Greetings from Williamsburg, VA!
I must say that the entertainment industry seems to be taking a step back from paranormal reality TV. I don’t really want to spend a significant amount of time on this blog bashing it, because ghost hunting shows aren’t really trying to show truth. They are trying to sell something. They are trying to present a product and hope that you will watch. In short, it’s entertainment. Or “paratainment” as it’s often called ever-so-lovingly. Until a few years ago, I was heavy into debunking the mainstream television shows, trying to dissuade people from watching because it was fake, etc. However, it only recently dawned on me that these shows aren’t really interested in presenting “truth” so to speak. They want to entertain. You watch television to be entertained. When you’re sitting on your couch at 10pm on a weekday getting ready to watch a TV show, you’re not really interested in something terribly meaty. Well, most people aren’t. If you are, shoot me a message because I want to chat with you! Anyway, making that realization about ghost hunting shows has made me sort of…enjoy these shows again. I’m not watching these shows for tips and tricks. I’m watching them to be entertained. Maybe the only tip I’ll take away is information on a location, but that’s about it.
When APS hosts public ghost hunts, or I’m on panels at conventions, I’m often met with some surprise at how different investigating is from television shows. It’s a lot longer, a lot more boring, and it takes patience. When you watch a TV show, you’re watching the best 30-45 minutes of a 4-8 hour investigation (or even longer). If we were able to get that much activity in that short amount of time, we might as well pack up and go home after an hour!
Equipment set up can take anywhere between 15 minutes to an hour or more…all depending on how much equipment you have and how much help there is. Then, you must have a plan in place on where you’ll go, what you’ll do, how you’ll get there, contingency plans, and more. Ghost hunting is so much more than just going to a haunted place and looking for ghosts. Maybe it is for some, but I need to have a plan in place.
If you feel inspired to go on a ghost hunt after watching a TV show, that’s fantastic! Just know that when you go on your first ghost hunt, expect the process to be a bit more tedious and the experience to run longer than an average TV show. Also, again, these shows are edited for entertainment. You will likely not have an experience every 5 minutes. They may happen every 30 minutes, every hour, every 3 hours, or none at all. Yeah, the last one might be a bit disappointing. If that happens, it doesn’t always mean a place isn’t haunted. The ghosts might not have been up to talking. When this happens, I try to relish in the fact that I had access to an amazing site for a certain amount of time and got to spend time with some really great people.
This week’s blog is short and sweet. I’ll be going on a ghost hunt in Colonial Williamsburg tomorrow night, which I’m super excited about. Happy hunting and stay safe out there!