Phraseology - Or Why My Haunt Is Ingenuine!

Sue and I have been working like nuts on some new ideas to report, investigate and basically be able to look into ghosts a little better and to that end, as usual, we're TRYING to learn from others.

One thing that we did was watch a recent television program called "Ghost Detectives" about a group out of Florida. This group consisted of a psychic, one "doctor" and two "technicians". (The reason these are in quotes because we did not find out what the qualifications of these folks was and where they attained their qualifications... remember the Universal Life Church does 'sell' doctorates and gives away the title 'Reverend' to anyone without qualifications... That is probably NOT the case here but better safe than sorry.) Still, before I sound like I'm slamming them, they did decent work from what I could tell and although tending to put a bit too much "faith and fact" behind things that are theories and so far really haven't been substantiated by hard stats, they did a good job. (Hey, if these are my ONLY complaints, that's pretty much perfect! I have to note that I have YET to do a perfect job on site myself!)

Where they LOST major points with me is classifying ghosts and ghostly phenomena. Something Sue and I started to try and do (you can see our efforts by clicking here but please remember, this is a work in progress!)

It was ONE term... It's the term they used to define a 'sentient spirit' or an apparent ghost that's trying to (or has) communicate(d) with the living around them.

Their term...

Genuine Haunting

The minute I heard this, I turned to Sue and said "So, does this mean all other ghostly phenomena is 'ingenuine'?"

Now, this may be splitting hairs but it's terms like this that can get you in trouble.

Basically, it's the same thing as when you say "Thank you for your GHOST STORY" instead of "Thank you for your report". To some people, a 'story' is fiction but a 'report' is fact. That small boo-boo has made more than a few people send me VERY nasty e-mails saying "It's not a STORY, it's what REALLY happened!" I don't blame these people.

It's very much like a recent issues with a group in the States that tried this logic on people...

According to them, a "Ghost Hunt" is going to a traditional creepy location (say a cemetery or abandoned building) and start looking for something that as of yet, no one's reported. A "Ghost Investigation" is when a "Ghost Hunt" leads you to find some flavour of ghostly activity and (I assume) you then switch gears and start 'investigating' as opposed to what you were doing before?

There is/was a commercial for a 'vocabulary building' package for sale on the radio that started with the following lines (or ones like them)...

A weak vocabulary can cost you both professionally and personally. Choosing the wrong words can make people question your intelligence, your character and even your education."
Sadly, I agree with this. One should know what words they are using and why. It strikes me that this former group is more or less justifying going to 'cool' places in the name of "Ghost Research" by giving it a special label (or one to cover the fact that they have too much letterhead or changing their website would be too tricky) and then switching to a more 'correct' term to say "LOOK! WE'RE SERIOUS! HONEST!"

Now, I don't pretend to be the "end all of be alls" but I do think that the term "Ghost Hunt" is poor because you're not REALLY hunting ghosts... You're looking for them (unless you have a license to hunt ghosts). I use "Ghost Hunter" for people that are stalking ghostly phenomena with the intent to capture verifiable proof of their existence but then I'd want these types of people to use multiple controls and multiple ways of doing their thing that are, for lack of a better term, debunker approved.

As for "Genuine Haunting", like I stated, I don't like the idea of telling anyone (even by dint of a logical jump) that what they experienced was NOT genuine.

"Oh, I'm sorry, you're ghost didn't try to have a chat with you. I'm afraid then that it is not 'genuine'."

Ah, the simple turn of a phrase.