Thanks Ghost Hunters! for making smart people kinda stupid

Just another ghost hunter *facepalm*. This one showed up in USA Today! I guess that’s accurate – this IS the silliness that goes on in the US today and every other day.

Hotel calls ‘ghostbusters’ to evict paranormal guest.

Someone, or some thing, is tickling people, rearranging shoes and otherwise wreaking havoc at the historic Hotel Somerset, a Main Street boarding house and home of the popular McCormick’s Pub.

Operator Tom McCormick called East Brunswick-based Paranormal Diagnostics Group to investigate.

McCormick said he called Paranormal Diagnostics Group because they have a medical background and use scientific equipment and evidence to confirm and more often debunk ghostly activity.

Respiratory therapists in a Somerset County sleep center by day, ghost hunters Robert McCaffrey, 48, of East Brunswick, and Dave Orloff, 42, of Howell, have investigated Hotel Somerset three times in as many weeks. They said they have collected more evidence of paranormal activity than typically presented in one episode of “Ghost Hunters,” the Syfy Channel cable show that inspired their growing hobby.

“We have several sound recordings and video of flashes and shadows,” McCaffrey said. “We’re going to continue to investigate.”

Let’s take this apart bit by bit:


  • A medical background does not qualify you to find ghosts.
  • No one has ever found evidence of a ghost – the “evidence” is only potentially unexplained which is not the same as unexplainable. Instead, everything they can’t immediately explain is called “paranormal”. How did they manage to discount all the normal?
  • Orbs, flashes or shadows have plenty of other explanations before we have to resort to spirits of the dead.
  • Equipment does not equal science.
  • There are only about a handful of actual investigators that use a genuine scientific approach. These guys are NOT it.
  • They go in with a default belief in ghosts which appears to ruin any credibility right from the start.
  • They are following advice from a hoaky TV show that has little basis in reality.


I’m angry more of this same old nonsense is put up on major news outlets every single day. People believe this paranormal investigators find good evidence of ghosts. That is NOT TRUE. We have been looking for ghosts for centuries. No “new” equipment is going to find them. True investigation starts with your BRAIN not your belief.

Paranormal investigators, Contact me. Oh wait… you don’t care for that reason and history stuff and for people to point out that you are really off track. Sorry, carry on with your pretending to be scientists. Maybe read this article about real people who saw the light.

“Scientific”: It’s just a catchphrase! – CSI.

Amateur Paranormal Research and Investigation Groups Doing ‘Sciencey’ Things – CSI.

  8 comments for “Thanks Ghost Hunters! for making smart people kinda stupid

  1. busterggi
    April 9, 2014 at 5:20 PM

    For Pete Venkman’s sake don’t let them in the banquet room!

  2. John
    April 9, 2014 at 9:49 PM

    Getting your hotel or place of business ‘certified as haunted’ can increase your customer base ten fold. I’m sure I have read somewhere that hotels that have been investigated by GH have made huge profits once their episode has been on air.

    It’s all about marketing and suckers.

  3. Chris Howard
    April 10, 2014 at 9:26 AM

    Which is exactly why “news” outlets run said stories.

    Ratings and suckers.

  4. Katherine Rogers
    April 10, 2014 at 1:20 PM

    Three years ago I was a chaperone on a trip with some middle school and high school age students in Ireland. We stayed in a not old, not new, ordinary hotel. One of the kids found a handprint on the wall of their room. Did they complain about the cleanliness of the establishment? Think, “huh, someone leaned on the wall”? Nope, they decided that the hotel was haunted. Spent hours sitting up at night trying to record something; they wanted me to get “the truth” from the manager. Very frustrating that they would not even consider a non supernatural explanation.

  5. Lee
    April 10, 2014 at 4:41 PM

    Sharon you forgot the fact that they are “Weinies!”. Hey they have OFFICIAL jackets, what more does USA Today need?

  6. April 23, 2014 at 12:03 AM

    It’s sad, really, that there are so many people who profess to have a “serious interest” in reported paranormal experiences who a) seem to equate being “scientific” with using technology without even knowing how it works or what it actually does or what the scientific method actually is,
    b) get “training” either from people who learned what they claim to know from TV shows with no basis in actual research and investigation or from others who got their “training” that way
    c) seem to think it’s more important to be scared than to figure out what someone has actually experienced, or whether there are other normal explanations for the activity being reported
    d) eschew any possible actual educational opportunities
    e) don’t know that there have been actual scientists — and others — looking into the same reported phenomena and experiences since the mid 1800s
    f) don’t appear to have any real curiosity as to why people have these experiences

    Many of my colleagues in Parapsychology (you know, the actual researchers) express near-disbelief when they hear what the “ghost hunters” claim about their “scientific” and “professional” activities — with good reason.

    There’s a small percentage of folks who do want to understand, to gain education and expand their knowledge, but they are few and far between.

    Too many in the “paranormal community” are actually thrill seeker/hobbyists and simply fans of the shows playing at being “ghost hunters.”

  7. idoubtit
    April 23, 2014 at 8:45 AM

    Loyd: I am absolutely shocked at how many of these “serious” investigators know absolutely nothing of the history of psychical research. How can you be interested in a subject and not want to know more about it? I can’t fathom the shallow, self-absorbed nature of this type of ghost hunter. They repeat the same dumb mistakes over and over and get nothing out of it of knowledge vale. Is this a fad? Do you think it’s fading away or just changing?

  8. April 24, 2014 at 3:10 PM

    I have been shocked at this lack of curiosity myself. Even had my own William Shatner “Get a Life!” moment years ago lecturing at a paranormal conference in Pennsylvania when only three people out of about 200 “serious” and “professional” (self-identified) ghost hunters acknowledged that they’d even heard of some of the history and even recent books on the subject (one of which had been a recent bestseller). Those three people included one of my students and her friend, and an investigator friend of mine who’d come along. I expressed my shock, though probably a bit more sarcastically than I intended.

    I wish I could say it was a fad, but while some percentage of the “ghost hunters” get disillusioned as they go on the overnight “investigations” at famously-haunted places (you know, the ones featured on the TV shows), more and more people seem to be attracted to the so-called “paranormal community.”

    Frankly, I don’t know where so many of them get the money (or can justify the expense) to go to so many of these TV-reality-celebrity-centered events (some costing hundreds of dollars to be there, not to mention travel expenses), especially in this economy.

    Unfortunately, more and more people are attracted to what they see as an easy way to “hunt ghosts” and “get evidence” because of the availability of the ghost-labeled equipment and their acceptance that what they see on TV is what “serious investigators” would actually do.

    Lots of ego involvement here, people puffing themselves up to try to impress others. But they create problems for many of us actually in the field, more problems for the people whose homes they “investigate,” and even problems between themselves.

    Over the years, we have heard too many of these individuals and groups arguing about territory (“We are the official investigators for this location, and no one else can investigate!”), saying nasty things about specific groups and individuals (though some do turn out to be true, while still being mean-spirited), trespassing on properties, and more.

    In fact, some of the behavior reminds me of gang-behavior (including “team”-specific logos/colors), though happily they only use their EMF meters and “EVP recorders” instead of guns and knives.

    STAR TREK fandom was never as bad as this!

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