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Wednesday, 18 January 2012 00:22

Announcing the 2012 Parapsychological Association Convention in Durham, NC

Written by 

55th Annual Convention
of the Parapsychological Association

Millennium Hotel
Durham, North Carolina

August 9-12, 2012


This meeting is a must for serious paranormal investigators or ghost hunters. Especially those who claim to be science based.


Let’s start out with what parapsychology is and what it involves.

Parapsychology is the study of “apparent anomalies of behavior and experience that exist apart from currently known explanatory mechanisms that account for organism-environment and organism-organism information and influence flow.”

-Parapsychological Association, 1989, pp.394-395

Parapsychologists attempt to explain the phenomena within mainstream science. If the phenomena can’t be explained within the context of mainstream science, then new hypotheses and theories are proposed that are an extension of known science. Some of those ideas may seem well outside of mainstream science but new data, experiments, and information will continue to support or not support those hypotheses. For example, new information gained in the study of quantum physics gives new possibilities for explaining paranormal phenomena with the context of science.

The variety of different areas and experiences within the field are collectively termed ‘psi’.  Psi is synonymous with psychic and psychical. The three aspects of psi are:

  • Extrasensory Perception (ESP) or what some term Extended Sensory Perception. This area of psi is considered informational or receptive psi.
  • Psychokinesis (PK). This is psi as an interaction. It is when the mind has a direct affect on an animate or inanimate object. Telekinesis is the older term used to describe these phenomena of moving distant objects with one’s mind but most parapsychologists just refer to it as PK. To make it simple, let’s just say it is mind over matter.
  • Survival. This is the life after death area that all ghost hunters and paranormal investigators have come to know and love. However, it includes much more than just ghosts and hauntings as you will see in the following paragraphs.

Why is it important for paranormal investigators or ghost hunters to know about parapsychology?

Knowledge of parapsychology is essential for the paranormal investigator. The major reasons it plays such an important role are:

  • Parapsychology used to be known in the early days as psychical research of which started out investigating mediums, psychics, and spiritualists. There was also considerable time spent collecting, investigating and analyzing cases of ghosts and hauntings (or what most parapsychologists would term ‘spontaneous cases’).
  • The majority of research in parapsychology is now done in the formal psychology lab setting. Unfortunately, ghosts have yet to make themselves available for a controlled laboratory study. Therefore, most of the investigations into ghosts and hauntings cases into the arms of amateur paranormal investigators and ghost hunters.
  • The information gained during research by parapsychologists can be used when investigating ghosts and hauntings. This also works the opposite way in that good quality information collected during field investigations can be a starting point for parapsychologists to set up and do certain laboratory experiments.
  • Amateur paranormal investigators and ghost hunters are NOT parapsychologists. Parapsychologists have advanced college degrees and usually hold faculty positions at universities and/or at other formal research laboratories. Also, the majority of parapsychologists would not be considered to be ghost hunters or paranormal investigators. Some do investigate spontaneous cases but usually do it as a somewhat controlled field experiment in an attempt to collect data that can be used to support a hypothesis they are testing.

Finally, if you do believe in the possibility of ghosts then the field of parapsychology can provide some possible mechanisms by which these entities are able to manifest, communicate with, and influence things in our physical world.

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