spirits

End of the road for the Ghost Hunters

I never seen Ghost Hunters as anything more than entertainment. I never thought for a minute it had any true scientific value. I tuned in because of the interesting places they went. They got to "go behind the scenes" and got full access to places the rest of us wouldn’t be able to go. The idea of investigating a lighthouse in the dead of night, or a battleship or a sanatorium, just sounds like so much fun. How could you not be thrilled to do it?

The show was interesting because of the debunking they would do. I enjoyed the aspect of finding out what could make people think they had a spirit when in fact there were everyday explanations of what people saw, felt and heard. It was pretty obvious the mind was playing tricks and the power of suggestion is pretty powerful.

But now, Jay, Grant and the rest of the team are just too damn lazy to get off the couch to actually do any investigating or debunking for that matter. Do Kris and Amy have chronic fatigue, is that why they’re always sitting down?

And what is with this, "If you make a noise, we’ll leave" crap? If something makes a noise on your command doesn’t that mean you should stick around and check it out? What are you stupids doing?

Steve and Tango were still fun to watch, but even they seem more concerned with being pranksters than focusing on the task at hand. I’m beginning to wonder what kinds of bets they have going when we’re not watching.

Things have been going down hill all year, but the icing on the cake was when they became too involved in their "Inn" to do a Halloween special. This was always their most interesting location, but now they can’t be bothered. Even though the Pro Wrestlers detracted from the show, it was still wildly entertaining and interesting to watch. Now we just get to watch Steve fart on live television. Classy!

Was it the controversy over the jacket pulling incident that made them shy away? It’s been quite awhile since that incident took place, but the more I read about that, the K2 meter and some of the gadgets they use the more far fetched it all seems. Like I said, I never thought they were scientific in their approach, but armed with these hokey devices it just makes the whole experience laughable. And not in a clever, amusing way, but more of a sad and embarrassed way. Some goof builds a device with blinky lights in their basement and Jason and Grant can’t wait to go running around in the dark with it saying how cool it is and how no one else has one.

I’ve been an avid watcher for the past few years, but I’ve missed quite a few episodes this year and to be honest, I just don’t care. My interest is gone. I’ll probably catch up on them at some point, but right now there are a lot of others things I want to watch. This is the last year for me, the show and the crew just don’t interest me any more. I’m more inclined to tune in for Ghost Hunters International (if it ever comes back on) simply because the locations they go to are fascinating. But as for Ghost Hunters itself, this is the end of the road for me. We had a good run together, but I’m just not that into you.

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Paranormal Activity – Movie Review

First off, the jittery camera work and swinging camera motions made me somewhat motion sick. About halfway through the movie I felt queasy and light headed. Just fair warning if you’re susceptible to motion sickness you need to prepare yourself.

I went and saw this movie last night and for a low budget film this kicks ass! To get a sense of what you’re in for it’s a movie length episode of Ghost Hunters or Ghost Adventures. Toss in a little Blair Witch action and you’re good to go.

I won’t go into any of the details of the movie since that would spoil it, but the premise is simple: Micah and Kate are experiencing something odd in their home and Micah goes out and buys a video camera to document what’s going on. He puts the camera on a tripod lets it run through the night. We are watching the footage that has been found after all the events have taken place.

It starts off mostly as a game, Micah wanting to capture something and make his girlfriend feel better about living with him. But something is happening, and the lack of sleep and helplessness starts to take its toll and soon the couple is tired, scared and desperate. They begin to lash out at each other which seems to feed this entity and soon it’s all spiraling out of control.

We’ll leave it there for the details of the movie. Half the experience is seeing it all unfold. I had a great time watching this, despite the motion sickness caused by the jerky camera motions. I’m not thrilled with the ending though, I thought it would have been done better. We won’t go into the details, at least not yet, but I think it went a little too Hollywood and broke with the spirit of the rest of the movie. But that aside this is good stuff and it shows that if you have a worthwhile story you don’t need $100 million in special effects.

If you have any interest in the paranormal, enjoy Ghost Hunters or Ghost Adventures or thought The Blair Witch Project was good then you’ll have a fun time with this one. Lots of bizarre things going on and you’re constantly scanning the screen to see what’s coming.

Definitely worth seeing!

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Ghost Lab – Episode 2 – Tombstone

I tuned in for the second episode and found it to be about as quirky as the first one.

In this one they head off to Tombstone Arizona. Other groups like Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures claim Tombstone is a hotbed of paranormal activity. Considering the violent and numerous deaths, they might be on to something. Zak and his group at Ghost Adventures even claim they may have caught some spirits in the “act”. Can the spirits still do that?

