The Badass of the Week.

-- How to Conduct a Paranormal Investigation --
Update 19 January 2007 by Amazing Ben

Not too long ago I mentioned that the inimitable Hot Andrea and I escaped the watery grave of our dank old apartment and clawed our way to a new dwelling which, according to my calculations, is exactly eight hundred thousand million percent nicer than our former residence, if for no other reason than by virtue of the fact that I no longer fantasize about using a handful of cooked spaghetti to choke the life out of our irritating half-deaf upstairs neighbor and then breaking his stereo with my ass.  However, with any new home comes new and unforeseen challenges.  For instance, we needed to buy a dining room table, since we had this huge dining room but nothing to put in there.  Also, we needed to look into getting some chairs with which to sit at said dining room table.  Oh yeah, and we also need to exorcise the fucking semi-retarded ghost that apparently lives in our house and tries to fuck with us.

That's right.  We have a motherfucking ghost in our new apartment.  I know some of you may be skeptical, as I once was, but just listen to some of the crazy, unexplained freaky shit that has gone down in the last two weeks and then try to tell me that we aren't in desperate need of either an Ecto-Containment Unit or a Roman Catholic Priest:

  • The Requisite Weird Ghost Noises

    Our ghost makes weird banging noises throughout the house in the middle of the night.  It sort of sounds like some drunken idiot stumbling around crashing into things like an uncoordinated oafish dolt, leading me to believe that our spirit is probably either the ghost of Edgar Allen Poe or an alcoholic Irishman.  Also, there's a set wind chimes attached to the side of the house next door and those things ring constantly all night long, which is sort of creepy in a bad 1970s horror movie way.  I've offered to get into my homemade ninja suit and steal the chimes off the side of our neighbor's house, but Andrea's pretty worried that the half-wolf/half-Siberian Husky that lives in the house will bite my arm off before I can swipe the chimes.  That's only because she doesn't know about my super awesome ninja stealth skills.

  • The Possessed Bottle of Karo Syrup

    One morning when Andrea was home sick hacking her lungs out from emphysema or the black lung or whatever the fuck she's suffering from, she was walking around the kitchen looking for her medicine when she swears a bottle of Karo Syrup went FLYING off the pantry shelf at her.  According to her, it leaped out towards her like it was trying to commit suicide or something.  She is convinced that this was the ghost trying to kill her or break her toes or something.  Personally, I think our spirit guy was actually just asking her to make him some sort of cake or pie or maybe like some muffins or something (I have no idea what you actually use corn syrup for).

  • The Mysterious Cat Toy

    One night we were both woken up by a loud banging sound in the kitchen.  I went in there ninja-style to check it out and get the kung fu drop on anybody trying to rob us, only to find that it was just one of our cats playing with a stuffed mouse cat toy.  I picked the thing up and brought it back to the bedroom to show Andrea what was making all the noise.  She took one look at it and said in a somber tone, "I've never seen this toy before in my life."  I looked at this thing, and suddenly realized I hadn't either.  Apparently our ghost is buying toys for our cats and leaving them on our kitchen floor, which is kind of cool I guess but also still a little bit creepy.

  • The Haunting Voice of the Damned

    This is the weirdest shit of them all.  One night, Andrea got out of bed to go to the bathroom.  When she reached the doorway to our bedroom, she SWEARS she heard a voice whisper, "baaaaaathroooooom" right into her ear.  She shrieked and immediately woke me up to ask me if I had made the noise.  I obviously had no fucking clue what she was talking about.  Now I have no idea why a ghost would ever want to say "bathroom" to anybody in the middle of the night, and it may have just been auditory hallucination brought on by insomnia, but there you have it.

  • Now I've seen enough horror movies, Discovery Channel original series and episodes of Most Haunted to know what's going on here - we're fucking haunted.  I blame myself, honestly.  I brought my old 2nd edition Dungeons & Dragons books into our new place, and the dark energies from those forbidden texts must have once again opened a sinister portal to the netherworld.  But have no fear!  I am a top-notch ghost hunter, and this week will share with you the proper procedure for conducting a paranormal investigation and exorcising your house of the restless dead.

