Ghost Hunters 5.5: "Soul Searching"

It's been noted, in the past, that sometimes TAPS will say one thing on their website and do quite another on "Ghost Hunters". I've often felt that the criticisms were a bit overstated, but that doesn't mean that a point isn't to be made. In this case, I'm referring to the stark differences between what Grant has said on the website regarding the K-II Meter and what is seen in the episode.

Leaving aside the continued inaccuracy regarding the K-II's supposed ability to detect "magnetic fields and frequencies" (which would be meaningless if it were true, since the manufacturer admits that the lights don't correlate with any true readings), Grant essentially says that TAPS is still evaluating the proper use of the device and that they are very careful to ensure that they don't overreact to a false positive.

But is that care and consideration what we see in the actual episode? In one case, Jason says that he'll take it as a signal from a spirit that he should leave a room if the K-II Meter goes off even once. Just once! How does that constitute anything close to clear intention or communication? How can that be excluded as a possible false positive? All he did, in essence, was wait for anything at all to trip off the device!

Later, when Jason and Grant are playing pool during another investigation (not a bad idea, despite how it sounds), they leave the K-II on the side of the table. Every time it goes off, Grant points to it as if it's meaningful. I didn't see any attempt to evaluate whether or not it could have been a false positive.

It's entirely possible that such debunking is left on the cutting room floor, but the context doesn't give me much reason to believe that. And that, in my opinion, is part of the problem. If the approach is meant to be scientific and technically astute, then jumping at every flicker of the K-II Meter should be out of the question.

This is not just true for the K-II Meter; I see the same thing happen with a lot of equipment, and certainly not just from TAPS. It's a common mistake to make when you don't understand the principles behind an instrument and its strengths and weaknesses. This is why I've always been critical of the lack of technically astute members on the current team.

Case #1: Belcourt Castle, RI

The EVP was once again buried in the background noise, and all those footsteps are less impressive when they're not using the technology they were willing to highlight just a few episodes ago. (Could this have been aired out of chronological order? Sure, but the geophones can't be that new, can they?)

The unusual thermal hit is a bit more intriguing, if only because I couldn't immediately explain it. It is possibly some kind of reflection off the polished surface of the floor? I'm not sure how they could say that it resembled a footprint, but it was strange. I would want to investigate that further to understand exactly what was causing that effect in that particular part of the building.

But I think it's unfortunate that the location was deemed "haunted" based on some long-term aggregate evaluation, rather than on the merits of what the audience was able to see.

Case #2: Sacco's Bowl Haven, MA

This is the kind of investigation, by and large, that I can appreciate. The connection between the reported activity and the toilet was hilarious, as well as the observation that much of the activity was reported from a spot that was saturated with high EMF!

I found the reveal interesting, because they gave the client plenty of reasons why the location wasn't haunted. The client is pleased to be able to tell the employees that the location has no ghosts to worry about, but what about the electrical panel problem? Wouldn't they still be experiencing the effects of the high EMF? Somehow, I doubt the employees will be satisfied with "TAPS said there's no ghost"!


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