This perhaps may be an armchair critic rant, but given the amount of teams I’ve been working with in terms of consulting for them or doing classes and I’ve been noticing a trend. Now, this is merely an observation that I would honestly love to get input on for anyone who wants to pitch in their .02.
As an investigator and researcher, I’ve always felt as though client work is a form of conflict mediation, which usually results in miscommunication. But I feel like many ghost hunters, teams, etc. automatically pin the presence as the enemy or “the other”. I’m not exactly sure how I feel about that. In most of the cases I’ve worked, the presence has been a deceased human being, and usually the phenomenon is a response to the client’s actions or behavior. Not saying that one or the other is wrong, but where did the whole idea of treating the presence or phenomenon as the enemy right off the bat come from?
When it comes to cases where the client is having a negative experience with an unseen force, of course the team wants to come in and be the problem solvers and help. But keep in mind that client work can be a form of “he said/she said” in terms of miscommunications. What may be the ghost trying to communicate can be interpreted as an attack by the client. And because the client is physically present and able to verbally tell their story, investigators give them the upper hand when in reality, perhaps the client could be inadvertently responsible for some of the conflict.
I feel to approach the presence and communicate with them defensively is a bit disrespectful. And the thing that gets me more than anything is PROVOKING. When there’s no response, you’re either dealing with something that doesn’t want to communicate (and hey as living beings there are people we don’t want to talk to) or there might not be anything there. And if you’re provoking something that is inhuman or evil…even worse. That’s like poking a sleeping dragon and then being shocked when you get burned. Provoking to me can be dangerous in a client case because we’re not the ones who have to keep living in the house after the investigation is over, and the investigators themselves aren’t the ones who usually don’t deal with the consequences. The idea of communicating with the unseen presence as if they’re the enemy right off the bat is very sad to me and takes away many opportunities for more effective communication that could lead to resolution.
I find the world of investigating and research to be a beautiful thing. It’s communicating with someone who is deceased or something from another realm of existence. Asking the presence to perform tricks for our entertainment is just wrong and on the same level of asking a human being to juggle for us just because we asked. Going in and speaking English and not the native tongue of the presence just shows ignorance. Couldn’t we take the time to learn more about the context of the dead before going in? Perhaps if we approach our investigations with a bit more objectivity and respect, maybe the other side will be more open and willing to communicate with us. Maybe instead of letting the client become so dependent on the investigator, we should educate and empower them by talking to them about what could cause paranormal phenomenon, educate them, and let them know that they still have control over the situation even when they feel helpless. In reality, maybe working client cases is a form of conflict mediation where the investigator is the middle-man helping to resolve a problem between the two worlds of the living and the dead.