The Grim-Reapers of the Paranormal Investigation Craze
The long anticipated drop off of interest in the paranormal seems to have set in at last. The same catalyst for the explosion of interest has led to its demise, television. As with anything involved in the media, when something gets ratings and the following of crucial target demographics it will be duplicated.
Ultimately it is copied so many times that the quality of the content becomes un-viewable. Think of it like a photo of a photo of a photo of a photo. So with the success of shows like Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures, we have become so over-saturated that the supernatural has become supernormal.
The general public was enamored with ghost hunting shows for a longer time than most initially predicted. The reasons are obvious for why they garnered so much interest.
What Made this Boom?
– It is something nearly everyone believes they may have experienced in their life.
You would be hard pressed to find anyone who hasn’t thought they felt something peculiar at some point in their life. Whether it was a premonition about bad news or getting a scent of something in the air that made you feel like a lost relative had stopped by to say hello. When so many of us have had these unexplained experiences it becomes a communal event to watch others encounter similar events.
– There is easy access for amateurs to investigate.
With no more than an inexpensive audio recorder or even a cell phone, anyone can emulate their favorite spirit talker. KII meters and the like are mostly inexpensive and they give you a way to connect with those who you watch on TV every week (many times a day.) Take the inexpensive gear, find a dark corner of an old house and bingo. You are just like the boys. (yes, that could be a Supernatural reference)
– Marketing: Hair, Muscles, Brains Optional.
With the proliferation of shows geared towards millennials (and older folks who crush on the muscular baby faced hosts) the ‘geek’ element was diminished. It became cool to talk about electronic gadgets and admit you believe in a spiritual realm. The early shows out there broke down walls. They took the paranormal beyond look from the realm of the pioneers like Loyd Auerbach, Ed and Lorraine Warren, and Stanford Friedman to well, you know. You should check out the Paranormal Pioneers page on The National Paranormal Society website.
Remember when it was acceptable for teenagers to walk around with pacifiers in their mouths? Pet rocks? Trolls (not the Internet kind.) As a culture we are pushed to doing what the beautiful people do because we think it will make us more beautiful. (By the way I love those four totally and I always had a crush on Lorraine.)
– Watching other people get scared is generally entertaining.
You either get creeped out or you find it funny to see people scurrying around in the dark in fear. We are a society who demands to be entertained in all aspects of our life.
No matter how serious the situation or the subject, we want it to be entertaining or we lose interest. Does it lead to manufactured or inflated scenarios, yes. No one expects people to watch things for the sheer purpose of being informed or C-SPAN would smash the ratings of The Bachelor.
Proliferation and disintegration.
As with anything good in this world, too much leads to bad things. It began innocently enough with a focus on evidence. Then the evidence being secondary (at best) to the personalities. Hey, its Hollywood people. At this point in the devolution, it has gone from the personality driven to purely gimmick-driven shows.
There are so many lists out there of the paranormal TV world I will spare you mine but here is a Wikipedia link that should clarify. That is a lot. Most recently on my radar is the new show by the Destination America people called “Ghost Brothers.” Can we agree the shark was jumped long, long ago?
Grim Reapers or Just the Horsemen of the Apocolypse?
Am I saying that I see the extinction of paranormal investigation? Of course not. The shows need to thin out and they have been. Do the over the top shows hurt the already thin credibility of legitimately conducted paranormal investigations? Yes. But I see this trend as a good thing. We are seeing the harbingers of our destruction but sometimes the world needs a kick in the teeth to refocus on what is important.
Alas what we have come to learn is that if you are in this for fame and fortune, you cannot be true to the work. We have put a great deal of time, effort, and yes money into our investigations. We did that to look for information, for the truth.
It isn’t a profession for us. We have had our fair share (or more) of road blocks and trials. But PARANOLA lives on and while we are a scattered out across the country we have not given up on our goal. As we find credible leads and with your help finding them we will continue to investigate.
Thank you so much to all our supporters, and we hope to hear from you soon and often!