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Stop Faking Ghost Shows, Please!


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#1 Truegho

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 08:02 PM

As much as I enjoy watching TV ghost shows, I have to say that I am often quite irritated when I detect that the investigators involved may be faking the supposed paranormal activity. It is soooo annoying. Sadly, such manufactured "ghostly" activity has become far too common in these shows, and this often results in my reaching for the OFF switch of my TV set with a weary sigh.

When I sit down to watch a ghost hunting show, I expect it to be GENUINE, and not just some exaggerated piece of shallow rubbish, with obviously scripted dialogue and over-theatrical behaviour when even as much as a spoon is chucked across a darkened room.

When I first started watching these shows, I did initially think that they were all genuine, especially when the presenter took you into actual haunted places and interviewed the owners and other people there about their reported "paranormal" experiences. However, the more I watched these shows, and the more I read certain devious things about them that raised questions about their sincerity, the more I began to doubt that they were all that they seemed to be. Furthermore, the antics of these TV investigators became so tiresome and predictable that I even found myself bursting out laughing, as they were just getting to be beyond a joke. Just as if you would stay in a creepy, darkened cellar whilst being repeatedly assaulted by an apparent "malevolent entity", and just as if a spirit would immediately - and without fail - respond to your queries of "Is anybody there?" with well-timed knocks.

The fakery and theatrics in a lot of these shows has become so regular now that it is becoming increasingly difficult to know which incidents are genuine and which are staged. It's just like the boy who cried wolf, for one day these investigators could actually experience GENUINE paranormal activity, but if they have generated a rather dogdy reputation for themselves for faking ghostly activity, then they are going to find it very difficult to convince viewers that this time it's all for real.

Even some of the so-called "psychic mediums" that accompany the TV investigators to these supposedly "haunted" buildings can often project a rather ludicrous, questionable impression. "Is there anybody there?" they call out, and on the occasions that they DO appear to contact a spirit, they give pretty thin and vague descriptions which almost anybody who knows how to exaggerate spirit medium capability would be able to do, with no trouble. To be honest, I am quite surprised that these TV ghost shows have been allowed to get away with their exaggerated investigation antics for so long, as there must be millions of people who have sussed them out and, as a result, are switching their program off, just as I have been doing.

Just for once, I would LOVE to see a GENUINE, SERIOUS paranormal investigation show - one whose makers would not feel the need to resort to staging silly ghostly activity in order to inject some kind of "entertainment" factor into the programme to boost up ratings. I would rather endure an hour or so of little paranormal activity from a truthful investigation than be subjected to false "bumps" in the night and manufactured moans and howls from a TV crew who are just doing it to keep up their TV fame.

Come on, PROPER TV ghost hunters - where are you all?

#2 TheresaRHPS

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 11:11 AM

It's been my personal experience, and the experience of many others that I've seen, that the majority of legitimate investigators simply do not want to be involved in television, and for good reason. No matter the integrity of the team or the individual investigators, very little actually have production rights to such shows and are basically at the mercy of producers who are not catering to investigators wanting education and information. They're catering to the layperson who wants a good scare in order to up their ratings. In addition, they need to compress everything into a timeline that moves the story along and is nicely wrapped up in 22 or 48 minutes, lol.

I've worked behind the scenes of an episode of a popular ghost show and the experience has caused me to become quite jaded over it, lol. What you see on TV, while not always a flat out fraud, is often very far from the actual truth.

Instead of wasting my time on all that and having very little say in what comes out, I choose to focus on my main goals in this field. I'm not out here to make a name for myself, earn money, or become pseudo-famous. I'm here to help others, educate myself, and perhaps help further this field along a tad in order to answer some of those universal questions.
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#3 Truegho

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 01:57 PM

It's been my personal experience, and the experience of many others that I've seen, that the majority of legitimate investigators simply do not want to be involved in television, and for good reason. No matter the integrity of the team or the individual investigators, very little actually have production rights to such shows and are basically at the mercy of producers who are not catering to investigators wanting education and information. They're catering to the layperson who wants a good scare in order to up their ratings. In addition, they need to compress everything into a timeline that moves the story along and is nicely wrapped up in 22 or 48 minutes, lol.

I've worked behind the scenes of an episode of a popular ghost show and the experience has caused me to become quite jaded over it, lol. What you see on TV, while not always a flat out fraud, is often very far from the actual truth.

