At the turn of the century, the most popular websites on the internet were pornographic websites followed by UFO websites. One of the highest rated TV shows was Bill Byrnes’ UFO Hunters. (One of the first of many “Hunter” reality shows)
At the same time UFO Hunters was undergoing scrutiny from the black ops division of the Bush Administration, Paranormal state was a fledgling show that introduced America to the world of ghost hunting. As UFOs disappeared on the small screen; shows about Hauntings flourished. The show had a plot of 2 roto-rooter employees that investigated hauntings in their spare time. Soon viewers became familiar with terms like “Intelligent Hauntings” vs. “Residual Hauntings”. The show jumped the Shark when the co-host Grant Wilson left the show.
In the ratings, Paranormal State and Ghost Hunters were having their lunch digested by three Ghost Hunters from Las Vegas. Zak Bagans, Nick Groff and Aaron Goodwin started out as a low budget investigation group that got a huge bump when they took a Camera crew from Reno NV on a documentary with them to Goldfield and Virginia City.
The threesome created a show called “Ghost Adventures”. In the beginning it was quaint and much of the entertainment came from the characters of the three hosts as they were not afraid of ghosts, yet the executive producer is frightened of clowns and snakes.
Nobody has done a convincing job of “debunking” the video that was shot by the Reno News crew as they recorded video of rocks being thrown at the hunters as well as what appears to be a “Full Bodied Apparition” aka “A GHOST”. The documentary can be seen on line. The show blossomed as they began to introduce new gadgets to contact with those in the afterlife. In one touching episode, the inventor of the “MELmeter” connects with his recently deceased teenage daughter “MELlissa” who communicates from the “other side”. Melissa died in a car accident and the crew attends an afterlife birthday party.
Now everybody seems to own a digital Olympus voice recorder. I’m sure sales of FLIR cameras have gone up as well (Forward looking Infra-Red).
As ratings grew with the interest in ghosts; this opened the door for Psychics and stories about hauntings.
I asked myself while watching an episode of Paranormal witness: “Why do we find scary shows so interesting”? The answer is as old as Bela Lugosi’s Movies. Besides the fact that physical death is something we all have in common and perhaps want to know more about what happens after the last heartbeat; I think the emotion of fear leads us to expect a childhood relief we felt when our mom came to our rescue to remind us that it is just a movie. I think people drink alcohol because when we cried, we found comfort in the bottle. But fear brings back the emotion that someone was there to protect you.
It’s an infantile back flash. It’s the same reason women who grow up getting beat by their father will eventually marry a man who will physically abuse her. Sad but true. A lot of your actions can be traced back to your childhood.