Most of us who seriously investigate haunted space are aware of the resonances and associations that are popularly-connected to that space by others. Knowing is one thing, but participating in it is another! Serious fieldwork must remain separate from these popular tropes. The analysis of the production of past space, and what remains after the event, like archaeology, is the concern of serious fieldwork.
A field investigator must separate an analysis of this production from the consumption of haunted space made by ghost tour operators and para-event promotors. The serious investigator deals with the real past, the source and production of space-making, not spatial entertainments.
It is not within the field of serious research to deal with (or be involved in) this popular consumption of the “paranormal”, its commercial use in “ghost tourism”, or popular reality TV shows that entertain not educate. These manifestations of contemporary popular entertainment are pre-conceived notions belonging to the present and are immersed in economics, not research. Such responses to the popularity of the paranormal treat the presence of the past as a commercial resource for present consumption, purpose, and interest.
Serious ghost research, a concern with the production of haunted space, is meant as a source of knowledge acquisition. Let’s relieve ourselves from the popular, commercial, sentimental, and subjective responses of “ghost hunting”. Let’s separate them from professional and serious study. We must maintain this relevance, and to make that relevance accessible and acceptable to academia. To do otherwise, would be a great injustice to those who still remain after the events in their lives have ended, some perhaps long ago. To think, act, and work with what remains in that subjective and entertaining mode has little to do with what (and who) may actually remain of the past in haunted space. Let’s just focus on the past itself in those spaces considered haunted by lingering presences!