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Ghost Hunters

An American paranormal reality television series.

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Faking evidence?

  • Dec 21, 2009
  • by
I lived in a haunted house for a year and it was pretty freaky. I wouldn't say I believed much in ghosts until being stuck in a rental that would randomly scare you senseless, but you leave the experience either convinced there's something going on or you're going nuts. I'm also a co-owner in a business, a cocktail bar in downtown San Antonio, where there's some unexplained glass throwing that happens on a regular basis - we've looked at every logical explanation but when the martini glasses launch off the shelf, it defies belief. Some employees claim to have seen a woman and felt her presence on the property - I haven't seen that but I can tell you it's pretty strange. And it's getting expensive too. 

Since then I haven't felt the urge to investigate haunted locations but there have been a spate of ghost reality shows invading the networks, all purporting to find evidence of the paranormal. I think the basic problem here is that spending one night in a place and expecting the ghosts to perform on cue in front of a handful of infrared cameras is somewhat naive, and flies directly in the face of requirements of television production. Many of the techniques are presented as scientific but have absolutely no basis in anything and seem to be centered around dubious energy theories. Why would ghosts show up on a thermal imaging camera, or leave barely-audible voices on a digital voice recorder, or make non-deterministic fluctuations in EMF readings? As for the 'sudden temperature drops', even if that does happen, you're not going to detect them with an infrared thermometer that only reads surface temperatures rather than those in the air around you.

Clearly, everyone watching these shows wants to see a ghost on video. Period. And it's not happening so the TV shows have resorted to some really questionable devices just to make the shows watchable. On almost every show now there's an EVP on the voice recorder that whispers one or two words on cue - really? This smacks of post-production late night audio sessions. They've increasingly used thermal images as evidence - a rush of color across the screen - or reflections. And as for the EMF readings these are getting to be ridiculous - "I'm getting a 1.2!" they cry. Great - go buy one of these for yourself and watch how they randomly fluctuate continuously wherever you are, but especially when you have a camera crew over your shoulder. And as for the attempts at classifying apparations as "non-human entities", "demons" and "non-intelligent hauntings", that always gives me a chuckle.

It's really a shame these shows descend into spectacle when they could be really good. The UK's Most Haunted was debunked with the crew faking evidence routinely, and one of the Ghost Hunters crew recently said in an interview that the methods were not entirely kosher. There are even videos on YouTube that show quite convincingly one of the lead investigators faking a "tugged jacket", and once you see one "made for TV" fakery then you have to assume all the evidence is subject to manipulation. There's a large audience for a show that doesn't promise to deliver the ghost-of-the-week in exchange for a real investigation - but Ghost Hunters isn't it. As to think I almost trusted two plumbers!

UPDATE: South Park mercilessly mocked Ghost Hunters: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yY1up9PA7UY

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December 21, 2009
Great review! I have to say that perhaps in the beginning this show was more credible but I do think they may have given in to the pressures of getting ratings. Nice to know that I am not the only one who had some brushes with the paranormal. You would not believe the stuff I experienced before!
December 21, 2009
Thanks! Yeah, I think originally they set out with an honest agenda, but TV ratings have a habit of taking over. In my ghostly encounters, I'm not convinced they would have been caught on camera or audio - I think you have to take them as a personal experience that's really unprovable. Now if my gran would send me some winning lottery numbers, that would be awesome.
December 21, 2009
agreed! ghosts do not show up on camera...unless it is one with the special lenses and even then it is only about 50 % chance of shooting one. I had a very creepy episode in Tahoe before...still creeps me out when I think about it!
More Ghost Hunters reviews
review by . October 21, 2009
"Ghost Hunters" is unlike any other paranormal investigation shows out there. In other shows, you'll see psychics, people calling every little ball of dust on a photo a ghost, and idiots screaming over every little bump in the night.     Jason, Grant, and their team first set out to debunk any reports of paranormal activity with non-paranormal explanations. Even if they have a personal unexplainable experience during an investigation, they will only conclude there is …
Quick Tip by . November 22, 2010
posted in Pass The Remote!
I used to really love this show, but recent developments off screen have me questioning the validity of the program.
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James Beswick ()
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About this tv show


Ghost Hunters is an American paranormal reality television series that premiered on October 6, 2004 on the Syfy Channel (previously SciFi). The program features paranormal investigators Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson who investigate places that are reported to be haunted. The two originally worked as plumbers for Roto-Rooter as a day job while investigating locations at night. Since the show's success, the series now takes precedence in their lives, but they are still honorary employees with the company and continue to do jobs for them if time permits.

The show should not be confused with the original 1996 Inca Productions show Ghosthunters produced for the Discovery Channel. The format was sold to Pilgrim Films & Television in the United States to become Ghost Hunters. The only link between the two shows is presenter Ian Cashmore who anchored the UK/Europe show. Cashmore piloted the U.S. show, but chose not to remain part of the U.S. venture after he filmed the promos.
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Original Air Date: October 6, 2004

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