Instead of wasting my time on all that and having very little say in what comes out, I choose to focus on my main goals in this field. I'm not out here to make a name for myself, earn money, or become pseudo-famous. I'm here to help others, educate myself, and perhaps help further this field along a tad in order to answer some of those universal questions.


Thank you for your reply. I take your point about the TV ghost shows not always being straight with the truth, and certainly agree with you that a lot of the producers of these shows are only interested in boosting the "scare factor" up as much as possible, with a view to getting good TV ratings. It's a great shame, really, as many people who love paranormal investigation did initially place their faith in these shows (myself included) that they would capture some GENUINE paranormal phenomena on tape. However, once we all sussed them out, these shows soon became a complete laughing stock.

#4 jimmary

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 11:00 AM

I agree with both of you, though as far as Truegho is concerned, are you talking about strictly English shows or are you including American shows as well? I think I may know of which Engish program you imply. Most of what I see here is that some shows over-sensationalize events, lore, etc. I can't say anything is faked, but it is pretty annoying when the investigators over-react to a form of evidence or push theories that they seem to have pulled right out of their b.u.t.t. Such as with the show, "The Haunted Collector"; yes they can produce a lot of nice evidence, but John Saffis will speak of the belief of a certain phenomena as just theory, but then in the very next scene present the theory as fact. ?!!!! He also has a female investigator (not his daughter; she's pretty good) who has stated she doesn't scare easily, but becomes frightened or freaked out in almost every episode (similar to, but not as bad as Kath on "Most Haunted"). Ugh! And in the end, the whole show seems heavily scripted, with a mostly pre-determined ending of the client giving up whatever object they deem to be the cause of the haunting. I have actually walked away or changed channels during the program because I became irritated with the show.
So I guess it can come down to what a keen viewer can endure. I think to a certain extent all shows sensationalize whatever they are presenting, but faking would be the deathly end to my viewership. As it is, I have enough going on in my own house to keep me busy. Something tapped my foot three times Monday night/Tuesday morning. Hmmm.

Edited by jimmary, 16 May 2013 - 11:03 AM.


#5 Aesalon

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 01:03 PM

I will say, if you look hard enough on the internet you will find some teams have self-produced video 'shows' that are very realistic representations of what actually happens during an investigation. (Unfortunately, being as it is the internet - you will also find piles & piles of useless schlock.)

...once a production company gets involved then you are playing a different game completely and have almost no control over what is shown.
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#6 jimmary

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 08:31 AM

Very true, Aesalon. I wish I had more time to search out these groups and view what they have. I'm not one for watching movies or tv shows on the computer, but if they make it worth my while by posting really good evidence, then I'll give it a shot. I have seen many videos and heard EVPs online, mostly local groups around Houston, but through YouTube I have seen some pretty good stuff. Sifting through all of the crap videos is a pain, though.

#7 CaveRat2

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 09:05 AM

The important fact most overlook regarding any posted evidence is how it is validated. These days any evidence without collaborating support is worthless. Pictures can be faked by any novice well enough to fool most people. EVPs can be hoaxed. And don't even get me started on the outright schlok such as Ghost Boxes and KII meters as communication devices.

Consider as an example one of the best EVPs I have ever captured. By itself it would be great class A evidence. but also it could be duplicated by a good sound engineer as a hoax. What sets it apart is the backstory; 5 witnesses were present, all can be accounted for and were no where near the recorder. And along with the EVP a lamp was picked from a dresser and thrown against a wall. The audio track also captured those sounds, plus the fact the witnesses, upon hearing the sounds, were on the scene and took photos of the aftermath within 30 seconds. The time base verifies the continuity of time. The only one present at the scene at the time was a child who obviously did not hoax this. First of all, she was too young to understand all the details and secondly the audio recorders / amplifiers were sensitive enough she could not have moved without us recording the sounds. All witnesses and investigators also verified no trickery; no hidden lines, or other stuff of this nature. Since 5 of us were present we served as a check on each other. I

I point this out to show that it is not just the EVP, or in other cases the picture, that provides the evidence. Rather it is how it all fits together, how various facts work to validate each other that strengthens the evidence. A single piece of data does little, but when combined with all the facts is what provides the validation needed to provide good evidence. TV shows seldom take the time to build that level of detail. They simply use the spook factor to sell shows.

