Ghost Adventures or GA for short started on October 17, 2008 on the Travel Channel in the States as a TV show, the same channel that at the time aired Most Haunted. So it is safe to say this show will be of the same style.
Ghost Adventures actually started out in 2004 as a "documentary type film".
GA has already had around 140 episodes, compared to 188 of Most Haunted. But GA is widely regarded to be a much bigger show, and has had more viewers worldwide, even the recent reboot of Most Haunted struggled in the ratings against GA on UK TV channel REALLY.
Much like MH, GA has had its fair share of controversies, one of the most widely reported is the Cowboy Bob incident, basically during a Live special Robert Bess the inventor of the "Parabot Containment Chamber" claimed that an EMF Meter was knocked violently out of his hand by ghosties! But because this was a LIVE show, everyone saw what really happened, and the hosts were forced to "debunk" it.
Much like MH, most of the times a show gets exposed as faked is during Live shows when obviously there is no time to edit and cover things up. GA got caught out, but at least they addressed it in a respectable manner.
Here is a video of their response to this incident.
Although I give them credit for addressing this, they really didn't have much choice, and i thought their fancy analysis and slow motion was a bit over the top.
Anyway there is a bit of history about the show to catch people up on what the show is about, and one of the main incidents.
I have never watched GA before, I do not know the characters, their motivations or beliefs, so as far as I am concerned I will give them a totally fresh slate and judge them as such.
Ghost Adventures Series 10 Episode 10
The Ghost Adventures Crew, along with Darkness Radio host Dave Schrader and Bill Chappell, travels to a quiet suburb just outside of Seattle to investigate the residence of a local Bothell man who claims that a demonic entity is wreaking havoc in his home by burning bibles, throwing furniture, and burning demonic symbols in his walls.
The first thing I notice while watching GA compared to MH is the much higher production values, this show is clearly quite slickly produced and directed.
They begin by talking to a man who claims his house is haunted and that Bibles have been set on fire, things thrown etc. Zak Bagans asks the man a really good question, why stay in the house? The man comes out with some bull, about being grounded at the house, having a job and so on. We get to see some home video footage, which looks blatantly faked to me. Its noted that he rents the house, so no problem to leave, yet he chooses to stay despite all of his claims. Hmmmm....
The first problem I see is that the GA crew are starting off from a position of belief, instead of skepticism. The home video footage is very very dodgy that the man has given. If any of what he had claimed was really true, there is no way you would stay in the house.
Within the first 10 minutes, I have decided that this looks like a scam by the man and woman who live in this house, attention seeking. This is just my opinion. The thing is, I know that ghosts do not exist, so that means someone in the house has to be behind it. They haven't shown any children yet, who are usually behind these kinds of things, so it has to be the adults.
They then trot out a "Paranormal Investigator" a strange looking woman called Jennifer Madsen, who instantly annoys me, a quick google of her and I cant find anything of interest on her.
She claims to do a lot of Native American Cleansing, so instantly you can understand she is a bit of a loony. Unless of course she means literally she likes to wash and clean Native Americans!
The man of the house seems to believe that it is an evil Native American spirit that is behind the haunting.
So the format of this show seems to be the first 15 minutes are history lessons, interviews with relevant parties and then the show moves on to the investigation.
One of the first things I have noticed is the lack of women on the crew at all. No screaming idiots, no sexy make up girl.
Anyway the investigators start off by reviewing Keith's (man of the house) videos, much like me they seem suspicious, so that is a good start. Although we are now nearly 20 minutes into the show, and nothing has really been done, or explained. Just a lot of talking and explaining.
Still my main issue with this show is the starting point of belief, it instantly means everything they say and do lacks all credibility, even if they are suspicious and bring up some good points. Another problem is the huge amount of people involved, so many camera guys, people watching monitors, the investigators and so on, it really adds nothing to the show, other than giving more people the chance to fake stuff.
