Skeptic: Examining Extraordinary Claims and Promoting Science Skeptic: Examining Extraordinary Claims and Promoting Science

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Thursday, August 10th, 2006 | ISSN 1556-5696

eSkeptic: the email newsletter of the Skeptics Society

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photograph by Eduardo Hirose

The Fourth International Conference on Origami
in Science, Mathematics, and Education (4OSME)

September 8th–10th, 2006
Caltech, Pasadena, CA

4OSME is the 4th interdisciplinary conference that has brought together artists, scientists, technologists and educators to explore the relationships between origami (the Japanese art of paperfolding), mathematics and science. Although not a likely combination, to be sure — surprisingly, origami is deeply connected to many fields of mathematics and has made contributions to practical scientific problems ranging from the design of airbags to medical implants and unfolding structures in space! For more information:

VISIT the conference website >


In this week’s eSkeptic Alison Smith, the founder of Skeptical Analysis of the Paranormal Society (SAPS), an investigative team devoted to re-creating and debunking popular paranormal video footage shown on television, debunks “Ghost Hunters” — a Sci-Fi Network TV show by one of the most famous paranormal investigation groups in the world (TAPS — The Atlantic Paranormal Society). Smith is a licensed private investigator, armed security officer, and is also a psychology major at the University of Texas at Arlington.


image from www.scifi.com/ghosthunters/

TAPS vs. SAPS
The Atlantic Paranormal Society meets the
Skeptical Analysis of the Paranormal Society

by Alison Smith

The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS) is one of the most famous paranormal investigation groups in the world according to their web site, with over 50,000 hits to the site per day. Their fame comes from being able to deliver, on a regular basis, enough paranormal evidence to catch the attention of the Sci-Fi Network which led to their own TV show — “Ghost Hunters”. The hour long show takes you inside various supposedly haunted places, led by founders Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson, along with a troupe of lesser known TAPS members that includes two demonologists and one Wiccan, amongst others. TAPS claims to have a scientific approach to investigation, using gadgets like EMF Detectors, Flir cameras, and handheld digital thermometers to either prove or disprove a haunting. Founder Jason Hawes has said in various interviews that when TAPS is called to investigate paranormal claims, they go in attempting to debunk the haunting. The public’s trust was gained through the number of “true hauntings” TAPS uncovered. The percentage was shockingly small considering more popularity could be attained with more hauntings. In the first season, only 25% of all investigated locations were deemed “haunted”. The numbers went up, however, in the second season when 51.22% of the locations were haunted.

The show “Ghost Hunters” came to my attention when I stumbled upon their web site and watched a full episode posted there, available for viewing. I was impressed with their lack of paranormal evidence, and purchased Season One on DVD. Episode 104 featured an investigation of Race Rock Lighthouse. During a review of their investigation, they discovered that a folding travel chair that had been left in an empty room moved, apparently on its own. I immediately grew wise in the ways of TAPS. Earlier, in the context of the show, Lead Investigator Grant Wilson, who had been sitting in the chair had gotten up, taken it with him, and left the room closing the door behind him. This did not fit with their findings, which showed the chair in an empty room with the door to the room open. I wondered why this inconsistency existed, and decided to attempt a re-creation of a chair moving of its own accord. I tried a variety of methods, finally settling on black thread to move the chair. Because of this re-creation, Skeptical Analysis of the Paranormal Society (SAPS) was formed.

VIEW the TAPS original footage >

VIEW the SAPS re-creation footage >

In creating the footage for this site, I discovered many other people who were skeptical of the TAPS footage and had attempted re-creations as well. One of these was for Episode 105: Eastern State Penitentiary. During this episode, a camera that no one was anywhere near picked up an image of a cloaked figure that seemingly appeared out of nowhere and ran down the catwalk the camera was pointed at. This piece of footage has been debated hotly on the TAPS official message board.

The footage is debated with such passion because, in attempting a re-creation, it was discovered that the effect that made it appear as though the cloaked figure materialized out of nowhere could only be created by altering the footage to 15 frames per second instead of the usual 30 frames per second TAPS records at. This would mean that the only people who had access to altering the footage were the TAPS crew themselves, as they are the ones who do the “reveal” at the end of each episode, where they share their findings with the owners of the location.

VIEW the TAPS original footage >

VIEW the SAPS re-creation footage >

VIEW the entire debunk for episode 105 >

In Season One of “Ghost Hunters” TAPS used DVR cameras, IR cameras, EMF Detectors, Digital Thermometers, Digital Cameras, and Digital Voice Recorders in their attempts to debunk haunted locations. As the success of the show grew, Season Two brought in the Flir thermal camera. In Episode 223: Ghostly Soldier, a Flir camera captured an image of a person projected on a locker with a number “2” printed on it. TAPS was convinced that this was evidence of a deceased soldier’s spirit, who was said to haunt the location. However, analysis by a third party investigator revealed that, in fact, the image was more likely a reflection off the locker from Lead Investigator Grant Wilson. The apparition even appears to be looking down at something in its hand — the screen of the Flir camera as Grant held it.

VIEW the TAPS original footage >

VIEW the third party re-creation footage >

TAPS maintains that they do not charge for their investigations and are only interested in researching the paranormal, not making money off of it. Evidence of this could be seen in the first season when, while not involved in investigations, Grant and Jason worked as plumbers for Roto-Rooter. This has led many fans to believe that TAPS is a charitable organization, and that they also do not receive income for their appearances on “Ghost Hunters”. However, in the second season of the show, Roto-Rooter was put on the back burner in favor of working in the majority for TAPS. Questions put to Jason Hawes through e-mail about his salary for “Ghost Hunters” were unanswered. TAPS also has a button on their main page where you can offer donations, and another link for purchasing “Official TAPS Gear” which will soon be available in department stores across the U.S.

The TAPS 18+ Message Board, home to nearly 4,000 members, is a favorite of fans for discussion of episodes, anecdotes about personal hauntings, and investigation techniques for the up-and-coming paranormal investigator. Members who have repeatedly posted skeptical evidence, or links to the above re-creations have been banned from use of the boards without explanation. I was one of these people, but I was far less likely to let it go. After repeated attempts to contact the forum’s technical administrator, I was informed that my ban was without any particular reason, and that the order to ban had come from Jason Hawes himself, who said simply that I would know the reason for the ban. The only reason I could fathom, having never broken any of the rules stated in the board’s TOS, was posting skeptical analyses of the TAPS footage. Third party review of evidence collected by TAPS is not encouraged, and members who have contacted the group asking for full footage from everything recorded at the haunted locations have also gone unanswered.

SAPS formed to balance the type of information that the public receives about paranormal investigations. While our intention is not to disprove that there are unexplainable phenomena, we hope to show how easy it is to duplicate the footage that TAPS uses as proof, and explain the psychological reasons that people are so eager to believe. One of the things we are most interested in concerning “Ghost Hunters” is not only the actual evidence presented, but the way that it is presented and the choice of words the TAPS members use when presenting it. The conversations bear striking resemblance to False Memory Implantation. TAPS, when finding paranormal evidence, tends to go through one particular cycle. First, something questionable happens, like a figure passing in front of a camera. A member then exclaims in shock, protesting that it isn’t possible since no one was around, and prepping the audience for what the investigators want them to see. Usually they show the exclamations before actually showing the footage, thus allowing their reaction to influence what the audience will later see. Then, when they finally reveal the footage, the TAPS members immediately shut down any possibility that the experience wasn’t paranormal at all by making a statement that sounds like fact but, in actuality, isn’t. For example, in Episode 104: Race Rock, when the chair seemed to move of its own accord, Grant and Jason both immediately jumped in while reviewing the evidence and stated that the chair could not possibly have been moved with fishing line, as a reflection off the line would be visible on camera. However, a fellow skeptic filmed fishing line attached to a chair leg under various lighting conditions, and it was never visible.

VIEW the skeptical fishing line footage >

READ about TAPS and False Memory Implantation >

Other statements of supposed fact include that orbs — which sometimes appear in photographs as balls of light — are collections of energy, that spirits drop the temperature of a room by using thermal energy surrounding them in order to appear — sort of like energy sponges, that high EMF readings and high orb activity are usually found in haunted places, and that dowsing rods can be used to indicate the presence of spirits. These statements are all made without the blink of an eye, or a consideration of a reference. In fact, in some of the paranormal investigations, the only thing that makes it paranormal is the word of TAPS themselves. An example can be found in Episode 219: Haunted Lighthouse, where figures are seen on a DVR camera that was filming from the bottom of a spiral staircase looking up. In this footage, a figure can be seen some number of floors up, walking rapidly up the stairs. The TAPS crew perceives this as paranormal, despite their own timestamps, and the titles added during editing placing both Jason and Grant on the stairs at the time the footage was filmed.

VIEW the evidence >

However, during the reveal at the end of the show, the timestamp is removed from the footage, and Jason and Grant tell the owners of the lighthouse that no one was on the stairs at that time.

While it is possible that somewhere, somehow a spirit roams the earth, it would seem unlikely that TAPS has discovered it. At Skeptical Analysis of the Paranormal Society, we hope to undo the damage of falsehoods presented as truths by groups like TAPS and educate the public on belief systems, how they are formed, and how groups like TAPS can take advantage of our desires for proof of something beyond.

Please, visit us often, and feel free to contribute information or re-creations of your own. — Alison Smith, Founder of SAPS, Founder@SkepticalAnalysis.com

References
140 Comments »

140 Comments

  1. Janice Kelly says:

    Dear SAPS,

    I enjoyed reading your article analyzing the validity of the Sci-Fi Channel’s “Ghost Hunters”. After having viewed quite a few episodes of the show I was angered. I found it amusing that the show depicted Grant Wilson and Jason Hawes still working as plumbers when I know they’re raking in millions of dollars. That in itself was an indicator to me of just how phony this show really is.

    I think it is sad the way they’re taking advantage of people’s need to believe that somehow life continues on after death, and making a fortune doing it.

    Thank you for helping the public wake up!!

    Sincerely,
    Janice Kelly

    • RyRy says:

      wake up ya right none of the show is fake

      • Mary says:

        i totally agree! They are not fake Everyone has an opinion about everything Do you skeptics ever consider to mind your own business and let people believe in what they believe in Do you wanna go tellin people there is no God or the moon landing was faked Find something productive to do with ur free time and let “us” believe what we want

        • Johnson Dangleberry says:

          Yeah! Stop trying to make people use “reason” and so-called “logic” to form their beliefs! Mary doesn’t have the time for your “fact checking” and if she wants to be deceived by TAPS then just let her! You’ve got no right to be sticking your nose into TAPS’ business with your high-falutin “science” and “critical thinking”. Maybe if there were less people like you Skeptics around then TAPS would have caught Sanat Claus by now! But no, you skeptics have to go and ruin it for everyone!

    • Bryanstine says:

      Why dont you non-believers go on a quest to truely debunk these places that TAPS has deemed “haunted” or having some kind of paranormal activity. I was raised on an old battlefield of traveling gold seekers and american indians and ive have had several paranormal encounters so im a true believer. Go follow TAPS from place to place and truely debunk their findings. Not just trying to figure out ways to do it in your moms basement. If your not chicken.

      • Ruthanda says:

        Good point, Bryanstine. I’m a skeptic and I’m trying to get my bf to take me along on a ghost hunt. He has a friend who does that sort of thing. However, I have a feeling I won’t be invited, and if I am and I find rational explanations for flickering lights and unintelligible noises, they will claim the ghosts didn’t appear because of my negative energy, or something like that. If it happens, I’ll try and add a note here about it.

      • Max says:

        I would LOVE to go on these treks with or without them to debunk it all. However, I have a real job and can’t afford to…

    • Teacherdude says:

      TAPS is bull, but as long as ghosts can not be proven to not exist, then they’ll have an audience. The show plays on the very slight chance of there being a real ghost, and even to those who don’t believe, the show entices people to consider the possibility of ghosts.
      The paradox is that if real scientists investigated on the show, then there’d be no show. TAPS has to have dimwits on board in order to promote its own fundamental reason for the show’s existence.
      Totally metaphysical: can we prove TAPS exist?

  2. Jim says:

    Either way, the show is entertaining. Does not mean it has to be 100% scientific fact, nothing is indisputable.

    • He's Dead Jim says:

      Well, it’s indisputable that you’re a moron. There is no such thing as “the supernatural.”

      • Allen says:

        I can jerk my knee, too.

        Instruct. Don’t abuse.

      • Mary says:

        The moron is you! One of these days you will find out theres more out there than what ur stupid eyes can see! mind your own business

        • Johnson Dangleberry says:

          “Nothing is indisputable”. Here is a listy of things I consider to be indisputable:

          2 plus two equals four.
          A is the first letter of the english alphabet.
          The existence of gravity.
          Humans can not breathe under water without the use of SCUBA-style aids.
          Whether or not it influences them, the producers of Ghost Hunters have a strong financial motive to be less than scientific in their approach to ghost hunting.

  3. Dana Brielle says:

    yes. It’s entertaining, but they should put a disclaimer before the show stating this show is for entertainment purposes only, and isn’t proven science.

    My boyfriend’s family had a group out of Arkansas, ARPAST, come do an investigation about a year or 2 ago. Their website says they are professional, but I saw nothing professional about them. Wouldn’t recommend them.

  4. WOOP says:

    Ghost are real no matter what you say

    • Joel says:

      Proof please. If they’re real this should be fairly easy to supply… without resorting to obvious trickery.

      • lakotawoman says:

        You cannot prove here that ghosts do exist, but you cannot prove they do not either.

        • Allen says:

          We also cannot prove that there isn’t a porcelain doll at the center of the Andromeda galaxy.

          • SlickWillie says:

            I would think that he laws of physics would say that a doll does not have the mass nor the gravity to hold a universe together. Your attmept to belittle the question with that statement is kind of sad. Simply prove that ghosts are without a doubt, beyond any question, and with grave (pun intended) certainity not real. I will answer for you. You can’t. That must really annoy a true skeptic…not being able to be certain.

    • RyRy says:

      oh ya that’s right ghosts are totally real

      • POOR SAPS says:

        Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Since certain people are making claims that ghosts are real, they need to come up with some evidence for this. So far, all I’m hearing is speculation and hot air. Perhaps that is why true scientists don’t even waste their time on this as they have bigger and scientifically supported things to work on. Like the saying goes…A SUCKER IS BORN EVERY MINUTE. You can be that SUCKER or you can be that person with an analytical mind taking everything into account only to realize that you’re been had. Why do you think the percentage of “hauntings” on the show jumped from around 20% to just over 50% the following season? Viewership pays…it’s all about the suckers…I mean numbers which convert to ratings.

