It happens far too often: Someone suffers a tragic loss. Someone they cared deeply about is gone.
The person decides that, through ghost hunting, he (or she) might reconnect with the deceased.
I have never seen a positive outcome to that… not the kind that involves certain contact with the other (deceased) person, or full closure to their grief.
Worse, it puts the grieving person at risk. He (or she) may be so eager to communicate with the lost loved one, he becomes vulnerable to dark or malicious entities.
(Yes, some seem to masquerade as lost friends and benign entities.)
Or, she (or he) may be victimized by charlatans masquerading as ghost hunting professionals.
Online or in person, those sleazy people can steal the grieving person’s money, or even their identity.
In real life, they use the cover of darkness for unprofessional and criminal actions. (That’s especially true when the grieving person is female, and either a minor or in an unhappy marriage. Since about 2008, that problem has been rampant in ghost hunting.)
At the other extreme, when someone is involved in paranormal research with a single, self-serving goal, it’s easy for them to let down their team members.
For example, the person may wander off by his- or herself, thinking he saw something that reminded him of the person who died.
Then, the investigation has to be halted while everyone searches for the missing team member. In many cases, that adds up to a frustrating, wasted research session.
(This is why I recommend a careful interview before accepting anyone new on a critical investigation. Be sure you know the person’s motivation for ghost research.)
Finally, ghost hunting may prevent the person from completing the grieving process. They won’t let go of the past. They’re still trying to hold onto the person who’s gone.
At almost every ghost hunting event I’ve attended, by late in the evening, I’ve found someone sobbing in a corner, absolutely distraught.
In every case, the person was still mourning for a lost loved one. And, during that event, she (or he) has realized that ghost hunting wasn’t going to bring that person back.
Grief and ghost hunting don’t mix.
My advice is: Cherish the memories. Allow yourself to grieve. Give yourself as much time as you need. (I’ve always admired the Jewish tradition of “sitting shiva.” I think many of those traditions could help people of other faiths – including Atheists – as well.)
Seek professional counseling if you need it; don’t feel embarrassed to reach out to those who can help.
After that, if you’re still interested in ghost hunting – out of curiosity, or a spiritual or scientific interest – get involved.
Meanwhile, you put yourself at risk if you leap into ghost hunting with the goal of reconnecting with a lost loved one.
There are many great reasons to become a paranormal investigator and go on ghost hunts. Be honest with yourself – and your team mates – about why you’re there.
We need more bright, interested ghost researchers. I hope you are (or will be) one of them… but only when the time is right for you.