How I use Randonautica in 2023
Thoughts on randonauting, the scientific method in ghost hunting, and more.
Table of Contents
Yesterday, I wrote about how we see paranormal phenomena and synchronicities through the lens of whatever happens to be on our minds at the time. I framed it not as a bad thing, but as something that's worth examining and keeping an eye on.
So much of interacting with the paranormal is subjective; I'm not really a fan of the scientific method in ghost hunting. I understand why there's a large segment of people who are trying to do some sort of objective science in their paranormal investigations; there are plenty of people with a vested interest in proving skeptics "wrong."
But scientific method-style "objectivity" is really just something that you need to do if you're trying to make a solid case to convince someone to see things the way you do.
I'm not trying to prove anything to anyone, and frankly don't care if a skeptic isn't convinced of any evidence that I gather. I'm just interested in exploring the phenomena and seeing how strange things can get. The scientific method has limited use for that goal.
To me, much of what makes a paranormal experience meaningful is what we bring to the experience, and only a fraction of it is the actual thing that happens.
Of course, I've tried to have "objective" paranormal experiences from time to time. But they're more about testing the benefits and limits of different methods. You have to know the rules before you can bend and break them.
I've spoken extensively about my use of Randonautica, spending four episodes talking about it last year and even revisiting the topic again during an episode that included some thoughts on local spirits. So I'm not going to rehash all of that here. For the purpose of this post, all you need to know is that Randonautica is a free app that generates a random point near you based on an intention that you set in your mind (you don't type it in). Then you go to that location and see what happens during the journey or at the point. I've been using it for three years now, and it's led to some striking synchronicities.
How my use of Randonautica has changed
When I first started using Randonautica, I often chose a simple, more "verifiable" intention to test the app. I'd set the intention of "owl," and it would often bring me to literal or figurative versions of what I asked for. It worked from a paranormal or metaphysical perspective—I was often shocked by how consistently it brought me to what I'd intended.
But those successful trips meant nothing to me, aside from giving me the sense that I could trust Randonautica, that something was really happening when I used the app. That it was more than just hype. (There was a ton of TikTok-fueled enthusiasm about Randonautica in 2020.)
While it's cool that I can think of an owl and Randonautica can bring me to multiple owl figurines and statues, that didn't teach me anything new. I could find lawn statues by myself if I wanted to; I didn't really need a special app for something so mundane. It wasn't until I started using Randonautica for more personal things, asking it for help or advice on specific problems, that the experiences came to mean more to me.
Sure, it's more dramatic for Randonautica to bring you to something obvious and easily explained (and posted about). It's harder to talk about trips that are significant because of your personal interpretation and details of your private, internal life.
But at a certain point, you gotta ask yourself why you're interacting with the paranormal. When I really thought about it, I realized I wasn't interested in proving that Randonautica "works." How silly is it to be interacting with a potentially powerful and accurate paranormal entity/phenomenon, and use it for nothing more than basic word association?
But even before that, I realized that the app had started interpreting some of my more "straightforward" intentions as if I'd asked it something deep. It was almost as if it was chastising me for treating it like a party trick and instead saying, look, I've got something to tell you. I can do more than bring you to owl statues.
Nowadays, I use Randonautica much like how I'd use a tarot deck. I've been using tarot fairly regularly over the last six years; I've found it's typically an accurate, helpful, and brutally honest second opinion on things. But I've found that using Randonautica similarly has yielded even more uncanny, accurate readings.
On the podcast, I've talked about how there are some parts of New York City that feel so layered with visceral personal meaning that I feel like I can sense my own ghost there. It's very possible that I have a stronger emotional connection with my neighborhood than I could have with any deck of cards. So of course I end up with more meaningful answers.
For example, I once consulted Randonautica about some difficulties I was having with a friend, and it brought me to specific restaurant where a key moment in that friendship occurred. I'd only ever eaten at that restaurant that one time, so the fact that it lead me there felt especially pointed.
These instances aren't as cut and dry as simpler intentions might be, but they're infinitely more valuable. They're also harder to share, since they can't be minced into easily consumable morsel for social media. For me, the answers I get are woven into complex personal histories, hard to make sense of without also understanding the surrounding fabric.
Anyway, my use of Randonautica has changed a lot over the last three years. I'm curious about how many people are still using Randonautica in 2023. It's slightly strange to feel like the last person still talking about Randonautica, years after the viral frenzy over the app ended. But I think it's an interesting tool to use in both divination and paranormal investigation.
Buried Secrets Podcast Newsletter
Join the newsletter to receive the latest updates in your inbox.