Ghost Hunters International: The Final Season

Ghost Hunters International: The Final Season
will be available for purchase as a DVD August 27th and a lot of people are unhappy about it. Many fans felt that the Syfy channel’s reluctance to say that GHI was cancelled meant that GHI would/could return to TV. Sadly, that idea or hope was dashed with the title on the DVD’s cover “The Final Season.” Sorry True Believers — surprise (if you had read Gnostalgia more often you wouldn’t have been so surprised).

Still others, in the True Believers category, are upset by the label “actor” assigned by Amazon and other retailers by the star’s names.  Wake-up and smell the coffee, retailers have been labeling the ghost hunters as actors for years.

The packaging of the DVD is very odd. It is some sort of moon photoshop-effect with a partial cast. For reasons only Syfy knows, Paul Bradford and Scott Tepperman were dropped from the cover? Bradford is having trouble finding anyone who will admit to approving the cover, “Ive now written to both @Pilgrim_Studios and @SyFy in regards to the GHI Final Season DVD Cover…. Someone has to have Okay’d this….”

GHI was a “red meat” paranormal show for me; I loved to tear into that show and give it a good shake. Frankly, a paranormal investigation requires more than just a few days and their conclusions, based on these brief investigations, were woefully simplistic. Having said that, I think the locations were eye-popping beautiful. I’d love to visit those locations. The bones of a good show are there; I think that the execution, for a myriad of reasons, was lacking.

Update Ryan Buell Surgery

ryanbuellAs many of you know, Ryan Buell, the host of Paranormal State, has been suffering from Pancreatic cancer. Ryan recently went through an operation that removed one organ and a piece of another. He is “stable and resting in the ER.”

My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family during this difficult time. I know that I speak for many when I say that I look forward to seeing you ghost hunting again.

Paranormal State
Paranormal State (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The ghosts of paranormal Christmas yet to come

old houseI have to confess that I don’t watch the parashows with the ferocity that I once had. It’s not that I am no longer a paranormal geek (BTW check out the book Paranormal Geeks by Sharon Day and Julie Ferguson) but rather it is the lack a fresh angle to the paranormal shows.

If you want an entertaining show with a lot of silliness there is a program for you, Ghost Adventures. If you are interested in paranormal infomercials, Ghost Hunters has changed from it’s ideal of helping people to shameless huckstering of alleged haunted locations.

Ashley TroubI recently learned that our favorite barista was booted from the Ghost Hunters show. I guess Jason couldn’t mold her in the Ghost Hunter ideal “what was that? — did you hear that?” Isn’t it sad that the most stable paranormal team on TV seems to be the Ghost Adventures team?

I think this latest personnel shuffling with Ashley Troub is a perfect example of why I seldom watch the show. If you pick a person, shouldn’t you invest the time to train her up and give her a fair chance to earn her spot on the team? I think a lot of fans realized at first sight that Ashley was not the person for the show, but once you’ve made your pick, it’s only fair to give her a chance. Of course, it isn’t about the passion of ghost hunting, but all about ratings, money, and demographics.

What does the ghost of paranormal shows yet to come have in store for us? Josh Gates has a new show called “Stranded — The show features average paranormal enthusiasts who are stranded in some of the most haunted locations in America and record their experiences with handheld cams.” The show sounds like Scariest Places on Earth narrated by Linda Blair. While I like Josh Gates, couldn’t Syfy give us something new?

Notorious Hauntings — supernatural investigations from around the world or a re-make of the defunct (though not officially) Ghost Hunter International with a little dash of Destination Truth tossed in. Ghost Mine or the paranormal version of Discovery’s Gold Rush Alaska. What’s next, the paranormal housewives of the rich and famous? Dancing with the Bigfoots?

I guess the best thing about paranormal TV is that like Ashley Troub’s career they go away quickly.

