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What's in a name?


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#1 nnyprs

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 12:26 AM

This is a topic I brought up a long time ago and I wanted to revive for debates sake. The last time, I was scolded by many who told me a name is just a name, but by some recent responses, I am thinking it may be different here now. I am open to all thoughts and opinions.

SO what's in a name? Personally, I hate when someone calls me a ghosthunter. I do not hunt for ghosts. I consider myself a paranormal investigator. And here's why:

Ghosthunter: Someone who hunts ghost for sport, for fun, to get kicks, an enjoyment, a thrill. Ghosthunters are in it for themselves. Generally, they are younger, they break rules to seek out the best possible thrill (like tresspassing), they try to coerce spirit into manifesting, they hit it and split (show up, take pictures, and never come back), they are quite often unprofessional in their approach to hauntings.

Paranormal Investigator: A person who tries to find answers in the paranormal field, not confined to just hauntings, but all aspects of the paranormal. Will attempt to find natural causes before jumping to conclusions and labeling paranormal, have methods, do not break laws, generally more professional, generaaly more experiecned and most of all, is not doing it for self-gratification, yet to help people in search of answers.

Now I know there are many people out there that call themselves ghosthunters yet are not many of those things I believe ghosthunters to be. But if you simply think about the context of the two names. If someone is looking for a group to invite into their home because they are experiencing some frightening things, and they have a choice between "Local Area Ghosthunters" and "Local Area Paranormal Investigators" who do you think they will call?

Some people call themselves "ghosthunters" because it's popular. Heck there's a TV show called that. But are you really doing yourself a favor by jumping on a bandwagon term?

Furthermore, when you think about the term "hunter". What is a deer hunter? What is a big game hunter? What is a rabbit hunter? All of these people do it to capture something for sport. If you are in this field for any other reason other than for sport, calling yourself a ghosthunter is doing yourself a big disservice.

Yes...they are just names. But, names are imortant. Ask the President if it is important to be called the Presedint instead of "the hillbilly who runs the country". Ask a CEO if he prefers CEO or the head guy.

I am a paranormal investigator. I do this to help people. I am not and never will be a ghosthunter.
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#2 Pfled

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 08:39 AM

I always viewed the two terms as completely different processes. Ghost Hunting is a term used for people trying to find unknown haunted places. Paranormal Investigator is someone who investigates known hauntings. So in some senses you need to hunt for a haunting and then investigate it when you find it.

It's all semantics and perception anyway. Try not to let it bug you. Ghost Hunter, paranormal researcher, hey, they all call me crazy anyway.

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#3 nnyprs

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 09:02 AM

Thanks pfled, but I don't believe it is semantics. As far as the different processes, I don't agree with you completely either. Ghosthunters, as the name is so widely used lately purport themselves to be paranormal investigators, while at the same time, not adhering to a higher set of standards then your run-of -the-mill hobby hunter.
I use the term hobby hunter interchangeably with ghosthunter. If you do it for fun, than that's what you are.

Now don't get me wrong, I am not saying this can not be fun at at times. But, ugh, I hope you catch my drift. :Wall:
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#4 secretsign

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 10:06 AM

well, ya know a name tags something and defines it. So when you use the term paranormal investigator that defines it more than a simple description of ghost hunter. I can see both being one in th same as your everyday John Q Public would. although one is more professional sounding, therefore you would get greater respect. There are exceptions to the rule and as the old saying goes don't judd a book by it's cover. There are plenty of resepectible groups out there with ghost hunter in there name. I'd say be careful of the hobby hunter groups bc they will give the professionals a bad name. When you think about it everything is in a name.
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#5 Laurie Ann

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 11:44 AM

~I definately see the difference in the two names. And when I hear of "ghost hunters", something different with the term comes to mind than when I hear "paranormal investigators". I believe there's a difference i nthe two names...but it's all in who you ask and their beliefs in the two.
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#6 Axman

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 04:48 PM

Hunter is not a single definition word either.



