Friday, July 12, 2013

Paranormal Documentary/Docudrama TV Shows

When I stop to think about it, there’s actually a surprising number of paranormal documentary/docudrama shows on TV, which I watch upon occasion as you may have guessed. Quality, methodology, and believability vary greatly between these shows, and there doesn’t seem to be one that has it just right yet.

As far as providing relevant information, doing research, and following the scientific method goes, Ghost Hunters has been one of the better documentaries. However I’ve noticed a bit of a decline in science and skepticism with the departure of co-founder Grant. The official statement was that he was leaving for personal reasons, but the fact that what used to be called ‘definite paranormal activity’ is now ‘there are spirits here’ kind of makes me wonder.

The downside of this show is that they show you 15 minutes of investigation to every 5 minutes of evidence or lack of evidence. So the most exciting parts are the end of each investigation where they let you know if they found anything. Occasionally, there’s some debunking or questioning during the investigation, though that was more common in the older episodes. Ghost Hunters International seems to lean even further the scientific method.

Haunted Highways would also be high on my list as far as information and science are concerned, and it actually tends to be pretty entertaining, though some of the evidence they encounter is a little dubious.

Fact or Faked is another of the more scientific paranormal documentaries. Sometimes they don’t take their tests as far as I would like, but I get that they have a budget.

Going down the list we come to the in-between shows like Paranormal State and My Ghost Story: Caught on Camera. These shows present some science and so-called evidence, but lack information (or in the case of Caught on Camera move to fast for the viewer to follow the information). I’m mentioned before that I find Paranormal State to be rather basis and dramatic, but they do at least do some research.

After that, I’d class most the rest of the paranormal shows I’ve seen as simply docudramas, only rarely presenting evidence or information that would lead you to a possible haunted location. Obviously it’s important not to have amateur paranormal investigators flocking to residential areas, but it does little to aid in confirmation. Some shows in this category would include, My Celebrity Ghost Story, My Haunted House, A Haunting, and Paranormal Witness.

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