  5. Sandy says:

    I searched on site for some place to express my disbelief in this ridiculous show. Yes, absolutely entertaining, but completely ridiculous. I watched an episode last night where a door “violently” slammed shut and I clearly saw a hand in the lower right screen pushing it shut. The other situation that was ridiculous, was that Grant and Jason were in a room, inticing the “spirit” to speak to them. We heard a noise and they noted a hangar was on the floor that apparently was not there before. Now, if you’re hoping this will happen again, don’t you think you’d place your camera at the coat rack where the suppossed hangar came from?? Not these two…and guess what? Another hangar got thrown into the picture from some unseen place! Give me a break.
    I’m angered that they believe some the public actually buys into this….

  6. William says:

    What I mostly find odd is the lack of ambition in technology. It seems a low tech approach leaves enough ambiguity in things to keep it interesting. But socially, its weird to me that if Sci-Fi and Taps were truly close to something as earth shattering as the existence of ghosts, why would a bunch of millionaires spare pennies in proving it?
    If I had a million dollars and somebody told me a ghost was walking a starecase eternally, then I would set up a regular camera, a night camera and a thermal camera in that location for months and months and months and months to prove my point.
    Their approach seems a bit dated and I have to wonder if that is on purpose.

    • Mark says:

      William, exactly because of skeptics who won’t give it any credit at all, no matter what evidence they do have. If it is already pre-judged to be fake, and the mainstream is far more ready to accept that over all the evidence in the world, then no one is going to pay attention. So anything outre will not have major funding, and since the phenomena is fleeting and you can’t drag a ghost into a lab and have it submit to multiple tests, you can’t apply scientific method. So naturally scientists won’t accept it. It’s a catch-22.

      • Dave says:

        You can still create a controlled environment in a supposedly-haunted house. As for TAPS’ evidence not being accepted by the scientific community, it’s simply due to the fact it’s not scientific evidence. Don’t blame science for having standards – blame TAPS for having none.

  7. nathan says:

    I too have been left feeling uneasy about some aspects of the show. And the examples given are compelling enough to raise doubts.

    However a majority of TAPS evidence has not been disproved–though I would guess even one good instance is enough to cast doubt on all of it.

    It would seem that pre-TAPS TV and pre-Season 1 you had an organization based on like-minded individuals who had some level of some success in the paranormal. Then fame and money caused what looked like production concerns to compromise their integrity.

    But damn–the level of acting required in some instances would have to be pretty high to pull these scenes off and all of the TAPS people have “real world” (i.e. non-acting) bios.

    Also some of the arguments to TAPS seem more like atheistic arguments disguised as technical arguments. If SAPS is an athestic organization it should be upfront about that–as I refusal to believe no matter what is as much a bias as wanting *to* believe.

    However until some of SAPS fair points are answered I think this site remains relevant.

  8. james says:

    hi. when i first started watching GH i was totally fooled by the “regular joes” that sci-fi portrayed jason and grant to be. now i know better. the sad thing is that steve, tango, brian, etc. are just pawns in jason and grants game. they actually think they’re investing the paranormal. have you noticed that all the significant evidence (hangers being thrown, faucets turned on, loud disembodied voices heard with the human ear, flashlights being turned on, human figures in thermal camera, etc) is caught by jason and grant only??? steve, tango, etc. only see things out of the corner of their eyes or think they hear mics. voices and noises. also, if there is paranormal evidence to capture, it’s going to take more than one night somewhere. like a previos post stated, if sci-fi really wanted to get paranormal evidence, they could place cameras at “active” locations or days or months on end. i could go on and on, but don’t have the time. one more thing, how long does it take to review all the hours and hours from multiple video cameras and audio recorders??? maybe sci-fi “helps” them, if you know what i mean.

  9. rose says:

    I do believe that most of it is fake but that doesn’t stop me from watching the show. It’s very amusing, and I don’t stop watching something just because someone else says it’s bogus.
    I notice that most of the stuff that goes on was because of sci-fi. I mean, they wouldn’t have even been able to afford any of the equipment otherwise. A thermal imaging camera could cost up to 50,000 dollars!
    However, I do believe that ghosts exsist and maybe some of their evidence is true. But most of it is not, I know. Like the hanger that got thrown off screen. Obviously someone threw that.
    Besides all of that, I love the show and the guys on the show are likable. I even hope to meet them someday.

  10. Micki says:

    For starters I believe in ghosts. I work at a haunted library and I myself have heard, smelled and seen things that others say are not real. We keep a record of all reports as they are turned in to us. We have had “professionals” investigate also. With that said, I also watch “Ghost Hunters every week. Yes there are times that I do not always agree with what they claim to be evidence, but I have learned a lot from them. I think like everything else on TV, some has become more “staged”, but I believe that generally they are trying to actually search for the paranormal. It is very hard to dismiss some things. Some can be debunked or explained by science, but not all. Just remember until you have heard a voice whisper your name over your shoulder, you turn and no one is there….try to keep an open mind.

    • ZeroCorpse says:

      I could debunk anything that happens in your “haunted” library. Most of the time, it’s probably natural phenomena that you are attributing to a ghost because you have “prior knowledge” that the library was haunted.

      If there really were ghosts, don’t you think that with seven billion people on Earth we might have gotten some undeniable proof by now? Instead, all we get are “feelings” and hearsay. We get fuzzy photographs of “orbs” and double-exposures that have long-since been debunked. We get heaps of pareidolia and lots of stories that are no doubt the result of sleep paralysis. We get campfire stories, and little else.

      People who want to believe in ghosts will believe in them. They will see them and hear them where a reasoned skeptic will see mundane, easily-explained events. People who believe in ghosts NEED to believe, because the thought of an afterlife where you wander around messing with lights and causing chilly spots in old buildings is comforting compared to the terrifying thought that once you’re dead you cease to exist.

      People who believe in ghosts do so because it makes life more exciting, and death less scary.

    • Maisie says:

      I also worked in a haunted museum and I am convinced that ghost or at least paranormal activity exists. Like footsteps on the 2nd floor at 9am when there is absolutely no one else downstairs but myself and the curator. Just weird things like that. Oh and this museum is actually really small, small enough that we could 100% check that no one else was there. But yeah GH and GHI is fake mostly, just for entertainment.

  11. Mark says:

    I agree with Micki. Just because something CAN be faked doesn’t mean it is, and there is plenty on this show that I have looked at from all angles, and unless it is a major special effects sham, which I don’t believe for a minute, then there are some real events being caught on film and audio. As for them once having been plumbers; they were. The show is popular now so doing this is now more lucrative. So what? Whatever pays the bills. That they are “raking in millions” is a major stretch. They don’t charge people for their services – whatever they get they get from the Sci-Fi Channel. I think TAPS is on the level, whereas I don’t trust other shows like Ghost Adventurers, or even worse, Most Haunted (which has been accused by its own members of being scripted and faked). I don’t feel like a dupe when watching Ghost Hunters, the way I do those other shows. I would be very surprised if Jason or Grant were allowing fakery to be done, and until I see hard proof of this, it will remain this way.

  12. chaz huprich says:

    Dear Jason Hawas

    My name is Chaz Huprich i have news for you. Micheal Jackson’s ghost has bin seen by the fireplace and the bathroom at Neverland. Could you do me and answer this. “Do you think ghost kick people in the nutts?

  13. Phil says:

    I for one have had my own experience personally that no one could tell me was not real thats just how it is. As for what these guys do sure its possible some of it has been faked to get ratings but considering the fact that they actually debunked some major “haunts” that have been advertised as such for years I can say it can’t be entirely for ratings as that would actually lower ratings in some instances. I’ve seen alot said against several bits of footage they have where people said they could do the same thing but seemed to fail to show that very thing was done in the shows footage. Maybe it really is faked but until you can give me more than some way you can copy it there isn’t really any point. People make counterfeit bills to pawn off to unsuspecting people but the original is still the real deal. Show the original video to be false itself and then you’ll get my attention. This is how true science works anyways.

  14. Lord Erik says:

    When I see people typing about these massive amounts of evidence I can’t help but think “what evidence?”. I’ve seen four seasons of the show, and the only “firm” and truly bizarre thing that has happened is the chair moving in the lighthouse. And I don’t doubt for a second that this was staged either by TAPS or by others.

    The rest of the so called evidence is made up of a large portion of personal experiences, EVPs, and other completely unconvincing incidents. Most of the evidence with the thermal camera seems to me to be a product of the crews incompetence with, and complete misunderstanding of, their own equipment. Resulting in the “spook-alarm” being set off by things like Grant or Jasons reflected bodies in certain surfaces.

    But come on. These two are plumbers, not scientists. It takes more than scientific equipment to do science. I am sure that Jason and Grant are both very nice people, but they seem to have no appriciation for, or knowledge of, the scientific method whatsoever.

    In fact, the only thing that keeps me watching this show is the social drama between the characters.

  15. Phil says:

    It is kind of hard to use scientific method on anything paranormal since it requires gathering data to make a hypothesis testing the data in a controlled environment or some sort of control. Collect data from experiment and analyze. Then interpret and draw conclusions as a start for a new hypothesis. After you publish results and allow for “peer review”. The problem with this and anything paranormal is there is no way to have a true control in the experiment also since “peer review” is done by people with equal lack of knowledge in what truly can be used to measure paranormal activity there is no way for what cant be easily “debunked” to be 100% proven to be paranormal. We can only say we can’t explain it. Science just calls this simply “unexplained phenomena”. It’s not disproven it just can’t be proven or disproven with current knowledge or methods. Any scientist who says paranormal research isn’t a true science forgets that science was never and still is never 100% it is always “best guess”. This is why new discoveries can be made. Just recently scientists have found that Einsteins own theory of relativity may need to be modified because of new evidence that has been recently discovered. They found out certain objects in the universe are accelerating which is contrary to what the theory of relativity states. Does this mean that Einstein was a fraud? No! It just means the information he had to come up with his hypothesis wasnt complete.

    • Lord Erik says:

      I must disagree with you there Phil. It is absolutely possible to study the paranormal in controlled settings. It has been done lots of times, and yielded nothing. Walking around in a house with $20 infrared thermal meters and filming yourself with a camera whenever you feel uncomfortable or queezy isn’t it though.

      The major problem with Jason and Grant is that if they cannot explain something, they declare it a haunting. Any rational person would tear down the entire house in search for a natural explanation before even taking over themselves the possibility of something so radical.

      Why radical? Radical because there is nothing to suggest that people continue to live on after their death.

      Comparing the imperfection in Einsteins equations to the “imprefection” in ghost hunting is just… an amazing reach.

      • Phil says:

        There is also nothing to suggest that people don’t live in on some form or another after death. Just because you don’t know something to be true doesn’t mean its false either then again it doesn’t mean its true. We just don’t have enough evidence to know for sure and most likely we never will have that evidence.

        As for calling it radical thinking most of science is the result of radical thinking. Think of Galileo who was considered so radical in his time he was imprisoned and forced to denounce his work. Copernicus refused to have his work published until he was dead because he feared the same thing. If it wasn’t for “radical” individuals like these we would still be stuck in the dark ages. They didn’t call it the dark ages because it was dark all the time.

        A rational person wouldn’t tear down a house costing hundreds of thousands of dollars just to prove or disprove something they think is paranormal. They either just live with it or they move. The irrational person is the one that does what you just said.

        As for my making a comparison to the a well noted scientist of our age who has since been proven that his theory needs modification because of the advance of technology and our ability to understand our universe is a good example of why you can’t just say something like paranormal research is bogus. They proved alchemy wouldn’t work with chemistry and the fact that you can’t just turn one element into another with a simple chemical reaction. They actually found a valid reasoning for why alchemy would never work with knowledge gained through scientific study. There is no science that can explain all of what we call paranormal activity now so the only thing we can do is exactly what the pioneers of science did. We have to work with what we have and try our best with the scientific method and deductive reasoning to come up with explainations of the world around us. This has been the foundation of science since the beginning and probably always will be.

        • Lars says:

          I would for sure tear down my entire house piece for piece if something disturbed my sleep. As a person with lively imagination I seek out the reasons for my “ghosts”. I have yet to find a supernatural or paranormal cause for anything. There is for sure nothing supernatural hiding in the dark lurking on us and waiting for an oportunity to scare us, hurt us or just have fun. How hard could it be to obtain some evidence for a claim so many presents of haunted this and that. People really need to get their heads out of the dark age muck filled with superstition and get some evidence for their beliefs. It´s not skeptics that have to disprove the excistence of supernatural beeings or postmortem awareness. If you claim to see, hear or experience fenomena you should bring this up with your doctor on your next exam, it might be the signs of real problems needing medical investigation.

        • Mark says:

          Sorry Phil, ghosts do not exist. If they did exist, certain places would be extremely haunted. For instance the Colisseum in Rome, Buchenwald or any gas chamber in Texas. Some places would literally have a ghost per cubic centimeter and would light up like a 4th of July fireworks display as soon as the sun goes down. There would be no need to argue about ghosts, everyone would have seen one.

          Believe what you want but there is not nor will there ever be proof of ghosts existence.

          Regards,
          Mark

          Regards,
          Mark

        • Mike says:

          Couldn’t have said it better myself. Plenty of scientific minded people believe in God without any controlled lab testing to back up their claims.

  16. Lord Erik says:

    Does it strike anyone else as a bit stupid to look for ghosts with all the lights turned off when they rely so much on cameras and other equipment which records light?

    I don’t suppose the owners of the locations they investigate walk around in complete darkness, but yet they appear to be seeing and hearing ghosts. So why not keep the lights on during the “investigation” as well?

    If they had the lights on perhaps they wouldn’t be scared and fall over themselves or run away whenever they think they see something. In fact they might actually catch something other than flickering shadows.

    But then again, I suppose flickering shadows are a lot more exciting than no flickering whatsoever.

    • Savant69 says:

      Exactly! Why not dispense with the darkness, scary music [at least for the audience], and the creepy night vision ala Blair Witch Project? They have to set the mood, because the “spook” has no objective existence – it is rather a product of their hypervigilance, which is sharpened by the darkness, and the fact that they gather the “facts” from the property owner/manager in advance, which prejudices their observations.

      Furthermore, these are rubes playing with scientific equipment in a way it wasn’t designed for. There are no “ghost meters.”

