You’re a manager, a security personnel-head or a property-owner going about your usual business, when one fateful day you receive an e-mail or a phone call from someone representing a paranormal research group.
The person on the other end of the line tells you they have learned that you own (or are responsible for) a piece of property that is rumoured to boast some sort of mysterious, perhaps even ghostly activity. They ask if you would be willing to grant their team free access to investigate the property-in-question in an attempt to verify the tales that are associated with that area.
BEFORE YOU SAY ‘NO’
Your first instinct is to brush this person off. You’ve seen or heard about “those ghost shows” on TV and in the media and they’re hard to believe. You have better things to worry about than letting some thrill seekers into your building to prove to themselves and to the Internet how brave they are by tramping around your place in the dark. Half of them startle at the sound of a floorboard creaking and turn-tail anyway, right? What do you stand to gain if you let these people in?
Your demeanour suddenly stiffens. Your voice drops an octave and adopts a stern, take-no-guff tone. Your forefinger hovers over the ‘Delete’ key.
Before you delete that e-mail; before you tell this person “No,” outright, please take a moment to consider this: What can you stand to gain if you let these people in?
It depends entirely on the kind of people we’re talking about, here.
The team that has just reached out to you may very well be a respectful, responsible and reputable one. Incredibly, some groups won’t think twice but to trespass and break-and-enter to see their nocturnal thrills realized. (And if the location is furnished or is awaiting renovations, how will these same people treat those components?) The group getting in touch with you is making a good start by asking permission, alone!
BEFORE YOU SAY ‘YES’
For a moment, you consider the request.
Something about the person’s tone is hopeful; they sound sincere and have approached you in a genial, respectful manner.
You’ve come across one or two of those ghost shows on television while flipping channels and been intrigued by some of the evidence they say they’ve collected. You may not have believed any of it, but the possibility is intriguing. Deep down, you – like most of the human race – wonder if there really is something to the idea of life-after-death.
You admit to yourself you’ve heard similar stories concerning your property as well and perhaps you’re slightly curious to know if they’re true, exaggerated or completely baseless.
Perhaps this is the opportunity – and the investigation team – to have these questions answered.
Before you say “Yes,” to the inquiring group, be sure to ask the representative for more information about themselves, such as:
- How long have they performed investigations of this type?
- Do they charge for their services?
- What are their intentions?
- What are their expectations?
- What is their procedure?
- What kinds of equipment will be utilized?
- How much time do they require?
- How many team members can you expect to be present on your property at a time?
- What is their discretionary policy?
- Are they able to provide references?
- Are the members of the team insured?
- Are they prepared to draft an investigation agreement in writing?
- Are they open to include you in an investigation or two?
If you are generous, curious and open-minded enough to invite this kind of scrutiny onto your property, help ease your mind by ensuring your guests are respectful and responsible.
Lastly, here are three factors to ponder before you allow or deny the investigation team’s request:
CONSIDERATION #1: PROFITING FROM THE PARANORMAL
Perhaps you are a commercial or historical/heritage property owner; it may be worth considering the financial benefits by allowing a reputable paranormal investigation team explore your premises.
Remember the age-old adage: “Everyone likes a good ghost story.”
While some institutions would rather downplay (or outright deny) any association with paranormal phenomenon, it is interesting to note that the subject has become a multi-million dollar-making industry in last decade, alone.
People flock to historical ghost tours; they book allegedly haunted hotel and B&B rooms or visit commercial locations (stores, eateries, pubs) with spooky stories of their own with no indication the fascination will wane in the near future. Some are fascinated by the scientific information gleaned from a properly investigated haunting; others wish to have a paranormal experience they can call their own, while most simply enjoy feeling their skin crawl by listening to a tale well told.
As a reputable investigation team with over three decades of experience, the Searcher Group respectfully asks property owners and heritage societies alike that they consider the positive impact that a proper paranormal investigation may have for their places of business.
The information the team may glean could potentially be used to publicize your store, inn or dining establishment. Perhaps you wish to help save a property of historical significance from the wrecker’s ball or simply revitalize interest in it to attract new generations of visitors? Ask the investigation team if they can help raise awareness and funds through a presentation, a ghost tour or even an informal ghost hunt, in exchange for permission to study your property.
While waiting for a local parade on Canada Day, 2012, I met an Australian visitor who shared she had just undertaken an historical walking tour of the village we were congregated in. Someone in our party asked her if her teenage children took in the tour, as well. She rolled her eyes, shook her head in disappointment and said that that would never happen.
After a short silence I asked, “What if it was a ghost tour?”
Immediately the woman’s face lit up, as she exclaimed a ghost walk would absolutely interest her kids enough to participate.
Sadly, parents like this who wish more for their children’s appreciation of history are numerous.
CONSIDERATION #2: KEEPING YOUR PROPERTY SAFE
Not only should the prospective investigation team assure you of their internal safety measures, as someone responsible for the property in question, it is worth considering the extra set of eyes helping to keep your property safe and secure – free-of charge, nonetheless.
For example, while conducting an investigation one evening, members of the Searcher Group spotted strange lights around an abandoned historic mansion in Mississauga. A quick phone call to alert the security firm in charge resulted in the arrest of several trespassers and would-be vandals, caught red-handed.
CONSIDERATION #3: ANSWERING THE OLDEST QUESTION ON EARTH
Since the Searcher Group’s inception in 1979, the team has been extremely fortunate to gain much of its research data on the paranormal through the assistance and generosity of many property owners – from private residential to government and corporate-owned buildings. Without this support, the scientific progress we’re making would advance at an extremely slow crawl, if not come to a full standstill.
Similar professional-minded paranormal investigation teams would recognize and appreciate this fact as well, I’m sure.
On a universal scale, the Searcher Group respectfully asks you to consider this:
As a property owner experiencing a potential (or proven) haunting, you may very well be sitting on a mountain of paranormal research intelligence that will contribute to – or even answer – humankind’s centuries-old quest to discover what to expect after our physical bodies expire.
Would that not be something to be proud to be a part of?