'Ghost Hunting' Shows Are Getting So Bad That It's Beyond Amusing

Lord Lucan

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#61
The original Ghost Hunters are back, each with different shows, but they sound exactly the same. Boring.

Here is my take on it. https://sharonahill.com/2019/07/09/...aranormal-icons-return-to-haunt-new-networks/
Nice summation. Boring is being polite. I always enjoyed the locations they ventured to, however the original Ghost Hunters show was just too formulaic and never changed from season to season. Frankly I'm surprised it lasted as long as it did. They seem nice guys and interested in what they were doing, but boring they were.
I'll tune in if their respective new shows make these shores (Australia) as I'll be interested to see what (if anything) has changed.
 

Lord Lucan

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#63
An interesting one I saw on the Australian NITV was "The Other Side" - produced by First Nation Canadians.

The formula was the established one, but they had some good stuff, particularly during Season 1. They also weren't afraid to say when they found nothing going on.

http://theothersidetv.ca/tv-show/
I've got NITV on Foxtel though I've never seen ''The Other Side'' as yet. In fact there's quite a few paranormal shows on there I've discovered usually featuring indigenous people (though not always).
 
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Tapeloop

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#64
Thanks for the heads up on Ghost Hunters and the others. Looks like they are bring back Celebrity Ghost Stories too which was quite good (although as long as it is the US version and not the little seen zero budget UK version).

I'd concur that the last few seasons of Ghost Hunters got more than a bit dull. While I appreciated the fact that they were possibly the only ghost hunting show to say "nah, nothing happened", in the last few seasons that seemed to be every week. I did like the team though, so I might watch Ghost Nation and check it out. They did occasionally capture some good footage, there was one in a museum where they caught the shape of something walking through the gift shop once, that was good. Not sure it was worth sitting through umpteen episodes of nothing mind.

Anybody else read their books? I had one and couldn't get through it. While I'd liked them on the TV show and was hoping just for some extra ghost stories, in the book everything was down to demons. Not my scene at all.
 

Sharon Hill

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#66
The second of two papers I co-authored was just published in the Australian Journal of Parapsychology. This latest one feature some commentary on ghost shows, including Ghost Hunters and WHY they were so popular. I'll be blogging about the paper soon but the long and short of it is -- TV shows like this reinforce belief, pro-paranormal viewers find it "sciencey" and legit, people are interested in ghostly phenomena, people like the participatory nature of a virtual legend trip, and the subjective, unresolved nature of ghosts keeps them coming back.

Our conclusion is also subtly but completely negative towards Ghost Hunters' stated aims of "proof" and "truth": ghost experiences are necessarily subjective (personal) events. So, all the ridiculous gadgets in the world are only for show.
 

GNC

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#67
See, I like a good ghost story, but the spontaneous ones, I've never heard one where a ghost hunter has conjured up a story half as good as one told by a witness who wasn't expecting to see a spectre.
 

Tempest63

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#70
I’ve been watching “Help, my house is haunted” on Sky catch-up. Same old same old, just a toned down version of Most Haunted, woman, man, psychic...Yawn.
Only watching this as I saw a trailer for one starting on Sky last night and can’t remember what it was called or what channel it was on.
 

plastic wiganer

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#71
i actually recorded an episode of Most Haunted earlier today, the Greengate Brewery one. This is only because it was my local brewery from childhood to my mid 20's - not that i drank beer as a kid - i certainly did later on though! particularly in the Junction Inn (now gone) which was over the road from the brewery
I lived about half a mile away from the place and knew quite a few employees - none of whom knew it was "haunted"

ps, i dont know why the font changed in the second line?
 

Tapeloop

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#72
Is "Help, My House Is Haunted" the one with the French lady and Barri and the really hammy American psychic? I lose track of them now, there seems to be so many pretty bad ghost shows on. If it is, then I'd say it would be half watchable without the medium. There was even an episode featuring a ghost from near here in Reading (one for another thread I think). A rarity indeed.

Has there been any "must see" ghost shows in the last few years or has the entire format just faded away into blandness?

