Ghost Hunters International

Karen Frazier
spooky castle

In January of 2008, Ghost Hunters International (GHI) debuted on the Sci Fi Channel. A spinoff of the popular series, Ghost Hunters, which is billed by Sci Fi Channel as a "docusoap" that followed plumbers who are also paranormal investigators, GHI took paranormal investigation to a new level with investigations in exotic haunted locales all around the world.

The Ghost Hunters International Cast

The original cast consisted of lead investigators Robb Demarest and Andy Andrews (formerly of GH), tech manager Brian Harnois (formerly of GH), case manager Donna LaCroix (formerly of GH), tech manager Barry Fitzgerald and investigator Shannon Sylvia.

Sylvia left after the first season and was followed in short order by LaCroix, who left because of complications from Crohn's disease, and Harnois and Andrews, who both left when they became fathers. The current cast includes Demarest, Fitzgerald, Brandi Green and former Ghost Hunters cast members, Dustin Pari and Joe Chin.

While most of the team members were experienced ghost hunters prior to appearing on Ghost Hunters' International, a few - like first season alumnus, Shannon Sylvia - only had a small amount of investigatory experience prior to signing on with the team.

The Locations

The premier episode of Ghost Hunters International featured investigations of England's Chillingham Castle and Scotland's Mary King's Close. Since that first episode, the GHI team has traveled all around the world with stops in:

  • New Zealand - Larnach Castle
  • Peru - Real Felipe Fortress
  • Philippines - Diplomat Hotel
  • Germany - Frankenstein Castle
  • France - Capucins Quarries
  • Romania - Citadel Râsnov
  • United States - Grant Wilson and Jason Hawes of Ghost Hunters Inn, the Spalding Inn (on an episode of GH).

Investigation Style

GHI's team, led by Demarest, employs what they term as "scientific debunking". According to Demarest, the team seeks first to debunk. It is only when they cannot find other explanations that they declare a location as haunted.Led by equipment manager Barry Fitzgerald, the team uses a variety of equipment and methods to investigate hauntings. They have attempted to contact spirits by playing music of the era and by recreating circumstances under which the reported spirits lived. Fitzgerald has a large number of interesting - although scientifically unproven - ideas for investigation, and he is often seen unveiling some new piece of equipment or method.

Occasionally, Fitzgerald's experiments yield interesting results. However, the team mainly relies on presentation of the tried and true as evidence: photographic and video anomalies, personal experiences, electromagnetic fields (EMF) and electronic voice phenomenon (EVP).

In an interesting side note to the EVP, many of the EVPs captured by the Ghost Hunters' International team have been in English, in spite of the fact that the location is in a non-English speaking country.

Controversy

There has been some controversy surrounding GHI. While the show is clearly a spinoff of Ghost Hunters, GH's Hawes and Wilson were vocal in the initial season proclaiming that the GHI show had nothing to do with TAPS or Ghost Hunters. Many fans found these claims surprising, since a majority of the original cast members (with the exception of Sylvia and Demarest) were cast members of Ghost Hunters.

In the past few seasons, Wilson and Hawes backed away from those claims and have invited the GHI team to investigate their B&B, the Spaulding Inn.

Another source of controversy was Sylvia's appearance on another paranormal show, Paranormal State, that ran concurrently with the first season of GHI. Shannon lives in a reportedly haunted school house, and the Paranormal State team came and filmed an investigation before Sylvia became a cast member of GHI. While neither Sylvia nor Pilgrim - the production company for GHI - saw an inherent conflict of interest in this, the fans felt that there was.

Further sources of controversy include Harnois' abrupt and unfriendly departure from Ghost Hunters and public fighting with Wilson and Hawes.

About the Show

Fans can tune in to the Sci Fi Channel on Wednesday nights at 9 pm to view the foreign locations investigated by the GHI team. The show alternates seasons with its parent show, Ghost Hunters and is currently in hiatus while the team travels and films investigations in new locations.

Whether you enjoy a good ghost story, or you just want to vicariously enjoy the architecture of drafty castles and mansions around the world, this just may be the perfect show for you. If it sounds like just your cup of tea, tune in and tour the haunted world with the GHI team.

Ghost Hunters International