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10 Rules of EVERY Paranormal Reality Show

By Ren

The world is in a paranormal reality show death grip. Flip through the channels. There’s a good chance you’ll run into one of an ass load of ghost searching, alien seeing, bigfoot humping pseudo-documentaries. Why? Because, as a species, we love seeing half-assed programs run by people with no formal scientific, technical, or basic high school grammatical training. Does this stop me from watching this shit? No. So what? I’m part of the problem. Fuck off.

Thank you 1950’s for investing in a technology responsible for the downfall of civilization. And Hell’s Kitchen.

I bet you’re going to say it all started with Ghost Hunters; spawning a dozen copies. I actually blame Ripley’s Believe It or Not. That was pretty much a bullshit freak show. Who wouldn’t try to pass off a monkey head sewn to a fish body as a mermaid? Jack Palance, that’s who. As the original host of Ripley’s Believe It or Not, the viewer could tell, without a shadow of a doubt, that Palance didn’t give a shit one way or the other. His eerie, asthmatic “Believe or Not,” was his way of telling the audience to eat shit; he was getting paid either way.

This wasn’t even in the “City Slickers” script. Jack just felt like carving him up some Billy Crystal.

After careful study (drinking and watching TV) and follow up research (drinking and surfing the web) I identified a few common rules that every one of these shows obeys. After that, I celebrated (more drinking).

Rule 1: Paranormal activity is light sensitive

Worst offenders: Ghost Hunters franchise, Destination Truth, Ghost Lab, Most Haunted… everything else.

I don’t recall the Ghostbusters ever turning out the lights. Then again, the movie came out when I was a fetus, so I might not remember everything. Somewhere along the line people got it in their noodles that the only way to seek and (rarely) find ghostly activity is to make the entire area shitacularly pitch black. Why? Are you afraid the ghosts will see you? Do spirits really comprehend the difference between night and day? Have there been no ghost sightings in daylight?

It’s spooky to see Stallone’s career actually die in front of your eyes.–

It sort of makes sense for Destination Truth, even though at least one of the cast is going to careen off a cliff at some point for lack of adequate lighting. But, when you’re searching around for Blood Feast Island Man you’ll want to shut the lights off. I guess. I don’t know. Does Blood Feast Island Man like the dark?

Rule 2: Did you hear/see that?

Worst offenders: Ghost Hunters franchise, Destination Truth

Every episode and I mean EVERY mother fucking episode, the question “Did you hear that?” or a variation thereof is uttered no less than a thousand times. Guess what the answer is? NO. No, no one heard that. No one is ever going to hear that. The audience doesn’t know what the shit you’re talking about. We hear jack shit.

I’m pretty sure this is American Sign Language for “I don’t hear shit.” *citation needed

People, I’ve strained to “hear that.” I’ve paused the DVR and listened to the same scene a dozen times. I NEVER hear what the hell they’re talking about. It’s not just that the sound of the what’s-it-fuck paranormal noise is too soft. Microphones can only pick so much up. It’s the bullshit post production that renders us deaf. That leads me to ….

Rule 3: Deafening background music

Worst offenders: Ghost Hunters franchise, Destination Truth

Is there a damn reason the mood music has to be so ungodly ear drum raping loud? Of course no one watching is ever really going to hear shit. The fucking volume of the music is turned to 11.

The cynic in me says that the reason for this is to make it impossible for the viewers to hear what may or may not have just happened. The only indicator that some netherworld beast coughed, farted, or uttered, “A loser says what?” is when they use that stock smashing the piano keys sound. That’s the producers telling you that something was heard. You don’t need to hear it for yourself. Just trust them. Would they lie?

Rule 4: Use bullshit gadgets

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Worst offenders: Ghost Hunter franchise, Ghost Lab, Haunting Evidence,

It seems like anything can be bastardized into a ghost hunting tool. In the beginning, it was innocent enough; MP3 recorders used for EVPs, camcorders to capture mist on video, and such. Then, it all got weird. They started using custom built tools and misusing existing equipment to sense vibrations, speak to dead people, or… I don’t know, measure dick size.

 
All you really need to inspect the length of your junk is a good old fashion tape measure and a girl that won’t judge… too much.

The main issue is that there is no scientific evidence, whatsoever, that any of this shit does what it’s supposed to, let alone actually work. Take the Ghost Hunters’ K-II meter dealy. It’s supposed to measure the electromagnetic field of a given location. That’s great. So what? How in sphincter’s name is that really supposed to help? No one knows if EMF readings mean monkey spank. There they are, waving this blinking piece of crap around and having virtual orgasms because it lights up from time to time.

Rule 5: Manly fist bumps


Worst offender: Ghost Hunters

I’m not even going to pretend I understand the fist-bump to begin with. It’s like the lazy man’s high-five only gayer. Whatever the reason, it’s almost exclusively a guy thing. I guess that’s why Jay and Grant brush knuckles at the end of every cotton picking show.

I guess that beats ball tagging each other. No, wait, that would be cool.

Alright, it’s the way the two manly men express accomplishment. That doesn’t make it any less retarded. It beats giving the Nazi salute or the stink palm.

Wait a second! Are you just trying to get me to eat feces?

