You might be familiar with a show on The Travel Channel called Ghost Adventures. In this reality-show, three men go to different locations and try to catch evidence of otherworldly apparitions.
The show is hosted by Zak Bagans and he is accompanied by two other investigators.
So, is the evidence that they find faked? Honestly, I have no idea. I certainly have no evidence that they are intentionally faking any of their evidence. There are, however, certain factors that seem to suggest that some of their claims might be exaggerated. Before I am attacked by hordes of perfumed fans and bludgeoned to death with flat irons and blinded with hairspray, let me add that I am not going to say that the men are necessarily doing this intentionally.
First off, let me say that I am a fan of the show and have been watching it since the first season. I once told my father as we were watching a rerun of the show, “You know, half of why I watch this show is that I think the host is cute.”
And it’s true. I used to date (aka hook up with) a guy who looked quite a lot like the host. He might have even been hotter, actually. Certainly my incredible charm and amazing personality is what drew him to me. Or, it might have been all the beer. Unfortunately, in his case, there was an inverse relationship between his hotness and his intelligence, but alas, whenever I watch the show, I am reminded of an exciting time of my life.
Based on the twitter followers of Mr. Bagans, this phenomenon is experienced by other females, as the tweets they send him very often resemble what one might expect to hear from teenage girls as they look at a fanzine.
Fortunately, attractiveness is not always indirectly proportional to intelligence. Mr. Bagans seems to be reasonably smart and is certainly funny and charming, and these factors make him a good host for the show.
So, the show is entertaining. It has an attractive host, uses music in a suspenseful way, and every show, you are guaranteed that they will find something interesting and spooky.
And that’s the rub. It is simply highly unlikely that they would find evidence of a haunting every single time.
It isn’t that I don’t believe in spirits. I used to live in a house that was haunted and personally witnessed (in the company of others) unexplained phenomenon like loud footsteps, lights turning on and off, and things moving of their own volition. I’ve seen two apparitions and there were some strange occurrences that a few of us witnessed after my brother’s death. I’m not saying that these things are fake.
I’m just saying that it is highly unlikely that these men would find evidence each and every time they go to a location. They do occasionally try to “debunk” noises or shadows, but one never begins watching Ghost Adventures thinking that this time the group isn’t going to find something.
Why the hell am I writing this? Certainly it is the Febreeze I sprayed on the carpet just a few minutes ago.
When I lived in a haunted house, sometimes there would be a lot of activity. Others times there would be nothing. It appears, from experience, that just as a watched pot never boils, a hunted ghost never appears.
The Ghost Adventures crew would certainly have a good motivation for faking their evidence as they have each found a lucrative career and fame from hunting ghosts. It would be helpful to have a skeptic on their crew who was independent of their team, but I know that this will never happen. Still, the show is entertaining, it is what it is, and it wouldn’t be fair to call the men fakes.
They may, however, be experiencing a psychological phenomenon coined Orr’s law. It says, “What the thinker thinks, the prover proves.” This shows up again and again in Robert Anton Wilson’s Prometheus Rising, a fucking awesome book, but again I digress.
The point is that if these guys are going into the situation thinking that the place is haunted and thinking that they will find something, they will find something. Is it legitimate? Are they really finding something? Is there, in fact, anything to be found or is it all just a psychological phenomenon that springs from the human fear of death. Who the hell knows. Or, as the Dali Lama said when I saw him speak in 1999, “Sometimes you just have to say fuck it.”
He might have said “forget it.” It’s hard to tell with his accent.
Time to huff some more Febreeze.