They start off the investigation by getting Keith and his girlfriend to wonder about the house and see if they can encourage the ghosties to do something on camera. Keith seems suspiciously well rehearsed for what he is saying. As they walk about and talk to the ghosts, nothing happens, and they even act surprised that nothing is happening.
Also another thing to note is they are doing everything in the dark, yet Keiths own dodgy footage showed things happening in the day or with the lights on! Of course night vision makes everything look more spooky! You can blame the Blair Witch Project for that!
25 minutes in, and I have to say I am getting a tad bored. Although as I say that an Infra Red light belonging to the crew has gone out, as usual the claims of it being on a full battery are trotted out.
So far the only thing that has happened is that an IR light has gone out. Zak tries to claim that Tina the women who lives in the house is giving off negative energy, and that he feels nothing from the house.
Eventually Keith and Tina are told to leave and they go off to a hotel. Leaving Zak and the crew on their own in the house to see what they can find. They get to play with some fancy equipment, which in all honestly is completely useless, but they got to spend the budget on something I guess.
Thermo cams, SLS cameras, EMF meters and so on.
You could wave a banana around for all the good it would do when it comes to detecting ghosts.
What I would do right now for a Stuart Toreville to appear and suddenly throw some stones!
The GA investigators are talking out loud to the ghosts (which do not exist). Just think about this for a moment, I am sat here watching grown men, pretend to talk to ghosts while stood in the dark in some strangers house. Who is the crazier person here? Them or me? That is something I need to get my head around.
30 Minutes in and a camera has gone down! Yay! Come on you ghosties, you have to build up towards the end scenes, that's TV Paranormal Investigations 101!
The camera that has gone down is in Keith's office and the so called hub of all things that go bump in the night. After investigating it, its just a dead battery. Why don't these idiots ever plug these things directly into the mains!
The investigators are starting to get bored, and realise that nothing is happening, I think they have realised that the problem is Keith and his Girlfriend, and I am sure they are either gonna claim that the woman herself is haunted, or that Keith is faking things.
They now proudly state they are going to take this investigation to a "Maximum Scientific Level", with Electrical Engineer Bill Chappel conducts an experiment with a brand new device he invented which is basically a projector (that he did not invent) projecting some read outs onto the wall. Lots of crap like Humidity, Barometric pressure, temperature and so on.
It also has a built in EVP recording feature and a female computer voice that asks questions.
All seems like a huge waste of money to me, especially as we know that EVPs are evidentially worthless. But then again it makes idiotic believers go "wow" and "they are so professional and scientific".
Remember just cause you use fancy equipment, doesn't make you a scientist.
Either way they waste some time, and get nothing of interest happen from the machine.
Less than 5 minutes left and they have no evidence whatsoever of a haunting.
Zak desperate to try and save the show, decides to do one final walk around of the house on his own. Nothing happens, so he pulls out an digital recorder to try and get something.
Zak suddenly gets shocked, and its a bug on his face. Lol, That made me smile.
And there investigation is basically over, and nothing has happened.
Ok so what can I take from this episode, Zak comes across as a nice enough genuine man, I cant really say anything bad about him from watching this one episode. The show didn't fake anything.
I would've preferred them to take a more skeptical approach and call out Keith and his Girlfriend, since obviously they are behind the so called haunting.
Will I watch again? Not sure, probably not. You see when you have a show that doesn't fake things it is incredibly boring.
I can understand why some uneducated believers might like the show, afterall there is that old claim of "things don't always happen, so we have to show that too"
Its almost like the lack of proof is used to prove the ghosts. Its an excuse I don't buy personally.
Zak seems likeable and honest, the show has really good production values, but the rest of the crew have little to no personality, so to watch for them is pointless.
They have an over reliance on useless equipment that they really don't understand, and a starting point of belief which leaves them lacking credibility.
Watch it, don't watch it, I don't care, but can I personally as the UKs most knowledgeable and experienced skeptic, can I recommend it? NO.