When Ghost Hunting Crosses a Line

What would you consider to be “too soon” in the paranormal world? Would your group ever do an EVP session to attempt to contact Mollie Tibbetts? What about Shanann Watts? What if I told you a paranormal group has already done multiple EVP sessions in attempts to contact them and victims of many other high profile cases, uploaded these EVP sessions onto Youtube, and gotten thousands of views?

We ghost hunters do what we do because we are seeking answers. Answers to questions like “What happens to us when we die?” or “Is there an afterlife?” or “Can those who have passed on communicate with the living?” All good questions, and mysteries we as a species have been trying to unravel for as long as we have been on this planet. But unfortunately, there are some ghost hunters out there who don’t ask themselves the right questions, such as “Should we be doing this?” and “Is it too soon?” These are murky subjects to be sure, but I think a little easier to answer than the existential conundrums that get us started on this path in the first place.

Becks Paranormal EVP Session Shanann Watts
Isn’t this classy?

Which brings me back to the aforementioned high-profile murders that have been in the news recently, and the rush by certain paranormal groups to do EVP sessions wherein they try to contact the recently deceased victims in these murders and sort of cash in on the publicity. We came across this video by Becks Paranormal (I feel sleazy even linking to the video, but supporting evidence and all that), which documents their team trying to contact Shanann Watts, the pregnant mother of 2 girls who was killed by her husband. They have apparently also done sessions trying to contact Mollie Tibbetts, the jogger who was killed by a farmhand in Brooklyn, Iowa. Both of these cases have garnered lots of media attention, and both cases are heartbreaking, fresh wounds that the victim’s families as well as the public are still trying to heal. And frankly, it is in very poor taste for a paranormal team to try to contact these women. It is too soon.

Look, I know there are no hard and fast rules for what is acceptable in the ghost hunting world. Is it okay to investigate cemeteries? Old lunatic asylums? How long should someone be dead for before we try to contact them? There can be lots of debate about what is or isn’t acceptable, and lots of differing opinions, for a variety of reasons. And I think most good paranormal investigators have struggled with these questions. I know we certainly have. But in the cases of these women and children who have just died, I can’t see how anyone would think this was anywhere near appropriate. Hell, even South Park quipped that it takes 22.3 years before a tragedy can be joked about. I love South Park and their creators, but these are guys who basically make poop and fart jokes for a living, and even they know that certain things take some time before they can be tread upon.

And I could almost understand this if these murders were unsolved. Police departments will sometimes use psychics to hopefully help locate missing persons when they have run out of leads. I don’t know how appropriate that is either, but as a last resort, where is the harm, really? But posting EVP sessions attempting to contact a dead mother, a dead daughter, on YouTube, when the family has barely started grieving, is just the height of unprofessionalism to me. It’s selfish and pure sensationalism. And what really bothers me about this video is that it’s not just a group posting their EVP sessions. They made a slickly produced video, replete with spooky music, news clips edited in, and the requisite “Like, comment, subscribe!” mantra tacked on at the end as if it were a video game review. This is not about helping the family, or finding answers, or solving a mystery at this point. It’s about promoting their group. Becoming YouTube stars. Maybe getting a TV show. “Look how well-produced this is! Wouldn’t we look great on Destination America hosting our own paranormal show? Like, comment, subscribe!!!”

I understand the need for answers. To try to communicate. And if it is indeed possible, maybe it’s easier to communicate with the dead soon after they pass, rather than years or decades later. I really do understand all of that reasoning. Just don’t put it up on YouTube to serve as a sizzle reel for the TV show you’re hoping to land.

I’m going to embed a much more worthwhile video here, from some very funny guys I borrowed liberally from for this post, Incognito Cinema Warriors XP. Check them out and be sure to Like, Comment, Subscribe!

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