Edinburgh Manor -- an old residential care facility located out in the countryside of Jones County, IA -- was going to be featured on the 11th season premier of Travel Channel's "Ghost Adventures." Normally, I'm not home when this show is on, but my part-time job got canceled last night so I was actually able to watch the program.
Here's my caveat. I'd never watched "Ghost Adventures" before last night, nor had I seen portions of any episode. But I've seen other paranormal investigative programs -- notably "Paranormal State" -- over the years. "Ghost Adventures" follows the typical format: Introduce the haunted site, do some background, and then film the investigators as they wander around the building late at night searching for signs of ghostly activity.
Here's what interested me: It was interesting hearing from the woman who'd worked at Edinburgh Manor for three decades. I wish we could have heard more stories coming from her. It was interesting learning some of the history of the building. And I found the tornado warning to be extremely interesting. I've been racking my brain all night trying to figure out when they were at Edinburgh Manor filming based on that event.
Here are some of the things that I found problematic: I thought that the "Ghost Adventures" people were overly antagonistic towards the building's spiritual residents. I'm fairly agnostic when it comes to ghost hunting. I want to believe and I sometimes believe, but I struggle to go all the way over the side of absolute belief. BUT... if we are to believe that there are active ghosts and spirits living at Edinburgh Manor, then it seems highly disrespectful to enter their domain and agitate them in the name of television.
Likewise, I was really turned off by the cheesy paranormal inserts. Some of it -- like this clawed hand -- was stock footage used in other episodes. But, did they really need to hire a bunch of people to dress up in hospital gowns and stumble across the grounds? Did they really have to stage a bedside strangulation in one of the bedrooms -- especially when they just told us that this building was physically harmful for those who enter Edinburgh Manor? The last thing I would want to do in a room where a young woman just got her neck scratched up is the reenact a supposed murder.
Lastly, there was a section at the end where one of the guys was in the basement and he was conversing with the spirit using some sort of device. He was freaking out and said that he really needed to get out of there... right away! Both Husband Mark and I scoffed at that. I mean, they travel to rural Iowa to investigate ghostly activity. He finds evidence and is having a cordial conversation. So, of course, he needs to flee!
That's my biggest problem with ghost hunter shows -- especially the ones who've been around for a while. Most of the time, they don't see anything overtly harmful. You would think that they would become less frightened and more analytical over eleven seasons. But that doesn't make good TV as opposed to middle aged men shrieking at noises.