by Karen Frazier, Managing Editor
Paranormal Underground Magazine
I came across an ad for a television special called Extreme Paranormal, which will be airing on A&E next Monday night. It is another in a chain of extreme ghost hunting shows and documentaries that focus on the darker, more aggressive side of ghost hunting. Is this the new face of ghost hunting – aggressive and provocative with demonic forces around every corner?
Is extreme ghost hunting entertaining to watch? Absolutely. It seems that many in the “paratainment” industry are jumping on a trend that started with the original Ghost Adventures documentary. And understandably so – Ghost Adventures quickly became an extremely popular and highly watched paranormal franchise. Is extreme ghost hunting representative of the field or the experience? Not necessarily.
I know and communicate with a number of paranormal investigators on a regular basis. Of all of the people I’ve spoken and worked with over the past few years (paranormal television personalities excluded), I’ve only once ever heard of an extreme type of case where demonic forces were suspected and a more aggressive approach was required.
Are these extreme shows misrepresenting the field, or are they actually representative of a large portion of cases? And if they aren’t representative of what is actually going on in paranormal investigation today, does it matter? Should they be considered pure entertainment?
Many investigators I have spoken with feel that it does, indeed, matter. They feel that shows that feature extreme ghost hunting are contributing to the rise in new guerilla ghost hunting groups that flaunt trespassing laws, disrespect people, properties and spirits and affect the public’s view of paranormal investigators.
Recently, in a podcast interview, Ghost Adventure’s Nick Groff told us how the Goldfield Hotel was no longer open to investigation because of the influx of people attempting to investigate the location made famous by the Ghost Adventures documentary.
According to Groff, “It’s extremely hard to get permission to do anything there. I heard there’s a lot of break-ins, which is kind of sad. It kind of put a damper on things. It makes it difficult for us to try and get permission to go in, because they are already mad about people breaking in. It’s a challenge sometimes.”
The Ghost Adventures Crew’s problem is the same one that many groups are now experiencing as a result of the glut of guerilla ghost hunting. Groups are experiencing more and more difficulty being allowed into locations due to the fact that so many groups behave irresponsibly – possibly because they are imitating what they see on television.
Perhaps this is where the difference between ghost hunter and paranormal investigator begins. There are a number of respectful and responsible groups in the field who attempt to use sound methodologies, conduct responsible and respectful investigations and who genuinely care about learning the truth.
Is extreme ghost hunting, as represented in the media, giving rise to imitators, or should people be credited with more intelligence than to merely copy what they see on television? How do you investigate, and how does it work for you? Do extreme ghost hunting shows help or hurt the field as a whole?
Come join us in our forum, and tell us what you think of the influx of extreme ghost hunting shows and how they are affecting your ability to work in your chosen field.Tweet