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TV Ghost Shows? Real or BS???


Evad

Paranormal Novice
So, my wife and I are just sitting here, watching "My Ghost Story, (Caught on Tape)" tonight. I feel that these shows do a major dis-service to the ghost hunting community. While I do feel that some of these shows are airing some things that could be classed as paranormal, most of these shows are forcing experiences for ratings. I get that they are popular, and that is cool in itself because it does bring attention to the media, but man! OK, so you investigate an old theater that Billie Holliday sang at before, you see a strange formation in a picture, and all of a sudden, IT'S CONFIRMED!!!! Billie Holliday is haunting the theater. I just love jumping to conclusions and calling it fact! Do these shows bother you, or do you love them? I think I am riding the fence...
 

Jeff Crowell

Paranormal Annoyance
They're BS.

I think when they first rolled out they were legit, at least in some ways, but they degraded rather quickly. Now they're all about ratings and "making" the next paranormal celebrity.
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
So, my wife and I are just sitting here, watching "My Ghost Story, (Caught on Tape)" tonight. I feel that these shows do a major dis-service to the ghost hunting community ... Do these shows bother you, or do you love them? I think I am riding the fence...
I probably feel much the same way about most of the UFO reality shows. If you had your way how would you put such a show together?
 

Goggs Mackay

Administrator
Staff member
These shows use the same techniques that horror/suspense movies use to build suspense etc. That's all they are. It's silly to even think you can commission a series of these things and shoot them to order expecting to actually record paranormal phenomena there and then. It's a certainty with these topics that you can expect nothing to go to plan.
 

Evad

Paranormal Novice
I probably feel much the same way about most of the UFO reality shows. If you had your way how would you put such a show together?
I think that in the paranormal series, even though the show was terrible, Fact or Fiction had a good idea. The way that they went about determining the legitimacy of an event was something for the Home Shopping Network community though. I would stop pushing suspenseful music over the top of suspected events to create highs and lows, forcing outcomes to conclusion, and playing to the WWE crowd (Those who know it's fake, but just won't admit it). I would also begin the show with the paranormal information regarding the situation, and present the real facts regarding the surroundings, explanations that have been stated previously, and examining them both. There is no real need to come to a conclusion since we all know that it is damn near impossible. For instance, I have been watching a NOVA episode called "Ghosts of Machu Pichu". The engineers plainly state how the large rocks of granite were cut, moved, and carved. Ancient Aliens would have you believe that the Inca were too primitive to understand such Engineering. I believe that the past is not as complicated as we would hope it to be. I understand that my show probably be cancelled within weeks, but I could at the least sleep at night. I'm not sure how Bill Birnes does it.
 

PosturePal

Paranormal Novice
My wife and I make bets on who says "Did you hear that?" first in any of the ghost hunting shows. I don't buy any of them for studying the phenomena, but they are good for entertainment if you're determined to watch television and there's nothing else on.

One show I do like is Paranormal Witness, because they don't pretend to try to answer any questions or gather any data. Just plain, good ol' ghost stories, many of which I believe quite possibly happened the way they say. (But you gotta pay attention to the difference between what SyFy shows happening, and what the witness says happened.)
 

Goggs Mackay

Administrator
Staff member
@PosturePal - I quite agree - I think Paranormal Witness is pretty good. Just recreations of testimony and it does not pretend to be anything other than that. Damn some of that stuff is scary too.
The ones like TAPS are really just prime-time tittle tattle crap.
 

Sean Elifritz

Administrator
I think My Ghost Story and Ghost Adventures are the most entertaining ghost shows on TV. Are they 100% real? As far as My Ghost Story goes my guess is no. Considering that its stories come from multiple sources I just assume that probably at least some of them are fabrications or innocent mistakes. But I do get the impression that they try pretty hard to weed out fraud. Ghost Adventures? Beats me. All the time people are accusing them of being fake but nobody ever presents any evidence of it better than "It's fake because I say it is."

I recall that when investigating Bobby Mackey's TAPS took a little bit of a shot at Ghost Adventures. They said something about the history of the place being exaggerated. They then proceeded to lay out a history of the place that sounded pretty much identical to what GA said, lol. So it seems to me these shows are pretty competitive and if one knew that another wasn't on the up and up they'd say something about it.

