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"We're ready to believe you!"
—Advertising slogan of the Ghostbusters
A genre with characters who specialize in investigating reports of paranormal activity - in other words Occult Detectives.
The paranormal occurences can be a hoax or the real thing.
When actual supernatural forces are in play, the characters can either be no physical match for them, or they can fight the supernatural on equal terms, either physically, or technologically.
Anime and Manga
- Kara no Kyoukai: This seems to be Touko's business.
- Karas: Kure and Sagisaka work as Shinjuku's sole paranormal police task force, making them a bit of a joke to the rest of the police.
- Psychic Detective Yakumo
- Detective Conan: There are several story lines that fit into this genre.
- Ghost Hunt: Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
- Paranormal Mystery Squad
- Charles Fort
- Doctor Thirteen, the Ghost Breaker. A die-hard skeptic, originally every haunting he investigated turned out to be fake, but then Thirteen started teaming up with The Phantom Stranger and became part of the DC Universe, and his skepticism has been played for laughs ever since.
- Ghostbusters --> Who you gonna call?
- The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson.
- The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
- New Amsterdam by Elizabeth Bear
- Many of the Cthulhu Mythos stories start with this -- a scholar or academic type investigating a legend or occult artifact.
- Sherlock Holmes: The Hound Of The Baskervilles.
- The standard plot of the "Carnacki, the Ghost-Finder" stories by William Hope Hodgson, a contemporary of Conan Doyle.
- Kitty Norville is successful, a rising star in the radio culture. Her radio show, The Midnight Hour, has become an overnight sensation, providing outre music, observations about the bizarre, and call-in radio advice for the loners, the odd, and the unusual.
- Morris and Chastain Investigations
- Dresden Files
- Haunted 1988
Live Action Television
- The X-Files: many episodes. Many many episodes. FBI agents.
- Kolchak the Night Stalker: Both incarnations. A reporter.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Exactly What It Says on the Tin
- "Buffy"'s spinoff, Angel: A vampire as the head of a team of private investigators in LA.
- Friday the 13th: The Series: The heirs of an antique dealer who sold cursed items chase around trying to get them back.
- Psych: Constantly, and always a red herring.
- Becoming Human: Does it count if it is the paranormal doing the investigating themselves?
- Destination Truth: A "reality" TV series. Usually half of the episode segments feature a haunting investigation while the rest deal with cryptids. In an effort to distinguish itself from other paranormal shows like Ghost Hunters or Ghost Adventures, Destination Truth focuses investigating more exotic and interesting locations like the Great Wall of China or the Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia.
- Other "reality" TV series include:
- The aforementioned Ghost Adventures and its Spin-Off Paranormal Challenge on the Travel Channel.
- Ghost Hunters and its Spin-Off shows Ghost Hunters International and Ghost Hunters Academy on the Syfy Channel.
- Ghost Lab on the Discovery Channel.
- Paranormal State on A&E TV.
- Most Haunted, a British "reality" show on Sky Living.
- Ghost Hunt on TVNZ in New Zealand.
- Nginiig, a Philippine TV show on ABS-CBN.
- Poltergeist: The Legacy
- The Others
- Special Unit 2: a series about a secret division of the Chicago Police Department that dealt with paranormal crimes. The rest of the police department was completely in the dark about what SU-2 was.
- Vampire Prosecutor
- Joseon X-Files
Tabletop Role Playing Games
- Alternity: Dark Matter, a modern-day setting of Conspiracy Theories and Paranormal Investigation.
- Call of Cthulhu: Pretty much the whole point of the game was paranormal investigation.
- Chill even has an organization called S.A.V.E. dedicated to paranormal investigation, and it is assumed the characters are members of, or at least associated with the organization.
- Alone in The Dark: Carnby investigates the paranormal in the second, third, and fourth games in the series.
- Clive Barker's Undying: Patrick's current profession is paranormal investigator. Despite possessing the Gel'ziabar Stone and knowing some magic, he's rarely come across anything that couldn't be explained by mundane causes.
- Adlers Watch features two girls named 23 and Sam who investigate reports of paranormal monsters across Austin, Texas.
- In Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name, the title character and his partner are paranormal private eyes.
- LIS_DEAD has hints of this, especially around the investigation of 'His' powers.
- Part of Marble Hornets is Jay looking through tapes of his friend Alex getting stalked by a tall creature with no face.
- All Scooby Doo all the time.
- The Looney Tunes film Daffy Duck's Quackbusters is a compilation of classic shorts with the bridging story that Daffy Duck opened a Paranormal Investigation service to rid other people of ghosts like the one who has been plaguing him and taking his money.
Daffy: You say the Loch Ness Monster is living in your jacuzzi?
- The Real Ghostbusters
- The 1937 Disney animated cartoon Lonesome Ghosts featuring Mickey, Donald and Goofy as Ghostbusters.
- On Invader Zim, eleven-year-old Dib aspires to being a paranormal investigator, and is the only person to realize that Zim is an alien. Other paranormal investigators appear in the series (Bill, the Swollen Eyeballs), but they tend to be fairly useless.