Huntington Paranormal Investigations & Research is located in Huntington, West Virginia. Our group has been investigating paranormal claims since 2006, and offering haunted tours of Guyandotte since 2008. Our page is dedicated to provide you information about various paranormal topics, an archive of our past investigations and information about our haunted tours and more.
I think its time for another one of my opinion articles I
like to write on occasion. I hope whether you agree with my ideas and opinions
or not, they at least get you thinking about the subject and your personal
opinions on said topic. With this article, I want to lightly expand and reiterate
several of my previous articles while discussing something that is pretty
common place in the paranormal field: seeking opinions on evidence.
I want to recall back when I first began ghost hunting in
2006. I always had a fascination with the paranormal from the time I was a
pre-teen to present but didn’t start investigating it “officially” until I
started HPIR. I didn’t know that much about paranormal investigation and when
you are first starting out, sometimes the little things get you really excited.
Unfortunately, as I learned more about paranormal things and more importantly,
non-paranormal things…my little bubble of excitement partially popped. The
primary example I want to use are orbs (see Orbsession). In the beginning,
before I knew much about photography other than the fact that I liked using my
camera to take photos, I didn’t realize that the “orbs” I was capturing were
simply environmental elements being caught on my camera. I started looking up
orbs on the internet and quickly found tons of information and photos, many of
which seemed to support that orbs were paranormal. I felt pretty excited that
maybe, just maybe I had captured a ghost! However in my further research I came
across a few well written articles by some individuals who had much more expertise
in photography than I and who suggested that those little balls on my photos
were nothing more than dust, moisture and so on. That was a lesson I quickly
learned, it was disappointing to learn that orbs were not ghosts, but that set
the foundation for me of doing your homework on your evidence.
Most investigators post evidence findings of their
investigations publically, which opens you up for opinions and of course criticism too. Often new investigators or someone who may have inadvertently
captured an oddity want opinions on the things they have captured. It is very
exciting to capture something you can’t explain on audio, video or camera but in
my opinion, you need to try to set aside the emotions of your capture and put
your analytical investigator hat on. If you are an investigator, analyzing evidence
means you should be examining what you have captured closely, perhaps like a
detective would do. If you are not a seasoned investigator, you may just be
seeking input on what you caught. If you get too excited about your evidence or
inadvertent capture (and decide to share it publically) you may be setting
yourself up to have your bubble burst if you are not prepared for some criticism. Disappointment is not a good
feeling, and often that disappointment can turn into resentment and anger.
I have seen and personally experienced the disappointment
and defensiveness in people who can not handle constructive criticism of their
evidence. We all want others to agree with us and I totally understand that, but
when an alternative explanation is presented, I’ve witnessed some simply go off
the deep end. I have had photos sent to me that were complete fakes (aka: phone
app ghosts), I don’t know if they were intentional fakes or they honestly thought
they were real, but I gave my honest opinion and in a professional manner. Most
times I get a reply of thank you or maybe no response at all, but a few rare instances
I have gotten some direct and indirect responses from those who were upset with
our alternative explanations (and I’m not just talking about photos). If someone wants
an opinion of something that I honestly can not explain, I will tell them that
I have no explanation for this. After all, we are not experts in the field of
the paranormal, but we are willing to share our knowledge of what we do know.
Offering alternative explanations is not meant to be hurtful, but instead hopefully
it will be helpful to those seeking an answer.
Going back to that emotional response; it’s easy to get
angry with someone who you feel is being critical and I’ve seen many who do not
provide their opinions with much tact. But if you are seeking input on
something, my best advice is to be prepared for an answer you may not want to
hear. The easy explanation is to be nice and polite and agree with someone
simply for the sake of argument or the worry of hurting someone’s feelings. As
the old saying goes “the truth hurts” could not be more accurate. When our
group offers an opinion it is delivered in a professional and honest way and is
based from research that our members have done and it’s never intentionally
done to hurt anyone or any group.
