Sunday, June 08, 2008
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.