I am not a professional ghost hunter or paranormal researcher. I don't know a lot about ghost hunting but I do know one thing, the way it's depicted in programs like Ghost Hunters or any of the numerous other shows of that nature is not what really happens. I suppose that staying up all night with the hopes of seeing or actually capturing a photographic or video image of an apparition could be quite boring, but I also suppose that if the ghost hunter is fortunate enough to see or capture that apparition or ghost on film or with a digital camera, then it would be quite exhilarating. But I also think that there is one ethical question that should be considered when investigating the paranormal or hunting ghosts. I am not going to give up my basic beliefs and open minded skepticism about the existence of ghosts and the paranormal, but like the web address of this site indicates I am a former skeptic who believes that ghosts most likely are real, and probably do exist.
If ghosts are real and do exist then the moral and ethical question I have is this. Is it right to antagonize and provoke these entities to obtain evidence of their existence? And if I make the assumption that ghosts are real, then I must also must make the assumption that these ghosts or spirits are probably the souls of people no different than you or I. People who once walked the earth, and are now deceased.
If we make the assumption that ghosts are real, and the paranormal investigators go into a private home, one that may have been occupied at one time by a person who has now passed away, and now their ghost haunts or resides in that same home or building, as he or she once did in life. And let us also assume that this spirit or ghost does not realize they are deceased for some reason, or they are simply comfortable in their surroundings and feels that they are home, and these ghost hunters come in and start using the tactics of provoking and taunting. How would you feel if some beings came into your home and started taunting, and provoking you into contacting them? Wouldn't you feel that these beings were trespassing on your privacy? And perhaps even your right to exist.
I wonder if these ghost hunters believe that a person loses all rights to privacy and dignity, because they have passed away and now reside in the realm of the spirit world? Whatever happened to the idea of letting the dead 'rest in peace' If you haven't watched the movie The Others with Nicole Kidman than I suggest you do so. The end of the movie has a pretty strange twist, but it does give an idea on what ghosts or spirits may feel or believe about themselves. I don't see anything wrong with the idea of attempting to contact the ghosts or spirits that may be haunting a particular residence or location, but I do believe that if these entities are real and do exist than I also believe they have the right to be treated with the same amount of dignity and respect that you would treat a living person in their own home. Some of these paranormal investigation groups seem to treat the ghosts or spirits, if they exist as if they don't deserve the same respectful treatment you would give to that same person if they were still alive.
I have also come to the understanding, that some of these ghost hunters think the practice of taunting an evil spirit may have a certain amount of danger attached to it. They seem to think that if they provoke an inhuman or demonic ghost then they are more likely to be attacked. Let me say this, first of all I don't believe in demonic ghosts at all. Evil spirits may exist, simply because evil people exist. And when evil people die, perhaps they become the evil spirits. But I don't think it matters whether the ghost is malevolent, benevolent or neutral, if a paranormal investigator goes into a building that a ghost may inhabit and consider its home then I think they should expect to get attacked if they use such tactics as provoking. If they came into my home and started provoking me, I know damn well I would attack with all the force I could muster, including perhaps even using a weapon if I had one at my disposal. To sum all this up, I think paranormal investigators should treat ghosts, if they exist with the same amount of dignity and respect you would show that same person if they were still alive. If these entities are real, they deserve no less.
By Martin Burns