Dear Ghost Hunters….

The influence of “Porky’s” has never been clearer.

Hi, TAPS. Longtime viewer, first-time whiner. After watching the USS Yorktown episode of Ghost Hunters, I have a few constructive complaints. These are they….

1.) So you’ve found a paranormal hotspot that is one in a million, as you say. You took some amazing video of apparitions. Some great audio of human voices and footsteps and had some amazing personal experiences. My question is, why is there a next week’s episode someplace else? Why can’t you put on the breaks, set up shop for a month at the amazing location, and win the Nobel, as Tyler Kokjohn is fond of saying. In short, why go anywhere else?

And why not bring skeptics there? Scientists? Shaman? Anyone who might have something to contribute besides your patented, “Yup, there’s something here but you have nothing to fear from it. Hope this helps!”

2.) At what point do you start to see patterns and draw connections for your audience besides explaining what your tech gizmos read? For instance, is it a coincidence that at every location you’ve ever been to where there are stories of people standing face-to-face with full-bodied apparitions, by the time you get there and whip out the camera, the only thing you’ll pick up is a fleeting image, a distant image, or something at the periphery of your vision? Assuming the world is filled with ghosts and you are honestly picking them up with your equipment, don’t you find it just a bit odd that what you get is never as direct or as long an encounter as what the people who brought you there saw? Doesn’t that speak to the nature of the phenomena in some way?

3.) When you speak to the air and ask it questions and then something in the next room tips over and you run in there, ask another question, and hear a noise somewhere else–why is your inclination to believe that there’s a dead person trying to communicate with you? Wouldn’t they better communicate with you by staying in the same room–by being more direct in as much as that’s possible given the veil between worlds?

Doesn’t it sound more like something toying with you, if we are to ascribe motive? And if it’s the same at every location around the globe then what does that say about these being individual cases? Maybe there are innumerable entities, but maybe there aren’t. I don’t know, but I think it should be stated as equally probable that you’re “communicating” with a singular intelligence (perhaps even the collect human intelligence), which only appears like dead people if you don’t think about it too deeply.

That’s all I’ve got. It strikes me that if your group does not exist to further our understanding of hauntings or to bring science onboard with undeniable evidence, then you’re here to strengthen belief in the reality of hauntings. This is true whether your motive is to entertain, to draw advertisement dollars, or to actually seek the truth. All of those roads lead to strengthening the belief of the audience. I think it’s only right that you examine the definition of the thing you’re asking us to believe.



6 thoughts on “Dear Ghost Hunters….

  1. I have long suspected that Jeremy Vaeni was both seeker and scientist.

    Giving credit where it is due, TAPS is about on-site investigation. Analogous to the UFO Hunters, these persons are not content to simply repeat stories, they (apparently) seek deeper understanding. Your critique hits the core issues of quality scientific work – repeatability, reliability and hard-eyed review of results. Without those elements, the show really is only a show with gizmos used as props and activities simulating an investigation. Perfect for the SyFy channel. .

    Maybe the mundane work of science does not fit well into a TV format. The show does not offer much novelty, so constantly moving on to new sites may be essential. Repeating studies, establishing correlations, confirming equipment function and running controls are essential, but not particuarly entertaining. However, after around 10 years of work you would think some of this might have percolated into the broadcast content. Not yet as far as I can see. Or maybe that compass just won’t point the way they want it to.

    I cannot claim that science will find all the answers to paranormal phenomena. But if you do not deploy the tools and methods with care, it can’t provide any useful information at all.

  2. I’ve had many similar thoughts about the show. Assuming the team has been at this for many years, long before the series started filming, it’s even more frustrating that they haven’t come up with anything more insightful than the same old “ghosts are the spirits of dead humans who can’t effectively communicate with us so they make doors close and stand close to our emf meters when we ask them to” theory.

    Regarding the other points, I have seen Jason express slight frustration at how the show is edited to make it look like they are only in a given location for one night when they are sometimes there for a few days. It’s not the same as camping out for an extended period like you suggest but at least it’s a little deeper than it seems.

    What I’d love to see is a well done video podcast of a ghost hunting team that isn’t beholden to a tv production company where they could investigate one location for a month if they wanted to without having to go from place to place in order to keep it interesting, or in the name of “helping people” by telling them they have nothing to be scared of even when grant gets big scratches up his back or gentle Andy Andrews has a panic attack.

    • Good points. Have they ever told anyone to move and never come back or to exorcise the place? I wonder if they can’t say “You need a priest” because that would show religious bias.

  3. What ranckles my ass cakes is when they get good enough evidence to merit further investigation…but…that’s an half hour episode. Then they visit an historic, albeit not so haunted spot and investigate long enough to warrant an hour long snore fest. Meh

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