When you think of the ghost hunting offerings on TV, the big three come to mind;
“Ghost Hunters,” “Paranormal State,” and “Ghost Adventures.” Please, keep them coming!
My friends and I often squabble over which show is best and what they do right and wrong on each show. I've come to some conclusions about the teams and about the people who produce the shows.
“Ghost Hunters” Pro’s: These guys go in to prove the place is not haunted (bless you). They use technology. They entered the field long ago for personal reasons and not because it might some day make a TV show. It was the last thing on their mind. They wanted answers. They go over the evidence with the client in the end. They’re skeptical about any evidence that could be explained other ways.
“Ghost Hunters” Cons: Production! That’s the number one awful thing. It’s dry. It’s dull. I don’t care to see them Roto Rooter (which I doubt they do any longer other than to produce a commercial and no wonder plumbing is expensive when they send two guys to unplug a toilet!) The sound quality is awful and on DVD it’s abysmal. The music/sound effects are goofy and at inappropriate times like when we’re trying to hear the voices Grant and Jason just heard. The way they present evidence as a teaser to get you to sit through the commercial is aggravating. In the old days, we got to see the evidence during review and then with the client, giving us double time to make our own decisions after hearing/seeing it twice. (Don't worry guys, folks will sit through the commercial-they want to see the client's reaction). Now, for the team I have only a few con’s. My biggest one is that they don’t wear helmet cameras. If they see a full-body, I wanna see a full-body! I’m tired of the crew aiming cameras at the team to get their reactions when they could be getting evidence by looking at what Grant and Jason are looking at. For pity sake! They have all this money into the equipment and they don’t at least carry a camcorder. Jeez! I also am not fond of the way they meander around aimlessly and no one seems to have an expertise. It’s cool that they know how to do it all, but couldn’t they just set people up so maybe Tango is their EVP dude and Kris is their EMF chick. Jason and Grant have very clear-cut positions and I’d like to see people who seem to really know all about EVP and all about video…
In a nutshell, “Ghost Hunters” fire the production team and get your members to specialize. And wear helmet cam’s! Otherwise, you rule and everyone else drools!
“Paranormal State” Pro’s: Mood. The show has lots of mood. It’s sad and sulky and Ryan has just the right amount of pout and thoughtful staring. It’s dark in much of the show which is spooky too. I really like that they include the people living there. Sometimes, if strangers come tromping around (like TAPS) without the owners there, things may not happen. The house is used to the owners. They don’t know these bozos. The people living there have to live with it too. They can also say “Yeah, I’ve heard that before” when it happens. They might even instigate things. The music is good. I’ve even become used to the “director’s log” which used to make me burst into laughter. Now, it’s kind of moody and cool. I like that they have a psychic. You shouldn’t depend on them, but they’re like bloodhounds. They’ll take you to the right place and maybe give you info you wouldn’t have known to pursue before. Chip’s awesome!
“Paranormal State” Con’s: Anyone who knows my take on ghost hunting will say, I’m not keen on the "Catholic" thing. It’s a bit too religious-minded and “evil” oriented. I’d like to see these folks quit burying medals in people’s property and calling in priests and worrying about possession. Their approach is rather simplistic and I think sometimes that they’re counseling is what the folks really need. I’ve never seen any convincing hard evidence from them, but then I think they depend on feelings and that’s the murky old world of ghost hunting. The world filled with “evil” and “possession” and “angry dead people.” I’d like to see them get a bit more scientific and quit freaking home owners out with their hocus pocus solutions. I think they just need to grow up before they do this seriously. If anything, Ryan can get a job as a counselor. He seems to be able to listen and look thoughtful at the same time.
In a nutshell, “Paranormal State” is what folks think of with ghost hunting, the old world use of ouija boards or séances or priests and psychics. It’s moody, it’s creepy, and all in all it’s like an episode of “A Haunting,” really for entertainment and not for any progress in the field. I watch you for mood and on that you definitely entertain.
“Ghost Adventures” Pro’s: I’m a huge fan of instigating and generally pissing off anything that may be present. I think these guys are onto something. Strong emotions make things happen. They stir it up. They make evidence come forth. Hit for hit, when you prod and push, you get more results. I like that they use equipment and seem to have it covered well.
Con’s: Wow, don’t know where to begin. The guys are dicks, so it’s hard to take them seriously. They remind me of those guys in school that liked to just make fun of everyone and call them “gay.” Beyond their personalities, I don’t feel they have a sense of respect for history or the places they’re researching. (If we weren't watching, I get the distinct feeling they'd pull out a spray can and tag the place). They use EVPs that no one would ever consider using as evidence and stretch what they hear beyond recognition. They’re so new in the field that everything they get they think is awesome, even orbs. I don’t know if they can ever become real ghost hunters that are helpful in the field because I don’t think they entered it for the right motivations. It reminds me of Elle Woods in the movie "Legally Blonde," it's like these guys woke up one morning and said, "I think I'll be a ghost hunter." Like Paranormal State, I think they just need to mature a bit and find their way. They’re onto something with instigation, but I think they’re way too hyper and immature to be taken seriously.
In a nutshell, it’s nearly impossible to watch the show just because the guys are such bullies and sissies at the same time. They give every appearance of being in this because they want to make bucks and further their careers and not for the field, for the research, or for anything else but their own egos. I’d ask them to break up the team and include a sensitive female or someone else to the team, but I think the first one I’d want to cut is Zak (he orders the guys around like dogs) and he’s kind of like the gang leader. I watch this for entertainment purely and only because every week I keep hoping Zak’ll whack his head into a cross beam or something and knock himself senseless. Their childish screams and running around and taunting is hilarious. It’s like Three Stooges go ghost hunter. For that alone, it’s worth it. All in all, they’re totally bogus.