It’s okay to admit that you watch paranormal TV shows. TAPS-Ghost Hunters is the longest running paranormal based TV show to date. They started out as plumbers and moved on to be the worlds most famous ghost hunters. Many teams across the nation praised them for bringing paranormal research/ghost hunting to the mainstream. Many years later, those same people are screaming to make them stop. The show started out as a innocent peek into the then very private and low key field of paranormal research. Now it’s big business and it’s no longer about the ghosts… well, maybe the ghost of Benjamin Franklin. When I write this blog, I can’t help but sing a familiar song titled “Mo money, mo problems” by Notorius BIG . I provided the link, just for fun.
TAPS- Jason and Grant, the super hero’s of the supernatural. They are no longer mere plumbers, they are business men. They own, produce and manage an empire. The TAPS empire. From big dollar property , merchandise, magazines, to giant events. TAPS is living large these days, thanks to their fans of course. On top of filming for the weekly TV show on Syfy, Ghost Hunters are now the poster children according to some for literally “selling out”. The majority of people that watch the shows are fans, as for TAPS fellow paranormal researchers watching, not so much.
Lately, the TAPS empire has been under the microscope by their peers. What used to be the occasional “oh my that’s a paranormal” moment, has turned into a weekly cat and mouse chase of let’s see what they can get on film this week. From jacket tugging to sliding pieces of furniture, the past two seasons have been chocked full of ghostly phenomenon, too good to be true. Once self proclaimed “debunkers” are now getting debunked. Not only by fellow paranormal researchers but by regular people that have a great deal of common sense and a keen eye for too good to be true moments. Perhaps TAPS has taught their viewers well? The TAPS scrutiny hit hard during the Halloween live episode where Grant, reported to have his jacket “tugged” by a ghost. Perhaps it would have been more convincing if the “ghost” tugged just once, but it was actually tugged 3 times. Overkill is never good for live TV. Since then, the pressure is on. The real paranormal community is watching like a hawk. The heat may be on for the TAPS crew to get more evidence, perhaps that is why they are getting miraculous events, caught on tape each week. Remember, it is a business.
I will provide a few links for you to see how the general population is getting the word out about rumors of staging crews and rigged evidence. Want more? Visit YouTube, there is a plethora of video to help you make up your mind, or not.
I am not setting out to change the way people think about a scripted reality based TV show on the Science FictionNetwork, so don’t get too upset with me. But I do want to share what some are calling breaking news in the paranormal field concerning TAPS. Oh and to remind you that TAPS, Syfy and Pilgrim films are to offer a press release to clear their tainted image this week.
The not so “breaking news”- Many remember Donna Lacroix from the first few seasons of Ghost Hunters and perhaps, Ghost Hunters International. She was involved with the starting of the show, before it became big business.
This week, Donna spoke about her time on the set of Ghost Hunters as a cast member live on the internet radio show titled GhostDiva-Live. The GhostDivas show is a fun and unique broadcast. It comes on late and is targeted towards adults. The show basis is similar to the popular TV & Radio show titled “Whatever Martha” The women sit and talk about what is on TV, have guests and poke and prod at the paranormal field, just for laughs. Donna was a guest on this show this past week and she told the hosts that they can ask anything, from plastic surgery to rumors of TAPS faking evidence. She agreed.
The show has now hit the paranormal and even skeptic community like a tornado. Although, Donna’s intentions were just to speak her mind. The possibility of the TV show staging evidence has become focus. On several sites Jason Hawes of TAPS have made statements concerning Donna’s interview. He also stated that Pilgrim Films and SyFy network are preparing a press release over the show. I find it odd that they are taking this internet radio show so serious. Was Donna telling the truth enough to make the TAPS empire nervous? Many people feel that yes, it was enough to tarnish their image. Donna has made many statements that all she wanted to do was to talk about it. She was also aware that it would ruffle some feathers in the community, but she had no idea that it would circulate around the internet as it did in less than 72 hours. I do have to ask why TAPS, Pilgrim Films and even the SyFy network would take her statements so serious to create a press release? The truth is, GhostDivas LIVE is a small but very popular (for like minds) type of radio show, based in Oklahoma, and broadcast by the Supernatural Radio Network, it’s not a huge radio show by any means.
There are message boards, forums, youtube videos, tweets, Facebook updates, myspace blogs, standard blogs and beyond in an uproar about this show. Many people have been sitting back waiting on the smoking gun to officially shut the TAPS empire down. This show was not the smoking gun, it may lead to it yes, but it is not. The radio interview was to allow Donna to speak her mind and for people to ask questions about the production. To most, Donna is a hero for speaking out, while to a small few, they were disappointed that it was not the bomb they had been wishing for. No matter what your opinion is about TV’s TAPS/Ghost Hunters, the radio interview offers an entirely different outlook when it comes to the super hero status that is seen on TV.
