Pinoy ghost hunting

Adel Gabot

scifi_ghosthunters2Watching the Sci-Fi Channel “reality” series Ghost Hunters has always been a guilty pleasure of mine. It’s really a ridiculous show, about real-life ‘ghost hunters’ or paranormal investigators who are just regular folk off-cam. Like Grant Wilson and Jason Hawes of Rhode Island, who are plumbers during the day, and unschooled, pseudo-scientific ghost-busting hobbyists at night, who somehow managed to get their own TV show on a major cable network. They go around the US, investigating cases of hauntings, stumbling and tripping around old creaky houses in the dark as a camera crew follows them and the rest of their team.

Most of their results are cases of wishful thinking, evidence that is more fanciful than definitive. Mumbled audio noise that they claim to be Electronic Voice Phenomena are actually dubious and ambiguous digital burps. Grainy video of ghosts are floating patches of mist. Blurry pictures of spooky shadows that are just dark spots thrown by objects in the house. Moving lights are car beams from outside. Mostly they just do a good job of scaring each other, and, hopefully in the process, us. To be fair, every so often they come across something genuinely weird, but that’s the exception rather than the rule.

The show’s been on for a few seasons, and a large community of gullible, fiercely loyal fans have sprung up from the woodwork. The show is the highest rated on the SciFi Channel. It’s hard to find fault with the hosts, as they seem to be genuinely nice, sweet guys who are sincere about their work, if misguided. Stupid show, to call a spade a spade; I once posted a long list of reasons why the show was ludicrous on Twitter, stuff like, why do they have to do the investigations at night, with the lights off? I largely find them incoherent, but strangely irresistible, and I watch what I can.

But they’ve gotten so popular that a spin-off has been made—Ghost Hunters International, featuring an equally earnest, multinational team that traipses around the world doing the same stuff Grant and Jason do, only with a bigger playing field. This other team has been all over the planet, checking out spooky places in Russia, Italy, Brazil, Sweden, France, England, etc.

I figured, hey, one of these days come on over to the Philippines, and we’ll show you spooky. We got great mumos here.

So to my surprise, I got this week’s GHI episode, s01e20, and was greeted by this opening shot:

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Is that… Baguio? Are those jeepneys? And isn’t that Burnham Park to the right?

WTH?

When did this happen?

Yes, that day has apparently come and gone, and here was the evidence of GHI’s passing. Why I didn’t have any inkling they were here is still a mystery to me (I usually get wind of stuff like this somehow), but I’ll find out. I could have at least tried to meet them, get some autographs. Dammit.

Find the episode and watch it if you like. I’m not going to do a detailed review because that defeats the purpose of the show – you need to watch it. Suffice it to say that it’s a very interesting, truly creepy episode, and the GHI team was truly rattled in this one, particularly in the first segment at Clark Hospital. After 20 episodes, this is the first time I’d seen them get so creeped out that they were cussing and cursing at the dark, and truly afraid at what they were experiencing. Specially the usually unflappable lead investigator Rob Demarest, who got really affected by what happened that he had to take an uncharacteristic pause at the end of the segment to honor the dead soldiers he believed were haunting the place.

They investigated two cases here – one at the Air Force Hospital in Clark, Angeles City, a hollowed-out building that really put the team on edge:

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And the infamous Diplomat Hotel in Baguio City, which I’ve always wanted to explore myself:

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But I gotta say, way to go, Pinoy ghosts! (Well, most of the purported spirits were of American GIs injured and killed in Vietnam, but let’s not split hairs.) You almost made them need a change of underwear. That’s showing ’em! 

I always get tickled pink watching things like these. Pure bunk, but fun.

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5 Responses to “Pinoy ghost hunting”

  • Bernice Says:

    Very cool story. Makes me proud to be Pinoy…in a strange, paranormal kind of way. 😀

  • stef juan Says:

    hey!!! ghost hunters would be my guilty pleasure too if i had the sci-fi channel! but i love watching these stupid “let’s scare each other in the dark shows” like “world’s scariest places” “TAPS” etc. i used to email ghost hunters and check out ghost hunter sites just because. hahaha. i don’t really believe in what they do, but i like talking to them about it.

    i lived for a year in an apartment in baguio where the wall decors bounced on the walls without any wind or anything, windows opened by themselves and dogs howled outside our window every 2am. but it was in that apartment where i had awesome encounters with God too (because i would pray really hard whenever i’d get scared. hahaha… especially that time when my bed suddenly shook and i was all alone).

    if you have a copy of the philippine episode of ghost hunters, i would greatly appreciate it if you could sneak the file over to me… hehehe. i gots USB drives!

  • Adel Gabot Says:

    Bring your USB drive later!

  • Gomi Says:

    Baguio footage is rather new, those flower/Christmas decorations along Harrison Road was just installed December 2008.

    Downloading the episode now, this is interesting to share. 😀

    Thanks for the heads-up Adel!

  • Adel Gabot Says:

    I sorta figured you’d be the one to know the time frame of the taping! Where exactly is Diplomat Hotel there again? I’ve seen it but can’t remember where it is or where it’s near to.

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