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It’s that time of year for ghost excursions, yet social distancing has cramped our style

It’s that time of year for ghost excursions, yet social distancing has cramped our style

By Rick Hinton

It’s that time of year; or rather it should be. …

COVID-19 has put a damper and certain restrictions upon just about every facet in our lives. This includes paranormal groups. By now these groups should be in full swing, with an ongoing calendar of locations to visit and investigate. Pay-per-view venues started scheduling for spots at the first of the year and often it’s a challenge to even get penciled in for a hearty night of ghost hunting. I feel sorry for groups having locked in a reservation, only now to have their night canceled by the pandemic. My trip to Lake County over Memorial Day weekend was one such casualty.

Every paranormal group has a calendar (or should have one), keeping weekends available and documented for forthcoming adventures into the unknown. The price to pay for this calendar is a frenzied exercise of waiting on hold on the phone for long lengths of time (especially if it is a popular location), hoping to acquire dates for coveted investigative locations – usually at a premium price – locally, statewide and out of state. Get it on the calendar becomes the mission each January!

However … these days, social distancing has thrown a monkey wrench into that. Additionally there may be numerous gatherings over the year: paranormal meet-and-greets, combined investigations and new haunted locations that suddenly explode upon the scene. Get them on the calendar! Any paranormal teams worth their salt should be scribbling furiously upon their own personal group calendar; except – in these days of uncertainty – writing in a date becomes a gamble. Paranormal investigators will find a way to satisfy their quest for adrenaline rush and answers. After all, the spirits are waiting! And, if a private investigation pops up somewhere along the way, we’ll work them in also. That becomes a non-calendar event.

The new norm for a paranormal investigator’s tool kit? (Photo by Rick Hinton)

Paranormal investigative sites will somehow continue in 2020. They have to. Our lives are headed toward a new-norm, and frankly I’m not sure what that will look like, but I am confident the search for answers in these mysterious gray areas – why one site is haunted, and another is not – will continue its journey. The paranormal choo choo will continue to roll down the tracks. This ride is far from over and there are a lot of these gray areas yet to explore. Paranormal television, movies, books and personal accounts will continue as 2020 adds a new cloak of mystery upon a way of life now suddenly having different guidelines and rules. Will a sense of normalcy ever return to the way it was before COVID-19, with presently the social unrest that is sweeping through our cities? I don’t know because I can’t predict what lies ahead. Yet, some things will continue to remain timeless. Are there things just below the surface requiring a degree of speculation and further investigation? I believe there are. Ghosts and answers are those things, and there will always be a group to investigate just that.

Paranormal venues are slowly beginning to reopen. Lake County and the Crown Point Jail, however, have not. These will be interesting days ahead for paranormal groups. Social distancing for investigators I imagine will be challenging. Some team members – much like those around us at Kroger and Walmart – will choose to ignore it. Many will abide by the restrictions. However, in the end, it’s a personal choice, and one up to each individual. Stay safe out there!

It’s that time of year.

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