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Syfy's Ghost Hunters Academy busts spirits with rookies

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Nov 7th 2009 3:01PM
Ghost Hunters Academy The Ghost Hunters name is starting to rival CSI and Law & Order in the spinoff department. What else do all three of these franchises share? There's just as much hard paranormal evidence in the last two as appears in the first.

Please don't misunderstand me -- since I've gone off on this topic before. I'm not saying ghosts don't exist. I'm not saying there's no afterlife. I don't begrudge any scientific investigation into parapsychology or realms described as paranormal. I'd just like any of the endless march of "ghost-based" shows to dig up one scintilla of proof that they found something and, therefore, deserve to be on TV every week.

The latest entry is Syfy's Ghost Hunter's Academy -- sort of Most Haunted meets The Rookies from the 70s. Each week, ghost hunting "professors" (the show's conceit, not mine) Steve Gonsalves and Dave Tango welcome first-time paranormal investigators onto The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS) team.


Since the greenhorns are less experienced with (never finding) ghosts, they panic easier in the dark, scream louder when there's a noise off-screen, and generally wet themselves more dramatically than the TAPS folks you see on Ghost Hunters. In the end, it's more of the same -- people sitting around in the dark talking to the camera and interpreting non-evidence as vague proof of the paranormal.

This genre has to run its course soon. How many shows like this can people watch? How much night vision do you want to see on TV? How many scenes can you embrace of average Joes stumbling around in the dark with tape recorders -- asking an empty room, "How did you die?"

I'm afraid some of these doughy ghostbusters will end up in my home years from now and will get this ghostly response to their recorded questions: "I died of boredom watching your show."

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Mary Pat

The two who should be offering help and guidance, the ones who should be TEACHING are doing nothing but giving those kids a hard time. I would like to see how the two of them started out. Were they just brilliant and needed no instruction? I doubt it. They have me as a GH follower, but if I don't see some civility and genuine leadership and guidance, GHI will lose me as a viewer.

November 28 2009 at 12:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Nik

This show was amusing to me, are they trying to make me laugh or insult my intelligents? First there's Steve, the leaderless joke with no teaching or communication skills what so ever. Steve, on the show ghost hunters (and probably on this show as well) is more interested in knowing if there is a spider on his back, making stupid bets, talking to or playing jokes on Tango than doing any real investigating, and when he does investigate, he's not impressive to watch, he's boring. So he entertains with his arachnaphobia. Then we have Tango who's only job on ghost academy, as on ghost hunters, is to agree with everything Steve says. Tango probably does this because 1, he really doesn't have a clue as to what he's seeing, hearing or doing; or 2, he's genuinly intimidated by Steve enough to keep his opinions to himself. Which of course according to the two, breaks the cardinal rule of not being open or honest about yourself, or with others on the team. Steve needs to stick to setting up camera's, and Tango needs to stop being Steve's lidl' be-otch and express himself for himself with confidence. As for the students on this show, they are trying to work with these two guys and seem to be taking it seriously, but unfortunatly their intelligence is being dumbed down by intimidation that that when it comes to this field, there made to look as if they were born yesterday. I guess so Steve and Tango can look like some kind of investigative geniuses in the eyes of the viewer. I know these (students) like us have knowledge on what to do and how when it comes to investigating the paranormal. Any one of us can go into a house with a camera, video camera and a digital recorder and do what they do. I've done it and have caught some apparitions on video just like they have, and e.v.p's just like they have. I have expierenced that chill and have had the hairs on my entire body stand straight up. It looks like their trying to format this show for the viewer to believe that if these (students) can't learn from these two clowns that they have failed and cannot be on their team, and must now go home because they suck and do not have what it takes to be a paranormal investigator. In my opinion the whole concept of the show is a ridiculous joke. To think that Steve and Tango are the supposed best in this field really is funny to me when I think about it. Honestly, I watched one episode and part of another but its just a lot of B.S about a lot of B.S. ramrodded by a lot of B.S.

November 23 2009 at 9:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jrock

Tango sucks! Steve is the only one doing all the talking to the contestants. I think Tango needs to take a step down and compete with the rest of the contestants.

November 18 2009 at 12:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kitchens

Welltonguy, I have to agree. This thing was about as entertaining as counting rug fibers. Still, I gave it a try. I made it to about 17 minutes, and then threw in my DVD of The Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, which was far better.

Summed up, this show was an hour of pretentious bullying by a couple of clowns who don't have a decent command of the English language passing themselves off as "professors." Of what? Picking on skinny girls with huge breasts? Playing with cameras and flashlights? Do any of them have degrees in anything? I didn't think so.

They air on a channel called SCIFI. That means, "science FICTION." So how can they make this stuff seem like it was critically important? Like someone's life depends on "behaving properly." Um...you're all chasing "ghosts", dude. You're kidding me, right?

Excuse me...I think I need to go count the rug fibers.

November 17 2009 at 8:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
welltonguy

I am not all that enamored with Steve and his superior attitude, A teacher he is not a misconceived person he is. I do not like the berating that goes on in this show, it is more picking apart the person than teaching how to investigate, this style in TAPS lost me as a viewer once and will probably do so again. If I want to see this type of action, just go to any junior high school where the bully is picking or putting down a fellow student who are unable to get away from them. It is better to have a good teaching program with actual findings and better appealing teachers than someone who does not have a clue.