      More importantly, if ghosts did not want to be heard/seen/or felt they wouldn’t be. If they wanted to be heard/seen/felt, they surely would be far less subtle than these vague encounters demonstrate. This vagueness reminds me of backward masking BS from the 1980s.

      I guess you have to perversely admire a couple of scientifically illiterate plumbers who managed to rake in the cash by duping an audience of dunces.

  17. gina b says:

    well i like the show it seems very interesting to me i believe in order for people to believe in ghost hauntings or paranormal as you will its not right to critisize anybody on there beliefs i would like to personally investigate with taps before i would say the show is fake once i get a taste of a real investigation i would rather determine or realize it on my own and i know a lot of shows are fake because of modern technology now but i really enjoy taps like i said i would like to be a part of a real investigation with jason and grant and the crew before i can determine if it is fake until than i will enjoy watching it.

  18. Rachel says:

    I used to love this show. In the beginning it seemed that the goal was to figure out the real reason why people may have thought the environment they believed was haunted was having odd activity. I loved seeing them find out that the cause of strange noises, sounds and others were explained by pipes, holes in walls, etc. To me this was just as fascinating, actually more so than the findings that the team believed could not be explained. Actually I think that most that was unexplained could have been so if only a bit of logic and time and perhaps some valid scientific research was applied. I also loved that they do not have the absurd obsession with “orbs” caught on camera. I hate the shows that do. Come on, they are in dusty bug filled places, of course the cameras and the lights will show them as orbs when the people roam through disturbing them.

    I am most definitely a skeptic in the sense that I believe that most claims though believed by the person who experienced them, are false. I also believe that more than half of those claims have legitimacy in the category of unusual, but could be explained by logic if one should set their minds to discovering it.

    I am also very afraid of the dark outside my own bedroom. Many think this is contrary to my skeptic personality but I think it fits well. The dark simply scares me because I cannot see what might be lurking, and/or find the cause of the sounds I might hear. I do not fully discount any possibilities of paranormal activity, however I do believe that if and when there is it is usually do to things we have not fully understood scientifically yet. Things like magnetic forces on certain objects in certain environments is not fully understood so could easily fall into the category of paranormal until we understand it fully.

    This is why Ghost Hunters has been so disappointing lately. They have stopped trying to explain much of what seems so obviously explainable and place it into the odd activity category.

    I was just watching ghost hunters international and they were investigating an attic in a castle. An investigator threw a stone and the stone apparently was thrown back though they did not show the stone, but the sound was obvious. But if you looked at the floor, there were gaps that showed a very obvious sub level to this attic, under the floor boards. To assume there are no mice or rats up there is a bit odd. I would assume there were. Assuming that, wouldn’t it be logical to assume that throwing a stone at the floor might make a mouse jump and run, possible resulting in dislodging a pebble that skittered under the floorboards? It would account for the noise and the lack of the actually stone. But they never bothered to even consider this.

    It is too bad- I really enjoyed it when they used to consider all possibilities. It would have made anything they found that they could not explain valid far more valid and worth looking into. The slow decline into pleasing the audience with displays of the “unknown” is sad. It was the only show of its kind that originally did not.

    • ZeroCorpse says:

      The dark scares all humans. It’s an instinct. We can’t shake it. What it boils down to is that instead of evolving the ability to see in darkness like other animals, we evolved the intelligence to avoid it or create light (fire). Darkness is to be feared because predators stalk for easy prey in the night. A proto-human who wandered around in the dark on a starless night would no doubt be killed and eaten, if he wasn’t attacked by other humans, first.

      We’re at a disadvantage in the dark. We can’t see, and we’re very reliant on our vision. We lack other senses to make up for a loss of vision, unless we’re blind for a long time (or were born that way), and even then we’re at a disadvantage without sight (thus the white canes).

      So no, it’s not unusual to be afraid of the dark. In fact, it’s unusual to conquer that fear. It’s so much a part of us, as a species, that getting past it is a triumph of willpower.

      And that fear of the dark does WONDERS to fuel our imagination and cause us to attribute things we cannot see clearly to the supernatural.

      Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures would be worthless if they had to do their whole show with the lights on and no scary music or narration. It would be ridiculous.

      Alas! Some people are more easily duped than others when it comes to using music, darkness, and melodramatic whispering to stir up superstitious beliefs. This is no different than the way a televangelist stirs up his audience with a rousing, uplifting speech and musical cues. It’s all showmanship. The Ghost Hunters just found a way to turn the 19th-century ghost craze into a 21st century cash cow.

      • K says:

        ZeroCorpse, First love your handle. It’s perfect for a discussion of this kind. And second, I absolutely agree with you about the dark. Ghost Hunters and all other shows of its ilk have taken full advantage of this irrational fear.

        The question first occurred to me in my second season watching as to why Jason, Grant and the gang do all their “investigations” in the dark when many of the stories of paranormal activity described to them by the owners of each location happened in broad daylight. The reason is ridiculously simple: our irrational fear of the dark. But there’s a second element that GH uses to fuel our fear and plant suggestion: the part of the day that they conduct their investigations: late night until the wee hours of the morning.

        Yes, this is when their world is the darkest, but also this time of day scares people merely because it IS this time of day. I mean, what’s NOT scary about MIDNIGHT?

        None of these ghost shows have ever duped me because I’m a total skeptic. I know everything is staged and/or faked, one way or another, either by simple off-camera trickery, by suggestion, by manipulation or outright fabrication of images and noises caught by cameras and electronic devices, or by other dishonest means.

        But I get at least one hearty laugh out of each episode. Yeah, I watch purely for the entertainment value. Ghost Hunters is hilarious, not unlike watching an evangelist work his/her congregation into a frenzy at a revival meeting.

        Cash cow indeed, just like religion…

        • Alan M says:

          So why the attack on religion? This irrational linkage is what makes skeptics look foolish so often. Faith in God is not the same as belief in ghosts. You made sense until your last statement.

  19. Marc Skyler says:

    Why exactly do we live in this fantasy world that recreating an event negates the event. I have seen plenty of realistic murders on TV and film, yet I am pretty sure I believe they take place in real life as well.

    And second, this “skeptical” viewpoint that all science is invalidated by any connection to making a living from it. Seriously. Do you listen to yourselves when you make this lil snide attack? Do you think your patron Randi is a peasant magician? That Saint Carl Sagan donated all his money from Cosmos?

    Seriously…do good science…gather real evidence of fakery if you can. But get the hell over yourselves. The show is a show and at least it takes steps to show some level of critical thinking. But I suppose that is not good enough unless you dogmatically ID yourself as a skeptic and keep painfully reminding the world just how much smarter you are than everyone else.

    Get over yourselves. Get off the internet. And serve science instead of your egos. Apply your skeptical eye to department of defence reports, medical studies for diet drugs and faked data leading to Government grants. The world will be a better place for it.

    • Joel says:

      You mean it uses just enough of a pretense at “critical thinking” to be a very effective con job for those already inclined to believe in fantasy. You need to get over yourself.

    • Gerald Jennings says:

      Loved your comments…and they are why, even though I enjoy the show “Fact or Faked’ it really isn’t very enlightening. Just because you can replicate a phenomenon it is still an unwarranted and unskeptical assumption to then assume the first phenomenon was produced that way. You may be able to say with some degree of probability that might be the case, but saying that is definitely the case shows a high degree of skeptics making uncritical leaps of faith of their own.

      Even more striking examples of supposedly simon pure scientific types being strongly motivated by the profit motive than Professor Sagan are the proponents of global warming. They get their livelihood from promoting the idea that it is real and human activity is causing it.

      For the record, I think global warming is actually happening–though there is at least as much evidence it is a natural phenomenon which has been going on and for geologic ages as there is for it being caused by human activity. I think the jury is still out.

      Most of the skeptics on this forum–though I assume they are good and decent people–seem to share a high degree of hubris, and it is genuinely funny their absolute certainty mirrors the degree of dogmatism of those they are seeking to discredit. A bit of humility in admitting we really just don’t know might be salutary for them….

  20. Judy Holiday says:

    I never believed in “ghosts” until I visited my ex-bf’s parents house.We were only there for the weekend but if I could’ve left sooner I certainly would have.I get goose-bumps everytime I relieve it but here goes.. we had gone out for the evening and came back at around 1a.He’s parents were also gone so we went downstairs to the game room.We were sitting on the edge of the pool table when all of a sudden we heard footsteps up in the living room.We both looked at each other and said there’s someone up there and at about that time his mom’s poodle dog starts barking and going insane.He grabs a baseball bat and we start up the stairs and we could hear the walking and the growling and then he trips and makes a noise and bam the footsteps disappear but not the barking we find the dog underneath a table just going insane.We checked all the doors and windows and they were locked.I know in my heart that what we heard that night was not in lets say human form.The footsteps were loud and heavy and the floor was carpeted so all I can say is that there are somethings in life that can’t be explained or debunked.I agree there are con artists out there who make up scenario’s to get rich or whatever but I’m here to say that not all things that go bump in the nite are fake.

  21. Chris says:

    Excellent analysis, I greatly appreciate it. I enjoy watching Ghost Hunters and I find it entertaining. Of course I have my doubts about their evidence and methodology and its refreshing to see someone taking the time to give it enough attention to discount evidence that does not stand up to scrutiny. If TAPS desires there findings to be useful in proving or disproving the existence of spirits or ghosts, this type of critical analysis is how science is supposed to work, there must be enough credible evidence able to handle this kind of scrutiny to be taken serious. I’m a bit saddened to hear that Grant and Jason are unwilling to allow skeptics or people who are willing to question their work into the discussions on their site. It seems to me that the show can be great entertainment, but not a credible source for evidence of the paranormal.

  22. Steve says:

    One thing I have always found. And that is skeptics are very narrow minded invididuals – like a lot of skeptics say that we need to go and see a doctor. What do they come back with more than 1 person sees the same thing? They both their brains got effected exactly the same way to make them think they saw the same thing? Yeah right.

    I think there should be to choices – on the fence or a believer. Like I say, people who say they sceptical always seem to have a very limited personality. I imagine most don’t believe through fear. A fear of the unknown. So not believing is easier for them and makes them feel better.

    The question isn’t whether ghosts exist as it’s blatently obvious that they do exist. The question is, what are they?

    • s8ist says:

      Wow, Steve. I tend not to make statements of belief, but I can say quite easily that I believe everyone is dumber for having read your post. Hopefully, there are more people in agreement with that belief than “on-the-fence.” Thankfully, the sanction on disbelieving outright the notion that people are made dumber by having read your post at least favors my position.

      My main point of contention, which you may have figured out, is that you chastise others for being narrowminded but then wish to limit the number of conclusions one can have about a claim (in this instance, ghosts as they relate to the supernatural).

      I will say that I am skeptical about ghosts. That doesn’t mean that if it were presented to me in a verifiable way that I would be resistant toward accepting it. But I also think it would be quite easy to strap disco-lights and smoke machines onto myself and convince some ignorant tribe that I am some kind of God. In other words, the fact that many of us are ignorant to technology and the scientific method, and also shape our perceptions through a lens of cultural bias (including a wide array of myths and superstitions), it would be very easy for us to make shortsighted conclusions about what we see. Attributing all explanations to the unkown and relegating all unexplainable phenomenon to the supernatural simply makes for an appealing argument from ignorance.

      Oddly enough, while you limit your choices to belief or being agnostic about the subject, it seems you think that ghosts’ existence is “blatently obvious.” If they are so blatantly obvious, why would it be questioned? Gravity is obvious. Does it make sense to be “on the fence” about it? I think the truth is that you are, on some level, aware of the fact that your beliefs are not well supported by science or reason. Your projection about how beliefs that may be comforting are more easily adopted is more telling than any half-baked suspicions about the ulterior motives of skeptics. They’re not out to crap in your apple pie. They’re out to tell you that someone already has, while you complain and defend for your right to happily eat the next bite.

      • s8ist says:

        I’d also like to analyze this last part that I forgot to in my previous post:
        “…it’s blatently obvious that they do exist. The question is, what are they?”

        This is the most obvious example of NOT thinking critically that I have seen in your post. In order to establish something exists at all, we should at least be able to tell what it is that we are looking for (basic characteristics, properties, etc.). Otherwise, I could suggest that “ghosts” are what I ate for lunch, or my favorite song.

        • Joel says:

          No, he’s right. It is blatantly obvious that ghosts do exist. They’re dust motes extremely close to camera lenses. They’re the people who fake paranormal encounters and “evidence.” They’re the normal sounds of houses settling. They’re friends playing jokes on others. Whenever someone encounters something completely innocuous and assigns to it a fanciful supernatural explanation, that’s a ghost.

  23. morgvork says:

    Sorry earthlings, we are the reason you see ghosts. we use a stealthing technology which makes us appear on occasion as apparitions. we have called our tech department to fix this bug in our equipment and are sorry we gave you any false hope of life after death. we are here to observe only, mainly in the locker rooms of hot college girls at college.

  24. Amy says:

    I am convinced by some of the arguments on this page, but for those of you who argue that TAPS should stay in one location for many days – they do. Watch Steve’s five-o’clock shadow and the buttons on Jason’s shirts. They will change as episodes progress. Please keep in mind, in general, that there is a difference between the show _Ghost Hunters_, and the organization, “TAPS.”

    :)

  25. Chip says:

    I’m so happy I found this website.
    I was angry when John Edward was on SciFi a few years back.
    It’s horrible that Edward & Ghost Hunters, are allowed to influence children, or anyone of any age with this obviously untrue information.
    Personally I believe that giving out fraudulent statements as The Ghost Hunters do & Edward has, and still does, warrant some kind of legal monetary fine and maybe some jail-time as well.
    It’s more dangerous than just telling lies.

  26. Paul says:

    Why is that? Simply because they prove the old adage of, “A fool and his money are soon parted?”
    So what if people WANT to believe in life after death, or ghosts, or bigfoot, or aliens? I don’t care what people believe, or do not. Whatever. It doesn’t matter. Whether consciousness endures after death, or simply ceases at death, there’s nothing anyone can do about it.
    If aliens exist, ok they exist, if not, that’s ok too.
    I think some people are a bit too hasty to string up others simply because they subscribe to a belief which doesn’t fit into the realm of the five senses, or accepted scientific evidence and theory.
    Please recall that it was only a few hundred years ago that members of the scientific community were being “strung up” by the church for practicing their beliefs.
    But why would snyone believe in this drivel? Because a lot of people need to feel that they are part of something much larger than the world around them. Something that is beyond our capacity to explain. They want to have hope. And there is nothing wrong with that.

