this is a great question, Ok a brief potted history of how I got started
At the age of 14 my mother used to go to a spiritualist church because my father worked shifts 2 out of 3 weeks I would have to go to, This raised an interest within me as the mediums would often comment on the things I could do.
so I started to look into religions of the world and their beliefs in paranormal etc. One evening a friend of mine was staying over ( first time a friend ever had ) and I felt a movement on my bed , thinking it was my mate coming to batter me with a pillow I lay ready to strike. after a lack of movement even though I could still feel the weight on my bed I peeped over the covers to see what was going on, as I looked I saw my mate was in the other bed across the room so what was on my bed????
slightly nervous I peered down my bed and could see a large black dog curled up asleep this was not frightening now as I recognised it as my labrador that had been put to sleep a few years before , she had always slept on the bottom of my bed to protect me at night and was again as a stranger was in the house.
This was proof enough for me as to an afterlife and from then on I have been trying to study and understand this and I want to prove it to the world of sceptics.
I have had other experiences since but they can wait for another time.