If anyone has Amazon Prime then there are loads of ghost shows available on it. The best I've found so far are the "A Haunting..." series which usually has some very creepy footage, but it's too good to be even vaguely believable. The Seth Breedlove 'Small Town Monsters' films are good though, but they are more cryptids/UFOs.
 

Sharon Hill

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#73
Nice, thank you. I've skimmed the first part, I like the VAPUS model, I'll read them in slow time later.

Were they hard to get published?
I did the primary research and the first draft but it was worked into the format and the model developed by the other authors. Jim Houran shopped it around to publications. But it took well over a year just to submit. Of course, it is hard to get published which is one of many reasons today's "ghost hunters" never do it. The scholarship for ghost investigations today is almost entirely absent - promotion is almost exclusive done through popular media which is no scholarship at all.
 

Lord Lucan

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#74
Is "Help, My House Is Haunted" the one with the French lady and Barri and the really hammy American psychic? I lose track of them now, there seems to be so many pretty bad ghost shows on. If it is, then I'd say it would be half watchable without the medium. There was even an episode featuring a ghost from near here in Reading (one for another thread I think). A rarity indeed.

Has there been any "must see" ghost shows in the last few years or has the entire format just faded away into blandness?

If anyone has Amazon Prime then there are loads of ghost shows available on it. The best I've found so far are the "A Haunting..." series which usually has some very creepy footage, but it's too good to be even vaguely believable. The Seth Breedlove 'Small Town Monsters' films are good though, but they are more cryptids/UFOs.
To digress from Ghost shows for a moment, I second the ' Small Town Monster" films. They're narrated by Lyle Blackburn who's written a couple of books on the Boggy Creek Monster and just released a new one on Momo.
 

Lord Lucan

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#75
Is "Help, My House Is Haunted" the one with the French lady and Barri and the really hammy American psychic? I lose track of them now, there seems to be so many pretty bad ghost shows on. If it is, then I'd say it would be half watchable without the medium. There was even an episode featuring a ghost from near here in Reading (one for another thread I think). A rarity indeed.

Has there been any "must see" ghost shows in the last few years or has the entire format just faded away into blandness?

If anyone has Amazon Prime then there are loads of ghost shows available on it. The best I've found so far are the "A Haunting..." series which usually has some very creepy footage, but it's too good to be even vaguely believable. The Seth Breedlove 'Small Town Monsters' films are good though, but they are more cryptids/UFOs.
Chris Fleming is the American. He was on the series 'Dead Famous' with Gail Porter and they investigated the spirits and hauntings of dead celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Alfred Hitchcock and the like. This was one show I really quite liked. Gail was a skeptic though often found herself terrified by what they found. Great locations too.
 

Swifty

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#76
The second of two papers I co-authored was just published in the Australian Journal of Parapsychology. This latest one feature some commentary on ghost shows, including Ghost Hunters and WHY they were so popular. I'll be blogging about the paper soon but the long and short of it is -- TV shows like this reinforce belief, pro-paranormal viewers find it "sciencey" and legit, people are interested in ghostly phenomena, people like the participatory nature of a virtual legend trip, and the subjective, unresolved nature of ghosts keeps them coming back.

Our conclusion is also subtly but completely negative towards Ghost Hunters' stated aims of "proof" and "truth": ghost experiences are necessarily subjective (personal) events. So, all the ridiculous gadgets in the world are only for show.
The non ridiculous genuine physical discomfort that causes us to remove people during investigations ? .. would you find 'hysteria' a convenient explanation?
 

Analogue Boy

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#79
The non ridiculous genuine physical discomfort that causes us to remove people during investigations ? .. would you find 'hysteria' a convenient explanation?
How do you know it’s genuine physical discomfort? Any physical symptoms?
 

Swifty

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#80
How do you know it’s genuine physical discomfort? Any physical symptoms?
Headaches are the most common .. we also sometimes experience nausea, physical aches in specific areas and a sudden feeling of being drained of energy. When this happens, we've been known to stop an investigation to remove the affected person. I usually take a paracetamol before because I don't want to experience those things if I can help it. Of course, this doesn't mean any of the above are caused by paranormal activity, it could maybe be auto suggestion mixed with tiredness although these things happen more frequently at locations described as 'active'.
 

