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Haunt Jaunts Grades Ghost Hunters Academy

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Before last night’s premier of Ghost Hunters Academy I’d read SF Universe peg it as the “Hell’s Kitchen for Hunters.” Catchy title. But then I thought of Steve and Tango as the instructors and had a hard time picturing them being anywhere near as intense as Gordon Ramsay.

I was right. They’re pussy cats in comparison to the high strung Type A chef.

PROFESSOR GONSALVES

However, Steve in particular was a bit more aggressive than I expected. I liked how he pop quizzed the students after he’d explained how (and why) they were going to go about doing the set up in Fort Mifflin the way they were.

I thought that was clever on his part. And astute. He saw they had sort of zoned out and was an in-tune enough teacher to know that this first set up sets the stage for lessons to follow. If he lets them get away with not paying attention, they will.

But what I thought was even better was he delivered consequences. Susan piped right up and accepted his challenge to answer his questions, but she ended up just blowing smoke. It was wise on Steve’s part to call her out and “punish” her with the task of taping.

So he gets an A+ for that.

TEACHERS CAN ALSO LEARN FROM THEIR STUDENTS

However, he gets a D- for discounting Heather’s approach.

Heather, the medium, chose to hang back during the walk-thru so as not to be unduly influenced by outside information. I gave her an A++ for this. (One + for trying not to corrupt her judgments beforehand, and the other + for having the balls to say, “Hey, yes, you guys are the celeb ghost hunters with tons of experience, but I have my own way.” It’s one I personally wish we saw more of because it would help make experiences more credible. But more on that later…)

Steve felt Heather would miss a lot of crucial information. I can understand his point…sort of. He ended up contradicting himself a little later when he went to demonstrate just how easy it is to influence fellow investigators.

At one point he joined two of the recruits in either the dungeon or casemate. I want to say it was Heather and Chris, but I only remember Chris for sure because Steve tricked him.

The recruits were smelling cigarette smoke, but couldn’t figure out where it was coming from or if they were imagining it. Steve and Tango went to check it out. They confirmed there was a cigarette smell, but then Steve said, “And it doesn’t smell like the modern ones from today. It smells like the hand-rolled kind they used way back when.”

My first thought was, “How would he know what cigs smelled like back in the day versus now?” But Chris fell for it hook, line and sinker…until Steve let him off the hook and explained how he was joshing.

Then he cautioned them to be careful about just that sort of thing. How very easy it is to be misled influenced by fellow investigators.

Which is exactly what Heather’s point was when she opted not to do the walk-thru. (I have even more thoughts on this, which I address a little later.)

A FOR ATTENDANCE

I also give the show an A+ for investigating more than just one night. Like Steve said at one point about 40 minutes does not an investigation make when two of the recruits abandoned their assigned post, I feel the same way about one night or one visit.

Locations are like people. They have their on nights and their off nights. Randomly scheduling a date to investigate anywhere and calling it an investigation and basing a “haunted” or “not haunted” verdict on that one impression alone doesn’t do the paranormal investigation field justice.

One visit is a case study. Multiple visits over months (or possibly even years) is an investigation.

Kudos and a grade A to Ghost Hunters Academy for making an effort (at least with this episode) at doing a more than one night investigation.

OVERALL GRADE FOR GHOST HUNTERS ACADEMY: B+

Courtney Mroch
Courtney Mroch, otherwise known as HJ's Ambassador of Dark and Paranormal Tourism, is an author, traveler, and ghost enthusiast. When she's not writing, jaunting, or planning her next trip, it's a safe bet you'll find her in one of three places: on a tennis court somewhere, on a yoga mat somewhere, or watching a horror movie somewhere. She currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.
http://www.courtneymroch.com

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3 thoughts on “Haunt Jaunts Grades Ghost Hunters Academy

  1. Very good post–very good grading. Now, as someone who does read locations and prefers not to have information about the location so I can test my skills, I think she should have gone inside and learned the tips they were giving them. The problem is, she’s not there to prove her skills, but that appears to be what she was trying to do by making predictions and talking to spirits. I think she’s really just hoping to get caught giving an accurate prediction to prove to herself and others she’s psychic. That’s just wrong. She’s there to debunk and gather evidence, not to prove she’s psychic. In fact, they should discourage the use of psychics simply because nothing she comes up with is “hard” evidence and is refutable and because when you have a psychic on board, the rest become dependent on them for info–think Derek on “Most Haunted.” It really became the Derek show. I think they should train her to be a debunker and a tech person who gathers evidence and not a budding medium. But, that’s my stand on psychics on hunts. Others find them to be helpful. But, you can see by the supposed “empath” that it just becomes an emotional event rather than an investigation when you get people who are so easily affected by such sites. I hope they dump the empath asap and I’d chuck out the handsome guy with the long hair cause he’s very wishy washy and not too bright, and I’d get rid of the empath because she’s rather self centered. I think the only one I’d keep is the nerd. I think he actually listens, is trainable, and not afraid, with no ego–yahoo! You can tell he’s not on the show to be on a show. He really sees it as a continuation of his education and isn’t greedy for attention. In the reality tv generation, that’s pretty good.

  2. Good review. I think you nailed it, Court.

    I also hadn’t thought of the point that AutumnForest makes about not using psychics on GH. But it’s true that using a psychic is absolutely contrary to what they’re all about. BUT, they did knowingly opt to allow her to join the GH Academy team so I think it’s it’s important to support her. I thought it was totally dink of Steve to radio her when she was investigating and fill her in on the history of the space when she made a specific point of not wanting to know. In a way, he forced the info on her, which was disrespectful of her and her process.

    All that said, I’d rather they didn’t include any psychics or empaths.

  3. Hi ladies! Thanks for these great comments!

    After reading your post on your blog about GHA, Autumnforest, I do really see how, in GH’s technique and style, they shouldn’t have allowed the medium. OR, they should have said, “We understand you feel you are this way, but we need to set some ground rules.” Because you’re right, they are about gathering evidence and debunking. If that’s what they want to train people to do, that’s what they need to stick to. So teaching her how to do debunk and use equipment should be the priority.

    But now I’d kind of like to see a show where mediums and psychics could be trained to hone their abilities while also using equipment to capture evidence. It’d be nice to see it all blended.

    But Heather is really more about proving herself a medium. And, you gave an excellent example about Derek…he took over Most Haunted. Anyone who’s got magnetism, whether they’re really a medium or not, could hijack a show and go backwards instead of forward as far as bringing true credulity to the field of gathering cold, hard evidence! (Not just impressions.)

    GREAT discussion you two. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!!!

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