November 14 2009 at 5:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lokio

If a franchise can "jump the shark" - Ghost Hunters has done it with the academy. I tried to watch, but ended up tuning out shortly after the one girl claimed to be a medium for the 20th time in less than 15 minutes. It seemed like they were all trying for their own show rather than being part of GHA.

November 13 2009 at 3:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Boddah

This is bad. TAPS did a great thing by bringing paranormal studies to the forefront. Before the show, people who believed in ghosts, were looked upon, as crazy. Grant and Jay brought proof to our livingrooms, and made it acceptable. The spinoff, GHI was a good idea, because it brought far off investigations, like Ireland and Spain to our televisions as well. This however, is based on greed, and tarnishes everything.

November 09 2009 at 12:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chuck

I can't help but think that if any of the stuff they did offer up as "proof" (such as the conversations they have with dead people based on getting an electronic device to light up or whatever) had any real merit whatsoever, the scientific community would be sitting up and taking notice. As it is not, however, it only takes away from the show's less-than-stellar credibility already.

November 08 2009 at 10:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Chuck's comment
yehuda

Paranormal studies are now on quite many colleges.
The trouble is GH and GHI which are very professionally shot are the only shows around and have no one with degrees in paranormal or parapsych ,etc.

Paranormal states also is shot well. The academy has bush league film makers and poor guides...steve and tango...example again....why rheem out students when they did not even do a show on requirements.

The editing team has little to work on and the stars have little to say...

the rest of the ghost labs and ghost this or that are worse than GH academy....full of swearing and bush league stuff...

GH A will go away..GH and GHI will stay along with psychic kids and paranormal cause they have the ratings for now...

thanks for your comment

November 22 2009 at 6:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
eric f

"I'd just like any of the endless march of "ghost-based" shows to dig up one scintilla of proof that they found something and, therefore, deserve to be on TV every week."

Isn't that what they do every week?

November 08 2009 at 9:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to eric f's comment
Joanie9696

Steve has only read one book from cover to cover and he thought the Underground Railroad had actual tracks.

"eric f. said...

"I'd just like any of the endless march of "ghost-based" shows to dig up one scintilla of proof that they found something and, therefore, deserve to be on TV every week."

"Isn't that what they do every week?"

Huh?
1) They measure cold spots with an IR thermometer and
it does not measure ambient air temperature without
an antenna.
2) They collect "proof" of ghosts with thermal cameras.
Unless ghosts are solid, that is not possible.
Firefights use them to find people in smoke filled
rooms.
"Timmy" at Waverly Hills has the same heat signature
as Tango did when Tango was running.
"Soldier" in the locker is Grant's reflection.
"Woman" at the fort was a crew member wearing a
hoodie.
3) If a cheap plastic blinking EMF detector can actually
be used to communicate with dead people then CNN
needs to be alerted.
4) I still have no clue why anyone who watched Halloween
Live 2008 aka Collargate still thinks GH is 100% real.
5) Brenda, the home owner in Altoona, PA from Episode 1
Season 1 says they faked evidence.
6) Pam from the sugar plantation had a lot to say about
her experience with TAPS.
7) The McNeils were banned from posting on SyFy when
they wanted to write about their experience.
8) Donna, who used to be on GH and GHI,let some info
sneak out a couple of weeks ago. Moderators on
several sites were busy making posts and threads
poof. Donna was advised to zip it or get sued.

December 04 2009 at 11:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
wulfn1

I used to like the show, back in the beginning when they were more interested in proving there wasn't paranormal activity and showing neurotic housewives how their floors squeeked when the heat came on, and electrical or plumbing issues were the cause of their fears.
As I said recently, it's become a travelogue of tourist traps that cater to the needs/whims of those wanting to get a thrill or see a ghost.
The show lost its edge a while ago, and I'm sad about that. I enjoyed it in the beginning. Not so much now, in fact when it's on I only glance up now and again from whatever I am doing ..that's usually enough to figure out the whole theme of the week's episode.

November 07 2009 at 9:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to wulfn1's comment
eric f

"As I said recently, it's become a travelogue of tourist traps that cater to the needs/whims of those wanting to get a thrill or see a ghost. "

I particularly liked the episode this past season at Merchant House in NYC. They found nothing and the manager of the museum (which markets itself as being haunted) was pissed!

Same with the Buffalo Bill Museum. They mainly debunked.

November 08 2009 at 10:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
yehuda

The show just does not cut it. Not take away from steve and tango but they are not schooled teachers. They are biting and not guiding. They even give wrong information. Example not sitting together. Grant and Jason sit together. So does Steve. You need someone who knows how to teach not create tension.

I do not want for this to seem that i do not repsect either men. I do but they are techs not teachers and clearly Scy Fy came up with a great idea with the wrong people. It should have been Grant or Jason alternating or something of that sort. Not critical pressure, you blew it, you are stupid, you are dumb, what are you doing and then trying to gloss it over.

These young people are trying and they are not training they are initiating using their position and power not to teach and train but to criticize.

I turned it off. Miss the reruns. I feel bad for the people who were selected. They cannot shine because it is like they have the big bad teacher going to hammer them.

Steve and Tango are not that way on ghost hunters but this went to their head or no one explained the basics of being a trainer or teacher.

It is a looser show. sorry

November 18 2009 at 8:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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