Ghost Hunters: Bringing The Paranormal to Our TV Screens

ghost hunters

About Ghost Hunters

Ghost Hunters is an incredibly popular American docusoap that follows a team of real-life paranormal investigators. The team visits haunted locations across the country. And they deal with every type of haunting and entity imaginable.

Led by Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson – two plumbers-turned-ghost-hunters and founders of The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS). The team uncovers and documents spooky findings wherever they go.

The show has built up quite a following in the US and abroad. It was one of the first shows of its kind. And after more than a decade, many people still tune in to the Travel Channel to check out the latest hauntings.

One of the reasons behind the success of the show – 16 seasons and counting – is its ability to consistently measure audience engagement. This is done through the compelling evidence of Jason Hawes, Grant Wilson and their investigators.

Their EMF meters light up, they get sound recordings, and there are plenty of eyewitness accounts and retelling of ghost stories that will have you glued to the telly (if you’re not covering your face in fear).

Members of the Ghost Hunters team

Below is a list of the full-time and guest members as the series returns for another season in 2023.

Full-time members

  • Jason Hawes: Lead investigator; founder of TAPS; producer
  • Steve Gonsalves: Lead investigator; tech manager
  • Dave Tango: Investigator; tech manager
  • Shari DeBenedetti: Investigator

Despite the show being founded by Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson, Grant is no longer part of the group – he left the show in 2020. Before that, he was a full-time team member for several seasons.

Guest members

The show features several guest stars and celebrities who come along on the paranormal investigations. Some notable names who have repeatedly appeared include Amy Bruni, Adam Berry, Dustin Pari and Samantha Hawes.

Behind The Paranormal Investigations

When it comes to the Ghost Hunters, haunted houses are the norm. The team is always off somewhere new with a terrifying backstory. Or eyewitness accounts of eerie happenings. Along with their usual equipment, the team are always trying to develop and improve new ghost-hunting techniques.

Let’s look at the method behind the scary madness in how the members perform their investigations.

Investigation process

The very first thing the team does is to walk around the property with the owners. The scared residents will recount their haunted house stories, pointing out specific areas where events happened.

Next, the team sets up their equipment in the areas of high paranormal activity. They spend hours getting EMF, temperature readings, and digital recordings. And they use “ghost cameras” to spot anything strange.

They also sometimes try to coax out whatever entity lurks while recording. However, the team follows Jason’s wise words: “When in doubt, get the hell out.”

Once the investigators have collected all they can from the haunted house (or prison, boat, hotel, museum, theatre – they really go all over). And they spend a few days combing over everything they’ve recorded.

The team then returns to the owners of the haunted locations and shares what they found. They offer up some solutions on how to deal with the spirits that seem to linger.

What makes the show so engaging is that the team doesn’t just assume everything they find is because of ghosts. There is always mild scepticism, and the team will attribute certain phenomena to real-world causes. Cold spots could be poorly insulated windows, and noises could be critters in the walls.

Since Season 1 aired in 2004, the members have collected thousands of hours of data in video and audio format. And surprisingly, a lot of the things they record aren’t blamed on the paranormal.

Even so, the team has quite a bit of decent proof of strange, unexplainable events. Like shadow figures that manifest themselves when no one is around. Or moving objects, strange lights and mists that appear out of nowhere. That’s enough to give anyone goosebumps!

Ghost-hunting equipment

If you want to do some ghost-hunting yourself, you might be wondering what tech the team is using.

They have certain tools which they use in almost every episode:

  • EMF meters: Measures electromagnetic frequencies (the K-2 meter is often used)
  • Digital thermometers: To record any hot or cold spots
  • Night vision cameras: To spot things in the dark
  • Thermographic cameras: Also used to record cold and hot spots
  • Digital video cameras: To record any movements or lights
  • Digital sound recorders: To record noises, voices and whispers

In one episode, the team also used a Geiger counter, which is used to detect ionizing radiation.

Noteworthy Ghostly Experiences

With 16 seasons and counting, there is no shortage of haunted locations and spooky events on the show. We have highlighted some of our favourite eerie episodes that send chills down our spines when we think about them:

Season 1, Episode 5 – Eastern State Penitentiary

Prisons are already creepy enough but add a couple of disgruntled ghosts to the mix, and you have a recipe for a very scary episode. In this episode, the Ghost Hunters investigate the Eastern State Penitentiary, Pennsylvania. They hear disembodied whispers and distant footsteps and come face-to-face with the ghost that harassed Al Capone!

Season 2, Episode 1 – Myrtles Plantation

Myrtles Plantation in Louisiana has over 200 years of history behind its doors. The first haunted happenings were recorded back in 1970. The team experience goosebump-inducing encounters with apparitions across the historic home. They record objects moving by themselves and hear voices whisper at them through their recording devices.

Season 5, Episode 10 – I Am Not Guilty

The team head off to a private residence where the homeowners have some harrowing tales to tell. The house is connected to Abraham Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkens Booth.

During their investigation, they encounter a shadowy figure who appears to them. They record more compelling proof of paranormal activity, like voices, misplaced objects, and unexplainable sounds.

This is one of the investigations that truly leaves the team stumped.

Season 16, Episode 1 – Dead Man Walking

The latest season kicks off with a really creepy episode. The team heads over to an abandoned jail in Hanford, California. 125 years of suffering and death occurred in this jail. And the wails of the tortured prisoners are still heard around the empty compound.

FAQs

Is Ghost Hunters a family-friendly show?

Yes! The show’s careful handling of spooky encounters ensures that it remains age-appropriate if relevant. It allows many viewers to enjoy its content without compromising the thrill factor.

Are there any Ghost Hunters spin-offs?

Yes, thanks to the success of the show, there are a couple of spin-offs:

  • Ghost Hunters International
  • Ghost Hunters Academy
  • Ghost Hunters Live

Final Thoughts

It’s a captivating show where the TAPS team sets out to uncover the mysteries behind haunted locations. With guest stars featured in new episodes and plenty of different spirits and ghosts, each episode is a thrill!

References

Sam Ashford
Sam Ashford - Author

Hey, I'm Sam Ashford! I'm a ghost-hunting expert, writer and founder of SpiritShack. My mission is to help people like yourself learn about spirituality and how to hunt ghosts!