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My thoughts on this week’s Syfy paranormal shows

31 Mar

I can’t help but think that a couple of the current paranormal shows will soon become ghostly memories. Let’s take a look at “Fact or Fake.”

For whatever reason, the show continues to stray from its premise. Is the viral video fact or faked? Instead, we watch as the show, all to quickly, abandons its video debunking to do some ghost hunting. If we wanted to watch ghost hunting there are several programs that do that very thing.In last night’s episode, “S02E02: Thermal Theater Ghost; Fire in the Sky” we watch the FoF team ghost hunt for the second episode in a row.

I was also disturbed by the heat signature interpretation by the stuntman of the team. The heat source seemed to disappear, as if my magic, when another team member walked up. It would seem to me that the thermal camera is adjusting to the larger range of temperatures as Bill or Chi-Lan walk into the shot. I believe that the team either intentionally or unintentionally misinterpreted the thermal readings.

In the second part of the episode, the team concluded that the lights in the sky was a night-time parachute team. At the conclusion, Ben congratulated himself and the team for figuring it out. However; the local news channel said that the event was “airshow maneuvers“and reported that more would happen the next night. Are we to believe that FoF’s research was so bad that they didn’t check with the local TV station or the locals? If they did know what the lights were, why string us along with the experiments? Why congratulate yourself for solving a mystery that wasn’t a mystery?

Is the show “Fact or Fake” fact or fake? I would say fake!

Ghost Hunters:

Even though it’s ratings are dropping, I don’t see this show going off the air in the next couple of years.  I would like to see them return to their roots of helping people. In this week’s episode “S07E06: Frozen in Fear”, the team travels to another Haunted Theatre. Yes, the place bills itself as a haunted theatre — another perfect place to hold a Ghost Hunters convention ( so of course it’s haunted ).

The evil part of me wanted to see Steve stranded on the frozen island unable to fly off. The best part of the show is the dog and she may be the smartest one of the team.

Destination Truth:

DT is another one of those paranormal shows that I think will not last. The episode “S04E11: Sandstorm Spirits; Cerro Azul Monste” is a ghost hunt in Namibia and an investigation of a dead sloth. As for the ghost hunt, why make your show like so many others? A quick google search would solve the dead sloth mystery and I felt that they strung me along knowing that it was nothing.

There seems to be a desperation to the stunts on the show. I get the feeling that they know the show is on the chopping block. In this episode, one guy falls from a raft on the way to meet some people in native costume. My thought native costume = tourism and tourism = roads.

Funniest line, “claws perfectly designed to tear flesh from bone.” Oh Josh, that was so funny and yet so sad.

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9 Comments

Posted by on March 31, 2011 in paranormal, TV series

 

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9 responses to “My thoughts on this week’s Syfy paranormal shows

  1. Aldyth

    March 31, 2011 at 10:00 am

    Destination Truth is in the difficult position of having been a Fortean themed show that can’t produce much in the way of Fortean creatures. How many times can you do a one hour show where you never find anything, except maybe a rational explanation for the Loch Ness Monster or chupacabra? I’m pretty sure that’s why they started experiementing with ghost hunting in season 2. Now, of the two segments of each show, ghost hunting is usually featured in one.

    It’s because they are getting some results. Quite simply, there are a lot more haunted places where you can get an EVP than there are places infested with Yeti where you can actually capture one.

    I’m sure Fact or Fiction is in the same position.

    Ghost Hunters appears to be making an actual effort to re-energize the series. Bringing in Dawg, The Ghost Hunter, a few new characters, and new equipment and research techniques is part of it.

    For years, Ghost Hunters has relied on arrogance and superiority of it’s own techniques. They just plain got stale. Now, they are learning from what other investigation groups are doing and utilizing other research techniques.

    Ghost Hunters still has a few years of life left in it. Destination Truth is going to far more exotic locations than GHI and in some cases – getting far better evidence than either GH or GHI has obtained. The Masada and Chernobyl investigations were excellent. I’m betting we’ll continue to see more ghost hunting, because it is producing positive results for them.

     
    • Barry Huddleston

      April 1, 2011 at 8:32 am

      Aokigahara forest in Japan was among my favorites, I’d love to see DT return.

       
      • SharonH

        April 1, 2011 at 12:49 pm

        Definitely! Sad place, very atmospheric. I think they may have caught some decent evidence there as well. Weird about that wind suddenly kicking up.

         
  2. autumnforest

    March 31, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    I agree with the majority of what you’re saying. The sad thing is, it’s like soap operas. It’s better to have some bad soap operas than no soap operas at all. Now that we have a paranormal train on the TV track, we want to keep it there. Give me your idea for a show that might be worthy of your review. I’m kind of curious about what kind of paranormal show you would invent.

     
    • Barry Huddleston

      March 31, 2011 at 6:56 pm

      I like the idea of helping people. I would rather see a program that helps people deal with the alleged haunting. At one time GH was like that before they became an hour-long infomercial for hotels, restaurants, and theaters.

