By Christina Barber
So, you sit down in your favorite chair and turn on the ‘tube’. While there is a myriad of channels and topics, you zoom in to your preferred topic – Ghost Shows! And there are a TON of them, so many, that it may be hard to choose. Which one to watch? They each provide their own scare as they film the paranormal investigator going into a ‘lock down’ or a similar situation where they are left on their own in the scary place . . .in the dark. Surely there are a ton of scares that will happen that will leave you, the viewer, on the edge of your seat, right? And that’s what you want! Right?
Unfortunately, unbeknownst to you, the viewer, these situations are scripted television shows. Yes, they do go to the supposed haunted location ‘of the week’, but what you see on television is not really what happens. I am sorry to say, but what we see on television is NOT real, and is written by someone – so the ‘characters’ of the show are merely acting the part they were hired to do. It is hard to stomach, and something that we choose not to believe or realize, that these show are just entertainment and not real life, or how the paranormal work on a scientific level. I know this from many levels. First, I have many connections in the paranormal network and know both the writers and the stars of these shows.
Secondly, I also know people in the television business and they do what needs to be done. It is a reality that we, as viewers, don’t see. It’s the ‘behind the scenes’ or the reality of the reality show which is not pretty.
I know with these shows comes the whole pantheon of demons, that we will discuss here.
Television (and movies for that matter) are a wonderful medium. They bring to life a world that we wouldn’t normally tread. But where is the ‘line’? Where the line of real vs. is made up (or scripted)? We will examine those television demons up close and personal today.
For Entertainment Only
Perhaps that is an essential and often overlooked phrase – ‘For Entertainment Only’. It encompasses what we see on television with regard to the paranormal, and rightfully so – as it’s intoxicating. But understanding the ‘for entertainment’ aspect and what is real and scientific are two completely different worlds. However, they don’t worry about if their audience will understand or even care that they’re following the scientific method, nor will they care a whit If what happens to them on the investigation seems a bit ‘out there’. It’s all for the camera. It is a joy ride and nothing more. Most viewers mistake this for ‘real’ and don’t even give it a second thought, it’s the whole ‘it’s on television’ deal that make it so. Is it enough to watch these shows and ‘live’ in their world, one that is scripted, or written by someone else? Or do you want more? That becomes personal choice. Some prefer to live in that television world, while others decide that they need to discover the real science behind the paranormal and venture beyond the television screen.
But What’s the Harm?
Watching television and enjoying the shows is one thing, but there are a few who have taken it too far. Some have seen shows on demons and demonic possession and have taken it into their own hands to deal with someone they thought was possessed – by killing them. Others have trespassed into an historical building to ‘ghost hunt’ and burned the place to the ground. None of these people made the connection that what you see on television is not real, and thusly shouldn’t be practiced without more research and consideration. I remember many years ago, there were warnings that were splashed up on the bottom of the screen, “Warning – Do NOT try this at home.” Perhaps showing that ghost hunting is an easy, common thing that anyone can do should have contained more warnings.
Where do we go from here?
So – where do we go from here? Some think that what they see on television must be the ‘right way’ and that this is how to go about conducting a paranormal investigation (after all it’s good enough for –insert whatever show you wish here), so it’s what I do too. This is a huge misconception. As pointed out prior, these shows are for entertainment, NOT to learn, or to do things scientifically, not in the least! In order to conduct a scientific paranormal investigation, one must start with the basic premise of using the scientific method. The scientific method is something that we’ve all learned somewhere during our education – some learned in high school, others learned it in college, but it all starts with a basic assumption, or what’s called a hypotheses. Then from there you test your hypotheses, observe, record
data, review data and then make a conclusion if your hypotheses was correct. If your hypotheses was incorrect, or maybe just not correct, you might need to make some simple tweaks to it, or toss it out and try again. Another important factor in scientific measurements is that whatever ‘experiment’ you choose must be able to be repeated, multiple times, with multiple variables to make certain you’ve fully test your hypotheses.
If you are interested in learning more about using the scientific method in your own research, here is a great place to start: http://www.sciencemadesimple.com/scientific_method.html