Seekers after truth, ghost posses, spirited pursuits and cricket bats

Lately I have developed a fascination for the numerous ‘ghost hunter’ type programs available for viewing on Foxtel. Far from creeping me out, I am like a rabbit in a spotlight. I just have to watch and I can’t get enough of the stuff that goes bump in the night. This is a huge advance on hiding under the bed or in the cupboard, which were my preferred strategies up until I started watching these spooky reality shows. For one thing, the bed is too low and we have all seen those movies where the monster, ogre, murderer or general harm-doer always stops outside the cupboard, and smells the victim’s fear. Then it’s usually curtains. So I don’t hide no more. Instead, I sit in a corner of my lounge, with a cricket bat; where I cannot be snuck up on. So far it has worked. No need to call Ghostbusters.
Here in Oz, there are two programs with similar names. One features a team of locals (investigators, photographers and psychic) and the other features a team of locals plus Internationals. I prefer the latter, simply because the all Aussie version is so pathetic. Most of the team on that show look like refugees from Telly Tubbies and the psychic cries at the drop of a foot fall. The star is a weird-looking dude dressed in black who has all the charisma of a fence post. But he does nod very well. So far these guys have failed to turn up anything of note despite finding a number of apparently haunted sites. Maybe the resident spirits run away as soon as the team appears.
The combined team on the other hand has racked up some great results. What impresses me the most are the EVPs; recordings of ghostly voices and sounds. What does not impress me, is when one of the team shouts out that they just saw a dark shadow or an apparition, but there is no film to back them up. Spooky noises and unexplained happenings are common to both shows but for my money the combined team’s creepy voice over narrator (perhaps ex-Rocky Horror Show?) and the team descriptions provide touches of real class. One of the team has the job description ‘Psychic Bad-boy’ (he has tats and piercings). You gotta love it.
Ghost Hunters and Ghost Hunters International have similar lineups. The shows are quite slick and often thought-provoking. All team members wear casual uniforms with individual accessories. I also like the fact that they travel in black SUV’s or cars. Are they VIP’s? Course they are; ordinary people do not get to ride in black SUV’s. You talk about technical equipment? Both shows’ stars are tooled up big time. The spooks don’t have a chance.
More recently a show called Paranormal Phenomena – Fact or Fiction has caught my attention. Unlike the other shows, this one sets out to prove whether particular happenings are true or not. They even attempt to replicate what has been alleged. It makes for great tv. I love the way that a bunch of people, who claim to be either ex-FBI, ex-CIA, ex-police, a super hero (current or past) or have some other such pedigree, have become part of a team that selects its own cases from the weekly submissions sent in by viewers. Best of all, they often conclude that what has happened is not faked.
Of course, all this proof of ghostly activities does little to soothe my nerves; especially when I am all alone in the house with just my little cricket bat to protect me.
Unfortunately, like the snake charmer’s cobra I know that I will continue to be drawn to these type of shows. Perverse, isn’t it? SSSSSSSSSSSS!

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