Starbucks Barista joins Ghost Hunters

A Starbucks Barista, Ashley Troub, will join the Ghost Hunters team Sept. 26th in the episode “Don’t Feed the Apparitions”. Ashey lists her education on Facebook (link) as Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. She is a freelance makeup artist and a member of the East Ventura Paranormal Society.

I imagine that a former barista will come in handy during those late night investigations. Fortunately for Ashley, she has Steve and Tango from the now defunct Ghost Hunters Academy to train her.  I guess that Pilgrim and Syfy couldn’t bring in someone from the Ghost Hunters International show because that would admit that GHI has been cancelled.

Personally, I would have preferred an adult woman but I understand why GH feels the need to sex the show up. I suspect the the show will become more … ahem… entertaining.

Enchanted Doll Forrest Season 1 EP. 2 P.P.I IndyPara Paranormal Investigation

Enchanted Doll Forrest Season 1 EP. 2 P.P.I IndyPara Paranormal Investigation

Give this team a try before watching Ghost Adventures tonight.

Ghost Hunters S08E14: Camp Fear

In this episode, GH visits Camp Rutledge in Georgia and has  a house-call in Marion, North Carolina.  Once again, Jason starts with a monologue which seems to be the new template for the show. I liked it and I hope that GH keeps this new change.

The episode was titled “Camp Fear” and kicked off with an investigation of Camp Rutledge, Georgia. Personally, I’m of the opinion that if a vacation location creeps you out — don’t go back. Having said that, I enjoyed watching the team work and there were several laughs that reminded me of the early seasons of Ghost Hunters.

Steve’s bug-dance was priceless and watching the large bug crawl up Tango’s arm was vintage Ghost Hunters. On the downside, Britt’s experiment with wet footprints was all wet. If you don’t know what the humidity, heat, or airflow  was on the day of the sighting, how can you seriously determine evaporation rates? Are we to assume that only the kids feet were wet? Are we to assume it was even water *evil grin*?

The team captured some odd lights, they spot eyes, and collect an evp that may say, “Trust me.” The lights could have been anything from fireflies to Bigfoot hunters. Maybe Matt Moneymaker and Bobo were wandering about? I wondered why the team didn’t use the FLIR or did they and it was edited out of the show? Wouldn’t the FLIR have answered many of the questions of what was making noise and eye-shine in the woods? The segment made me think of several outdoor GHI investigations, and though I didn’t feel that it was a solid investigation, it had it’s entertaining moments.

Ghost Hunters boxers
Ghost Hunters boxers

I was happy to see a home investigation again. I remember a time when helping people made up the majority of GH’s investigations before they became so commercial and their investigations became infomercials for ghost tour locations. The team focused on a piece of furniture that was connected to a deceased member of the Leverette family. I wondered if the GH team would pull a Zaffis on the lady and remove the furniture, but the lady seemed happy that the haunting may be a relative. She was comforted by the thought that an evp allegedly said, “I don’t mean to scare Sophie”.

All in all, the show wasn’t too bad except for the post-production sound effects. What was once annoying is now making the show hard to hear. To the post-production people — less is more.

Ghost Hunters: S08E13: A Serial Killer’s Revenge

A few things jumped out at me as I watched Ghost Hunters last night (September 5th). One was Amy Bruni walking off the investigation because she believes that a spirit can attach itself to her unborn baby. I guess that would make it a womb with a boo. Strangely enough, with this belief, she doesn’t feel the need to stop investigating the paranormal (ghost hunting) while pregnant. I hope for her sake that she has made the right decision and that she hears the little pitter patter of tiny feet rather than the clitter clatter of cloven hooves.

Ghost Hunters
Ghost Hunters (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I gave up on Ghost Hunters during the Grant farewell tour and some things like the twitter addresses of the GH cast seemed new to me. Perhaps they have been doing it for a while and I failed to notice. I honestly didn’t miss Grant and I believe that he was responsible for what I believe to be hoaxing on the show.

