Who you gonna call? Not these busters.
Let me just say that I’m not religious and I don’t really have any dogma I follow regarding explanations for supernatural/paranormal phenomena. Sadly, I have never experienced any, so I have no personal experiences to draw upon. I think it’s totally likely there’s another form of existence after you die but I couldn’t tell you what I thought that might be like. I REALLY hope that it isn’t becoming a ghost and then having to deal with the douchebags from Paranormal State. Or Ghost Hunters. I’ll warn you that these two shows are indistinguishable to me, so I’m just going to talk about them like they’re one show unless otherwise noted.
What’s so funny about these shows to me is not the fact that they’re looking for ghosts but rather the pseudoscientific way they gather and present their evidence, and the fact that they have special tools meant to find ghosts. They have their heat sensors and radios and EMF detectors. Who decided that a high EMF reading meant there was a ghost in that area? You can’t even test that because when would you be sure a ghost was in there for you to test that on? Oh wait, you’re bringing in your TOTALLY objective medium in to tell you where the ghost is. Somehow they “feel” the entire backstory of the house immediately upon walking in. Because I’m sure that wasn’t discussed beforehand.
The video they take is really crappy. It’s always with night vision because apparently ghosts only come out in the dark. They talk about how they can see an outline of this and this or a reflection in a mirror but all we see is some grainy darkness and maybe a tiny flicker. Or one of them will claim to have been pushed down but all we see is a camera get bumped while a person-shaped blur moves to the side of the screen. Oh and the noises. On one episode of Paranormal State they were “investigating” a former dormitory for music students and one of the occupants of the house said she routinely heard a piano playing when there was no one else there. While the “investigators” — and I use that term loosely because they’re college students who started a club to do this shit — were there, one of the girls heard piano keys and got all excited. They were all pretty excited actually, until one of them burst the bubble and identified someone’s screen saver as the source.
No matter how thin the evidence, they inevitably confirm that there are indeed ghosts up in this piece, so they have to choose which loosely organized spiritual/religious method to use to rid the house of them. They’ve done pagan/Wiccan ceremonies, Native American cleansing rituals, seances, and one time, Paranormal State held an exorcism of a guy that had supposedly been possessed by one of the murderous spirits in the house. It was sadly unimpressive. No head spinning, no bed rocking. He just sat there and looked like he was going to vomit.
Whether or not there are such things as ghosts haunting houses, is definitely not a question that will be answered watching these shows. Because even if they confirm it and set up their little presentation of video and audio evidence and spin it so they’ve rid your house of evil, it’s impossible to discount the complete lack of evidence you just saw while watching it. Personally I’d take a show about the eyewitness accounts over the pseudoscientific “analysis” produced by these jokers.