Ghost Hunters is back. After ending its run with SyFy back in 2016, the show has returned from the grave and now airs on A&E (The Futon Critic).
Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson were not only paranormal investigators during the show’s run, but plumbers for Roto Rooter as well. Once they got attention in a New York Times article back in 2002, the show fell into place and they started TAPS, which stands for The Atlantic Paranormal Society. Grant Wilson left the show but is back for the new run, while Jason Hawes looks to be sitting out.
Without a doubt, Ghost Hunters has brought more awareness to paranormal investigation. On top of that, the show also garnered lots of controversies, with many outright calling the show fake. We’re going to look at aspects of the show the cast and producers fake for viewers.
For more on TV, see 10 reality TV spin-offs we never asked for (plus 5 you don’t even remember).
20 Scary Occurrences Are Rare And Staged
Paranormal investigating isn’t as exciting as it looks on TV.
Vincent Amico, a paranormal investigator, shared with AZ Central, “A guy says he felt something touch him, or you hear a door slam off camera […] That’s the easiest stuff to fake. There’s no way to prove he wasn’t touched, or that someone off camera didn’t slam the door.”
19 They Trick Audiences With A Simple Flashlight Trick
While Ghost Hunters uses lots of hi-tech equipment, even simpler tech comes in handy such as flashlights. Cast members will show supposed spirits turning flashlights on and off.
Yet Ranker reports that it’s all a trick that entails unscrewing the flashlight and letting the reflector cool down on its own.
18 They Set Up Cameras Weeks In Advance
Viewers won’t be happy to hear this one. According to AZ Central, in their discussion with paranormal investigator Jay Yates, shows like Ghost Hunters will have camera crews set up at residences weeks in advance.
They usually set up beforehand in preparation for the cast to turn up and shoot the show.
17 Cast Members Follow A Script
Shows like Ghost Hunters come across real and unrehearsed. Yet according to the site Grunge, it’s actually scripted. Not only that, there’s even a report about a leaked script appearing online.
If true, this suggests the show leads viewers on by making the dialogue and developments of each case appear natural.
16 Most Of What They Investigate Turns Out To Be Nothing
Some paranormal investigators sat down with Cracked and shared details that suggest ghost hunting is not all it's cracked up to be. “Nearly everything you record and review turns out to be a whole lot of nothing,” according to the source.
That could mean a lot of work for very little in return if anything at all.
15 Other Devices Easily Affect EMF Sensors
One of the cooler devices paranormal investigators use are EMF sensors. These devices detect electromagnetic differences in the area.
Yet according to paranormal investigator Vince Amico as per AZ Central, cast members can easily change an EMF sensor’s readings by putting another device near it. Later on, we delve into what devices those are.
14 Cellphones And Watches Mess With EMF Sensors
Vince Amico, a paranormal investigator, isn’t buying in to shows like Ghost Hunters. He spoke with AZ Central and reports that something as simple as a cellphone or watch can change an EMF sensor’s readings.
“I remember one time they showed the device starting to light up, and the guy holding the device had a huge watch on his wrist.”
13 They’re Not The First Ones To Investigate A Location
Donna Lacroix was a former member on Ghost Hunters. Since she’s been off the show, she’s spilled the beans on a lot of the show’s falsehoods.
According to Mass Live, during an interview on “Ghost Divas,” Lacroix calls out times where shows say they're investigating a residence for first time, when really other teams have checked it out before.
12 Paranormal Investigations Can Take Months
TV shows don’t always have time to be authentic. Ghost Hunters tends to spend a night at a supposedly haunted residence.
According to paranormal investigator Vince Amico though, in an interview with AZ Central, these investigations can take a lot longer. He said it’s common for investigations to take weeks or even months.
11 There’s Supposedly A Crew That Dresses Up The Scenery
Donna Lacroix, a former member of Ghost Hunters, revealed details from behind the scenes of the show. In an interview with “Ghost Divas,” she suggested that there’s a staging crew.
While it’s not a lot to go off of, it does paint the series in a different light if true (Mass Live).
10 The Evidence Is Lacking
Ghost hunting has its share of naysayers and skeptics. That should prompt paranormal investigators to back up their experiences with proof.
A paranormal investigator named Jay Yates spoke to AZ Central: “Many of these ghost-hunting shows are not evidence-driven, but more based upon experiences from the cast and crew, not concrete evidence always.”
9 Editors Are Selective About What They Show Viewers
When Donna Lacroix spoke with "Ghost Divas,” she revealed details about Ghost Hunters' editing team.
According to Lacroix, they once edited a scene and made it look different from what had actually happened. It didn’t sit well with Lacroix, which may have contributed to her ultimate departure from the show.
8 They Take Liberties Making Out Words From EVP Recordings
Paranormal Investigators employ hi-tech tools while on the job, such as EVP recorders. Cast members on shows like Ghost Hunters will often decipher what these recorders pick up, relaying words from beyond to the audience.
Yet paranormal investigator Vince Amico told AZ Central that it’s hard to distinguish actual words since the recorders create a lot of other noise.
7 They Get Away With Tricks Under The Cover Of Night
Part of what adds to the spooky atmospheres on Ghost Hunters is that most of it takes place in the dark. While it certainly ups the show’s entertainment value, it can also offer producers an advantage.
According to Ranker, the cover of night enables the show to trick audiences with camera tricks.
6 A TAPS Member Believes He Encountered A Spirit
All it may take to keep a paranormal investigator going is what they hear from others. According to Grunge, one of TAPS' members admitted to seeing “objects moving, things falling that doesn't make sense, smells.”
That may be enough to convince some, but unless there’s more to back it up, many will remain dubious.
5 Properties Claim To Be But Aren’t Really Haunted
It might sound like a bad mark against a business if it becomes haunted. Yet a report in Cracked suggests otherwise. Paranormal investigators who sat down with the source claim that certain businesses benefit from the added tourism it brings.
They even welcome investigations such as TAPS provides, as it has the potential to bring more attention to the location.
4 Drama Gets Embellished
It’s not that big of a surprise, considering Ghost Hunters is a reality TV show and drama tends to get embellished. According to the site Grunge, some of the drama that happens on Ghost Hunters isn’t real.
Everyone knows TV shows can get carried away with doing this though to inject excitement in episodes.
3 It's About More Than The Thrill
If someone does a difficult job purely for the thrill of it, people tend to look up to them. While the lead cast members of Ghost Hunters would like its viewers to believe that’s why they do it, the truth is they make money off the show.
According to former member Donna Lacroix, in an interview with “Ghost Divas,” Jason and Grant made bank off merchandising and producer's rights on the show (Mass Live).
2 TAPS Members Believe In Made-Up Stories
When sitting around a campfire, everyone loves a good ghost story. While it’s enough to fool a few scared listeners, we expect paranormal investigators not to fall for it. Yet according to Ranker, TAPS members have accepted old tales as truth.
They cite an episode that took place on a plantation with a scary story tied to the setting that many Ghost Hunters believed. After some research though, an investigator found out a key character in the tale was never real.
1 TAPS Has A Questionable Business Model
TAPS is more than a group of paranormal investigators going from haunted residence to the next—it's also a business.
Grunge reports that TAPS states to be a non-profit organization and also admit to financing its tech from donations. Yet others claim the producers buy their equipment, which raises an eyebrow.
Sources: The Futon Critic, AZ Central, Cracked, Mass Live, Grunge, Ranker