Travel Channel's "Ghost Adventures" is More Like a Clumsy Stumble
Although paranormal investigation has been popular for quite some time in documentary television specials, it has only in recent years been popping up more and more in the regular series category. Hits such as the Travel Channel's "Most Haunted" and SciFi's "Ghost Hunters" have served to put ghost hunting on the map as a legitimate sub-category of the now-commonplace reality genre. Becuase this development is so recent, and because more and more of these shows are popping up, it will probably be a while before the cream of the field rises to the top. When it does, I have a feeling that the Travel Channel's latest addition, "Ghost Adventures," will sink like a stone.
"Ghost Adventures" premiered on Friday, October 17. The show centers around host Zak Bagans and his team, Nick Groff and Aaron Goodwin. For their inaugural hunt, the boys set their sights on Bobby Mackey' Music World, an infamous country music nightclub that became widely known for its music and star connections and stayed widely known for its paranormal activity. The stories connected with the location provided some of the most interesting parts of the episode, but even these could not stand up to the over-the-top theatrics of the host and crew.
Any fans of SciFi's "Ghost Hunters" who happened to be watching saw absolutely nothing new. Bagans and his team followed the established formula to the letter, including the after-dark night vision exploration. The antics they engaged in the whole time gave the sense that they were trying too hard to compensate for their lack or originality. More than once, the team made huge deals of things that they could not share with the viewers, including numerous inconclusive voice recordings. The episode hit a climactic point when Bagans was "attacked" by a spirit, lifting his shirt to reveal "fresh" scratch marks on his back. All things considered, it was more laughable than it was scary.
Bagans, himself, was quite possibly the most irratating component of the entire show. He may have been pretty to look at, but he completely lacked charisma, often speaking and carrying himself like a bad actor in an independent slasher movie. He sounded more like a self-inflated drunken frat boy challenging an adversary than a paranormal investigator. Furthermore, he made it a point early on to repeat the most ridiculous and outlandish stories about the location (including a supposed "gateway to Hell") until they dissolved into utter silliness.
I'm a big fan of paranormal-themed shows and I do believe in the existence of ghosts. I really did try to like this show, but in the end, my interest in the paranormal couldn't stand up to the mockery that was made of it by Bagans and his buddies. Still, the location and the stories about it were very interesting and even a bit chilling, so it wasn't a total loss.
The next episode of "Ghost Adventures" airs Friday, October 25 on the Travel Channel. Check your local listings for time slots. Watch if you dare. There will no doubt be plenty of cringing, but not from fright.
- Ghost Adventures : TV Shows
Learn about Ghost Adventures and other TV Shows on the Travel Channel. The complete travel source.
For More Information on the Paranormal
- Paranormal Activity: An Overview
A break down of different types of paranormal activity and paranormal investigation.