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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.

According to Ghostbreakers website the genre is in fact Older Than Feudalism starting with Letter to Sura by Pliny the Younger.

Examples of Paranormal Investigation include:

Anime and Manga

Comic Books



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.

Video Games

  • 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.

Web Comics

Web Original

  • 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.

Western Animation

  • 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?

[rolls eyes]

Daffy: Well, call Roto-Rooter!

  • 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.