Ghost Hunters

Anybody watch?

I used to be very skeptical about this show in general - the way its edited, it certainly gives the impression that they frequently don’t know what they are doing, don’t do a lot of investigating to see how and why things may or may not happen, and don’t understand various scientific principles. They seem to react to random things and never try to figure out some of them.

That being said, after watch the bulk of the Halloween live special the other night (admittedly I fast forwarded through a few parts), they do at least seem to be aware of some scientific ideas and methods analysis (most of which you don’t see in a normally edited show) and well they do debunk stuff in the length of the series. And they do debunk themselves a lot (and scare themselves as well).

Still, the show is hard to take seriously. The first problem is that the godawful stupid suspenseful music plays constantly. They even freaking fed it into the live feed during the Halloween show. Not only is it enormously annoying, it consistently attempts to drown out what we’re attempting to hear and listen to. Aside from just the idea to have suspenseful music and not have people get bored with people attempting to listen to a ghost or whatever talking, the only other alternative I can think of is that many of sounds the ghost hunters believe they hear don’t show up on tape and they’d rather just smother the whole thing. At one point they can have a sound of something moving but at the same time, playing a suspenseful riff or something and you can’t tell what’s what. God that’s horrifically stupid.

The second problem is that I find it hard to take them seriously when they use terms and phrases that I learned right out of Ghostbusters. “It’s a relative free-floating vapor” or “a full-bodied repeating apparition” is just weird. I mean, I understand why that terminology is used (maybe it’s from some earlier text, I dunno) but it just sounds silly. It also sounds silly when they consistently attempt to talk to the ghosts like lamer psychics.

The third is that they seem to freely acknowledge and dismiss scientific evidence that could provide the basis for the presence of a ghost merely because it happens rather than it doesn’t. For existence, they use hand-held EMF detectors to determine the presence of localized electromagnetic fields. They explain that, essentially, “One theory states that a spirit may have a stronger electromagnetic field.” Of course, if there isn’t an EMF spike, it still doesn’t dismiss the idea that a ghost is present. The same goes for thermal imaging, nightvision, ambient air temperature, etc. Initially the idea is: we will use methods A through F to see if if there is anything abnormal, then a ghost is present; but if any of them don’t happen, it doesn’t mean the ghost doesn’t exist. It’s nonsense. The methods simply exist to prove the existence of a ghost, but not the nonexistence.

Of course, they debunk certain sightings, but I don’t remember if they ever totally debunked an entire place. A couple of the debunkings don’t even make sense.

Finally, the Halloween show was somewhat interesting, though the first hour quite a few mistakes were made (somehow there was a delay when someone would tell when a camera was live, so you can just see them standing around for 5-10 seconds before someone says, “go”) and they would even cut the audio in early, during the external shot lead-ins (whoops).

The only interesting thing happened about 85 minutes in when the head GH guys were down in the service passageway and the woman’s (maybe girl’s) voice was clearly heard several times. That kind of spooked me, but I’m wondering if maybe someone’s voice was being echoed through the nearby piping as the voice sounded slightly tinny.

Oh yeah, and they had the stupid ECW wrestler along. Come on, that is an entirely and completely lame crossover attempt, nearly as stupid as having ECW on Scifi in the first place. Sheesh people.

— Alan

You know, I used to really like this show. I was interested in the fact that they seemed to be “scientific”. I also liked Grant and the other lead investigator. I never could stand the others.
After awhile, I realized that this show, like all things, was for entertainment. I did alot of research, and there are some good sites out there that debunk them. (I will try and post a few later if I can find them again). Youtube also has videos of people re-creating their “ghost” encounters and then showing how they did it.
The most disturbing turn though came during an episode that I was watching several months ago. I noticed that when they were working out of the back of their van, that there were several costumes hanging in the back. I don’t mean uniforms or anything of that sort, but literally black robes and things of similar design.
I am not sure to this day what those were for, but then I think back to the prison episoe, in which they encountered on film, a “entity” running towards the camera and then back.
If these were indeed costumes used for the show, it was pretty bad of them to have not caught them being on film.

I think A Haunting is a vastly superior show. Less histrionic music, better camera work, and fairly believable actors in the “dramatic re-enactments.” The stories are more interesting as well. It’s no Masterpiece Theater, but it’s the best TV treatment I’ve seen yet.

WRT Ghost Hunters – knocking down easy targets can be an effective way to make people less skeptical about your own claims.

There was one episode of this that I thought was pretty interesting. It was basically an old western saloon or something that had been converted into a museum, and a lot of the the things they picked up on video and audio were definitely spooky, fake or not. In one audio recording, while they review the tapes, you can hear cabaret piano music playing in the background for a few seconds. When they had been shown the live recording of this same segment before they reviewed the tape, the music was not there.

I mean, I want to believe in this stuff, but I need to see or hear it in person. Video and audio are too easy to fake.

Part of the thing is, if you had encountered something incredible, like the prison for instance… wouldn’t you want to go back and back and try to get more film? Why just one day? It’s like - oh wait we saw something, cool, let’s go home. Doh.

— Alan

Thats part of the criticism actually. Alot of people bring that up, in regards to only getting a night or two of information.
If you look on Wikipedia, there are links near the bottom that lead to skeptics.
Also, I did see the saloon one as well, but felt that alot of that episode was really cheesey, and easily faked. I get annoyed when everytime the team has the same “what was that” reaction and look at one another in concern.
The creepiest IMO was the episode on an old battleship. The noises in that thing (and ships of course make alot of noise), were extremely creepy. Sounds of people running, hatches slamming, etc. Again, real or not, it can certainly be creepy.
On that note, do any of you listen to Coast to Coast AM?

As for the one-day thing, I suppose the TAPS guys can say that they have day jobs, but come on, they’re plumbers. Plus you have one of the highest rated shows on Sci-Fi into its third season. They can’t afford to investigate fulltime yet?

In the late 90s I used to listen to it all the time (or repeats you could get online when they hadn’t gone pay), when Art Bell was king and he didn’t have any of his personal family issues to deal with. I haven’t really kept up too much with it, but understand it got much nuttier with wackos like Whitley Strieber running things.

Art did some interesting stuff, though he of course tried to make himself sound very neutral was obviously a believer of quite a few things. But he had a great sense of humor, and the JC stuff is classic. Some good shows in there, and it’s not like some of his guests were total fruitcakes (like Michio Kaku). How is the show these days?

— Alan

Those guys are complete clowns.

Shirley Ghostman is the only authentic ghost talker hunter type person.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/news/2005/03/02/17327.shtml
http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/shirleyghostman/ (Better link)

Both Grant and Jason have large families. I think they keep the day jobs for benefits and for that inevitable day that Sci-Fi calls them and says “sorry, guys.” I don’t know how the other TAPS members are reimbursed, but since TAPs doesn’t charge for investigations, any funding is just what SCI-FI pays them, and I just can’t see them breaking out the pocketbooks for it.

I have seen them debunk entire places before. In fact, a fairly high percentage of them they either explain away or don’t find anything.

I agree with how long they are at a place, but it might just come down to a combination of tv schedules, site acess and people’s schedules. I get the feeling the cases they help the other paranormal groups out on, the sister group has spent a decent amount of time on site.

I don’t know how long the day-to-day groups like New England Paranormal spend on site.

Edit: i just talked to my wife. She went to a lot of of their talks at DragonCon. She claimed that they said they often spent multiple nights at sites, but Sci-Fi felt the format of fitting two investigations into one show and editing it down to look like it was one night was better TV.

I doubt they are hoaxes. I think they are non-scientific people trying to come up with evidence that’s better than what’s out there like Most Haunted.

I dig the show, but I still am not convinced about what they find.

Well not only is it edited to look like it takes place in one day (from the episodes I’ve examined), they plainly state the fact on the transitional cards with stuff like, “7 hours into the investigation” then they pack it up and leave. I suppose it be edited like that anyway though.

Interesting.

— Alan

Mario & Luigi goes ghost hunting. Fun show, but the majority of the cases are
easily explained scientifically. Of course, they’d need a scientist in each field
(accoustics, physics etc.) to know :P

I was playing Uno on XBox Live a few days ago, and this complete moron was
on with his mic active. He sounded exactly like the guy they fired once and
allowed back on at a lower ‘rank’. He’s on my avoid list.

They’ve said they do two-nighters on occasion, although they are rare. When I’m back down at DragonCon this year, I’ll make a point of asking them this question directly.

From reading their forums quickly I came across a few comments from viewers mentioning that TAPs were unhappy with a lot of the edits Pilgrim/Sci-Fi made. Which sorta jives with some comments I heard them make at DragonCon–Jason was displeased that how they editited made his wife look like a bitch and un-supportive.

I wish they wouldn’t focus so much on the interpersonal shit though.

Oy Jesus, did somebody actually say “authentic ghost talker”? Here’s a big hint for the rest of your life: When you die, you don’t suddenly become some supernatural floaty thing. You rot.

Let the anecdotal bump in the night stories begin.

H.

Ah see but it’s the manifested energy generated by your angst-ridden soul that creates apparitions. Or something.

Would be interested to know how their investigations really go. Just watched the Irish castle episode and that place is spooky just looking at it.

— Alan

I’m with Hougan on this one. I literally can’t believe that grown adults would watch nonsense like this.

C2C in the 90s was awesome. “Dr. Doom” Ed Dames, “Boiling sewage pits of hell” JC… hilarious. I used to stream it over RealAudio while at work. Made the tedium of coding easier to bear.

I said “authentic ghost talker hunter type person” and you obviously didn’t click the link or see the show, so you don’t know what you’re talking about. Or even read the links. See where they say BBC and comedy?

Agreed.

I’m with Hougan on this one. I literally can’t believe that grown adults would watch nonsense like this.

My wife and I watched a few episodes before exchanging “What the hell are we doing?” looks and cancelling it.