*Author’s note: When I wrote this article nearly two years ago, I – admittedly, and through the benefit of hindsight – was really having a chronic case of “sour grapes.” My opinion of paranormal research has been evolving as I have started to realize that, ultimately, they’re just people trying to be successful at what they do. Just like me. However, I will not delete this post because I think it is important to the full gestalt of my own evolution as a researcher. I will never deny having had these opinions at one time, but I no longer have the rage that I had, nor do I feel that their contributions are any less important than mine, although we may approach it from different angles. Jason and Grant, keep on keepin’ on.*
Okay, so here’s the deal…I watch pretty much every television show pertaining to the paranormal that comes around the bend, due to my greater than average interest in the field (and my addiction to anything passing itself off as “reality” TV). In fact, I might even go as far as saying that I am an authority on the subject matter. As such, I can say without hesitation that Jason and Grant (and the whole lot of them) are irretrievably full of shit (perhaps due to hefty financial swaying by the network), and they have completely blighted the way the entire field of paranormal investigation is perceived.
It’s bad enough that ghost hunters have historically come across as socially retarded, fedora wearing chodes, and now we have a brand spanking new variety of chicanery to sort through.
Generally speaking, the level of rage that deluges my entire being is usually reserved for junior high guidance counselors and soccer moms with cell phones driving SUVs filled with horrid little children.
In the unlikely event that the esteemed UMOA readers have not heard of Jason, Grant, or anyone involved with T.A.P.S., allow me to give a little background:
Jason and Grant are founding members of the Atlantic Paranormal Society (T.A.P.S.) and, based on some nebulous personal experiences in their collective youth, they decided to hang a shingle and start a paranormal investigation group, ostensibly to find “answers” to what happened to them and blah, blah, blah. Somewhere along the line, they managed to parlay their employment as plumbers for Roto-Rooter into corporate sponsorship, and that led to the eventual creation of the show that I really love to hate… Ghost Hunters.
On each episode, the intrepid band of researchers convene upon a location purported to have paranormal activity and, through an intricate choreography of ass-backwardness, they lay down cables and tape cameras to walls (while simultaneously arguing about which piece of equipment Brian lost, as he is the show’s unattractive scapegoat), and proceed to “investigate” by familiarizing themselves with the entire back story of the activity, undoubtedly so they can be sure and report similar experiences. During the lesser episodes, they will generally make a Cecil B. DeMille production of debunking the activity based solely on their experience as plumbers for Roto-Rooter (a detail that is mentioned no less than 415 times during an average show) and the happenstance that they were not able to collect and evidence (never mind the fact that most legitimate investigations will require numerous visits and lots of waiting around, but rarely a plunger and a drain snake).
On the episodes where they DO claim to find evidence, it’s always at some regional landmark that is likely to generate revenue as a result of having activity, and the evidence is so dubiously FANTASTIC that it makes me want to punch myself in the face.
For example, during a visit to the famous Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, CO, we see Grant futzing around with his little cheap-ass camera in the dark hotel room, and – conveniently – when he asks the show’s cameraman to use his light to illuminate his task of “changing the tape” (which inexplicably involved pointing the SciFi channel camera to the ground), the table shakes violently and a chair flies off the ground and hits the wall. I guess turning on the light in the room would have broken protocol, since paranormal activity ONLY happens in the dark, right? Too bad these pros never thought to have a back-up camera running, huh?
I fucking hate liars, seriously.