The over dramatic part makes the evidence seem fake at times b/c you have to listen very carefully. I feel bad that anyone would call it fake when there really is extensive research behind the paranormal. Maybe another reason it may be fake is that they might be hypersensitive to EMFs.
I think they placate more on sensationalism than actual investigations, where T.A.P.S. (The Atlantic Paranormal Society) takes a more skeptical scientific approach.
But is there anyone else out there that thinks that Ghost Adventures is a load of bull.
Ghost Adventures' Clashes With Paranormal Researchers Over Unexplained Phenomena (VIDEO)
Ghost Adventures," the popular Travel Channel paranormal reality show involving three Ed Hardy-clad ghost hunters, is being haunted by allegations the show plays loose with the facts and emphasizes showmanship over hardcore research.
And, yes, paranormal experts claim that they employ science and scholarly research in their investigations of unexplained phenomena.
The accusations come from Bonnie Vent, a self-proclaimed "spirit advocate" in San Diego, who claims shows like "Ghost Adventures," "Ghost Hunters" and "Fact Or Fake" sensationalize the supernatural in order to scare up ratings.
"Due to the format they have to be augmented to make them more interesting," she told HuffPost Weird News, adding that "lockdowns," where "Ghost Adventures" stars Zak Bagans, Nick Groff and Aaron Goodwin get locked inside a faciliity at midnight in order to investigate, "are good television but not necessary."
This doesn't set well with Vent, who claims that, as a "spirit advocate," it's her job to help dead celebs like Michael Jackson, George Carlin and "Crocodile Hunter" star Steve Irwin by delivering messages to their loved ones from beyond the grave.
She says that the crew behind "Ghost Adventures" doesn't research the places being investigated as thoroughly as they claim to. Recently, she says, she discovered that firsthand, when the crew came to her hometown to investigate the Cosmopolitan Hotel and Restaurant, a reportedly haunted San Diego hot spot for paranormal activity.
While in town, Bagans, Groff and Goodwin did an interview with HuffPost Weird News in which they discussed the pending investigation of the Cosmopolitan.
The investigation will air sometime during the show's fifth season, which premieres Sept. 23. During the interview, Bagans and Groff said one anecdote they discovered during their research led them to believe the hotel was haunted by Native American spirits.
"There is a certain energy that is trapped in this location and one lady was partially possessed, I guess, and started doing an Indian ritual dance," Groff said.
"Yes," Bagans adds. "This lady went downstairs to one of the other rooms we're going to be investigating and she started doing this Indian dance."
Vent says she knows that story is inaccurate because she is the woman who did the dance.
"In no way was I possessed," she insisted on her website. "The dance was an old fashioned Mexican Tarantella, not an Indian ritual dance. I did get into the flow of the energy in the Wine Room which is located in the original Bandini house and I did perform a dance that I had no knowledge of for several minutes."
Another bit of research that Vent says was incorrect was the "Ghost Adventures" cast's claim that the room in which the interview took place was where Juan Lorenzo Bandini, a San Diego pioneer who built the house in 1827, slept for many years.
That room was on the second floor of the building, which, it turns out, wasn't built until years after Bandini died.
In addition, hotel owner Joe Melluso -- who emphasizes he was thrilled to host the cast and crew -- says Bagans, Groff and Goodwin got a couple other big facts wrong.
During the interview with HuffPost Weird News, Bagans mentioned that a Spanish-speaking guitar player named Carlos had told him that Bandini murdered his wife and buried her where the restaurant is now.
In the original story, hotel co-owner Catherine Miller said she was unaware of this allegation. Melluso said he spoke with Carlos after the story was printed and the guitar player said his words were misinterpreted.
"But, after hearing how he explained it, I can see how the confusion happened," Melluso said.
He also says the crew misinterpreted a wood headboard of a little girl and a mirror featuring a woman's face carved in wood as being Bandini family heirlooms.
"The faces don't represent anyone related to the Cosmopolitan's original owners," he said.
Ghost Adventures used to be a show of which the least people expected any skepsis regarding their credibility. They're scientific, skeptical, non-believers in spirituality and esotericbeliefs and aim for debunkage. They used to give the ones interested in the paranormal a kind of family-feeling but with the recent airing of Ghost Hunters Live 2008 Halloween show their fraudulent deeds have surfaced as some people kept 'close-taps' with some of the controversial footage that was aired. Additionally they did some fatal timing mistakes which you will see too.It would probably surprise many, and some will deny but now it shows that not only Most Haunted Yvette & co. are roughless and heartless, TAPS are the same category.
sweet Kris Williams? No, she ain't what she pretends to be either.
snakes of the false-light.
