Tag Archives: tv

Paranormal TV Shows – Hits & Misses

Paranormal TV shows, eh? There are loads of them. Some good, some bad, some average. Come duck behind the sofa with me as I peruse what the genre has to offer.

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The daddy of paranormal TV has been running since 2004. To date there have been ten seasons, not including spin-off’s and specials. It started small, with ghost busting plumbers Jason and Grant of the Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS) careering around America in a van seeking out and investigating supposedly haunted locations. They emphasise the scientific approach, using various pieces of equipment to either gather or debunk evidence. The early seasons were more ‘docu-soap,’ and featured more material from the investigator’s private lives. This was soon phased out. Thankfully.

Ghost Hunters International

As above, only in more exotic locales. Like Australia, Germany and, er, Wales. Premiered in 2008 and ran for three seasons before being canned, presumably because of the expense incurred in sending a bunch of people all over the world looking for ghosts. Plus, there was a really annoying Irish bloke in it called Barry “Can you give me a sign?” Fitzgerald. Was the show being canned enough of a sign for you, Barry?

He is second only to the even more despicable Andy Andrews, who struts around like a smug, know-it-all little prick the whole time. If I was ever in a dark, confined space with him, I’d punch him in the face repeatedly.

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This is one of my favourites, and one of the longest running. Season 11 started in August. Zac Bagans is one of the most confrontational dudes ever. He has the physique of an NFL player and charges around deserted mental hospitals and jails at night with a couple of mates frightening the shit out of the poor resident spooks. Then, if anything remotely paranormal happens, the bunch of them usually run screaming out of the place. They also pick on the chubby shaven-haired dude with a goatee who gets all the worst assignments. “Aaron! Go lie in that festering haunted crypt and don’t come out until we tell you!”

Most Haunted

The British answer to Ghost Hunters. Never been a fan. It all seems a bit contrived and over-dramatic to me. Yvette Fielding is decent, I used to have a crush on her when she was in Blue Peter. But the resident psychics spoil it all, especially Derek Acorah when he was exposed as being a massive fraud shortly before being booted off the show in 2005. To date MH has run for no fewer than 17 seasons and amassed almost 200 episodes, which makes you wonder how many supposedly haunted locations there can be.

Fact or Faked

I dislike this show immensely. What a pointless exercise. A bunch of patronising bellends who choose something like, say, the Loch Ness Monster, then spend the entire show trying to make something that looks like the Loch Ness Monster but isn’t. I could make something that looks like melted chocolate ice cream, that doesn’t mean it is melted chocolate ice cream. It proves nothing.

A Haunting

This features dramatic re-enactments of hauntings, demonic possession, time slips, and all kinds of other weird shit. It ran for four seasons on Discovery Channel, and then took a five-year hiatus before being revitalized on Destination America in 2012. Most episodes follow the same format so it can get a bit repetitive after a while, but it is exceptionally well-made. For the most part, it has also managed to escape controversy and accusations of over-dramatization which gives it an air of credibility sadly lacking in most of its contemporaries. Season eight premiered on Halloween.

Ghost Stalkers

This show, featuring two blokes who both claim to have had near-death experience driving around looking for ‘portals,’ is so over the top and unashamedly dramatic, often it’s LOL time. Produced by Nick Groff of the Ghost Adventures team, who really should know better, it was a dismal failure and I’d be surprised if it is ever renewed for a second season. Instead of stalking ghosts, the two protagonists spend all their time huddled in dark corners talking about their feelings. My favourite line of the entire show was when Chad the wimpy wannabe-surfer dude suddenly started openly grieving for his dead pooch and dropped the immortal line, “It’s weird being human.”

Bahahahahahahaha!

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My Haunted House

Rather than using the investigation format, this show used a mixture of interviews and dramatic re-enactments. It’s basically common knowledge that it’s all made up. Even the interviewees are actors, and they are reading scripts. You know what, though? Once you acknowledge that, and accept that My Haunted House is basically a collection of some excellent horror stories, the show gets a whole lot better. If you are looking for serious investigations into the paranormal, best look elsewhere, but this isn’t such a bad way to while away a few hours.

My Ghost Story: Caught on Camera

Another show mixing ‘eyewitness’ testimony in the shape of interviews interspersed with dramatic re-enactments and video footage this one syndicated through the Biography channel, which at least offered a veneer of legitimacy. Six seasons and 75 episodes after it premiered in 2010 it was shelved. A sad loss.

The Haunting of…

A famous person. Any famous person. I love American TV. Whatever they do, they do it well. Sporting events, chat shows, drama. How can you not appreciate Breaking Bad? I remember when I was a kid watching Miami Vice, then coming back down to earth with a bump with The Bill. The trouble is, after a while most American shows revert to a tried-and-tested formula. It’s fine at first, but then it gets predictable. In this case, a celebrity who claims to have had a paranormal experience revisits the scene of the occurrence with a psychic in tow. There is usually some personal trauma they have to confront and conquer along the way, they invariably cry about it, then everyone goes home better people. Boring.

Haunted Highway

Featuring Jack Osbourne in his goth phase as a spoiled rich kid who goes out looking for thrills with his friends. Give credit where it’s due, Jack always seemed to be able to manufacture a situation where he would be left alone somewhere dark and scary with a hot chick. Not even that could disguise the fact that this show was shit.

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No TV?!?

That’s right. No fucking TV. I came back to London after spending Christmas and New Year in Wales with the family to find the massive storm that is currently battering Britain not only blew down the garden fence but also knocked out the satellite dish or something. A housemate called the Sky people, but they were so inundated with similar calls they said they couldn’t send out an engineer for ten days. Ten fucking days!

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I know some people prefer to live without a TV. That’s up to them. It’s a lifestyle choice. I didn’t choose to live without a TV it was forced on me. I think having a TV that works is a basic human right.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not a complete telly addict. But I do watch a lot of sport, and I like to have the TV on as background noise when I’m faffing about on the computer. Plus, I missed episode two of the new Sherlock Holmes series, which really was a kick in the balls. Sigh.

It’s surprising how empty your life feels when something you have grown used to is suddenly taken away. Matters were not helped because it was the weekend so I didn’t have to go to work and it was raining outside, which meant I couldn’t go out. After some soul-searching, and a few tears, I decided to try to turn this unfortunate turn of events into a positive.

Here is a list of the things I did over a period of five days instead of watching TV.

1. I had a commission to write, so I worked on that in the first two days. Job done.
2. Firmly in my writing groove, I quickly bashed out three more articles which all have a fair chance of selling. If I sell one of them, I’ll be happy. The rest can be blogs or something.
3. Watched online porn. Don’t judge me. We’ve all done it.
4. Went to bed early.
5. Got up early, which negated the need to go to bed early.
6. Cleaned out my computer, deleting all those old files and worthless documents.
7. And my phone.
8. Watched Snowtown, Lords of Salem, and Freerunners, which have been sitting on my hard drive taking up space for far too long.
9. Drank the half-bottle of vodka I was keeping for a rainy day.
10. Laughed at the irony.
11. Joined http://www.plentyoffish.com out of sheer boredom
12. Left http://www.plentyoffish.com because I’d rather be alone.
13. Watched more online porn.
14. Scanned my computer for viruses.
15. Did some viral marketing. Which basically amounted to pasting links all over Twitter and in various Facebook groups.
16. Sent some emails to friends I haven’t spoken to in a while.
17. Called my mum
18. Made some pasta
19. Wrote this blog

All in all a very enriching and enlightening experience, if a little smutty at times. Who needs TV?


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