The Busy Paranormal Housewife

Posted: February 16, 2012 in Uncategorized
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 Infrared shot of the Olivas Adobe by Kimberly Demmary

When I first decided I wanted to be a Paranormal investigator, my friends who know how super busy I am, always asked “Doesn’t it take a lot of time? How do you do it when you are already so busy?” Well, you would assume you’d slow down or drop other activities, but no, not really. I actually found that I am able to hold onto all the other things I have going in my life, and there is a lot, and be able to pursue becoming a paranormal investigator. Most of you already know that being a paranormal investigator is a huge commitment. It is exhilarating and exciting; I could do it every day if given the chance, but it really takes a lot of time and dedication. All of this has not been clearer than now, as our team has grown and evolved and we are busier than ever. Each of the Paranormal Housewives has an extremely busy day-to-day life: kids, family, work. Sometimes we are so busy it’s hard to imagine how we can add ghost hunting into our daily lives…but somehow we make it work.

THE HUNT FOR A HAUNT:  I feel the hunt for a haunt is one of the most challenging aspects of being an investigator. We all have gone online and looked for “haunted locations” or “haunted B&B”. Or we will be driving in our car and see an abandoned building and wonder if it’s haunted. There is a thrill to a new location that you know absolutely nothing about. But researching the history, speaking to the owners or managers of the location, building a relationship with the “keeper of the keys”, takes a lot of time. So how does one do that when you are sitting in an office all day or shuttling kids back and forth from school and sports? For me, sometimes I’ll have lunch with my non-paranormal friends on the weekend in the “old town” of a random city that I know has a colorful history, then do a little shopping and start asking questions of the shop owners. Before you know it, some shop owner knows another shop owner, whose cousin’s house is haunted, and it’s just up the road and across the street from the haunted library! Since Erin works from home it’s simple for her to look for locations on the internet (I have spent hours doing this myself; extremely addicting). She will find a location and start making calls. Marsha is usually out-and-about with her children. Sometimes they will be on their way somewhere, and she’ll see an old house or adobe and she will just have to pull over and get more information about that particular location. Marsha found one of our favorite, beautiful locations (an old adobe mission) while she was on a weekend outing with her children. Kirsten is a constant explorer. She has no hesitation about jumping in her car and driving to a historic city for the day. We often receive photos on our phones of something like a haunted library basement she stumbled across on a Wednesday afternoon. Jen lives in a historic town and loves to take her dog for a walk around town, keeping her ears perked for info on haunted locations. The key is to always be looking. If you are driving around and you see a possible location, take the time and get out of the car. Sometimes all you have to do is stop in and ask. Most folks are just as interested and curious about you as you are about them.

THE FUN PART…I mean…THE INVESTIGATION:  I am one of the “single” Paranormal Housewives so I don’t have others to account to in my daily life. However, I do hold down a full-time job and two part-time jobs; I am a writer and a performer in the theater, as well. So, I’m usually busy all day, every day. The great thing about being a ghost hunter is that we usually investigate at night. So do I ever sleep? Hardly. Is it worth the paltry 4-5 hours of shut-eye? Heck yes! I am tired the next day, which means I will admit that I am moody to all who are unfortunate to be around me, but I usually have a great adventure to tell my co-workers the next day! However, Erin, Marsha and Kirsten have a full family life. Thank goodness each of them has extremely supportive husbands and loving children who see the passion these ladies have for this field and are on board one-hundred percent. The husbands and children have hobbies as well, so it’s a delicate balance. There is usually some sort of negotiation or compromise. Erin says she and her husband trade off. She can go on an investigation and he’ll get a chance to do what wants to do without the interruption of the children. Communication is key: “Leif is really, really good about letting me go out hunting while he stays at home. I also text when we are about to do a session because I usually turn of my phone. I let him know I am turning off my phone and that I will turn the phone back on after the session.” Marsha’s husband knows that being an investigator is simply part of who she is, and he will take on the whole household so that she is free to go out on an investigation. They have such an amazing, extended family unit that there is usually sufficient back-up to watch the children so that her husband can come along as well. Marsha also says that the most difficult part for her, as a ghost hunter mom, is when her kids don’t want her to go to a particular location because they worry about her. “It’s not easy for a child to accept that their mom is leaving for a few hours to go hunt ghosts in a scary, dark hospital or in an abandoned jail. But I do my best to address their fears and to reassure them that we will be safe, often reminding them that we pray before and after each investigation asking for protection.” Kirsten has found that she and her husband negotiate every ghost hunt, time with their daughter, friends and one-on-one time with each other at the cabin. It’s just part of their everyday cycle. Her husband is generally quite accommodating about investigations; however, it’s especially difficult with a teenaged daughter because on the one hand, she would like to bring her more often now that she’s older, but on the other hand, we can’t expose her to negative environments. “Paranormal investigations are difficult to set up and even more difficult to accommodate to everyone’s needs/schedules/interests; however, we find a way because this field of inquiry is simply too fascinating to explore, and I won’t give it up because it’s a challenge to merge family and ghost hunting. I enjoy a challenge.” Jen says she usually has to find a babysitter for her 7 yr old daughter. “If I have enough notice, I can get my ex or my parents to watch her (depending on their schedule), but I also want to make sure that I still spend plenty of quality time with my daughter.”

