This is really a continuation of a blog post I put up over at the YA blog, answering the question of what I was doing watching the Sci-Fi channel in the middle of the day today. Well, I needed to listen to something while washing the dishes and doing a couple of other mindless tasks, but also, I've somehow acquired a guilty pleasure. Somewhere along the line, I started watching a really stupid program called Ghost Hunters. I don't watch it religiously or anything, but I've caught at least 10 episodes by now. This mostly happens when I'm washing dishes or cooking or doing something else in the kitchen, and for some reason, when nothing else appeals to me I will gravitate towards Ghost Hunters.
It's really a sort of soap opera "documentary" series about a "team" of paranormal "investigators" from The Atlantic Paranormal Society ("TAPS"!). They get dispatched by their leader, who appears to have a few more IQ points than the rest of the group, to try to prove or disprove reports of paranormal activity in houses, hotels, etc. They bring a whole array of infrared cameras and sound recording devices and flux capacitors and holy water and so forth, and then they sit up all night attempting to get recorded proof of ghosts or voices or whatever. Sometimes they even perform an "exorcism."
And I honestly don't know why I watch it. It's not particularly exciting. Of course they mostly don't find whatever ghost the homeowner was going on and on about, and when they do find something, you have to doubt the validity of their research methods. It's full of totally forced interpersonal tension--The Dude Who Never Takes Anything Seriously! The Unreliable Agent Who Might Get Fired! The New Guy! Yet still...I watch it sometimes. I try to tell myself it's because I might be interested in writing ghost stories, or historical mysteries, or some such likely excuse, but I just don't know what it is. I've never personally seen a ghost. I don't particularly believe in them. I'm not afraid of them, with the exception of the Sta-Puft Marshmallow Man and his cronies. (Just kidding. Well, maybe not entirely--I was only 7 when that movie came out.) Maybe I'm just bored. Maybe there are certain brain cells I'm trying to kill off. I just don't know.