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As ghost hunters, it’s easy to get swept up in our research. Sometimes, we forget that haunted sites aren’t our own, personal science labs. And the spirits at those sites aren’t experiments.
They’re certainly not lab mice.
I’m as guilty as anyone, when it comes to pausing to consider the ghosts’ feelings. I can be so excited to find ghostly phenomena that can’t be explained, that I shift into hyper-focus.
Suddenly, I’m looking for every anomalous clue or hint, and searching to identify the most active location at the site.
Yes, I want all the evidence, all at once. And, like a little kid, I want it now.
And that’s the problem: It’s easy to forget that – in ghost hunting – we’re often dealing with actual, sentient spirits. They may linger here because they’re frightened. Or, deeply immersed in regrets, they’re trying to fix something they believe they broke.
Sometimes, it’s their own life that went off-the-rails in a direction they never anticipated.
It’s even worse when the ghost’s in-life decisions caused harm – or even death – to another.
But, whatever the reason those ghosts remain here, they may just need someone to listen to them.
What do ghosts need to say?
Maybe they need to confess something and feel forgiven, or at least understood.
Maybe they need assurance that there is something for them, after death.
Or, no matter how big their in-life mistakes were, that “something” isn’t necessarily a fiery eternity in hell.
Maybe they just want to know that their lives meant something. That, even after death, they’re remembered.
So, as ghost hunters, we may need to pause regularly and see if we get a sense of the person behind the ghostly activity.
A little compassion can go a long way.
I’m reminded of that saying, “We’re not human beings having a spiritual experience; we’re spiritual beings having a human experience.” (Pierre Teilhard de Chardin is credited with saying that.)
When we encounter a troubled ghost, affirming that can be a compassionate part of ghost hunting.
However, if you’re more science-based, you may leave that to team members more focused on spiritual interaction.
Either way, acknowledging the spirits can be an important – even essential – part of ghost research.
Yes, some spirits may want to be left alone, thank you very much.
But even some of them may really need a listening ear.
Perhaps their bluster is really a defense. They’re trying to avoid additional pain… as if being left behind where they’re often ignored isn’t bad enough.
Take regular breaks from being an investigator.
Some – not all – spirits want to be heard. (And some spirits aren’t benign and should not be engaged with, in any manner.)
Pause if you become too immersed in your own research – and fascinating discoveries – to remember that many (or even most) ghosts are wounded or terrified spirits.
They may respond favorably if you address them respectfully. Give the ghosts a chance to be comfortable with you in what’s become “home” to them.
It’s worth trying, and it’s also good manners.
Then, they may be more open to confirming that they are ghosts and, yes, they’re actually there.
Working with the ghosts as real people, rather than treating them like lab mice, can produce far better research results.
And, in general, it’s kinder and more polite.