I wrote this for our Facebook group on Wednesday but thought it worth preserving here as a blog post.
Maybe our Methods web page, and our disclaimer, labour the point; but we make it very clear on our Strange Occurrences website that we are not offering professional services. NZ has very good, strong consumer law. I'm not sure that it extends to unpaid services, but we are careful to not make claims that we can't deliver on.
I think it's unwise - and possibly damaging and dangerous - for paranormal enthusiasts to offer 'professional services' or use terms like 'trained professionals' when there really is no training or qualifications involved, and the people concerned are not actual professionals. Claiming a 'professional attitude' might not stand up that well in court if things go pear shaped and someone really gets hurt.
We've probably had fewer calls for our services since we've explicitly stated our position on the website. We're not about just confirming people's belief that their property is haunted or that they're possessed. We actually try to figure out what's really going on, and sometimes people feel disappointed because they may not have a ghost after all. That doesn't necessarily mean we rule out the possibility, though. We've all had enough uncanny experiences to know that science doesn't yet have all the answers. Strange stuff goes on and it can't all be explained away.
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is a blog by James Gilberd - leader and co-founder of Strange Occurrences. Views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of the Strange Occurrences team.
James Gilberd is an amateur paranormalist, writer and musician, and a professional photographer, living in Wellington, New Zealand.