I don't know what the ratings for these shows are; who's more popular than who. But My Ghost Story, Ghost Adventures and Paranormal Witness are the most fun to watch to me and the only ones I check out regularly. Ghost Hunters bores me but I watch an episode here and there. The most dull ghost TV show I've seen is The Dead Files. Two episodes was enough for me. Don't know how anyone can watch that.
 

Jeff Crowell

Paranormal Annoyance
I remember a serious rivalry between TAPS and Everyday Paranormal...the guys featured on Ghost Lab. Apparently Jason Hawes of TAPS made a derogatory comment or five regarding EP and they fired back. Shortly after that Ghost Lab was off the air (unrelated to the TAPS thing I'm sure, and more related to poor ratings). EP tried to stage this "Paranormal Revolution" thing at the start of 2011. Their moto was "1-1-11 Revolution" or something like that. They were going to "break down current barriers in the paranormal" and all that. Their revolution lasted less than six months, then I saw nothing more about it.

There is rivalry in the shows, which makes the paranormal groups and the shows that feature them all the more pathetic. It's all about ratings and who-likes-who and egos and such, but then again, honestly, you get that same shit with paranormal groups outside of the television shows.

There does seem to be a come back of the story-telling type programs. I think those programs are a bit more legit because they deal with the eye witnesses who, sometimes, are just every day people who've had unplanned and un-looked for paranormal encounters. They're the pure-type of encounters....not ghost hunters or koolaide drinking believers wandering around reportedly haunted houses who then see an orb and, thus, have had a validating ghost experience in their opinion. No, the best stories are from people who never considered ghosts or the paranormal throughout their lives until, quite suddenly, they encounter something they can't explain. Those are the best witness accounts out there, I think.
 

Sean Elifritz

Administrator
Well, that seems like a strange opinion to me. It seems to go along the lines of "Ghosts are only interesting if no evidence is presented." All the time people are making the claim that Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures, Ghost Lab, etc., are fake. But they NEVER offer a single sliver of evidence for it. Always just opinion. Seems to be a case of "Looks too good to be true, therefor it is. Case closed." I'm not claiming to be sure there isn't some chicanery going on but I'm not going to automatically conclude with any degree of certainty that there is no ghost hunter on the planet that isn't a liar when the people claiming it never present any evidence backing up their assertions. Gut feelings aren't good enough.

I have noticed, however, that when the reality-style approach is used with UFOs the teams never find ANYTHING. Nothing at all! Unless you count encounters with wildlife as some kind of evidence. Oh, occasionally they'll get excited for a few seconds. Then the show goes to commercial and when they come back they always admit to having found precisely dick. Now, if fakery is routine with these shows then why is nothing ever found for UFOs but audio and video evidence is frequently collected for ghosts? If you can fake one then you can fake the other. Tells me there might be a hell of a lot more ghosts in the world than there is flying saucers. Logic suggests that if all these shows are nothing but deliberate tricks than an equal amount of hoaxed evidence should be presented regardless of what's being looked for. But the UFO, Bigfoot, etc., shows never find jack shit while the ghost shows collect weird audio and video evidence (Not incontrovertible proof, of course. But I don't know how it's even possible to scientifically prove something that isn't physical in the first place) by the truckload.
 

Jeff Crowell

Paranormal Annoyance
But they NEVER offer a single sliver of evidence for it.

I had many more but they've been yanked.....probably due to threats of lawsuits and all that. It's suspected that this type of behavior from Wilson is why he's really not on the program any more, but that's speculation. I can say this is why they don't do live investigations any longer. There's plenty of evidence of it on the Internet. Mostly Youtube using the programs' actual footage as proof.

Anybody who doesn't believe that these shows don't fabricate paranormal activity is naive beyond compare. These shows are in existence for one reason and one reason only....ratings. Paranormal activity = ratings = $. No activity and no $.

Finding evidence you, as in any individual, finds credible is a personal journey. I recommend if you have the time and money, go into the field and discover these things for yourself. Certainly don't trust a damn thing you see on television or on any of these programs.