And BTW, as an aside, the EVP event was not done in the dark while stumbling around. Rather the child was asleep in her room with a night light on, and the recording operation conducted from another room with full lighting. Unlike the TV shows that seem to promote fumbling around in the dark.

#8 Moody98

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 09:47 PM

I agree that these shows are pretty dull. But if you look back to the early 2000's these shows were pretty scary. These shows have been on for ten years. There's only so many haunted places to explore. I think they're at the end of finding scary places to explore. Start exploring something you never explored before. Like from H.P. Lovecraft's novel searching further into the abyss will abade my time.

Edited by Moody98, 17 May 2013 - 09:48 PM.


#9 jimmary

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 08:36 AM

CaveRat, that's my line of thinking, but sometimes I just want to check what's out there and then judge it for myself just for entertainment. I would prefer anything I few to have an explanation of the situtation and such, but mostly what is out there is just the "Look what I got..."-type of video with not much, if any, of a back-story. Right now I'm dealing with experiences in our house over the last two weeks. Yesterday evening I heard footsteps on the stairs...TWICE! I do have qualifiers for validity, such as who was where (which lead to the "ah-ha" moment). So I set up a voice recorder downstairs before I went to bed. I need to review that over the next few days.
Moody, I have wondered about that. One would think that there would be an unlimited number of places to investigate, but it seems that most of the shows hit the most popular places. I have seen those places begin to show up on shows such as "My Ghost Story" as experienced by we "regular" people.

#10 White Witch

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 04:51 PM

TV is entertainment not always truth. Enjoy it for what it is. Don 't sweat what you have no control over. Unless you can get a network to listen to you relax you know what is what.
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#11 Stormeye

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 08:15 AM

I have to agree with White Witch on this one. Paranormal TV shows of all kinds are one thing - entertainment. While they might introduce laypeople to some of the concepts and tools of the trade, they are never going to depict the true details of an investigation for one reason . . . as with police work, ghost hunting and the like are 99% boredom and 1% adrenaline. People tuning into a TV are not interested in the hours and hours spent setting up, investigating and then analyzing. They are not interested in those time when the investigator goes out and gets absolutely nothing. The audience wants to be scared and excited, they want to be entertained and that is what these shows, with all their contrivances, strive to do.

Given the extreme pressure to make the show scary and exciting, I am not surprised that people are falling back to fakery. I'd like to kick them in the ethics for it since it gives the whole field an even worse name than it already has but I am not surprised. You see much the same thing happening amongst mediums during the high point of the spiritualism craze. Even mediums who seem to have had some real ability were caught faking at times because of the extreme pressure on them to "perform".

So, if you want to see a "real" investigation, I would say that you will have to go out and find a group and do it yourself Posted Image (or at least find a group you trust to hang around with). Otherwise, sit back, fill the popcorn bowl and watch the ghost shows like I do, with your BS meter firmly engaged, a smile on your face and an eye roll ready to use when things get too silly.

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#12 jimmary

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 08:07 AM

Nah, I have a critical mind, so I will watch those shows the way I do, thank you.

#13 White Witch

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 08:59 AM

Seen an advert on tv last night on Space, I believe it's called Southern Paranormal. Redneck programs are very popular right now.
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#14 jimmary

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 12:34 PM

The one that was shown on SyFy, Deep South Paranormal, was pretty enteraining. They did get some really good evidence, but their character and interaction was a fresh change from the emotionless drones on other shows. Hell, in one episode, after they interviewed the son of a client, they went muddin' in the same patch of mud as the client's son and his friends. Plus they eat a lot during the investigations; good ol' southern food.

#15 loganinkosovo

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 09:51 PM

The one that was shown on SyFy, Deep South Paranormal, was pretty enteraining. They did get some really good evidence, but their character and interaction was a fresh change from the emotionless drones on other shows. Hell, in one episode, after they interviewed the son of a client, they went muddin' in the same patch of mud as the client's son and his friends. Plus they eat a lot during the investigations; good ol' southern food.



Duck Dynasty meets Casper.......

I tried watching it but just could not get past the idiocy of the cast.......

I found Ghost Mine interesting for both the investigation and the mining.
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