Many ghost hunters and would be investigators out there use antagonizing as a method to generate results during an investigation, and while the claim for ethics is always up in the air, it leads one to wonder why, if at all, would such a thing even work?
Ghosts and spirits, in this world, could be best described as negative energy beings. That is, they are not a positively charged ion, such as humans, plants, animals, etc. They exist on a different spectrum, a different layer of energy that we do. But while they cannot harm us, and we likewise cannot assault them, our voices and actions do seem to cross these two worlds, these two planes of existence. This is, in simple terms, because words CAN hurt. And they do. Anyone who has ever been called a name or been the victim of a bad joke knows that words hurt just as bad as sticks and stones.
We already know that sound, is energy. Just like light. This is why we are able to see and hear ghosts yet. This is why ghosts are able to see and hear us. To us, they often look like shadows, or even distortions of their former life. To them, we must seem as bright, vibrant, solid beings.
But why then, would we antagonize them? Why assume this would work? Well...take Emoto's Water experiments in this case.
While this study has surely been done more than a few ways and a few times, the point is: spiritually, we are an energy, and it is the intention that we put out, consciously, that shapes and directs our consciousness reality. When people are depressed, they can use Reiki, EFT, or hypnosis to often counter those effects. These are skills of light workers (unless you want to count hypnosis as science and psychology), and often are directed with GOOD intentions. And as such, they affect people, or positively charged entities, in a positive way. We recharge, through the sun, through the love around us, and we become better and stronger for it.
Now, if that's true, then a ghost, being of negative energy, would surely become stronger through negative intention. This is why some investigators believe they must investigate in the dark. And this is why antagonizing works. By directing negative energy at a negative entity, it's reaction growls closer to the median, the veil between our worlds, and the reaction is stronger, and louder. Thus why we are more likely to intercept and record these events.
Once again, I'm not petitioning for, or against these methods. Personally, I don't use them unless the client needs to feel they have to prove something. I've generally caught more flies with honey than vinegar. And when you factor in Karma, you can assume it's not going to turn out well for anyone in the end. But ethics aside, it's still important to note as a tool when looking at the overall picture of the physics that transcends both our world, and the one beyond it.