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

DrPaulLee

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One of the absolute worst was "Ghost Hunt" which was from New Zealand. It consisted of a person guided round a building by someone in a control room. The explorer was wearing a tie with an outward facing camera (which was hardly used) and a camera pointed at the face, so those all important reaction shots.
 

Sharon Hill

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Couldn’t one of the big channels commission/work with the SPR, or some other grown ups, to carry out intelligent research, over a decent period of time and present the findings in a documentary style based on what is actually seen, heard recorded?
According to the several pitch people I've talked to, the programming outlets don't want that. They are addicted to shallow hype, drama, and snappy editing of a 3-hour event into 40 minutes with 50% repeated footage. It is altogether insulting to watch, it's so stupid.

It is possible to do a good investigation that could be made into a documentary, I guess, but it would even less exciting than Bagan's live bust of a Halloween show above. I'm firmly resigned that whatever ghostly experiences are, they will NOT be caught on these TV shows ever.
 

escargot

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According to the several pitch people I've talked to, the programming outlets don't want that. They are addicted to shallow hype, drama, and snappy editing of a 3-hour event into 40 minutes with 50% repeated footage. It is altogether insulting to watch, it's so stupid.

It is possible to do a good investigation that could be made into a documentary, I guess, but it would even less exciting than Bagan's live bust of a Halloween show above. I'm firmly resigned that whatever ghostly experiences are, they will NOT be caught on these TV shows ever.
This is spot-on. The first big British ghost hunting show was Most Haunted which was plagued with fraud and chicanery.

(We do of course have a thread on it if you're interested!)

This must have been frustrating for the originators, Karl and Yvette, who are sincere believers in ghosts and the supernatural and wanted to show the world that these things exist.

However, as you say, the audience demands results in the form of scares.

Yvette would scream her head off at anything even slightly weird. Fraudulent 'mediums' camped it up. Viewers noticed that objects placed out for spirits to move would only change position off-camera, and so on.

Personally I'd've LOVED to go ghost hunting with Yvette and co and if I'd said there was a ghost there'd be a bloody ghost!

Yvette and her family live in the next town from'ere and I know her best friend. So I did offer! She hasn't got back to me yet.

(The best friend says Yvette was often terrified by things that happened off-camera that couldn't be included in the show.

What a waste! I'd be saying 'Very nice, dear! Can you please rematerialise AFTER we switch on the lights?')
 

Sid

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I remember a while ago, an editorial about a Scottish couple offering a fair sum of money for someone to look after their children in their haunted house (so-say), for a year as they were having to go abroad .
I sent an email to Yvette wondering if she and their team might take it on - needless to say I had no answer!
Found it... https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-south-scotland-40272554
 
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Min Bannister

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I may have posted about this before but I once saw a really especially awful example of one of these programmes. It was in a prison where a prisoner had set himself on fire. So in order to get a reaction from his ghost they found the spot where he died, poured petrol down, lit it and one of the men lay down and started screaming. :pop: Needless to say I switched off rapidly. I don't really have too much of a problem with the "entertainment" aspect, they are TV shows after all but when they cross all boundaries of taste and decency I do.
 

hunck

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I may have posted about this before but I once saw a really especially awful example of one of these programmes. It was in a prison where a prisoner had set himself on fire. So in order to get a reaction from his ghost they found the spot where he died, poured petrol down, lit it and one of the men lay down and started screaming. :pop: Needless to say I switched off rapidly. I don't really have too much of a problem with the "entertainment" aspect, they are TV shows after all but when they cross all boundaries of taste and decency I do.
Quality entertainment there. You could have a long wait for taste & decency in a ghost show..
 

Vardoger

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I may have posted about this before but I once saw a really especially awful example of one of these programmes. It was in a prison where a prisoner had set himself on fire. So in order to get a reaction from his ghost they found the spot where he died, poured petrol down, lit it and one of the men lay down and started screaming. :pop: Needless to say I switched off rapidly. I don't really have too much of a problem with the "entertainment" aspect, they are TV shows after all but when they cross all boundaries of taste and decency I do.
Sounds like something Ghost Lab would do.
 

