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It's official; Ghost Hunters fakes it



brownie

Skilled Investigator
I think someone mentioned the British program 'Most Haunted' in the thread. I watch that occasionally. It's on the Travel channel here. Yvette Fielding is the lead investigator along with her hubby and an official skeptic and other assorted peeps. I kind of enjoy this one because they're screamers!....even the men! And her hubby and another man tend to become physically ill when around certain spirits.....their tummies become upset.:D

And their tipping-table/ouija board is a blast to watch! When they get that going, it rolls and rolls. I lalso like how some of the investigators become personally possessed for a few moments to answer questions or scream obcenities- often it's Yvette's long-suffering hubby!;)

And I'm still waiting for the 'Most Haunted' cameras to catch a complete filming of the mystery throws - the investigators will throw a little stone or roll a ball, then we mysteriously see it being thrown or rolled back. Well, how about a camera set up to catch all angles of the room? :rolleyes:
 
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Paul Kimball

Guest
Paul's show, which I suspect he did on spec (forgive me if I am wrong about that, Paul), is just as well produced as any of the others I have seen.

I don't do anything on spec. ;)

---------- Post added at 05:08 AM ---------- Previous post was at 05:03 AM ----------

The audience demographic is miniscule and an entertainment minority. I am yet to see anything remotely interesting, refreshing or original from those who create paranormal themed TV shows.

The audience demographic for almost all types of programming is fractured these days. Such is the entertainment universe we live in. If you seriously think that these types of programs are going to disappear, you're going to be sorely disappointed. I know of several new ones that will be headed into production over the next year. If not ghosts, then it will be something else - in much the same way that monster movies always do well, even if the monster du jour changes from time to time.

In terms of you finding anything interesting etc., I would suggest that you could literally run into the ectoplasmic ghost of Abe Lincoln taking the first Lassie's ghost for a walk in your living room, and you would find some way to completely dismiss it. :rolleyes:

As I said before, I don't see why this is such a bugaboo for you guys, however. Even assuming fakery (which I think is wrong to do), it's not like anyone is lying about something important here - like WMD in Iraq, for example, where there are real world, deadly consequences. They're ghost shows, for crying out loud. Take a chill pill, and turn the channel.

Or perhaps constantly bashing them, and the people who watch them, somehow makes you feel good about yourselves, and superior to others. If so, I can only say good for you, and how sad.

And I say all of this as someone who usually had my tongue planted firmly in my cheek when I "investigated" ghost cases / stories, but still respected the experiences of the people who were telling those stories.


I think the real problem with GH et al is that they're so deadly earnest. Now, if you want to go after them for not having a sense of humour, or even wonder about it all, then that's something I agree with completely. :)
 
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Paul Kimball

Guest
The paranormal scene was a total joke and I'd be more than happy to welcome a show that changes my mind. I started off in the scene skeptical and ended close to postal with the amount of BS I was exposed to with from the paranormal crowd.

Then with the utmost respect, might I suggest that you walk away, and spend your time with something else. Honestly, if it aggravates you so much, then why do you continue to engage with it?

---------- Post added at 06:03 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:01 AM ----------

And back on topic - GH may or may not fake events in their shows. At the end of the day, they don't utilise the protocols that qualify anything they do as "research" so it doesn't really matter either way.

Which is sort of my point. It's television, not a PhD program in quantum physics. Anyone who expects solutions from a TV show is delusional.

It's like expecting pro wrestling to be a fight where the outcome is open to question... and then complaining when you finally learn that it's just entertainment.

That kind of thinking is a woo all of its own. :rolleyes:

The point is not to judge a program against some mythical perfect standard of science, but rather against the standards set by its own genre, or "world" if you will. I would argue that Ghost Hunters and shows like it have clearly succeeded, if for no other reason than they have gotten people like you to fulminate about how bad they are. Somewhere, the producers are laughing all the way to the bank.
 

The Pair of Cats

a.k.a Philip Deane
Paul.
While i previously lumped all of the "Ghost Hunter" style shows into one very disgruntled basket i must admit i have not viewed your show yet.(Although i am going to check out the ones that you have provided.). I started watching the English show "Most Haunted" and initially i gave them kudos for at least making an attempt at a halfway decent show, but that soon dissolved into ectoplasmic goo. So i did what you have recommended and just turned off!! I have since briefly perused the other shows and done that as well.