  27. Chip says:

    Much truth in what you say.
    I just find belief in these types of things harmful.
    Of course, charlatans have been popular for thousands of years.
    Scientific values propel the human race forward. (my opinion)
    Belief in pseudo-science keeps us slaves to ignorance.

  28. Paul says:

    Oh, I agree completely. Ignorance has led the human race down some very dark roads in the past, and does so to this day. I also agree that these kinds of beliefs have the potential for much danger, as there are misguided souls who will accept the utterly fantastic as truth, without a second’s hesitation. (Heaven’s Gate, anyone?)
    However, I also realize the need for escapism, so long as it’s enjoyed in reasonable & rational quantities.
    Let them have their ghosts and aliens. Maybe they’ll find one, or the other, or both. Who knows?
    Also, I apologize for being so abrasive in the previous post. That wasn’t my intention.

    “Live long and prosper.”

    • ZeroCorpse says:

      “Paranormal Activity” or “Poltergeist” (the movies) are escapism.

      “Ghost Hunters” and “Ghost Adventures” are charlatanism.

      The difference? The two former choices don’t pass themselves off as “scientific investigations”, and in fact are billed as fiction meant for entertainment purposes. The two latter choices are outright lying to the audience in an effort to make a profit off of their fear and ignorance.

  29. Dustin says:

    Has anyone noticed that the show is on a channel formerly called Sci-Fi? Do any of you realize what that stands for? Science FICTION. You know what Fiction is, right? To watch a show on a FICTION channel, and then get upset that it is fake….c’mon…

    • Joel says:

      Your little clever semantics game aside, it’s a show that passes itself off as real, as a documentary, with real evidence of the supernatural. Occasionally, the Sci-Fi Channel– or is it SyFy now?– shows documentaries about the making of various movies. Are those documentaries “fiction” as well?

  30. Lyra says:

    I also have no doubts that some, if not most of the activity shown in Ghost Hunters is likely staged. It comes of no surprise however. Shows like to cater to what the viewers want to see. Think Man vs. Wild. Bear does the crazy stuff that you undeniably should NOT do in a true survival scenario because the viewers like it better then someone in a true scenario. Here, the viewers want to see the paranormal activity, ergo, it is provided.

    That said, shows that forge evidence do nothing to sway me away from my personal beliefs that paranormal activity does occur around us anymore then those debunking the claims of activity on shows such as these. I’m not talking ghosts, hauntings, all that fun stuff. Just plain and simple paranormal activity which is, by definition, “Beyond the range of normal experience or scientific explanation”. I myself have experienced events which do not follow logical order, even when examined thoroughly and numerous possibilities thought of. Example, I have managed to literally collide (like when you walk into someone) something that was not there. Nothing was anywhere near me to have caused the impact. In fact the closest object I could have hit was a tree about 5ft out of my reach to the right. No branches extended to where I stood. I can’t say I wasn’t a very imaginative teenager at the time, so perhaps it was just me daydreaming again, but it was not something that fell into logical explanation otherwise.

  31. Jason says:

    I don’t have any real stance on the paranormal or the afterlife, I tend to lean towards the skptical side but stay openminded. Because ever since I was a kid I’ve loved getting spooked and hearing ghost stories around the campfire, etc. I wasn’t expecting anything to be found, but I thought it would be fun to watch.

    At first I was impressed with their professionalism, my previous experience checking out paranormal investigators and their “evidence” over the internet was mostly overweight 30-40 year old guys with thick glasses and Lord Of The Rings t-shirts blabbering on about orbs in photographs like they had found he Holy Grail or something. Either that or EVP’s that sounded like nothing more than static. And TAPS didn’t pay any attention to orbs. If every orb in a photograph meant paranormal activity, then pretty much every roll of film I have shot shows evidence of a haunting. Oh by the way, it appears that the Dumbo ride at Disney World was being visiting by a ghost back in 1984, because I have a photo of an orb in frame with a 4 year old me enjoying said ride, so be careful kids.

    But like many people I started to get wise to some of TAPS tricks, be it making unqualified statements and presenting them as fact, or what appears to be clearly faked evidence. What it all boils down to is they HAVE to fake evidence if they want to stay on the air. TAPS has hid behind this idea that since they aren’t taking money from the people they investigate there is no reason for them to fake evidence or declare a place haunted and that they are truly un-biase. When they became T.V. stars and producers of the show the expectations to entertain and produce something conflicted with that notion. It’s not rocket science, like most people they want to make money, and they stand to make the most money the longer their show stays on the air, and it won’t stay on the air if they produce nothing in the way of evidence or entertainment.

  32. DeemanBx says:

    Hey, There are things we just cannot or are not willing to see. I have had a few experiences and have no reason to lie about that. The general public is too busy to even consider the possibility of other realms of existence and such. TAPS may be fake, maybe not. But ghosts…i gotta believe cause i know what i saw…and felt. One day, there will be numerous revelations to many things thought to be myths. Remember when everyone KNEW the world was flat? Time will tell.

    • Joel says:

      A lot of people make the mistake of assigning a single cause to their experiences. People also misjudge events due to their limited perceptions of those events. You may believe you experienced something supernatural– and perhaps you did– but more than likely it was due to any number of perfectly natural reasons. Why discount hundreds of those in favor of just one explanation? Other than you were predisposed to believe in ghosts or spirits?

      It didn’t really take educated people long to conclude the earth was indeed not flat. If there had been educational systems in place during those times more people would have been aware of this fact. It’s kind of specious logic to compare people who ask for scientific proof of outrageous claims to ignorant people who believed in a flat earth. Ghost believers are the ones with the Medieval thought level.

      And that’s not even fair to people who lived in Medieval times who didn’t have access to libraries and schools as we do today.

  33. Joel says:

    I’d actually love to see a show of this nature, but with totally (or as totally as possible) objective– not skeptical, not believing– investigators putting haunted sites to a very rigorous investigation using true scientific methodology. I would imagine even the relatively modest 25% positive results from this show’s first season would be reduced considerably. 10%? 5%?

    Probably less.

    It would more than likely end up tediously boring to the viewers and frustrating to the site owners and their advertising campaigns.

    I think it’s pretty funny these guys claim they’re out to debunk hauntings when it’s clearly in their best interest to do the opposite. If they went around getting negative results each time, the message might get out there that there’s no such thing as ghosts after all and they’d be out of a lucrative TV contract and forced to go back to plumbing full-time.

    I mean, look at who stands to benefit financially here– the production team, Sci-Fi, the hotels and tourist traps they investigate. Which is fine; I’m in favor of capitalism. But that in itself should be reason for approaching this show and its conclusions with skepticism, rather than blaming SAPS for taking them to task.

    It also find it amusing that within his pseudo-debunking pose, they seem to jump directly to the supernatural conclusion on very scant evidence. It seems that if your camera picks up a mysterious image of what is possibly a ghost, that’s the beginning point of your investigation, not your concluding point. You then subject that image to rigorous testing and attempt to reproduce your results after eliminating as many elements that might skew them as possible.

    Are they also faking evidence, rather than just willfully misinterpreting it? Quite possibly. I’m not completely convinced but this would also be to their benefit– as long as they control the video masters and no third parties come along to prevent them and embarrass them– to do so and even if caught, they’re going to have enough true believers to back them up and defend them against all us fun-spoiling naysayers with our suspect motivations like “truth” and “good science” as opposed to the “Ghost Hunters'” good semi-honest all-American money-making.

    It’s a fun show, no doubt, but it does a disservice to its gullible viewers by presenting itself as scientific in any way. Real scientific investigation would welcome opposing viewpoints and transparent scrutiny, not ban posters on message boards for bringing up legitimate doubts and counter interpretations.

  34. Joel says:

    Oh… and no, I’m not objective at all. I don’t believe in ghosts and won’t until I see some empirical evidence, not just two plumbers jumping at shadows.

  35. Jen says:

    The problem is the act of looking for something of which you do not know what it is. Ghosts may exist, but what is a ghost? The traditional assumption is that ghosts-if they exist-are dead people. A ghost might be any number of natural phenomena. It might also be a quirk of one’s own brain. (Recover from a nerve disorder and you learn much about phantom perception and how real it seems. In fact, it is real in the case of nerve damage, but is information interpreted incorrectly). Anyway, I suggest that “ghost” is undefined.

    Science, as it has been pointed out above, has neither proven the non-existence of ghosts, nor has anything else proven existence. Why would the presence of infrared light prove the existence of ghosts anyway? When we do not actually know what a ghost is or may be?

    That said, I am a sceptic of shows like Ghosthunters, but I find it oddly fascinating. And, it should be considered that you would be hard pressed to find a culture on this planet that didn’t have some kind of ghost belief. The ghost belief is not consistent though, it may be a detached spirit, dead person, or some other entity. We should be clear that much of what we are dealing with is a Euro-western belief system. Fear of death is a big part of that, but from my casual experience, some cultures that don’t associate ghosts with specific dead people seem to have a more balanced view of death.

    Still, I rule nothing out just because I can’t see it.

  36. Victor says:

    I love how people get on here and claim to have experiences that just HAVE to have been ghosts but only a few people give actual examples of their stories… which could all easily be explained by the way. (Judy, that noise WAS the dog running around, likely because something it saw outside. When your boyfriend tripped it ran and hid under the table and that’s why the footprints stopped. Your memory of the event is probably distorted a bit by retelling and the fact that you were in a state of fear at the time. Not as fun as a ghost story, I know, but it is a far more likely explanation than a dead guy stomping around on the floor for no apparent reason.) (Lyra, you ran into the tree because you weren’t paying attention and stumbled about 5 ft away after the impact. Either that or a dead guy materialized, physically and violently interacted with you but then immediately left you alone after its initial contact… which of those sounds more likely?) Look, I’m not trying to be an asshole. It’s fun to believe in these sort of things, that you were a part of something unexplainable. It is perfectly natural to be defensive about such an experience.
    I had my own ghost story for awhile and I defended it zealously for awhile. My friend and I were in the woods as kids and they were pretty flooded at the time. We were walking around in a foot or so of standing water and we see this white blur, behind and among some vegetation, as it goes bolting off away from us. There was splashing and everything and then after a few yards the splashing stopped and it seemed to just disappear. We both turned and looked at each other, fear plastered all over our faces, something had to have been there. We hauled ass out of the woods and ran all the way back to my house. For years we thought we had seen a ghost and we told people as much. Then I started to think a bit more objectively about the situation and realized that it wasn’t a ghost, it was a deer. The splashing stopped because we were right near the end of the flooding where the land began to go a bit uphill. It just happened so quickly that it was easy for my active mind to turn the whole event into something that it wasn’t.
    Why is it that in these stories a ghost never appears directly before somebody and make direct communication with them. They always happen behind the subject, in the peripheral, or at a distance. It’s never, I saw the ghost, he was a foot in front of me, and we had a conversation.
    I’m sure if more people with ghost stories were truly honest with themselves, if they really analyzed the situation they were in, then they would have to admit that their first impression of the situation probably wasn’t correct. Unfortunately most people take that impression and run with it instead of analyzing it. I understand though. It’s a lot more fun to have a creepy story about a ghost in the woods than it is to have a story about how you nearly shit your pants when you saw the backside of a running deer.
    As for TAPS, their faking things for money and I’m sure they know it. It all about the Benjamins. I’m sorry but if I wanted to grain credibility as a ghost investigator I would call BS on most of the claims and then say a few were real even though I know they weren’t… just like season 1 of ghost hunters. Then once I had credibility, I’d make the show more interesting by increasing the positive claims… like the subsequent seasons. It’s all too obvious.

    • Kahlan says:

      Explain this…my sister lived in a house previously owned by an Elderly woman who was moving into a caring facility. Months later my sister started having experiences in the house. After a few things happened, she found out that the Elderly woman had passed away. Sometimes at night it sounded like someone was messing around in the kitchen and she would get up the next morning and find dishes in the sink. What do you propose caused that? One night when my sister was pregnant, she awoke with a feeling like something was on her stomach. She thought it was the cat, but looked down and saw no cat. A moment later, some sort of mini ball of light formed and floated over her belly. My sister sat up and followed the light into the other room where it finally dissipated. She had no lights on in the house at the time and and her bedroom blinds were all closed, so no outside lights could have gotten in. Do you have an explanation for that? Do you have an explanation for the voices we’ve all heard in the home? How about when a toy mysteriously moved closer to her child on the floor when no one was in the room with him and he was too young to crawl to it himself? Please explain away. It wasn’t really a mean ghost, so my sister just learned to live with her and sometimes even talked with it like it was a real person. Yeah I believe in the possibility of ghosts and spirits and even had a few experiences at my sisters place myself. Is Ghost Hunters real or fake…idk, but if they were faking it, I’d think they would make some better episodes, maybe have some more apparitions or something to make it more exciting. Why try to debunk things if they have it all faked? I can’t imagine it’s all faked.

  37. Donna says:

    I’ve been into the paranormal going on six years. I never expect to find anything, but when something does happen, what a thrill! I have a tape recorder, a digital camera, and sometimes video. I have pictures of mist, orbs (real ones) not moisture or dust. The mirror at Myrtles Plantation not one but two ghost showed up. REALLY!!! The Birdcage in Tombstone, a shadow with an e.v.p. That was a first for me. Say it’s real, say it’s fake. I have no reason to lie or mislead anyone. I just love the whole idea of “Ghost Hunting.” I have to add this. I sure got into Taps at first, even wanted to be on the their show, but now I’m not so sure. Sorry to say but I’m getting bored with it. Tango does little more than agree with everything Steve says. He has no clear opinion of his own. What happen to the fun they had at first? I did find the show entertaining, funny. Maybe I’ll start my own team. I’ll keep it real, promise..

  38. Chip says:

    I am all for entertainment. I used to watch pro-wrestling in the 70s. I loved Andre the Giant.
    However, I knew it was fake & drank a beer at each break.
    But…
    The Ghost Hunters & John Edward present their “facts” as Truth, which is unproved.
    Yes, I understand it is entertainment… & I can get into that, but not with these producers, which is what Grant & Jason are, as they laugh all the way to the bank.
    Their show is full of errors, with non-professional production values.
    It makes me cringe to see young people believe in these charlatans.
    If there were ANY truths on this show, it would appear in SCIENTIFIC journals.
    You have brains… use them.
    Or… make sure you laugh at the nonsense Grant & Jason provide.
    thanks for your time…

  39. Martin says:

    Why do people want that much to believe in ghost! I’ve seen a lots of people saying that not being able to prove the existence of ghost doesn’t proof they do not exist!! But when we have more plausible prof that they do not exist, why would you still believe they do? I think that it is only a way for these people feel more safe about what death really is. My opinion is that there is no such things as <spirit>.