I, for one, am done with the "What was that!?" and "Did you HEAR that?" and the "Look! A fully bodied apparition! Aw......the camera was behind us/looking the wrong way/turned off...etc."

I've followed Ghost Hunters from the start, and I've seen plenty of episodes where Wilson, especially, has offered more than questionable evidence. Another episode that's more than questionable is when he had the covers pulled up by the "prostitute ghost." Hawes himself backpeddled on that one during the reveal? Why? I think it's because he knew it even looked faked on the video.

Of course there are TAPS empathizers and friends who refuse to believe what's in front of their faces. That's fine, most of them have a vested interest in the success of groups/TV shows like these, or are just naive as I stated before.
 

Sean Elifritz

Administrator
There's been a kzillion of these shows, a kzillion of seasons, a kzillion of episodes and that's all you have? I've looked into this video before and he might have faked it and he might not of. Hardly conclusive either way. I don't know what your position on UFOs is. But we've got plenty of 100% examples of fakery in that field. Does one trick automatically mean the entire subject is fake? But as I already mentioned several replies ago I rarely watch Ghost Hunters. Ghost Adventures and My Ghost Stories are the best ones imo. And I'm not even saying ghosts are real or that all these shows are. I don't know if they are or not. But I do know I'm always going to put evidence above stories no matter what the subject is. If all evidence collected by these shows is fake, as you seem to be alleging, then there are no ghosts. Seriously, if ya' have hundreds of ghost hunting teams across the country visiting virtually every alleged haunted house in existence and none of them are able to find real evidence, the only evidence they present being all fake, then why in the hell would you believe the witnesses either? That's what my argument was mainly about, you saying stories are better than attempts at collecting evidence. Makes no sense to me.

As far as going to one of these places myself I've thought about it. There's a place within several miles of me alleged to be haunted and I've considered going out there to see if I can experience anything myself. Whether I'll ever get beyond the thinking about it part remains to be seen. I'm mostly interested in seeing if I can capture an EVP. Of all the evidence presented on these shows the EVPs are what impress me the most. Part of me has thought there's too damned many of them out there to all be fake, the other part that they must be all fake. I'm just not sure. But I do know that if there has ever been a single legitimate EVP then surely it is possible for a TV show to capture a legitimate one as well.
 

Jeff Crowell

Paranormal Annoyance
Eh.....there's MUCH more, but it's clear I'm not going to convince you. Where you find the video I included unconvincing I found it very convincing, then again I suspected he was faking it the first time I saw it.....live. Not conclusive to you, very conclusive to me. It sounds like you need evidence that every single episode of these programs has faked activity in it. That's an unrealistic filter setting, of course.

Being more intelligent and critically thinking, I don't take what i see on TV at face value....I look into the motivations behind them as well, and when you take that into account the so-called paranormal activity you see on Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventurers takes on a new meaning......dollar signs. As long as people like yourself continue to buy into the illusions and delusions of these types of programs, the producers will keep churning them out. Thank God we're over the peak of them, though. The general public, unlike yourself, has grown tired of them and the fan base is far smaller, these days. The profit in them is diminishing and even the desperate attempts to hoax on-camera events is becoming less and less. These programs served their purpose.

Just for clarification, when I'm talking about paranormal "drama" shows (as they're classified now), I am talking about the Bigfoot/UFO/Ghost shows......all.

Peace.
 

Sean Elifritz

Administrator
Lol, I never said I believed they were real. I said I don't know and that I'm not going to just proclaim that everything on them is fake out of thin air. Btw, what do you believe? Or are you convinced nothing involving the paranormal is real like Angelo?
 

Sean Elifritz

Administrator
So long as such programming is regarded as entertainment, you have little reason to expect anything else.
Well, Gene, the argument in here seems to be that ANYTHING put on TV regarding the paranormal must be fake. The paranormal can exist only outside of what can be shown or discussed on television. There has never been a legitimate or even partly legitimate show on television about the paranormal EVER and there never will be. That seems absurd to me. If everything on television about it MUST be fake then it seems to me that the subject must be altogether fake as well. And if that's the case then what the hell are we doing here anyway?
 

