The night before last I sat down and with some anticipation watched a new show about “ghost hunters” on the Discovery Channel, the show is called “Ghost Lab” and appears to be very similar to several other shows on other networks, but because it was on the Discovery channel I thought that perhaps it would be a more respectful and serious approach to the subject, combined with some hard science of course. As a psychic medium myself who has encountered and worked with several ghosts, I really wanted to see what would happen and how they were going to work with the subject.

It opened up looking promising enough, they had selected an interesting location to shoot the episode I watched, Tombstone, Arizona … pretty much guaranteeing some sort of connection, plenty of violent deaths in the past – coupled with offering up the locations of shootout and graveyards as tourist attractions. First they introduced us to the team and I was a bit disappointed that they did not have even one “sensitive” or psychic with them. They have plenty of gadgetry, but nothing that I had not seen before … your standard EMF readers, infrared, camcorders, and still cameras as well as audio recorders and motion sensors. The use of the hand held camcorder footage gave the show a bit of the “Blair Witch Project” feel from time to time, with the HD cameras they were running, it was strictly for effect, for the viewer. When viewing the footage of the individual holding the camcorder I was surprised to see that the lens cap was hanging and not tucked away, straps showing up in shots has happened before where people have confused the close-up of a finger or a strap as an other worldly energy burst … etc.

After introducing the crew, and the location that they were investigating, they showed us clips from interviews with residents of the town who claimed to have witnessed paranormal events themselves, including actually seeing ghosts and more. I must say though, that if there was one place in the country where you might find people who believe in ghosts, it would be Tombstone, after all it’s probably good for business.

After sharing some ghost stories from the townspeople, the crew went about setting up for the investigation. They focused on a few locations within the town. The Bird Cage Theater was the first location and they set up all of the gear mentioned earlier. One of the things that was mentioned as possibly being a paranormal experience was an old speaker that though it had “no electricity” running to it, the woman who worked there claimed it would make noises.

During the course of the evening while investigating the room they picked up a very load static/feedback like noise coming from the speaker after they mentioned how quiet it was in there. I was a bit surprised when the employee came out from the back room, why was she permitted to “go to sleep” during the investigation … and stay on the premises, not a very thorough investigation if you want to rule out another human as being responsible for the claims of paranormal investigation.

They ended up climbing a ladder and looking at the speaker a bit closer, the whole time it’s going off, and bear in mind of course that they all have cell phones, radios and cannot determine if the speaker had power going to it or not. They did seem to pick up an EVP in the location which in my opinion sounded a heck more like “you dick” than “right quick”. After all the manner in which the crew was addressing any spirits that may be present was confrontational, rude, in your face and not too friendly.

Later while in the silver mines, some more of the rude, insensitive and at the very least illogical questions were asked prior to an attempt to capture EVPs. The crew was asking if the minors were still down there mining for silver. And the crew was shouting or raising their voices, as if that could help those who read minds “ghosts and spirits” to hear you any better. I did appreciate them commenting on how hard the miners must have worked in order to chisel out the passageways in the mines, that was nice.

During or after the silver mines visit, the sky around the town lit up with lighting as a thunder storm rolled through. This got them onto a tangent about how if you supercharged an area with electricity, it may enable the ghosts or other paranormal events to materialize much easier than in other locations where there is not such a conductive material underneath the ground, possibly holding a residual charge. Nice theory, perhaps there is something to it, but I am not convinced. Think of all the metal in buildings, pipes, buried cables and other conductive materials that exist in other towns and cities around the country and they are much larger than Tombstone, granted they may not get as much lightening, but many place I know do and as far as I know that does not increase paranormal activity.

There was this weird thing they did with a Tesla Coil, and trying to supercharge the energy in the room and they also checked out the Boot Hill Cemetery where a “famous” photo of a supposed ghost was taken several years prior. They set motion sensors up all over the cemetery and then sent the only girl on the team into the middle of the cemetery at night time to sit on a folding chair by herself and take pictures/see what she saw or felt. After a bit one of the motion sensors went off and the team started running around like crazy trying to capture whatever it was.

Later they got back to the “lab” and examined their footage, they had one photo of a “shadow person” but to me, it just looked like a shadow, however I did feel a presence and I must say that if anything they were being laughed at.

Frankly I give the show a D- for the following reasons.

They are rude and aggressive in attempts to make contact.

They are loud and unprofessional.

They do not have anyone on their team who is a sensitive or psychic, how thorough can you be if you do not use every “tool” available to you?

The way the show is edited adds more to the atmosphere, almost more than their “findings”.

This show gives a bad name to genuine paranormal researchers and is simply more entertainment that is cashing in on the popularity of all things paranormal. The only positive side that I see is that it will perhaps start a dialogue among more people, a discussion about these subjects and the nature of life and death it’s self. You got to start somewhere, sure there are some other shows similar to this, but not that I have bothered to watch with a critical eye, I only am paying more attention to this one because someone who I respect, Mike Rowe from “Dirty Jobs”, ended up narrating it, much to my now disappointment and of course because it is on a channel that tends to be more analytical and scientific minded.

To learn more about myself and my work within the paranormal field, visit my web site at www.charlespeden.com.

PS

A quick look at the message boards for the show on the Discovery channels web site shows that I am far from being alone in my critique. This show is horrible!

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