Ethics Week, 2 – Being Professional

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Obtaining permission and permits–Before even considering investigating a claimed haunted location, paranormal investigators need to obtain the required permission and/or permits ahead of time. To enter onto a property without permission is considered trespassing, not to mention disrespectful. Even if a location is abandoned it is still legally owned by someone. Some places require permits before allowing access. Cemeteries after dark are just one example. Be sure to have permit in hand before traipsing through a cemetery after dark. In most cities, cemeteries are closed to the public once the sun sets and violators can be fined or serve jail time.

 

Professionalism Every paranormal investigator should act in a professional way at all times when dealing with a client. Always be polite and respectful. Horseplay has no place during a paranormal investigation. A paranormal investigation doesn’t start at the time the team arrives at the location. It begins from the moment a client contacts you, to well beyond presenting evidence to the client.

Groups who pride themselves in professionalism often have forms for the client to sign. This could be a release form for permission to share any evidence with the public. It is also good to have references from previous clients. Under no circumstance should a paranormal investigator or paranormal group misrepresent themselves in any way.

When meeting with clients or potential clients, paranormal investigators should dress professionally. This doesn’t necessarily mean suit and tie but don’t come looking like a slob either. Take pride in your appearance because first impressions do matter. Would you want to have some stranger come into your home or place of business that appeared as if this was just something fun to pass the time with? Probably not. Although not required, most paranormal investigation groups have shirts with their logo or group name on them.

Professionalism extends to treating the location with respect. Do not damage property in any way. Also, do not touch any item in the client’s home or business without prior permission. How would you feel if someone came into your place messing with your things?

Being Objective–It is important to stay objective. Although many paranormal investigators are believers in the paranormal, it is important to make sure there are no natural causes for the claims. If every effort has been made to try to find a logical, natural explanation to no avail, then look toward a paranormal explanation.

 

False Claims–“Thou Shalt Not Fake Evidence.” For those who don’t know, bearing false witness means lying. And if you’re going to falsify, exaggerate, or otherwise alter evidence, then why are you doing ghost investigation? These investigations are about trying to find the truth about a possible haunting as best we can.

So falsifying or exaggerating a sighting, manufacturing EVP, Photo shopping pictures, and other evidence tampering and passing them off as genuine is a ghost hunting mortal sin.  Being in the technology age, it is easier to create effects that would make evidence from a paranormal investigation seem like it actually occurred. Not only is it unprofessional to fake evidence and create hoaxes, but it makes the entire paranormal investigation community look bad. Ghosts and other paranormal phenomena may not always perform on command but this doesn’t mean you should try to create evidence that is misleading.

Ashley Ann Lewis

Ashley Ann Lewis

Director / Dept Chair Occult at National Paranormal Society
Ashley became interested in the paranormal at a young age, but at that young age she did not have much understanding in it at all. I wasn’t until 2010 that she really became interested. Thanks to a Resolve carpet cleaning can that flew across the room, Ashley among three others who witness what happen that night, they pulled a team together. Ashley is a heavy researcher and though she may find the answer to what she is searching for she’ll search even harder. She’s overly determined and takes her part in the paranormal field very seriously. Between working hard and spending every dime she had she became a found of a paranormal team that is based out of Historic Louisiana and was honored to take on a position as a Representative with The National Paranormal Society. There is still so much she does not understand which drives her to work even harder and to further educate herself on everything.
Ashley Ann Lewis

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