Swifty

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Not that uncommon on ghost hunting shows...
I let one go during our first filmed ghost invest but I did own up to it straight away. The good thing is they're a mood changing tension breaker. A simple laugh. Ironically, we found that after our crew became more relaxed and distracted from the job in hand (or more accurately/often at the same time) , laughter etc for whatever reason, that's often when we started having what could be interpreted as more paranormal experiences, both personally and recorded on equipment. Those moments when we temporarily forgot we were supposed to being serious were often when something would shock us back into silence.

A paranormal favouring leaning theory for this is that group energy of this kind promotes 'things' to happen. Some die hard believers suggest it's because the spirit feels like they are being ignored in that moment so 'do something' to become the centre of attention again. Cynics feel we are winding ourselves up in the dark and the silence which I actually agree with them about .. but again, it's more often when we aren't focussing on trying to see or hear weird things that we do.
 
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Tapeloop

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I see here in the UK we get the new Ghost Nation starting next Thursday evening on Really. As mentioned miles up thread, it's the new one by Jason and some of the guys behind Ghost Hunters. Chances of it being any good? Slim I'd say.

I kind of liked Ghost Hunters, but the last few series tried to play it a bit straight (once Grant left), and were reduced to a few "wait, did you hear that?" moments (nope) and some very indistinct EVPs. Could it be more exciting than Kindred Spirits, the other ex-GH show? Not hard!
 

Lizard King

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Ghost Hunting shows might get a bit more interesting now that Derek Acorah is on the other side.Than you Sam er.. Derek
 

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I liked Ghost Adventures when it first started out, as it felt different from the majority of US ghost shows, partly in that it took the time - half the show - to discuss the history and stories of the location, to give us context, and partly that they weren't throwing DEMON around willy-nilly and seemed to possess at least a modicum of self-awareness. Now? Now they appear to have entirely swallowed their own hype, and are only worth watching for absurd moments like Bagans hopping on a rail in a gentleman's club to recreate the leg-waving movements of a stick figure they'd just captured. They fully warrant the 'for entertainment purposes only' disclaimer that appears before eps shown on Really.

I vaguely recall another show that seemed decent to start with, but then in the last few eps the Main Guy - there's usually a Main Guy in these shows, I've noticed - was latched onto by a DEMON and the season finale I couldn't even be bothered to watch focused on his fight to rid himself of it. He might as well have been called Winchester it felt so contrived and fake.

There was one last I recall, likely on Syfy when it still had I's instead of Y's, that revolved around a team of four, each member of which would bring a mysterious case to an initial meeting. The cases would be whittled down to the most promising two, then the team would split into pairs and head off to investigate. It was actually pretty decent, but strongly undermined by a cameraperson who seemed to be on a permanent caffeine rush, if the endless wavering shots, crash-zooms and whip pans were any guide. Note to producers: forced, overdone shakycam does not lend your programme immediacy; it just gives your viewers headaches.
 

gordonrutter

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I liked Ghost Adventures when it first started out, as it felt different from the majority of US ghost shows, partly in that it took the time - half the show - to discuss the history and stories of the location, to give us context, and partly that they weren't throwing DEMON around willy-nilly and seemed to possess at least a modicum of self-awareness. Now? Now they appear to have entirely swallowed their own hype, and are only worth watching for absurd moments like Bagans hopping on a rail in a gentleman's club to recreate the leg-waving movements of a stick figure they'd just captured. They fully warrant the 'for entertainment purposes only' disclaimer that appears before eps shown on Really.

I vaguely recall another show that seemed decent to start with, but then in the last few eps the Main Guy - there's usually a Main Guy in these shows, I've noticed - was latched onto by a DEMON and the season finale I couldn't even be bothered to watch focused on his fight to rid himself of it. He might as well have been called Winchester it felt so contrived and fake.