No matter what you might think about the TAPS/Ghost Hunters TV show you must remember that the show was created for entertainment purposes only. Why would TAPS be the only “real” TV show on a network that has nothing other than Science Fiction based programming is a great question to ask yourself. If you are a fan of this show that is fine, but keep in mind that it is for entertainment and quite possibly fiction wrapped in a cozy “reality based” blanket.
I will be awaiting patiently the press release from the Syfy network, TAPS and Pilgrim Films. Nobody is attempting to change anyone’s mind, but I do ask that you see both sides of every story from the youtube videos to net radio shows. Do not believe everything you see on TV and continue to think critically when it comes to those claiming to have evidence of the afterlife. In my 11 years of research, I have yet to have a ghost perform for me on camera. Now, I am asking myself, maybe it’s because I’m not wearing a TAPS official and certified t-shirt?
Growing up, I have always heard that Frontier City was really haunted, not just at Halloween. Outside of being one of the best playgrounds in Oklahoma, for all ages. I have heard that when the lights go down and the people and staff clear out the park seems to take on a life of it’s own. Over the past eleven years, I have received a handful of emails stating “come and investigate Frontier City, it’s really haunted!” Well, I finally took it serious. While visiting one of Oklahoma’s most popular adventure destinations with my family a few weeks ago, I decided to ask around to see if the legends were true. The staff mentioned several places of interest to us. From the old Nightmare ride to the Wildcat Roller coaster. While combing through the historical archives, we found not much of anything to validate the spooky tales and locations we were directed too, but I did notice that some aspects of Frontier City has an untraceable background as some of the attractions were moved from other locations across the nation. As a researcher, It is helpful to a case when there are unfortunate mishaps to blame, but we only found a couple instances as to why the legends are born in the first place. The park does hold secrets, I will not deny that.
We spoke with the Marketing Director of Frontier City and arranged for us to come out and conduct an investigation of the entire park. We were able to talk with staff members and to get their stories as to what locations spooked them out the most and where the ” haunted places” were. After our interviews, the entire GHOULI team and EerieOK team split up, rules and maps in hands and ventured out on our own to see if we could witness any of the strange events taking place at Frontier City.
It was a nice cool evening, a full moon supplied us with light as we ventured around the park. I will admit, we all made several mentions of this particular investigation, being one those based off the Scooby Doo cartoon. All we were missing was old man Smithers, menaced property owner that was doing nothing but trying to hide his stock pile of fools gold. This was probably the first investigation where I noticed both teams sporting a child like grin the entire time. No matter how hard we tried, even as adults, Frontier City has a magic of it’s own. It’s just one of those places you want to be, day or night, haunted or not.
The Frontier City Staff was more than helpful as they led us around to forgotten places within the park and the “hot spots” pointed out by previous teams and staff members. Old childhood memories flooded in as we seen artifacts from yesteryear hidden and stored away. The rumors of ghosts and strange events focused on several rides and attractions. The GHOULI and EerieOK team had focus on “energy” during this investigation. The theory that stored energy of the past can generate images, sensations, feelings and even anxiety that leaks into today’s atmosphere, causing the haunting. What better place to test the “energy theory” than the highly active theme park!
Our goal was to get residual accounts of paranormal phenomenon. We desired to get ghostly thrill ride screams, children’s laughter and the occasional child crying, because he did not get cotton candy of course. All teams were armed with tools such as flashlights, thermometers, walkie talkies, video cameras, digital cameras, audio equipment and several types of meters. Each team rotated around the park to different hot spots and to locations where we found historical significance. We would meet up in between rounds to discuss any happenings or events that needed further investigating. As the evening went on, we had discovered we covered the entire park as well as we could. Investigations are not about camping out, we all felt that our time there was plenty to obtain what we wished to collect.
The evening grew colder and it was getting late. Only a handful of us had something “strange” take place and in some locations, it was unanimous as to where. A few days later, audio samples were being turned in. To our surprise, we were able to collect a handful of interesting EVP’s in some areas of the park. Were they the energy based thrill ride voices that we were after? Not really. The video below will highlight some of our findings from the park. The audio clips that were taken, compared and scrutinized by everyone from both teams. Are they ghosts? We are not sure, but they are unexplainable voices, caught on tape from the locations that we all had previously agreed to hold that “I was not alone in there” factor.
Our findings were a big surprise to us. None of us really made contact with anything that seemed to be menacing or angry of our presence as rumored. The hot spots deemed by another local team, well, we found our results to not collaborate entirely with their findings. Random? Perhaps. Hard core haunted? Not really, but just enough to add a little spice to the parks reputation of thrilling adventures. I will not report of the deadly mishaps we discovered regarding this parks past mainly out of respect for the families. But also, we will keep our historical findings to ourselves as we monitor other teams progress. Will they discover what we discovered? We will monitor the parks historical haunting’s from afar and see who is actually doing their homework and offering their findings for comparative data research.
