Written by Dan McMath
2 years with GOO!!! Well, not full time.....casual......very, very casual. When you dip your corn chips into many bowls, you start to find it hard to recognize the diffference bettween sour cream and salsa! And I'm not really one to be a skilled juggler. From promotios and bar work at my local club, presenting The Haunting Hours every week on Triple U FM, trying to do something with paranormal themed clothing, investigating occurences of the paranormal, getting sick, getting laid,getting ripped off, underpaid (....sorry. AC/DC just popped into my head). But there is one thing that always takes the number 1 spot, and that's family.
Over the past 7 years, my involvement with the world of the paranormal increased every year. Residential cases became quite regular. Add to that habitual travel to check out famous haunted sites and attend paranormal events, the search for answers started to take it's toll. Wandering around work sleep deprived and trying to motivate myself around the house started to become commonplace. Not that my family were concerned, it was more a "moment of clarity" thing that happened to me on an investigation a couple of months ago.
It was around 1 in the morning. I was sitting in the corner of a small bedroom in a house located in Eden on the far south coast. The occupier of the home had contacted me only a week prior to investigate strange noises being heard coming through the walls. The main sound being that of a crying baby. I know right!!!! Probably the creepiest sound you can hear in the dead of night in your own house is the cry of a baby.....especially when you don't have kids! Apparantly these sounds had gone on for around 2 weeks and the occupants were understandably shaken. Anyway, the couple had decided that they would travel up the coast for the weekend to attend a local race meet, so that meant I had the house completely to myself. Gotta love country hospitality. "Help yourself to anything in the fridge and cupboards." Yup. I obliged. Now, back to sitting in that corner.
As I mentioned, It was 1am and I had positioned myself in a room doing random evp sessions and waiting to hear the cry of a baby. Then. As clear as a bell. I heard it! Shivers ran up my spine as I said out loud to myself "Bullshit???" This can't be happening. It was way too clear and way too cliche. I jumped up waiting to hear it again. And I DID! Louder this time. This phanton baby's cries had become more frantic and pronounced. Like a baby screaming for a bottle. Wait a minute. FUCK!!!! For fucks sake Dan. It's a crying baby next door. My heart slowly returned to it's normal rythm as I slunk down onto the floor in a steaming pile of relief and disappontment. Was this what has been going on for the last 2 weeks next door? Do the occupiers know that next door has (by the sounds of it) a new born baby? I threw the digital recorder i was clutching across the room and proceeded to go outside for a smoke. 10 mins and 3 smokes later, I was back in the house packing up my gear, loading up the car and heading back 5 hours north. What a fucking waste of time and energy. It wasn't the first time I have been asked to investigate a house only to find a perfectly logical explanation. In fact, 37 out of 41 cases turned up nothing but mice, rats, refridgeration condensors, faulty televisons etc. But it was the first time I had stopped and thought to myself "Nothing new here". Exactly. No different data collected to any other 'evidence' I had logged over the years. And more poignantly, no closer to answers for myself. It was there and then I decided that if I were to make any headway to questions I had about the paranormal, It was in the data I had already attained. I needed to take a break from active investigating and review what I had already experienced over the last years.
So no more investigating, paranormal events, paranormal streetwear or GOO...well, no more for 12 months. I need to take a year off to not only concentrate part time on my paranormal research, but most importantly get back to what's important. Time with my family and fixing up the house we bought 18 months ago ( I think I can only keep saying "next week dear" so often).
Am I going to miss GOO and everything that came along with it? Of course! As I said earlier, I wasn't exactly a massive contributor. But it's surrounding myself with GOOd people that makes it all worth while. Alex, Danni, Ellie, Peet, Megan and Amanda. A crazy mix of peeps that wouldn't hesitate reaching out to you if you needed a helping hand. "Shirt off their backs" kinda stuff. And this is basis of the Aussie paranormal community. Good people. Good friends. Don't take the word 'good' for granted! When I say good, I mean amazing! Since discovering that a paranormal community actually existed out there (throuh the magic that is social media), I can only say good things (There's that word again). Now, words like para-unity have been bandied about over the years and subsequently quashed by nay sayers. I hear all the time about paranormal teams and how they don't get along, and that information should be shared, and this guy's a twat and that chick's up herself, and that team doesn't know the difference between ectoplasm and cheesecloth. So what! None of the above affects what I do. And from what I hear, it hasn't directly affected anyone I know in the field. Pointing fingers and hurling words isn't really constructive. I'll admit, I've been guilty of it. Hell, I awarded Gary Mannion a "Paranormal Knob Jockey of the year" award on The Haunting Hours just 2 nights ago! But there is a difference between fun, and being negative.
The Australian Paranormal Community ( or The APC, because we just love anagrams ) is predominately filled with good people. Nay. The best people! And I just wanted to say to each and every one of you.....thank you. You are a credit not just to all things spooky, but to humanity in general. Kind, positive, big hearted and friendly people who are not afraid to stand up for what is right, which is exactly what the world needs at the moment.
So, until 2018 ( or if I see you at Paracon 2017 ), I bid the all farewell. Thank you to Alex and crew once again, a big welcome to Tina and Johnathon and thank you to everyone for being who you are. Stay positive, stay safe and most importantly......stay spooky! Happy New Year!