Should Paranormal Investigators Tell Ghosts They’re Dead?

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Guest writer CLARISSA VAZQUEZ says some spirits might not know they’re dead and it could cause them distress!

It’s a question most paranormal investigators will ask themselves at least once in their careers: Is it okay to let a spirit know they’re dead?

Even the mere mention of “spirit” or “ghost” during an EVP session can be alluding to the fact that the entity you’re attempting to communicate with is not among the living.

Popular television programs and Internet videos show investigators frequently making reference to the fact that the individual(s) they’re trying to communicate with are, in fact, dead.

Do Ghosts Have Feelings?

As with most aspects of paranormal investigation, there are several different theories surrounding this topic.

If you were to ask veteran investigators if ghosts have feelings, the answers will be a mixture of yes and no with various reasons to back up their logic.

On one hand, asking a potential spirit how or when they died can be met with few or possibly hostile results if the entity in question is not aware they’ve passed on.

This could make a potentially bad situation worse.

Should you tell a ghost or spirit they're dead?
Should you tell a ghost or spirit they’re dead?

Ask yourself, if someone approached you and called you a spirit or ghost, then asked how or when you died, how would you feel? After all, you’re not dead!

On the other hand, if a person has been deceased for a lengthy period of time, they may be well aware they’re dead and they might be inclined to answer questions about their demise.

They may not be confused or offended by your questions. This could ultimately lead to a resolution of the haunting.

What About Confirmed Suicides and Violent Deaths?

What if you know the spirit you’re attempting to communicate with intentionally took their life?

The same quandary applies, as the spirit may be so consumed by the sadness that led to their suicide, they may not be aware they succeeded.

Then again, they may know with certainty they’re dead.

This may not be the case for victims of sudden or violent deaths.

If the victim is not aware they’re dead, is it your place to inform them?

Given that you can make a potentially bad situation worse – regardless of the circumstances surrounding the death, is it best to err on the side of caution and not let on that they’ve passed?

Which Is The Correct Method?

While I’ve been investigating ghostly phenomena for over twenty years, I am by no means an “expert”.

Two decades of experience leads to a lot of knowledge, but there are no true experts in this field of research.

In fact, I probably have more questions now than I did when I was first starting.

It’s common practice to exercise basic courtesy when conducting investigations.

Manners, politeness, and respect are always paramount when dealing with the unknown.

In the spirit of respect, it is probably best to not let on that they’ve passed. Here are a few tips for avoiding this potentially offensive situation:

  • Don’t refer to the entities in question as “ghosts” or “spirits”. If they’re not aware they’re a spirit, they may not be inclined to answer you.
  • Don’t ask questions about their death. If they’re unaware, they may not answer. If they are aware, the circumstances surrounding their passing may be upsetting and create some unpleasant results for you or your client.
  • Ask questions in the present tense. Asking questions like “Do you live in this house” could yield more positive results than asking “Did you live in this house”.
  • Don’t blatantly tell them they’re dead. I once worked a case where an investigator said: “You know you’re dead, right?” The not so nice EVP response, “No, you are!” still sends chills down my spine. The spirit was clearly not happy with that investigator’s method of questioning!

By following these simple guidelines, you’re not only setting yourself up for more successful spirit communication, but you’re also working to ensure your safety and provide a more positive experience for you, your team, and any clients you may be assisting.

It’s as simple as treating them as you would want to be treated if the tables were turned and you were the spirit.

Remember, spirits were once living people who may or may not still have human feelings and emotions.

While their physical bodies may in fact be dead, their perception of existence may be very much alive!

CLARISSA VAZQUEZ is a US paranormal researcher with over 20 years of experience. She has written six books on ghosts and the paranormal with more scheduled to be released in 2019. In addition to chasing things that go bump in the night and writing books, Clarissa is also the host of Para-Scope Uncensored which airs live every Thursday night on WBHM Digital Broadcasting.


  1. Hello I have a lot of true stories I could tell you. I have seen spirits my whole life. Sprits know they’re no longer with the living . Some go to a place where they were the happiest in there life on earth. Some don’t want to be dead. I would love a chance to write my experiences for you. Who knows you might learn a whole new world. Thank you Lizzie


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