The Klinge brothers do a really quick investigation in the Bird Cage Theater. They don’t even seem to make it out of the main entryway. A speaker starts giving feedback and that’s enough for them to say the place is haunted. An “EVP” is recorded in which the brothers hear “Right Quick”. Personally, I hear nothing but static and of course them getting bleeped out. How do you know the speaker doesn’t have any power going to it? It’s not like they pulled the cord all the way out and verified it didn’t connect to anything. It also seemed to get more agitated when their lights got closer to it. Interference? Without going through the rest of the building they head outside to the trailer and start to analyze their trophies.

Then it’s off to the Crystal Palace where they seem to spend all of five minutes and declare the place haunted because of personal experiences.

No evidence is found in the old mineshaft so at least there aren’t any claims of a haunted miner; Scooby and Shaggy will be so relieved.

In Boot Hill they have motion detectors going off and then produce a picture of a shadow figure. This gets them excited and by that, I mean really excited. Good thing they didn’t have any guns or they’d be shooting them in the air. Perhaps they did in fact capture something on camera, perhaps it’s just a trick of light or a glitch with the lens. In either case it didn’t actually get them to spend a whole lot more time out there looking for more evidence.

It doesn’t seem like they spent more than two hours in any one place. And as soon as their equipment starts to record something the team races back to their trailer to analyze it rather than going further in and grabbing more evidence. Why aren’t they doing a full investigation and then tinkering with their toys once the sun comes up?

Just like before the evidence is pretty light but the team declares paranormal activity and hauntings. I’m not sure feedback through a speaker, static on a recorder and a grainy photograph justify that determination.

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Ghost Adventures – Season 1 and some Season 2

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It would seem all the really cool kids have their own ghost hunting show on TV these days. They have become the crime dramas of a decade ago; every network needs to have one. Even though it’s been on for two seasons I just discovered Ghost Adventures on the Travel channel. With so many shows on the air each one needs a gimmick and these three investigators, Zak, Nick and Aaron lock themselves in with the spirits so there is no escaping. Further, they take a more direct approach to the spirit world with a lot of provoking and daring the spirits to touch, hit or slap them. It’s all fun and games until a spirit punches you right in the balls. Their locations are a little different too, they have chosen locations which seem to have a turbulent past, prisons, asylums, murder sites and battlegrounds, not just the cozy house down the street, so their methods may be somewhat appropriate.

Surprisingly, Zak is a rather good narrator. He seems genuinely interested and excited about the past and his voiceover work brings the story to life. He seems ready to jump into that demon hole, climb that rickety-assed staircase, or find out what’s behind the locked door. But I have to say, when they begin to find evidence, things take on a whole different atmosphere and the members of the high school AV club show themselves.

I have never heard the words “Dude!”, “I swear to God bro!”, “Oh my GOD!”, “What just happened”, or “Did you just see that?” yelled so frequently. After a few minutes it becomes comical. Isn’t this what you were expecting to happen? Why so shocked?

Further, as with so many of these shows now days, everyone is all badass to call out the spirits and dare them to do something, but when something happens, they completely soil themselves and go running out the room like a stuck pig, the camera shaking like a scene from Cloverleaf! If you’re going to taunt and mock the spirit world, it’s not a good idea to gasp, scream and completely lose it when you think you get some sort of response. Way too many times these guys go into hysterics when they hear noises or think they see something. If you are sitting in a junk filled attic and something behind you falls over, like say a doll or birdcage, calling for Jesus and hauling tail is going to make me laugh and shoot soda through my nose, not make me believe in the paranormal.

Even Zak has a tendency to jump like he got a cattleprod to the buttocks and practically falls over when he feels something. Try to keep your cool, it looks better on film.

And the evidence gathering? Well, that’s seems sketchy at best. Their methods are pretty goofy, the evidence is questionable, and I sure as heck don’t hear what they hear. I’m not saying they aren’t capturing something; I just have no idea what it is. Cold spots, orbs, flashes of light, or something falling over really isn’t evidence to me. You’re outside, there are flashes of lights from cars. Bugs look like orbs and make weird patterns on camera. Cold spots could just be a draft. Doors opening and all those pops and creaks could just as easily be the building settling. To me, the paranormal is something can’t be explained through normal methods. Everything I’ve seen so far has perfectly valid alternate explanations.

All of that aside, I still like the show and have fun watching. I watch these sorts of shows because of the places they get to visit not because I expect them to actually find anything that would be considered credible. I can’t say they’ve found anything noteworthy, unusual or even something that makes me scratch my head; it’s more they’re adding to the urban myth of a place. But they have style, so it’s all good.

So why do I keep watching these shows? Because they make me laugh, and I think it would be a great job to go running around abandoned buildings in the middle of the night with the chance you might get something creepy to happen. You wouldn’t have to ask me twice to come along on one of their adventures.

They’re still entertaining and I’m still watching Season 2 and the upcoming Halloween Special. I’m pretty excited these guys will have their Halloween Special, then Ghost Hunters will have theirs. At least I assume Ghost Hunters is having one since I haven’t read anything about it yet.

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