Skip to main content link. Accesskey SSkip to tab navigation link. Accesskey 1Skip to sub navigation. Accesskey 2

                                                                                                                  Yard:   Pool:   Keg:   Bedroom: More Weather

Blogs


Ghost Hunters Meets Groundhog Day
   posted on 01/07/2011
The Big Kahuna is a Steeler's Fan
   posted on 11/29/2010
Review of The Exorcist Documentary
   posted on 10/28/2010
Atheists - the New Panda Bears
   posted on 09/17/2010
The Mystical Side of Conception
   posted on 09/15/2010

Comments


Ghost Hunters Meets Groundhog Day
   02/05/2011 by Hal
The CEO (Chief Exorcism Officer)
   01/24/2011 by melania
Ghost Hunters Meets Groundhog Day
   01/07/2011 by Pesci
Ghost Hunters Meets Groundhog Day
   01/07/2011 by Bob
Atheists - the New Panda Bears
   09/17/2010 by Jon Heim
Atheist for Jesus
   09/15/2010 by Pesci
Atheist for Jesus
   09/04/2010 by ChrisB

Ghost Hunters Meets Groundhog Day


Created on Friday, January 7, 2011      Bookmark and Share



This is a followup to my previous blog that debunked the Ghost Hunters. For some reason that blog is near the top of the search results on Google. If you're new to the site, I hope you check me out every now and then - I am a skeptic from Buffalo, New York.

I used to watch the show as a goof. That may sound strange but I really did get a good laugh at the absurdity of the things that happened on the show. If you look at the show as a skeptic the show really does look at something that The Onion might have made. I had not seen the show in quite a while so I thought I would check in the other day. If you have infants you know how often you find yourself channel surfing while looking for some entertainment while you feed your kid.

I don't know if it was the time away or something else but for some reason the show seemed... different. I noticed something that I had not noticed during the awfulness that happened every week: the show really is the same show over and over again. I thought it would be fun to capture the essence of the show (insert snickering) while tossing in my own analysis. PLEASE feel free to add your own using the Comment button below.

Getting the case

Ghost Hunters Activity:
Jay and Grant are interrupted while out on the job. Who is on the phone? The case manager du jour. It turns out that someone, somewhere hears creepy things at night in an old house.

My Observations:
As luck would have it, a camera crew happens to be in both places. That's dedication, I tell you. I'd be a little leery of a camera crew showing up when the plumber was emptying my drain but apprenatly I'm in the minority. Also, Jay and Grant are so good at their profession that their uniforms never ever get dirty. I can't read my email and drink coffee without spilling some on my shirt. And can you blame them for getting so excited when they get the call? You can't find creaky old houses just anywhere.


The drive

Ghost Hunters Activity:
The crew hops in their vans and heads to all different parts of the country.

My Observations:
Can't the guy with the sleeves suck it up and hop on a plane? If they are going to be driving these black vans around they could at least paint a red stripe on the van and pretend they are on the lam. Then again, I don't remember a girl ever allowed in the A-Team van (Face had his own car for that kind of tomfoolery). And what's with the walkie talkies? I'd be sick to death of the people in my own van on that drive - I can't imagine being woken up to hear inane drivel from the auto behind me.



Preparing to investigate

Ghost Hunters Activity:
Jay, Grant and #3 walk up and pretend that they've never met their host.

My Observations:
At that point they get the low-down on all of the supernatural events that necessitated that these pros make the roadie so that they can... well, I'm not sure exactly what the goal is. I love when there are children onsite. Jay and Grant will get all serious and then make it clear that their mission has taken on even more importance because the children are possibly in danger. That's right - no need to involve CPS. We'll bring in guys with cameras and dousing rods to solve the problem.



Ghost Hunters Activity:
The crew prepares for the investigation that is to come.

My Observations:
Translation: they run a lot of wires. They drive cross country to go to these dumps and they can't make a radio shack run to buy some wireless equipment? I can see the temperature of my beer keg from my phone and you can't see a little video without running wire? I'm half expecting them to run string between dixie cups to capture sound (not that it would be any less scientific).




The investigation

Ghost Hunters Activity:
The lights go out.

My Observations:
This is always a dramatic event on the show. I think that is by design as it is one of the few things on the show that is ever caught on camera. And why turn off the lights? Are you saying that the supernatural things only happen in low light? What the hell does that tell you?



Ghost Hunters Activity:
Jay and Grant head to a room so that they can try to reproduce what they were told in their meeting with the host.

My Observations:
This is where the producers of this show got it right. If the show can show an ounce of skepticism they somehow get more cred with the people that want to believe. It is is an age-old practice that was probably first mastered by the religous community. Once the credibility is established their claims are more easily believed by those that want to believe.



Ghost Hunters Activity:
The fat guy and the guy with bad hats interviews the ghosts.

My Observations:
Usually this is done with tape recorders in case nothing happens on camera (and trust me, nothing happens on camera). Once in a while there will be a noise off in the distance while they were asking questions and the director will cue the dramatic music. I know that I've asked this before but if the dead could make interfere with the natural world, why are they always doing it just off camera? Here is a hugely popular show that has a bevy of AV equipment. So what is the best that any one of the billions of dead can do? A floor creak.



