Thursday, October 18, 2007

Ghost Hunters

I love ‘Ghost Hunting’ shows on TV. This isn’t because I’m particularly interested in the paranormal, but just because how unintentionally funny they are. People who call themselves ‘skeptical investigators’, who don’t actually investigate anything, but jump to conclusions in an instant.

“Wow, I suddenly felt cold! This place is sooo haunted!”

Not a drafty window then?

I particularly enjoy “Most Haunted” with their ‘psychic’ freak who gets ‘possessed’ by a different spirit every single week.

Think about that. A guy who gets paid to talk to ghosts just so happens to be able to see and hear them on cue, when no-one else can. I need to get into that line of work.

My favorite show has to be “Ghost Hunters” with the TAPS crew. Those guys are just awesome. They call themselves skeptics, but are just as bad as every other paranormal investigator out there.

I knew Ghost Hunters was going to be one of my favorite shows when the lead guy, who looks like the bastard offspring of Michael Chiklis and a testicle looked at the camera and said, in all seriousness, that his day-job as a Roto-rooter plumber gave him important skills needed by paranormal investigators.

It always starts out fairly reasonable. Cameras, audio recorders, infra-red and thermal cameras…but then the electro-magnetic field detectors come out.

“Oh wow, I’m getting a reading of 2.4 from this wall on the EMF! What’s going on?”

I dunno guys…maybe electrical wires in the wall?

One of my favorites was when they were using the EMF gadgets in a castle, and one of the ‘investigators’ says:

“I’m getting a reading of 4.5 in here! There’s no wiring, there shouldn’t be any reading in here!”

Hey genius, what’s that in your other hand? That’s right, a video camera! The guy behind you is carrying a digital voice recorder, another camera…and the guy filming you for the show is carrying a full-sized video camera and a bag full of audio equipment. If you look up, you’ll see the gigantic boom microphone the sound guy’s holding over your head.

Honestly, where could all these electromagnetic fields be coming from? A fricking cell phone can get a reading of over 90 on an EMF detector, and you’re wondering where that 2.3 reading is coming from? The planet has its own electromagnetic field…that’s how compasses work.

Then we come to the really good bits, where one of the investigators gets shoved or knocked over by a ghost.

Basically, you have a group of guys looking for ghosts, thinking about ghosts, getting all nervous and stressed out…walking around in old buildings with uneven floors in the dark. Then one of them trips. Is it any surprise the first thing they think is ‘ghost’.

Our brains are basically pattern-recognition machines. They take in all the information from our senses and try to pigeon-hole what we see into something we recognize.

Basically we sense something and our brains try to match it to something we know about, taking our surroundings and situation into account. That’s why we can see a dark spot on the wall in our house and our brain shouts “Spider!” but when we look we see it’s just a mark…or we’re outside and our brain shouts “Snake!” when we see a section of garden hose poking out of the grass. It’s why we see a bathrobe handing on the door, and in the dark mistake it for a hooded figure.

So when you have a group of ‘ghost hunters’ in a really creepy place they’ve been told is haunted, while they think and talk about ghosts, getting more and more nervous and stressed…is it any surprise they see ‘ghosts’?

Then they start feeding off each other. Someone says they saw a ghostly face in one particular room. Expecting to see it, someone else goes in there, their eyes play tricks on them and they see it too.

Then the first guy says “It was a face, in a hood.” The second guy thinks “Yeah, I suppose it might have had a hood, I thought it was long hair, but yeah, it could have been…it must have been a hood!” Then he says “Yeah, and it had a beard.” The other guy thinks “I suppose it might have had a beard. It was dark, I mustn’t have noticed it…but come to think of it, it did look like it had a bit of a beard. Yeah, it had a beard.”

Then they tell the other investigators and say “We both saw the same thing separately, and our descriptions match up exactly!

To close today, let me tell you about an experiment I read about:

A psychologist took a group of people camping in the woods; telling them they were taking part in study on teamwork. He took the subjects on a ‘nature walk’ through the woods where they came across a taped-off section of the forest, with a security guard standing in front of it, who told them they had to turn back.

On the way back, the psychologist ‘jokingly’ said a UFO probably crashed, and raised the subject, asking if anyone had any UFO stories. At the camp that night, he brought up the subject again and they started talking about what they saw in the woods.

1 comment:

amanda said...

FIRST!

Blog is too long for me to read the entire way through, but if you look at postsecret, like a week ago, someone said she is a professional seer and doesn't know any seers who really see... she's never spoken to the dead, and no one she knows has either....

another woman wrote in.. i can't get the voices to stop haunting me.