In honor of tonight's A&E new episodes of "Paranormal State," I'm having another posting featuring some of the wacky and sometimes downright dangerous practices in the paranormal world.
There are certain ethical practices amongst the smarter and more helpful-intending paranormal teams that are universal:
Do not charge for services
account for the backgrounds of your team members
putting the clients through some complicated hoops to discourage nut jobs
never going alone
never leaving team members alone in a home
Still, there are some teams with unsavory methods and here's just a few of the winners I've run into:
One team used the family's child as bait to coax a ghost out.
One team's leader made everyone buy his t-shirts and then try to sell a certain amount of them before they could be on the team. After that, he expected each member to buy and use the equipment he recommended.
One team went into a haunted B&B and ran up and down the halls with gear, shouted loudly, laughed, and caused such a ruckus that the inn would not allow teams in there any more.
One team, against the owner's beliefs which were Protestant, brought in a priest on the first call to the place and had him bless the house and insisted the family join in a ceremony and blessing.
One team had the owners of an antique shop that was known to be haunted sign a contract that only their team could access it.
One team brought the entire family including children into a seance session that resulted in the children becoming even more fearful.
There are lots of horror stories of what rigged paranormal teams can do. It's not like it's a licensed industry or under any controls. It's up to the client to do his research when looking up teams. How long have they been established? Do they give their cases for you to review? What are their methods? Did they pre-interview you to learn more about your situation? Did they arrive with 15 people or 4? Do they use equipment or psychics? It's like any other service you call into your home, you do so cautiously and with great control over the situation.