If you haven't discovered Ghost Hunters, you're missing out on some eerily good fun.
About Ghost Hunters
The paranormal has suddenly become a very lucrative field, at least in television, a place where most ghostly TV series used to languish and die. While novels of the macabre, like those from Ann Rice, and various big screen flicks like Ghostbusters have enjoyed large audiences, television never seemed able to sustain the public's interest in paranormal shows. At least it couldn't before the reality TV boom hit big.
Today, there are a number of shows about ghosts, hauntings and more that are drawing a solid audience. Of those shows, none is more successful and high-profile than Ghost Hunters. Whether or not you truly believe that everything presented in each episode is genuine, it certainly is entertaining to watch the adventures of Jason, Grant and crew as they investigate one reported haunting after another. Sometimes they find evidence to support a home owner's claims of paranormal activity, other times they are able to debunk the reports and give the location an "all clear". You never know what will happen as you tune in each week.
The Show Format
Each episode begins with a client's request for help from The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS), a Rhode Island based group that investigates paranormal activity and is the inspiration for the show. The team travels to the location, listens to the client's claims of activity and then spends a night investigating. They comb through hours of video and audiotape, as well as compare any personal paranormal experiences they might have had against the potential evidence. In a segment called "The Reveal" lead investigators share their findings, whether the location proves to be haunted or not.
The cast of Ghost Hunters has changed a bit in the four seasons the show has been on the air, but the lead investigators, a couple of plumbers from Roto Rooter, are the anchors of the show.
Past and present casts include:
- Jason Hawes: Founder of TAPS and lead investigator
- Grant Wilson: Lead investigator and co-founder of TAPS
- Steve Gonsalves: Technical Manager who also analyzes evidence
- Brian Harnois: Former Tech Manager and analyst who is now part of the Ghost Hunters International cast
- Dave Tango: Investigator
- Dustin Pari: Investigator
- Jen Rossi: Investigator
- Donna LaCroix: Former Case Manager/Researcher who has moved on as an investigator in Ghost Hunters International
The Tools of the Trade
One of the most interesting aspects of the show, aside from the paranormal activity portrayed on the show, is the use of a variety of electronics to detect the presence of unusual energy that could be interpreted as a spirit.
- Digital video camcorders: These cameras are used to record any activity that takes place for later analysis.
- EMF detector: This device measures electromagnetic fields. Students of the paranormal believe the presence of spirits may cause an unusual spike or fluctuation in the readings. Ghost Hunters also use the device to track electrical activity from improperly functioning fuse boxes and wiring in an attempt to debunk reports of spirit activity. It's commonly acknowledged that the high readings found around electrical boxes can cause a person to feel strange, as though he/she is being watched.
- Thermal imaging camera: This type of video cam displays images in terms of the heat signature items and people/animals give off. Anything that gives off a red color signature is of special interest because if it isn't a person or animal, the heat could possibly be generated by the energy of a spirit, especially if the signature has a human form.
- Thermal scanner: Normally used to gauge the temperature of a location, a significant and sudden drop in temperature (aka cold spot) is also believed to indicate the presence of a spirit drawing energy from the environment in order to manifest itself in some way.
- Audio recorder: This device is used to record electronic voice phenomena that may not be heard at the time of the investigation, and the show has captured some dramatic and unexplained voice recordings. The investigators will typically ask questions of a suspected spirit presence and wait a moment for the spirit to respond in some way. If a spirit seems to respond directly to a question, it's often interpreted as a sign of an "intelligent haunting", one where the spirit is aware of the investigators' presence and is willing to interact with them.
The Ghost Hunters have documented some memorable adventures over the past four years.
Some of the most dramatic moments include the investigations of:
- Eastern State Penitentiary: In this episode, the team captures footage of a mysterious black figure that seems to appear out of nowhere to run down a corridor and just as suddenly disappear.
- Race Rock Lighthouse: At this location, the team records footage of a folding chair in the lighthouse attic that appears to move by itself after Grant leaves the room.
- The Massachusetts Armory: This episode includes a particularly dramatic moment when sound man Frank DeAngeles is apparently knocked to the ground by an unseen entity. Replays of the footage show Frank's equipment bag rushing up on its own to slam into his body.
There is a lot more action to be seen on Ghost Hunters. If you would like to learn more about the series, view videos from the investigations or watch episodes from the show, visit the Ghost Hunters website. Tune into the SyFy channel on Wednesday nights to catch more episodes of Ghost Hunters.