Thursday, 19 November 2009

“‬No‭ '‬Special Powers‭' ‬Required‭”

As mentioned recently in our last website update,‭ ‬the W.M.G.C.‭ ‬have had a rather‭ ‘‬anti-psychic‭’ ‬article‭ – ‬see below‭ ‬-‭ ‬published on the BBC Black Country web site by our good friend Brett Birks:

‭“‬No‭ '‬Special Powers‭' ‬Required‭”

In‭ ‬2009,‭ ‬dozens of ghost-busting groups operate locally,‭ ‬many of whom use psychics in their investigations.‭ ‬John Conway,‭ ‬from the West Midlands Ghost Club,‭ ‬doesn't think mediums should be used as a paranormal research‭ '‬tool‭'‬.

John,‭ ‬47‭ ‬from Willenhall,‭ ‬founded the WMGC‭ ‬20‭ ‬years ago and has investigated hundreds of haunted buildings and locations.

‭"‬When we started the group in‭ ‬1989‭ ‬there were no others locally,‭" ‬he says.‭ "‬Nowadays there are loads,‭ ‬a ridiculous amount in this area.

‭"‬I stopped counting a few years ago when the number of groups hit‭ ‬60‭ ‬or‭ ‬65.‭ ‬Out of all of them,‭ ‬I'd probably recommend two or three but that would be it.‭"

John credits the popularity of television shows like‭ '‬Most Haunted‭' ‬for the rise in ghost-busting style organisations.‭ ‬However,‭ ‬he says,‭ ‬they may be doing more harm than good in the world of paranormal research:

‭"‬The problem is that all these groups are taking things like‭ '‬Most Haunted‭' ‬as a reference point and think that that is what they should be doing‭ – ‬which,‭ ‬it most certainly is not‭! ‬Unfortunately,‭ ‬a great many of these people shouldn't be allowed near a paranormal related situation. They have a tendency to turn up with an alleged‭ '‬psychic‭' ‬in tow claiming that they have got‭ '‬special powers‭' ‬and will be able to‭ '‬solve‭' ‬your problems. This is a ludicrous claim to make.‭"

Objectivity is,‭ ‬according to John,‭ ‬what makes his group stand out from the rest. ‭ ‬They will investigate ghost sightings,‭ ‬taking each case on its own merits,‭ ‬using a variety of impartial,‭ ‬research-based techniques and audio-visual equipment.

‭"‬Unlike most other groups,‭ ‬we do not make false claims in professing to be able to‭ '‬alter‭' ‬a haunted situation in any way. ‭ ‬We are not interested in attempting to falsely prove that we have any form of‭ '‬insider knowledge‭' ‬or‭ '‬special powers‭'‬.

‭"‬The bottom line is it doesn't matter what an individual personally believes. ‭ ‬It's irrelevant.‭ ‬The simple fact is that things are reported to us and we investigate accordingly.‭ ‬You should never let your belief system interfere with what you're doing.‭ ‬Nothing should be allowed to cloud your impartiality‭ – ‬you need to be totally objective in these matters.

‭"‬We always strive to act in a non-biased fashion.‭ ‬We cast off all the unnecessarily blatant chicanery,‭ ‬the‭ '‬New Age‭' ‬bunkum and pseudo-scientific trappings that appear to become the trademark of the late‭ ‬20th/early‭ ‬21st century investigator.‭"

Unlike most other paranormal groups,‭ ‬the West Midlands Ghost Club do not advocate the use of mediums or psychics.

‭"‬We do not use mediums or spiritualists,‭" ‬John says.‭ "‬There is no hard evidence that these people are actually doing what they claim and the damage that they can cause in these sort of situations can be both devastating and irreversible.

‭"‬I once was called in to visit a somewhat distressed‭ ‬70‭ ‬year old woman.‭ ‬Now she was clearly suffering from some form of dementia.‭ ‬I have had personal experience with dementia sufferers.‭ ‬Now this lady believed her house was haunted so had called in an alleged psychic‭ – ‬and paid this person to come.

‭"‬The psychic had come along and convinced this lady that the spirit of a‭ ‬20‭ ‬year old was living in her house.‭ ‬This‭ '‬psychic‭' ‬then had happily taken the‭ ‬60‭ ‬pound fee or whatever it was and left the poor woman in a terrible state. ‭ ‬This is far from an isolated case,‭ ‬sadly,‭ ‬and we have come across a number of similar situations over the years.

‭"‬This is the problem:‭ ‬most of these groups are going to come into your house,‭ ‬maybe with a‭ '‬psychic‭' ‬in tow and make it as dramatic as possible.‭ ‬At the end of the day,‭ ‬if you happen to believe that your house is haunted or that you're in contact with spirits,‭ ‬then these people will just reinforce what you believe,‭ ‬tell you what you want to hear and leave.‭"

Without going into intricate detail,‭ ‬we would just like to take a second and ponder something which is a simple enough question at the end of the day: ‭ '‬why‭' ‬do ghost related groups insist on running around allegedly haunted sites,‭ ‬claiming that they can actually rid the places in question of their‭ (‬presumed‭) ‬ghostly activity‭!? ‬Unfortunately,‭ ‬the real irony in such sterile‭ ‬-‭ '‬God,‭ ‬I'm so important and special,‭ ‬aren't I‭?' ‬-‭ ‬waffle comes when you discover that the groups concerned almost always turn out to be fledgling societies,‭ ‬whose notion of‭ '‬ghost hunting‭' ‬practice and protocol comes straight from satellite TV‭!!!

On numerous occasions over recent years‭ ‬-‭ ‬and one in particular quite recently‭ ‬-‭ ‬the group has found itself being approached by people who have,‭ ‬in all innocence,‭ ‬contacted one of these allegedly‭ ‘‬gifted‭’ ‬associations in an endeavour to get rid of the‭ ‘‬presumed‭’ ‬haunting activity that they believe themselves to be suffering.‭ ‬Needless to say,‭ ‬there is no question or query regarding the reported happenings‭ – ‬and certainly no real‭ ‘‬investigation‭’ ‬-‭ ‬from the responding group‭…‬.‭ ‬There is just a manic,‭ ‬hysteria driven flurry of‭ ‬crystals and Ouija boards and‭ ‬-‭ ‬lo and behold‭ – ‬there are inevitably spirits all over the place‭!!!

In over‭ ‬20‭ ‬years of studying such matters‭ – ‬the psychology of the paranormal field,‭ ‬not the alleged phenomenon itself,‭ ‬we hasten to add‭ – ‬we have literally‭ ‘‬never‭’ ‬seen a psychic enter a site‭ ‘‬without‭’ ‬detecting something untoward‭!! ‬Hardly an unbiased viewpoint at the end of the day,‭ ‬surely‭?


The W.M.G.C.


Dave said...

I would agree entirely about taking a psychic along on an investigation. They muddy the water like a herd of thirsty hippos.
At best they are an interesting distraction and at worst a nuisance.
What is historically known they could have gleaned from the net and what isn't historically known can't be proven. They also tend to be a bit showmanlike. The love of the drama.
Maybe I am just a bitter old cynic.

Becky Turner said...

On most haunted derek okarah was branded a fraud and most of the team on it made the sounds themselves to make the show "more interesting" its disgusting and it goes to show anyone can be a pyschic.