Interestingly enough, Paul, here is a clip of an Australian "Ghost Hunter" show called "Haunted Australia" starring our old mate "Jose Collado". Specifically at 2:26min where he is commenting on some EVP work conducted by the team.


Paul. In your work with "Ghost Cases" did you experience anything on location that you considered more weird than normal (for want of a better expression).
 

The Pair of Cats

a.k.a Philip Deane
Jose. Why the animosity? Why the venom?
I have no grudge against the show. I had previously mentioned some Australian versions of Ghost Hunter style programs, this one that happens to include you, of all people. The show's production values appear to be on par with any of its contemporaries.I simply had a copy to the link and posted it.
And since this is a thread about these programs and the veracity of such i felt it prudent to point out that countries other than the US or UK have attempted their own versions.
Now one might ask why do you seem so sensitive about it. You openly denounce and discredit these style of programs (which i happen to partly agree with you on, although i tend to just turn the channel) yet here you are in one yourself. Was this the program that nearly caused you to "..go postal".

And why would you think i would be disappointed that i wasn't asked to appear on it?
 
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Paul Kimball

Guest
Now that really is being delusional. So where is the marketing research that you spoke of earlier? The point I am making is paranormal themes TV shows are nothing but regurgitated programming. It's Police Academy in infrared.

I'll tell you what - unless you're a TV producer, let's just agree that you don't know what you're talking about, and move on. If you are a TV producer (and let's remember that there's a very big difference between being on a show, and actually making one), then you're not a very good one if you don't understand the basics of how the North American media market works, and why niche programming of all sorts, no matter how regurgitated, is successful. Indeed, the very familiarity of the programming is what makes it successful.

And if you don't have the market research, I'm certainly not going to give it to you. Trade scerets and all of that. But the proof is in the pudding - lots of us make a lot of these shows, and we make a fair bit of money doing it. Res ipsa loquitur.

It's entertainment at it's lowest.

That is your opinion. It hardly qualifies as fact. The facts are that these types of shows are successful, and profitable (I should know - just made a sale to Thailand, of all places). And it is for precisely that reason that they will continue to be made... much to your chagrin, no doubt. I'm not saying that's good, and I'm not saying that's bad. It is what it is.

None of this has anything to do with the original topic of the thread, however, which is whether or not GH fakes things, so I'm going to steer things back in that direction.

---------- Post added at 08:40 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:35 PM ----------

Paul.
While i previously lumped all of the "Ghost Hunter" style shows into one very disgruntled basket i must admit i have not viewed your show yet.(Although i am going to check out the ones that you have provided.)...

Paul. In your work with "Ghost Cases" did you experience anything on location that you considered more weird than normal (for want of a better expression).

Yes, I did have things happen that I considered outside the range of the easily explainable (you know, the world Jose seems to live in), but that doesn't mean that I think they were paranormal in nature, either. Rather, they were simply unexplained. In the end, I walked away the way I walked in - a healthy skeptic, with a respect for, and interest in, the subject.

And I have walked away. One season of "ghost hunting" was enough for me - not because I became embittered or think it's all bollocks, like Jose obviously did / does, or because it wasn't profitable (it most certainyl was), but because I had satisfied my own curiosity, and have many other things I want to do, some of which are paranormal-related, but most of which are not.

Ahh, a travel show... to dream the dream.

But then I guess that Jose would tell us that all travel shows are the same, so clearly there is no point producing a new one. :rolleyes:
 

AdamI

Skilled Investigator
The trouble with a paranormal TV show is that paranormal events are rare, and they do not appear to occur on command.

Imagine Meteorite Hunters! Four astronomers show brilliant fireballs, meteors, and comets falling to Earth every week!

Man would that be a snooze. See the problem? It would consist of four guys sitting around at different locations at night going "whoa! look! I see one! oh, sorry... it's a satellite" and then "ooh! oh sorry a plane..." Pretty soon they'd have to start editing in some CGI meteors. :)

Live paranormal TV is a non-starter for the same reason. It would have to be fake. Dog don't bark on command.
 

