Since joining NGI I have been asked on more than one occasion how somebody goes about joining a Paranormal Investigation Group, so I thought I would share with you my thoughts on the matter.
There are many different kind of groups out there ranging from the ‘couple who like to visit reputedly haunted properties’ through to the ‘professional’ societies like the SPR and ‘University backed’ groups. Most groups however lie somewhere in the middle.
If you decide that ‘Ghost Hunting’ is for you I would suggest you spend some time researching all the groups in your area, and then decide whether you think the group would be right for you.
Many groups actively seek new members and you should not find it hard to get invited to join their ranks. I would however express a word of caution about such groups. Very often these groups have a high turnaround of people due to their ‘open door’ policy, and they seem to have a higher than normal proportion of people in it for the ‘thrill seeking’ rather than the ‘investigation’ aspect.
Another thing to consider when researching paranormal group is the what ‘type’ of group they are. Some groups work purely from a scientific angle, even going so far as to belittling anyone who puts any value on anything that falls outside established scientific principles on occasion, while others lay at the opposite end of the spectrum and conduct more psychic-based investigations with teams of ‘mediums’ and little or no ‘science’ involved. Many other groups (such as NGI) fall somewhere between the two camps.
It’s really up to you to decide what way works best for you and target a group accordingly.
In my opinion it is far better to wait and bide your time for the right group to come along. If the group has a website with a chat forum, this is the best place to start to assess what the group is like. Stick around the forum and post your personal views about aspects of the paranormal to see how they go down with the team members. Do they have anything interesting to say? or do they tear you apart like a pack of hungry wolves?
If you like what you read, stick around, make a nuisance of yourself, and you may find that, if people like you too, you get asked to go along on an investigation. It’s what I did anyway and it seemed to work.
Another good way is if the group in question does guest nights. Putting your money where your mouth is, is a good way of showing that you are going to be committed to the cause and it is also a good taster into the world of Paranormal Investigation.
The main thing to remember is if you are really committed and have something to offer, then you will get there in the end. In the meantime you could always start your own investigations.