    Why? Here we go.

    First, because we are, like everything living on earth, composed of the same substance. This is proved by the theory of evolution, which IS proved scientifically. If there was some kind of <spirit>, the TAPS team would have heard as much animal ghost than human ghost. And dog ghost wouldn’t have a reason to hide themselves so they would be easily observable. If you say that dog doesn’t have <spirit> because they are less intelligent, that would mean that someday, in the past, when the human was slowly gaining in intelligence, they started to have <spirit>? Because I haven’t heard of Chimpanzee ghost and we were less smart than them some day!

    Second. If humain <spirit> really does existed, that would mean that they either stay on earth or go to the paradise or hell. I think this is what most of these people beleive, but lets say first that they all stay on earth. Holy crap! There would be so much ghost! We are currently about 7 000 000 000 people on earth. If we say that in 100 years, we will all be dead, that would mean 7 000 000 more ghost in only 100 years! Do you see the problem. That would mean that ghost would be everywhere! But, wait!! this is strange!? I don’t remember having seen the probably 5 to 10 ghost in my house?? hmmm. And now, the paradise, hell option. Ok, ghost exist and they eventually go to paradise or hell, so it make more room to the newest, freshest ghost. This goes to the same problem we had before, but in to different place, hell and paradise. Because hell suck, lets go to the paradise. I am kinda agoraphobic (I don’t like being in a crowd). Even if the paradise is infinitely big, this is a big bunch of people! I’ll also get to see people I don’t like. That is not paradise if I have to see them! I wan’t to be with people I like. If we say that, in paradise, all our trouble goes away and we all are friend, that would mean that this is no more me! I am what I am! And if that’s not the case, I would prefer to be dead! BUT THIS IF FUCKING ETERNITY. So I’m fucked….. eternaly.

    I think I went a little over the subject, but I had to say this!

    Like I said, this is my opinion and you don’t need to believe in it, but gather information and think about them!

    If paradise doesn’t exist, we can a least hope for our earth paradise, so don’t be an asshole and reply by anything like YOU SUCK or stuff like that that doesn’t deserve to be heard.

    Thanks!!

  40. Stephen says:

    After considering all the above views, I have come to one quite obvious conclusion. Human beings are goofy. Real goofy.

  41. Chip says:

    We is Goofy as hell.
    As a matter of fact, I just built me a “Goof” detector.
    I just points it at a person… let’s say one of the Ghost Hunters, I presses the red button on top, and poof!
    A flag pops up and I’s located me a “Goof”!

    Look for my new show on the Food Channel called “Goof Hunters”.
    I promise to cook up some Goofy Stew.
    And we will all act really Goofy!

  42. jeff says:

    Did anyone see the St. Augustine lighthouse episode? Any ideas as to how they faked that? My guess would have to be computer animation. What do you guys think?

  43. Mick. says:

    I find the subjects of ‘ghosts’ interesting,I have not made my mind up either way as to wether I believe they exist or not.
    I used to watch Most Haunted and sometimes would get goose bumps,but now,after it was proved to be so blatantly faked,I dont watch any more.I am getting a bit like that with T.A.P.S. now.How does their thermal image camera show up a ‘ghost’ as being a glowing figure when people are supposed to get chills and the themometer drops at the presence of a ghost?
    My wife’s mother is the most down to earth,strait laced no nonsense person anyone could meet but when pressed she will tell the tale of the figure of a woman that used to appear in a shop she once worked in.(Appear,then walk through a solid wall).
    One of my interests is outer space/UFO’s.Space is just so massive surely we cant be the only occupied planet.I have seen something in the sky that nobody can explain.It is an impressive sight to see a jet at high altitude in a clear sky leaving four white lines behind it.I was strolling alongone day looking up at such a sight when a silver ball came from no where,crossed the back of the plane at right angles then suddenly changed direction and followed the plane.
    I have possibly seen a UFO,hopefully one day I will see a ghost.

  44. nomad says:

    Why are ghosts always limited in their scope to current local culture. If you count all the people that have lived on this planet and if only 10% of them became ghosts, this place would be humping with ghosts.

  45. Mick. says:

    We might walk through big groups of them in certain areas,it might be that we are not tuned into them so we dont sense them,and vice versa,they might not be tuned into us.
    There might be ghosts walking about that have never seen a human,there might be ghosts right now looking at humans on their version of Youtube.Lol.

  46. Patric says:

    I have had two very specific personal experiences in my life that make me sure that there is “something else” out there, so to speak. I am not a fan of some of the so-called science on the show, and a couple of the cast members drive me nuts with their obvious lack of even general intelligence.

    However, sites like this that work so hard to disprove the existence of paranormal activity, by decrying the “lack of science” to prove the existence of residual energy, spirits, or ghosts, ignore the huge range of possibilities presented by science in fields like quantum mechanics, and astrophysics. What we DON’T know about energy, time/space etc. dwarfs what we do know by a million times over. Scientific law is law, only until the next breakthrough discovery that rewrites the “laws”

    My experiences were both so clearly “other-worldly” as to make me an ardent fan of shows that at least call into discussion the possibilities of what could be.

    In my opinion, Ghost Hunters is the only show that seems to at least work from the premise that most of what people see and feel as paranormal, has very normal explanations.

    If you want to debunk a show that is full of lies, tattered mythology, and superstition, why don’t you start with “The 700 Club,” and leave these two ingenious-former-plumbers alone?

    • Phil says:

      Exactly! Many here do the same thing people have been doing to science over the last millenia. Just because you can’t explain something with your current knowledge doesn’t mean your opinion about it is infallible. An example is Bode’s law. This law was a hypothesis that celestial bodies orbited in a semi-major axes in an exponential function of planetary sequence. It was a huge advance in its time and explained the orbits of many of the planets in the solar system and many of their moons. The problem was it still couldnt explain the orbit of Neptune or Pluto when it was discovered 200 years later. Later on Einstein’s law of general relativity and Stanley Dermott’s law explained the discrepancies.

  47. Mike says:

    My 3 favorite shows which seem much more credible than GH are as follows: 1)”Ghost Lab” on Discovery Channel which does not have any of the wishy-washy qualities of the earlier shows; and also states in writing that none of the evidence has been manufactured or manipulated in any way. 2)”Ghostly Encounters” on Bio which simply consists of very real and very believable ordinary people (all Canadians I think)simply sitting in a wooden chair detailing their experiences with ghosts. 3)”Celebrity Ghost Stories” also on Bio, which is the same format as the above show. This one is even more believable, I suppose it’s because we feel like we know them personally. All three shows are highly recommended, give them a try!
    As for the ridiculousness of “it should be easy to gather evidence” of ghosts, plenty of people are absolutely sure there is a God, where is your controlled lab data to back that up?

  48. lilfly says:

    I don’t believe the show is real, I think the channel sci-fi want to make their profit higher. What I do know for sure though is the fact that some saddos life is so pathetic that they have nothing else to do than watch ghost shows, try and find in what way they are fake and then make blogs about that. Pathetic! Just face the blatant fact that science cannot explain everything (starting with what comes after life) if you are so smart why don’t you start cloning Human Beings? Let us know how it goes given that scientists were not even capable of cloning a sheep without having it sick and dead within 6 years (when you know most sheep live 11/12 years). Scientists are not and will never recreate what God created, the paranormal scares them because they have no control upon it, so all they can do is jump up and down screaming fakefakefake!! Calling believers morons just because they believe in things non-believers are not capable of imagining. Open your minds people we are sorry to give you that shocking news but : the world does not revolve around your belly button!

  49. lilfly says:

    and if I may add : some prefer not to believe because they are conscious of the fact they are not living honest lives. They’d rather pretend nothing is waiting for them after they die… tutut living in denial is not healthy!

  50. siguy says:

    I wanted to agree with Mike that Ghost Lab is definitely something anyone interested in paranormal should watch. They dont always come up with spectacular evidence and they usually have two cases per show. They debunk a lot of stuff right away and to some it may seem their evidence isnt much – but maybe that exactly how the manifestations of the paranormal are. No cloaked figures running around, no one getting hit or scratched… Who knows, right?
    I have been watching TAPS for a while now and I see a big change from their earlier shows that seemed to concentrate on human interaction during the investigations (losing equipment, bad setups, etc) combined with very little evidence. Now we have EMF detectors “answering” questions intelligently, shadow figures appearing regularly, any palce they walk into is just buzzing with activity. I cant remember which episode it was – when Grant went to bed and few minutes later he heard noises. “Luckily” the camera was pointed in the right direction to catch a chair that was supposed to be moving on its own. We see a picture frame being moved. Grant few times says that its amazing that it wasnt just moved, but it was tilted towards the chair. WHAT? Dude, if I were in a room, heard noises and then i saw a picture frame that moved like that – I wouldnt give a damn WHICH WAY it moved. Who cares! You just caught what seems to be a legitimate paranormal activity and you are completely cool pointing out that the picture was moved in certain direction? that makes no sense!
    with that said I have to say that they do seem to gather some “evidence” but I am sure SyFy likes results and most of it is staged. Previous posts and other blogs talk about debunking a lot of what they claim to be paranormal and I think thats OK, it deosnt take away from the show, we watch it for entertainment…
    I am a believer, I have had personal experiences on two occasions and the second one happened last weekend and this time I had a witness, we both experienced exact same thing – something that we cannot explain, debunk in any way.
    My previous encounter happened about 10 years ago and it repeated itself in the same manner 3 days in a row.

    So yes, I am a believer but to be honest I am not sure what I believe in. I think there is something out there and quite possibly calling it a “ghost” is something we do because we dont understand it fully. Something must happen to energy we all have when we die. Where does it go? We know – laws of physics – it doesnt just disappear. So what happens? Are ghost-hunts and answer? Maybe… And maybe some day a Roto-Rooter guy or Lab – Ghost guy will come up with a scientific proof. Until then we will have many opinions and many questions. But since we cannot DISPROVE – it doesnt mean it does NOT exist.

    • Mike says:

      True, however I am becoming aware that people who have had these things happen in their lives many, many times are no longer as excited as you or I would be about it, and may even seem a little bored. When I was conversing with someone like that I mentioned how I love all the different haunting-genre shows, and assumed she did too- she didn’t, because they weren’t entertainment to her, it would be like my boss and co-workers (at an animal hospital) watching “Emergency Vets”-doesn’t happen!

  51. MuGGz says:

    Ever think that dragging their names thru the dirt just fuels their popularity? Good or bad, it’s still pumps the hype. True or not, they are still being talked about and raking in ratings. The skeptics watch to prove them liars and the followers watch to see new shows. Don’t you think the biggest protest would be to stop watching? Wait… That’s impossible. You still have assumptions about people that you’ve never met or had any kind of personal relationship with. Regardless of what kind of people they are, everyone is entitled to an opinion. But think about this, your trashing someones child with kids of their own, and your main concern is that their lying? Pull that bus over to the side of the pretentiousness turnpike… Grab a mirror… And let he without sin cast the first stone….

  52. Martin says:

    Because we can’t prove it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Is that the same about the pink invisible unicorn? And the flying spaghetti monster? We can’t disprove something that doesn’t exist, but we can prove it exist. We have spectrum analyzer, quantum analyzer, radio receiver, sonar captor, photon spectrometer, heat sensor, radioactive sensor, etc. We can analyze everything, and by everything I mean everything. Matter is made of atoms. If they are not atoms, they must be energy in a king of way, because even if you disagree, we can’t escape physics laws, even <>. If they exist, we CAN analyze them. But we don’t find anything. Which mean it DOESN’T exist. Sorry for you, but human, even animals, have their brain showing them false render of the reality. It is a common neural issue that we CAN measure. Brain is not perfect. And it is not because scientist can’t prove it that they say O MY GOD THIS IS SO FAKE, it is because:

    1) We proved it is fake, because yes we can explain every single things that happen

    2)We have tried so many time to find ghost without any results that it can only prove their non-existence.

    I have lived a honest life and I like my life but I don’t believe their is something after it. Just enjoy your life while you can. I’ve seen <>. You know, when we die, all the energy doesn’t go away. It get buried under the ground. What make our brain work is K+ and Na- ions. When the brain cells die, they just stop making their activity, and the remaining unused energy is buried or eaten by other creature.

    Have a good day!

    • Martin says:

      The word ghost goes between the first  <> and

      But what happen to the energy when we die?
      between the second <>

  53. Mike says:

    Well, after longing to be one of those investigators I’ve watched on TV so long, This last Saturday was my first experience, as I joined a local paranormal group, and went on my first investigation. My gut feeling has always been that “they are out there”, and let me tell you, I am sure of it now. Apart from plenty of weird stuff happening to other team members (the females in the group were being choked, scratched, and feeling sick, I had several incredible unexplainable experiences, including hearing a woman call out someone’s name so loudly, I didn’t pay attention to it until everyone else said “who said that?”. Also, I did catch about a half dozen EVP’s on my Sony digital voice recorder, one which says my name! Let me tell you, hearing that through the headphones was a really creepy feeling, yet so exciting I can’t wait to go again. Suffice to say I am a believer, and I am hooked on this new hobby.

  54. kyle says:

    All im gona ask is were are you doing you disproving is it at these place’s TAPS is calling haunted or at you’r home or office? i understand that science has standards and every ting and for just casue but if you are not going to these places to look for your self then how can you acctuly call something fake based on the fact that you can reproduse someting. gimme the proof of the skeptics goin to these places and sitting there with the same equpiment and do your own investigating and report your findings

  55. steven says:

    I suppose the writers of this article would take the taps team more serious if they perhaps used a Ouija board, or maybe did some seance rituals. I myself use many of taps methods when doing paranormal investigations. I do have other methods as well, but I find theirs to be the best way to collect the scientific evidence I need. The skepticism here is based on their findings of what many would be suspicious about. Many people are skeptics to the fact if ghosts exists or not. I’m not saying they do, I’m not saying they don’t. What I am saying is if you want to debunk taps findings then do it the right way and go out and investigate these places for yourself.
    Couldn’t it be easily explained that they do way more investigations per year than what are aired and syfy decided that ratings would go up when they use the word haunted more often?