Jeff Crowell

Paranormal Annoyance
Then with the utmost respect, might I suggest that you walk away, and spend your time with something else. Honestly, if it aggravates you so much, then why do you continue to engage with it?

---------- Post added at 06:03 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:01 AM ----------


Paul,

I've said the same thing to Jose and gotten no response. He rants against his cage and throws poo at anybody he can with such a sincere amount of anger and frustration it's a wonder why he doesn't just walk away since it pisses him off so much. It reminds me of a former host of the PC; if this topic and the discussion of such, pisses you off so much, walk away.

Jose, you're doing nothing but causing defensive reactions and angering people to the point they no longer listen to you nor take you seriously, regardless of how proven or scientific your stance is. Logic and reason shuts down, they call you an ass, and move on. In the end you've accomplished nothing. Want to argue a point, fine, but do it respectfully and logically. Bring your emotions into it and you're just a pacing badger in his cage....ignored.

Now, back to why I originally posted this topic; I don't for a second believe Ghost Hunters, nor Paranormal State were started to prove the paranormal. These programs were set to fill a niche in the 'reality' television shows; the "reality" of paranormal investigation...MTV's Road Trip with ghosts. I sincerely believe that for the first two seasons, maybe some of the third, some, if not most, of the evidence caught on GH was indeed genuine, but then there was more pressure for ratings and paranormal activity brought in the ratings. The TAPS guys broke under the pressure, sold out to the $ signs, and started faking their hits. That's when they fell from grace, but a show designed to actually try to prove the paranormal through quantum mechanics, psychology, or even theology wouldn't last too long. These shows are faltering (Yours excluded Paul; I've not seen it, either. I can only speak for the American programs I've watched, which is most), and the longer they drone out and show falsified evidence the more damage they will do to a field of investigation some of us are genuinely trying to make a go of.
 

The Pair of Cats

a.k.a Philip Deane
My final take on paranormal themed shows is...I really don't care if these shows are produced. I just don't want them plaguing the valuable real estate on my screen that is better utilised with white noise. They're great for a laugh. That's pretty much it. If you love them, great. That's your problem, not mine. Paint drying in my opinion.

Why do you bother watching TV at all then? "...the valuable real estate on my screen.." . Do you ,indeed watch too much TV if you ascribe so much importance to the medium?
If you don't like the shows there are 2 options:
1.Change the channel
2.Turn the TV off
I agree the Paranormal shows are collectively ,mostly rubbish but i just change the channel when they are on.

Jose, you're doing nothing but causing defensive reactions and angering people to the point they no longer listen to you nor take you seriously, regardless of how proven or scientific your stance is. Logic and reason shuts down, they call you an ass, and move on. In the end you've accomplished nothing. Want to argue a point, fine, but do it respectfully and logically. Bring your emotions into it and you're just a pacing badger in his cage....ignored.

Totally agree Jeff.

I am yet to see a Paranormal TV show that doesn't peddle regurgitated bullshit or contrived crap ala Extreme Paranormal. How about a skeptical TV show about the paranormal? I'm sure that would last about a minute on air considering the fact the paranormal scene aren't interested in being skeptical.

Then why did you allow yourself to be involved with one of these regurgitating, bullshit peddling shows? Was your show any different? Or was it because of that fact that you nearly went postal (as you say)?

Now, back to why I originally posted this topic; I don't for a second believe Ghost Hunters, nor Paranormal State were started to prove the paranormal. These programs were set to fill a niche in the 'reality' television shows; the "reality" of paranormal investigation...MTV's Road Trip with ghosts. I sincerely believe that for the first two seasons, maybe some of the third, some, if not most, of the evidence caught on GH was indeed genuine, but then there was more pressure for ratings and paranormal activity brought in the ratings. The TAPS guys broke under the pressure, sold out to the $ signs, and started faking their hits. That's when they fell from grace, but a show designed to actually try to prove the paranormal through quantum mechanics, psychology, or even theology wouldn't last too long. These shows are faltering (Yours excluded Paul; I've not seen it, either. I can only speak for the American programs I've watched, which is most), and the longer they drone out and show falsified evidence the more damage they will do to a field of investigation some of us are genuinely trying to make a go of.

