Friday, August 07, 2009


Hubby-Eric was away today, so I had some fun by watching a bunch of ghostie shows. Now, if you read my Sunday Reviews, you already know that I'm a fan of Ghost Hunters. I like the show because it takes a scientific approach, and although it's way over-produced (too many sound effects) and the investigations are too short and not actually very scientific, I enjoy it for the entertainment program it is.

So today I watched a few episodes of A Haunting on the Discovery Channel to start out. This show is supposedly based on real events, but the action is re-enacted with people who are very clearly actors (some who aren't terribly good) and LOTS of special effects. The overall feel is of a creepy ghost tale told around a campfire. If your TV is both the campfire and the storyteller. The push of the show is that ghosts are evil, and there is an emphasis on stories of horror and pain. It's not really a great show, but it was mildly entertaining for a ghost story. One of the stories I watched had a couple living in a haunted apartment in Ballard (a neighborhood of Seattle). The whole thing was vaguely silly and the effects gave a nice chill up the spine.

Later on, I turned on the Travel Channel and watched something called Most Terrifying Places in America that was fun, but short on anything of substance. It was just a quick look at each place with the stories told by various folks. Again, not bad. I enjoy ghost stories, so I enjoyed this.

The next show on was Most Haunted, and that show is the reason I'm writing this entry. I hated it. The people in that show are so ridiculous it felt like a farce. I know, some of you are thinking "What's the difference between this and Ghost Hunters?" I'll tell you.

The first thing the MH people did was bring in a psychic. Now, I have nothing against psychics... I've just never seen any compelling evidence that they have any abilities whatsoever. And on these shows, I've never seen anything that would even slightly convince me otherwise, because it's not that hard for a "psychic" to do research like anyone else. In any case, this psychic did the usual stuff, acting like Troi in the early episodes of ST:TNG. I'll note that I've never seen GH bring in a psychic (though they have brought along a dowser, which didn't impress me). That's one huge difference.

Once the lights were out on MH, they walked around the site (in this case a boat) and made a whole lot of noise. They never stood still and listened. And they screamed or swore every time there was a noise, even if it was clearly made by the cameraman or by the idiots themselves. For contrast, I've never heard a member of TAPS on GH scream, although there was one memorable episode where one of them yelled and ran. In short, the people on MH were always making noise and screaming at every little thing.

The MH crew held what appeared to be a seance. Ug. I hate seances. They are fiction. They are fun in stories, but stupid in real life. And if you get a group of people together and have them all put their hands on a table, someone will end up moving the table in the dark. I'm sorry, it was just dumb. I've never seen a seance on GH, and if I were to see one I might stop watching.

And lastly, the MH crew decided on an area they thought was particularly active. They sent in one guy, who, instead of constantly screaming, was constantly swearing leading to annoying BLEEEEEEPS as a soundtrack. Then the whole crew went down. One of the women brushed her head against something and started screaming. Then she got hysterical. She cried. She looked and acted completely panicked. Then the frigging psychic told them to run, and they ran around in circles getting lost.

On Ghost Hunters, the crew actively seeks out the ghost, and if one of them brushes their head against something it might spook them (only natural) but then they immediately go back and try to find a logical explanation. They react logically, and if it can be explained logically, even if they themselves don't believe it, they accept that and strike it from the record of evidence they gather.

Furthermore, except for that one instance where a member of GH yelled and ran (and was soundly dressed down for it, on camera), I've never seen the members of TAPS run from a "ghost". In fact, if they thought a ghost was around they would come running toward it. To scatter at the moment when they might have possibly made contact? No, not something you'd see on GH.

But it seemed like they expected it to happen on MH. And the people on that show seemed incredibly frightened of ghosts. They acted like they didn't want to be there. So, WHY GO? I mean, seriously, if you are afraid of ghosts, what business do you have going on a ghost hunting show and pretending to be some sort of expert? Stay home. Your spineless antics were annoying. Maybe little kids might find your panic funny, but I didn't even find it slightly entertaining. Just incomprehensible. You act all excited about going on this investigation, then you RUN when you imagine something has touched your hair? Argh. I'd love to go on a good ghost hunt, and they are wasting film on these ninnies?

Ah well, after my day of watching these other shows, I appreciate Ghost Hunters relatively low-key attitude and logical approach MUCH more. It's still a silly show, but not nearly as silly as other Ghostie shows.