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Thoughts on Ghost Hunters Faking Evidence

When I wrote about the faked evidence Ghost Hunters doesn’t want you to see, my intention was to accomplish something akin to this quote by Margaret Meade: “I was brought up to believe that the only thing worth doing was to add to the sum of accurate information in the world.”

After learning how the producers of Ghost Hunters knew about Moss Beach Distillery’s special FX (see “Haunted or Hyped?”), and now seeing the clips of faked evidence, my trust and faith in Ghost Hunters is at an all-time low. As Autumnforest noted in her comment on my “A Few More Thoughts on Ghost TV Shows” post, “It made me want to start debunking the debunkers and that’s not a good position at all.”

I sympathize with her woe, because that’s where I find myself.

Jay and Grant were instantly credible and likeable the first few seasons. Heck, they still are. But now I find myself being more and more skeptical of them. And I keep running across more and more who are as well. (With good reason, as they point out suspicious evidence.)

Which means what for the show? If fans see a theme developing and no longer trust them or their evidence, what will happen to their viewership? And, my greater concern, how is this going to impact paranormal research overall? (As I suggested in another post, I fear negatively.) Not to mention how will it impact the non-profits for which the Ghost Hunters effect has benefited?

If proof keeps mounting that they’ve cooked their evidence, who’s going to trust them and want to tune in? Isn’t most of their appeal because they did come across as legit on top of being entertaining?

Or maybe they don’t care. Doubt them. Write about it. It’s great free publicity after all.

Besides, their season’s over right now. And yet people are still talking about them.

All I can do is as Jason suggested during the Eastern State Penitentiary episode (the first investigation): put it out there and let the world decide.

And as Pierre Abelard once said, “The beginning of wisdom is found in doubting; by doubting we come to the question, and by seeking we may come upon the truth.”

Eventually it’ll all come out in the wash –no matter how messy that may be.

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.

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6 thoughts on “Thoughts on Ghost Hunters Faking Evidence

  1. It’s probably healthy to look at ghost hunting shows as being like other reality shows. You look at the Gene Simmons one and it’s sooooo plotted out and posed that it’s not reality, only imitating reality. That’s the point most ghost hunting shows have gotten to. The thing is, even knowing shows like “Paranormal State” which I believe to be the most manipulated show are out there, people are still going to want the entertainment. They know reality shows aren’t real, but they’re hooked. The same with ghost hunting shows. I still remember that time when I was 10 years old and recorded the booted footsteps on our stairs. No one believed I had taped the ghostly footsteps but that I had made the sound. The problem in ghost hunting is that there is absolutely no way to prove you have real proof or not. You’re only as good as your word. The first season of GH, I felt like they were as good as their word in that they seemed quite sincere about their quest for proof. I started hunting actively in 2003 (31 years after my recording of the footsteps). I thought enough time had passed and enough technology to prove hauntings. But, I was wrong. As many experiences as I accrue and as much as I photograph or record, I still cannot make people believe evidence. Ghost hunting shows might be pure entertainment, but they do give regular people who’ve never experienced phenomenon, the chance to see what it’s like. For that, I’m grateful.

  2. I have to agree with you whole heartedly. I have noticed that the show has lost its appeal that got me to watch in the beginning. Lately many have found and proven that some of the evidence has been faked which is a huge disappointment. This really hurts all the other paranormal/ghost hunting shows that are truly trying to get answers. I’m still watching but for how long, I just don’t know. I am curious to see how GHI’s season goes when it begins next year. Hopefully they will have some excitement that GH lacked this year.

  3. Autmnforest, I think you’ve touched on something crucial and overlooked: substantiating evidence. THAT would be a fresh spin on what’s starting to become tired old ghost hunting shows. (And I actually have to give Zak Bagans and Ghost Adventures kudos because they often take their evidence to 3rd parties at the end of their shows to get their perspective.) I think what irks me about GH anymore is they were the Great Debunkers to start off with. Like you said, they seemed as good as their word and their word did seem sincere. They portrayed themselves as pros. But now it’s coming out that the entertainment value rules over actually gathering valid evidence. Sucks. And I feel your frustration on not being believed. My methods for “ghost hunting” differ from yours. (I don’t actually try to collect evidence as much, is what I mean.) But I’ve had experiences, which even if I had recordings or pictures, would still only be construed as “neat stories” by most. Yet I know what happened –but can I prove it? Nope.

    And Julie, I am with you. I kind of like GHI because they take us to places we haven’t seen on every ghost hunting show out there. I’m really looking forward to the Hitler one. I’m a HUGE WWII nut. Even if they don’t catch anything, it’ll just be neat to hear the history and see that location.

    As always, thanks for the comments/thoughts, ladies!

  4. Great Debunkers is exactly right! In their early days they were always trying to explain why people would “think” they were having paranormal experiences. They always said they were skeptics and prided themselves on the idea that if they couldn’t come up with an alternative theory then it *might* be paranormal. Air in the pipes, a bad water heater, train tracks, headlights, drafts and air conditioners were almost always the root cause. It was fun to watch because you basically knew they weren’t going to find anything and that was fine.

    They’ve been drifting away from that for quite some time. Personally, i think it was the investigation of the Manson Family/Sharon Tate murders that changed everything. It seems this was the episode where they stopped debunking and started to try and prove the paranormal.

  5. I think you’re right, RottenOne! Because after that episode, when they weren’t really sure about the K2 Meter and the special guest hunter using it drew a lot of criticism from some fans, then all of a sudden what do you know? They have a K2 meter too and their style changed. Brilliant observation! I think they’re the Great Sellouts now. It’s just no fun watching anymore. Thanks for your comment. (And again for the link up!)

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