Beyond Belief: The Ghastly Truth About Ghost Hunting Shows

“What was that? Did you hear that?” is something you’ve heard time and time again watching Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures. We can’t turn away from these shows, even as the hairs raise on our arms. Our cultural obsession with the afterlife has left us wondering what’s around the corner. These shows attempt to show us the truth, but are they really just feeding us lies? Dive in with us as we explore under the covers of your favorite ghost hunting shows.

There’s Probably Nothing Touching Them

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The most prominent trick ghost hunting shows use is “something” touching one of the investigators and freaking out. Watching the hosts react to the unknown causes the audience to react too, but did you ever realize that there may not be anything touching them at all?

When paranormal investigator Vincent Amico was asked, he said, “Most of that stuff on TV is bunk…We’re hoping she’s in the mood to answer some – holy [expletive], something touched me!” The bottom line, he adds, is there is no way to prove that it didn’t happen, but there’s a good chance it’s just for show.

Investigations Take More Than One Night

Investigations Take More Than One Night

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Every paranormal show is structured the same. A team, led by someone like Zak Bagans, comes to town to investigate a case they’ve been made aware of. Zak does some research, questions the townsfolk, then locks himself and his team in the haunted location for a night.

Amico, who has worked in the industry for 15 years in Phoenix calls it “ghost hunting theater.” The truth is any real investigation takes weeks to months to conduct and rarely yields ghostly results. As you’ll learn from our next slide, ghosts don’t come out on command.

Ghosts Aren’t Looking For Your Company

Ghosts Aren’t Looking For Your Company

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Jed Yates, an investigator featured on several shows says, “I wish that ghosts showed up on demand, but it doesn’t work that way.” In the interview, he admits cameras are often set up weeks before the team arrives in hopes of catching something.

Again, most of what you see on camera is designed to peak your interest. If these shows didn’t play tricks on you, you’d be bored by the lack of anything happening. That, sadly, brings us to our next slide. Witnesses have more problems than just ghosts.

Sometimes A Doctor Is Needed, Not A Ghost Hunter

Sometimes A Doctor Is Needed, Not A Ghost Hunter

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On the show Ghost Hunters, the team would always go on a tour of a supposedly haunted location with the homeowner or property manager. After they left and found nothing, the real truth would come, the person who was claiming the house was haunted was suffering from mental illness.

This is incredibly sad, but it needs to be mentioned. According to people who worked on the show, they wouldn’t vet witnesses before meeting them. Then, after filming, they would find out the person had schizophrenia and needed help, not an exorcist.

One Investigator Admitted To Never Having Seen A Ghost

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Steve Gonsalves was one of the investigators on Ghost Hunters during its decade-long run. Shockingly, he says he never saw a single ghost during an investigation. Does that mean the whole show is bogus and a lie? Not exactly.

Gonsalves says just because he never saw a ghost while working on the show doesn’t mean paranormal activity never happened. Plenty of objects have been moved in front of his eyes. He says the investigation to find the truth was what kept his hunting all those years. Up next, will our brave hunters ever run out of locations to explore?

They Will Never, Ever, EVER, Run Out Of Sites To Investigate

They Will Never, Ever, EVER, Run Out Of Sites To Investigate

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One of the easiest things about running a paranormal investigation shows is the bounty of locations claiming to be haunted. In 2015, Jason Hawes (Ghost Hunters lead investigator), said the TAPS website received 92 million inquiries about possibly haunted houses and buildings.

This helps explain how Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures, Haunted USA, and Destination Truth were all able to air on television at the same time. The chances of teams investigating the same location as another were pretty much slim to none.

A Push For Ratings Led One Investigator To Leave Her Show

A Push For Ratings Led One Investigator To Leave Her Show

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Kris Williams left Ghost Hunters after an episode aired she didn’t approve of. During the episode, one of the investigators cuts their hand in a blood ritual to call upon ghosts. The moment was only done for ratings, and she threatened to leave the show if the episode aired.

The episode aired and Williams left. Six months later Ghost Hunters International was canceled as ratings plummeted. Williams has stayed in the paranormal field since, saying, “I can be myself, and I can be real.” Up ahead, learn the truth about what’s really being said during EVP sessions.

EVP Are Easily Faked For A Reaction

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EVPs, or “electronic voice phenomena” are easily faked to get a reaction from the audience. Using a tape recorder to ask a ghost questions is a staple of investigations. When the audio is played back, sometimes a voice can be heard answering the questions.

The problem is these breaks in static are never clear, investigator like Zak Bagans can say, “did you hear that it just said ‘death coming.'” When the audio is played back again, this is now what the audience hears. According to Amico, the power of suggestion is the greatest tool television investigators use.

The Technology Used Isn’t Designed For Ghost Hunting

The Technology Used Isn’t Designed For Ghost Hunting

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You already know that tape recorders are not designed for ghost hunting, but what about the EMF meter, the other most popular tool used by the Ghost Hunters crew. Designed to detect electromagnetic fields, devices like the K-II don’t claim to be able to find ghosts.

Paranormal investigators claim, however, that ghosts try to manifest using electromagnetism, so a bump in a reading could mean an apparition is near. Or maybe they just forgot to turn off their cell phone, which could also cause a spike in the reading. Next, the truth about how real life investigators feel.

Real Life Investigators Hate The Show

Real Life Investigators Hate The Show

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This probably isn’t surprising, but real life ghost hunters hated their dramatized counterparts. Several have even accused shows like Ghost Hunters of stealing their income. Most investigators work for free but get paid to give lectures.

With the rise in popularity of shows, people like Jason Hawes and Zak Bagans are being invited instead. Don’t forget, when Ghost Hunters started, the team were plumbers during the day. Once their television work began paying off, they were able to quit their stinky day jobs!