My dad us to always say "that all catfish are fish, but not all fish are catfish". This saying goes true for these different types of individuals. All Paranormal Investigators are Ghost Hunters, but not all Ghost hunters are Paranormal Investigators.
If you were to look around the web, you would find that there are quite a few "Ghost Hunter" and "Paranormal Investigation" teams. We have all heard these terms often and assume that they are the same. I think that there is a difference between the "Ghost Hunter" and the "Paranormal Investigator". There are several aspects of each of these titles that express what these people do and how they look at the field. Let's take a look at each of them. This is just my opinion so please keep that in mind when reading.
This title pretty much says it all. To hunt ghosts would imply that these individuals assume that there are ghost and they are on a quest to find them. The basic definition of a hunter is one who hunts. I think that these are the individuals that you will find walking around a cemetery or an abandoned building late at night with a flashlight, a digital camera, maybe a Electromagnetic Field Meter (EMF), and a voice recorder and hoping to see something that will scare the mess out of them. To me these individuals are just thrill seekers with little or no education in the Paranormal field. These individuals know what the equipment is but rarely know the proper way to use it. The images, readings on their meters, and the sounds that are on their recorders they take as proof positive of a ghost. When they watch Ghost Hunting shows on TV, they accept them as actual reality of the Paranormal field. Don't get me wrong I believe that all of us Paranormal Investigators were once Ghost Hunters and that really is not a bad thing, and I believe that we revert back to a Ghost Hunter every now and again. A practical Ghost Hunter makes a great Paranormal Investigator.
The term "Paranormal Investigator" can include anyone interested in many areas of the paranormal such as Aliens or UFO's, and yes, even ghosts. The key word in this title, however is "Investigator". Webster's Dictionary describes an "Investigator" as someone who will observe or study by close examination and systematic inquiry: to make a systematic examination: to conduct an official inquiry. The Paranormal Investigator attempts to rule out all possible natural explanations, are open minded and inquisitive, do not make assumptions and do not just assume ghosts exist, they take a scientific approach to their research and many are versed in a variety of other areas of related fields such as Parapsychology, Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Environmental, geological, and others. The Paranormal Investigator, not only uses good quality equipment when conducting an investigation, but they also know what the equipment is used for, how to use it properly and how to analyze the data they collect and correlate it with other types of evidence to have a greater view of a situation. If no evidence is apparent, they take it for what it is. Good or Bad. They do not attempt to make it fit their hypotheses. The Investigator conducts research on the area they are investigating in hopes of getting clarification on some of the evidence they may have collected. I believe also that most if not all of the Paranormal Investigation teams also go as far as offering some type of cleansing protocol or spiritual help if needed. Most of the Paranormal and Ghost hunting teams on the web are in fact Paranormal Investigators. If you are in the need of help from one of these teams or individuals, just be aware of their beliefs and their objectives.
My beliefs on the Paranormal are as follows; I believe in ghost and the supernatural, no one has to prove this phenomena to me. I believe that we as human beings develop such a bond with our families and loved ones that it makes it hard sometimes to move on after we pass. I believe that someone in life can get so comfortable with their surroundings they are unable to pass because this is where they feel most alive. I also believe that our emotions are so strong that the emotion itself can create a spirit of a passed loved one. When it comes to being a Paranormal Investigator my goal along with my Paranormal team is to investigate these phenomena, which includes collecting data and evidence through various equipment. We review the data and evidence collected with hopes of not only gathering further proof of the Paranormal but to also rule out the possibility of it actually being a natural occurrence. Using the evidence and data, our team tries to find the answers to why certain things happen at certain times. We try and find out why a spirit shows itself to someone or at some place but not to everyone and every place. We try to find out through our questioning if the spirit is a relation to a home owner or something else. These are just some of the things we try to get answers for. We record and file all of our investigation with hope of finding a common link between this world and the next. ~ Tracy