  56. Jaet says:

    I am a skeptic.
    This means I do not believe anything until it is proven.
    I don’t believe a person is guilty of murder just because I see them holding a smoking gun any more than I believe the things I see ON TELEVISION are true.
    However, having said this, our family watches Ghost Hunters. Mostly because it allows us to ask ‘What if?’ How many shows out there can a family of two teens and two adults sit together for an hour and discuss science? We pause, rewind, point and argue and have a wonderful family time. (We do the same thing with commercials)
    For years we’ve watched Discovery, History and Science channels. We’ve discussed alot and debated some but most of those shows present everything as fact. Where is the wonder?
    So yes, we are skeptics. That doesn’t mean we don’t believe , it means we don’t have enough evidence to believe one way or the other.

  57. Sasha says:

    Jaet I am the same way with my family. I honestly do not think either Jason or Grant are going to give skeptics much to go on because the show depends on a haunting. Although I do not have an issue watching a place get debunked, some people think its boring.

    Lets take the rose garden perspective and assume these guys do truly think ghosts exist… “I think” they would be very hesitant to take away funding for equipment and investigations by feeding us skeptics. For that matter in their minds it might warrant bad acting and over dramatic episodes. I do not expect them to provide anything meaningful to us skeptics willingly. If too much dialog exists and we disprove too much the show runs the risk of becoming unpopular. The chance to learn about the paranormal is lost. This show has got people talking about their experiences which is good and bad. There is a huge stigma on people who see and experience unexplained events. So in a way we need this show… to remove the social barriers. However its bad because personal experiences are not scientific so it really does not bring much of “value” to the debate unless documented in specific ways that people above mentioned involve catch 22s most of the time.

    The other perspective can be easily imagined, and I’m sure some variation of it has run through each of our minds as we read these comments, or watch really over dramatic “coat hanger episodes.” Be it for the fame or money, compliance and open dialogue with us skeptics won’t help TAPS / GHI keep either.

    As for me, I will remain the skeptic of my family. It is a fun show to watch, and assuming they continue along as it seems, they are eventually going to either do something incredibly fake and get caught, or maybe just maybe surprise us all. At the very least it will be entertaining.

  58. Sasha says:

    Also :

    I think its wonderful that sites like this exist with the purpose of trying to debunk “evidence” because its needed. We need skeptics around to keep people honest. To the people giving us skeptics flak…

    Maybe if scholarships existed some of these bright individuals would be doing what you suggested. Not everyone has been given the tools or placed in positions in life where we can just go out and achieve. I for example have Lupus and barely hold down a job now thanks to my illness. Graduted top of my class… yada yada yada. Thanks for the personal attacks on people who have lives you know absolutely nothing about. I think your swell.

  59. Gerald says:

    I had a paranormal experience 32 years ago at the young age of 22. My grandparents had died and I lived at their home by myself for about a year while establishing a landscaping business. It was very hard, physical work and I needed my sleep. I slept in a bed under a magnificent old photo of my great uncle who was killed in WW1. The photo was encased in a glass frame and the back was completely sealed with heavy cardboard. For 5 nights in a row, despite being very tired I was awakened by a loud scratching sound coming from directly above my head from the picture. I ignored it at first but one night I eventually got up, turned on the lights and carefully examined the picture frame. I figured a large moth must have somehow entered the glass case and was trying to escape. I looked at that frame and examined it thoroughly. It was completely sealed. The frame came from Scotland and it was beautifully and well constructed. Nothing could enter that family heirloom. It woke me up night after night and I finally removed the picture, placed it in a closet and said, “Leave me alone. I need my sleep.” No further sound emanated from the glass framed photo. No scary story but very real. Unless something similar happens to you, you will be and should be a sceptic. For me, I will always keep an open mind since something unexplainable happened to me in my youth. Was my great uncle trying to communicate. Who knows but no bugs, mice or anything else got in that sealed glass photo and a young buck who just finished 12 hours of hard, physical labor is not easy to awaken.

    • ZeroCorpse says:

      The frame was scraping against the wall as the building was shifting. It stopped because you removed it from the wall and put it in a drawer.

  60. Mike says:

    O.K., I’ve been on two paranormal investigations now (my 1st post here was #53), and as the 2nd was even more incredible than the 1st, I now find myself with more questions than answers, the opposite of what I’d assumed would happen. Also, case #2 came just a week after the 1st, and none since, and all I can think about is when can I do it again?!? I’m even a little worried that future cases will be letdowns, as going into this I’d prepared for long hours of nothing happening, and instead had my mind blown- things were so active in both instances that experienced group members who had told me not to expect much if anything, were obviously excited.
    Besides now having a collection of my own “EVP” (from documented sessions where any noise heard- be it distant traffic, shifting your weight in a chair, or someone’s stomach rumbling are all carefully noted) that include whispers, moans, whimpers, growls, answers to questions asked, and more, including one that says “Mike” in what can only be described as a flat, “dead” tone of voice (I still get the chills over that one even as I type!) all things not heard at the time, made with my own digital voice recorder that never left my “chain of custody”; I also have undeniable personal experiences to reflect on like having rocks thrown at us, footsteps on the porch with nobody there to make them, doors closing, sudden scents like diesel fuel, urine, and pipe tobacco smoke, people getting scratched, choked, and bitten, and myself actually being touched on two occasions, an indescribable feeling to say the least. These recordings have not been run through any processing at all, straight from the recorder to the computer.
    Also cool is I’m now in touch with a network of people with the same interests as me, some of them skeptics, some just curious, some tech-savy, many of them believers who have invaluable insight, experience, knowledge, and advice I can freely draw on about the paranormal. Finally being able to put forth my own questions to test people’s claims is a long awaited chance for me. Since they aren’t TV stars or professional psychics (read: no financial motivation), I can look them in the eye and decide for myself if they are for real or not.
    One of the most exceptional of these new people I’ve met is only 15 years old, yet tells of seeing and hearing spirits regularly since the age of 5. This seems to me a stable, grounded, honest and intelligent young person and I have no reason to doubt the sincerity or validity of the accounts shared with me, especially since an absence of any self-serving or grandiose personality means I have to remember to specifically ask about anything I may want to know. For instance, I just found out today (almost by accident really) that the man that was scratching and hurting the females of the group that 1st night was standing in the kitchen glaring at us as we first walked through his house! And there I was, cheerfully and loudly commenting on what a smelly dump it was, and how someone needs to learn how to clean! That he was seen was never mentioned to anyone that night, and no one else saw him (or at least has said so). This is apparently so commonplace in this teenager’s life, that it rarely gets mentioned to anyone unless they ask.
    Another huge rush to come from all this has been my Dad- He’s a retired electrical engineer with a unyielding scientific and skeptical mindset. In the past he’d politely listen to my claims of things like EVP, but openly scoff at the paranormal shows I played for him when he visited. He is innately suspicious of anything on television (except PBS, lol) and I confess in the past I sometimes felt foolish in my protest that the shows were real, a voice inside saying “what if I am gullible in believing TV?” To several paranormal website video/audio clips I emailed he responded quote, “I can’t rule out either explanation with the evidence that I see, so I assume the more rational explanation is likely. Remember the crop circles? Nobody had an explanation until the hoaxers came forth and explained how they did it.”, and to another,”When you get your own EVP, send it to me”. Well, now I had lots to send him and suffice to say, he has changed his tune and I can’t lie, his wrinkled brow and head scratching delights me somewhat. How often do you get to turn tables and teach your old man something, especially something that shakes the very core of his beliefs? The first case he had an possible answer for everything that happened, although he couldn’t debunk anything, just maintained that it wasn’t proof. The second case I had so many experiences to relate and sent him so much evidence to review he actually stopped responding to my emails for a few days, saying he was “busy working on other things”. Ha! I know him better than that, he may have been doing other things, but was struggling for possibly the first time with the lack of ability to explain it away, and suddenly was a little freaked out. He knew I wasn’t making this up, and that there was too much accumulating evidence to ignore. One event especially frustrated him, where right after a team member says “if you’re here with us,if you would, please touch Michael or one of us” the recorder I was holding up as I sat in a chair suddenly jumped a little in my hand as if someone had flicked or tapped it with a finger, and I said so out loud at the time. Indeed there is a loud noise recorded as it happened. After asking me several questions about the DVR (“And you’re sure it has no moving parts, right?”, lol) he was being forced to consider what in his mind was formally inconsiderable. Finally, at my email asking he tell me what he thought, he wrote back “I don’t know what to think. I hope you don’t get angry at me but I will play the devil’s advocate and remain skeptical as long as I can hold out. However, I won’t say there aren’t ghosts and I’ll keep an open mind.” To some that statement sounds fairly undecided, but for him it was a HUGE thing to say, a major admission for a scientifically grounded guy. Even more amusing are the little half-joking warnings of late to be careful, to “stay away from the bad ones”, and again I must admit this tickles me pink to hear. Not funny or satisfying however, is that he sounds a little worried and unsure now about death and dying, where as before I forced all this on him he was secure in his belief in God and in Heaven. These are some of the same issues I thought would be answered by finding evidence of life after death, yet feel I now understand even less.
    So, again, those of you who I know are laughing at this, all I can say is that in closing your mind you are shortchanging yourself. I can’t expect anyone reading this to trust me, just as I had to see for myself before I could make up my mind. I would urge anyone interested to find groups in your area, pick one or two that seem credible, and give it a try. The main thing they offer besides experience and equipment is access to active sites, something that makes all the difference in the world. One more thing- I started out with a detective’s mindset with each event,(“OK her leg became scratched and bleeding as we all stood here- Maybe a branch or piece of metal scraped her and she didn’t notice until now, so look carefully at her pant leg for debris or a mark- nope, nothing. Could she have scratched herself on purpose? Without anyone seeing? Would she have?”) And so you get the picture. I was trying to be hyper-aware of my surroundings, questioning everything, accepting nothing at face value, taking the view that OK, they may just call everything paranormal, or worse, be actively trying to trick me, lets see if they are for real. Things others’ stated “I feel a male presence here” were dismissed as not tangible and therefore meaningless.(For instance, I have never understand people who say “You know when you feel you’re being watched?”, and still don’t). At no time during either night did I ever feel or sense anything out of the ordinary even when others said they could. I figured either my hunch that I, like most people have zero sensitivity to this stuff was right, or that they were nut jobs, or that they were faking it all for some reason. That attitude was with me for the first half of the first night, until things started happening so fast I couldn’t keep up anymore. Then, when I went home and started listening through the headphones, I soon knew my first thought was the correct one. When others said they felt/saw stuff, my evidence generally backed it up. When once, alone in a room I jeered “I don’t think you’re even here. Can’t even turn the fan blade like I asked? You’re boring me” I caught a whispered voice say “Don’t…” and couldn’t make out the rest. But there I was, feeling nothing at all, and obviously I was not alone!
    So can I say absolutely that these were ghosts? No. Is it possible that it was all staged, faked, forged, that the EVP was radio or other interference, that the photo taken by the girl across from me as she says “shadow moving behind you!” of something black hanging above me was just her finger over the flash, etc- sure it’s possible. But It’s not likely. In fact, when I add it all up it’s pretty damn obvious. And it’s not just unlikely for reasons such as why would these folks go to such trouble just to fool little old me, especially when there is nothing to gain, be it fame or money. It’s even more unlikely when I consider that both my experiences, and my evidence all matches up where it should, and leaves the possibility of coincidental happenstance as a likely explanation in the dirt. All I can say is, go find out for yourself. You’ll never be the same.

  61. Chip says:

    The question of: “What is a ghost?” was asked earlier in this thread.
    I do not believe in the common paranormal belief that a “ghost” is a disembodied spirit of a dead person.
    Physicists theorize that there are many dimensions, or, “universes”, existing along side of the one that we inhabit.
    I would not rule out that so-called ‘paranormal’ experiences are “leaks” between these other planes. Energy or even human-like inhabitants of these planes could be “crossing-over”. (Not the ‘John Edward’ type of ‘crossing’, however.)
    Nothing magical about that.
    My “leaks” could be defined as supernatural: “existence beyond the visible observable universe.” Or: “appearing to transcend the laws of nature.”
    Or paranormal: “not scientifically explainable.” (So far.)
    But these “leaks” would not be magical, or spirits wandering around our Earth.
    In fact these “leaks” would be scientifically explainable.
    If they are coming from another plane, with real beings there.
    Now that I’ve bored everyone, I’ll say “Goodnight to you all.”

  62. Chip says:

    One more thought.
    The human mind is easily fooled.
    We see something strange and our brains try to put it into something recognizable.
    If it can’t, then it goes into autopilot making up all kinds of explanations for limited observations.
    “Oh! That must be a ghost!”
    No, you just caught a reflection of light from somewhere… real.
    “No, that was a ghost! I know what I SAW!”
    No… you don’t… & neither does your brain.

  63. Chip says:

    “I’m sure Jason and Grant are both very nice people.”
    No, they are not.
    They are greedy bastards, duping the public with their fake show.
    And no one tell me it’s just entertainment.
    The best magicians give a disclaimer at the beginning of their show saying what they are going to present is ‘sleight of hand’. (Tricks)
    The Ghost Hunters present their evidence as scientific fact.
    I say run ‘em outta town on a rail.
    Tar & feather ‘em first.

  64. No ghosts here says:

    I read some of the posts claiming that the scientific method cannot be applied to the supernatural. But, watching at a few episodes would call into the question the following:

    1. Investigations are always at night. It seems to me the investigators perception of their environment would be severely skewed by exhaustion. If it a place is haunted, it is haunted during the day, too. Why not investigate during the day? One could compare “the evidence” between day and night?

    2. The mish-mash of technical gadgets are not seemingly used in a coordinated effort. It is a camera or a flir. It is never a flir camera and the (ridiculous) flashlight test. The cool feeling is never teamed with digital camera.

    3. A baseline does not seem to be taken. Why not take a night or day time (preferably both)measurements without the team being in the room? This could be compared with the measurements with the investigators in the room.

    4. The ridiculous flashlight test. This “theory” is that a person adjust the contact to the batter of a flashlight to make it “easier” for the ghost to manipulate it. However, the investigator could do this with a lightbulb in a fixture?

    And just because I say that it is a theory does not mean that the premise is true. I could easily say the flickering flashlight answering my questions is proof that bacon is flying through the room does not make it so. This is no different than people like Glen Beck or Bill O’Reilly stating that something is true without investigating it and asking someone else to prove them wrong.