Rule 6: Inexplicably hot cast members

Worst offenders: Ghost Hunters, Ghost Hunters International, Destination Truth
I’m not really sure the above should say “worst offenders.” This is a God-given reward for all the horse hockey we have to put up with. That being said, it’s a baffling phenomena. In the sea of fugly chuds you’ll find an island of hot. GHI has Ashley Godwin, a girl I would definitely want to do more with in front of the camera than look around for shadows. What? Was that too corny? I’m saying I’d go down on that. Understand now?
Susan Slaughter.  Well what’s to say?  She has raven black hair, a hot little body, and a sultry voice that makes Momma need to change into a clean pair of undies.  What?  WHAT!
Truthfully, Kris Williams is pretty much why I watch Ghost Hunters. I mean, look at her! She’s a friggin model for fuck’s sake. Go on, click on that link. Lord knows, I have. Kris’ presence on Ghost Hunters messes with my head. I passively watched the show in the past. One night, this tall, statuesque, brunette with a nice rack was in the scene. I’ve been hooked ever since.

Oh yea. Mama likes.

Jesus, look at Destination Truth. Jael Depardo and Erin Ryder are smoking. The only truth I want to find is whether or not Ryder is a screamer in bed, too.

Alright, so I’m only naming the ladies. That’s sort of not fair. Well, on the other side of the gender fence there’s…. um… dude, I got nothing. Sorry, there’s not much to choose from. Aside from the strange clique of people who want to bone or be boned by one or all of the male cast, I dare say not one of them is bangable. No. Josh Gates only works if you’re into lumbering Frankenstein-esq guys. Now, this makes total sense:

Kris Williams + Ren = hardcore mattress dance.

Rule 7: Fail to account for your environment

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Worst offenders: Ghost Hunters, Ghost Hunters International, Destination Truth

Here’s the thing; if you’re doing an investigation in the woods at night (Jersey Devil) or in an old, abandoned whoopee cushion factory, you probably should do a little research as to what creepy crawlies are already hanging around. Ghost Hunters does this off and on, but I think they do a better job at factoring this stuff in after the fact. Destination Truth, however, sucks on toast.

OK, Josh Gates and company are looking for some hairy fanged beast in the forest somewhere. Every mother-chucking moment they hear a noise or see something on the thermal camera they freak the fuck out. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhgggggggggggggggggggggggggggg!!!!

Holy shit! It’s a ghost bear!

Here’s the deal, you’re in the woods, chuckle heads. Of course you’re going to hear and see all sorts of shit. Things fucking live there! Chances are you heard a deer skipping through the underbrush or a cheetah slowly stalking you for death. Either way, calm the fuck down. Unless it’s the cheetah. You’ll want to freak out a little for that. Make sure you get that shit on camera, though.

 Rule 8: Painfully scripted dialogue

Worst offender: Ghost Hunters

I’m not suggesting that the entire show is scripted. In order to time things right they surely have to make some sort of a loose list of cues. This would, especially, be true for the live Halloween shows. They don’t have the luxury of post production to edit the shit out of the footage. If Dave Tango walks into a wall, he walks into a wall and we’re all better for having seen it.

Reality

It’s the evidence reviewing segments that are the most painful. Nothing Steve/Dave say to each other during these bits sounds or looks natural. I’ve seen more life from the hobo in town performing his one man MacBeth. At least that’s what I think it is. I assume the blood on his hands is for the part of Lady MacBeth. Right? Maybe I should call the police.

Rule 9: Misleading smash cuts before a commercial break

Worst offenders: Ghost Hunters franchise, Destination Truth, Most Haunted, Ghost Lab

A successful show wants to build the tension level just before a commercial break. It’s their way of making sure you either make that trip to the keg quickly or hit pause before you go to the can for a monumental dump. CSI, Fringe, Castle, and a butt-ton of other shows have made this into an art. The difference is that these shows have a full fledged script and reward you for hanging around.

Thank you for returning to NCIS: Los Angeles. As a reward, here’s LL Cool J flying over cars.

 

Before every god damned commercial break on ALL of these ghost/mystical beast shows someone exclaims, “Oh my GOD!” or “What was that!?” Then the big time suspense music gets jacked up and we go right into a tampax commercial.

But, we constantly get duped. It’s all bullshit! It always ends up being something completely retarded. OMG WHAT WAS THAT??!! It was a mouse taking a shit. It was a spider web making Steve piss his pants. Any way you slice it, it’s complete and utter moose piss.

Rule 10: The investigation can only last a few hours

Worst offenders: Ghost Hunters franchise, Destination Truth, Most Haunted, Ghost… fuck it… all of them.

How, exactly, are you supposed to prove or disprove paranormal activity by devoting a whopping 12 hours to the investigation? Shit, the IRA peace process took decades to hammer out. Alright, so that looks like it’s going to shit, but imagine how much worse it would be if they crammed everything into six hours.

Pretty much the same thing that would happen if they crammed the whole process into 6 centuries.

Spending a few hours in a “haunted” museum or the New Jersey Pine Barrens looking for the Jersey Devil isn’t going to do jack. Sure, they catch the odd piece of evidence here and there (something Ghost Hunters is a lot better at), but they just don’t devote enough time for a thorough investigation. I’m pretty sure the ghosts at the Winchester Mansion aren’t going to show up all at once just because Jay and Grant have a tight window.

I don’t give a shit what people say. Sarah Winchester was a fruit loop.

All in all, these shows are doing pretty well, even though what they’re doing isn’t an exact science. Frankly, lots of it is just plain batshit nuts. Still, there’s more truth to these shows than anything on E!

America’s fascination with Jersey Shore and this douche bag is the real mystery.

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