Hello all... I am new to these forums but would like to get a good and serious discussion going about last nights show. I am somewhat of a skeptic, I dont trust anything I don't experience for myself. Here is my take on Ghost Adventures....
1: It's a TV Show! - Always remember, this is entertainment 1st. To claim any of this is 100% fact would be silly to say the least. None of us know these people. If it had you scared at the end, then they did their job.
2: Orbs - This deserves no comments really. Orbs have been debunked since video became a tool. Anyone with even a basic knowledge of photography knows that a video camera or still camera tries to make sense out of chaos, IE: if its dark, the Camera will try to make something out of nothing, happens all the time. 99.9% of all orbs are dust particles, bugs or mist caught in this chaos or reflecting at the perfect time.
3: The Figure - This follows in the Camera trying to make sense of a dark shot... The Camera is pointed down the hall.... When its not zoomed in, you see a shadow in the corner... As the camera Zooms in the shadow seems to move and go around the corner. This is the Camera correcting the lighting situation as it zooms in and gets the correct images. This stuff is really 101.
4: The Lady - Heh... Please.
5: The great brick! - This was their claim to fame and it was fun to watch. Lets be honest though.... Ask yourself these questions...
A: Was it really a brick? How do we know for sure?
B: Why didn't they go back and investigate the seen? If I was a real Paranormal investigator, that would be the 1st thing I would do!! This would be absolute proof.
C: Notice how they got the perfect shot? It just happens the light of the Camera picks up the brick at exactly the right time to see it. He also just hangs around long enough to see the wood fall. In a court of law this wouldn't even make it into the court room as evidence.
Although paranormal investigation has been popular for quite some time in documentary television specials, it has only in recent years been popping up more and more in the regular series category. Hits such as the Travel Channel's "Most Haunted" and SciFi's "Ghost Hunters" have served to put ghost hunting on the map as a legitimate sub-category of the now-commonplace reality genre. Becuase this development is so recent, and because more and more of these shows are popping up, it will probably be a while before the cream of the field rises to the top. When it does, I have a feeling that the Travel Channel's latest addition, "Ghost Adventures," will sink like a stone.
"Ghost Adventures" premiered on Friday, October 17. The show centers around host Zak Bagans and his team, Nick Groff and Aaron Goodwin. For their inaugural hunt, the boys set their sights on Bobby Mackey' Music World, an infamous country music nightclub that became widely known for its music and star connections and stayed widely known for its paranormal activity. The stories connected with the location provided some of the most interesting parts of the episode, but even these could not stand up to the over-the-top theatrics of the host and crew.
Any fans of SciFi's "Ghost Hunters" who happened to be watching saw absolutely nothing new. Bagans and his team followed the established formula to the letter, including the after-dark night vision exploration. The antics they engaged in the whole time gave the sense that they were trying too hard to compensate for their lack or originality. More than once, the team made huge deals of things that they could not share with the viewers, including numerous inconclusive voice recordings. The episode hit a climactic point when Bagans was "attacked" by a spirit, lifting his shirt to reveal "fresh" scratch marks on his back. All things considered, it was more laughable than it was scary.
Bagans, himself, was quite possibly the most irratating component of the entire show. He may have been pretty to look at, but he completely lacked charisma, often speaking and carrying himself like a bad actor in an independent slasher movie. He sounded more like a self-inflated drunken frat boy challenging an adversary than a paranormal investigator. Furthermore, he made it a point early on to repeat the most ridiculous and outlandish stories about the location (including a supposed "gateway to Hell") until they dissolved into utter silliness.
I'm a big fan of paranormal-themed shows and I do believe in the existence of ghosts. I really did try to like this show, but in the end, my interest in the paranormal couldn't stand up to the mockery that was made of it by Bagans and his buddies. Still, the location and the stories about it were very interesting and even a bit chilling, so it wasn't a total loss.
The next episode of "Ghost Adventures" airs Friday, October 25 on the Travel Channel. Check your local listings for time slots. Watch if you dare. There will no doubt be plenty of cringing, but not from fright.
@ghostadventures @zak_bagans or maybe they weren't "haunted" lol!
“Is Ghost Hunters TV show a fake?” “Are the Ghost Hunters fake?” “Did TAPS fake their Halloween 2008 show?”
The emails have been pouring in, asking questions like these. I was going to ignore them, but the emails continue to flood my in-box.