Jason’s monologue at the start of the show was better than the typical “case history” in the car routine, which was dangerous. If you are going to drive — drive — don’t risk the safety of other people on the road to set up your show. Having said that, the show is looking more and more like Ghost Adventures but without the humor.

Old City Jail in Charleston, S.C. was investigated last year by the Ghost Adventures crew, and in a head-to-head match, I’d have to say that GA did a better job.  I really came away with the feeling that I was watching an hour long infomercial for the Haunted Jail Tour (link).

As for the woman who was repeatedly scratched, I got a chuckle when she was re-introduced to the location after they pulled her out over concerns for her safety.  It was as if they were saying, you’re expendable.

I may watch a few more episodes over the Halloween season but it isn’t a must-see. Where did the de-bunking go? I’d like some questioning of the scratches. I’d like some talk about Amy’s belief that her baby may be endangered, but her what the hell on with the show mentality.  Personally, it felt like so much empty drama and I really came away feeling that I had not learned anything nor was I entertained.

In my mailbox July 21st

Hot and rainy … as you might expect a Summer in Florida.

I have to admit that I felt a little sympathy for the mailman this week. On the upside, I received two books this week, but I’ve already read them, one as an ARC (advanced reader copy) and the other in ebook format.

Cuttlefish written by David Freer and published by PYR is due to hit the shelves the 24th of this month. I should have a review up by Monday. I’ll give you a hint. It’s good …
Cuttlefish

Abandoned Places: Abandoned Memories (Desert Edition) I reviewed the ebook in May (link). It’s an excellent ebook, but the paperback edition is better still. Ferguson’s photography is excellent and you can see more of her work at “Above the Norm” (link). While the title of her blog plays with the word paranormal (above the norm — get it?), she has an “above the norm” talent. Check out her links to find items that she sells, she is a one-of-a-kind artist. While you are at it, Sharon Day has a blog (doesn’t everyone?) called Ghost Hunting Theories (link) where she, oddly enough, discusses ghost hunting theories. She kicks around all sorts of topics of the paranormal with a sassy take on the subject.

I almost forgot to mention the best part of Abandoned Places, I’m quoted on the back of the book! How cool is that? I don’t want to brag but that makes at least 2 book trailers, a dozen or more publisher websites, and now a book cover. If you happen to find more of my review quotes in the wild, please let me know and I will shamelessly promote them.

Abandoned Places: Abandoned Memories (Desert Edition)

Twisted Dixie: ghost hunting redneck style

(source)

Just when you thought that ghost hunting shows were on heir way out, CMT plans to air a southern ghost hunting show. Didn’t someone tell them that this had been done before — Ghost Lab?

They are part of Twisted Dixie, a group of six that seek the paranormal throughout the South. Grady Carter, Chris’ father, owns the business and finances it. Andy Carter, a talker, leads most investigations. Chris “Moo Moo” Phillips is rotund, funny and wears a cap displaying the words village idiot. Margie Blalock, who was absent from Wednesday’s adventures in Iva, is a psychic. Steve Keaton, who is Chris’ uncle and Grady’s brother-in-law, good-naturedly sat on the front porch of Ross’ house and listened to a combination of excitement, chaos and cursing.

[…]

They travel in an old white limousine to assignments because it’s the only vehicle they’ve found in which they can all fit. Before entering any house, they stand in a circle and pray for protection and for the peace of mind of any spirits they’ll disturb. They use a homemade Ouija board, which they call the Margie board, out of respect for Chris’s Catholicism.

Sounds like Ghost Adventures meets the Beverly Hillbillies, and an uncomfortable dose of southern religious enthusiasm tossed in a’la Paranormal State.  Expect to see these beer swilling demon-fighting mercenaries in the fall on CMT.
By the way, Twisted Dixie charges ” … upward of $2,000 per demonic possession, they camp out at night in clients’ houses, barns, businesses or woods and ‘document paranormal activity,’”  (source NYT link)