Ghost Hunters is an American paranormal reality television series that premiered on October 6, 2004 on Syfy (previously the Sci Fi Channel). The program features paranormal investigators Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson who investigate places that are reported to be haunted. The two originally worked as plumbers for Roto-Rooter as a day job while investigating locations at night. Since the show's success, the series now takes precedence in their lives, but they are still honorary employees with the company and continue to do jobs for them if time permits.
Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson, along with other team members who belong to the group they founded, The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS), investigate locations of interest by using various electronic equipment, which they believe is capable of detecting paranormal activity.
When investigating a location, TAPS team members first survey the property with its owners, who describe their experiences at the site. Next, the team sets up electronic equipment in the apparent paranormal "hotspots." The TAPS team then spends several hours taking electromagnetic field and temperature readings, recording audio for electronic voice phenomena (EVPs), and filming with digital video cameras. Many times, they will even try to verbally coax the "ghosts" into responding, while recording. Afterwards, the team spends several hours analyzing all of the data for signs of possible paranormal activity.
A few days after reviewing the information, Hawes and Wilson discuss their findings with the location site owners, offer suggestions for dealing with any apparent activity, and answer any questions the owners may have.
The TAPS members state that they do not believe that every phenomenon captured is evidence of the paranormal. To lend credibility to their investigations, the team tries to debunk what they find and look for reasonable explanations for things such as "cold spots" (which may be drafty windows), "strange noises" (which may be a thumping branch or vermin in the walls), "moving objects" (which may have been accidentally bumped or tugged), and "phantom lights" (which may be reflections of light from a passing vehicle).
Since the series began airing, TAPS has recorded thousands of hours of audio and video data. Most investigations, according to TAPS, turn up cold with very little, if any, paranormal activity occurring; however, the ghost hunters claim to have several decent recordings of moving objects, mysterious lights, strange mists, and shadowy figures that manifest before the camera and are highlighted at the end of the show.
Syfy categorizes the program as a docu-soap. In addition to the investigative aspect, the show has also presented personal conflicts and relationships among members of the TAPS team. Portions of some episodes portray Hawes and Wilson involved with their plumbing job or personal lives, but this varies by episode and is not always included. As the series progressed, however, the "behind-the-scenes" and "docu-soap" aspects have been reduced, and the fifth season has so far focused primarily on the investigations, with virtually none of the docu-soap material that characterized earlier episodes.
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