I do not have conventional TV around the house – my cable is for internet alone – so, if I want to watch paranormal TV shows, I have to find them online. Recently, I’ve made my way through the episodes of “Paranormal Witness” available on Netflix and I found myself wondering why most of the people highlighted on that show never sought outside help of any sort, even in cases where the paranormal manifestations had allegedly gotten so bad that the witness or witnesses eventually vacated their home.
Now, I understand that this is television and that the cases presented might be either the worst of the worst that the producers could come up with or the cases might all be in the imagination of the people profiled (although I find that hard to believe in some of the cases, at least). There is always a tendency, with television, to sensationalize, to try to make things appear worse than they were, to try to make the episodes seem more eerie and otherworldly than they were. Still, you wonder why someone who appears to be having an ongoing series of strange events happening in their home does not pick up the phone or get online and look to see what help might be available.
I think there are a number of answers to this question but one of the big ones is the age old question that every experiencer of the unexplained seems to have: who is going to believe me? Whether the percipient saw an unidentified animal in the woods, a UFO flying over the house or the apparition of a dead Union soldier on a Gettysburg battlefield, most witnesses will tell you that one of the first things that pops into their mind, once the shock of the incident has worn off a little, is, who is going to believe my story? If more than one person has seen the event, the question becomes “did you just see . . . ?” and then morphs into “who is going to believe us?”
Given that most witnesses are treated less than respectfully if they try to report their event or events to the “authorities”, this is a realistic concern. While I have my issues with the plethora of investigators out there, I think they do serve one useful purpose: they provide a place for the witness to tell their story in a relatively safe environment where they will not automatically be considered candidates for a stay at the local mental institution. Imagine for just a moment, the strain of having something exceptional happen to you and not being able to discuss it with anyone. In cases where the phenomena are ongoing, this internal struggle would be even worse. While many investigators have no clue how to truly assist someone who is having a real issue with the unseen, at least the witness has an opportunity to unburden themselves and perhaps get some confirmation that they have not lost their minds.
That assistance, in and of itself, is extremely invaluable to the witnesses of high strangeness.