Ghost Lab from the Discovery Channel

Has anyone tuned in for Ghost Lab? I caught my first episode last night.

Ghost Lab is a new show from the Discovery Channel which brings us the Klinge brothers who are on a quest to document the paranormal in ways that haven’t been done before. I assume this means they’re looking for more than just noises and cold spots like everyone else…

The Klinge brothers tackle what are thought to be some of America’s most haunted locations with sophisticated equipment housed in a decked-out travelling “ghost lab.” This 24-foot car hauler is capable of providing 200,000 watts of electricity to power audio, video and photo analysis stations; flat-screen televisions and an interactive touch-screen smartboard. The lab also houses surveillance video cameras capable of shooting 300 feet away in total darkness with a 180-degree peripheral view; temperature, humidity and dew point data loggers; various digital cameras, including thermal imaging cameras; audio recorders; and more than 8,000 feet of video cable. This on-site high-tech lab enables investigators to analyze data on the premises in real time, helping them to more narrowly focus their investigations on suspected “hot spots.”

First of all the show looks likes some sort of strange hybrid where Ghost Hunters meets American Chopper. I especially like the overly macho, arms crossed pose they have. That’s the universal sign for someone who wants to be taken seriously, right? But we’ll leave their fashion stylings for another day. If Zak can have his baggy pants, these guys stand like that.

The purpose of this show is to document the paranormal and to that end they do bring a lot of equipment to the job. It comes loaded in its own big ass trailer with Ghost Lab written on the side! Subtle indeed! Their mobile HQ is loaded to gills with all sorts of lighted gizmos, doohickeys and plenty of flat panel TVs. Nothing says you mean business like a slew of big TVs, just ask the guys over at NCIS. But when it comes to the actual investigation they are still just walking around in the dark with a camera.

I do like the idea of setting “loggers” along the path of a corridor or open area so they can log fluctuations; seems simple but effective. However, the idea of the “era cues” is really nothing new. Creating an environment or generating experiences that are similar to the life and times of the spirit is something I’ve seen on Ghost Hunters, Paranormal State and Ghost Adventures. It’s a neat idea, but not sure it’s worthy of the onscreen popup cues and long explanation. It could just be an excuse for dinner theater for all I know.

Even though it was only the first episode they still had those same classic ghost hunting elements. It’s not a show on the paranormal unless you have to bleep out what they’re saying dozens of times when something appears to happen. And if you feel something “touch” you, you most certainly need to panic and get scared. Additionally, you need to overuse the word “Dude” at every turn. These are the key elements of being a paranormal investigator.

So, they have cool toys even if they don’t seem to use them. And they go to some interesting places even though they don’t really seem to spend much time there. How is the evidence?

Well, that seems to be where things come off the rails. An old door closing is not a sign of the paranormal (at least not to me). The voice in the recorder was interesting but hardly earth shattering or conclusive. That was about all they got. And then they proudly and triumphantly call the building haunted. Wow, for a group of guys that’s demanding evidence they make their claims on some pretty light stuff. I figured they would need a ghost to come and kick them in the jimmy to be convinced, I guess not. But hey, that would be some hard evidence I’ll tell ya what!

What do I think of the show? Hard to say after just one episode. I will say I was much more taken with Ghost Adventures (which I just started watching) after the first episode, but there is another episode available now and another one airing tonight so I will certainly go through those three before I get too critical. Ok, before I get even more critical.

I hope they evolve and become a little more skeptical and discriminating with the evidence they collect. Even after five years of the Ghost Hunters I haven only seen one, maybe two things which I thought were even remotely compelling so they really need get some hard evidence not just a couple of noises and a cold spot. If their goal is to document the paranormal like no one else has, then so far their “hard evidence” is pretty shaky.

More episodes are on the way so let’s see what else they have in store.

Ghost Lab


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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!

You can read more details at:

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Ghost Adventures Halloween Special

Even though Jason and Grant have abandoned their post for Halloween that doesn’t mean we are left without some ghost hunting excitement. The Ghost Adventures crew will step in and helm a 7-hour live investigation of the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in West Virginia.

(Chevy Chase, MD) This Halloween season, on October 30, 2009 from 8PM to 3AM ET the Ghost Adventures crew, Zak Bagans, Nick Groff and Aaron Goodwin, will voluntarily lock themselves in one of America’s most haunted locations, the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, for a LIVE seven-hour, paranormal investigation.

Zak and his crew maybe a little “odd” at times, but he still has a stage presents I find interesting and engaging. I have a feeling their quirky antics could make for a very worthwhile show. Plus, the place they are visiting certainly has a checkered and troubled past.

For example:
Ghost Adventures will have unprecedented access to the entire asylum — from the seclusion cells, where the most violent patients were shackled, to the medical center, where primitive procedures and autopsies were performed.

And where some of the “primitive procedures”, why the lobotomy of course, the cure-all to mental disease:

Dr. Walter Freeman, who had no surgical training, “perfected” the lobotomy on the patients at the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum. The patients would not be given anesthesia, but were instead given electroconvulsive therapy (which are basically electrically induced seizures) until they became unconscious. He would then stick an ice pick between the eyeball and eyelid and hammer it into the brain, where he made sweeping motions with the ice pick to destroy brain matter. He performed around 3,500 lobotomies in his lifetime, until he killed a patient during one and lost his medical license.

Their methods are a touch different, but I like these guys. As I stated in a previous post Zak has a great narrative style and his enthusiasm draws you in. He seems really excited about the location he’s at and wants to see what he can find. I can’t say everything they find is compelling or that yelling, “Dude! Did you see that?” doesn’t make me roll my eyes, but I’ll be tuning in for this event, this looks cool as hell!

Want to read more of the events that took place at the Asylum? Check out this article:

And read more about it on Wikipedia:

More details on the show can be found here:

As an aside, if you want to do your own Ghost Hunt on Halloween, you can! The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum is offering a Witches Ball from 7pm – 1am and then a Ghost Hunt inside the Asylum from 1:30am until 7am.

I don’t think you could ask for more on Halloween night!

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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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