Anyone in the paranormal field has at some point been asked, “What made you get into ghost hunting?” The answers are as varied as the investigators themselves. For me, it has been a long road, but the pivotal moment came when I was 5 years old. At that point in time, I was terrified of the dark and the evil beings lurking in it. Getting to sleep at night was an ordeal. Having an overly vivid imagination, I created rituals in an attempt to deal with the fear. For instance, I had to sleep completely under the covers (even in the middle of summer with no A/C), and my entire body had to be on the pillow with no part touching the mattress. Somehow this would prevent bad things from happening. My mother tried pasting Bible verses on my bedroom walls to bolster my confidence (to this day, when I’m scared, my immediate mantra is, “What time I am afraid, I will put my trust in Thee”). Nothing helped.
Then came the night that changed everything. I had been asleep and woke up to a pitch black room with a glowing man standing by the doorway. He was taller than the door frame and seemed to be dressed in shining white and to this day I remember his beautiful face and his smile. That smile was full of absolute love and just…joy. There was nothing scary about it at all, and it seemed entirely natural that he would be there. Enveloped in an all-pervasive sense of peace, I simply turned over and went back to sleep, and my fear of the dark was gone from that moment forward. I am convinced that the shining man was my guardian angel, and I believe he is around me at all times, although I’ve never seen him again.
So I know that angels exist. Therefore the converse must also be true, that demons exist. While I’ve never seen a demon, I did participate in two trips to England, when I was 18 and 19, and along with a team, assisted an Australian evangelist in conducting what we called “deliverances,” also known as exorcisms. These deliverances were not the stuff movies are made of, although they were dramatic and disturbing. The afflicted individuals would sometimes writhe on the floor, scream, howl, grunt, speak in strange tongues, vomit, and cough out what smelled overwhelmingly like sulfur. No one levitated or had their head spin around 360 degrees, but the reality was pretty frightening nevertheless. The relief and change in demeanor of those freed from their demonic oppressors was convincing.
When I was a young teen, my family sheltered a man who was reportedly on the run from a Satanic cult. He claimed that the cult was trying to kill him, as no one was allowed to quit, kind of like with a gang. You were in or you were dead. I don’t know how much of what he said was true, but he had some incredible tales, as did the woman who sent him to us. She was an ex-witch and said that when she tried getting out of the lifestyle, she came under heavy demonic attack, culminating in a freak accident where a vehicle lost control and crashed through her house, almost killing her and her family. Again, I don’t know how much of what she said actually happened, but to my young ears, it sounded pretty amazing.
While the claims of these people are almost unbelievable, I do believe that demons exist. Maybe most of the things they do aren’t nearly so dramatic, but I think they do influence daily life and can gain footholds in lives if allowed, which perhaps would eventually give them the strength to operate on a level that they seemed to in the cult member’s and witch’s lives.
These and many other events in my life led me to a fascination with the supernatural and consequently to ghost hunting. Many members of my family believe that ghosts do not exist; there are only angels and demons and nothing else, as human spirits, upon death, travel immediately to Heaven or Hell. Thus when I am searching for evidence of ghosts, I’m really interacting with the demonic. I suppose this could be the case. If a demon masqueraded as a human spirit, how would one know the difference? But either way, if a place is “haunted,” whether it’s by a human spirit or a demon, I’m still interested. Is there a possibility for danger if indeed these spirits are minions of Hell? Yes. There is always potential danger when dealing with the unknown, and when you get into the nebulous territory of the spirit world, there really are no templates to follow. If your interest in and passion for pursuing answers outweighs your fear of the possible consequences, perhaps you’re cut out to be a paranormal investigator.
I will add that some people believe that we are out there summoning up spirits and dabbling in the occult. There are certain things that some groups and individuals do in the course of an investigation that possibly would fall into those categories. Personally, I choose not to participate in such activities. This is solely because it makes me uncomfortable, given my own religious beliefs. But the way I go about an investigation is far more prosaic and as scientific as possible, given the extremely non-scientific and subjective nature of the paranormal field. I honestly believe that spirits (however you define them) are always around us. Most of the time I’m unaware of them; the rest of the time, I use equipment to try to get answers from them. At the end of the day, I believe that my God is more powerful than anything I might come up against, and I feel secure and protected in that knowledge. If seeking information of this nature is a sin, then maybe one day I’ll come to that realization and retire. Until then, the quest continues. And my poor guardian angel works overtime.