Just this past weekend, I ventured to Frontier City with my friends and family to enjoy Fright Fest. This is one of our families past times and we never miss a year. Frontier City offers a fantastic time for families during the Halloween Season. We headed out to experience this years haunted house theme, Rotsville, Mental Asylum and to ride some rides and enjoy the park as it is decorated to the max for the Halloween season. As we were getting in line to grab our tickets to the haunted house, we noticed a paranormal team had what appeared to be a booth set up. We ventured over to see what was going on.
The local team MAPS had one of their ghost hunting fleet cars on display, surrounded by rope light. They had a tent and a glass casing full of ghost hunting tools and gadgets. They also had a collection of books that featured the author Hans Holzer on display. They had light up t-shirts for sale for $40 as well. The shirts were sound activated and perfect for some underground rave trance party. Walking up to the team, I noticed they utilized the infamous K2 Meters. I had to ask, “Does your team use these?” the guy in charge proudly answered “Yes, we do“. I challenged him, asking him all kinds of questions about the meter. That particular meter is public enemy #1 in the paranormal field. It was introduced on a popular TV show and has been tossed aside by legitimate researchers across the nation. People are no longer utilizing the meters, mainly because of outside interference. It’s been documented and tested that even cell phone receptions from up to a mile away can cause the meter to fluctuate, confusing uneducated ghost hunters into assuming it’s some kind of ghostly activity. We didn’t spend a lot of time with them at that moment, as we had to grab our tickets for the haunted house. After grabbing our tickets and some roasted corn, we sat and discussed the paranormal team we had just talked with. We finally realized that it was the team that investigated the park over a year ago. We decided to go back and to talk to them, in hopes of possibly validating some of the EVP’s we obtained during our investigation. I approached a woman in a MAPS t-shirt and asked her if they were able to obtain any evidence of the parks ghostly reputation. She stated that they had obtained an EVP in the Gun Show area of the park. I asked if I could hear it, or if it was on the Internet anywhere. I stated to her that I would like to compare the voice to voices we collected during our investigation. To my surprise, she told me that I needed to attend the 10pm Gun Show to hear the EVP as it’s not going to be offered anywhere else. I mentioned that if we could get out of the Haunted house in time, we would venture over, but in case we missed it, if it was possible for us to hear the EVP anywhere. She stepped back and had the lead of the team over to speak with me. I found this to be odd. Generally, when a team has placed themselves in the public for display, they are more than willing to answer questions. As the leader came over, I started to ask why their evidence was not open for peer review or collaborative research. All he told me was “It’s our choice not to”. As a researcher, it is imperative, especially in locations investigated by two separate teams to share evidence. It helps build a stronger case for both teams and the location. It’s also a good thing to have back up, when it comes to making claims as to proof of the afterlife. I started to ask many questions as to this teams protocol, they have the word “Science” in their title and I ask what was their scientific approach. They stated to me “To collect evidence in one place, go back and collect it again, in the same place, from the same entity”. This is the standard scientific protocol of most teams, but most teams realize it is almost impossible to replicate. I ask the team leader if the EVP they are playing during the gun show had been scrutinized under their protocol, he said “no, it has not”. He also explained to me that they do research for their own personal use. The general public and other teams are not to be privileged to their findings. I asked them why they were advertising at the park, with their cars, booth and t-shirts, I was told that they were invited by the park. Well, that’s fine and dandy, but I didn’t understand the privacy factor they gave me, and the blatant advertising they were displaying. Back to the evidence. I explained my questions on several occasions. It seemed to make them uncomfortable that I was asking them about their experiences at the park. As a researcher, I just wanted some validation in the audio samples we obtained. They refused to talk more about it and encouraged us to join them at the Gun Fight at 10pm to hear the mysterious EVP. Click here to watch the MAPS video posted for the public on their myspace page. (Scientific indeeed!)
10 o’clock arrived and we made a mad dash to the Gun Show. The show was fantastic, with a great Halloween story line, lots of action, fire and cool stunts. After the show, one of the actors invited everyone to sit down and wait for a moment. He stated to the crowd that he was a member of the MAPS team and that they conduct investigations all over. He stated “We are just like TAPS on TV” several times in his speech. He stated to the crowd that the Gun Show set was a “paranormal hot spot” and they have obtained an EVP to share with the crowd. Everyone confusingly sat patiently to listen. The audio clip they had prepared was not working for some reason. The actor continued to talk about the MAPS team and how they were just like TAPS from TV. Eventually, the sound person declared that the EVP was not going to play and the EVP can be heard on the website. For a group of scientists, I found this to be unacceptable. I remembered, that I was told (many times) that they do not put anything on the website for the public and never will, but anyway, the crowd filtered out quickly to get that last ride in before the park closed. We stood at the entrance to listen to what the public was saying about the ghostly claims made by this actor/ghost hunter. What were they saying? Nothing, nothing at all.
