The Sci-Fi channel’s popular show, Ghost Hunters is a complete waste of air time. What began as an experiment to prove the existence of the unexplained, has now become an experiment in futility. Mildly entertaining, its viewers must be blind from watching endless “night vision” footage and numbing video-flashes supposedly caused by unexplained phenomena captured on video. First of all, why would any spirit want to be captured on video as a flash of light?? If I’m coming light years through a dimensional time tunnel from “the other side”, I’d wanna be noticed. I’m definitely going to be more than just a few footfalls and a cold spot. You’re gonna see and possibly hear me through the void just so I can prove what a great corpse I really was. Not to mention my egotism in showing that I can come back and seriously haunt your ass just because I can. I’d be walking through walls, murmuring things, playing the keys of a piano, and moving furniture people! Nevermind the exhaustion behind the constant call from the self-proclaimed, “investigators”. Since there’s no real degree in parapsychology (Is there?) and the expert training seems to just require just nerves and recording equipment, then anybody can be one. Just look at the idiots in the show and you’ll know what I mean.
Each episode begins with a basic formula: a reported haunting. The team is assembled (all wearing their neat t-shirts with company logo!) to collect some video footage and other relevant data over the course of an evening. Then, the footage is reviewed and the findings are presented to the person who called them in the first place. Usually the people who call are believers, but in the interest of ratings, there are some skeptics thrown in for good measure. Shake, stir and you’ve got a good recipe for a show.
The biggest problem with the show is the pressure to come up with valid, interesting and useful data that doesn’t seem too contrived. In almost every episode–big surprise–they find some sort of anamoly that constitutes awe and bafflement. This is what gets to me every time. For example, there can be mysterious balls of white light that either flash by a camera or, like dust caught in sunlight, just linger on the screen around a subject. Ooo, Ahhh! Sometimes, there’s music that seems to come from nowhere. Other times, there are high-level readings on their thermal scanners, which bring those silly moments in the show: “Wow! My meter just dropped from 75 degrees to like, 5, dude! Oh, wait! It’s back up to 70 over here…now 10!” It kind of reminds me of the Olympics…that’s 4.5 from the East German judge. Boo! Hiss!
I guess what I find most hard to believe is that every episode pretty much brings some sort of ‘evidence’ that there is life beyond the grave. Not to mention the stories that these locations also exploit. Oh yeah here a young girl’s body was found slashed from ear to ear and stuffed into a closet in this room. They say the man who did it was a jilted lover who decided that if he couldn’t have her, nobody would. Notice that none of these stories ever involve an old woman who nobody even knew. Also, these spirits are always from a murder which took place in the 1800s or something. Didn’t any contemporary killings take place? Or, does that just add to the mystique? My personal favorite are the side glances. After the team leader walks into a room talking to himself, says things like, “Mary, are you with us? Can you reveal yourself to us right now?” Silence. Then, in the video playback you’ll hear something that sounds like a whisper but it’s often garbled or just a statement of the obvious. Maybe it’s the spirit repeating their own name or some other useless phrase like, “I am sad” or “Get out”. Never anything useful. Again, if I’m coming back, I’m speaking in WHOLE sentences. I may even do a silioquy. Why not? I’d have nothing but time because, I’d be dead! Am I right? Am I missing some sort of reason why the dead always seem so damned boring? Why don’t they say things that are enlightening or philosphical? Nope. They always just repeat their own names or utter incomprehensibly. Frustrating.
Finally, there’s the silliness of it all watching these jerks go from room to room asking the air to speak to them. They’ll often say to one another, “Did you hear that?” or, “Did you see that?” while you, The Viewer, didn’t hear or see anything. Then there are the really hilarious episodes where each investigator gets ridiculously angry at the other for messing up the equipment, ruining the shoot and/or the footage, or making some human error that could potentially sabotage their whole investigation. That’s at least mildly entertaining as well.
The only home run that they may or may not have hit involved the movement of the bedsheets. You see that the investigator guy is clearly sleeping, but something manages to pull the covers from off his feet. It’s cool, even if it was fabricated or rigged. It was worth the endless video of heat-sensor footage reminscent of the movie, The Predator with Arnold Schwarzeneggar. Maybe that’s what this show needs…Arnold saying to the producers (in night vision green), “Come with me if you want to live!” with ghosts chasing after the investigators in full white regalia (through walls even). Now that would be something!