Ghost Hunters

Ghost Hunters Halloween Special 2009 – It’s On!

Well it looks like Ghost Hunters have jumped back onto the Ghost Hunting bandwagon once again and they will indeed do a Live Halloween Special. The investigation will take place at Essex County Hospital and Josh Gates will be the host. Strangely that’s about all the details that SyFy is offering up. They will also have some of the contestants from Ghost Hunters Academy on the scene.

It’s interesting that they’ve waited this long to announce they’re even doing the event. It seemed like Jason and Grant were going to bow out so they could party it up at their Inn for Halloween. Did they just not get the details worked out until now or did it just take that many sacks full of money to get them to do the show? Just kidding guys!

So now we have Ghost Adventures doing their investigation at the asylum through Halloween morning and now Ghost Hunters doing their investigation Halloween night. This is shaping up to be one hell of an event!

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Ghost Hunters Halloween Special 2009

So the big question is, will there even be one? There’s nothing listed on their site and normally at this time of year they’ve selected the haunted location (usually a large location they investigated earlier in the year), the host (Josh Gates who is always amusing), the guest star (no more wrestlers please) and they’re promoting it as much as possible.

But all is quiet in the Ghost Hunters camp. The Halloween Special seems to be its own ghost. From the bits and pieces I’m seeing it looks like Syfy is going to run a Ghost Hunters marathon rather than a live show. What’s the point of a marathon when you replay the episodes on a daily basis and just about everyone has the episodes on DVD?

Have the hijinks and all the backlash and controversy surrounding last year’s live show caused the Ghost Hunters to give up on the idea of a Halloween Special? Or are they just too damn busy promoting their new Inn and Halloween Party to bother with a live broadcast? From the looks of things right now they won’t be joining us for Halloween, unless you’re on their guest list for the party.

Considering the ratings this event draws in, by the guys skipping it, does that indicate the show is in its twilight hours? Are Jason and Grant planning to step aside and let their legacy (not to mention the bankroll) live on within Ghost Hunters International? Are they setting Steve and Tango free to pursue their own TV careers with the launch of Ghost Hunters Academy? Even though the show is supposed to be renewed through 2010 piece appear to be in place for Jason and Grant to bow out of the ghost hunting biz so they can run their hotel and cash in on its possibly haunted ways.

The show has seen a lot of changes over the years, both in personnel and format. Brian, love him or hate him, has been booted off both shows and has since disappeared. Andy took the helm for GHI, but I guess he annoyed the hell out of everyone and they told him to go away. Donna of course had to bail out due to illness. Some of the other investigators they have are just plain annoying (Joe, Kristyn) so I would personally like to see less of them.

The turnover rate is getting pretty high, but the format has changed as well. It used to be the team would investigate from dusk until dawn. Now it seems they can’t be bothered to work through the night and half the time they’re sitting down as though it’s too inconvenient to actually wander around and debunk anything. No need to go toward the noise, just sit where you are and it will come to you.

There are lots of indicators that lead me to believe the show is on its last legs. The excitement and passion seems to be gone. I get the feeling Jason and Grant have made enough money that they want to go off and do other things. While they aren’t charging the client, make no mistake they are making a fortune off this show.

Is the time right for another show to come in and take over the paranormal reigns? Or is the ghost ride over? With so many shows on the air can they no longer compete in the market they basically created? Or are the allegations of trickery getting to be a bit much? Are they tired of the abuse or did they just narrowly escape getting caught? Did the problems all start with that stupid K2 meter?

I get the feeling the Ghost Hunters will soon be disappearing into the shadows themselves.

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Ghost Hunters Season 4

Just as the new season of Ghost Hunters gets underway, I finished the episodes of season 4. Once again, they been all over the place and covered a massive amount of ground. Homeowners aren’t the only ones calling on Ghost Hunters to explain noises and shadows, they’ve been to Forts, an Air Force base, asylums, a lighthouse and even some investigations on a set of boats. Of course the big event of the year was the multi-hour live investigation which did ultimately have a few moments that seemed a little unusual.

I did find the episode with Tango and his dad to be pretty entertaining. It was more for the fact that they both can be involved in such an off beat line of work. Plus we get to see Tango boss his Dad around, but still have a good time trying to figure out what’s going on.

While the locations are certainly entertaining not all of them turn out to be the real deal. I’m still amused by the disappointment people show when they find out their site isn’t haunted. It’s like Jason and Grant just took away the cool factor and left them with some run down old building. As equally amusing are the people who just don’t want to believe the place isn’t haunted. If the team doesn’t find anything that just means the spirits didn’t want to come out and play. They might be able to explain all the events away with perfectly logical explanations and even make some of the problem go away, but yet some people are just convinced other worldly figures reside in their homes. Some times people want that unique identity and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Also, we see some new pieces of equipment coming into place, specifically the K2 meter. It’s hard to say whether this is the real deal or not. I remember first seeing this when they investigated the site of the Manson Family murders and Sharon Tate. It has shown up more and more in recent investigations, but is there any validity to it? Is it really responding to the energy of the spirit world? It is the electronic representation of the cold spot? Or is this crazy gizmo just picking up interference from anything and everything in the room? Is this a clever debunking tool or grasping at straws?