My previous blog was about Ghost Hunting teams and the Halloween season. The general public does brush off our research as just another Halloween trick. Comparing oneself to a popular TV show on the Science Fiction channel never is a good thing either. Once pumpkins and zombies enter the picture, the concept of being “serious researchers, just like on TV” goes right out the window, now on to that next caramel apple and roller coaster!
Frontier City is a magical place for Oklahomans. Is it haunted? We will leave that up to you. But for the many late night staff members, there is no question to what they have witnessed. It was real to them. Our small pieces of evidence just added to the case and to a very fun investigation. It was our privilege to be able to investigate such a legendary location in the state of Oklahoma. Is Frontier City Haunted? We will leave that up to you as you venture out this Halloween for your thrills and chills of the season. No matter what you believe, we invite you to take a second look the next time you are at Frontier City… Go ahead and peek into the dark corners of the park and quietly tell your children why the park never closes. This time of year it is fantastic to enjoy ghostly tales from our great state, but remember, the more stories you tell, the Halloween memories grow stronger.
Paranormal Eyes- Tonya Hacker
Fall is here and it’s here with a vengeance. Great weather has finally came our way in the great state of Oklahoma. Fall and the cooler weather means one thing.. Halloween!!
Halloween is a busy time of year for paranormal researchers. There are a lot of events taking place. Tours and ghostly walks are popping up every time we open the newspaper or a local magazine. Halloween is almost here! For some teams, Halloween is busy mainly because they feel it’s an opportunity to “get their names out there” to the general public while others are attending speaking engagements, sharing their ghostly tales from across the state.
No matter what kind of team it is, it is still a very busy season.
The days of getting on the local news broadcast, attempting to convince the general public that what we do is “scientific” and “legitimate” are over (for me & my team). Why? Because it’s HALLOWEEN! Some teams may not understand this, but Halloween is not the best time of the year to “get their names out there” as some hard core scientific research group. No matter how hard they try, the local news stations will always play the spooky music as an intro, or say “who ya gonna call” or the best of them all, having a snickering news anchor follow up your “scientific” investigation footage with a comment like “I bet she DOES see dead people”. There is a trick to Halloween media, it’s still ignored by thousands of teams across the nation that are oh so serious with what they do. What is the trick? Have fun! It’s Halloween! Nobody is going to take you serious this time of year, people should just stop trying. Teams that do fun, adventurous segments, those are the teams remembered. The smiles, and the raised eyebrows are already there, so the snarky remarks and howling moon music they play, well, it won’t appear as you just got “owned” by an anchor.That’s the best treat of all! Getting a teams name out? Well, that’s important yes, but Halloween is the worst time of the year to do that. Why? After Halloween, the teams name, what they offered as “science” and the evidence and effort they put forth, well, it’s going to be replaced with the Holiday Season. Those teams hard work had just been replaced with Thanksgiving turkey and Christmas shopping! All that “hard work” has just went to pot! Just tell the story of the haunt, no need to make a big fool out of yourself while you do it! So, I invite you to watch local teams show up on the local news stations and I challenge you to see how hard they try to be “official” this time of year! Watching these teams, well that’s another treat all by itself!
Fun- This is the best time of the year for families. It allows adults to behave like children and children to get away with eating way too much candy and well, behaving like little monsters, literally. This time of year allows people to feel more comfortable taking about their “ghostly visitors”, so in turn, it may open up some potential investigation locations, but that’s about it.
Ghostly fun! My team just conducted an investigation at one of Oklahoma City’s well known travel and adventure locations. I will post the results of our findings before the end of next week, just in time for Halloween!
So, I will have many blogs up this month!
Until then, here are a few events I will be speaking at! Time to gear up for Halloween!
County Line Restaurant- October 10th & 17th. Reservation only. BBQ & Banshee’s dinner and ghost hunt. www.ghouli.org for details. Seating is limited!
Moore Public Library- Teen’s go Beyond series! I will have a paranormal research lecutre for teens, and even adults on October 19th.
TapWerks- Bricktown OKC- Sometime this October!
October 23rd- Chisholm Trail Book Festival
Enid Oklahoma Public Library- AM lecture- October 10th.
Just to name a few!
Stay tuned for our investigative report of one of Oklahomas biggest and most fun attractions! You will be suprised with what we discovered!!!