Popular Archaeology has a story on a haunted museum in North Carolina. My question: Is paranormal investigation now considered “archaeology”?
Like cemeteries, old homes, and sunken ships, even museums may not be beyond the domain of investigators who specialize in detecting and documenting paranormal activity, experiences or events that lie outside the range of normal experience or rational explanation. After all, museums, sometimes called “the Nation’s attics”, contain artifacts that could date anywhere from several millions of years BP to recent history, and it seems, at least based on the literature of recorded events, ghosts and such like to hang out around things old or dead.
Now, a group of investigators with the North Carolina Paranormal Research Society will be conducting an investigation at the Museum of the Albemarle in Elizabeth City, North Carolina Saturday evening, Sept. 21. The research team has gained local attention for its video footage of a door at the local Camden County jail that mysteriously closes.
You can find a dozen seriously questionable claims in this story. It’s a good exercise in spotting unfounded assumptions.
After all this time, after everyone one of these stories, I’m left scratching my head about how anyone could ever declare “Yep, that’s paranormal activity, all right. We’ve exhausted all possible normal explanations (after studying it for two whole days).” Or whatever. This always seems so shallow and so irrational to me. They aren’t trying to find the answer, they are trying to find something they can label paranormal by their own definition (which is lame). This is why paranormal investigation by these local ghost hunter groups is not worth taking seriously by scientific community. But as an aside, its constant attention by the press and tacit approval by museums, TV channels, historical societies, etc., is giving a bogus impression that what they do is legitimate and meaningful. It’s only meaningful if you want to call your location “haunted”. That’s just not right. It’s such a gimmick.
I am still open to visiting these sites with paranormal teams and taking a look at their evidence. I’m very doubtful that they fully examine all the possible normal explanations. Of course, there are reasons for that.