I have noticed that quite a number of reality shows related to the search/hunt for the supernatural has surfaced lately; or over the past few years. The popularity of these genres had obviously paved the path for these shows to be born; given the curious nature of viewers and people in general.
I have seen a few of them; and I have to say, some were really disturbing (the types that can send that chill down your spine and make you avoid going to the bathroom).
At the same time, I couldn't help but wonder, what is the message that we are sending to the future generation?
Are we debunking the myth that there are paranormal activities going out there; attributing them to the laws of science? Or are we showing the future youths that there are lots of spiritual beings wandering around there, in case you didn't know and just thought that you should be scared?
While some take on a more a serious nature of investigating the mystery surrounding a certain place reputed for being haunted and sharing on the stories on why it could be haunted, there are some that I was surprised (and a little annoyed) that they were challenging the spirits to appear and confront them. I don't see why they need to resort to such low tactics; although it was claimed that it was for the investigation purposes.
I beg to differ in my opinion here; as I find some of the behaviors rather annoying, if not downright rude and it was as if these investigators were of more superior being that they can command the spirits to appear right before them. I don't know where did that idea come from, but as far as I know, I was told never to provoke the spirits under any circumstance.
Sure, the idea is to find out the truth and to prove whether the hauntings do truly exist in that particular place with a reputation, but there is no need to go to that extent of showing your own greatness. The air of arrogance I have witnessed in some of these reality show hosts just makes me wonder the spirits do not just appear and scare the hell out of them.
(These hosts would be delighted with the appearances anyhow, and can't wait to capture the images on their camera though; and perhaps, that is the reason that the spirit did not want to appear, so as not to give them that pleasure of seeing them in their form).
I guess some of these so-called paranormal experts have yet to meet with a real exorcism or tasted the wrath of a malevolent spirit which could drag them to the netherworld just there and then. Maybe it was for the sense of entertainment that they are behaving so stupidly, or was it that they were just too full of themselves in their heads?
Either way, I hope they pray that they are protected by God at all times or someday, they are just going to get a taste of their arrogance and that ain't going to be sweet.
Pushing and belittling the existence of spirits to provide that cheap thrill or excitement is hardly what I would even associate with entertainment.
Perhaps some may be able to catch my point of reference here; whereby the team claimed to be aspiring ghostbusters or investigators equipped with technology and advanced machines to help them with their expedition and then analyzing themselves. Sometimes sounds captured make them jump up in joy and then they start to share their experiences and even what they think they heard or saw. Deciphering whatever they heard is purely based on their own assumptions; and I doubt that can account for much credibility, no offense meant here.
Furthermore the backgrounds and experiences of these investigators do cast a net of doubt over their knowledge on the incidents encountered and explained; and again, not much credibility.
It is no wonder then that there are so many ghostbusters or investigators wannabes sprouting out of a sudden and then having all these equipments just automatically qualifies them to become paranormal researchers/investigators and then if they are fortunate enough, they will get their own tv show. Is that it, anyone who claims to enjoy and curious about the paranormal and does research can be an investigator?
I don't know anymore, but sometimes, I find it a little too far-fetched and honestly, maybe they may have lots of courage, money, researches, viewers and high-tech equipment but they definitely lack in one thing; respect.
That being said, I do enjoy some of the rather great documentaries (although spooky) which shared about the paranormal and even constantly reminds viewers never to dabble in the world of magic and the following are the ones that I feel are quite up to their standards:
(I am NOT promoting any form of supernatural stories/tv shows!)
Singapore's IT (Incredible Tales hosted by VJ Utt)
Hong Kong's Guai Tan (hosted by HK actor/TV personality Leung Si Ho)
Malaysia's Misteri Nusantara (TV3)
US: Sightings (only until year 1997)
The few that kept to the nature of the shows; which is to feature and share stories as told by the residents who have experienced strange happenings around the place.
I don't find the notion of having volunteers or people sitting in specific spots in the haunted place remotely fascinating or interesting, as I don't think anyone should be at risk at all; especially when you are dealing with the unknown.
Anyway, in short, I do echo some of the calls by religious groups to study the nature of some tv shows focused on the supernatural as it did not serve its purpose in the nature of the show, rather showing us a series of risky and deemed courageous acts on screen.
It is time to ponder on what are the real objectives of these shows, and are they sending the right messages to the youngsters out there, or do we want young people daring each other to spend a night in a haunted place to see if they can get away with it to share their glory on video posted on the web later?