Evidence Review:  This is the tough one. The important thing about evidence review is you cannot put it off. You must be able to go over your audio and video quickly while the night’s investigations are still fresh in your mind (it’s very helpful to remember where everyone was sitting a room or who was wearing that very noisy winter ski jacket. It will help with debunking evidence). It is also important to concentrate. When listening to audio, you have to eliminate outside noise as much as possible. When you are watching video, if you blink you’ll miss it! So we have to manage distractions. For me, I work full time, then I usually have a second job…or two…my horse needs to get out or I need to write after work. I may even be crazy enough to try a workout at the gym! I am not home until really late, and going over any evidence while you are not fully awake is not the best idea (and I’ll admit that I can get a little creeped out alone in my house, at night, listening to scary, haunted audio). But I find that if I can dedicate even 1 hour of my time a day I can get through it. On my lunch break I can take my good pair of headphones and sit in my car and listen to audio. It’s not ideal but sometimes it’s all you’ve got. I also find that watching hours and hours of video (usually of a staircase that hasn’t had any action) very daunting. So again, I break it up. You don’t have to watch all 3 hours at once. Sometimes I can do it in 30-60 minutes increments.

Liz usually finds it impossible to review audio at home, with five people and an indoor cat and dog. She would love to review her audio in the comfort of her home, but she understands how voices carry inside the house. “Once the house settles down (after 10pm) it’s already too late. I just want to sleep or at least try to catch up on my internet stuff. Even then I can hear my sister’s TV and/or music. Sometimes I can hear my dad in his office as well. And weekends are worse with family or neighbors stopping by. Now that I am saying this, I realize that my family is loud.” However, she too has found that she can easily review audio at work. She is fantastic at multi -tasking and can usually get through her evidence in just a few days. But reviewing evidence with children is a true challenge. We have found that it’s easier for Marsha to send her audio from an investigation to another investigator due to her children wanting her constant attention. Erin will usually review when one kid is napping and the other is in school. She also reviews her picture evidence with her 6 year old because he sometimes spots things that she may not see.

Jen will conduct evidence review whenever she can get a smidge of opportunity! “When the PHW sisters send me EVPs that they’ve caught, I wait until my daughter’s favorite cartoon comes on (Scoobie Doo) Then, I throw on the headphones & listen away!!” Being a paranormal investigator is simply a huge part of who we truly are. And that is even clearer now that we are together and have the ability to share this adventure with each other. Each of us, no matter how challenging it has been, has found a way to include a life-long dream into our super busy days. Thanks to the support from our family and friends (who don’t think we are crazy) we are able to remain a committed, investigative team and continue to be honest and true to the wonderful field of the paranormal.

Kimberly Demmary

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