Saturday, November 7, 2009

Ghost Lab: Love/Hate/Love

The newest on the docket for ghost hunting shows is “Ghost Lab” on Tuesday nights on Discovery Channel. I admit that I sighed and rolled my eyes, especially after hearing these guys had one year’s experience. Huh?

I admit to being thrilled when “Ghost Hunters” show came to TV. I was out in the field ghost hunting by debunking and coming up with theories much as they did. I didn’t realize there were like-minded hunters. I really hadn’t researched the field so I wouldn’t be too biased to believe one way or the other about the best way to go about it. I was mostly possessed by experiencing more phenomenon and documenting it or explaining it away.

Unfortunately, the problem with “Ghost Hunters” is that nowadays, after all these years of running, it’s not only stale, but it’s inbred. Same people. No experts helping out. No new equipment or theories. Same five or six people sitting in the same places, doing the same things, saying the same things, and looking positively bored out of their minds. They don’t seem at all excited about ghostly encounters any longer. The bloom is off the rose. In fact, I don’t even record the show anymore. They need new blood, they need new theories, they need new equipment, and for pete’s sake, they need to talk to experts so they don’t sound like fools talking about things they don’t know anything about.

So, I did give “Ghost Lab” a try. I’m glad I did. Admittedly, they are an example of your typical ghost hunters in the field nowadays, the kind of guys who would (if not ghost hunting) chase storms. They like the tools, they like to think they’re tough in dark scary places, and like to think they’re kicking ghost butt. They’re loud, they’re know-it-alls, and they (for God’s sake) wear matching T-shirts (the epitome of indignities). I consider them the Nascar pit crew meets SWAT team of the ghost hunting field.

That said, the idea behind it is a very sound one. In an ideal world, the team would be made up of scientists and engineers and maybe a meteorologist and geologist, but we’re stuck with this “I’d rather be grilling and drinking a beer in the backyard” good old boys team from Texas (oh, and one girl for bait, what else?)

I’m willing to overlook their personalities to appreciate the concept of taking a van fully equipped into a place and using new techniques, new equipment, and referring to experts. I’ve wanted to find ways to find out if emotions imprint in a place and if the combination of geology and electrical storms can stimulate activity, and what role waterways might have on activity. They come up with some inventive ways to try and test these theories and then show them off in a dramatic “Minority Report” touch screen way.

Dramatics and personalities aside, they are probing ghost hunting in a way we haven’t seen yet. And, even though I wish they used real scientists instead of the “Everyday Paranormal” team, I’ll settle for something new and fresh in the ghost hunting genre which is surely reaching the end of its popularity, thankfully. (Newbie teams out in the field have made it nearly impossible to access once friendly sites because of their antics, unprofessionalism, and sometimes outright trespassing ways).

“Ghost Lab” is worth watching. They blew some fresh air on the field of ghost hunting and are showing a trend that it should take in the future should scientists ever decide to jump into the fray. It can be so frustrating in this field. Admittedly, there’s plenty of anthropologists and primate experts searching for Bigfoot, even pilots and astronauts looking for UFOs but, alas, ghost hunting is the poor man’s field. Perhaps this show is just the thing to finally get the guys with the brains interested in figuring out the phenomenon to join ranks.

The "Ghost Lab" team admittedly gets very lame evidence, but they do come to some interesting conclusions about the phenomenon and the physical properties of it. I think their syndrome is a bit like “Ghost Adventures” in that they’re so damned abrasive and rude that they scare things off. I think the folksy shooting-the-breeze method of Jason and Grant has shown a much better response and should be the industry standard. I, too, have found it to be remarkably effective. I readily admit that ghost phenomenon seems to have the instincts of a dog and they can tell when someone is insincere and/or untrustworthy.

So, don’t watch the show for evidence, but please do watch it for the theories that I talk about on my blog being put to the test. I’ve got my Tuesday nights marked for Discovery Channel to see which theory they work on next. Enjoy the sample video above.


  1. You made me laugh so hard with the indignity part of the matching t-shirts i really have to go to the toilet now!

  2. Georgina;
    Yeah, they're a hoot! If you watch the clip, you'll see what I mean. It is beneath my dignity to do such a thing, but then I'm not part of a spiffy SWAT team of investigators like them. I'm a rebel. :-)

  3. I'm getting ready to watch this show. There are two eppys coming up. I'll let you know what I think after watching. However, I did catch an episode of Extreme Paranormal and did not care for the way they investigate.....too weird.

  4. Julie;
    I'm totally with you. Extreme Paranormal is like mixing up all that's wrong with ghost hunting. What a murky mess!

  5. As far as the 'men' go, they are of that particular personality that I personally sway away from however, I think it'll work for them in the show. Like I said previously in another comment, that 'good ole down home boy' works for many shows. Theirs is more of an excitable kind though where as the GH boys are very low key. Boring somewhat.

    I hope these vids work well in here. I was thinking about trying them myself but I think the ads would gripe some since I have so many videos so I'm holding off.

    Someday, (and probably real soon) all of those channels will do as ABC, etc., and run their videos on their own websites after the show airs. That's MAJOR advertising bucks and the other channels are catching onto what ABC is doing.

    This way they'll have total control and there will be no YouTubes or anything else ever again due to stringent copyrights.

    Less work for me. lol

  6. I have to admit, they really should show episodes right away on websites because it encourages loyalty to the shows. When I missed a few episodes of "Lost," I quite watching it, "Heroes" too. I just couldn't keep up with the plot line. If I could have seen those online, I'd have kept watching them. Of course, once they do that, no reason for cable, really??? p.s. I'm still holding out for a show where they hire nerdy scientists to argue the nuances of ghost hunting. That'd be like "Big Bang Theory" meets "Nova." Wicked!

  7. I haven't watched since the first episode. The only thing I got out of that was their one theory, which now I've forgotten what they called it. Something about recreating the time of a place to help bring out the ghosts. I had left a comment about that on one of your posts from when you said you hadn't been able to watch because you'd fallen asleep (?? not sure what had happened but something came up and you couldn't watch. This was back when the show first aired.) I was totally put off by them and thought they were too spotlight seeking. But, yes, I agree with you that at least they are bringing some new ways of doing things....GH needs to shake it up on that front.

    And Extreme Paranormal...another ghostie friend of mine said he'd hunted with one of the guys on there. They were in the same group, but then the group split because the EP guy was too aggressive. I didn't see the show, but everyone says it's a bad, bad, bad representation of the field.