I’ve looked at the Ghost Hunters TV show footage on YouTube and studied it frame-by-frame. I also listened closely to the audio, where a voice clearly says, “You’re not supposed to be here.”
Here’s my analysis.
“YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE HERE”
That voice is alarmingly clear. During my own ghost hunts, I’ve never heard anything that audibly crisp or like someone was right there, saying it.
Then again, I rarely hear things audibly when I’m conducting research. I rarely capture any EVP, either. Audio is not one of my stronger areas.
However, Jason and Grant have documented increasingly clear EVPs during their research.
In my experience, this seems to be a skill — perhaps related to rapport with the spirits — and most ghost researchers improve as they investigate a variety of sites.
So, while this was a very unusual and audible voice, I think it’s possible in a profoundly haunted setting… and that’s what they chose for their Halloween 2008 show.
Also, at Jason’s MySpace blog, he points out that the voice was so clear, he asked if someone had said anything. (If anything irks me about Jason, it’s that he tends to be aggressively skeptical. This show was no exception.)
Likewise, it looked to me as if Grant was asking the producers if they were in the wrong location… if they weren’t actually supposed to be where they were at that moment.
So, I don’t think that Jason, Grant or the TAPS team faked the voice. I also trust the integrity of the SciFi channel.
There are other, natural explanations, but I don’t think that Jason, Grant or the SciFi channel set this up.
GRANT’S JACKET PULLED
The second controversial moment was the tug on Grant’s jacket… if it was that.
If you watch the video, frame by frame, you’ll see that the collar moves oddly just before Grant stumbles backwards.
However, the fishing line explanation doesn’t work. We might see the line highlighted by the cameras, or a shadow on the wall when the cameras moved in. It’s possible to do that on a recorded show.
However, on a live show, the production company couldn’t take that chance.
Here’s a bigger problem with the fishing line explanation: Grant’s jacket was open at the neck. If line had pulled on his jacket enough to throw him off balance, it would have jerked the neck opening of the jacket as it pulled him backwards, slightly choking him.
In my opinion, Grant perceived it as just his jacket, but he was actually forced backwards by something else. The only visual manifestation — besides Grant stumbling — was the movement at the collar a split second before he stepped backwards.
I can’t explain what happened. I have no idea, and can’t even guess.
Strange things occur in haunted places. That’s one reason we keep investigating them: We’re looking for explanations, but we often leave with more (and new) questions than answers.
The jacket tug baffles me.
NOT ENOUGH REACTION?
Several people have claimed that Grant’s body language, tone of voice, or other cues “give away” that he was faking the whole thing.
That’s not very good evidence of a hoax.
Anyone who has been on real ghost hunts knows that we get used to odd things happening. The “usual” anomalies stop surprising us after awhile. (This may be another reason why the manifestations become increasingly dramatic around experienced ghost hunters.)
But, if you’ve been with me on ghost hunts that turn dramatic — for example, with doors slamming repeatedly, or windows opening and closing on their own — you’ve seen me sigh and mutter, “I wish they wouldn’t do that. It’s really annoying.”
Things that scare other people don’t even surprise experienced ghost hunters, after we’ve encountered the phenomena enough times.
So, it’s a mistake to judge the authenticity of phenomena because an experienced ghost hunter doesn’t seem startled enough.
We just don’t startle as easily as someone with less ghost hunting experience.
Grant’s reaction (or lack of it) doesn’t prove anything.
A MATTER OF INTEGRITY
Jason and Grant are good friends. I see them at least once a year and we’ve chatted over breakfasts, lunches, dinners and at parties. We exchange emails when something is of mutual concern.
Grant is one of the most honest people I’ve ever met. He’s a really clean-living guy. Grant looks you straight in the eye when he talks with you. He seems to leave parties even earlier in the evening than I do… and that’s saying a lot. (I leave before things get even mildly wild. Unlike many ghost hunters, I’m a morning person… but I also live a fairly tame lifestyle and never drink liquor.)
I know both Grant and his wife, and neither of them would make make things up. They’re squeaky-clean, and I’d trust Grant (or his wife) completely in any context.
I like Jason, but sometimes he seems like an almost incorrigible skeptic. If anything, he’s likely to trivialize evidence that the rest of us point to as proof of a haunting. So, it seems absurd to think that he’d be part of a hoax. That’d be completely out of character.