  65. Danielle says:

    Wow. most of you are really stupid. and here are the reasons:

    1. Religion is something people believe in without proof. So why is paranormal activity such a far reach? Its a belief.

    2. Ghost hunting in the light? thats like trying to find an owl during the day.

    3. Do research before you try to say how it should be done. I have experienced everything from seeing apparitions (at night), to smelling mens cologne (I live alone, no ventilation from the outside, im a lesbian so men rarely enter my apt), to hearing my name called out. Im not saying everything is real, but its a belief. like a religion. so unless you are just as angry at everyone that believes in any sort of higher power, shut up.

  66. Todd says:

    As a real live scientist, I have a little piece of data for you. There are currently in my area 43 TV shows about ghosts/paranormal phenomena and not one attempts to use any scientific methodology. In fact, it seems to me that the shows teach an uncritical approach to life. I find that unfortunate. It’s too bad because it would be so easy to make the shows more credible, educational and entertaining. As it is, they give people the wrong impression about science. Real scientists would use improved and more interesting methodologies such as double blinding. For example, two people review a tape alone and a third independent person compares their notes. Would the “investigators” always claim they heard the same things. If so, it lends credibility to the idea that the “investigators” are really hearing something that is not ambiguous. If not, it suggests that they are probably over-interpreting what they are hearing. Using science, would make for a more interesting and credible show. Real scientists also use public repositories to store controversial data (e.g., film footage). Real scientists also make use of experts (e.g., magicians, photographic experts, architects) and use the scientific literature to help them develop alternative hypothesis. Most importantly, scientists set up experiments that can lend support to alternative explanations–0 fudge factors, and they no a lot of tricks to make sure that most of their experiments will yield a definitive conclusion or at least be a stepping stone toward a definitive conclusion. All this could be done with ghost hunting but instead it’s become a form of entertainment. How sad for those people who believe they are being haunted. The ghost hunters have set up a system that doesn’t really help most of these people to understand what is happening to them.

  67. Kathy says:

    What you seem to forget is the real people that are having real experiences in these places that is bringing TAPS there in the 1st place. I have had my own experiences and they are real. So TAPS is faking evidence after they got started for the sake of the almighty $ and I am very disheartened about that but that’s showbiz.
    At the same time I do believe that they are hearing and seeing real “ghosts” also and that’s the part that I focus on. I am willing to continue to watch for the parts that I believe are real based on my own experience and knowledge.

  68. Mike says:

    Also, I might add do not let television be the basis upon which you make a sweeping judgement regarding the subject without checking it out for yourself first. In other words, you wouldn’t base your understanding of how a detective really works by watching “Dragnet” even though the storyline has been taken from “real case files”, so you’re selling yourself short by doing that with the paranormal. TV is TV, and no matter what the disclaimer says, it is for entertainment, with a few exceptions. Most Joe-public types would be bored watching an overly scientific show, and so they ham it up and string you along, as usual. Our group does take baseline EMF readings, temperatures and photos to name a few, and when we capture evidence, no one ever says “This is what it means, and that’s that”. Personally, I would require hard proof to publicly declare a piece of evidence as factual, but that doesn’t really matter to me, I’m not out to change beliefs. This still leaves a huge volume of evidence and experiences to consider, and I make up my mind after looking at the whole picture. Because my digital audio has someone whispering “Mike” several times when left in an empty room isn’t compelling to you, but when I know nobody was even near that room, it means a lot more to me! Also, you cannot subjectively analyze many personal experiences, but must take them at face value. There was no photograph of the ghost that touched my back, but I damn sure know that it did. Also, we do not filter and enhance our EVP, if it is not clear as to what it’s saying, then it’s anyone’s guess, many of the stuff on TV is filtered and warped beyond belief, and is junk to me. But the fact remains that I made the recording, and I know what noises should or shouldn’t be there in the first place, an outside reviewer does not know those details. As for the public repository of evidence, groups are very sensitive about the apparently common theft of it, and it is all protected material to be released upon permission only. I would think a scientist working on his own hypothesis would also protect his work until ready for release to the world.
    I am, in fact working towards some controlled testing methods, and can’t lie, wouldn’t mind being known as the first one to validate ghosts (except the critics would still say, “Well, it was an unknown force, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it was a ghost” lol). Also, we mostly do this as a hobby, for our own curiosity, and don’t pretend to be the A-Team swooping in to save the day. If a client really needed help, there are people more knowledgeable than me in this area I would refer them to.

  69. Sylv says:

    Nice analysis of the show. This is exactly why I don’t watch it. I’d love a program that actually went into the scientific method, why ghost-hunting equipment is mostly bunk when it comes to stalking apparitions, how people are predisposed to leap to conclusions, etc… I love horror and the supernatural in fiction. When people start believing in this stuff in real life, it becomes a problem.

  70. wow says:

    that show, whatever it’s purpose is two things. 1.entertainment and 2. a way for people to try to explain something that has been plauging mankind since our beginning. either way, actually siting down and writing this and that about these things and actively trying to debunk a form of entertainment seems to me to be what it is. it is a complete waste of time. obviously, the founders of this site have exactly tons of time on their hands. just let a show be a show. at least they are not advocating teen pregnancy like other networks. purely innocent entertainment is all I see when I watch that show.

  71. Craig says:

    I too am a sceptic (once a true believer) however your evidence is poor to say the least. The recreations are at best amateurish. The whole premise of your piece is based upon your blinkered view of the paranormal, not an open minded enquiry. If TAPS is an organisation of hoaxers, show me the evidence, not some poorly demonstrated recreations. I seek the truth, not a biased view.

  72. Ed says:

    Although I agree with the findings on TAPS and the fake evidence they provide (just search on youtube.com) I do believe that spirits do exist. Orbs as these television shows show are ridiculous as they are a reflection off of the camera flash or lens or a bug flying by or even humidity or rain, reflected off the IR (night vision) camera. Try this experiment, get a pillow from your sofa and hit it and immediately take a photo of it and you will see many “orbs” in the photo LOL. I am a part of a paranormal investigation group and the investigations you see on TV are VERY exaggerated and are misinforming people on the paranormal. Yes much evidence can be faked and should be thrown out but there is some evidence that cannot be explained. I personally have captured apparitions forming on camera, shadow figures, cold spots, and MANY EVPs. The thing is this evidence (most) is found upon evidence review. The truth is an actual investigation can be quite boring. So it comes down to the phrase we live by, “when in doubt throw it out”. This is something that does not seem to be the same on many of these shows. This all being said, do I believe in another realm of existence in where our souls can be stuck in, YES! Do I believe all haunted houses are really haunted, NO WAY. These shows give real investigation groups a bad name and need to be taken for what they are, Hollywood entertainment. True groups do not charge for investigations and the people involved are normal people with 8 to 5 jobs, families, and everyday responsibilities. So to end my rant :) I will say do NOT believe what can be explained but keep an open mind to what may exist.

  73. Bobby Elgee says:

    Being a paranormal investigator myself, I applaud Ghost Hunters for doing their part to popularize the possible existence of paranormal phenomena, however we must always remember that it is a television show that is produced for entertainment and ratings. Having investigated a specific location–Amos J. Blake House Museum–multiple times, prior to it being featured on Ghost Hunters, it was readily apparent how certain aspects of the investigation were sensationalized–and I believe probably staged–for entertainment value.

    There is one thing for certain, people experience strange and unexplainable phenomena with remarkable frequency.

    Bobby Elgee; Sights Unseen Paranormal

  74. Jimmy says:

    I give you credit for not wanting to believe readily what you see on TV. However, anything can be faked with special effects. Things often take forever to “go mainstream”. Paranormal activities often just leave a big question mark even if they are “discovered”, hence why it is paranormal. Also, everything on the internet, TV, or ANY media should be approached skeptically because it’s not your real experience or conclusion based off it. I mean everything, including scientists, any skeptic, or this comment of mine. There are holes in science because no one can know everything. It’s impossible. Try answer a question that doesn’t formulate new questions. Believe what you will, but concentrate on your own logical understanding after viewing all sides and, if you can, recreate the experience if you want to prove it further.

    -Whether ghosts are real or not it does not affect me currently nor will it answer anything close to all my questions.

  75. Comptron says:

    Please remember also that the episodes that get on the air, real evidence or otherwise, aren’t the only ones they invesgate. They are other places they go. I’m not conviced that everything on there is real, but by the same token, I’m not conviced it’s all faked. I feel that it’s ok to be skeptical, that’s fine, but don’t totally close your mind to the unexplained because of TV.

  76. Jaguar says:

    Perhaps someone here might be able to give an encompassing definition of “Life” or what it is to make something “Living”. The difference between a living cell and a dead one is metabolic, with no apparent rationale for the loss of life and breakdown of metabolic process. While the chemical makeup remains identical between the two states, we have no quantifiable and encompassing definition of something we absolutely know exists. We are living beings, yet we do not understand why we aren’t as lifeless as the stone and precious metals this world is made up of.

    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/05/scientists-create-first-self-replicating-synthetic-life/

    We have created a synthetic genome, but not without help from an already living organism. In fact, we needed the cell’s “skin” to do it. A major, fantastic breakthrough for science, but a terrible conundrum in that we still cannot answer how life came to be in the first place.

    Forget debunking ghosts, or gods, or invisible pink unicorns. Apply your criticism to something we not only all emphatically believe in, we equally as zealously proclaim exists: Life. You would think such a terribly real and quantifiable state of existence would have a unifiable definition.

    I am skeptical of any claims of the supernatural, but the ultimate puzzle is within us, not outside. We KNOW life exists, we do not yet properly understand it enough to define it, yet we have the audacity to prove at any given moment that science is irrefutable, until we find new means to refute it. Of course, all this rabble could be rather incoherent and meaningless, if as some believe, that all our thoughts are no more than mere chemical reactions inducing a response to an already coded source of adaptive genetic programming, and therefore everything we say we know today is 100% accurate.

  77. Jaguar says:

    http://www.astrobio.net/exclusive/344/defining-life

    One more on that previous post, and a rationale for this question, which upon review I realize I did not pose:

    Disbelief in the afterlife due to a perception of viewing understandable and quantifiable evidence that can be defined in an orderly manner that is congruent in thought and logic is starkly contrasted by the same belief in life, which is both without uncontested definition, and utterly ubiquitous in the world which surrounds us.

    We cannot disprove an afterlife until we first prove that what qualifies us as living is known. We have no means to measure life, only the energy and materials that living things affect. Until we can understand what it is that makes us alive without any reasonable doubt, we cannot hope to remove the question of a consciousness beyond this one.

  78. Jonathan says:

    If you ask me…seeing how this TV show is mainly for amusement, more than it is educational, I disclaim it as fake. Of course they are going to be making a lot of money; they are being endorsed by the companies they work for (Roto-rooter and Sci-fi)

    I am not saying the paranormal doesn’t exist. I am saying that this is just a show just like any other show: its for your entertainment. If they have actually caught any paranormal activity that is real, I say only a good 1~5% of their investigations actually involved real paranormal phenomena. Whether they will show this footage of real proof is yet another story…I feel they wouldn’t…

  79. NeverMind says:

    I would like to revisit the overwhelming power that the mind has on these situations. I too have experienced what some would definitely call paranormal activity.

    Once I was working late at night in a very old historic building and I experienced a book fly past my head and hit the wall I was facing. When I looked for the book I came up empty handed. I also would occasionally see someone out of the corner of my eye. When I would take a better look, no one was there, but when discussing it with co workers, they would tell me I described an old employee that had passed away years ago.

    Many people have taken similar experiences and called that absolute proof of the paranormal. I do not, however, believe for one second that my experiences were paranormal. It is far more likely in the first experience, that I was tired from working a late shift and being predisposed to fear the big historic building that I was working in alone, that I had some sort of minor hallucination. This is very common in humans suffering from sleep deprivation. The “book” was “more likely” to be a manifestation of my tiredness and fear, than a paranormal book flung by an unknown entity. Think about it!

    The second part of my experiences also comes with some very simple explanations. I had shared my experience with my co-workers about seeing someone. They innocently made false connections with my description in comparison to their past co-worker. This false correlation is extremely common in cold reading, where a “psychic” is able to tell you seemingly incredible “details” about your life. It has been proven time and time again that virtually anyone can be trained to do cold reading and appear as authentic psychics. Even after they reveal the “trick” to the participant, it can be quite difficult to convince them that the cold reading wasn’t supernatural.

    Our mind is extremely powerful and more than capable of “skewing” our perception of reality. Do an internet search of “mind tricks” or “optical illusions” and you will be overcome with more than enough examples of how our brains compensate for reality and alter our perception, all completely innocently.

    I am constantly disappointed by the willingness of the masses to simply “believe” something without applying even the simplest of (not so) “common sense”. To paraphrase some very good skeptic thinking, the bigger the claim, the bigger the proof has to be. I believe it was Michael Shermer who wrote something to the effect of “If you tell me you have a $5 bill in your pocket, that is somewhat likely and I probably don’t need too much proof to believe it. But if you tell me you have a $1,000,000 bill in you pocket, you are probably going to have to prove it because the existence of a $1,000,000 bill is extremely rare, if at all!”

    This is seemingly good logic and I am more likely to follow that advice than blindly follow advice that tells me to believe something without the appropriate level of proof.

    Cheers!

    • SlickWillie says:

      Science has a theory that because the prefrontal cortex is more active in a person who is sleep deprived (usually requiring 24 hours or more without sleep) that there is a possibility of hallucinations. Yet, science has also found that this high amount of activity in the prefrontal cortex could come from the sleep deprived brain having to work harder and harder to make sense of stimulus. Because there has been no way to replicate these hallucinations on a large sample size with uniformed testing there really is no way to validate the theory. In other words, all people react differently even with the same stimulus (sleep deprivation) so science really has no clear answer.
      But you are putting your “faith” in the fact that it was your mind somehow reacting to the lack of sleep in a particular way based on other people’s reactions. You have no proof that indeed it was. You only have a theory based on a theory. If the best hallucination you mind could come up with was a book flying across the room then you need visit some other interesting sights on the WWW so you can get some really good material for next time. There is a possibility that your mind could not make sense of what you just observed and used the above theory to make sense of it.
      I agree that it probably was not a ghost, but that doesn’t mean that there is no chance that ghosts are not real. Maybe they do not exist in the interactive sense, but in the residual energy sense. There is a huge possibility that Ghost Hunters is fake, but why are skeptics so quick to dismiss, categorize, and evaluate everything to a permanent conclusion? Science would not be where it is today without persons who thought outside the box and tested theories that at the time there was not proof to support.
      My suggestion is that if you are standing in the road and you “think” a car is coming at you that you move out of the way.

