By Everett A. Themer
With the start of a new season, members of the ghost hunting group TAPS are celebrating ten years of their television show “Ghost Hunters” airing on the SyFy network. After a decade of episodes both fans and critics can look back on the series and see that it has given nothing of significant value to the paranormal community. Over the course of the show’s run, viewers have watched a group of self-proclaimed ghost hunters morph from investigators claiming to promote a scientific approach towards explaining the paranormal to a group of over-grown teenagers who spend too much time trying to scare each other and betting on who will stick what body part into some dark and dingy space.
Like many shows loosely based on reality, Ghost Hunters can be somewhat interesting to watch at times. Weaving cast members personal lives into the story, viewers have had the opportunity to become familiar with the trials and tribulations of different investigators through out the seasons. The audience watched investigator Brian Harnois leave and come back and leave again, only to end up on a short lived spin-off, they saw the unceremonious disappearance of Donna Lacroix from any Ghost Hunters television product and they appreciated the cast’s feelings of loss as TAPS co-founder Grant Wilson prepared to leave the show for new opportunities. However, none of these situations had anything to do with the investigation of paranormal activity.
So, what are the cast and crew of the show celebrating after a decade on TV? The better question is what aren’t they celebrating? They aren’t reviewing a decade long collection of evidence supporting the existence of spirits, they aren’t promoting the advancement of any established scientific method within the paranormal community and they still haven’t found any ghosts. But that isn’t really the point of a reality-based docudrama. Instead they are celebrating their 200th episode and the fame and popularity that surround a television show designed to frighten more than enlighten its viewers. What they are celebrating are their public events, haunted hotel and merchandise. This means they really have more in common with the casts of “Dancing With the Stars” or “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” than they do with actual practitioners of the sciences that they claim to use.
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