Sure, Jason has a very dry wit, but he would never compromise his own integrity as a ghost hunter, the integrity of the TAPS team, or the Ghost Hunters TV show. That’s not his style. If you’ve met him in real life or listened to him talk at any conference, you know that he’s rock-solid honest.
At this point, I would hope that Jason and Grant have earned enough money that they could retire tomorrow, if they wanted to.
If the show’s production company said, “We want you to fake this,” Jay and Grant would reply, “We’d quit rather than do that.”
And, they would.
They have no reason to compromise their integrity. None whatsoever.
DID IT HAPPEN?
It’s true. Some very odd things seemed to happen during the Ghost Hunters TV show on Halloween 2008.
Could they have been faked?
Yes, the voice might have come from a very well hidden microphone. But — if that voice was part of a hoax — I’m confident that Jason, Grant and the SciFi channel weren’t aware of it.
I wasn’t there to know what direction the voice came from, and what it was like, except for what we saw on the Ghost Hunters TV show… and frankly, that’s not enough information for me to judge.
I’ve said it often: It’s a mistake to judge what is (and isn’t) a real haunting, a real ghost photo or real EVP unless you were there.
The incident with Grant’s jacket is another issue altogether. It couldn’t have been faked without Grant’s knowledge, and there’s zero chance he’d be part of a hoax.
All in all, I trust Jason and Grant. They say that they didn’t fake anything on the show, and I believe them.
But, I’m also aware that many people like a “good scare” on Halloween, and — starting the very next morning — they want to assure themselves that the whole thing wasn’t real, and scary things don’t wait for them in the darkness.
I think they’re the loudest detractors of the Halloween 2008 Ghost Hunters TV show.
Personally, I’ll keep watching the show and enjoy it tremendously.
July 2009 update:
This article may soon close for comments. Much of the rhetoric has degenerated to name-calling, petty accusations, and a few statements that could not be approved because they border on libel and defamation of character.
I try to keep this as an open forum, whether or not I agree with you. Well-considered arguments can help us find a common ground, and a direction to move towards as intelligent and enquiring members of the ghost hunting community .
If you have something constructive and helpful to contribute to the conversation, I’ll happily approve your comment so that it appears here. If you have documented accusations that would meet legal standards, I can approve those, as well.
However, I will not approve future comments that suggest stupidity or duplicity among my readers… on either side of the argument.
We may have to agree to disagree on the subject of the “Ghost Hunters” TV series.
August 2009 update
Thanks for the many comments, both positive and negative. As I announced in July, I’ve closed this thread to additional comments.
I’ve set the software accordingly, and apologize if any comments were deleted in this process. (I see that at least one of mine vanished, so be assured that it’s nothing personal.)
Short of putting everyone involved on a lie detector with witnesses with unquestionable integrity (if there is such a thing), I’m not sure that this question will ever be answered. While I respect the opinions of those who’ve disagreed, I still maintain my faith in the personal integrity of Jason and Grant.
If it were fake, there would be more phenomena purely for the entertainment value, unfortunately, they try very hard to get something concrete and they debunk many of their own theories. Of the people they contact who are experienced and in the field of paranormal investigations, the GAC enlist their technology and expertise for other opinions.
In one episode, one such "experienced" paranormal investigator plainly "threw" an EMF meter about 20 feet ahead of him. He later claimed that it was knocked out of his hand, but Nick Groff had a night vision camera trained on him during this event. The GAC watched it and clearly stated that he was invited as a another helpful source and that they see no paranormal evidence at all to support his claim.
The GAC were feeling a little embarassed for having involved such a fraud in their honest investigtions, but they explained why they give each person the benefit of the doubt. In any case, Zak Bagans mentions often that the devices they use might bring about strange effects and artifacts, but the psychological and emotional sensations of being in the proximity of an unknown prescense is a far greater indicator than that of any kind of technology. However, they have had some scary audio recordings and unusual video footage which cannot be explained by anyone.
I'm a skeptic and I've had experiences which I've either debunked, made a scientific justification for or simply refused to believe, but I truly believe that Zak, Nick and Aaron are trying very hard to prove something exists beyond our perception of life and death. I just find them a little more fun than T.A.P.S. because they are more daring.
A few folks have mentioned they wanted me to review a two-hour documentary called "Ghost Adventures". I saw it when it first aired and there did appear to be a couple of pieces of compelling evidence in there. It's basically 3 guys (later only 2) that take their own cameras, no camera crew or sound guys, and go to reportedly haunted places. I liked their style and concept, and I really liked some of their evidence — at first. Now I'm not entirely sure, but let's go through the best of it and you guys can watch for yourselves and decide.
