The paranormal investigators on the Sci-Fi Channel's series Ghost Hunters stress that they are skeptics, men and women of science who set out to disprove hauntings, unlike their unscrupulous competition.
Take, for instance, the observational skills employed as they point at "shadowy masses" which always appear wherever the film crew isn't looking and outside the range of the 6+ stationary cameras deployed in every case. Consider the custom-made contraptions which light up when ghosts pass by, and certainly not when manipulated by the user or poorly calibrated. Note how they isolate Electronic Voice Phenomena, segments of audio in which spooky voices respond to the investigators' questions, often accompanied by background noise levels that are jarringly different from the rest of the recording.
Unfortunately, Ghost Hunters has come under scrutiny following last year's live Halloween investigation in which a ghost viciously pulled Grant Wilson backwards three times, causing the investigator's collar to move slightly downward while his hand fiddled with something in his right pocket.
Some people claimed this was a hoax, that Grant was simply pulling a thread connected to his collar. (Never mind the obvious possibility that the ghost pushed his hand downward to tug on the thread connected to the collar.) Empowered by this perceived trickery, thousands of conspiracy theorists have taken to picking apart every episode.
These are the most popular pieces of "evidence" circulating the internet that suggest the show is less skeptical in nature than it claims to be.
|In the episode "Portal to Hell", the portal to Hell that the team encounters does not appear to be a portal to Hell, but a regular portal from the video game Portal.|
Upon closer inspection, the entire episode seems to be a 45-minute clip of gameplay footage from Portal with the user interface blurred out.
|While attempting to communicate with a spirit in Fort Mifflin, Jason asks the entity to let its presence be known by making a muffled knocking noise or something that could easily be the sound of a house settling or a rodent scampering nearby.|
When the distinct rattle of chains and a keening moan follow, the investigators accept this as a reply even though it is clearly not what they asked for.
|From every camera angle available, the full-bodied apparition in "Ghosts of Christmas Past" seems to be a snowman pushed down the hallway on a skateboard.|
Although one would think that the natural reaction to a visible spirit would be to give chase, Grant and Jason settle for a high five and make their way back to the command center, even as the snowman seems to slowly roll back into view after rebounding off a wall.
|According to paranormal researchers, Norman Greenbaum's 1969 hit "Spirit In The Sky" does not count as an actual spirit. Playing the song repeatedly during slow investigations to artificially inflate the Ghost Count might have been dishonest.|
|At one point in "Dead Ghost Walking", Grant points at a dark jail cell and claims that he sees movement. When the camera focuses on said cell, the video seems to pause as a series of effects are overlayed.|
First is a fullscreen lens flare, followed by a heavy gaussian blur, the "sketch" rendering filter, and finally the video frame is rotated 180 degrees.
Some claim that this sequence is purely the result of image manipulation via Photoshop, but their speculation directly contradicts Grant's stirring eyewitness account of the event: "I saw... what you saw. On television."
|When adjusted to the appropriate pitch and playback speed, many of the disembodied voices discovered on Ghost Hunters are a perfect match to the audiobook version of American Gladiators Season 2: The Novel.|
|Although it is widely accepted that hellhounds such as the one seen in the episode "Hounds Of Hell" could manifest as flame-engulfed beasts, it does seem suspicious that one would take the form of a golden retriever and leave a corpse with a pink collar around the neck.|
|Kirk Douglas is still alive. In the credits, he should have been listed as "Guest Investigator", not "Fake Ghost #3".|
|In the episode "Even Rich Ghosts Get The Boos", Jason and Grant conduct their entire investigation while sitting in a small cart which seems to move about the surprisingly confined quarters of the haunted mansion on a track.|
Although the episode yielded a number of jump-scares and apparitions (including a full-length mirror that revealed a glowing skeleton sitting between Jason and Grant), some have claimed that the investigation took place entirely in an amusement park ride. This seemingly baseless accusation has gained traction due to the unusual number of scenes featuring funnel cake and/or carnies.
Welcome to Gamer Hell, where those who committed sins in online games must pay for their crimes against noobs for eternity.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has sworn to personally investigate the murder of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov. In fact, Putin plans to use his expertise to solve most major crimes.
The Something Awful front page news tackles anything both off and on the Internet. Mostly "on" though, as we're all incredible nerds.