      I would also like to see multi-episodes on a single investigation.

      Along those same lines, I would love to see a program that busts hoaxers. I want to see someone strike fear in the “Miss Cleos” out there. I want to see the Benny Hinns go into hiding when this show hits town. Leave Granny and her tea leaves alone and the guy who reads Tarot for tips, I want to see a show that goes after the big dogs.

      I guess the main thing is that I want a show that shoots straight, does its research, and helps people.

       
  3. autumnforest

    March 31, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    Barry;
    I think that you’re definitely onto something. The problem a lot of times with helping people in haunting situations is that it becomes either a show like “Paranormal State” where they go around praying and planting coins on the property or they bring in a psychic. Now, I’m a psychic, but I tackle the situation with good old-fashioned counseling, giving them skills to cope as a family, as individuals and with anything that happens in life, including ghosts. I would love to see someone come in and turn around a family’s POV about a haunting. I also really love the idea of uncovering the fake psychics and healers. You might need Amazing Randy for that one.

     
    • Aldyth

      April 1, 2011 at 6:03 am

      My team does much the same thing as you do. There’s even been an occasion when we worked with a family to put a child ghost on a behavioral program where she was rewarded for good behavior. Within a month, we were seeing results with the ghost discontinuing disruptive behaviors, because she was getting attention for being good.

      Ultimately, we were able to help the ghost cross over to the other side, ending the haunting. But it took about six months of repeated visits to get there.

       
  4. SharonH

    April 1, 2011 at 7:32 am

    Great article with some very interesting observations. Here’s mine:

    Fact or Faked – These guys must have a hard time keeping a straight face when they are looking over possible candidates for investigation. I mean, c’mon, that ghost video with the spooky girl in the nightgown–an obvious fake. Good for a horror movie, bad for taking seriously. Yet they don’t want to totally call it a fake and pretend it MIGHT have possibilities. Also, why do they often choose something that has been debunked for years, i.e., that area where it looks like cars roll uphill? Does no one do any research before picking out subjects for investigation?

    Ghost Hunters – Yes, I know that animals seem to be more attuned to things we cannot see or hear. Their senses, esp. those of dogs, are much more highly developed than those of humans (except sight). But when GH trotted out that sweet pooch, I almost fell over laughing. Talk about desperate! Instead of learning how to REALLY use the equipment they have and becoming more educated in general (maybe someone take Physics 101?) they decide on this gimmick.

    Why do I think it’s ridiculous? I’m not discounting the many cases where animals seem to genuinely react to something that may be paranormal. But seriously, if my dog were barking at a wall, my first thoughts would be rodents. After an infestation by rats in the house I’m renting, I can tell you that they merrily scamper up and down behind walls and can produce sounds you would swear were made by humans. Most of the time we can’t hear them, but our dogs sure can, given that their sense of hearing is at least 10x that of our own. GH must have gotten the idea from Most Haunted when they used a German Shepherd. And I could pull my hair out when anyone says there’s no possible source for EMF readings to spike or exist in a place or whatever. EM waves are everywhere and can fluctuate wildly within any given room or area.

    Yup, sort of wish Steve found himself stranded. My bad.

    Destination Truth – I have watched this series from the first episode. I’ve seen Josh go from being an Indiana Jones type mainly looking for cryptos to yet another ghost hunter for SyFy. I long for the days when nobody from another SyFy series showed up to give dubious “expert” opinions. Glad he still uses some real experts, i.e. Mike Dee. SyFy has stylized his show and made it less than believable. That said, I wouldn’t want it to disappear off the radar. Aldych has brought up some of this show’s finer episodes. DT is great for entertainment, so-so on investigation. Would like to have seen it on another network like NatGeo (which now has Pat Spain) then a channel with a sullied reputation.

    My choice for a show-one with REAL debunkers, like the Skeptologists, who had tried to get someone interested in their pilot. The reasons I think they failed is that they are composed of actual scientists and probably would debunk a large percentage of things deemed “paranormal” by others. The latter may open some people’s eyes and caused a drop off in viewership of the bigger money makers. There is not one show that represents true, qualified skeptics (At times, MonsterQuest has utilized this technique with some success).

    Sorry to ramble on. I’ve been interested in the unknown since childhood and hate to see research so mishandled by amateurs. If these subjects are ever going to be taken seriously, nothing these series have produced so far is going to make that happen.

     
    • Barry Huddleston

      April 1, 2011 at 7:52 am

      I think where we see most paranormal shows go wrong is that they fail to discover their niche, instead they imitate what they believe other shows are successfully doing. If your show is a silly Scooby-doo romp ok, but don’t expect to be taken seriously later.

      One thing I would love to see is a person on any of these shows standing up to the host and telling them that they are wrong. Can you imagine a person standing up to Jason and telling him that he is misinterpreting an evp?

       

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