Sunday, January 17, 2010

Ghost Shows

This is sort of a great time for creepy TV; on SyFy (insert eye roll here) there is a favorite of mine and Cins, Ghosthunters. Sadly, there is also Ghosthunters International which appears to be where the TAPS' less able younger siblings go so they don't bother the grownups. Seriously, they went looking for Hitler's ghost. Tacky AND over the top!

There's Monsterquest on the History Channel, and on the same channel you can always find a gamut of Haunted Hotels, Creepy Destinations, or Haunted History programs to choose from year round. (Incidentally, to the History Channel: the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast is scary, I GET IT, please talk about other places!)

Aside from Ghost Hunters there is also widening selection of specifically paranormal programming to chose from. I've seen ads for Paranormal State, Haunting Evidence, Paranormal Police, Psychic Kids, and even Cartoon Network is in on the wagon with their own kid aimed paranormal investigative show. I can't remember the name of it, but it's pretty hilarious to hear pubescent boys shriek; the sound of a voice popping at a million decibels is a haunting, beautiful thing.

But the newest (to me) and my current favorite when I can find it on is Celebrity Ghost Stories on A&E. This show is interesting because of what it should have been and what it has turned out to be; when I first saw this title pop up in my guide I groaned. I was sure this was going to be some typical example of celebrity worship with the added insult of watching the fabulously spoiled get smoke blown up their asses because one time they thought they'd put on Dolce and Gabana and it had turned out to be Versace OMG how did that HAPPEN???

I was wrong, completely. The set up is very basic: two or three celebrities past or present share their experiences, and they are frequently eerie. In the episodes I've caught they've had everyone from Belinda Carlisle to Illeana Douglas. To date I think my favorite stories include Joan Rivers, who tells this story VERY straight, Kelly Carleson (who is on Nip/Tuck as a porn star, apparently? I don't know, I didn't recognize her) who has been able to see the dead since she was around twelve years old, and I think it was Jordan Ladd who essentially had the incorporeal corpse of her parents' friend drop across her bed. All of the episodes are disturbing to me, and it's that kind of quiet menace and vague, intangible threat you get when you're with a group of friends and the conversation turns, as it always does in my family, to the unsettling.

Its very good, quietly engaging, and all around I recommend it. I hope that foreign actors start to get asked to appear on the show; that would widen the pool of stories, and I'd love to hear them.

I also want to apologize for being MIA so often; I've got a wicked case of writer's block lately. Dammit.


Nojh said...

I've tried watching some of the shows you list and I just have a hard time believing, which kinda kills it for me. :(

However that last show you mentioned actually sounds really interesting. Maybe I'll add it to my recorder...

Stac said...

Oh I totally agree; I believe in the supernatural, but I don't believe that every single story I hear is legit. I'm a skeptical believer. I also haven't really watched much of anything save for Ghost Hunters and occasionally GH International when I want to laugh cruelly at someone.

But Celebrity Ghost Stories to date has been really cool to watch, and very low-key, which I think you need when telling a ghost story.

Cins said...

Thanks for the heads up about Celebrity GHost Stories. I heard about it but it seemed lame. I figured it was along the lines of "I'm a celebrity get me out of here." Glad to know it has some brains behind it!

Stac said...

Cins: I really recommend it. I've on;y seen a few episodes, but they're very straight forward, frequently very personal, and not at all a reality show or anything like that. Give it a look and lemme know what you think, will ya? :)