Sunday, June 08, 2008

Ghost Hunters

I have a confession and a gripe. First the confession: I love the Sci-Fi Channel's "Ghost Hunters". I've always been a sucker for the paranormal, especially for those shows where the door was opened to exploring the supernatural with an eye toward belief. I loved Nimoy's "In Search Of" and I even enjoyed the cheesy Fox Family "Scariest Places" shows, with Linda Blair doing the "s-p-o-o-k-y" smarmy voice overs.

But "Ghost Hunters" is different for me. I admit that I become skeptical when watching the show, but hey...they have science on their side, don't they? Infra-red equipment, EMF detectors, Digital recording devices, and thingies with whatchamacallits. All very cool and fun, if not always convincing or definitive. Furthermore I enjoy the personalities. The two Roto-Rooter Joes who run the show and the two twenty-something sidekicks are welcome into my living room any time, especially for the annual Halloween special.

So what's the gripe? If these guys are serious about ghost hunting, why not take a truly methodical and scientific approach. Instead of going blithely from house to house, always at night, why not arrange to set up at least a week long surveillance. Hey, better yet, a weekly surveillance conducted once a month. Furthermore, the week long surveillance should be conducted during the day as well, with teams manning the equipment around the clock.
Why? Because the product would be much more intriguing and the results would be open for better analysis.

I have an issue with most ghost hunters. They wander into abandoned houses and trespass, claiming to do so in the name of furthering knowledge. But they are usually nothing more than "true believers" seeking self delusion or annoying individuals seeking cheap thrills. Even those who claim to be skeptical will have a glazed over look in their eyes when describing the "orbs" that do nightly dances in the local cemeteries, the orbs that only the ghost hunters ever seem to capture on film (orbs looking like bad reflections from passing cars and globs of dust motes, I might add).

So Science Fiction Channel....guys....what about it? What about a real exploration into the supernatural, bringing in a team or researchers from a local university to help you out, and seeing if you chart some sort of measurable and reliable paranormal incident.


Charles Gramlich said...

But that would mean they'd find no evidence and there wouldn't even be the spookiness of a dark night in an old house to attract the viewer. Thus the series would be cancelled.

SQT said...

I agree with Charles. The idea is to have a show to sell, not have real proof. Maybe there is proof to be had, but finding it would likely be a tedious process that has involves a lot of boring surveillance. It much more fun (and promotable) if you have a dark house and spooky noises.

Heather said...

I love this show, too! I'll bet budget limitations have a lot to do with their inability to do an investigation for more than one night.

I remember one episode last year when they investigated some lighthouse. Seemed that was the only episode (that I saw, anyway) where it actually seemed as though they caught something real on camera (this after months and months of watching).

Regardless, I think they're cool.

Joe Sherry said...

Plus, they all have (presumably) real jobs and likely can only investigate over nights on weekends. They wouldn't be able to do a week long investigation.

Just a guess.

Yet, my wife and I watch every week.

Ghost Hunters International, on the other hand, kind of blew.

furiousBall said...

i've liked this show each time i've seen it, i'd like to see them spend a week in a notoriously haunted place like dracula's castle or frankenberry's apartment