There was one last I recall, likely on Syfy when it still had I's instead of Y's, that revolved around a team of four, each member of which would bring a mysterious case to an initial meeting. The cases would be whittled down to the most promising two, then the team would split into pairs and head off to investigate. It was actually pretty decent, but strongly undermined by a cameraperson who seemed to be on a permanent caffeine rush, if the endless wavering shots, crash-zooms and whip pans were any guide. Note to producers: forced, overdone shakycam does not lend your programme immediacy; it just gives your viewers headaches.
Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files I think.
 

Sharon Hill

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I vaguely recall another show that seemed decent to start with, but then in the last few eps the Main Guy - there's usually a Main Guy in these shows, I've noticed - was latched onto by a DEMON and the season finale I couldn't even be bothered to watch focused on his fight to rid himself of it. He might as well have been called Winchester it felt so contrived and fake.
Was the "demon" main guy show Paranormal State with Ryan Buell? His thing was that demons were always looking for him. Eventually, metaphorical ones got him. Very troubled dude. I attended a presentation he gave to a college audience and he knew basically nothing about the history of the paranormal. Yet, the kids in the front row thought he invented ghost hunting. It just goes to show that it is not really about a serious search for ghost evidence, no matter how hard they fake it.
 

WanderingFox

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Was the "demon" main guy show Paranormal State with Ryan Buell? His thing was that demons were always looking for him. Eventually, metaphorical ones got him. Very troubled dude. I attended a presentation he gave to a college audience and he knew basically nothing about the history of the paranormal. Yet, the kids in the front row thought he invented ghost hunting. It just goes to show that it is not really about a serious search for ghost evidence, no matter how hard they fake it.
That sounds very much like it, yes! Thank you. Something almost tragic about the man, I'm tempted to say. And sadly true. Even if they start with good intentions, it's so, so easy to lose their way, it seems.
 

Sharon Hill

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That sounds very much like it, yes! Thank you. Something almost tragic about the man, I'm tempted to say. And sadly true. Even if they start with good intentions, it's so, so easy to lose their way, it seems.
Tragic indeed - a gay man with a strong Catholic upbringing. The demons certainly must have felt all too real. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ryan_Buell
 

WanderingFox

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Tragic indeed - a gay man with a strong Catholic upbringing. The demons certainly must have felt all too real. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ryan_Buell
Undoubtedly. A close US friend had parents of a particularly fundamental sort, and growing up realising you yourself don't fit their strict, fiercely enforced edicts, well...

Just recalled another show I think worth mentioning, one I actually own a cheap box set of (currently buried among dozens of box sets) - Ghost Detectives. It's ropey hokum, for sure, but it has one, glorious redeeming feature - it's hosted by Tom Baker. No-one hams up a ghost story with the ghoulishly-overblown relish of Tom "biggest grin in the universe" Baker, and it's endlessly entertaining, even if the editor too often forgets to cut back to the investigators until after several awkward, frozen seconds have passed.
 

OrsonSwells

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I was wondering why with all these shows no footage of any fully-formed, full-bodied ghost has ever been recorded. At least I don’t think it has! I mean, I believe people do see these things - or think they do - so maybe it says something about the nature of the way these things are perceived more than anything else.
 

Sharon Hill

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But don't you find that those with strong religious beliefs tend to have stronger, darker hauntings which they attribute to demons rather than ghosts?
It would appear so. We atheists aren't bothered by demons at all. There's the solution - just don't believe in 'em.
 

AlchoPwn

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It is people like these "ghost hunters" who are responsible for the decline of the USA globally. They represent a plague of stupidity that has overtaken the place, and perhaps C-19 will cure some of it? Ignore science at your peril people!
 

Swifty

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It is people like these "ghost hunters" who are responsible for the decline of the USA globally. They represent a plague of stupidity that has overtaken the place, and perhaps C-19 will cure some of it? Ignore science at your peril people!
They're even worser than foreigners AP, they should be killed to death, reincarnated then do it again until they cry.
 
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