Swifty

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#81
Like I said, experiences belong solely to the person.
One thing I still kick myself over is the time Rosseanne felt cold on only one side of her head .. we were inside All Saints Church in Santon so no breezes were present, I checked her face with two laser thermometers (in case one might be faulty, we test all our equipment before starting) and the right side of her head to the left had a difference of just over 4 degrees .. I kick myself because the camera couldn't capture the digital reading display so I might have to buy different laser thermometers that we can film the digital display to record evidence like this.

Our last invest at 'The Witch's Leg', a ruined church was cut short a couple of nights ago because Richard Sarsby, one of our team members, started complaining of chest pains and wasn't looking well. For all I know, he could have been drinking nasty energy drinks all day (for one example amongst other non paranormal explanations)? .. I asked him if this was usual for him and he told me it wasn't, this happened when other strange things were happening though so Roseanne decided to call it a night.
 

Naughty_Felid

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#82
One thing I still kick myself over is the time Rosseanne felt cold on only one side of her head .. we were inside All Saints Church in Santon so no breezes were present, I checked her face with two laser thermometers (in case one might be faulty, we test all our equipment before starting) and the right side of her head to the left had a difference of just over 4 degrees .. I kick myself because the camera couldn't capture the digital reading display so I might have to buy different laser thermometers that we can film the digital display to record evidence like this.

Our last invest at 'The Witch's Leg', a ruined church was cut short a couple of nights ago because Richard Sarsby, one of our team members, started complaining of chest pains and wasn't looking well. For all I know, he could have been drinking nasty energy drinks all day (for one example amongst other non paranormal explanations)? .. I asked him if this was usual for him and he told me it wasn't, this happened when other strange things were happening though so Roseanne decided to call it a night.
Did you take him to the hospital?
 
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#83
I did the primary research and the first draft but it was worked into the format and the model developed by the other authors. Jim Houran shopped it around to publications. But it took well over a year just to submit. Of course, it is hard to get published which is one of many reasons today's "ghost hunters" never do it. The scholarship for ghost investigations today is almost entirely absent - promotion is almost exclusive done through popular media which is no scholarship at all.
Nice paper! I liked the use of multi-disciplinary papers, covering psychology, economic forces and sociology using Durkheim as a bridge, and having SIT at the heart of things. The more I read, the more SIT seems to be the underpinning model or our collective behaviours. Few bits and bob I pulled out:
“These facets might even collectively capitalize on humankind’s potential biological basis or genetic predisposition for anomalous experience”
I’d argue we (humans) are disposed to social interpretation (i.e. the ascribing of human characteristics) of material experiences and this is reinforced by belief systems which in turn are reinforced by biological imperatives in cahoots with our requirement to be part of the (a, any) group.
…which is further supported by…
“ (i) brands have personalities or human-like characteristics that distinguish them from each other, with these personalities being important to consumers; and that (ii) consumers become “engaged” with brands, meaning that they feel special emotional or symbolic connections with them.”
In simplistic terms, in the same way a group of people might cease speaking when you come into the room, making one feel unwelcome, a buildings ‘stony’ silence might create the same feelings of perceived hostility...

Davies (2007) presented a social history of ghosts that uniquely expands upon traditional ghosts, and the plethora of general history texts on the subject and incorporates the ongoing modern history of haunts. His work, constructed in a thematic rather than chronological manner, tackles the experience of, explanation for and representation of ghosts, without reference to existence.
Which (underlined) I just liked.

“Braudy (2016) adopted a more pop culture-oriented perspective on hauntology that explored why science and reason oriented cultural forces could not effectively limit its influence.”
This seems to be a key point to me, we are wired to want to believe in supernatural (or at least anthropomorphological ascription) forces, see above, and additionally we are wired to fit in with a group belief in such.

It’s a double whammy opposing rational thought; that it is literally our second nature, and its tendency to place one outside the group.

Two comfortable reasons to believe and two reasons it’s personally uncomfortable to not believe.

