Thursday, September 10, 2009


So Papa Cash and I finally made it into this century and got a DVR. Yes, until about a month ago, I was either recording my favorite shows on my VCR or watching them online. Except American Idol. That one I had to tape because you can't watch it online. Because they are STINGES. Anyway....

At first I was just enjoying being able to watch my favorites and not have to remember to set the timer.....then it turned into adding shows I always wanted to see but would often forget about......then it very quickly spiraled into madness. I went from watching everything a day or two after I recorded it and kept the number of recorded hours of TV less than 3.

As of today, I'm up to 50 HOURS OF RECORDED TV.

And about 95% of those shows all revolve around the paranormal.

Partly to blame is the recent holiday weekend. Apparently Labor Day is the time that cable channels show every old episode of every show they have about unexplained phenomena. Who knew?

So a large part of those 50 hours are due to the marathons of Ghosthunters and Destination Truth. But I've also got about a half dozen other shows on there as well - all different that deal with the paranormal in some way or other. Let's take a tour of what's out there, shall we?

SyFy Channel
(Why'd they change the name from SciFi to SyFy anyway? DUMB.)

Ghost Hunters
My favorite fellas, Jason and Grant. I think it's become fairly obvious how I feel about these guys. Their influence on me is obvious when I watch other shows. I'm always wondering, where's the thermal imager, where's the tape recorder, the thermometer, the K2 meter? Not many shows hold themselves to the same kind of scientific standards that these guys do. And as far as I can see, they're the only show that tries to debunk things before they will accept them as evidence. And they NEVER freak out. It might have been the first ghosthunting show and it's still the best. New episodes are on Wednesdays. (You can also watch whole episodes on the SyFy or Hulu websites)
TAPS website

*Also, since I wrote this, I started wading through the 18(!) episodes of GH that the DVR had racked up in the last couple of weeks. Somewhere in there (probably the Labor Day marathon) SyFy showed what had to be one of the very first (if not the first) episode of GH. Interesting to see how the focus of the show has changed - mostly for the better, in my opinion. This show gave more backstory as to how Grant and Jay met, started TAPS, and showed them interacting more with the wives and kids - that was kind of cool to revisit what got Jay and Grant into this in the first place. (Jay also convinced Grant to leave his computer job to go into plumbing as well!)
What the show no longer features - and is MUCH better for it - is the 'drama' going on between TAPS members and their families. Examples include : Brian schedules TAPS to investigate places that are quite far away which require taking time off from work and away from their families; Brian doesn't label tapes; Brian is just generally annoying and Jay and Grant discuss how to get him to get serious and do a better job. Yeah, it mostly all involved Brian. It was almost like he served to be the creation of tension on the show. The show is SO much better now - now only has the equipment improved, but everyone on the show is a pro and it makes the show that more credible to feature a team that takes everything seriously and to keep the focus where it should be - on the Ghosthunting.
BTW- remember when TAPS was located in a trailer? Thanks, SyFy, for moving them into proper offices that they deserve.

Contest! Enter for a chance to join Jay and Grant at the Stanley Hotel in Colorado!
Chilly Tales
Also on this website is the book called Chilling Tales from the Porcelain Seat.....Jay and Grant provide commentary on real life stories Published by Roto Rooter. I could not make this up, people.

Destination Truth
I'm fairly new to this show - I watched a couple episodes last year but homework interferred most of the time. They played every episode ever last Saturday and now they're all sitting on my DVR. I know that James recommends this show highly - and they seem to be pretty thorough investigators. Plus that Josh dude is kinda hot. I notice a trend of the SyFy channel to use sexy ghosthunters. Rock on! New episodes follow Ghost hunters and you can also watch on the Syfy website. Also - we have Ghost Hunters crossover! This week Jay and Grant helped analyze evidence and next week, Tango and Steve join Josh. Good times!
*See James's better review in the posts below*

Ghost Hunters International

I think how this works is that GHI is on when GH is on hiatus and vice versa. I have to admit, I've never watched GHI. I think a large part of that was due to Brian being on the show. If you've been a fan of GH long enough, then you know EXACTLY what I mean. Brian was an annoying f**kwad. He was more of a distraction than anything. I was ticked when Jay and Grant let him come back and we lost fifteen minutes of ghosthunting to watch Brian apologize for being such an ass to his GH comrades. I was all , Hello, this is Ghost Hunters, not Days of Our Freaking Lives. Then he left again to do GHI. I said Yay and never watched. I guess he's not on here anymore so I suppose I need to check this out when GH goes back on hiatus. *Full episodes available in the same places.

Lifetime Network:
Even Lifetime is into the act. The shows I am completely hooked are the two featuring Lisa Williams. I'm not sure why there are two shows - one is a half hour and the other is an hour. The Lifetime website is crappy and confusing - but there are a lot of clips that you can check out. Lisa is a clairvoyant medium and unless Lifetime has completely manufactured this show (which they have a disclaimer that they have not in any way) I totally believe Lisa is the real deal. Plus she's just completely charming and British to top it off. I recommend watching the clips and if you like what you see, set your Tivo - I end up with 2 hour long shows per week and 2 half hour ones. I don't even know when they record - they just show up.....whooooooo
Lisa Williams
Lisa Williams personal website

John Edward Cross Country
Poor John - I have been watching him for years - before I came to Milwaukee he was my Sunday night ritual. My mom's Malamute Nikita and I would watch him and share popsicles. I don't know what station John started out on but I think he was syndicated for a while....I think he got fed up with constantly defending himself that he wasn't a scam artist and left TV for a while. Then he came back to We television and this show. I'm not sure if they're still making new ones but my DVR picks him up once a week. Here's the TV website. It's kind of crap also.
John Edward
John Edward personal website

Travel Channel
Ghost Adventures
Another show that I am fairly new to. And tended to forget to tape until the DVR. If you like your ghost hunters to tease, yell at, and stir the undead up, this is the show for you. Although they do use the same kinds of equipment as GH, and tend to be taping things in different ways in multiple rooms. Oh yeah and these dudes get locked in for the night too. A spooky one for sure. Check it out on Friday nights.

