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.
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+