“Thus, within the overarching VAPUS model, “participatory” represents the inherent tendency of ghost narratives to form groups and organizations via Social Identity Theory (Tajfel & Turner, 1979), and the inevitable conflict that results from group formation.”
Might well explain why ‘believers’ in one phenomena are often virulent in their condemnation of ‘believers’ in some other or even similar phenomena, something which prima facie seems counter intuitive.

SIT seems to be the driving factor (but isn’t it always?).

“Relatedly, polls often conflate interest and belief. Paranormal themes and images are readily available in the media and potentially prime respondents toward positive responses (Nisbet, 2006). Consequently, it is difficult to determine whether numbers represent belief or curiosity.”
Nicely encapsulates the divide between the ‘interested and open minded’ and ‘believers’ who are closed to the notion their phenomena is possibly not what they wish it to be.

Reinforced by SIT and the tendency of group to resort to collective beliefs (dogma), group-think and ultimately that differing values ultimately represent a threat to a group’s social identify and hence group members' self-identities.

Stories of families terrorized by ghosts resemble Hollywood scripts.
This might be what fills the gap between @EnolaGaia 's "perception" and "conception", the latter primed from contexts supplied by ‘Hollywood’ as an example. So one’s perception is affected by one’s conception which in turn is fuelled by media portrayals, fictional or otherwise. It’s a priming of one’s top-down processing.

As we have argued elsewhere (Laythe & Owen, 2013; Laythe et al., 2017), quantifying “objective” haunt phenomena is extremely challenging without adequate environmental controls. Thus, the focus within parapsychology to document anomalous phenomena empirically, or skeptics’ attempts to disprove the same does not necessarily change the sociocultural narrative that individuals, groups, and sub-cultures maintain about the interpretation of ghostly phenomena.
Probably why even ‘professional’ ghost hunters (i) tend avoid the empirical frameworks which could potentially undermine their own belief in the required narrative or self-identity, or (ii) more cynically, the ghost hunter is a kind of ‘charismatic individual’, who manipulates the narrative (and so manipulates the group's social identity) for personal power, kudos or financial gain or some combination of all three.

I’d suggest it’s hard to differentiate between (i) and (ii) but would hypothesise that Social Dominance Orientation might be a differentiator; to take advantage of, or to control others for personal gain, requires a strong belief that one is better than ‘them’.

I enjoyed that, nice read. I’ll look at the second part anon, but would perhaps add that ‘why’, in our current times, there seems to be a greater desire to be in such groups is an equally interesting question and I’d hypothesise that ‘uncertainty’ is at the bottom of it. This is where you tell me I need to read the second part. ;)
 

Analogue Boy

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#85
In a lot of the spooky investigation telly I’ve seen, it’s quite often the ‘sensitives’ who suffer from oppressive atmospheres and headaches first.

I have no idea why that would be.
 

Sharon Hill

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#86
Nice paper! I liked the use of multi-disciplinary papers, covering psychology, economic forces and sociology using Durkheim as a bridge, and having SIT at the heart of things. The more I read, the more SIT seems to be the underpinning model or our collective behaviours. Few bits and bob I pulled out:

[...]

I enjoyed that, nice read. I’ll look at the second part anon, but would perhaps add that ‘why’, in our current times, there seems to be a greater desire to be in such groups is an equally interesting question and I’d hypothesise that ‘uncertainty’ is at the bottom of it. This is where you tell me I need to read the second part. ;)
Wonderful! Thanks for the insightful comments. The academese was not my doing; I write in at a more common level as were the various social theories invoked. But when it was done, it made a lot of sense to me. This is a complicated topic that goes far beyond belief in the reality of ghosts. One reason why I eschew the skeptic community is that they are ignorant of this which I think is a crucial issue. This is how people ARE so telling them it's NOT REAL is worthless.

The second part does not go into the whys but gives many examples of how there is a place for everyone.
 
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#87
Wonderful! Thanks for the insightful comments. The academese was not my doing; I write in at a more common level as were the various social theories invoked. But when it was done, it made a lot of sense to me. This is a complicated topic that goes far beyond belief in the reality of ghosts. One reason why I eschew the skeptic community is that they are ignorant of this which I think is a crucial issue. This is how people ARE so telling them it's NOT REAL is worthless.

