Ghost hunters are unregulated and unlicensed, and in the 10+ years that I’ve been involved in this scene I have witnessed all sorts of horrifying things enacted under the bridge of ghost research; psychic healing on a woman who thought her house was haunted, a woman being told her miscarried baby was haunting her (she wasn’t pleased with that idea), a family being told that the high Electro-magnetic fields in their house could cause cancer, a business owner being told that ley-lines nearby were causing the electrical faults in his offices (reader, it was dangerous electrical work that were a fire risk). I have also heard horror stories from around the globe – from ghost hunters claiming to communicate with murdered children, to ghost hunters claiming that only they could really help a mentally unwell child.
The ghost hunting movement has a problem with dangerous people acting expert and for the people they sink their claws into, it can be deadly.
As a ghost researcher who is also a queer woman, there is no way in which I can ignore that ugly part of ghost belief which promotes the idea that LGBTQI people need exorcisms. I blogged in 2016 about The Spiritual Science Research Foundation (SSRF) who claim that up to 85% of gay people are possessed by ghosts of the opposite gender (which is why they’re attracted to the same gender, apparently.)
When I wrote about this homophobic, dangerous claim, it was because the SSRF were gaining a lot of media attention and I was absolutely horrified at the amount of foot shuffling in the paranormal research community about what was being said. People who seemed to me to be ordinary people interested in ghosts, were suddenly entertaining the idea because “you never know.” I blogged about how I received the vilest homophobia in response to my blog post from people who claim to be ghost hunters who take their inspiration from the worst parts of religious texts.
Exorcism, belief in possession, and homophobic practices like conducting exorcists on LGBTI people, or using “conversion therapy” to treat them is barbaric. In fact, as recently reported by Wired, ‘A recent £4.5 million government survey found that 2 per cent of its 108,000 UK respondents had undergone conversion therapy; a further 5 per cent had been offered it’ and in response, Prime Minister Theresa May has pledged to move towards banning such horrendous practices. May said that the aim of this move is to ‘protect people who are vulnerable to harm or violence, whether that occurs in a medical, commercial or faith-based context … We are not trying to prevent LGBT people from seeking legitimate medical support or spiritual support from their faith leader in the exploration of their sexual orientation or gender identity.’
Hooray for good news. However, the reaction to this has been mixed, with some people pointing out that what they do in their church has nothing to do with the rest of the world…
I have even seen ghost hunters reacting in this way and it worries me that people within what is often seen to be a spiritual movement can be so full of bigotry and hatred while also demanding that the ways in which they enact this hatred isn’t public business. It worries me even more to think that such people are operating as ghost hunters who might enter people’s homes under the guide of the ‘expert’ who can help with alleged haunting-and-ghost-related problems.
Well, guess what guys? You’re wrong. Your actions hurt people and that’s the business of everyone. You think that you care for people when you try to change who they are, but it’s you who needs to change but it’s unlikely you will because you’ve been told that your religious beliefs are more important than anything else you encounter. I’m a ghost researcher who happens to also be part of the LGBTQI community and I’m here to let you know that ghost hunting is so gay and for as long as your homophobic ideas hurt people, you’re going to get called out on it.