely trust each other and share common view points but we also take the time to listen to each others different ideas and theories. Something I feel a real community should be doing.
Our goal is simple, we want to discover more, explore more, understand more if at all possible. We want to share what we find with a community or group of people at least with the same passion to discuss, communicate, and debate. I have to be honest I have met many other groups on the road while investigating or networking on social media, but I have yet to find a true community of paranormal explorers really willing to open up to others, share their experiences honestly and discuss ideas without judgement. It’s not that I haven’t met anyone like this please don’t misunderstand. I have met wonderful people with great hearts and I love those moments. I just feel like we could do better, there is a large network of people in this so called “paranormal community” we should not have to feel like outsiders anymore. We shouldn’t have to tell ourselves “just fit in”. We are people with open minds or we wouldn’t believe as we do, we can open up to one another and invite each and everyone of us to truly empress themselves. We can be a real community.
For me I will keep trying and waiting, I waited over half my life to find Chris, so I can keep holding out hope that a community that truly cares what others are doing and about making real connections and not just business connections will exist someday.