I have met many ghost hunters who swear they don’t watch TV shows about ghost hunting… I don’t believe it for a second! People seem to claim this almost as if they think that they are cut from a better ghost hunting cloth. Like it is a declaration of automatic entitlement over the rest of the ghost hunting field.
I can’t speak for anyone else, but the fact is, ghost hunting is my passion. So when something airs on TV that deals with the same subject that I love… sure as hell I am going to watch it! It really is as simple as that. I would like to think that most of us are smart enough to know that television is for entertainment. So why does the paranormal field seem to take up this cause and jump on their soap boxes about paranormal TV shows? Don’t we all know that this is just for entertainment?
Because I watch a paranormal show does not mean that I automatically agree of everything I see. It does not mean that I believe everything that they insinuate or claim as evidence either. I whole heartily believe that as long as I am aware of that, and don’t treat these TV shows as the standard with which to measure myself… I can watch away without feeling like I am less of a ghost hunter! Just like I do not think that a homicide detective uses CSI to adjust how they investigate a crime scene, but we seem to have no issue with the fact that a cop watches CSI, or a lawyer watches Law and Order… why such a fuss over paranormal shows?
And let me add an argument to the mix. In my very sheltered life growing up; I absolutely LOVED “true” ghost stories and everything paranormal. In elementary school I would check out book after book from the library and scare myself reading these tales of the unknown to the point that I couldn’t go to sleep. I would just lay in bed and shiver in fear certain that there was some sort of dark entity behind me. My mom banned me from bringing these books home, so I continued my quest within the school library walls.
But with the circumstances of my life and upbringing, I never knew that there were ghost hunting groups out there. I knew about the Warrens and other Parapsychologists, but never thought that there was anything beyond this small fold of scientists that investigated people’s homes. These were the kind of investigators highlighted in one of my favorite shows, A Haunting (the old school version). I ate that show up, and wished I could be among the ranks of the Warren’s, Auerback’s, or Taff’s of the parapsychology world…
Then comes along the TV Show, Ghost Hunters, and with it the realization that ghost hunting is actually out there… and anyone can do it. One night they aired an episode in Gettysburg, which is not far from where I live at this time. I couldn’t wait to go up to Gettysburg to “see for myself”. And so it began… I dove head first down the rabbit hole of the paranormal because I wanted to see if something like what I am watching on Ghost Hunters could really happen to me. I refused to believe what they are saying is going on in this location until I experience it for myself! Soon after this revelation I stumbled across a group run by a friend of a friend, and the rest is history. I have been educating myself, and hunting ever since.
If not for the widely popular show, Ghost Hunters, I never would have found this whole wide world of everything I am fascinated with. The mystery, the suspense, the adrenaline. I never knew it was all at my fingertips!! Ghost Hunters ushered in a new era in the paranormal on a couple of levels. It mainstreamed the possibility of the paranormal which, in my upbringing, was not a possibility. It brought back to life the extreme curiosity of these mysterious happenings that used to keep me up as a child… the stuff I kind of grew away from because my religious upbringing did not have room for ghosts. Secondly; it showed that, if you really want to, you can do this too!
I know many of you do not like what I just said. I have heard so many people say with absolute spite how ghost hunting shows on TV have ruined the paranormal. Saturating the field with a bunch of half assed crack pots that give everyone else a bad name. And yes, in a way it may have done that. But at the same time, look at your team. Look at the people you trust with every investigation and tell me that you aren’t grateful to have them in your ranks. Odds are several or all of them go into this after the TV wave of ghost hunting popularity became unavoidable. There are a lot of amazing investigators that have come out of this as well. And it is these investigators that will still be here when all of the ridiculous thrill seekers and frauds fall away. Those of us that are serious about what we do have been forced to step up our game. To rise to a higher level of understanding about the field and various theories within.
So I ask again… is it really that disgusting that I still tune in and watch paranormal TV shows? I treat them with the same entertainment value as I do with Breaking Bad, or Drop Dead Diva… because we all know that those are absolutely real as well!! And by the way; does anyone know how the Fresh Prince of Bel Air is doing these days? I have always hoped that things worked out for him…