The team I work with may not be the most popular team in the state but we still stand behind our reputation of being creditable, reliable, unbiased, rational and helpful. For over the past 13 years we have learned a lot about investigating claims of the unknown and have learned many hard lessons when it comes to investigating peoples homes. More and more we see teams posting on their Facebook “We are doing a residential investigation right now and we think there is demonic activity here!” or they do an actual Facebook “Check In” at the house they are investigating. These new teams have no idea how unprofessional that makes them appear to be. I would also go as far to say they have magnets on their cars showcasing that they are ghost hunters and walk into residential homes with matching t-shirts and highly labeled suitcases of gear with silly pictures of ghosts on them. These are the same teams that are claiming to be confidential and have client privacy as a goal. These teams are reckless and hypocritical in my opinion.
It seems that the teams today are using peoples fears as a plot in their own popularity contest. They are wanting to see how many “fans” they can get and some even go as far as to video tape their investigation. If the residents sign a permission slip to have their home and “paranormal life” on the internet that is their choice. That choice could also be a red flag to the validity of the case. Do these paranormal home owners really want answers or are they just looking for something to do on the weekends?
Paranormal Teams are entertaining. Some teams are just like the ones seen on TV. A lot of teams showcase the “As seen on TV” mentality all over their websites. They also may even promote they are some how affiliated with people seen on TV. To most paranormal researchers, these types of teams are for entertainment. Yes, they will bring the stock pile of gizmo’s and gadgets. They will bring the psychic in to talk to your dead people. These teams will also bring their online certified religious guru to come cast demons out of your closets and basements. These teams will more than likely kick you out of your home so they can have free will within your home or they will allow the entire family to stay and watch the festivities. They will spend hours talking with each other and yelling out to the walls. These teams will also sit on your bed and play with your kids toys. To make matters worse, some team members do not conduct background checks and they will have “one on one” conversations with children. I personally would never allow my child to go off with a stranger to discuss their deepest darkest fears and secrets, unless they were a licensed professional with a real education. Parents should NEVER allow their children to be alone with a group of ghost hunting people. In 2010 there was a huge uproar about a ghost hunter being a convicted child molester and the team had assigned him to the role as “interviewer” meaning this guy built the trust up within the family and their children until he was finally exposed. The good news is, there were no reports of him hurting children while “hunting ghosts” but the fact is, the public is way too trusting of these teams. They expect them all to be on the up and up when in reality there are a lot of people in the field that are not able to take care of their own family much less anyone else. Never allow your children to be alone with a paranormal investigator that you have just met.
Not all paranormal teams are bad. There are still a lot of good groups out there but please be aware of what to look for when picking a team to enter into your home and private life. If the team is ready, willing and able to stop everything and run to your home for an investigation they should be red-flagged immediately. There should always be a very detailed interview before a team decides to enter your home. Reality is, a lot of people would rather be haunted than to admit there are problems within their homes. Our responsibility as a paranormal researcher is to see that before entering their home. If a potential client admits to being on medications for emotional disabilities it should be encouraged that the client see their doctor and explain what is going on before anyone enters their home.
(TV shows like this encouraged parents to trust ghost hunters)
Ghost Hunters are not licensed therapists but there are common sense practices that should be taking place within the field. A true investigator will see that a baby is not being scratched and bruised by a demon but in reality the baby was a victim of horrific abuse. This was a TRUE event. The mother was contacting paranormal teams when in reality her child was being abused. She blamed “ghosts” instead of realizing that her boyfriend was abusing the child. There was ONE team in Northern Oklahoma that did the right thing and reported the situation. The bad thing is, to that one team about 10 others would have ignored reality and continued to “investigate” the mysterious bruises on the child and deemed the family haunted. Entering filthy homes ridden with rodents, bugs and even medications is not uncommon in the paranormal field at all. Many people hear noises because their homes are infested with rodents. Some teams will return to those homes with hopes of catching evidence. When children are involved each case should be examined and if at any time there is a reason where the child is being harmed it should be reported to the authorities and not accepted as “paranormal happenings.” More and more teams want that chance to get EVP or a dust bunny caught on film that they would allow people to be a danger to themselves and their families. Most teams WANT peoples homes to be haunted so they can have somewhere to play on the weekends. This is a fact and the public should be aware of this.
Most of the time, hauntings can be controlled by the property owners. If things continue to progress on a level that rational thinking can not explain that is an entirely different ballgame. Inducing fear within peoples homes is not professional. For example, if you see a cockroach at your house, you call an exterminator. That exterminator then turns around and tells you that you have a venomous snake problem and they need to return several times to manage it. In reality, you have never seen a snake in your house before but since the exterminators said they are there, you now live in fear. It is the same thing!!!
Very rarely are houses really haunted. It happens yes, but demons are not in your childs closet making the electronic toys go off. Take out the batteries first, don’t call a ghost hunting team that has all the bells and whistles you have seen on TV. Below is a very random youtube video I found while using the keywords “Residential Investigation” there are many videos out there just like this one. Don’t let your home and family assist in a teams quest for fame.
Some of the best paranormal investigators do not belong to teams at all. Some of the best may be online but they may not have a gimmick to draw you in. Research the person you allow into your home. Get second opinions after a team goes to your house and always ask questions. NEVER leave your house for a paranormal team to investigate. Never give a team money not for any reason. If they have someone that can come back and do a cleansing for a fee, tell them NO. If you want your house blessed call a church. If a team wants to showcase you on their online or youtube station, tell them no. If you want to have some fun with them and make things up to see how much they fall for it, then go for it. (Let me know if you do!)
Please be aware of teams and their intentions. Do they really want to help you or do they just want some kind of publicity from your fears? Please keep an eye out for the good ones and the bad ones. Teams, if you see something not right within a home call social services or 911! Don’t wait and it is your business. You may be saving a real life!
I am not trying to make enemies with this post. I am sure it will make a lot of people angry, upset and even uncomfortable. That is not my intention. I just want people to be aware that some teams (not all of them) do not have the clients best interest at heart. They are seeking fame and will do and say whatever they can to build cases that make them stand out from others. It’s the ugly truth but it needed to be shared. Please be careful who you let in your home. Please be careful who you are taking advice from. If they say you have dark spirits of demons in your home please get second, third even fourth opinions.