Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Ghosts and ... Animal Planet?

It's no mystery to you if you read this blog that I enjoy the ghostie shows, like Ghost Hunters. My own philosophy allows for ghosts, but I'm not convinced that the things people claim to see are spirits of the dead. I'm willing to be convinced, but I've yet to see evidence that could not be faked. I've seen some fairly convincing stuff on Ghost Hunters, but whether or not you believe them to be real depends on whether or not you trust the people doing the show. And that, unfortunately, is just not enough. Nor is the approach of most ghost shows scientific. So I'm always on the lookout for new shows that might have more science.

What you may not know is that I'm also fond of Animal Planet. My favorite reality show is Animal Cops, and I've been watching it somewhat religiously while working at home. It's really good background for my writing.* I love seeing puppies rescued. And seeing cat hoarders always reminds me why I don't need to get a pet for myself. Anyway...

It only seems natural, then, that I'd check out the new ghost show on Animal Planet, called "The Haunted". It features ghost tales that involve animals reacting to ghosts. Happily, I wasn't expecting much because I really didn't get much from it. This show is basically Discovery Channel's "A Haunting" with pets. And if you've ever seen "A Haunting"... well, it's basically an anthology show with poorly acted dramatic re-enactments of ghost stories that purport to be real. And while I don't doubt that the people recounting the tales actually experienced what they described, the overly-dramatized way the stories are presented makes them ... well, ghost stories. Entertaining, but not enlightening nor useful in figuring out what hauntings really are.

"The Haunted" isn't much better than "A Haunting", but has a bit less of the dramatic recreations and more historical footage, particularly when ghost hunting groups got involved. Again, it's not bad per se, it's just got to be thought of as entertainment, not education.

So I'll probably not bother to watch it unless it happens to be on.

* Ok, I need to explain my creative process a little here. I have background noise on partly to keep me from concentrating too hard, and sitting at my computer for too long. When I'm in the groove, really writing hard, though, I do not hear or see the TV. So if I talk about shows that help me write, they just distract a part of my brain for a little until I get into my writing, at which point they are irrelevant.