Nobody knows what the ‘paranormal’ is. If an investigator assumes they do know, this can lead to situations that may cause harm. Brighton Paranormal takes seriously the ethical issues raised by paranormal investigation.
For instance, there is no clear evidence that ‘hauntings’ are caused by the spirits of deceased people. Without uncovering support for this, it would be unethical to assume otherwise, because this might cause offence or upset to people connected with the deceased persons supposed (without evidence) to be causing the disturbance.
Similarly, it would be wrong and possibly harmful to assume that a location is ‘haunted’, without being able to define specifically what that means, when such an assumption might cause distress to the people who live or work in that location.
To avoid situations like these, Brighton Paranormal adopts the following policies:
- We do not conduct on-site investigations of every case offered to us, but will propose an investigation only if the circumstances are appropriate and appear to warrant it.
- Cases and investigations are confidential. No details will be shared with any third party without written consent.
- We do not invite publicity from the media, and would advise clients not to do so either.
- Spiritual tools – such as Ouija boards, mediums, seances, EVP etc. – are unproven techniques. We do not use them in our investigations.
- Investigations are conducted only with written consent, and with a written agreement beforehand on the methods, objectives, benefits and possible risks involved.
- Records of the investigation will be made available on request, and a report on findings and conclusions will be supplied, written in plain English.
- Either side is free at any time to withdraw from an investigation, without the need to offer any explanation.
Our concern is to place the well-being of clients above the demands of our research. For this reason, there are certain categories of clients with whom we are unable to work: these include people under 18 years of age; people with mental health issues; people with learning disabilities; people who may be frail and vulnerable due to old age; and people who have experienced a bereavement relevant to their case, within the previous twelve months of making contact.
It seems likely that a national register of paranormal investigators will shortly be launched, including a code of ethics. Brighton Paranormal are committed to joining this register as soon as we are able to do so.