I admit it, Ghost hunting shows are one of my guiltier pleasures. I know they are bad. I know it’s just a bunch of dudes, running around a house, pretending to be scared. Yet, I can’t look away. Ghost Adventures is no TAPS, not even by a long shot; but, the show is definitely watchable, once you get past the host.
The number one problem with this show is that Zak Bagans can really come off as a special kind of “bag,” if you catch my drift. His monologues are absolutely over the top, and listening to him talk about going into a haunted house makes me feel like monster trucks are about to scream across the screen and that body builders are going to come out and tear off their American flag button legged pants. He’s the human equivalent of neon sales signs shaped like explosions. At the same time, once Zak chills out and goes into the buildings themselves, I’m usually sort of glad that he seems to be wreckless and stupid. It means that he is willing to say things like “talk to me Demons!” The other members of his team are equally clueless, and genuinely seem like every day dudes. This is an admittedly nice contrast to the TAPS fellows, who treat ghost hunting like a science, instead of like a pseudo science. The Ghost Adventurers somehow take themselves really seriously and DON’T take themselves seriously. Sometimes it gets out of hand, and I think Zak and the gang get themselves psyched out, proclaiming that they “feel the presence inside them!” Not great, but funny.
The other problem here is the over production. If we are looking at a haunted hostipal, why are there cut away shots of broken baby dolls with static playing in the background? Sometimes there are shots in this show that look like the last 15 minutes of House of a Thousand Corpses, and that is really a bad thing. The dramatic reenactments are no better, though I suspect they are added by the Travel channel. This sort of scene filtering with added crazy fonts gets super annoying, and I’m hoping by the end of the first season, they will get away from that.
On the plus side, the episodes of this show are long enough that we get the first 20ish minutes to learn lots of background information and listen to interviews. To me, this is the best part of the show. Episode 2 of season 1 was set at Perryville Battlefield, and as a Kentucky native, it was pretty cool to learn a little more about a place I’ve actually been before. When the paranormal investigation begins, you will see your run of the mill gadgets, but the team does try to cator their ghost hunt to the place they are in. Yes, seeing ZAK dressed like a confederate solider was silly, but I appreciated the effort to do something out of the ordinary. One word to the host though: when you hear random gunshots in the distance when you’re filming in Kentucky, it’s not ghost guns. It’s just hillbillies.
So…this is a really stupid show. But, I like it anyway.