    Understanding Your Ghost(s)

  • The Official Classifications of Ghosts

    The first step to vanquishing these fiendish servants of the underworld and returning to normalcy is to understand their nature and their motivation.  First off we will deal with their nature.  According to the OFFICIAL HANDBOOK OF GHOSTY SHIT there are five main types of ghosts:

    1. Apparitions.  Apparitions are visible members of the spirit world who cannot speak and who vanish after a short time like a really shy girl on the first day of school.

    2. Poltergeists.  Poltergeist activity is when a ghost starts moving shit around, manipulating things in the physical realm, causing a bunch of noise, and generally just being a pain in the ass to everybody around him.

    3. Spirits.  They can be seen, can produce noise, and can manipulate objects.  They're sort of like Slimer.

    4. Demons.  Demons are not the residual spiritual energy of dead humans, but are evil creatures that try to kill you at all costs and will possess your children and livestock and make them barf up pea soup and do all sorts of other disgusting shit.  They are impossible to clean up after.

    5. Wraiths.  Wraiths are 5 Hit Die monsters with +10 to attack and an Armor Class of 15.  Their spectral hits can drain Constitution unless you pass a saving throw, and they can only be wounded by magical weapons of +1 or greater.

  • Usually, Ghosts Are Really Fucking Pissed
  • This one really isn't all that tough, since like 99% of all ghosts died under traumatic circumstances.  They were either murdered by their lover, they committed suicide, they died of a broken heart, or they drowned in the ocean.  That's it.  Those are the only reasons why people would ever want to turn into ghosts.  Turn on one of those ghost story TV shows some time and you'll see what I mean.  Personally, I'd turn in to a ghost just to fucking haunt people I didn't like, but maybe that's just me.

    Putting Together Your Team

  • Psychics

    Now that you've got a basic understanding of what you're going to be dealing with, you need to go ahead and assemble your paranormal investigation team, and psychics are as good a place as any to start.  Psychics have like extra-sensory perspiration or some shit and can "feel it" when ghosts and spirit people are around. You know how right before you rip a huge fart you can sort of feel it coming?  Well psychics get that feeling ALL THE TIME when there are ghosts around.  They can feel residual energies left behind eight billion years ago like it was yesterday, and then they'll tell you a bunch of stuff about your ghost that you'll never be able to confirm or deny.  As long as they say what people want to hear, and they say it with enough conviction, everyone will believe them.  If you doubt their powers, it's only because you're closed-minded.

  • Mediums
  • Mediums are the guys who are like, "I see dead people".  They can actually communicate with the deceased with the same ease that they communicate to their bank tellers after they convince you that your dead auntie wants you to give them all your money.  While it's cool to hear these people put on the sort of one-sided conversations that would make schizophrenics jealous, the main reason you want to bring a Medium along is because they can sometimes "get possessed" by the spirits of dead people (sort of like Whoopi in Ghost) and then they start freaking out, breaking things and speaking in tongues.  This is awesome, and can produce some seriously hysterical results, particularly if they feel the need to put on over-exaggerated fake-sounding accents to prove how serious they are about their supposed possession.

  • Paranormal Investigators
  • Paranormal investigators are those guys who take themselves way to seriously and try to convince you that because they're packing EMF meters, infrared thermometers, Polaroid film and sound amplifiers they're "real scientists" and not total fucking dipshits.  They honestly believe that there is some sort of scientific way to not only prove the existence of ghosts, but to quantify the amount of ghostly energy produced by a specific area.  Somewhere out there, J. Catfood's head is exploding.  The best part is that most of these "scientists" are about as qualified to discuss physics and biology as your average high school dropout McDonald's burger flipper.

    But there they are, scurrying around decked out with more electronic gadgets than a Cyborg Navy SEAL Team in a Motorola processing plant, taking infrared photography of everything from tombstones to roadkill and pretending they're Peter fucking Venkman or something.  They love to mention how certain spots in the room have surpassed the "threshold for paranormal activity" or how your haunted fireplace of death is "more ghosty" than your toilet tank, while using their 1980's style Radio Shack walkie-talkies to relay whatever useless made-up numbers they're getting off their stupid broken devices back to their "home base" for processing.