Ghost Hunters Activity:
Someone breaks out the K2 meter.

My Observations:
Party time! They've got a tool that they can use to communicate directly with the dead - why did they bother with anything else? I would have left the lights on and the other AV equipment in the truck. Hell, why not just walk around outside their HQ with the damn thing. There are BILLIONS of dead people - wouldn't they be everywhere? The answer is simple, of course. It is just a little box with lights on it.



Ghost Hunters Activity:
The thermal cam/thermometers/dousing rods are brought out in the name of science.

My Observations:
If they are looking for water or want to get a tan these instruments would be very useful. Why stop there? I could see a little game of "Spin the bottle" to point out the direction of the ghosts.



Ghost Hunters Activity:
The female investigators get some camera time

My Observations:
I don't know why they pair these two together as the show didn't need any more inane conversation than there already is. And why do they get scared? Isn't the point to find something scary? Worse, the one girl looks really hot when the lights go out and then I'm disappointed when the lights come back on. Then again, she might say the same about me if she had the chance. The black light seems to be slimming - go figure.



Ghost Hunters Activity:
The cast taunts the undead

My Observations:
It seems that in the spirit world the ghosts are just lounging about, probably playing cards or eating gallons of potato chips now that cholesterol is no longer a concern. They really don't want any part of being on national tv. To flush out those pesky spirits you need to challenge them, no unlike a child throwing a tantrum to get the attention of his parent. I'm telling you, these investigators know all the tricks. The real skill is not going too far with your taunts. You wouldn't want the ghost to do something really violent (off camera).



Closing up the investigation

Ghost Hunters Activity:
Not unlke the setup, for some reason we need to see shots of them putting all of the wire back on spools. Their host then shows up looking fresh as a daisy. They inform their host that they can't say anything until they've looked at all of the tape.

My Observations:
Call me crazy but I'm guessing that something was filmed out of order.



Media analsis

Ghost Hunters Activity:
The underlings watch and listen to all of the tapes.

My Observations:
Why can't the stars help out with this? I don't know about you but I'd be pretty pissed if I had to listen to hours of nothingness while the hosts made time at the hotel bar. And you'll see the obligatory teaser before they go to commercial. One of the guys will jump up out of his chair and then you get to hear from the sponsors. When they come back from commercial you'll see that the cast member was reacting to a faint noise on the audio tape. Someone call 60 Minutes.



The reveal

Ghost Hunters Activity:
Jay and Grant sit down to tell the host that they didn't really capture anything but that they had experiences.

My Observations:
Comedian Bill Burr did a bit on this part of the show. He made the point that you never walk into work the day after the show saying that proof of the afterlife was finally found. Of course, the host is always impressed because they are on national tv. How else would they act? "I'm sorry, I could have brought out my betamax and captured just as much as you did".



Ghost Hunters Activity:
Jay and Grant say that they'd love to investigate there again.

My Observations:
Then why the hell don't they stay there another night? My favorite example of this is when they supposedly had extended communication with an entity using the K2 meter. If that is the case, why aren't you setting up camp and calling every scienctist within 500 miles?



Ghost Hunters Activity:
Jay and Grant say that the host shouldn't fear the entity because it did not appear threatening.

My Observations:
Fortunately there is a defense against threatening spirts. Just point one of their cameras at yourself and you are guaranteed to be immune from any kind of supernatural activities. Maybe that's what their angle should be - selling cameras to ward off evil spirits.



Ghost Hunters Activity:
Jay and Grant tell the host that they are just a phone call away if something bad happens.

My Observations:
That's right - if they see the bat signal they'll load up the vans with all of their cameras and electrical wire and dousing rods so that they can.... um... do whatever it is they do.



Heading home

Ghost Hunters Activity:
Jay and Grant will say 1) how much they enjoyed the investigation and 2) how much they'd like to come back and 3) that it was very successful. The fist bump closes the show.

My Observations:
Successful? How? Because nobody died? And is it just me or is that fist bump really... awkward? More often than not they will act like they have performed a real public service. Congratus guys, I'm glad that someone caught that inaudible sound at hour 5 on the tape recorder that was sitting around in the library.




Oh well, in the end people still watch because they want to believe. You either have a working brain and find this stuff funny or you think that these clowns are really doing something more than making money.


Some thoughts on the misconceptions regarding disbelief   More in JANUARY   
Created by Hal on Saturday, February 5, 2011 at 8:13:46 AM
I think it could be just as entertaining to watch them solve plumbing problems. It could also have the added element of honesty.
   
Created by Pesci on Friday, January 7, 2011 at 7:37:17 PM
Their genius is wanting to be appear to be both scientific and skeptical. Of course they are neither but never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
   
Created by Bob on Friday, January 7, 2011 at 5:05:27 PM
I watched once or twice, not the whole show. What a waste of time. I wish I was "smart" enough to think up some stupid scam like this....... They don't DO anything and are making a mint.
   


Skip to main content link. Accesskey S