I'm often asked the question, "What is the difference between a Ghost Hunter and a Paranormal Investigator?" This is what my thoughts are:
A Ghost Hunter, a term made popular by the T.V. show "Ghost Hunters" which actually showcases a group called T.A.P.S. or The Atlantic Paranormal Society, usually refers to a person or group that searches for ghosts or haunted locations for the mere "thrill of the chase." The majority of these types don't put much time into researching and digging deep for answer as to why a certain location may be haunted, what type of haunting is supposedly taking place, how to use equipment properly and the reasons why certain pieces of equipment are used, or how to help a client with the client's best interest in mind. Many are looking for the glitz and glamour that they think is associated with saying, "I hunt for ghosts." As many of my colleagues put it, these "Ghost Hunters" watch a couple of T.V. shows and think they have what it takes to go out and "help" a client. Unfortunately, this can be dangerously untrue.
So what is a Paranormal Researcher and Investigator? Well, a Paranormal Researcher and Investigator does exactly what the name insinuates; they conduct detailed research and investigations. The vast majority of researchers and investigators will dedicate hours upon hours of research, not only into a case, but into the field itself. They take the time to "try" and understand the mechanics behind a haunting, how it is possible for entities to exist, what exactly are entities, why are there only certain individuals that have experiences with entities, the list goes on and on. When taking on a case, they will put many hours into researching an area and its history, interviewing clients and witnesses, studying and dissecting the client's and witness's personalities, beliefs, thought processes, and psychological states, considering factors such as times, dates, and weather patterns during claimed activity, all this and much more before even setting foot into a site to conduct an investigation. Researchers/Investigators will scrutinize everything, including their own evidence. Though many are not scientists, they will carry out their investigations in a scientific manner conducting various experiments, notating, introducing, and removing variables, and will eliminate all logical explanations before even thinking to claim activity or experiences as Paranormal in nature. Just this little portion that I mentioned should give you the basic understanding that there is indeed a major difference between a "Hunter" and a "RESEARCHER/INVESTIGATOR." But there are two more words that I feel sets the two apart...PASSION and DEDICATION.
Lastly, I know exactly what you are thinking to ask..."So why is your team called Hawaiian Island GHOST HUNTERS?" Well, the truth is, we started off as Ghost Hunters. I have been fascinated with ghosts since I was young. I've had experiences with the paranormal and was longing for a way to find answers for them. Then came T.A.P.S. While watching a show one day, my brother-in-law and I looked at each other and thought, "This is it, this is how we can find the answers we've been searching for, we can do this." BUT...since that day, we've evolved. We took our passion to the next level. We connected with many "Research and Investigation" groups such as our closest Ohana group The Arizona Paranormal Research Society (T.Az.R.P.S) and for me, my personal mentor Uncle Lopaka Kapanui, and learned that there is so much more to it than what the T.V. shows portray. So here we are today, The Hawaiian Island Paranormal Research Society dba Hawaiian Island Ghost Hunters. We kept the name H.I.G.H. for it is who we started off as. And till this day, we keep on researching, we keep on learning, and as I see it, we'll never stop...
HIPRS President / HIGH Lead Investigator / Founder
HIPRS/HIGH = Hawaii's most knowledgeable, experienced, and reliable paranormal research and investigations team.