    My favorite piece of "evidence" presented by paranormal investigators are "light orbs" that appear in their pictures.  Light orbs, for those of you who don't know, are small flashes of light that show up in pictures and are generally created by imperfections in film, unsuitable lighting conditions, or reflections of camera flash off of things such as dust, rain, or other air particles.  However, many paranormal investigators say that the orbs are actually caused by very small ghosts that fly around like lightning bugs or Tinkerbell and mess up peoples' pictures.  To them, it is empirical scientific proof of the existence of ghosts.  Man, what a crock of shit.

  • Camera, Lighting and Sound Guys
  • If you want to try and make some money off of your investigation (and there are tons of suckers out there willing to pay to see this shit), you'll need to hire a camera crew to run around and get all the action on film, "just in case" you actually see something even remotely creepy.  If you manage to get through an entire investigation without seeing anything interesting, just have one of your lighting guys run off camera and pound his fist against a wall or throw a rock at a window while everybody looks around confusedly and/or screams in terror.

  • Easily-Excitable Bitches
  • Which brings me to the next key ingredient of a paranormal investigation - some random bimbo who will scream and yell like a goddamned banshee even if nothing really interesting happens at all.  She'll claim she "heard something" or "something brushed up against her", and totally flip her lid, even though in the back of her mind she knows it was probably just the camera guy trying to cop a cheap feel.  Her doomsday hysteria always adds a certain something to the broadcast, and makes it so that everyone else around her will either join her in being freaked out or laugh hysterically at her for being such a dumb bitch. 

    Pop Quiz:  Which one's a paranormal investigation and which one's a sex tape?

  • Parapsychologist "Skeptics"
  • I'm not really sure what the fuck a Parapsychologist is supposed to be, but it's name would imply that it's "sort of" a real psychologist, like what a revolutionary right-wing crazy paramilitary militia is to the Armed Forces of the United States.  I think this is one of those degrees though that you can only get online from like the University of Mexico City or something.  These guys attempt add a certain blind credibility to your investigation because they always go into the seances or whatever saying, "now I don't really believe in ghosts" or something equally as skeptical.  That way, when they inevitably change their minds at the end and say, "wow maybe there really ARE ghosts", it seems that much more legit because (presumably) they were going in to the whole thing from a purely detached and objective point of view.

  • Priests/Shamans/Paladins/Rabbis/Imams/Medicine Men
  • Once all the poseurs have done their thing and put on a show, you'll probably need to call in the big guns to end the shit once and for all.  Getting a good exorcism this day is not an easy task, but for the right price you can probably get somebody to go soak your house in a few gallons of holy water and incense and banish whatever is haunting you back to whichever circle of hell it originally came from.

    Ghost Busting Tips

  • Tell Them "Go to the Light"

    While I've heard about three billion theories on where ghosts come from, why they're here, how to take their temperature with a rectal thermometer, and how they are actually the ethereal embodiment of a nonexistent relative, nobody has really done a good job of telling the world how to get rid of them.  I'm just like, yeah, OK I know my house is fucking haunted, but I don't really give a shit about this jackass's life story.  I don't fucking care why he's saying "baaaathrooooom" to my wife in the middle of the night.  Shit, for all I know he died from holding his piss in too long and he's forever tormented with not being able to go to the bathroom.  I really don't care.  Just tell me HOW TO KILL IT.

    The only thing I've really heard is that you can tell the spirits to "go to the light".  They apparently know what this means somehow, and will automatically do it as soon as you say it.  Sure, it doesn't make much sense, but it's the only advice I've ever received on the subject.

    My own personal advice is to buy a huge-ass (at least 2') cross and carry it around with you everywhere.  As soon as some spooky shit starts going down, start waving that bitch around in the air wildly while screaming, "go to the fucking light or DIE you son of an asshole!!!" Just pretend you're fighting The Invisible Man or a pinata or something;  Keep swinging at air trying to bludgeon the ghost to death with the POWER OF JEEBUS.

    "You have to have faith for this to work on me."

  • Don't Cross the Streams
  • Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.  Total protonic reversal.  That's bad.

    "I love this plan!  I'm excited it could work!  LET'S DO IT!"


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