When it comes to EVPs the quality seems to have gone down over time. During the first two seasons the EVPs were pretty clear and it wasn’t too hard to tell what was being said, or at least justify to yourself. But now they seem to be so faint that I can’t hear anything anymore. Even when they put up the subtitles I don’t hear anything but a hiss. If they’re still picking them up I’m not following along. Maybe their process is different these days or maybe the spirit world needs some better mics but I’m not hearing anything.

And speaking of not hearing things, why is there always some dramatic music or drum pulse right when a knock, bang or door creak is supposedly heard. I don’t know why they have to do that, but it’s really distracting. I know it’s added for dramatic effect but it’s going beyond that to completely mask any noise which might be there. Combine that with the poor quality audio during the reveal and I think they might just be trying to make more out of what they find than there really is.

But overall, Ghost Hunters is still fun and entertaining. Steve, Tango and Kris have become staples of the show and offer a certain level of predictability to the show and how things will run. Was there any true stand out evidence for this year? The Halloween episode had some interesting moments. Some of the noises and voices were interesting when you could actually hear them. It’s all still good fun to see the places they go and the experiences they have. Walking through the dark recesses of abandoned buildings in the wee hours of the morning, or trying to wake the spirits on a site where strange and bizarre events have occurred certainly seems like a fun way to make some money.

I’m looking forward to Season 5, I’m already a couple of episodes behind. Seriously, trying to talk to Betsy Ross?

Ghost Hunters: Season Four, Part 1 (Amazon)
Ghost Hunters: Season Four, Part 2 (Amazon)

Ghost Hunters: Season 4 Part 1 (Netflix)
Ghost Hunters: Season 4 Part 2 (Netflix)

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Ghost Hunters Live Halloween 2008

I finished the live Halloween special over the weekend and for the most part it’s pretty entertaining and keeps your interest. Unlike the Stanley hotel which seems to have plenty of ongoing activity, Fort Delaware was definitely creepy with atmosphere and it’s imposing presence, but the overall activity was rather absent.

There were some good moments in the tunnels were Grant seemed to hear voices and had something tugging on his jacket. There also seemed to be the occasional knock and something happening off screen, but generally the place was quiet.

Josh does an excellent job of hosting the event. His quick wit and ability to improvise to the onscreen activity is fun to watch. Steve Valentine shows a curiosity about the events and asks questions about the equipment, history and events of the Fort. He seems like an eager student with amusing comments sprinkled in.

Amanda Tapping and “The Miz” seem generally interested in the Fort and exploring the paranormal. Amanda follows along through the entire program, asking questions, heading into the tunnels, and immersing herself in the environment. The Miz wants to see or experience something and seems to get a little disturbed after several hours of not seeing anything. Unfortunately he gets paired up with Joe and Kristyn who, in my opinion, are crappy investigators and were a real distraction for the show. Maybe she was being told to, but Kristyn is constantly trying to get Miz to talk about wrestling and his career. Even Joe keeps bringing it up. Perhaps that was part of the promotional deal, but it’s so annoying and completely detracts from the mood of the evening.

But putting that aside, Joe and Kristyn are the worst part of the event. Their hunting style is juvenile at best and just like the Waverly Hill investigation last year, they are unpleasant to watch, moody and act like being at the Fort inconveniences them. Honestly, take them off the show. They spoil the mood and their offerings to the show are non-existent. Perhaps even the Miz got sick of their shit since you don’t see him during the last hour of the program. Maybe he got tired of their nonsensical babbling and decided to find something else to do. I know there is no way in hell I would hang out with those two for 7 hours.

Steve and Tango seem to get a little silly as the night wears on and spend a little too much time goofing off than investigating. They don’t seem to be following their normal investigative style. You can easily see that their antics could be covering up noises or responses they might otherwise hear. Not that I take all this paranormal stuff so seriously that they can’t have some fun on Halloween, but I guess if you’re there you should be trying to find some evidence or at least debunk a few things.

There are several technical issues with the show, but that is somewhat to be expected with a live show, especially one from a truly remote location. I’m sure those will all be corrected for the DVD to be released next year. Again, it lacks and true defining paranormal moment. The big activity is an odd voice telling the group “You don’t belong here” and some tugging on Grants jacket. The Fort didn’t really seem to have that much activity, but the show is still very neat to explore and I’m sure the GH team had one hell of a time walking around it’s dark corridors on Halloween.

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