Yes i think that do quite a bit of harm to those of us who are genuinely interested in finding some kind of truth in the paranormal. Unfortunately TV is only concerned with ratings and giving the viewing public what it wants. As Paul has indicated there are several other shows waiting in the wings to step into any void or to add to the already crowded paranormal genre.
 

Xylo

Paranormal Adept
Imagine Meteorite Hunters! Four astronomers show brilliant fireballs, meteors, and comets falling to Earth every week!

Funny you should mention that. I saw an episode of a show where guys did just that...searched locations for meteorites. Apparently they were good at it and were able to make a decent living selling the meteorites to buyers. (Some of the meteorites actually have gem quality stones in them!)
 

Simonemendez

Skilled Investigator
There was a paranormal show I liked VERY much. It was on TrueTV (that channel Jesse Ventura's show was on) and there were 3 investigators, but my FAVEorite was a psychic medium named John Oliver. (Swoooooooon.....) Oooo I had a crush on that'un. (I'm also crazy about that other John Oliver the funny 'news' guy [ I think, for the UK] ) Oliver and team only investigated unsolved murder scenes, such as Jon Bonne Ramsey. (Oliver picked up a local security guard as the one who broke into the family home and took the girl to the basement). I wonder what ever became of that 'lead'?
What do you skeptics think of that team? The channel suddenly without warning dropped them, and I don't know why.
 

Xylo

Paranormal Adept
Ahh, then that is different from the Monster, & UFO Hunter shows that I saw. Because they never found anything.

Seriously, another aspect of the Ghost Hunting shows that is quite amusing is the frequent over promising and under delivering. Many of the shows begin by describing phenomena that would truly be interesting: fully body apparitions, glowing eyes in windows, etc.

But they always end up finding crappy unconvincing EVP's and seeing nothing of interest.

Lance

Which is why I like the guy that does "River Monsters" on AP. He goes out and actually reels in a few fish. They might not be exactly what he was hunting for, but they're big fish!

But seriously, the appeal of these Paranormal shows is in the "what if" category. People, in general, want to believe that there is an afterlife and the presence of various pieces of evidence of ghosts (whether real or fabricated) lends credence to that belief.

For me, the appeal of the show is one of curiosity. I would love to see a single piece of irrefutable evidence make it's way to the television. And then there are the personalities...where do I go from here? How do the individual personalities address the "evidence" or "feelings" that they are having? Do they hold up their "sword of God" or do they run like schoolchildren?

Depending upon the outcome, I usually find it entertaining for at least 20-30 minutes. Besides, it's also fun to hear the owners in denial when told that their house has old wiring that is emitting high electrical fields, or radon gas or carbon monoxide.
 
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Paul Kimball

Guest
These shows are faltering (Yours excluded Paul; I've not seen it, either. I can only speak for the American programs I've watched, which is most), and the longer they drone out and show falsified evidence the more damage they will do to a field of investigation some of us are genuinely trying to make a go of.

Believe me, I agree with you... which is why I've never watched a single full episode of any ghost hunting show, nor have I ever watched any UFO documentaries other than the ones that I've made, plus David Cheniack's last film and my friend Mike MacDonald's The Shag Harbour Incident.

The problem is that you either get disbelievers like Collado, or true believers - there's little to no room for an honest and open-minded skeptic.

---------- Post added 05-20-2010 at 12:00 AM ---------- Previous post was 05-19-2010 at 11:59 PM ----------

But they always end up finding crappy unconvincing EVP's and seeing nothing of interest.

To paraphrase my favourite Jedi - only a Sith deals in absolutes. Or a believer, or disbeliever - the Sith of the paranormal. ;)

---------- Post added at 12:03 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:00 AM ----------

The paranormal is not worth the time of day.

Then I can't imagine why you're here, or what you could possibly contribute. Even Lance, a disbeliever to the core, frames his disbelief - at least from time to time - with reference to actual cases, and to my knowledge hasn't ever said something like "the paranormal is not worth the time of day."

