Ethical guidelines for the investigation of haunting experiences
Due to the number of investigations provided by individuals, groups and organisations into haunting experiences and the lack of any governing body, there is a need for a set of guidelines to provide investigators and members of the public with an outline for how such investigations should be conducted ethically. This paper is intended to provide a set of such guidelines. The paper is divided into three sections: (a) general issues – discussing overall issues for investigations, such as informed consent, confidentiality, charging, power, etc; (b) case-specific issues – issues informed by specific methods for investigating cases, such as interviewing, location investigation and overnight examinations; and, (c) other ethical issues – covering more exceptional issues, such as referral to other parties, and the pastoral role of investigators. These guidelines are meant to highlight ethical issues in investigations of this type, and are not designed to dictate specific procedural guidelines that different groups might follow. It is hoped that these guidelines demonstrate the difficulties inherent in these investigations, and promote a much needed debate about such issues.