Or is that accurate?
It's hard to know with the way media treats spirits and ghostly visitors. Often, we only really see one perspective of how interactions with the dead can go (think Paranormal Activity, The Haunting in Connecticut, etc.)
That's why I like movies like Hocus Pocus so much. Benign spirits are much more the norm than poltergeists or things with evil intent.
Most cultures, dating back centuries, have some sort of relationship with what we term "ghosts." In Egypt, and Greece, for example, these spirits were said to have unfinished business. That's why it was so important that a deceased person receive a proper burial and all of the rites.
The first written ghost story we have comes from Pliny the Younger, written sometimes between 50 AD and 100 AD. It's a wonderful story, and we talk about it on the tour. The original version of the first written ghost story can be found here.
In the story, a Roman philosopher goes to Athens to purchase a home to find that the home is haunted. He waits up at night for the ghost and, when it beckons to him, follows it through the house. When the ghost disappears, this philosopher places an X on the ground, and the following day, has worked come to dig in that space. Unsurprisingly, they find a body. The body is laid to rest in the proper fashion, and the philosopher goes on about his life without bother.
So, sometimes I wonder whether or not ghosts are in fact really all that scary. When I think about the experiences I have had - lights turning on, feelings of unwelcome, and etc. - Nothing was outright threatening. I don't really believe that spirits enjoy being a circus attraction, and more or less, want to be left in peace. Otherwise, I believe they need help to move on, as in the story above.
In many ancient cultures, ghosts weren't things to be feared, but were things to be helped. It was a grave situation (no pun intended) when a spirit didn't find it's way to the afterlife.
This is the attitude I take on the tour. I think that a spirit's attachments from their life can sometimes cause unwillingness to leave in death. If they had a child, or a loved one they feared leaving, if they felt like they had left something undone, or if they felt they had done something wrong and needing to make amends - all of these things may be reasons why a spirit stays on after death.
So, in my work I make it a goal to always be respectful and to help where possible the spirits that are open to moving on, while simultaneously keeping myself protected from entities that do have more sinister motives.
There's a wonderful story about this from the Cosmic Society's Donna Kent in which she helps out a man named Mr. Peet move on to the afterlife. If you want more information, I suggest looking up her book, Ghosts of Southwestern Connecticut.