Just when you thought the inanity of TV-programming had hit rock bottom, along comes Haunted Homes and brainlessness is again redefined. In this series a team of self-proclaimed 'paranormal investigators' visits families who claim to be bothered by ghosts. The formula for each episode is identical, and centers on a 'vigil', involving the victims and the team sitting around in the haunted house, at night, with the lights out, waiting for the ghosts to appear.
Why at night? Why in the dark? Why would the spirits of dead people care whether it is day or night, or light or dark? The only reason that night is the favorite playtime for ghosts, is the fact that humans don't see very well in the dark and want to be asleep at night. Tiredness, sensory deprivation and sitting still in a dark house, especially with the suggestion firmly in place that a ghost may manifest itself, will cause all kinds of sensations that the suggestible and the boneheaded may ascribe to supernatural activity.
Of course infrared cameras and sound recorders are set up paranormal investigators tend to think their antics become 'scientific' as soon as an electrical appliance is involved. Needless to say, nothing of note is ever recorded on these devices, let alone anything that could serve as evidence for supernatural activity. Yet the team's psychic, the horrible Mia Dolan, oozes fantastical stories about everything she 'senses', and comes up with quite detailed descriptions of the alleged ghost and its history, though rarely are attempts made to verify these. I've seen one episode where they did; but the finding that historical records did not line up with Mia's tale merely got a passing mention and after that was simply ignored.
Interestingly, the team does comprise a token skeptic, a professor of psychology who will go into the haunted place and always finds he doesn't hear, see, or feel anything special and that as far as he's concerned there is no ghost. Again this seems to be done for form's sake only; his conclusions are simply brushed aside as Mia elaborates her spooky fantasies. Of course every random noise that is heard is immediately interpreted as evidence of a haunting; so are headaches, chills, 'the feeling of being watched' indeed, in one case where the recorders hadn't recorded anything because the battery had run out they actually called that proof of ghostly activity! Never are these far-fetched interpretations challenged or obvious rational alternatives explored.
Episodes end with a 'cleansing', where Mia, amidst a sea of candles, removes the ghost from the house by reciting the De Profundis in what is probably meant to be Latin. It is all so utterly ridiculous that words fail to describe it. One or two episodes may amuse those with a sense of humor, or may educate viewers with an anthropological interest in the sheer nonsense grown people are apparently prepared to believe but after that it all becomes just extremely boring.
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