Jeff Crowell

Paranormal Annoyance
Sean you're dealing with extremes...all or everything. I'm not. There may be a few genuinely paranormal events captured on these television shows, but that just makes matters worse. Let's say a full 85% of these shows is BS, if a fraction of the remaining 15% is true then it's bound to get lost in the noise. I have no interest in wasting my time nor lowering my standards to try to determine which-is-which (paranormal or hoaxed) when it's clear the motivations behind the shows is for money and ratings, not any genuine interest in advancement of the paranormal. Besides, in my strong opinion, if you hoax one, single thing, you're not worth paying attention to from that point forward. It may be the "baby in the bathwater" BS, but if the show's caught faking even one event it should be pulled from the airwaves immediately. I have a zero tolerance factor concerning hoaxing but I guess I'm just a realist like that. After all if you hoax one thing what can you possibly say after that which would be true? Who knows?

As one of the guests of the PC recently said, these shows are the low-hanging fruit of the paranormal. They're like.....Walmart. The dregs of society love them and they're nice and cheap in concept. Not a lot of thought behind them, just a lot of "DUDE!" and instant-possessions.

Yes, they're bullshit. Thank God they're also temporary.
 

Sean Elifritz

Administrator
I find it hard to believe any of them are faking 85% of it. How could that much faking possibly not get out? But anyway, you've been talking about Ghost Hunters a lot and I've already told you I don't watch that show often. In fact, I'd guess I've seen only 1/4th-1/5th of the episodes. And btw, that video you showed is not what I thought it was. When you linked to it I didn't bother watching, just figured "been there, done that." But I watched it a few minutes ago and that's the first I've seen of it. I thought you were talking about one where a bookbag, or duffelbag, or backpack (Something like that. Hard to remember) gets pulled up. That's the one I always considered could go either way. But I admit the one you've posted here looks quite a bit more damning.

As I've said the ones I primarily watch are Ghost Adventures and My Ghost Story. If there's evidence out there of faking by the Ghost Adventures team I'm not aware of it. I do remember a guy trying to fake something on a live special on that show but he was just a guest and they called him out on it. That's not to say that if I find out tomorrow that Ghost Adventures is fake I'm going to be shocked. After nearly 20 years of watching one previously-believed-genuine UFO case go down the tubes after another nothing shocks me anymore. It very well may be staged but until I have something specific to go on I'll keep an open mind about it. I've already had a "might be fake" viewpoint about these shows from the beginning. Just not close-minded enough yet to say "definitely fake" just because it's on TV and is entertaining. If I ever do get to the stage where I'm thinking "definitely fake" about everything I see I'll probably just drop out of looking into the subject because what would be the point?

My Ghost Story is a different ball of wax. That show has submissions from different paranormal teams all over the country and it seems to me that each segment should be judged separately.
 

Jeff Crowell

Paranormal Annoyance
I think you're idea of 'faking' it and mine are, again, entirely different. My filters are set much more realistically to include exaggeration and over-hype as being faking. For instance, walking up the stairway of a 100+ year old brothel and hearing a 'creak' at the top of the stairs. Freezing and making a big stink that it was a ghostly footstep when in reality it was the stairs shifting from your own damn weight....knowing how real construction works and understanding that the anchor points of a stairway are at the top and bottom, this wasn't too hard to figure out. But explaining the creak as a common occurrence of an aged building does not contribute to the "OMG, that was a GHOST!" element that's needed to keep these pathetic shows on the air. So, with that in mind, 85% is a generous number. I'd say closer to 90 to 95% of those experiences are completely faked.......or at the least exaggerated if that makes you feel better.

Sure, My Ghost Story is mildly entertaining because it's just stories......not always people wandering around trying to explain them or provoke them. In that I mildly agree with you.
 

Sean Elifritz

Administrator
Yeah, apparently our ideas are different because I don't care about the creaks or the cold chills or the "Did you hear that?" or any of the other personal experience stuff. What matters to me is whether the EVPs and videos they get are real, misunderstood, or deliberately fabricated.

And I wouldn't call My Ghost Story "just stories." There's more audio, video, and still images presented on that show than any other I've seen. Just stories is more like Paranormal Witness.
 



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