Why those TV ghost-hunting shows are transparently fake – AZCentral

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On a fuzzy green screen, you see a T-shirt-wearing man pointing a small electronic recorder toward a murky corner.

He swivels his head toward the camera, his eyes glowing like orbs.

“This is where a figure of a small girl has been sighted on numerous occasions,” the man says in a hushed voice. “We’re hoping she’s in the mood to answer some – holy (bleep), something touched me!”

The frame jumps and blurs before steadying itself and focusing on the man’s face and his look of shock.

And it’s largely ghost-hunting theater, according to one of Phoenix’s longtime paranormal investigators.

‘It never happens like that’

“Most of that stuff on TV is bunk,” Vincent Amico said. “It never happens like that.”

Amico has the experience to back up his claim. He’s been investigating the paranormal for 15 years. In 2014 he and his wife started AZ Paranormal Investigations and Research Society.

And that’s where these un-reality shows pose problems, he said. Those fans expect to see evidence of the afterlife, from an empty rocking chair moving by itself to shadowy apparitions coalescing in corners.

Such eerie incidents are extremely rare and easily fabricated.

“A guy says he felt something touch him, or you hear a door slam off camera,” Amico said. “That’s the easiest stuff to fake. There’s no way to prove he wasn’t touched, or that someone off camera didn’t slam the door.”

Specter-chasing TV shows caught on in 2004 with SyFy’s “Ghost Hunters,” which lasted 12 years before broadcasting its last episode in October 2016. Similar shows followed in its glowing green footsteps, including Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures” and “Haunted USA.”