Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cobbling Together the Ultimate Paranormal Show

(I know the picture has nothing to do with this subject - but it's so damn awesome!)

"Ghost Lab" was brilliant! Lots of equipment, willing to ask experts and best of all-taking theories and testing them. Problem: A bunch of yahoos way over their heads, abrasive personalities, Zak Bagans type of takeovers of historic sites. It was like brain surgery with a buzz saw.

"Ghost Adventures" The concept of being locked in without a crew is a good one--if it's true that they don't have a crew (I find that preposterous). Problem: Obnoxious and idiotic. It's not to be taken seriously. It truly is like frat boys tearing into an abandoned site. The concept of taunting is ridiculous. There is nothing here but pure entertainment--not one drop of contribution to the field. They are taking away from true research and smart minds for ratings and products.

"Paranormal State" Had the mood and atmosphere, music and editing that made it truly creepy like a fireside tale. Problem: It's just a horrible abomination. They screwed up families that were already fragile, imparted magical thinking and possessions, demons, and evil. There were no benign hauntings, only horrible threats to people's mental health. I despise this show and the people who made it happen. That's the honest truth!

"Ghost Hunters" Great concept of debunking, using some commonsense and putting less bodies in a site. Problem: No growth, no change. They think they know what ghost types are and how they work -- where did they learn this at Hogworts? They never consulted professionals and experts. They never changed it up. Stale, stale, stale.

Ideal paranormal show would have the best here--debunking, smaller teams, being locked down, having no extra crew, having great editing, music and atmosphere and testing theories with unlimited experts and equipment. And, if we're going to make this entertainment, find someone as engaging, smart and funny as Josh Gates, puh-lease.

Okay, now Syfy--let's get this baby out there!


  1. I keep getting hit up by production companies (3 or 4 now) to talk about auditioning as the host or lead member to various paranormal shows in production, including two by the makers of some of the stuff out there now. I'm not really cut out to be on camera, but I've offered time and again to help them behind the scenes with concept, topic consultation, etc... They don't seem to want that. They know exactly what kind of crap they want to produce and they just want to legitimize it with faces from the field. I had one lady who kept refering to the paranormal as "the occult". So, I wish you the best, but I think you've got an uphill battle. :-D

  2. I agree with your assesments of those shows.

    Really I do.

    I want a REAL Paranormal show... that tries new things, and different directions... and
    has some sort of PROGRESSION

  3. Cullan-I'm going to have to spank you! You are extremely easy on the eyes, smart and funny. You should be pursued by the numbnuts at the TV channels because you could make a (gulp) interesting and intelligent show. I think you should at least consider production. We really need to be fed a healthy diet when it comes to paranormal. Kat, I agree about progression. I want a show to grow and change like people in the real world should do with their own knowledge. Zombie--I loved the idea of Ghost Lab, just not the execution.

  4. I really agree with you on all these points, though I do have a quibble about your description of Paranormal State. It did seem to me like they helped at least some of the fragile families they investigated. What bothered me was that so many of the investigations were dark and that they never seemed to have any sense of humour about things. If there was some fun added to it, it would have been more interesting.

    One thing that annoys me is the editing and production design. Why does everything have to be scary or creepy? Why does all the videography have to be wobbly and why does scary music have to underscore everything? It seems like a pitfall that all the productions fall into.

    And don't get me started on research...I nearly changed the channel while watching Fact or Faked the other night. The Myrtles may very well be haunted, but so many of the stories are just that...I found Troy Taylor's expose on The Myrtles legends to be very revealing. But, overall, the research isn't good. What happened to the section in the Ghost Hunters formula when someone went to talk to a historian or do research about a location?

  5. What they need to do is get the best investigations from teams all over the United States. Ghost Hunters relies on going to famous locations that have been investigated long before they ever got there and documented up the wazoo. They rarely do houses and when they do, it's one night, get the evidence or not, and then tell the owner "Don't be scared". Sheesh.

    Paranormal State saw dark non-human entities everywhere.

    Ghost Lab behaved like high tech cave men. I've investigated McPike Mansion several times. Instead of the two brutes going in to provoke Henry McPike, they should have sent in the woman on the team. Henry does not like uppity women and would have been more likely to respond.

    No one team has it all covered and good investigations can take years with many visits. They really ought to recruit some of the best ones and follow those investigations.