Much of that new tech is easily acquired and put to use by consumers, notes Misty Bastian, an anthropologist at Franklin & Marshall College who has studied paranormal groups. "Not only is the equipment available, it's affordable," she says. "For $150 you can get a digital recorder that would have cost much more just five years ago. That's why this do-it-yourself movement is possible."

All that suggests a real spirituality behind the paranormal groups. In earlier civilizations, those who sought answers to timeless mysteries would chew peyote buttons, or fast in the desert for forty days; back in the 60s some folks tried a few of those methods again. Today, though, we can all explore the spirit world and the afterlife, with a trip to Best Buy or Home Depot. Every man a shaman!

"I don't think it's going to go away," says Sztabor. "It's not a fad, like bell-bottoms and love beads. The paranormal has to do with age-old questions. Is there are heaven or a hell? Is there a God? People doing paranormal investigations are searching for their own identities. After 40 years of being involved with this, I know there is definitely something more to existence."

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