A PERSONAL VIEW ON ALL THOSE PARANORMAL TV SHOWS
(note, these opinions are my personal ones, and not of the society).
A month ago, I got cable TV for the first time in my life (I am usually busy with side projects and the society, but it was two months free, so I thought I would give it a try). Recently, I came down with symptoms of the H1N1 virus, and had to stay home.
When you are stuck basically quarantined at home, and feeling as I was, not much to do but watch TV, and I was surprised by how many paranormal TV shows there are out there.
I finally got to see for myself the show that we are called the 'female' version of (but we will no longer be an all female team as of 2010 we will be welcoming a couple of new male team members) - because of our usual skepticism and needing to find out the natural and possible other causes of reports of the paranormal. I didn't agree with everything, but was actually impressed by the way they conduct their investigations - and I am very envious of all their expensive equipment! Just trying to figure out if people were comparing me to the bald guy.
Then I got to see another show from the UK again (my ex who was from the UK brought a copy of the shows for me when he was over here in around 2004). It is quite entertaining, but I was a little miffed about how the cameras were always on their faces instead of what they were 'seeing'. I would rather see the mist/shadow/figure walking across the door, that seeing a green light up their nose! I really love the locations they go too, I would love to visit the castles of Britain and Romania. As far as the psychics on that show, there was only one I was really impressed with, and would love to meet in person - David Wells. I have met so many 'phony' ones out there (who are usually in it only for the money), but he seemed to be spot on with quite a few of his findings. I also enjoy some of the experiments that their head investigator does on that show, and might incorporate a few in some of our future ones.
I then caught a show about the supposed 'extreme" side of the paranormal. When the first words I heard were 'we are going down to New Orleans for some black magic and some beer' - well that showed me how serious this show really is. I watched it, and couldn't believe the bad acting at some parts. One part, there was a person placed in a coffin and buried. He had a camera shooting up his nose, and he claimed to hear banging within it. Funny, when I watched closely, and this is my own opinion, when it was about the third bang, you can see is body move, as if he was banging his own foot against the side of it. I just shook my head throughout the whole program. Tried watching a couple of the other episodes, but was so disappointed in what I was seeing.
Then there is the one where they bring out all the 'celebrities' to do paranormal investigations. I have been watching that show for the past week. I am amazed how much paranormal activity these celebrities come up with in such a short space of time, never doing it before (can you hear my sarcasm?)
As every investigator who actually does this as a passion (cannot really say 'living' because there is no money in it - which there shouldn't be), you can be at a reported haunted location for even 12 hours straight, and may not get anything. The paranormal cannot 'act on cue', and its very rare you do get a night where you get so much 'activity' as you do on this show. So this makes me suspicious to begin with. Most of it is the celebrities screaming and noises, but some of the other things they claim to capture, hmm, if that was true, the paranormal community would be ecstatic and it would be world news.
Another one I was quite excited because It looked like they actually knew what they were doing. After about the 7th episode I saw where it was yet another demon (never a ghost, a demon), I thought okay, here we go with the 'lets get viewers by showing the demon angle'.
Then I saw one with strippers jumping up and down screaming in the dark - paranormal meets T&A enough said!
So what is my opinion on these shows? Some are entertaining, many are so disappointing. I really do like that one that I mentioned at the beginning of this article, at least they are on the scientific angle instead of using just the words of a medium as their main evidence. But TV is being flooded right now with paranormal shows with supposed real investigations going on, and most of them - are bastardizing the field that so many of us work so hard doing and have a dedication too. And then you have these 'teams' cropping up all over the place that their main goal is to get famous and to get perhaps a TV show, so they are not being as logical or as ethical as they should be. Its sad that more TV stations don't seek out real investigators and show real paranormal investigations - but I guess that isn't what sells nowadays in this environment. But I would hope that most people out there who have a true interest in the paranormal would know bs when they see it, and take most of these shows with 'a grain of salt'.
Now the question is - would we ever do a TV program? I have been on TV in the past, and it has scared me to death (more than any investigation could). But two huge pros of having a show - one would be the locations you would be able to get into, and not just in one city, but all over the world. The second is the budget for the equipment. I would love to have at least 12 dvr's hooked up to computers, along with many of the other equipment I have seen. But one problem with having the money for that equipment, if a team doesn't know how to use it - its useless (and we have seen that with teams here). But as I have said in the past, we are not in this for fame and definatley not fortune. Every member on our team are in this field because of past experience they may have had, and to search for the truth behind paranormal investigations.
So when you watch these shows, enjoy yourself and be entertained, but remember don't believe everything you see.