  80. kyle says:

    I feel you haters need to understand that this is a reality television show on a cable network. Even though this is a successful television show the TAPS family does not pull down large dollars. Advertrates for that time slot and television show are minimal. They make around 15 -20 k per episode, so lets consider it’s. 250 a year minus agent fees of around 6-10 %. Its a television show and that’s all it is. If people go in thinking this is all truth ……well they’re idiots and need to pull themselves away from their computer, put down the kool aide and meet a new friend in person. Get out and do something outside, and let people enjoy television. You don’t hear me telling you how fake American idol is or the bachelor, Jersey show. All scripted television made to look real.

  81. Barbara says:

    Hi
    I just saw the show for the first time. It showed “hunting”?? of the Canfield Casno in Saratoga New York. I live in the area and know the beautiful old building. Yes, there were murder committed in th 19th century, so once a while people perceive something odd on the third floor. (MUch like power of suggestion?)
    Other than that, the whole show is childish and shows no prove for any “par-normal- activity”,just impressions, feelings or instigated occurences. Too bad, millions can not be invested to scientifically research and promote evidence of documented “para-normal” abilities in people.
    I will volunteer because I know who is on the telephone most of the time.

    “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt in our philosophy” (Hamlet) But Horatio and all ghost hunter guys, creating “ghost energy” or “para normal presences” is not one of those things

  82. SpookyPRDS says:

    I wrote a very detailed article on the reasons that ghost adventures is fake ( http://blog.spookyproductions.com/post/4334299418/ghostadventures ) although it’s not ghost hunters, it’s pretty much the same idea.. I also did a short video of an EVP reenactment.

    I’ve learned a lot over the last year about trying to convince people the idea of a paranormal investigation show is ridiculous, but it’s truly, and fundamentally only a matter of opinion, and not just a simple opinion. It’s your religious views, its your fears, its your idea of the meaning of life and death. You can’t convince someone that Ghost Hunters is fake without convincing them that god doesn’t exist. And that’s a belief that cannot be convinced.

    Scientifically, anyone will tell you that these shows are not legitimate. To prove that their “tools” detect ghosts would require you to first prove that there ARE ghosts. And that is yet to be proven, so it only relies on a matter of opinion. An EVP could detect a ghost just as well as a banana in my opinion. Show me how a banana DOESN’T detect a ghost, and I’ll show you how EVP doesn’t detect a ghost.

    I’m also a documentary filmmaker. I know how camera’s work, and how documentaries are edited… Once an idea is taken from raw footage and turned into a documentary, it is automatically a lie. It is taken out of context, and is manipulated based on the filmmakers opinions. If I were to tell a story about ghosts, for instance, and I have 5 hours of footage.. 5 minutes of that footage there was something “Ghost like”. I would use all of that 5 minutes, and almost none of the other 4 hours and 55 minutes. Immediately, the truth behind all of it has been manipulated and taken out of the context of the whole scheme of things, since I’m not showing you the hours and hours we sat around playing cards waiting for something to happen. If I did, it would be boring, inconclusive, and would go against what I was trying to do.

    Camera’s create images based on light. If there’s not a lot of light in the image, then it becomes grainy because the camera can’t make sense of the information. You get plenty of “artifacts”. It’s also digital, which means that some of the information has been removed in order to make it less digits, or to make it a smaller file size (ie: small enough to be transported to your TV). The same goes for audio. When it’s bitdepth (amount of digits in the binary code) is 16 bits (16 0’s or 1’s), then there is a clear sound. But often times digital audio is very far off from the true sound in the real world, because for the sake of file size, and technological limitations, a lot of information is lost which results in sounds that didn’t actually occur. So how do you know what the recorded bitdepth of the audio is? or how many times the video has gone through compression? Answer me this… Why don’t they ever film with the lights on? They’re filmmakers, they know how absolutely important light is! The answer is that they also know that the camera is going to get nothing but crystal clear images with the lights on, and that doesn’t make for any paranormal evidence.

    A devote christian once took a very scientific approach to proving that humans have souls. He measured four people during the moment of death and every one of them dropped 21 grams of weight at the precise second of death. He also weighed dogs, which did not lose weight. He took into account the loss of urine and feces during death, but concluded that since it was still on the scale it was irrelevant. He even took into account the loss of breathe, as in a mans last breathe of air and found that it did not affect the weight. This scientist never became mainstream, and his experiments were never recorded as fact, simply because his opinion was biased. He set out to prove that we have souls, and he came to the conclusion, scientifically, that it was absolutely possible and a true phenomenon, thus proving his original opinion correct. But sadly, the reason he was discredited was because of his sincere bias. The same relates to believers in ghosts, and skeptics. Neither of us can prove the other wrong. Unless a skeptical scientist, and a believing scientist both performed a successful experiment resulting in an absolute scientific discovery, confirming or debunking one way or another the existence of the paranormal.

    So all I’m saying is don’t bother. If you know ghosts don’t exist then relax because you know you’re right and all others are wrong. Because the bickering, reasoning, and argument is illogical from both sides. It has not been proven either way. Perform scientific, unbiased investigations and come up with your own conclusions if you’re so determined.

  83. bp says:

    Ok, not being a skeptic or a huge fan of the show and wanting to believe, the idea of having five hours of footage and only five min containing something possibly paranormal is the whole point. Put in five hours time in and get what could be brief footage or evidence that shows something that can’t be explained mr documentary film maker is how this business is done worldwide. Whether the show is genuine or not is not official and you can always question people who are capturing something believed by many to not be real just like Bigfoot. The equipment is the most scientific approach we have to capture what science doesn’t recognize and is passed from others who have researched in those fields to what they believe gives the most promising chances of evidence. Take it for what it is and love it or leave it.

  84. Raw-b says:

    I would love to hook up a polygraph to each member of TAPS and ask them if they had ever falsified evidence or staged any of the paranormal activity on the show

  85. slcmom says:

    I am a believing skeptic, meaning that I try to debunk every single thing I see or hear regarding the paranormal, and it amounts to being that I end up believing about 1 percent, if that, of what I see or hear. But I get a thrill out of finding that one thing that makes me go “hmmmm”. I left Mormonism about 3 years ago, and since doing so, have become skeptic of whether or not there even is a god. My husband is agnostic. We watch G.H. together sometimes…he gets a good laugh out of it, and I enjoy watching it to see if anything seems spooky. I’ve been disappointed most of the time, and fall asleep most of the time. I think Jason and Grant and the producers of the show take us all for idiots. The show has definitely gone downhill. On another note, my disbelieving husband and I went on a ghost hunt a couple of years ago at an abandoned hospital, as a gift for me for Valentine’s Day. :) The only piece of “evidence” we caught was an “EVP” of what sounded like child’s laughter. We were creeped out by it, but even though we know we were the only people in that room, we STILL question it. I can’t believe some people are so believing…so gullible…so wanting to have some kind of excitement in their lives that they have to be so far-reaching in their stories and experiences. Don’t they know how ridiculous they sound? And as far a Celebrity Ghost Stories goes, wow…they are still acting half the time I think. And someone needs to tell these people about the diagnosis of sleep paralysis! I hate that these producers of these shows take advantage of these people’s horrific experiences and use them as a “ghost” story, without telling them about this common sleep disorder…which I am SURE they know about! Anyway, enough babble. Any comments?

  86. vinradz1 says:

    I have been watching this show since it started. I watch it because I enjoy it. I do not think that it actually proves ghost exist. It’s the same reason why people go to see magic shows. No one really believes that it is actual magic, but it is fun to watch and to figure out how it’s done. However, I have had some weird unexplainable things happen in my life, so I do beleive in the supernatural. However, many things that science proves today were at one time considered supernatural. But thats not everything. In any event I see no harm with keeping an open mind.

  87. leo says:

    If it’s all fake, why don’t they make it better than that? it’s easy to make special effects and cheat on tv though. Some time they got nothing in their show.

  88. Gerald Jennings says:

    I’m the cofounder of a “ghosthunting” group that uses much of the TAPS methodology. I have a pretty sound layman’s grounding in the sciences, and we earnestly take a skepticsl approach in our investigations. If anything can possibly be sttributed to natural causes, be discount it immediately. This means a rejection rate of “evidence” in the high 90 percent range. Most things can easily be discounted as perceptual misapprehensions by those who feel they are experiencing paranormal activity.

    Still, there are left a tiny percentage of phenomena that simply are very hard to discount, and I am frustrated and even angered by the refusal of “mainstream” scientists to adress such things. Science is by nature skeptical, and it should be–but when that skepticism hsrdens into inflexible dogma, that is as bad as excessive gullibility.

    If there is one thing that science has taught us, it is that the implausible sometimes turns out to be fact. Haldane–an avowed atheist for those who don’t know him–said something like the universe is not only stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we CAN imagine. Anyone with a glimmering of knowledge about quantum physics should know that is the truth. At that level of reality, there is much that is absolutely counterinuitive.

    Ghosts–the dead walking among us? Maybe, maybe not. But I’ve seen enough in my time pursuing this hobby to raise my eyebrows enough to hint that there is SOMETHING beyond our current understanding of the cosmos going on, and it’s shameful that mainstream scientists cavalierly dismiss it instead of doing their job as scientists and giving it serious investigative attention.

  89. Jack says:

    The big problem here is that almost every single person that has posted here seems to think their own personal opinion is all that matters. The true fact here is everyone has an opinion, and every oneof those opinions are valid.

    You have skeptics on one side of the fence talking technical but in actuality denying the possibility of ghosts on a whim, whether they want to admit it or not. Worse still, they seem to often have a superiority complex whereby people are only allowed to believe what they think is right, or at least in their minds. I’ve seen them claim that the scientific and the rational should be used in all of this, and criticise the show as portraying theories and opinions as facts. Yet, these same people say that if ghosts exist there would be hundreds of them in the world and we’d have proof, however such a statement can only be made rationally if you believe you know exactly what a ghost supposedly is and how it behaves etc. In other words, you don’t know everything, and everything you know cannot be applied in all cases, fact is we have no proof that ghosts exist and no proof that they don’t, simple as, people can believe in what they want, get over it. Also, many of you should look into the concept of irony, given that many of you preach the scientific method and then make the leap of saying because something can be faked means it must be.

    Then you have the believers. Similarly guilty in believing that anecdotal evidence proves anything. If you feel you have experienced something, yes you are entitled to those believes, but don’t preach them as gospel and use an excuse that skeptics will never believe should why prove anything; if they will never believe then why do you keep insisting that they should? Also, while skeptics quite often blanketly debunk anything out of the ordinary, just as often they are almost justified in doing so because of the fanatical attitude of many believers, who act like their beliefs are some form of analytical method. Why exactly should ghosts give off a magnetic field? You say because they are just energy, but how do you know that?

    Both sides make just as many assumptions, and one is just as bad as the other, this page being a very good example of that. The fact is we do not know one way or the other, and contrary to what one poster said earlier, there is not more proof that ghosts don’t exist than that saying they do; there is zero for either. So why don’t people show some integrity and respect, and grow the **** up.

    :)

    • Jack says:

      Oh and something about the faking of evidence in itself; I believe the evidence in episode 104 is indeed questionable, however I believe this site has tried too hard to prove that, coming up with all of these tests of how it might have been faked, when in fact it is much simpler. Anyone who doesn’t have an unhealthy obsession with calling these guys out would note that in the clip when Grant leaves the room his light illuminates the chair, showing us that the chair was in that spot all along. It never moved in the video; a sound effect was added and a light was put on it to draw attention to it (which was a bit of a give away too).

      However I don’t believe this illegitimises TAPS entirely, as I do believe that based on the fact that this was the first episode where they conclusively thought there was a haunting, I reckon the developers of the show muscled them into letting them throw in some stunts every so often to keep ratings up. I believe the guys believe in what they do and are genuine in it, if a little amateur in that sense. However it is a good show and I think people can learn from it, both the good and the bad.

  90. Don Kruse says:

    If you dont believe in ghosts, spend the night by yourself in a famous haunted house.

  91. Andrea says:

    I haven’t read all the comments because i don’t like to be pissed off. I just want to ask Mary: what the hell has the moon landing to do with this? Do you think “skeptics” are the ones thinking it wasn’t real? If ever is the contrary: conspiracionists, ufo maniacsand people like that are the ones putting up false “evidence” about the moon landing being a hoax, so called “skeptics” (i prefer to call them “people with common sense”) usually end up finding that every proof points to the fact that it really happened. The moon landing was one of the crowning achivements of mankind, and those who keep pushing the “hoax theory” are just assholes that are so desperate to get attention that they have to piss on other people decades of hard work. Speaking of assholes wanting attention: TAPS and all the so called “paranormal” community that pretend to use “science” in they’r so called “investigations”, in my opinion fits the category perfectly

  92. Andrea says:

    Also: why it all have to end up in “i have my opinions, repct them”? An opinion is something like “i believe drugs have to be legal” or “guns should be more controlled”. Those are things subjected to people belief, their beckground, their ethical views stc. Saying “ghosts are real” is not an opinion, it’s an absolute statment like “there is such a thing as gravity”, it’s not subject of opinion, it’s either true or it isn’t. If you can prove it then is real, otherwise is not. There are no grey areas. And i’m sorry to break your eggs but what taps and other folks bring as “proof” are not proof at all, if something are anomalies that are arbitrarly presented as “paranormal” when they could have been caused by any numer of mundane events. If you want to be “scientific” then you should first of all try to rule out all those “normal” explenation before saying something is “paranormal”. One prime example is how they use electromagnetic fields detectors: they see the needle moving and go “that MUST be a ghost!”… Why? First of all, have you established a baseline for the readings? How do you rule out other sources like your own electric equipment? How can you be sure that’s not somebodys wi-fi? And the same goes for temperature spikes and evp. I happened to watch an episode with a frind of mine that studies electronic music, the first thing she sayd when the two guys were analizing the audio was “are they really doing sound analisys with THOSE headphones?”, and then they used windows media player equalizer animations as it was a reliable instrument… Do i even have to comment?

  93. Andrea says:

    By the way: english is not my native language so i apologize for every spelling mistake or poor grammar

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