Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Who You Gonna Call? Ghost Hunters!

Have you ever heard whispers in the night when no one else is around? Heard a glass break in a closed cabinet without anyone else in the room? Gotten Goosebumps for no obvious reason? Seen a mysterious outline of a figure?
Enter the reality of another dimension. Sci-Fi's new series, Ghost Hunters International, a spinoff (as many reality shows do) of the original Ghost Hunters series, takes viewers to some of the most renowned haunted places around the world. Frankenstein's Castle, Dracula's Castle---you can travel with the team of paranormal investigators to investigate, and possibly debunk, places like these, which have been subjects of horror movies for years. The show brings to mind Ghost Busters, as both involve a team investigating paranormal activities. The TAPS team, equip with FBI-like jackets, spend hours going over every last detail of the videos, sound recordings, and thermal images they found.
If it weren't for some of the clips that actually show scientific evidence (for those who believe such tools can capture the paranormal) like a raspy voice saying, "Help me!" or a thermal imaging camera capturing the outline of a body where no one actually stands, they would seem as ridiculous as the Ghost Busters team. Although when someone asks, "Hey, what do you do for a living?" it seems quite strange to answer, "Oh,
 you know, I'm a ghost hunter." But, they also have the advantage of saying, "I'm a reality television star!" (Something everyone seems to be wanting these days)
For people like me, who sadly watch almost every week (it's my love for horror, I promise), it is quite disappointing when no real evidence is found and the proposed paranormal activities are debunked. Last week, the team traveled to the Diplomat Hotel in the Philippines. The building was first used as a monastery, then converted to a sanitarium, and then used a refugee torture camp for the Japanese--the perfect setting for a scary movie and likely to be ripe with paranormal activities. Visitors and workers claimed to have seen a black figure wandering the grounds. However, the fancy scientific tools of the TAPS team showed no evidence of paranormal activity and the black figure was attributed to hallucinations produced from the radiation emitted by a cell phone tower near the area (they had evidence for this, of course).
The best episodes are those where something is found. The unexplainable is still unexplainable, but definitely proven to be paranormal and there. On one episode, the team captures a voice saying, "I like the one with the hat," referring to a member of the team who had been instigating the being to illustrate its presence. In another episode, the team captured a clear black figure of a man looking down at them over a railing and then quickly vanishing into the darkness. The odd thing was that the motion-sensor lighting on that landing did not recognize the figure. FREAKY! Then there are the odd scientific measures of the EMF readers and thermal camera imaging indicating unexplainable, paranormal activity.
For those of you who have always wanted to travel to that supposed haunted sanitarium at night just to see something for yourselves but can't seem to overcome that fear of the dark and the unknown that lies within, this show is a comfortable way to do such. And make a believer out of you----or not. You decide. For all of you reality TV lovers, take a break from those pseudo-searches for love and catty fights and give a new reality a chance. Tonight at 9, travel to Paris, the City of Lights, as the team investigates some mysterious terrors!

Alyssa Belcastro

No comments: