I was asked recently, albeit indirectly, what got me interested in the paranormal. For the longest time, my response has been the generic ‘I dunno.’ But it’s been bugging me a lot since this most recent inquiry. I mean you don’t drive down a road and forget why you’re there, do you? Okay maybe you do. I know I do so that was a bad analogy, but you get my point. There has to be a spark for the fire to grow. So I probed the depths of my memory and reasoned that my interest in ghosts and such goes back to around 1996/97.
I think it was about that time that I was working temporary jobs just after college and landed myself an assignment at a HMO. I’m pretty sure it was while working there that I first discovered the website about the Amityville Horror Hoax. I poured through that site and came away realising that what had been portrayed in that movie was a lot of made up crap.
My next memory jumps to working at another temp. assignment, this time at a law firm in their billing department. By this time I’d discovered Obiwan’s UFO-Free Paranormal Page and would spend any ‘down time’ at work, reading the stories on the site. I’d get so engrossed in the stories and nearly jump out my skin when someone came to my cubicle for something. Also around that time, I joined the now-defunct alt.folklore.ghost-stories newsgroup and made a dear friend there, with whom I’ve since lost contact.
My interest grew, but after a while, I discovered that I’d read all of the stories there were to read. Somewhere along the way I discovered forums and joined several, learning much as I went along. I clearly remember introducing ghost photo browsing to two friends while I lived in California. The job I had was an early shift start so the friends I made would look at the same site as I did and we’d all comment on the creepiness of them.
My beliefs have changed over the years, from blind belief to a more cautious interest with the hopes that something is there and someday I’ll experience it.
I know what you mean when you say “cautious interest”. I have learned so much just in the last year about what is explainable..and how many hoaxes are out there that many really believe. (I got into the Amityville Hoax website too…and came away with the same conclusions)
I will forever be interested in a good story..and will continue to look for answers about what inspires those stories. My own experiences aside (can’t really be objective about those), I am a lot more careful about what I call paranormal now.