I was contacted yesterday by someone asking for help. She sent the usual collection of blurry photos taken by shooting into mirrors, windows, and a toaster. She mentioned that the activity in her home was getting worse all the time and, in fact, she had experienced 8 seizures in the last month alone.
I wrote back to explain how easy it is to see faces and figures in reflective surfaces and that photos of this type are generally not considered good evidence of anything paranormal. I explained that I did not see anything that I would consider anomalous in any of her photos. I expressed great concern about the "seizures" and advised her to seek medical attention immediately. I also attached our detailed, multi-page "Client Questionnaire" and suggested that she take some time to go over it and fill it out as that could be helpful in clarifying the situation for her and helping her to determine if there is a possibility of genuine unexplained activity.
She emailed back to tell me that I "don't get it" and continued to point out the faces and figures in each of her photos. Unfortunately, this is typical. Yes, the one photo taken in her toaster (!) DOES seem to show a male off to the side. But, without context, how could anyone judge whether it is paranormal or not? I don't know if she's 17 or 70, if she lives alone or has a dozen roommates, whether she's on medication or not, what her job is or if she even has a job, whether there is any other supporting information about what she says she's experiencing, how long she has been experiencing it, whether she has contacted other researchers, etc., etc., etc. All these questions are in the form that all our new prospective clients complete and submit to us.
If a client isn't even willing to fill out a form, they must not be very concerned about what is allegedly happening. What do they expect us to do? Rush right out to do an exorcism based on the "evidence" of a few lousy, out of focus pictures of nothing?? And then there's that little matter of the "seizures." That would immediately rule out doing any type of investigation or clearing until and unless she can produce a doctor's written report of a clean bill of health. She could be epileptic, she could have a brain tumor, she could be suffering from any number of physical and/or mental illnesses. No lay person can touch this one with the proverbial ten foot pole!
Ed and Lorraine Warren once admitted, in a moment of candor, that "everyone who contacts us is crazy." That's not really what we've found after our almost 20 years in the paranormal field. We've encountered many cases of genuine paranormal activity and met some very nice, normal people. I know we've been able to assist quite a few of them. But we've also met our share of nuts, no question about it. And certainly four VERY big red flags are: (1) refusal to even consider a non-paranormal explanation; (2) insisting that they're right and we're wrong (well, in that case, guess you don't need us, do you?); (3) refusal to fill out the questionnaire; and (4) last, but certainly not least, a history of medical issues.
This is what they don't tell you about on all those TV ghost shows, LOL.