Ghost Hunters is a documentary show that airs on Syfy. It follows the investigations of The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS) as they help people with paranormal problems, and learn the truth behind reports of hauntings. The show debuted in October, 2004, with its final episode on Syfy airing October 26, 2016. The team has constantly changed personnel throughout the show's run, with co-founder Jason Hawes and investigators Steve Gonsalves and Dave Tango as the three most constant members.
The show has two spin-offs: Ghost Hunters International (2008-) with Robb Demarest, Brandy Green, Joe Chin, Barry Fitzgerald, Ashley Godwin, Kris Williams, and Paul Bradford; as well as Ghost Hunters Academy (2009-) with Steve Gonsalves and Dave Tango. Joe and Barry have also appeared on Ghost Hunters to assist the team.
Former members include Grant Wilsonnote , Andy Andrews, Brian Harnois, Donna La Croix, Kris Williams, Adam Berry, and Amy Bruni. Dustin Pari left the show for a few seasons but came back for its final season in 2016.
The show's new channel has not been announced to date.
This series provides examples of:
- Bald of Awesome: Jason keeps his head shaved.
- Berserk Button: For Jason...Brian.
- Now inverted. Since an incident a while back involving Brian's disappearance, when he was known to be suicidal, Jason does not take kindly to criticism of Brian.
- Bizarrchitecture: The Winchester Mystery House
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Steve
- Butt-Monkey: Brian, Tango
- Brian's infamous "Dude, run!" Lampshaded by Brian himself.Steve: [about Brian wearing a "Dude, run!" hat] How can you take something so negative and celebrate it?
Brian: Do you have a catch phrase?
- "When in doubt, get the hell out."
- "When in doubt, throw it out." - in relation to debatable evidence.
- "Hi. We're TAPS. We're here to help." in the early seasons.
- "On to the next", said by Jason (usually to Steve) at the end of every episode, starting the season or two prior to Grant's departure.
- Brian's infamous "Dude, run!" Lampshaded by Brian himself.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Steve.
- Cluster F-Bomb: In the early seasons, Brian got bleeped a lot, and Jason fairly frequently as well, especially when he was having to deal with Brian. Nowadays, it's not nearly so prevalent.
- Confession Cam: Used throughout the show, but much more heavily in the first few seasons than after Grant's departure.
- Crossover: A live Halloween special with Destination Truth in which they were investigating a haunted castle in Ireland, said to have a banshee. The episode went all night, but was condensed into a hour for reruns. They would meet up with the Destination Truth team a few other times, and even Haunted Collector
- Deliberately Monochrome: Scenes shot in the dark, due to the use of the night vision camera.
- Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: Inverted. Paranormal investigators often try to "provoke" entities to manifest themselves.
- Dave in particular seems to often end up egging on the entities to show themselves.
- In the episode Domani's and The County Jail, TAPS were warned about touching what was supposed to be a cursed mirror. So what does Grant do? He gives the mirror an affectionate kiss.
- Evolving Credits: The animation of the vans in season 8's opening credits changed to only show Jason, whereas in the previous seasons both Jason and Grant were there.
- Fun with Acronyms: The Atlantic Paranormal Society
- Ghostly Chill: "Cold spots" which are seen as signs of activity.
- Hahvahd Yahd In My Cah: Being from Rhode Island, many team members have noticeable Northeastern accents.
- Haunted House: Par for the course, although actual houses were focused on much more heavily in the earlier seasons.
- Hearing Voices: Electronic Voice Phenomenon, sounds and bits of voices picked up by the equipment but not heard by the investigators.
- In the live Stanley Hotel episode, Jason and Grant heard the voice of a child in the basement.
- Hell Gate: Almost became literal when the Ghost Hunters International crew investigated the Hell's Gate Air Tram in British Columbia.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Jason and Grant, who have families outside of work but are very close friends.
- Intercontinuity Crossover: The television commercial for Hellboy II: The Golden Army.
- Let's Split Up, Gang: The team usually splits into groups of two for investigations. While the teams do change up, there are several default pairings, such as Grant and Jay, Steve and Tango, KJ and Britt, and Adam and Amy.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: A key part of the investigations, in both the on-site evidence gathering and the evidence analysis, is "debunking" - finding logical explanations for what's being claimed as paranormal. In one case Jason and Grant used their experience as plumbers to determine that the "blood" running down the wall was actually a leaking cleaner from a bathroom. That being said, as the show's gone on, it's become very rare to see an investigation that comes up dry, whereas in the early seasons when investigations of homes were commonly featured, the ratio of hits to misses was about even.
- Mr. Fanservice: Reportedly, Tango.
- Narrator: As part of the shift in the show's format in the 8th season, Jason has stepped into this role, giving a lot of the details of the case that were discussed during the journey to the location(s) in previous seasons.
