Last night, after enjoying a double dose of NCIS, I began channel surfing. As I was flipping through the educational block of our channel listing, I came upon the premiere of a new series. It's to the point I groan every time I hear a new paranormal reality series being added to the growing list, but I sat and watched, giving the Discovery Channel's Ghost Lab a chance to wow me. I have to admit maybe....just maybe....Ghost Hunters has some real competition. Every paranormal series has their own charm but when it comes to a skeptical point of view, Ghost Hunters has been the reigning champ despite alleged reports of falsifying evidence.
Ghost Lab is a show which follows the investigation skills of Everyday Paranormal. The Klinge Brothers, Brad and Barry, formed their group in 2007. Unlike Jason and Grant, they have taken on paranormal research full time. The actual Ghost Lab is a 24-foot car hauler decked out with the world's most sophisticated equipment including flat screen monitors, a touch screen smart board, surveillance video cameras capable of shooting 300 feet away in total darkness with a 180-degree peripheral view and temperature, humidity and dew point data loggers. The theory they seem set on proving is what they call "Era Cues". This theory is similar if not the same as what is known as the Singapore Theory. The purpose is to use elements like music from the alleged spirits time era to stimulate activity.
On their premiere episode, Everyday Paranormal investigated Shreveport Auditorium. When I first tuned in, I thought I was watching a documentary. I believe Mike Rowe from Discovery's Dirty Jobs provided narration. The overall appeal of the show didn't seem like you were getting a first hand investigator point of view. It seemed more like you were following their footsteps. The EP team set up their equipment throwing their electronic "net" over the building and the investigation began expanding over two nights. Placing data loggers in a linear sweep, they hoped to capture the movement of reported shadows. A balcony door reported to open on its own did not disappoint. They captured an EVP saying "They saw the light" and even recreated it using a team member's voice to display the difference in frequencies. The EP team brought in a band to further experiment with the "Era Cues" theory. Shreveport Auditorium helped start the careers of musicians such as Johnny Cash and Elvis in 1950s. The stimulus provided good as a team member was touched and another door closed on its own.
As they wrapped up their investigation, the team moved on to Myrtles Plantation. This was not their first investigation of the location and knew what to expect. I've always wondered when Jason, Grant and Steve do their guided walk throughs do they ever have any experiences. Ghosts don't wait until nightfall to make themselves known. During the self-guided walk through, Brad Klinge narrated paranormal reports of each room. He began discussing about children who once resided in the William Winters room when the sound of a child's laughter became present in the background. No child was in Myrtles at the time. During their investigation, they experimented with "Era Cues" using a recorded voice of a local historian reciting historic documents. This resulted in a moving cold spot.
Their extreme excitement of simple experiences irked me at first. I mean...seriously. Act like you've seen a door open on its own before. But as I continued to watch, I began to understand the reason for it. Their key agenda is research and experiences not debunking. When you conduct an experiment and receive good results, it's a reason to celebrate. There's nothing wrong with that as long as you remain objective. This avid paranormal TV viewer says Ghost Lab is a must watch on Tuesday nights.
Tune in next week at 9pm Central/10 Eastern on the Discovery Channel when Everyday Paranormal takes on Tombstone, Arizona.
EDIT: I had the opportunity to watch the premiere episode again over the weekend. I think I was more tired than I realized when I saw it the first time. It's a nice change in pace in the sense its not formatted the same as all the others. But in a lot of ways, their inexperience really shows. I don't know. It may be something to watch on a Tuesday night but if the season doesn't get better, the Discovery Channel is going to have to stick with A Haunting or whatever they are calling it these days for their ghost series.