liz_marcs (liz_marcs) wrote,

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Brain Break: Ghost Hunters

Ah, yes.

The stress response is so much fun, especially when your body is obviously trying to kill you.

Finances are stressful, even more so when unemployed.

In any case, I took a brain break and checked job openings (bookmarked those for Monday/Tuesday) and then followed a random link which lead me to another link and lead me to another...

And found much by way of Ghost Hunters bashing.

Okay, I have to confess something here:

*shifty eyes right*

*shifty eyes left*

I kind of love Ghost Hunters. It's my guilty reality show secret love.

Look, it's that Rhode Island charm, man. That's what sucks me in. They are so very Rhode Island that it makes my heart ache for the days when I lived in the Littlest State with its very Ferrengi 'tude toward governance and life. I kind of love Rhode Island lots.

(Even Grant is so very Rhode Island, who I'm stunned to discover is Mormon. A Mormon. In Rhode Island, aka the most Roman Catholic state in the Union. Who's a Ghost Hunter. Hunh. Now that's not something you see every day.)

I suspect that people who bag on Ghost Hunters have never actually seen the show. First, they like debunking things or finding rational explanations. Second, they're hesitant to declare something "haunted". Third, I'd say that a good third of the shows result in them finding nothing at all. Four, if it looks too "Hollywood haunting" they try to figure out how someone may be pulling a fast one on them (the Queen Mary episode was a classic case of them uncovering someone trying to feed them bullshit from a spoon).

To be honest, I'm in it for the Weird History and the Urban Spelunking.

Like: How they went to this one sanatorium in Kentucky that was open from the early 1900s up to the 1960s. Fun fact: Through its run as a sanatorium it's estimated that up to 10,000 people died (estimates run at the low end of 8,000 to an impossible-to-believe 63,000).

Think about that. One TB sanatorium in one state, and at least every state had at least one big one. That kind of fatality rate, even if you go by the low number, is utterly astonishing if you stop to think about it.

It's something that someone born in the late 20th century or the early 21st can't even imagine, yet it's something that was very real (and a very real threat) in my parents' lifetimes.

Polio, by the way, has much the same effect. I can't imagine polio as a threat (and a very real one) in a developed nation and most third-world nations (according to Wiki, there are only 4 nations in the world where polio is an actual threat). Yet my parents knew people who got polio growing up, and remember when it was a real fear.

Driving home that kind of "hidden history", which happens surprisingly often on the show, actually makes the Ghost Hunters a pretty worthwhile thing for that alone. Plus, dude, urban spelunking. What's not to love?

Okay, yeah, Ghost Hunters can sometimes make you go, "Oh, come on."

Yet most of what they run across is pretty true to haunted spaces. I grew up in a haunted house so I can spot the familiar hi-jinx that comes with an alleged haunting. Go ahead. Laugh. I'd laugh too if, y'know, I didn't actually grow up in the house I did.

But even in those moments when I want to go "Oh, come on" all the TAPS team has to do is flash those working class Rhode Island-flavored accents and I can't help but kind of love them anyway.

They're much better than Ghost Hunters International (too quick to proclaim places as haunted) and Destination Truth (too Indiana Jones-wanna be — although the episode in the Chernobyl contaminated zone was genuinely creepy for reasons that had nothing to do with the supernatural). Plus, Destination Truth has an additional "douche factor" that the TAPS team and the original Ghost Hunters don't have.

So if you're going to get sucked into one of these types of shows — not that I'm saying I have, mind you — go with the accept-no-substitutes original.

Now you may laugh at me.

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