As I'm sure your time is extremely valuable, I think I'll do you a favour and save you the trouble of wasting anymore of it here.

Consider yourself banned.

---------- Post added at 12:13 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:03 AM ----------

Hi Paul,

Don't you think you were rather harsh with Jose?

Nope. He's a jerk, with nothing to offer but trolling... making matters worse, he doesn't know what he's talking about.

My experience is that the American cable reality shows pay quite poorly, unless your show is a multi-season hit.

Yes, getting several seasons under your belt is the way to make the real money of syndication.

Having worked on a few (though not as a producer), I certainly saw some tough times for a few producers. And I also saw some go on to great success. In general I avoid working on such programs since I have seen several post houses lose their shirt when a producer stopped paying his (or in a couple of cases, her) bills.

Then that was, I would suggest, a lousy producer.

But maybe the network where your show aired are more lucrative. I don't really know much about Canadian TV.

I haven't gotten rich, but I'm not yet bankrupt either. But even with small budgets, there's always money to be made. Any producer who tells you different is flat-out lying... which is, contrary to popular belief, bit part of a producer's job description. ;)
 

codex

Paranormal Novice
Oh no - is that fake too?

I think the date on the YouTube vid. was early Nov. so it slipped my radar until today. Sour grapes or not, regardless of her reasons for 'outing' them, since they're faking evidence it's pretty much a done deal for TAPS and their little show. There's no worse crime in science or investigative research than fabrication.
 

hemi

Skilled Investigator
It has been my personnel and professional view that the truth is always in the middle. So take this with a grain of salt. I don't think that all the evidence you see on Ghost Hunters is fake but some of it may very well be exaggerated to get ratings for Syfy.

I’ve looked at the Ghost Hunters TV show footage on youtube and studied it frame-by-frame (Grant got his jacket pulled). I also listened closely to the audio, where a voice clearly says, “You’re not supposed to be here.”


Here’s my analysis.


“YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE HERE”

That voice is alarmingly clear. During my own ghost hunts, I’ve never heard anything that audibly crisp or like someone was right there, saying it.
Then again, I rarely hear things audibly when I’m conducting research (I don't get to many chances to "ghost hunt" by the way). I rarely capture any EVP, either. Audio is not one of my stronger areas.However, Jason and Grant have documented increasingly clear EVPs during their research. In my experience, this seems to be a skill — perhaps related to rapport with the spirits — and most ghost researchers improve as they investigate a variety of sites. So, while this was a very unusual and audible voice, I think it’s possible in a profoundly haunted setting… and that’s what they chose for their Halloween 2008 show. Also, at Jason's blog he points out that the voice was so clear, he asked if someone had said anything. Likewise, it looked to me as if Grant was asking the producers if they were in the wrong location… if they weren’t actually supposed to be where they were at that moment. So, I don’t think that Jason, Grant or the TAPS team faked the voice. I also trust the integrity of the SyFy channel. There are other, natural explanations, but I don’t think that Jason, Grant or the SyFy channel set this up.


GRANT’S JACKET PULLED

The second controversial moment was the tug on Grant’s jacket… if it was that.
If you watch the video, frame by frame, you’ll see that the collar moves oddly just before Grant stumbles backwards.
However, the fishing line explanation doesn’t work. We might see the line highlighted by the cameras, or a shadow on the wall when the cameras moved in. It’s possible to do that on a recorded show. However, on a live show, the production company couldn’t take that chance. Here’s a bigger problem with the fishing line explanation: Grant’s jacket was open at the neck. If line had pulled on his jacket enough to throw him off balance, it would have jerked the neck opening of the jacket as it pulled him backwards, slightly choking him. In my opinion, Grant perceived it as just his jacket, but he was actually forced backwards by something else. The only visual manifestation — besides Grant stumbling — was the movement at the collar a split second before he stepped backwards. I can’t explain what happened. I have no idea, and can’t even guess. Strange things occur in haunted places. That’s one reason we keep investigating them: We’re looking for explanations, but we often leave with more (and new) questions than answers. The jacket tug baffles me.
 
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