- No Fourth Wall: This has been in place since the very beginning, but in season 8 the investigators start talking directly to the camera(s) a lot more than in previous seasons.
- Noodle Incident: Jason and Grant never give specifics about their personal paranormal encounters that occurred before the formation of TAPS.
- Not Using the "Z" Word: They almost never say "ghost," instead saying "haunting" or "activity."
- Oireland: Not only does Barry have a pronounced Irish accent, Ghost Hunters had two episodes in Ireland and International had four episodes.
- Once for Yes, Twice for No:
- Inverted somewhat in the "Manson Murders" episode where ghosts are asked to make the K-2 meter spike twice for "yes" and once for "no".
- Played straight whenever they use the "loosely-capped flashlight" trick.
- Our Ghosts Are Different: According to TAPS, hauntings are either residualnote or intelligent.note
- Papa Wolf: The guys take cases that involve children being terrified very seriously, as evidenced by the fact that they came back early to the New England winter from Hawaii when they heard about a case involving a young girl being terrified in her own home.
- Paranormal Investigation: The whole point of the show.
- Precision F-Strike: These tend to happen when the investigators get spooked by something.
- At one point Grant self-censors his own Precision F-Strike by saying "what the fetch?", making one of the only cases of this trope also being Adorkable.
- Once they were interrogating a ghost with a recorder, asking questions, the ghost's response was "Fuck off" though when the team immediately discusses it, and talking about it later, the word is never repeated.
- Product Placement: Indirectly. Jason and Grant work for Roto-Rooter as their day jobs; thus many shows open with them doing work when they get a call about a new case, and they often refer to themselves as "plumbers for Roto-Rooter". In addition, the opening credits for most of the seasons show them standing by a Roto Rooter van in their work clothes, which changes to them standing by a TAPS van in TAPS gear. Starting with the 2011 season, this is now a moving Roto-Rooter van that turns into a TAPS van.
- Put on a Bus: Anyone the team doesn't like. The bus usually ends up at Ghost Hunters International.
- Revolving Door Casting: Ties into the previous trope. A lot of team members have come and gone, either to move on to other paranormal groups (or even starting their own), move to Ghost Hunters International (which is what's happened to some people who were causing friction in the main team), or quit entirely.
- Roswell That Ends Well: During the investigation of Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Steve and Tango came across the book The Roswell Report: Fact Vs. Fiction in the New Mexico Desert in one of the offices. The next day, they contemplated investigating the base's Hangar 18 in secret.
- In one episode, Steve and Tango talk about "crossing the streams".
- Even the ghosts themselves seem to give shout outs. In the "Lullaby Lane" episode, an EVP recording reveals a mysterious voice saying "There is no Jean here" which sounds kinda like...
- In the "Hartford Conservatory" episode, Jason tries to scare Grant with an ax saying "Heeeeere's Jason!". In the same episode, they sing "The Michigan Rag".
- Ghost Hunters International, which is notable for both the locales investigated and for being the team that a lot of former GH members end up on, for whatever reason.
- Ghost Hunters Academy, where Steve and Tango hold a competition to choose new members of the TAPS team.
- Those Two Guys: Jay and Grant, Steve and Tango, Kris and Amy.
- Wham Episode: The 2/15/12 episode, where Grant announced he's leaving the team.
- Who Would Want to Watch Us?: After the success of Ghost Hunters, Jason and Grant got to host their first radio show TAPS Para-radio. In the first episode, they poke fun at themselves:Jason: ...an episode appeared in Sci-Fi Channel's Ghost Hunters where the team did an investigation of Valentown. Yeah. Pretty cool, huh?
Grant: Have you seen that show?
Jason: Uh, yeah. I have. I heard some big bald jerk guy...
Grant: I don't know. I haven't watched it. I've heard it's not very good.
- Wolverine Publicity: Constantly showing up on other Syfy shows, such as Destination Truth, which, even if their appearance lasts two minutes (helping analyzing footage or recordings) it's still hyped as a "Special Guest Appearance!"
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?:
- Steve has phobias for just about everything...except ghosts. Lampshaded by Steve himself in the St. Augustine Lighthouse episode:Steve: I'm afraid of a lot of things. I don't like spiders. I don't like heights. I don't like flying. It seems to be that the one thing I'm not afraid of is ghosts.
- Brian, on more than one occasion, mentioned his fear of dolls.
- Amy Bruni is claustrophobic and is terrified of elevators. In the 2/15/2012 episode, she and Adam get stuck in an elevator during an investigation and she nearly has a panic attack.
- Steve has phobias for just about everything...except ghosts. Lampshaded by Steve himself in the St. Augustine Lighthouse episode: