I have to give Jason and Grant credit for starting the ghost hunter programs. As silly as the first few seasons were watching Jason argue with his wife who was griping at him about taking off plumbing work and going on a case with the camera man rolling (which of course was paying big money) to watching them with a scared look opening a door entering into a room where the camera man was already set and waiting. Either we have a brave camera man or a set up shot. I think it’s the set up shot.
Still, the early shows had merit but the attitude of the show got worse and worse. I would like to present some objections I have with the current shows:
- Disrespect of Witnesses – People are hesitant to relate paranormal experiences due to ridicule and disbelief. The Ghost Hunters calliing their experiences “claims” and acting like they are lying or deluded is not nice.
- Disrespect of Psychics – there is a consistent negative attitude towards psychics. A good psychic would help the show tremendously! Sightings knew this and had great programs with psychic Peter James.
- Ridiculous explainations for reported experiences that discount the facts. For example, a man saw the appartition of a woman dressed in turn of the 19th century cloths with her hair in a bun walk across a hallway from one room door to another. The guy that saw this apparition was middle aged with a gut. Steve and Tango, who come up with most of the stupid explanations, noticed that at the end of the hallway, was a room and if the door was open, you could see a window from the staircase. This window was about 40-50 feet away from the stairs but this brain trust assumed that the guy saw his own reflection in the window! Totally ignoring the facts of the man’s experience. At the reveal, Grant was embarassed to say it but did mention it. There have been other equally silly explanations that insult the intelligence of the witnesses.
- The EMF myth – For some reason, Jason and Grant try to tell people what they are experiencing is related to the electro-magnetic field. They have no scientific research to back this up and it is silly to begin with. For example, if people could so easily hallucinate around strong EM fields, people who enjoy a free drug type trip would be standing around the latest high power transmission towers. Those fields are so strong, you can hold a flourescent tube in your hand and it lights up (I’ve done it)! Yet, people aren’t hallucinating or getting their “free” trip. So, I find this explanation for people’s experiences to be totally absurd, yet they use it over and over.
- Declare a place not haunted based on their limited time there ignoring dozens of witness reports. Anyone who has been around paranormal phenomena knows that it doesn’t happen every day. Even in a most paranormal active place, it just doesn’t happen on cue. When people who are at a place have experiences, they don’t have them everyday. Yet, when the Ghost Hunters breeze into a location with their production RV and a crew of camera people following them around (Do you realize how disruptive to the psychic flow this is?), conditons that aren’t conducive to the paranormal manifestation, they declare they didn’t find anything. That is not scientific analysis of data. You might not have supported the notion the place was haunted but you can’t disprove it based on a small sample of time.
- Throwing out data – this happens a lot. One of the most aggravating incidents was at a hotel out West (I believe it was the Copperfield Hotel in Arizona but not sure). The hotel manager told them there was a particular room in which male guests had the covers pulled off while they were sleeping. Since the production was spending the night at the hotel, Grant was given that room and a video camera recorded him the entire night. At some point during the night, you see Grant sleeping and clearly lying still. You can see both of his feet and legs slightly apart and not moving. Suddenly, you see the cover pinched up right in between his feet and moved off uncovering his right foot. It was very obvious Grant did NOT move. Yet, Jason declared it was not evidence of paranormal activity. Jason obviously did not want to validate the experiences that many male guest had in that room. Why? He seems to want to put down people’s paranormal experiences.
I could continue but I’ve given enough examples. I watch Ghost Hunters because they go to interesting haunted locations. However, on about 60% of the shows, I spend a lot of time yelling at the TV. All I can say is thank goodness for the Ghost Adventure program. They treat witnesses with respect and they get results!
On a closing note, I am disappointed that Grant is leaving the program. He, unlike Jason, is a nice, sensitive guy. I feel that he is psychically sensitive because most of the better paranormal phenomena they have recorded happen around him. But, the fact that he is a sensitive is probably why he’s leaving the show (that and the fortune he and Jason have made so he doesn’t really have to work anymore – I’m happy for them).
Anyway, the show is interesting. If you can look past the bigotry towards psychics and documented haunted locations and the dumb and dumber explanations that ignore the witness facts, it does produce some interesting shows 40 percent of the time.