There’s a startling trend on today’s television.  It’s the ghost shows.  I’ve seen them.  You’ve seen them.  They’re on 6 different channels and range from “professional” investigations to first-hand witness accounts from Tito Jackson, who claimed he saw an Indian woman walking through his family’s backyard once.

But, for whatever reason, I can’t seem to take my eyes off of them.  And, based on how frequently they pop up on TV here in the U.S. of A,  apparently I’m not the only person who can’t seem to get enough of the latest trash T.V. version of black tar heroin; highly addictive and almost equally bad for anyone who gets hooked on them.

In my time spent devouring trash T.V. I’ve developed into a bit of a connoisseur; sort of like a college girl who has developed a very sophisticated pallet for Boone’s farm and can name every flavor blindfolded.  Therefore, I consider myself to be a bit of an expert in the inglorious field of “Ghost Show Expertise.”

So, Burnpoetry readers, I give to you the different kinds of Ghost Shows.

1.  The Tough Guy Ghost Show

This show, which is shot almost exclusively in Paris-Hilton-Sex-Tape Night Vision, is my favorite one to watch.  These kind of shows generally feature some tool wearing a black baby tee who is rocking more hair gel than Pauly D on “Jersey Shore.”  The characters generally wander around, legally drunk on protein shakes, and simply shout out into the darkness in a feeble attempt to scare the undead. 

They’ll slap their chests, beat the ground, and generally act like a silverback attempting to establish dominance, all while sporting Affliction T-Shirts tight enough to make Dog the Bounty Hunter blush.

And I find it all to be hysterical.  A group of 30-year-old men wandering around abandoned wearhouses screaming, “Hey. . .ghost. . .stab me in the chest.  Seriously.  Just do it.”  Then, inexplicably, whichever guy is wearing the tightest black and silver tee will hold some fractured piece of wood that has enough nails in it to look like “Hellraiser”  and dare the ghost to murder him. 

And after watching this moron stagger around a dark house, very near a steroid-induced coma, you begin to root for the ghosts.  You begin to hope that this muscle-bound, Lou Ferigno-looking bastard will just get slapped in the face by some unseen ghost.  They never do.

Eventually, at the end of the night, the cock-diesel musclebound fools stumble into the light and promptly head to the gym to do some more bicept curls, with absolutely zero footage of any ghosts.

2.  The Nerdy Ghost Show

This show, usually on a network designed for the specific purposes of firing up the dweeb population of America, often times rears its ugly head on channels like SyFy or G4.  And I do mean ugly.  These shows are a far departure from the iron-pumping, ghost-insulting tough guy shows. 

In the Nerdy ghost shows, they have similarly tight t-shirts but for very different reasons.  The Nerdy Ghost show employees are generally obese dudes with long hair and/or ponytails.  So when they sprint up the stairs in search of a “ghost,” all you can hear is a chunky dude breathing like he just ran the JV 400 Meter dash.

So when the hefty dude goes hauling ass up 3 flights of steps because he “heard something” and claims in between deep, ragged-with-inevitable-asthma breaths that he feels a definite chill at the top of the steps I’m not sure if he’s having a paranormal encounter or a diabetic attack on his extremities.

I’m not sure what to make of spirits or ghouls but I do know that if I drag my chubbed-up carcass up 3 flights of stairs in the pitch blackness of an abandoned home , my body will spontaneously kick into dying-fish osygen deprivation mode. With my heart rate hammering along at Heroin-overdose-beats-per-minute, I’ll “see” all kinds of things.  Fear and obesity-induced exhaustion are a molotov cocktail looking for a match.  The Nerdy Ghost Show is a human-torch sized spark.

Despite “hearing” and “seeing” more stuff than an LSD user at a Pink Floyd tribute concert, they never catch anything that could be called hard evidence.

3.  The Pansy Ghost Hunter Shows

These nerd-tastic shows are a staple of SyFy channel and Chiller (*Author’s note: for those non-dweebs, Chiller is a crappier version of the SyFy channel.) and feature slightly higher budget Blair-Witch-style camera work and repeated shots of hoarsely screaming, panty-waisted fools wandering around in the dark. These stoic tough guys’ confidence fades faster than the dying light of the dusk they have sought to conquer.

The moment they “go green” to night vision camera mode every chirp of the cricket chirp suddenly sounds to them like Leatherface firing up his chainsaw and every slight breeze suddenly feels like Satan’s fetid breath on their necks. I’m not saying I’m any braver, but surely someone so terrified of everything could find a job that suits them better, right?

After all, you don’t see a window-washer who’s deathly afraid of heights or a professional cheeleader who is afraid of being completely worthless, do you?

After watching the pansy ghost hunters stumble around, screeching like tweenage girls in their first haunted house, you become worried that the only thing they’ll find registering on their infrared scanners is a 98.6 degree wet spot on their camoflaged pants.

And Last But Certainly Not Least: The Celebrity Ghost Shows

This relative newcomer to the crappy ghost show scene might be the most hysterical. The producers of the show, who it would seem developed the idea while free-basing cocaine, dug up any number of F-list celebrities, cracked out or doped up former stars and prodded them into sharing their revelations of being haunted.

With real gems like the aforementioned Tito Jackson, former felons and ground-down child stars alike, the show is a virtual who’s who of “who is that again?” The only true evidence of ghosts on this show is the apparitions of stars whose careers long-since died and had their applications for “Celebrity Apprentice” rejected.

(*Author’s note: Tito claimed to have seen a pale, see-through woman wandering through his family estate once. In the previews it was aleady clear to me that he was perfectly describing Michael.)

In Conclusion

I’m not truly sure why I watch such schlock, but I am sure of this: I’m glad it’s on so I don’t have to spend my time watching anything informative. As long as our inane fascination with real-life “Ghostbusters” exists, I’m sure the networks will keep cranking out shows.

Until then, the only thing that will truly “bump in the night” are the ratings of these shows everytime fools like me tune in.


  1. […] rest is here: Ghosts of T.V. Present « Burnpoetry: A Writer's Attempt to Write Share and […]

  2. madhat says:

    New look, BP. Very nice!
    P.S. I read everything you write. I laugh. I think. I question. I always enjoy. Please keep on writing.
    Thanks, a fan

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