hunt·er
Pronunciation:
\ˈhən-tər\
Function:
noun
Date:
13th century

1 a: a person who hunts game b: a dog used or trained for hunting c: a horse used or adapted for use in hunting with hounds; especially : a fast strong horse trained for cross-country work and jumping
2: one that searches for something
3: a pocket watch with a hinged protective cover
Ah. Well... I attended Juilliard... I'm a graduate of the Harvard business school. I travel quite extensively. I lived through the Black Plague and had a pretty good time during that. I've seen the EXORCIST ABOUT A HUNDRED AND SIXTY-SEVEN TIMES, AND IT KEEPS GETTING FUNNIER EVERY SINGLE TIME I SEE IT... NOT TO MENTION THE FACT THAT YOU'RE TALKING TO A DEAD GUY... NOW WHAT DO YOU THINK? You think I'm qualified? --BeetlejuiceI'm the ghost with the most, babe.--BeetlejuiceWe've come for your daughter Chuck--Beetlejuice

#7 secretsign

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 07:53 AM

3: a pocket watch with a hinged protective cover

I never knew that.
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#8 rayzrwyre

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 03:09 PM

Well, aside from an pocket watch (new one on me too) a "hunter" is just that; he is looking for something, and to prove he found it, he will photo it, shoot it, kill it, draw it, record it, or entrap it. I agree that there is a distinct line to be drawn between the two. As the word "investigator" implies, this is the one who not only looks for something, but attempts to discover the "why, what and how" of a situation. I kind of see the divison between the two asimiliar to the different levels of law enforcement. A beat cop would be the hunter, a detective would be the investigator, although both would be considered police.

I assume that this is the root of your dilema, is that people who are unaware of the differences in our field of paranormal investigation do not understand the correct terms we recognize. I'm sure that there is even a layered hierarchy within ghost hunters; those who wish to acy more like Investigators, and those, and you mentioned who hit it and split it! Unfortunately, we appreciate a field of study that does not quite garner the respect from the everyday-Joe/Josphine, so the terms and viewpoints they use, as I have witnessed myself, can be rather narrow, some times insulting and most often amusing! Yet another reason why I smile so often!

Edited by rayzrwyre, 10 February 2008 - 03:10 PM.

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#9 nnyprs

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 08:21 PM

Thanks to all of you for your replies. I think a lot of you definately understand what I am saying. Mostly, I wanted to provoke thought on the subject and open for debate, which I think I have. But I also wanted good professional groups that call themselves ghosthunters to truly think about how they may be perceived differently with a different title. I know the majority of "common folk" call all of us ghosthunters. But we don't have to call ourselves that, and introduce ourselves as that, especially if you are a more serious "seeker of truth".
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#10 sweetmamadot777

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 10:07 PM

""But we don't have to call ourselves that, and introduce ourselves as that, especially if you are a more serious "seeker of truth".""

I like the term "Seeker of Truth",....as being one of the "common folk" I had always percieved that ghosthunters and paranormal investigators were of the same ilk. One seeking the truth and proof of spirit/ghostly existance, and the other seeking the truth as to the circumstances of why this existance exists.
I would guess thats it boils down to one's perception of the two names, as everybody has different ideas on what they mean , most will agree that's it's to do with spirits, hauntings, and the paranormal, and most will agree that it's for the better good that these "ghosthunters"/"paranormal investigators" do what they do . I don't feel any disrespect would attach to either name.
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#11 nnyprs

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 10:31 PM

Do't forget the part where paranormal investigators "seek truth" in more areas than just hauntings. :wave:
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#12 Oniix

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 09:08 PM

Great topic. I've all too often informed people of the differences. Each and every time I hear the perceived notion that hunters and investigators were all the same.

#13 ryan002

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 09:09 PM

Nearly everyone I know think that ghosthunters and paranormal investigators are the same thing... guess I better show them this.
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#14 Oniix

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 09:15 PM

I'd consider them far from the same thing.

My personal thought on it is this. An investigator will go through great lengths to first to rule out mundane, natureal causes for a haunting. They will spend a ton of time and devote a ton of resources at a case. In my opinion, ghost hunters are the weekend groups that like to go through cemeteries and old buildings actively looking for ghosts, whether it's known to have them or not.

#15 Oniix

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 09:18 PM

I also think there is another step up from an investigator, but I'm probably reaching...

Paranormal researcher. These are the people that went through schooling in the field of parapsychology. I think these people are in a class by themselves. Perhaps these are the kinds of people that give the investigators the general rules to be guided by. Guidelines, but not necessarily law... hehe




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