Ghost hunters go into some pretty spooky situation on purpose. What do you think they fear? We talk about it and you might be surprised to find out that it has very little to do with actual ghosts or anything paranormal in nature.

Chauncey Haworth: Tonight, Kara, I thought we would talk about things in an article that I found quite interesting about paranormal, but not about paranormal.

Kara Kittrick: Explain.

Chauncey Haworth: I will explain. I’ll explain by explaining slash reading some of the articles in an article titled Ghost Hunters say this is their biggest fear and it has nothing to do with ghosts from CNN. The biggest fear for ghost hunters is discussed. And as the title suggests, it’s not ghosts. It’s not demons either. It’s people.

Chauncey Haworth: Yes, people crazy, crazy, shady people. In the interview, the paranormal investigator says the living are more scary than dead due to mentally ill people who physically attack investigators during house calls. Unscrupulous investigators who staged supernatural encounters.

Criminals robbing and beating ghost hunting teams in abandoned buildings. And then there’s another little known occupational hazard. The sheer terror of tedium. Then the article goes on to cover situations that ghost hunters can find themselves.

Kara Kittrick: I don’t know that the sheer terror of tedium is a thing, but I imagine it is true.

Chauncey Haworth: I hadn’t thought about, you know, the literal hours of basically walking around, you know, poking in corners of a dark room with a stick for six hours in a night. You got to be really committed to standing around in the dark.

Kara Kittrick: It’s like being a beta tester for a videogame. I think, you know, everyone thinks that be really fun, but you’re actually just spending that whole time just having your character walk into a wall or something.

Chauncey Haworth: Testing every inch of the room and accomplishing nothing. I beat the level it crashed, you know, it’s like great.

Kara Kittrick: Yeah, I know that makes sense to me because whenever we hear about ghosts, we ask, what’s the scariest thing a ghost has done to you? We get something like, “I got knocked across the room” or “I got scratched on my back” or something. A human can knock you across the room. A human can stab you in the face. I mean, a human is much scarier than a ghost.

Chauncey Haworth: Yeah. Maybe that needs to be one of our standard questions. Basically, what’s your scariest run-In with a crackhead squatter. Yeah, we’ve had stories about demons trying to push people downstairs or something. And of course, as skeptics, every time we hear that we go, maybe. But when they say, you know, a crackhead chased me three blocks with a metal tube from a vacuum cleaner.

Kara Kittrick: That sounds very plausible.

Chauncey Haworth: I’m going to probably believe.

Kara Kittrick: I mean, the detail about the vacuum cleaner, they didn’t make that up. Right. Yeah, that happened.

Chauncey Haworth: Yeah, it did happen. And it happened to me. But just in the reverse, I caught some kids when I was like 16 or 17. I caught some teenagers like TPing in my house. But I thought it was people trying to rob me and I went out there with the tube for the vacuum.

Chauncey Haworth: So back to paranormal investigations, an elderly woman, invited a team over to do research. She excused herself from the room to make some tea for everybody. And came back with a frying pan yelling at them that they were intruders to get out of their house.

Kara Kittrick: Wow. Yeah. Because when you’re a paranormal investigator, you can’t, like, turn down someone who seems obviously crazy because like, if someone’s legitimately being haunted, of course, that are going to appear crazy, you know. Yeah, but how can you possibly tell the difference? So maybe a lot of your cases are people who seem very normal and upstanding, but you can’t tell maybe those guys that the crazy ones, you know, you’ve got to interact with a lot of people who are untethered enough from reality to possibly be violent. So. Right. I can see how this would be worrisome.

Chauncey Haworth: Right. Well, you know, at the risk of getting a little too serious, my daughter told me about some person and she wasn’t really friends with any longer, that she thinks it’s kind of crazy that she this person told my daughter that this other guy basically had done shady stuff to her. And my daughter was automatically not believing that girl that she thinks is crazy. And I had to remind my daughter, you know, bad stuff happens to the crazy ones, too, and maybe more often.

Kara Kittrick: Yeah.

Chauncey Haworth: You know, so you better take this with a grain of salt and take it into consideration. You know, even the crazy ones. You know, it’s like look at what was the. The possession of the one about the old lady, it’s like a found footage movie about the grandmother who has Alzheimer’s that they think might be possessed. (Note: It’s called The Taking of Deborah Logan)

Kara Kittrick: It’s really for that kind of sounds like what these researchers were dealing with. With frying pan attack and all. Yeah, it was. It was really freaky, though. Freaking good movie.

Kara Kittrick: If ghosts only haunt the perfectly sane, then I guess that proves once and for all that they’re not real.

Chauncey Haworth: In getting owner approval to investigate an abandoned house to find it at night occupied by drugged up squatters. Of course, that’s what we already saw. The paranormal investigators will sometimes encounter people who report seeing demons or hearing voices. But the afflicted person’s problem is mental, not paranormal.

Kara Kittrick: That’s another tricky one.

Kara Kittrick: You know, schizophrenia. I have known a guy who due to hearing…,  so we talked on the show before about schizophrenia and religion. And that in other countries they don’t deal with religion in schizophrenia. I have known a guy who, due to hearing voices and thinking about his sins, thought an eye for an eye and physically, with his own hand, pulled his eyeball out.

Kara Kittrick: That’s so sad.

Chauncey Haworth: You know, it makes you think that a lot of these calls maybe are people who especially when you start moving into the realm of possession and exorcism.

Kara Kittrick: Well, this is why priests and the Catholic Church is so strict, we can only do exorcisms in like these crazily specific circumstances. Right. And even then, they’ve been accused of like exploiting the mentally ill, which I think some justification could like. Really? How can you tell the difference between possession or someone who’s just like really mentally ill? I guess if they’re levitating or something. But that’s the only thing I can think of…

Chauncey Haworth: Well, we know mental illness exists. Even as a thing. So these priests are pretty good. So maybe they’re mental, you know? If one mentally ill person takes advantage of another mentally ill person who’s at fault.

Kara Kittrick: God.

Chauncey Haworth: Yeah, this one I thought that has never crossed my mind. Black mold, toxic dust, rodents carry diseases. Paranormal investigators often encounter while investigating old buildings and historic sites.

Kara Kittrick: This makes sounds like the Haunting of Hillhouse the black mold. I mean. There were also, you know, the conglomerated ghosts of the house trying to drive them to random murder their children with rat poison.

Chauncey Haworth: Right. Well, you know, it’s been out longer than six months, right. Yeah. Isn’t that our cutoff?

Kara Kittrick: It’s fine. Yeah. Six months seems reasonable.

Chauncey Haworth: You know, one investigator fell off an icy roof because he was so preoccupied with setting up a camera. And another was electrocuted by a dangling wire. And it says that multiple paranormal investigators die a year just from accidents and messed up stuff like this.

Kara Kittrick: Well, you know, that might make sense, it’s not surprising. Yeah. I never really thought about it, but hearing and I’m like, wow. Yeah. There are some risks to going into old buildings. It is weird that they died setting up the camera. But, you know, accidents happen. But especially if you’re going into abandoned buildings.

Chauncey Haworth: So, you know, paranormal investigators stay safe out there.