Two paranormal shows that aired on the Travel Channel last week held my interest. Ghost Adventures, with host Zak Bagans, has been doing follow-up episodes with their After Shocks program, to previous investigations. Unlike most shows where it’s basically a rehash with nothing of substance to add, Ghost Adventures take on the follow-ups are revealing looks into the people involved in ghost hunting; the witnesses, the owners of haunted locales, the investigators. One issue that Bagans is not afraid to address that many ghost hunters ignore or won’t admit to is the addiction factor. Some who investigate haunted locations do so because they can’t help themselves. They want more. They want more excitement, more contact, more supernatural spooky weird stuff to happen. They often have little or no respect for the spirits who are stuck between realms, no respect for who they were in life, and no respect for the people who knew them.
Some people find they can’t stay away and are baffled by their pull to the spirit world — they admit they don’t know why they do what they do, or understand why their subconscious compels them to continue to explore. Others, like the guest on a recent Ghost Adventures After Shocks who readily admitted in a creepy way that he likes it, gets a thrill out of the hunt, and in fact, wants to be “attacked.” A paranormal pervert to my mind if there ever was one.
Bagans avoided being overtly judgmental. Me, I would have been all over this guy. As was medium Amy Allen, who, in a recent rerun of The Dead Files, visited the infamous haunted Wolfe Manor (formerly Hazelwood Sanitarium, and Clovis Avenue Sanitarium) in Clovis, California.
I recognized the location right away, as probably most ghost hunters (arm chair or otherwise) did. This location has been the focus of many a paranormal program over the years, including Ghost Adventures.
One of the first things Allen said during her walk through of the location was that the living were really pissing off the spirits. Too many humans messing around, and this is aggravating the spirits, making it very dangerous in increasing levels for humans.
During Allen’s reveal at the end of the show, where she shares her findings with the haunted location owners and tells them if it’s safe to remain or not, and, if safe, what to do to rid the place of ghosts, she pretty much told current owner Todd Wolfe he was full of crap for his choice to stay. In my opinion, he is indeed full of crap and worse. One of the things he has done to earn money and publicity during his renovations: holding a Haunted House Attraction during Halloween. No surprise that the event riled up the spirits who were already agitated.
Wolfe told Allen he had no intention of stopping, and, in fact, would be advertising the hotel as a “haunted hotel.” At the end of the program, co-host Steve DiSchiave (retired homicide detective who does the background research on the haunted locations Allen explores) said the location is easy enough to find if one is interested, but they weren’t going to give details on location. Find out where it is for yourselves, was the show’s message.
Too few ghost shows use mediums — when they do, it seems like an after thought or filler — and too few address the treatment of the spirits from humans. It’s all about “provoking,” thrill seeking and what’s in it for the living.
I don’t need to go to haunted places to find out if they’re haunted. I know they’re haunted, and unless I have the intent and ability to heal — them, others, myself — I have no need to go somewhere that is “haunted.” In my limited experience doing ghost investigations, I’ve found that the living have to do work as well, and they often aren’t willing to do so. They feel justified in whatever it is they’re doing as if they “own” the spirits, and only want confirmation from outside so they can continue doing what they’re doing to entice their experience in a closed family system of unhealthy interactions between spirit and human, and often even more dysfunctional dynamics between family members.
However, I know of course this isn’t’ true for everyone. There are people who have made peace, who have helped the spirits move on (medium Renee Russo of The Haunting Of . . . for example) but unfortunately, there are those who use the fact of ghosts, spirits and energies to feed their paranormal addictions, as if ghost hunting is a supernatural amusement park ride.