Off the top of my head, there was video of some unexplained mist entering a 2nd floor hotel room from the hallway; also what appeared to be a very clear (but nearly transparent) outline of a man walking across a room past an exterior light; and finally in the basement of a supposedly haunted building there was a very blair witch moment when they turned a corner and (instead of seeing someone standing against the wall and being knocked unconscious) they see a brick fly up from a pile of debris as if thrown.
Certainly the evidence seemed compelling, but my first concern was when their "expert" reviewed some of the video footage and insisted that it absolutely could not have been faked because there would be telltale signs in the source material. I agree that might be the case if he was looking at the original, but if it was edited on a computer and then recorded down onto the cassette he reviewed I'm fairly certain there would be no such evidence of tampering.
Also, the brick moment just seemed a bit contrived to me and right before it happens it seems like the one guy is heading straight for that room, which is down the hall and to the left, without explanation. Previouslly they were wandering so it seemed odd to me why he suddenly wanted to go into that specific room down the hall.
Also, there was a verbal exchange between the two documentarians right then that seemed suspicious to me. One of them says, "This is the room." The other one quickly responds, "What room?" and the response is something like, "…that you were talking about" — What's that about? Why would they be talking about this room?
To me that seemed almost like a slip-up, sort of like "We're stumbling around in the dark here, where are we going now? Oh! I see… this is the room where we rigged up the brick… oops!"
Now, I'm not saying that's what happened, but I am saying that it's a possibility and I probably wouldn't even have mentioned the possibility of a hoax (because ultimately, in the back of our minds we know it's always a possibility — we just hope it's not probable) except that the comment does strike me as particularly out of place and the entire scene (I think one guy actually runs away from the other one and is found several minutes later cowering in a corner) really does have a contrived, Blair Witch vibe to it that makes me less inclined to believe it's a real documentary and more inclined to suspect some staging and scripting was going on.
But that's just me. I know a lot of people found it to be credible and compelling so feel free to make your own case for or against their evidence, I'm certainly not making any concrete conclusions.
Of all the fake ghost hunting shows, Ghost Adventures probably qualifies as the most annoying.
Hosted by the ever-preening Zak Bagans, a film school graduate with a penchant for horridly overwrought prose like "When darkness falls, we chase the darkness." He must write the stuff himself because he delivers each painful line as though he is reading from scripture.
Zak is also one of the world's worst actors, which is a shame since he does a lot of acting in each show. He approaches each case with an absurd tough guy act, constantly challenging ghosts: "Bring it on." Zak loves to gesture, pro wrestling-style, putting his hands right into our faces when he is trying to make a worthless point. It all comes across as trying just a little bit too hard.
Zak often interviews people who have claim some experience on the site. His outrageously leading questions sometimes make even the interviewees squirm. Of course, like all the other shows, the events described as occurring on the sites vastly outstrip what the ghost hunters actually find. We hear of full body apparitions, glowing eyes, spectral faces, etc., etc. But never, never is anything like that ever actually found by Zak or his team. Sometimes the best he can manage is to feel cold spots, or spectral touches. These allow him to really stretch out his acting skills, to great comedic effect. He also often presents the standard lame EVP's, dubious door slams, and unclear images.
Like many of the shows, recreated images and sounds are mixed in with the "real" stuff, making it impossible to determine what is being presented as "evidence". We can see the heavy ham hands of the producers as they try to wring out the maximum oooga booga for their indiscriminate audience.
Ghost Adventures also uses tons of dubious gadgets (see my Bag of Tricks article for some examples). Since none of the little electronic boxes are documented or explained, I view all of them with great suspicion. As I documented, one of their gadgets was just a cheap flashlight.
Some questionable stuff from a recent show, set at an abandoned prison:
• Batteries were drained "instantly" from the wireless mics but NEVER from the cameras (then there would be nothing for the show!). There was some priceless overacting "What? What?...I just put new batteries in 5 minutes ago!"
• The crew claimed then claimed that the audio for the on-board camera mics went out, too. It's hard to prove that they are lying but I would be willing to bet that they simply turned down the input for the drama. It is too convenient that the video never went out. The whole incident had all the earmarks of prearranged corny dramatic stunt.
• A supposed mist was shown behind Zak that was obviously just a reflection in the low quality night vision image.
Ghost Adventures is an example of lowest common denominator TV, cheap, dumb and patently false. The silly host makes this one particularly loathsome.
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