The Year in Review: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

Posted: December 16, 2010 in Uncategorized

It’s difficult to sum up a year—but so many of us feel the need to do so, as a way of looking back, summing up, and finding a direction for the future. The founding of the Paranormal Housewives was the highlight of my year—I feel blessed by the strength, the intelligence and the goodness, the kindness, of the women I have been so fortunate to share adventures with the last several months.

A new group faces a myriad of challenges; and while we expected that we would have our differences, I don’t think any of us were prepared for how well we actually work together, and how much we genuinely care about each other. It’s been so easy, fun and natural to work and play together that I still find myself in awe of the possibilities of a paranormal group, how it can be a force for positive change.

What none of us anticipated was the strong, negative push-back from some members of the wider paranormal community. In general, the field of paranormal investigations is dominated by men with big personalities and strong opinions; an all-female group is a challenge to that structure, presenting a new paradigm for teamwork and breaking down the structure of authority so common in most groups. We took off on our own and were successful with a team that worked by consensus and compromise. Even though we have had a great deal of support from most people, there is no denying the fact that not everyone wished us well—quite the opposite. There were moments when we were all stunned by the accusations and threats leveled against us by certain members of the community, some of which had never spoken to us or knew anything about us. I had always tried to protect my daughter from cyber-bullying, never expecting that our group would become a victim of it. That was a sobering lesson on the real motivation of some members of the paranormal community: power, control and popularity. The mission of discovering the mysteries of the soul and life after death became secondary or disappeared altogether in the face of such earthly drives.

However, the five of us pulled together in the face of criticism and outrageous allegations. We found that we were stronger than before when we were forced to evaluate our beliefs, defend our team, re-formulate our goals and strengthen our commitment to the team and to each other as friends. In the end, it was a positive experience but also a reality check: for some investigators, this is not a life mission, but a business, a popularity contest, or a media opportunity.

I always come back to the original reasons that we decided to be a team. We really like each other; we share a common passion; we are driven to seek the truth of our existence in this life and the next; we are all intrigued by the mysteries of certain places that guard their secrets so well, but on occasion allow us a glimpse into a strange and wondrous history—and we love the ritual of dinner before an investigation, the sharing of amazing data, the thrill of discovering something inexplicable and just plain weird that shows up on our audio or in our photographs, and the excitement of sharing a personal experience that shakes us up and challenges our understanding.

We’ve had such intense and shocking moments, and for each of us those moments were different. For some of us, seeing the ghostly forms mutating and shifting in the cemetery in Amargosa was a peak experience; for others, it was running footsteps on audio when no one was running; for others, it was a necklace that came to life. Collectively, we have shared some startling and intense experiences. That is what we had hoped for, what we knew could happen—and it did. In the process, I discovered how much my teammates really matter to me.

I really love these women. They have changed my life. That is the good—the bad and the ugly fade away by comparison, into the ether along with the spirits.

 Kirsten A. Thorne, Ph.D.

Paranormal Housewife

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