Ghost Hunter shows, good or bad for paranormal study?

United States
February 12, 2008 11:03am CST
With accusations of staging events, selling out, or just acting "stupid" (running and screaming), are ghost hunting shows actually hurting potential paranormal research?
1 person likes this
8 responses
• United States
12 Mar 08
I have three shows that are currently airing that I will comment on. A Haunting, airs on Discovery Channel: This show doesn't attempt to give in to any particular argument. They take submitted stories, that are backed by several witnesses including a pranormal team and usually a holy man / woman and/or exorcist. While the "educational" aspect of the show is valuable because they take accounts from the actual people involved, alot of the show is a redramatization, even some of the EVP and photo's used, so it is hard to decide as a spectator whether it holds any fact. Ghost Hunter's, airs of SciFi: This show is great for the scientifically inclined. The team is generally made up of scientists, not usually clairvoyant's, psychics, and such. They attempt to prove or disprove paranormal existance based on scientific method. I personally frown on the show and consider the team "paranormal instigator's". Generally, they shake things up, make whatever entities are in an area angry, and then leave, making other people deal with the aftermath. Paranormal State, air's on A&E: This show, in my opinion, is quite possibly one of the best ever made for paranormal investigation. A team of college students, with scientific equiptment, investigate activity and attempt to solve the problems. They use the actually EVP tapes, camera clips, and photo's that were gathered at the scene. The filming is all done real time on location. There is no reinactment involved. The best part about the show after all of that, is that if the team is unable to prove or disprove, or even help the family at all, they call in qualified experts to help, rather than leaving the family in the lurch. I will admit my opinions are very biased, as I am an ordained clergy member, and I also belong to a paranormal research and assistance team, but they are just that... my opinions.
@tessah (6621)
• United States
12 Mar 08
i agree with the point made about these shows bringing in interest and thus furthering awareness of the paranormal world. however, those particular shows that stage certain incidents for ratings and shock value, discredit the occupation a great deal. its very difficult to gain respect in certain "educated" circles in this field as it is. we're looked upon as frauds, farces, and alot of the time, downright nutcases. and the entertainment community that furthers the beleif that we all are card carrying thurozine eaters that bark at the moon is indeed very harmful to any of those trying to do a very important job.
• United States
12 Mar 08
Thanks, both of you, for your comments. I have concerns that too many newly interested "ghost hunters" are participating for the wrong reasons, largely because of this recent flurry of shows on the subject.
@tessah (6621)
• United States
12 Mar 08
im not sure if the interest by amateurs is due to the shows exposure, or the shows are due to the recent flurry of curiosity. the paranormal and occult sciences are very trendy right now. books, tv shows as well as on the big screen. either way i feel your concern is valid. what the "newb" hunter doesnt quite grasp when they go running around graveyards stirring up trouble, is that in their want to discover something.. they cant control what it is that they discover, and most often cannot handle the outcome theyve induced. they not only put themselves in harms way with their ignorance, but others as well, all for the desire to do something they think is COOL. it all starts with oooh's and ahhh's, and then theres the running and screaming that follows, and someone else has got to clean up the mess.
@Tetchie (2933)
• Australia
1 Apr 08
I'm wondering how the paranormal research is actually going - I've not kept up to date with this. Very difficult to capture a visually non physical being. I do think these shows are sensationalized. They have to be to keep people glued to their TV sets. In reality the only interesting part of ghosts/entities is the reason they are ghosts and entities. Not by the behaviour of the people who own the house they have nested in. Peoples behaviour as a result of a ghost is so predictable and quite boring after a while. The stories as to the reason a ghost has remained attached to the physical is what would make a good series. I can clear them and that's how I find out their stories. But it's rare that I buy into the sensationalist fear stuff. If I did then I couldn't do what I do. I think these shows can keep people held in a mindset about this paranormal phenomenon that is a bit old school, like I said - boring.
• United States
2 Apr 08
I hear what your saying about people buying into the sensatiolist fear stuff I believe that is true in some cases. But i think the reason these shows keep me glued to the tv is i have actually had a paranormal experience when i was younger. I think i watch just to see if there are actual ghosts or was i losing my mind at the time. Till this day i still look for answers.
@Tetchie (2933)
• Australia
2 Apr 08
I've no doubt there are 'ghosts', I call them entities and there are different kinds. I wrote a short article on them which you may like to read to give you more knowledge on the subject. I see them and feel them through my inner vision. http://hubpages.com/hub/EntitiesandGhosts Though your own experience may not have been a ghost. Many children have clear vision of non physical realms which unfortunately they lose with time. The spaces they are seeing can be many and varied. Beings can be both benevolent and mischievous - or harmful. You may not get an answer to your question, like just what did I see? But you can re-learn your gift of vision and this may help you remember what you saw. It is something we all have but need to re-flex like a muscle.
@tessah (6621)
• United States
3 Apr 08
chilren dont just "lose their sight over time". it is taught out of them for the most part.. and most dont ever lose it, but it is blown off as something else more "logical"
• United States
13 Feb 08
if anything i'd think these shows are exposing this sort of research to a larger audience - and by doing that, they can only be helping it. i don't know much about what's staged or not, but i will say that "ghost hunters" is a very entertaining show to watch.
• United States
15 Feb 08
If it is entertainment versus inspiration, I definitely think entertainment is winning, real or not. Thanks for the response!
@starr4all (2865)
12 Feb 08
I don't think it hurts research. I think you (general you) either believe in them or not. I don't think these shows are going to make a believer out of anybody. I think you already are if you watch them. Me, I only watch Ghost Hunters on scifi.
• United States
15 Feb 08
The question then is more whether it hurts to have the "serious" scientific community using these shows as proof that ghost-hunting is "silly", something only for entertainment.
@Valenas (1509)
• United States
28 Jul 08
I have watched a few different shows about paranormal investigations, and I must say that the members of TAPS really seem to know what they are doing. They don't dismiss people when they say that they can sense a presence there, but they do not use that, or their personal experiences, as evidence. I believe that is the way that it should be. There is a local paranormal group within my city, and I got excited about it and decided to look it up. Despite the fact that they have an age limit which I have not met, they also have a psychic that goes with them and they use what s/he says s/he senses as part of their evidence, and I do not think that I could deal with that.
• United States
24 Apr 08
I really think that Ghost Hunters is good for the field of paranormal research because they do take it seriously, and they will only make judgments based on solid evidence (EVP and video). While they give their personal experiences some credence, if they don't have solid proof, they tend to be skeptical, and I think that's a good attitude to take.
@joespez (180)
• United States
3 Apr 08
I don't think they hurt true research in any way. I watch alot of the shows posted here and I consider them pure entertainment.
• United States
1 Apr 08
I agree ghost hunters on sci-fi channel.Is probably as real as it gets. I dont see how it hurts anything, if not making people more aware.