Friday, May 8, 2015
A paranormal investigator (PI) is a person who investigates claims regarding the presence of ghosts, demons, spirits, aliens, lake monsters, the chupacabra, and other "strange and bizarre" things. (The Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena (ASSAP) lists 45 subjects for investigation. The Skeptic's Dictionary Paranormal Topics page lists over 50 subjects.) The paranormal investigator should be distinguished from the parapsychologist or laboratory researcher of psi, although some paranormal investigators also do lab work.(http://www.skepdic.com/paranormalinvestigator.html)
There are those who do not go into the field to investigate, nor do they study the reports of those who do, yet they accept or reject the conclusions of a PI. Such people are sometimes characterized as either "true believers" or "debunkers." It is probably fair to designate someone who accepts a claim that a ghost or lake monster has been verified, even though he or she hasn't done any investigation or studied any reports, as a "true believer." I don't think it is accurate to refer to everyone who rejects a claim that a ghost has been verified, even though he or she hasn't done any field investigations or studied a specific report, as a "debunker." To debunk is to expose something as false or as not what it is claimed to be. You can't expose something by simply denying its existence. A better term for such people would be "paranormal denier," rather than debunker or skeptic. Debunking is often what a PI does after investigating a place that others have claimed to know is haunted or inhabited by a monster, etc. Debunking is also something that a house PI might do after studying the reports of field PIs.