Ethical and Moral Dilemmas in Ghost Hunting

A client finds you and asks that you investigate their home.  They give you a list of claims, and what evidence they have been able to gather themselves, and ask you to investigate to validate their experiences.  As you go through your checklist of questions, you find out some further information.  One of them had a previous spouse who was found to have committed suicide in the house you are investigating only a year prior. 

During the course of the investigation, you find evidence of violence, such as violent screams and what sounds like an assault on evp’s, being pushed, the feelings of claustrophobia and scratches around your neck.  The more you listen and look at the evidence gathered, the more you get the feeling that there was something violent that took place in that house.  Researching the house, you find that it was a relatively new home and the only thing to ever happen on the property was the one death.  Upon looking in to the death, the person was said to have hung themselves in one of the rooms.  Your evidence points to something violent in the entire upstairs.  What do you do? 

Is there something you should do?  Do you give the clients your information and leave, or do you owe something to keep looking into it?  I know this may seem like an overly dramatic hypothetical account, but this has happened to some groups I have personally witnessed.  Each of the members left that investigation knowing something bad happened in that house, but had no idea what to do about it.  The answer is there is nothing they can really do. 

The real question is what you owe your clients ethically.  Do you just go in and validate claims or do you find plausible explanations?  They tell you that they do not want these things in their home, and want you to get rid of them.  Do you play the Ghostbuster?  What is it you are there to do for them?  Sometimes you need to be up front with what you can do, or what it is that you intend to do.  If you in the field for research, tell them.  Do not tell you clients that you can do anything that is outside of your scope. 

I have also seen groups continue to push for activity after the clients have noticed a slowdown in personal experiences.  This tends to cause issues with the clients who want the experiences to stop.  The best thing to do is to stop investigating for a while and see if things are improving. 

So your saying, is there a point to this?  The point is that sometimes your eagerness to get into the field and “help” people can put you in situations that you are not capable of dealing with.  You have to consider the ethical and moral ramifications of investigation.  Being honest with your prospective clients is the first step.  If your just there to document “paranormal” occurrences, then you are probably not the best suited group to help someone who is wanting more than validation. 

I am not saying that pure researchers are bad, I am not saying that people who attempt to do more than that are bad either.  I am just saying that be honest, and don’t be afraid to make contacts with groups who do more than you in order to help your clients. 

The group that was mentioned above ended their investigations when the experiences slowed in occurrence.  They made records of all the materials they got, left out their personal opinions, and gave them to the clients.  A copy of everything was forwarded also to a fellow investigator who had law enforcement ties, to look into any reports of violence related to the property and to make someone else aware of the situation.  They left on good terms, the clients were validated and happy that the experiences diminished on their own. 

Sometimes I wonder if they made the right choice, but they chose to do what they thought they were ethically bound to do.  That is what makes me glad to know them.