Everyone has their own opinions and ideas of what evidence
is and what it is not. Sometimes just doing a little research will help you get
closer to the answer you may be seeking. You may not always find the answer you
expected but allowing your emotions to drive your perceptions of the paranormal
may blur the line between something that is authentic and something that is a
false positive. Why should anyone get angry over being given an alternative explanation
when you have sought out their input? It’s pretty standard all across the board
if you are a paranormal team or investigator to share evidence among your
peers. Allowing others to analyze your findings and even using your findings to
further their own research is a positive thing.
The HPIR evidence analysis process for our own findings is
very critical. We try to go over everything with a fine tooth comb and when it
doubt, we throw it out. This all goes back to my previous article (see Evidence Credibility) and how you should be your own biggest critic. Those who offer their
findings to be analyzed or are seeking opinions from any investigator or group:
before you let those emotions drive you to be angry because you didn’t get the
answer you were hoping for, just listen to them. You don’t have to agree, but
if you consider a new perspective you may come closer to finding those answers
When the leaves are at their peak of color, I always enjoy a long drive
though the mountains and back roads of our local area to enjoy the colors and
scenery during the transformation of the trees. Usually while out for our
annual drive, I try to find some historic and haunted locations for some added
side trips along the way. This year, I chose to travel Eastern Kentucky, from
Catlettsburg to Pikeville and from there over to Matewan and back up north to Huntington on old Rt. 52 though Mingo and WayneCounties.
Im pretty familiar with old Rt. 52 down to Matewan but I am less familiar with
side. We didn’t really have a specific destination in mind when we headed out,
but along our journey we chose a few interesting stops on along the way.
Our first stop was to visit Middle Creek Battlefield just west of Prestonsburg, Kentucky.
Not only did I stop there because of the rumors of it being haunted, but more
so to take a moment to remember the battle that took place there. I enjoy
visiting Civil War sites, as I enjoy history and learning about the area in
which we live. There is a certain ambiance a site like this has, maybe not on
the same scale as Gettysburg
but when you are there you know you are walking on scared ground. The site was
eerily quiet and just sitting off to the side of a well traveled thoroughfare. We
were the only visitors present at the time, and we walked part of the field and
stopped at the historic markers. While I do not know of any specific hauntings
of the battlefield, given its bloody past surely there may be some residual
energy left behind. There have been a number of investigations by other groups that
have taken place at Middle Creek Battlefield and some have yielded results.
(Just a side note to those out there who enjoy ghost hunting: With any
investigation, you need to show a considerable amount of reverence of certain locations
when investigating. A battlefield, a church, historically significant site or a
cemetery would be a place that deserves added respect while investigating. Any
location deserves respect, but when on such sacred ground, the amount of
respect toward these areas should be top priority to help protect and preserve
the history of these sites.)
After leaving the battlefield we headed on to Pikeville. I have never been
in Pikeville long enough to explore much, and although we didn’t stay too long
we decided to explore two of Kentucky and West Virginia’s most famous families: The Hatfield’s & McCoy’s.
They call it America’s
most famous feud, and indeed it is still capturing attention to this day. While
in Pikeville we walked up the hill to the Dils Family Cemetery where a number of
members of the McCoy family are buried, including the heads of the McCoy family
– Randolph and Sarah McCoy. Their former home is only a few blocks away from
the cemetery. Many legends surround Pikeville and the two families, and on over to
Matewan on the West Virginia
side, where the Hatfield’s lived. After the cemetery, we drove part of the Hatfield- McCoy trail
up to Matewan (site of the Matewan Massacre), and made stops at the Hog Trial Site and the site of the PawPawTree Incident. With all of the tragic deaths that took place during the feud
all those years ago I’m sure they have left a haunting impression on the area.
The areas in which both families are from, my ancestors are from also. I
have no direct ties to the Hatfield’s or McCoy’s, but I can’t tell you how many
times I’ve heard the name Hatfield in particular from my older family members
who grew up in Pike County Kentucky and surrounding areas.
One awesome trip and a number of potentially haunted places were abundant in
South Eastern Kentucky and Southern West Virginia.
I always enjoy exploring the area of my ancestors, because you just never know
what you might learn or if you will find an awesome haunted place!