So this house is in my lovely state, Rhode Island and its very famously haunted, having inspired the Conjuring movies.
I know that the people who lived there before had to move out, not due to ghosts, but rather due to all the random people who would show up 24/7, not understanding that it was a private residence and not a tourist attraction. Now it will be used as a tourist attraction and this made me think about the ethical questions around the paranormal as business and as attractions. So many people now try to cash in on the haunted thing and use it to bring in tourist and paranormal teams etc.
I was just in Jerome AZ, an entire town that is said to be haunted and so many are cashing in on it, right down to the Haunted Hamburger restaurant. That place is VERY haunted to be sure. And there are many ghost tours and paranormal groups and TV shows that come there.
When I was there, the ghosts felt tired and irritated, like they just wanted to either be helped to actually move on, or at least left in peace. I wondered if they felt like zoo animals on display, with their pain and suffering exposed, poked at and talked about again and again.
Or our own Salem MA, “The Witch City” which had hardly any actual witches and is now focused almost entirely on this business. My daughter went to college there and moved away since it’s actually very difficult to live there with traffic and crowds and such for half of the year.
While there are many white witches and wonderful healers there, there are also quite a lot of dark magic practitioners that are drawn there too. And plenty of darker spirts who are attracted to all that energy, magic, and psychic noise. If Salem wasn’t haunted at the time of the witch trials, it is totally haunted now.
But from a paranormal perspective, is it ok to put the spirits of the dead on display like that? These are human souls after all, just regular people who are stuck and in need of help or just want to be left alone.
The scary thing is that there is a tendency to attract darker spirits when a ton of paranormal investigating happens somewhere. All that investigating can open a door, a portal to the lower astral realm and invite in something much darker.
Let’s say that you have a genuinely haunted hotel and you are losing business cuz your guests run away in the middle of the night. Until you get a few paranormal investigators in there and then you end up on one of those TV shows. Suddenly your hotel is filled with people seeking the spirits. Thats good for you bottom line, but it can come with its own cost.
Usually, those paranormal teams are doing a ton of EVP work, bringing a Ouija board in there, and generally stomping around and saying “Hello! Who is there???” Or doing deliberate spirit baiting techniques like provocation and such. Then suddenly the non-human spirits move in too and it all takes a bad turn. Then you have a much, much bigger problem.
I know a paranormal team who specializes in this exact situation and they come in to actually clear the spirits (Why do most TV ghost busters not even try to do this??) They do damage control brought on by a lot of repetitive paranormal research. Which is often about kicking over the hornet’s nest and stirring it up with a stick, just to prove that hornets are real and hopefully catch one on camera. Not thinking too much about what happens to the people who have to live there when the team is done filming.
I am not saying paranormal research always makes things worse, or that all paranormal investigators actually make things worse, in fact I know many that really do actually help. But I really do see that this paranormal tourist trade frequently attracts darker energies.
I wonder about our ethical responsibility in this. Is it ok to do this? Is it ok to prosper on someone else’s pain? It reminds me a bit of old school zoo’s where people weren’t really dialing into the feelings and experience of the animals there, it was all about a display for the people watching. Thankfully most zoos have changed their ways to a more ethical and “humane” experience for the animals too.
Will we have that same revolution in the paranormal world too? And what is our responsibility here?
I would love to know what you all think about this too…