Ghost Hunters: Proving people will believe anything nowadays.
SyFy (formerly SciFi) Channel's highest-rated show, aside from the fanboy wet dream inducing Battlestar Galactica, Ghost Hunters has been on the air since October 6th, 2004, and garners, on average, 1.1 million viewers each episode. Founded by a pair of men who are plumbers by day and Ghost Hunters by night (which sounds like a really bad porno plot), TAPS goes and investigates places that are supposedly 'haunted', something that usually means a door shut on its own and everyone automatically flipped out. Most episodes involve them showing up at the location, investigating all night, and turning up with a bunch of 'audio evidence' or Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVPs), that is usually a breeze but, to the careful ear, can almost sound like a breath.
The TAPS team is based in Warwick, Rhode Island, where they started as meeting in a coffee shop, then a backyard trailer, and finally moved to a storefront of its own after the show gained popularity. SyFy categorizes the show as a docu-soap, which is a fancy way of reality TV. Recently, though, the episodes have been focused on the investigations only, and little to no time has been spent on the 'behind-the-scenes' aspects (because really, who wants to spend fifteen minutes watching two plumbers fix toilets?).
TAPS has come under fire in the past for 'fake' evidence and their rather unscientific method, and while many of these claims are unsubstantiated, there may still be the possibility of this. Some evidence is certainly convincing, however, and this show, while having moments of redundancy and melodrama, along with a tendency for misleading advertising (although who doesn't nowadays?), should not be taken lightly. It's also a lot better than most of the other reality programs out there; instead of watching creeping douchebags fake their marriages, why not watch grown men scream at spiders? Far more entertaining.
Jason Hawes: The co-founder of TAPS. Relatively unremarkable, but was nonetheless a target of a series of threatening e-mails from a guy threatening to kill George W. Bush. Don't worry, no one fully understands why, either.
Grant Wilson: The skinny, more attractive co-founder of TAPS and a Mormon. He was the center of a 'fake evidence' controversy when he was accused of using a string to fabricate the effect of having his collar tugged during the 2008 Halloween special, which just goes to show the world that even Mormons can't be trusted.
Steve Gonsalves: TAPS' tech specialist. If you see this guy screaming on the commercials for the show, it's because he just saw a spider, not because a ghost is attacking or anything. Just a warning.
Dave Tango: The obligatory eye candy/metrosexual of the TAPS group. Dave serves little to no purpose other than to help Steve with the technical stuff and points out things that might be ghosts but are usually just dust.
Kris Williams: No Cracked article is complete without a hot chick. So there you go, guys. Kris is nicknamed 'Bait' by the rest of the team because she's seemingly unafraid of going into places alone and doesn't get scared easily. -insert obligatory dick joke here-
Ghost Hunters makes use of several pieces of equipment that are featured in nearly every episode, including but not limited to:
Infrared Cameras: Used in nearly every episode, these cameras take in the heat of different objects and surfaces and map it out as different colours for different temperatures. On a number of occasions, full-bodied apparitions have been captured as a result of using these.
Infrared Thermometers: Thermometers that measure the given temperature of certain areas of a room through digital technology. Useful for picking up cold spots.
EMF detectors: Devices that light up or make a noise when they pick up on an electromagnetic field, which ghosts are supposed to give off.
Digital Voice Recorders: If you can't figure this one out, then why are you on the internet? They're used to pick up on EVPs.
The TAPS members have come under more controversy for the supposedly 'unscientific way' they've been using the equipment, although that sounds like a vague euphemism for sex and no one wants to get caught up in a Ghost Hunters sex scandal.