Excellent article on Salon.com called Why real-rife ghost hunters hate "Ghost Hunters." The author brings up a point that I've never quite understood myself, and that is why do all those reality TV ghost hunters always do their hunts overnight?
I've heard some say it's because ghosts are more active at night. Really? Do ghosts punch a time clock? And what about interference from streetlights or car headlights? He also questions how well can anyone observe anything in total darkness. Sure, they're using night vision cameras, but those LCD screens are tiny. And if you recall in a few of the episodes of Ghost Adventures some of their guys have tripped and fallen over furniture in the darkness, and how smart is it really to be walking around inside a completely dark derelict building? It's lucky that so far no one has taken a bad fall and ended up with a serious injury.
Granted, I'm an accidental ghost hunter, so that means all of my encounters either happened during the day or in the early evening. If you click on the "photo" label in the sidebar you'll see an entire collection of photos with all kinds of anomalies, and while I can't speak for any of the guest blogger photos, I can tell you that none of mine were taken any later than about 8 o'clock at night.
Another point of observation is to listen to the claimant testimonials on Ghost Hunters or Ghost Adventures. The typical story goes something like this: "I'd just locked up the museum for the night and I was the last one to leave. I was about to get in my car when I looked up and saw the lady in the Victorian dress standing at the window." Almost without exception their encounters are happening either during the day or in the early evening hours. So why is it necessary for all the TV ghost hunters to do their work between midnight at 5 am? Is it to make their shows more dramatic?
The rest of the article is a very interesting read, which I would highly recommend. I would have to agree with the author that there are some fakers out there, and well as some television shows in which the hunters do sloppy work. Take Most Haunted. They don't even do EVP sessions. Instead they rely on psychics and Ouija boards, and as far as they're concerned every little particle of dust that the camera picks up is an orb and therefore evidence of ghostly activity. Yeah, right. I can't help but wonder if some of the people on some of these TV shows are perhaps more interested in showmanship and doing whatever it takes to get the ratings up than in conducting serious paranormal research. But at the same time they are bringing the discussion about ghosts and the paranormal into the mainstream. People who have had strange experiences that they can't explain, or that they have been badly frightened by, are now more able to open up and talk about it because they are realizing that they are not alone and that they're not "crazy." And that's a good thing.
There will come a time when shows like Most Haunted and Ghost Adventures will have run their course and, if you'll pardon the pun, fade away. Then perhaps the more serious paranormal research can begin again.
My thought for the day.