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Movie Monday: Ghocial, the Ghost Hunting Documentary

Last week my friend Cheryl asked if I knew about Ghocial. I didn’t know what she was talking about, but leave it to serendipity to change that. No sooner did she share their Facebook page link with me than I also saw a Facebook ad for them.

I clicked the ad and was taken to the Ghocial YouTube channel. That’s where I found their just over 11 minute “ghost hunting documentary.”

I finally had a chance to watch it. The trouble is, I’m not sure what they’re trying to accomplish. They’re trying to promote something, but what? I guess their film, but is it really a documentary or a mockumentary?

WHAT’S GHOCIAL?

They’ve listed their Facebook page in the Entertainment category. For me this is a key clue. Are these actors trying to pass themselves off as paranormal investigators? (Wouldn’t be the first time….)

But the description on their documentary reads:

It’s one thing when a person sees a ghost while alone, at night, in a deserted building. It’s an entirely different thing when 20 people see a ghost during a mid-afternoon videoconference in a brightly lit room. Ghocial is a documentary that follows two unlikely ghost hunters—a drug company executive and his intern—as they attempt to catch a poltergeist.

I don’t know why they had cameras rolling during a scene where they were in a conference-like setting and something happened. Something moved I guess.

That was the trouble I had all during the film. I never knew quite what was going on. Where were they? Not only during that conference, but where is this allegedly haunted building they’ve been investigating for over a year? And what was that conference all about? That’s never addressed.

Maybe their About page on Facebook holds some clues? Nope. All it says is “Have you ever seen a ghost?”

During their movie, they’re having a conversation involving this very question. One guy asks the other, “How many magic tricks have you seen in your life?”

“Lots.”

“Have you ever seen a ghost?”

“None.”

“Then the simplest explanation is usually the right one.”

It’s an interesting point. Yet, then the rest of their movie goes on to show…what? Tricks? Again, they’re trying to accomplish something, but there is so little information it’s not really clear what their goal is.

Last week their About page on Facebook had more information. It said something about Ghocial was an attempt to let others analyze their data and help them search for answers, or something like that. As of this writing today, all that’s on there is “Have you  ever seen a ghost?”

THE GHOCIAL GHOST HUNTING DOCUMENTARY

If you make it to the end, you might be amused by the “ghost” activity. I was not impressed.

The movie is dry, you don’t know where the building is, and there’s no explanation about how exactly this ghost detector they’ve supposedly created works. (I’m not that dumb. Yes, I get that it’s supposed to move if a ghost is present. But you could make a whole lot less elaborate contraption to show that.)

Supposedly they’ve been investigating wherever it is for over a year. Which, kudos to them for that at least. I always wish there was more of an attempt to actually study haunted places rather than just take one weekend specimen samples as most investigators do.

Except, these guys are far from paranormal researchers.

The one guy (I’m guessing the intern) decides to fast forward through 36-hours of footage. He misses the racoons setting off the ghost detector and at first thinks he’s caught a ghost on camera. Then  when he stops to really look, he sees it’s raccoons.

At one point, they’re watching footage taken during the daytime and trying to analyze the shadows. This will prove comical to most investigators. One of them makes a comment about they need to set up for nighttime shoots because that’s when ghosts come out. Luckily his one friend questions that, but still. It doesn’t make them look like the brightest bulbs in the box.

Even worse is when they’re trying to decide if they caught evidence of  a ghost or a bug. They guesstimate the hallway the footage is caught in to be 30 or 40 feet long. Then they guesstimate that the orb-like ghost object they’ve caught is moving 27 miles an hour. They haven’t measured that in any way, but they’re convinced that’s how fast the thing is moving and no bug can travel 27 miles an hour.

It ends with them showing their ghost detectors going off and shadows moving and I guess we’re supposed to think it’s all real. Looks like cheap optical illusions to me.

They need to stick to pharmaceutical sales. Maybe they’re not just selling them but using them to think this is entertainment. It’s not. At least not to me.

Yet, they’ve got over 27,000 views as of this post. At the end of last week when I first checked them out, they were just at 20,000. So in less than a week they’ve racked up another 7,000 views.

Clearly the Ghocial gang is doing something right. It’s called publicity, though, not research.

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 on a tennis court somewhere. She currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.
http://www.courtneymroch.com

4 thoughts on “Movie Monday: Ghocial, the Ghost Hunting Documentary

  1. Oh thank you so much, Travis, for clearing this up! I thought it was meant to be something real. Sorry for sounding so harsh in my review of. I was frustrated trying to find answers about your film!

  2. It started off as Max’s intern project. I assigned it to him as an open-ended challenge to use Facebook and YouTube to distribute the analysis of IR footage shot in a building that is truly believed to be haunted. It evolved over time into something completely different — a short film, shot over the course of something like 18 months. It’s kind of confusing because a lot of the footage is real, and I’d have to explain it shot-by-shot. Some people have commented on YouTube that Ghocial is “fake,” but it is fiction, and there’s a difference.

    When Max’s internship ended, so did the project. Unfortunately, that left a lot of questions unanswered. Although we had a lot of fun making Ghocial, that’s not what I do for a living. I don’t do it as a hobby, either, although I would love to participate in a paranormal investigation if the opportunity presented itself. There’s a chance that I’ll get Max back for either another internship or as an employee someday. If that happens, we’ll probably film more stuff. I doubt it will have anything to do with ghosts, though, if for no other reason than the fact that GDC is no longer in that building.

    If you want more info on the building, check out the Ghost Lab episode in the playlist on the Ghocial YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL58BD6E8663FCEAB4

    I’ll close with a bit of trivia: The hallway really is 40 feet long. We measured it, but thought it was more interesting to show Max throwing the box. So, that bug really was doing about 27 mph; you can see me doing the fps to mph conversion on my left monitor. We later learned that there’s a moth capable of flying that fast. Pretty cool. It’s also potentially confusing, I suppose, because the IR footage is real, the 7D footage from my office is real but at the time we didn’t think it was a bug, Max’s off-screen audio could be from a reenactment, and Max later went back to film himself throwing the box because we thought it would help illustrate how fast the bug was flying. Cut all that stuff together, drop in some music, and you have a short film called Ghocial.

  3. Oh how excellent! THANK YOU for taking the time to clear all of this up and give so much detail. It was really great to hear what it’s all about and how you guys put it together at all. I loved all the info you gave, including the last bit of trivia. Very much appreciate you stopping by to clear me up! Thank you and Happy New Year!

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