Do TV shows help give credibility to the spirit world?
For several years, I said yes. Now, it’s a little “yes” and a lot more “no.”
The “no” side is obvious. Many ghost-hunting TV shows became parodies of what we do as paranormal researchers. Extreme Paranormal was one of the first to leave serious investigators reeling in horror.
If you want to compare a real ghost story with the TV version, see my article that explains the real ghostly history of Bonito City.
(That location was among the “investigations” featured on Extreme Paranormal.)
The Haunted Collector TV series wasn’t nearly as bad as Extreme Paranormal, but it still made respected researchers such as John Zaffis look… well, stupid. Even gullible. And, some thought he was downright criminal.
In real life, John and his team are among the most honest, ethical and open-minded researchers in this field.
I winced watching the show, seeing what I knew were contrived, uncharacteristic scenes.
(The episode where Eric Dionne supposedly met John for the first time, when John and his crew came to investigate the Dionnes’ home…? That was when I stopped watching the show. I know both John and Eric as paranormal researchers. So, from the first scene in that “investigation,” I knew that episode’s story line was fiction.)
But, yes. Maybe.
On the other hand, shows such as Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures increased interest in ghosts and ghost research.
So, in general, I say yes, ghost hunting TV shows brought more credibility to the subject of ghosts.
Of course, many people watch ghost hunting on TV and mutter, “That can’t be real.”
Then, at some point, many of those people want to check out “this ghost hunting stuff,” themselves.
People may joke about ghost-related TV shows, but they keep watching them. Privately, I think most people want to believe in an afterlife. Many people want to believe in ghosts, too.
Ghost-related TV shows have given the field enough credibility to attract new researchers. We’re at least one step closer to finding real ghostly evidence.
I believe that shows like Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures have moved paranormal research forward. More people are looking for evidence, and we have more tools to document what we find.
If that’s all those shows did, they’ve still made a valuable contribution to the field. I think there’s been an uptick in belief since the shows aired.
Personal field research makes a bigger difference than TV shows. But, to get people into the field for serious investigations, they have to be interested.
I think ghost-related TV shows were very helpful towards that end.