Biography Channel
I know what you're thinking - the Biography channel? Apparently there are just so many people you can do biographies on before you turn to the paranormal. The Bio Channel has not one, not two, but FOUR freakin' shows about the paranormal.
Here's the website:
Paranormal Zone (lots of clips and some full shows here)
I just discovered this calvalcade of the paranormal a couple of weekends ago. I'm no expert on any of these shows but I did get a taste of all of them. Here's a rundown.

Ghostly Encounters: I think this might be my favorite of the bunch. It's a half hour show featuring a person or family who has a story or two about their experiences with ghosts, situations, or other things that can't be explained. I've seen two episodes, which are really just interviews with the people that are intercut with 'dramatic reenactments'. The things I liked about the show is that the people they interviewed didn't seem like cooks, nobody was overly dramatic, and their stories were interesting. It's like hearing someone's personal ghost story with added pictures and sounds. The one downside? The ANNOYING host. He doesn't even interact with the people telling stories. He just wanders around and gives narration. He doesn't even add anything to the story. I learned this quick and started to FF him. Yay DVR! This one I'd definitely watch again and probably set the DVR for.

Psychic Investigators: I also saw two episodes of this and I think they both took place in England. I'm not sure if this is originally a British show or not. It's kind of like a true crime show - they give you the whole background of the story - and then talk about how the psychics got involved and what happened from there. It's a fairly interesting show if not a little long - one hour per story so it takes a while for it all to unfold. I wouldn't program it into the DVR but I'd probably watch it again if I stumbled across it.

Haunted History
This one I skipped. I kind of feel like I've seen my fair share of these kinds of things - you have a famous location and then the stories around it. I'd rather see the actual investigations. But based on the other shows, if you like this kind of thing, it might be decent.

Psychic Kids.
Ooh Boy. Where to begin with this one......I watched an episode last weekend and realized that I'd actually seen it once before...and been completely irritated. I think it could be a neat concept and it MIGHT have some potential....but there are so many things that irritate me about this show that I don't know if I could watch it on a regular basis. The show involves two or three kids who claim they are experiencing psychic or paranormal things and want some help. We get their backstories and they get to talk to another medium and also a therapist. Their parents also get to as well. The therapist I found to be likable, the medium.....well.....he's sympathetic enough but he's a little melodramatic for my taste. On both shows, the kids and the medium investigate some house with a history of paranormal history. I don't recall seeing any kind of equipment or anything else that might help them to pick up temperature changes or any kind of evidence. It's all based on experiences, and the kids tend to get freaked out and the psychic tends to amp up the drama. I will say that on some level he does try to get them to deal with their fears - but he also lends a certain amount of hysterics to the production that I think are totally unnecessary and probably just serve to give this kind of thing a bad name overall.

If I happened across it, I might watch it, but I'd probably bitch the entire time. And some of the people (parents) are just dumb as hell. Some are sympathetic and really want to help and understand their kids experiences, but one mother on last week's show was just a flaming idiot, talking about her daughter talking to demons and dumb crap like that. I have very little patience for things like that. I like to see this kind of thing taken with a lot more seriousness and science in the mix. Watch this with a huge grain of salt.

It appears all these shows are on Saturdays.....check the website or Tivo and I'm sure you will find them.

and something bizarre on their website is the 'dead soulmate search' . Give a shot. My dead soulmate is Rudolph Valentino. Boom, BABY!

Paranormal State
This is a half hour show that is similar to GH except with much less charisma. It features the Paranormal Research Society of Penn State. So basically it's a bunch of college kids. The lead 'paranormal researcher expert' looks like he's about 16 and he tends to speak in an overly dramatic tone. I've seen one episode where they investigated a home where the owners felt freaked out in the basement. The daughter also sees a man in the backyard. They interviewed the family and then took a medium through the house. This was interesting in that the medium (who seemed on the up and up - not a mistress of theatrics like our friend in the previous show- and also not a college student) picked up in the basement a feeling of people being hidden till they could be moved and even suggested that it might be part of the Underground Railroad. She also picked up on a situation in the back yard shed a feeling of being a prisoner of another kind. The team found out through research that the house was part of the UR and that a woman had been murdered by her husband there. The medium also picked up on other details of the case as well. The woman who was murdered had actually left her husband and was hiding from him until he found her and killed her. The medium pointed out the similarities in the stories, which was interesting. So unless that was a complete fraud, I thought that was pretty cool.

Then they present all the info to the people who live in the house. Then they have 'deadtime' when they try to contact their spirits. The goal is to get the spirits to move on. Not much interesting here - the first part of the show was the most interesting.
The show is only a half hour, so they speed through things pretty quickly. And there are SO many commercials, I swear the actual show can't be longer than fifteen minutes.

They also have their own website.

Also on the website is an iPhone app for an EMF meter? If anyone has an Iphone, you'll have to download this and let me know how it works.

I may add this to my DVR but I don't know if the main guy would eventually wear on me. And also it might be the last thing I'd watch - I like the other shows more.

Well, that's all the shows I'm aware of. I'm sure there are more out there - and more to come. Eventually we'll get a show on the Food Network where Emeril cooks in a haunted house or we'll get mediums to psychically channel the recipes of famous dead people. Know of any more? Blog 'em, baby!

And if you've watched all of these shows and you're still NOT scared? Then you might want to check THIS out:
Scariest. Show. Ever.
Seriously, have you seen this mess?

Mother Firefly

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