So many times we find ourselves late at night sitting on the couch flipping through the TV channels, hoping to find something interesting to watch. We end up watching a science fiction channel with ghost shows, in which people are claiming their places are haunted.
It's interesting to listen to their stories and then watch a group of people set up cameras and recorders in an attempt to capture something of the paranormal. Within a few minutes footsteps can be heard. Lights might flicker and cameras shut off by themselves. They listen to their recorders and they hear a voice speaking to them. By the end of the show they have a lot of evidence to offer to these people and the viewers.
Is it really this easy? Can one really go to a place and have evidence in an hour? It may seem that way while watching television but that's not how it usually works. When we watch an episode we don't see or hear about how long or how the evidence was collected. It may have taken several hours to days to collect enough evidence just to present to us in an hour show.
Last fall a couple of our ghost group members had the opportunity to speak with a well-known personality from a popular ghost show. He told them about his experience at a hotel he went to in Colorado. Turns out it took them nine days to investigate and to film for this one episode. After all the editing they had an interesting show for us to watch. This may seem like a long time for such a short episode but it does take time.
I remember what it was like when I got to be a part of a paranormal show. Re-enactors came in and portrayed the characters for the historical part of the show. Then they filmed us with our equipment seeking ghosts. After two-and-a-half days of filming they had enough recordings for two, half-hour episodes. Since the film crew was on a time restraint we ended up re-enacting capturing some of our evidence that we experienced from our previous visits.
But is everything we see on television real? I have had several people asking me that very same question. I have no reason to believe it's being made up. I can say the few shows that I have been a part of never asked me to fake or exaggerate to make it more interesting. But I do feel for TV entertainment there are times that an attempt to debunk their experiences is lacking or overlooked just to make it more interesting.
Here's why I say that - recently we traveled to a location in Cincinnati, Ohio, hoping to experience some of the things that were in a show, like music in the basement, audible voices and growling sounds. I cannot say we heard any music or someone talking. But as for the growling sound, yes, we heard it very clear. Sad thing is it was nothing more than a couple of raccoons about to fight over food.
This could have been easily explained if time was taken to locate the source. But again not searching for the source makes perfect sense. Who wants to watch a boring show? Viewer ratings would drop and the show would be eventually canceled.
Remember that the next time you're watching a ghost show on TV. There's a lot more time involved with each episode than may be evident, and things may not always be as they seem.
Tom Moore is a founding member of Mid-Ohio Valley Ghost Hunters and has been conducting research for 14 years. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.