Nick Duffy was one of the founders of the West Midlands Ghost Club back in 1989. This is an interesting piece that hits upon a number of issues in the paranormal field.
“Our aim investigation-wise was always to be objective, we didn’t want to get carried away. We would just go into places and do a stakeout. No psychics, no EMF meters, we have no use for all of that. These days, people have those things for novelty value. It impresses people, but it’s not worth much.
“This sort of thing has always attracted strange people – I think we even outgun ufology when it comes to weirdness – but ever since shows like Most Haunted, it’s become ludicrous, the lunatics have taken over the asylum.”
But, then they say “using audio visual equipment, temperature recordings and trigger objects such as crucifixes and old coins to find proof of ghosts.” That’s not scientific. Since the question should be “what is happening, if anything,” not presuming that ghosts are real. Changes in environmental conditions does not equal paranormal activity. Duffy notes that some people who think they are experiencing the paranormal are troubled in their own right, such as a woman suffering from dementia. And some take advantage of that. He has not seen a ghost but thinks that places can hold memories. There is no scientific basis for places recording events but it is a common idea.
Duffy also opens up about a huge problem with paranormal investigation:
“These days, people charge the ghost groups to come in and investigate and it’s like a theme park. There’s speakers and cameras etc, it’s all set up. Investigations and ghost tours are big business and places manipulate their ghostly heritage for fiscal gain.
It’s encouraging that some paranormal investigators recognize the big problem issues but the field is off track in so many ways it’s not progressing anywhere except for those that exploit the money-making angle. Sad.