Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Television Ghost Shows vs. Reality

Update: I wrote this post when there were many ghost hunting shows on American television--today this fad has waned. . .

In America, a large variety of television shows are being produced about ghosts. Some focus upon the ghost hunter, others on the people who are experiencing hauntings, some even focus upon animals that see ghosts. 

All of these shows are produced for one reason—to be as entertaining as possible so that they stay on the air and make money. 

They have started a favorite pastime craze in America. More ghost hunting groups have formed in America in the past seven years than in the previous fifty years combined. 

Shows like “Ghost Hunters,” “Ghost Adventures,” “A Haunting,” “Paranormal State,” “My Ghost Story” are trendy-- the list goes on and on. 

Some of these shows attract audiences by presenting ghost hunters as heroes. Others attract audiences by showing people who have experienced hauntings as scared or sometimes even terrified, and often confused. 

These two extremes are precisely that—extremes. In the real world ghost hunters are not heroes but just people who seek answers. 

In reality, people who experience hauntings are not necessarily "scared" they just want answers so they can comprehend what is occurring. 

On television shows, ghost hunters often save the day for their clients. In reality, ghost hunters help their clients understand what is occurring, whether it is paranormal in nature or not.

Often to entertain, ghost shows on television present an exaggeration of the kinds of hauntings people experience. 

There always seems to be “demonic” activity occurring, or at the very least some very frightening activity occurring. 

In reality, most hauntings that occur are actually very benign in nature. 

The ghost hunters’ real role often is just to point out to their clients, who sometimes are concerned, that the activity will not harm them. This granted is not entertaining enough for television audiences.

The methods employed by ghost hunters on television are varied. 

Some present their “heroes” rushing in to challenge the ghost or ghosts. Others show their heroes saving the day by using religious beliefs to conquer any fear their clients may have. Yet others just rush in to prove that there really is ghostly activity. 

In reality, most ghost hunters spend time returning to places to determine if they are actually haunted.

On television, it is often assumed the place is haunted before the investigation begins. Granted, these shows want their audiences to be scared, so this fact is never in question. 

Some shows rely on the premise that people need ghost hunters to confirm something is going on--this is sometimes true. 

But most people who have true hauntings, figure it out without help. They just let ghost hunters come out to experience something they already know is occurring. 

Many Americans have lived peacefully with ghosts in their homes or businesses for years.

Despite all the comparisons in this post, my goal is not to overly criticize television ghost shows. After all, their purpose is to entertain. 

One good result of the interest people take in them is more people have realized they are not alone in their beliefs. 

Another positive result is more people have become proactive in this interest and are now seeking answers for themselves by joining groups, etc.

I must point out that many of my posts use the same assumptions--that a place must be haunted-- for them to be scary and fun for the reader.

One word of caution, like I mentioned in another post, people cannot learn to ghost hunt from watching these shows. 

Many good books fill in the gaps that these shows do not have the time to provide. 

Several posts on here address how to ghost hunt as well. 

Ghost hunting can be exciting and fun but it also takes mega time, work, and dedication.

1 comment:

Leona Joan said...

Very interesting, thanks. You're right, the ghost hunting shows far has definitively waned.