why i love to hate ghost shows on tv
the greater majority of the ghost shows on tv irritate me. (even though i'm totally addicted...LOL hypocrite, yes i know.) the reality ones are probably more higher up on the annoying scale than the reenactment shows. now, i know that i'm not a professional and scientific ghost hunter or anything...and i know shows just want ratings. i'm also no stranger to the evils that lurk in our world—believe me. but at the same time, not everything that's "paranormal" is out to get you, destroy your marriage, or run you out of your dream home.
...but these shows hold a dear place in my heart.
for decades i've watched these shows even though i get so mad at most of them. i keep watching because the subject matter to be honest. my life is overrun with things that are strange and unusual to "normal" people, so for me these shows are my normal. reenactments usually end up as meer trips down memory lane.
it's because of these shows that i try so hard to combat and promote the idea of spirit justice. when i'm listening to what these shows are depicting, whether it be "evidence" of a haunting or entity, to some woman talking about a creep ghost waking her up at night by pulling the blanket off her feet...i listen hard. i listen to how they're telling the story, i listen to how they're describing the activity they're experiencing...
pause for a second...now i know. don't think i don't understand that for the typical person, that all this shit wouldn't be scary as hell. it is scary, and if some crazy shit spirit doing weird things to you in your home then yes, being scared is a totally rightful emotion to feel. even with how much i've seen, every once in a while i get scared too.
however. it's my belief that not everything that's being depicted is as evil as it's made out to be. because the vast majority of people aren't "seeing" or "hearing" these spirits as those of us who can...i relate that to a translation issue.
pausing for another second...i'm not at all trying to downplay anyone's experiences. i have a point i'm getting to, promise.
the problem is, no one is really equipped to handle these situations. mediums are made to be a laughing stock, or unreliable because they're not portrayed in the best light or give too general of info. spirits aren't portrayed in the best light either. it feels like everything on these shows is made to be a mockery and a laughable, yet legitimate and very real, part of our culture. the life i live, and the culture that i consider to be mine, is made fun of down-right and openly satirized. the fact of the matter is, SO many people experience "paranormal" activity and are made to just believe that it's in their head or pure evil.
when these shows on tv finally get it right—the story of hazel.
there are some shows that get it right. every once in a while, an episode rolls around and really does the job i wish more shows did in explaining how things are. because, you have to remember, even though these people calling in investigators or playing the reenactments, it's dramatized for the show. it's like real, but it's not really real.
tonight, watching "my haunted house" on destination america, i caught an episode titled "hazel." hazel was a 14 year old girl who was tossed in and out of foster care, but there was an older couple (unable to have children) who decided to take a chance on adopting her. the social worker let them know of her ins and outs, and that she was super afraid of the dark. confused and desperate to start a family, the couple agreed to take hazel home for the 1 week trial basis.
immediately upon getting to the couple's home, hazel noted she liked that it wasn't an old home, which she was happy about. she had psychic insight about an injury the mom had, the mom started to feel a little creeped out, and saw a shadow figure. that night, the mom let hazel know she could sleep with the lights on—that the room was hers to with what she wanted. the wife goes about watching tv with her hubby and asks him if he wants tea, gets up to get some, and hears sobs coming from hazel's room...with the lights off.
the mother goes in to the room attempting to console the sobbing teen, only to find that it's someone else occupying the bed, not hazel who at this point and come in behind the mom only to ask if she "had seen her." upon turning her head around and the girl (who was in the bed) now gone, the mother assumes this was the strange behavior the social worker was talking about and that the teen was playing some kind of prank. later on in the evening a second paranormal episode presents itself with strange and loud banging/bumping/crashing sounds, and as the parents go in, the mother steps on all this broken glass from the lightbulbs exploding in the teens room. "they don't like the light" hazel explains. the mother at this point begins to see strange people in the house, but doesn't have the "typical" reaction that most shows portray...she's appearing more startled than terrified.
after another quite large paranormal event where hazel asks the mother again if "she can see the dead woman who died in the fire (who is behind the mom)" the parents and teen assemble in the kitchen to talk it out. the teen gets all dramatic and yells for the parents to give her back to the social worker, but the parents protest. they want to know what's happening.—this is where i got excited.
hazel says, "they...they're everywhere, they're attracted to me and i don't know why. and i've seen them since birth. i don't know what they want from me, but they're always around me." come to find out, the mother had seen spirits too, but willed herself to stop (which is possible by the way to some extent). the parents immediately took action. reassuring the teen they wouldn't be sending her back, the mother proclaimed while looking through a phonebook, "i did what i thought only crazy people would do...i called a psychic to come and talk to hazel."
...at this point i was still excited, but sad that this poor woman thought it was crazy to call in someone, a psychic, to help with this paranormal problem.
the psychic comes in, sits with hazel and tells her that she can have a normal life—go to school, raise a family, have a job, etc. hazel says there's no way the psychic could know that screaming, "how would she know anything about having a normal life?!" the psychic smiles, shuts off the light next to her revealing a room full of spirits, completely surrounding them. flipping the light on, the spirits "disappear" and the psychic responds, "because they are always with me too."
taken by surprise, hazel listens as the psychic tells her that she can learn to help them, how to talk to them, ask them what they need, and how to move them to their next place. at this point, hazel comes back on the tv (the real one telling the story, not the actor) and says that to this day, she has learned to live a pretty normal life, that there are always spirits around her and she still doesn't know why they picked her to help them. that she learned that day she talked to the psychic that she had a job to do, and that she wasn't alone, and that she was going to have to accept what "gift" she had been given.
the kind of tv that i'd like to see, because women (and men) like hazel need more support.
i suppose what i look for in tv shows of this genre, really won't ever exist. for the reason that there's no entertainment value in them. this show, in comparison to the thousands i've watched through my lifetime, was pretty uneventful. the family didn't need to move form their house without any savings or money, they didn't loose a pet to tragedy, the parents didn't get divorced...the family saw some shit, realized something was wrong, and took the steps to fix it—together. this episode showed the incredible support that I WISH everyone who had these things happening to them would find. IT IS BECAUSE, in my opinion, people don't get the help and support like hazel did, that media and our culture think it's okay to poke so much fun.
just because you don't believe doesn't mean it's not true. making fun of something or ignoring it, doesn't make that thing go away.
this show was more like a psa about people who can communicate with the dead. it is something i wish i had seen as a child, where was tv like this when i was growing up? when i had questions? when i felt alone?
being really real, and not "reality" real is what our community needs. it's incredibly validating and supportive of what we all know to be true. there's something to be said for seeing such validating content in such a public space. it's an encouragement to accept. it's a call to your soul to open up, because if some can share on national programming their experiences, how to take care of the "supernatural" ...like actually take care because the dead need just as much help as we do...
sometimes things with spirits start off dramatic and wild, but end rather uneventfully...and that's okay. it's still interesting, and different, and something that most people won't ever experience in their multiple lifetimes combined. and that's okay too.
my hope is that one day, there will be more stories like hazel's because it's inspiring. because it lets all of us know, that there are others who feel like we do in those situations when we can't explain or see what's happening right in front of us. because it lets us know that others are feeling crazy too, but we know they're not—we're in the same boat!