The second part does not go into the whys but gives many examples of how there is a place for everyone.
I've noted myself it is seldom worth being rational with believers, it literally doesn't matter whatever you say or write, they'd probably reject any SIT based explanations as well.

I think there is a separate phenomenon, the 'individual ghost experience', some of which are far beyond the 'vague ghostly presence' type of thing and seem very real to the observer.
 

Naughty_Felid

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#88
I've noted myself it is seldom worth being rational with believers, it literally doesn't matter whatever you say or write, they'd probably reject any SIT based explanations as well.

I think there is a separate phenomenon, the 'individual ghost experience', some of which are far beyond the 'vague ghostly presence' type of thing and seem very real to the observer.
I feel your post is drifting into labeling people who experience a ghost encounter as being irrational and I think that's not helpful.

For some reason, millions of people have had visual, auditory, olfactory, tactile experiences that cannot just be ruled out as just misidentification or something directly influencing Serotonin and Dopamine receptors, (after all there are plenty of shared experiences, sometimes over years ).

To put it simply I see it as there is something hardwired into the brains of people that allow them to have encounters with ghosts.

What ghosts are or are not is the mystery, whether they are a physiological anomaly, an environmental recording or an entity - we just don't know.

I get how SIT plays a part but ghosts are so wide-ranging - how they appear though is very much influenced by culture so that's a very good point Coal
 
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PeteS

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#89
I feel your post is drifting into labeling people who experience a ghost encounter as being irrational and I think that's not helpful.

For some reason, millions of people have had visual, auditory, olfactory, tactile experiences that cannot just be ruled out as just misidentification or something interacting with Serotonin and Dopamine receptors, (after all there are plenty of shared experiences, sometimes over years ).

To put it simply I see it as there is something hardwired into the brains of people that allow them to have encounters with ghosts.

What ghosts are or are not is the mystery, whether they are a physiological anomaly, an environmental recording or an entity - we just don't know.

I get how SIT plays a part but ghosts are so wide-ranging - how they appear though is very much influenced by culture so that's a very good point Coal
I agree entirely. My mother's experience of witnessing the image, ghost, or whatever of a young female child in the neighbour's house convinced me of the ability of a human brain to somehow connect to these experiences . Mother was a total none believer, had no idea that the house was "haunted", and only found out after the incident that others had seen the same "image". To deny the existence of these experiences is in my view futile. However I still find it difficult to believe that we are dealing with the wandering spirits of the deceased.
 

Swifty

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#90
Good question.

Swifty, I'm no doctor, but I'd have sought a medical opinion.
If you mean Richard and his chest pains, he didn't want us to but I agree .. always consider normal before paranormal reasons for stuff like this. He doesn't normally get chest pains (he told me on the night) but I'll be monitoring his health from now on and will encourage him to go to his GP if this happens again, anywhere and not just on ghost invests.

I wasn't present at our invest before last, the team tell me Roseanna had a spontaneous nosebleed and that that has been caught on camera but I wasn't there and haven't seen the footage yet. If I do and she edits that into a vid, I'll post it here or in the ghost hunting thread. I seem to be the least affected in physical terms out of our team although I did have to suddenly lie down in a pew through feeling drained once .. that was a strange feeling and it passed as quickly as it came .. I'd estimate it lasted about 5 minutes, I didn't look at my watch and record it on my pad (which was further down the church on a table) .. the slang term used is 'spirit drunk' when this happens.

I'm also interested in why my camera never mysteriously drains its batteries but everyone else has that problem on our invests. My USB charged LED torch died during one invest early on which it hasn't done before or since. Perhaps my camera is higher quality? .. I'm also the only one who doesn't use night vision so perhaps that's what's draining the others batteries so quickly? .. I bought the glow in the dark bouncy balls to test the whole 'spirits drain energy thing' recently .. it's an experiment, these bouncy balls have to be charged up with light (I've rigged a cardboard egg box lined with tin foil and a hole cut into the top that I can slot my torch into on the move and easily) so if they contain energy, will they be more likely to be moved ? .. how quickly will the glow effect dull in a home setting compared to a supposed haunted setting? ..
 
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