Excellent article on Salon.com called Why real-life ghost hunters hate “Ghost Hunters.” The author brings up a point that I’ve never quite understood myself, and that is why do all those reality TV ghost hunters always do their hunts overnight?
I’ve heard some say it’s because ghosts are more active at night. Really? Do ghosts punch a time clock? And what about interference from streetlights or car headlights? He also questions how well can anyone observe anything in total darkness. Sure, they’re using night vision cameras, but those LCD screens are tiny. And if you recall in a few of the episodes of Ghost Adventures some of their guys have tripped and fallen over furniture in the darkness, and how smart is it really to be walking around inside a completely dark derelict building? It’s lucky that so far no one has taken a bad fall and ended up with a serious injury.
Another point of observation is to listen to the claimant testimonials on Ghost Hunters or Ghost Adventures. The typical story goes something like, “I’d just locked up the museum for the night and I was the last one to leave. I was about to get in my car when I looked up and saw the lady in the Victorian dress staring out the window.” Almost without exception their encounters are happening either during the day or in the early evening hours. So why is it necessary for all the TV ghost hunters to do their work between midnight at 5 am? Is it to make their shows more dramatic?
The rest of the article is a very interesting read, and I would have to agree with the author that there are some fakers out there, as well as some television shows in which the hunters do sloppy work. Take Most Haunted. They don’t even do EVP sessions. Instead they rely on psychics and Ouija boards, and, as far as they’re concerned, every little particle of dust that the camera picks up is an orb and therefore evidence of ghostly activity. Yeah, right. I can’t help but wonder if some of the people on some of these TV shows are perhaps more interested in showmanship and doing whatever it takes to get the ratings up than in conducting serious paranormal research. But at the same time they are bringing the discussion about ghosts and the paranormal into the mainstream. People who have had strange experiences that they can’t explain, or that they have been badly frightened by, are now more able to open up and talk about it because they are realizing that they are not alone and that they’re not “crazy.” And that’s a good thing.
There will come a time when shows like Most Haunted and Ghost Adventures will have run their course and, if you’ll pardon the pun, fade away. Then perhaps the more serious paranormal research can begin again.
My thought for the day.
When I first saw the previews for this new entry from Ghost Hunters I really thought I was going to hate it. It looked trite. So I tuned in the first episode, not expecting much, and I found myself pleasantly surprised.
This show, more than any of the others in the Ghost Hunters stable, really gives viewers an inside look into just how much time and effort goes into a TAPS investigation, and how vital it is that the team work together. And, as the season progressed, it also gave viewers a chance to observe group dynamics and learn lessons that could be applied to just about every workplace.
Heather was a good example of someone failing to blend in and be a part of the team. Yes, she was very nice, and everyone liked her as a person. But at the start of the very first investigation she announced that she was a medium. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but that is not the TAPS way to do an investigation. Her approach made it difficult for her to work alongside the others. She was too independent so they had to let her go.
Then there was Jane. Pretty girl. She was someone who could possibly do well as an actress or a model, but she was not a team player. And unlike Heather, who was very congenial, Jane was only interested in looking out for number one. She had no problem stabbing others in the back in order to make herself look good, and then she would turn on the tears when Steve or Tango criticized her. Frankly I’m surprised Steve and Tango that didn’t kill her. Needless to say, while the all others were invited back, Jane was sent home.
And then there was Susan. She got off to a really rough start and I expected her to be the first person cut. But, instead of finger-pointing and blaming others, she learned from her mistakes, pulled herself together, and made herself into the most improved member of the team. Susan is a real positive role model for everyone. I’m glad that both she, and Karl, made the final cut and will be a part of the Ghost Hunters International team. I look forward to seeing more of them for a long time to come.
I still think the Cadillac of all the television shows on ghost hunting has the be the original Ghost Hunters. Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson have indeed set the standard. What I like about Jason and Grant is their approach. Their goal, first and foremost, is to debunk. Then, and only then, when they can find no other plausible explanation, will they declare a location as being haunted. And the evidence has to be compelling. There are many instances where they find paranormal activity but stop short of calling it haunted.
Too many times I’ve seen so-called ghost hunters rush into an allegedly haunted locales, bringing along psychics and/or totally relying on non-scientific methods, such as table taping or ouija boards, and declare a place haunted. Most Haunted is famous for this, but, as I recall, Most Haunted claims that their show is for entertainment purposes only.
I also remember seeing some other show where some woman used an emf meter and declared a place haunted as soon as it spiked. Then later on a skeptic went to the same spot where she had stood and found she was standing right next to an electrical outlet when she got the spike. This is the kind of thing that hurts the credibility of all ghost hunters, and I think Jason and Grant and the TAPS family have done an outstanding job of restoring that credibility.
So whether it’s Ghost Hunters, or it’s spin-off, Ghost Hunters International, it’s a great way to spend a Wednesday night.
I’ve always been a fan of the original Ghost Hunters, but in my opinion, this spin-off makes the original pale in comparison. (No pun intended.)
Robb Demarest is an effective and down-to-earth leader who doesn’t fly off the handle or berate his team members, and the team goes to some pretty amazing places — castles, manor homes, and opera houses — the type of places we don’t have here in the U.S. Each of the places they investigate have a lot of history, which makes the locales even more interesting. And, unlike the original Ghost Hunters, they seem to be able to document more genuine paranormal activity.
Like the original Ghost Hunters, the premise of their investigations is to debunk. That makes any conclusions of a location being haunted much more credible.
Ghost Hunters International airs on Wednesday nights on the SciFi Channel. It makes Hump-day a lot more interesting.