What makes a paranormal investigator tick?

Paul Kingsbury in Vancouver Police Museum's Morgue. Paul Kingsbury

Why are people obsessed with investigating Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs), sasquatches and ghosts?

That is what a Simon Fraser University professor and his graduate students are trying to find out.

Geography professor Paul Kingsbury says a few years ago he read a newspaper editorial written by a man concerned about the lack of facts on TV shows about aliens and sasquatches.

SFU geography professor Paul Kingsbury at the International UFO Congress.

That inspired him to look deeper into what Kingsbury says is an important part of mainstream culture.

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Kingsbury says some people join paranormal investigation groups after having an extraordinary experience like a ghostly encounter or seeing lights in the sky.

“They  are often driven to find out exactly what happened to them and to be with like-minded people who will not judge them for being crazy,” he said.

Contrary to what most believe, Kingsbury says many ghost investigators are not seeking money or to prove the existence of ghosts but to provide peace of mind or closure to their clients.

He adds the rise of social media and the internet has lead to even more people sharing their paranormal experiences.

So, after years of research is the professor a “believer?”

“I believe in the investigators, their lives are important and this is something we need to understand as part of society,” he told Global News.

He does vividly remember attending an investigation in the old Vancouver Police morgue at about 2:30 a.m. one morning.

They were in, “the blood room”, where blood was drained from the deceased bodies.

An investigator used a “Spirit Box” radio scanner and Kingsbury says noises coming from the box sounded like they could have been coming from an intelligent entity.

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He adds it was intense and scary but he politely declined an invitation to ask “the entity” any questions.

Kingsbury will outline his findings on March 15 during a public meeting at SFU’s Surrey campus.

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