Ghost Hunters redux

Adel Gabot

I’ve written about them before, and I’m writing about them again.

I just can’t stop myself from watching Ghost Hunters. I know it’s basically a sham operation by the SyFy Channel. All the ghost hunting stuff is hogwash, or at least wishful thinking, that there aren’t really any ghosts or spirits and all the stuff they’re saying is just bunk. But somehow, I can’t stop watching them every week. I download episodes as they come and watch, and heckle, eagerly. All through eight years of them, and the several that Ghost Hunters International, their spin-off, has been on, I’ve been suckered and drawn in week after week.

Now, with the season finale of another good “case” and one of the guys announcing that he’s leaving GH, I guess it’s time again to examine my morbid fascination with the crew and what they do.

I have their formula down pat. They introduce the week’s case (or cases – on thin weeks sometimes they have two cases per episode; that’s when you know they’re stretching) while driving to the site, and they talk to someone in another vehicle via walkie-talkie, usually Amy, about it. They get there and talk to the owner of the house/resort/building/structure and discuss the goings-on over there, and ask to be taken to the hot spots. Then they break out the “equipment” and get set up; they put up video and audio gear on the “troubled” areas, then then they go “lights out” and begin the investigation, which lasts through the night. Then they turn the lights back on, pack up, go away and study the “evidence” for a day and come back for the “reveal”, where they show the evidence they’ve gathered to the client and give their sage advice on how to deal with the “haunting”, if there is one. They they’re shown driving away, congratulating themselves on a job well done, and they go “on to the next!”

Now why they have to do the investigation in the middle of the night with the lights out and the cameras on night mode is anybody’s guess. You could make the argument that ghosts can haunt a place no matter what the time of day, and no matter who’s around, and the Ghost Hunters don’t have to go there in the dead of night with the lights out to investigate. And why investigations only last for one night is also anybody’s guess. Why can’t they hang around for several days or nights and investigate the case to death? Get all that ghost stuff out in the open? Sheesh.

I guess it’s all part of the show’s conceit that Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson are plumbers with RotoRooter by day, with all their plumbing jobs and duties, and only go Ghost Hunting on their off hours. Look, who are they kidding? A large part of their week is obviously shooting for the show, and what about the rest of the crew – Steve, Tango, Amy, Britt, Adam and whoever else they’ve roped into doing the show? What do they do in the meantime while Jason and Grant are off being plumbers? Just the off-show work, the website and the fan club’s activity gotta be more trouble than these guys can handle.

But heck, no matter what hijinks these guys are up to, God help me, I love ’em.

I don’t mind that all the evidence they collect per show don’t amount to a hill of beans. That all the sounds they hear or collect, all the “apparitions” they think they see, all the EVPs they gather, all the funny feelings they get are all wishful thinking on their part (and on ours). That, for all of the evidence they’ve gathered over the many years they’ve been doing this, they have yet to capture definitive proof of the afterlife. All the sounds they’ve recorded are attributable to ordinary, everyday phenomena or simple recorder noise, and all the photographic and video evidence they’ve collected are mere specks or dust or whatever on the tape or the film. That the electromagnetic stuff that they say come from the ghost world are but glitches in the ether. They simply don’t have proof that what they’re investigating is real, even after all this time. And that’s the plain, unvarnished truth.

Yet, amazingly, I watch them week after week.

Sure, I heckle. I doubt everything they see or hear, and often laugh at the overdrawn nonsense SyFy parades in front of me every time. But I love these guys, and I’m willing to forgive their lapses. I’m willing to suspend my disbelief, if only for that hour every week. I’ve grown to love these blokes, with their overly serious manner and their treating each case with as much gravity as they can muster.

And now, one of the guys, one of the two founders, is leaving Ghost Hunters. Grant announced he was leaving at the end of yesterday’s two-case season ender episode, and there were tears and hugs. Maybe he’s had enough of the nonsense, and wants to go on with his life, I don’t know. But yeah, there were tears. From me. Which was why I wanted to examine my reasons for liking this silly show so much. It’s grand entertainment to me, at least, ghosts be damned.

Grant Wilson, you will be missed.

The show’s going on hiatus starting next week, and Ghost Hunters International will take its place in the meantime. Ha. There’s no letting up with these guys.

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