I’ve watched a fair amount of silly things, but I must admit that “true” ghost shows aren’t my fave. Nevertheless, I was recently mildly entertained by parts of the (unintentionally?) funny Ghost Adventures episode called Quarantine: Extension of Darkness. As the Travel Channel web site summarizes: “The crew continues their lockdown at the Haunted Museum during the COVID-19 pandemic. The guys confront pure evil as they investigate the dark corridors of the infamous basement and the room where Zak displays his collection of serial killer artifacts.”

Basic Premise of Episode

Admittedly, I didn’t pay full attention to the whole episode, as there were times where I was laughing. However, I did notice the Zak character mention Charles Manson numerous times in Zak’s serial killer museum. They also claim to have picked up cryptic, disturbing messages from murderers who have items collected in the museum. There are some cute aspects of the show, which not everyone will notice. For example, I think it’s cute that “Pandemic” is part of the title. It breeds familiarity with the viewer, who will be like, “Hey, I know what a pandemic is! Heck, I’m right in the middle of one myself!” It’s like marketing 101, right? Even if you’re not struck by adrenaline during the walk-through of the museum, they’re still subconsciously tying the show’s events into your life.

This got me to thinking: Would they do this for other newsworthy challenges, too? We’ve all proabbly herad of Japanese “murder hornets” making it to the States, and locust swarms are apparently still happening. So could there be a “Ghost Adventures: Insect Plague” season in the works? Or, hell, maybe “Ghost Adventures: Haunted By Karens.” This premise could run a little thin, obviously, but there’s plenty of potential for relatively inoffensive current event tie-ins.

I Do Believe In Spooks

As a jaded, aging skeptic, it can be tough to watch these shows without scoffing (if you haven’t noticed). Nevertheless, I have written about things like cryptids before, and I’m more open-minded than even I sometimes expect. Still, when I think of Ghost Adventures Quarantine: Extension of Darkness, I’m reminded of this famous moment from the Wizard of Oz:

It’s like I’m there, man!

This show is presented as very serious, but it’s hard for me to to take seriously. For one thing, I know that a TV network is very capable of lying, or at least bending the truth (sorry, Travel Channel, and I’ll pretend I couldn’t possibly be talking about you). I realize all hauntings might be gimmicks that could be staged, complete with special effects. In other words, I doubt the Ghost Adventurers are in danger of ever being killed, except if they were to trip on their own shoelaces.

There were moments in the episode where people appeared to be enduring a traumatic panic attack caused by ghosts (or whatever), but those moments could either be acting or simply caused by their own self-induced panic if they actually believe ghosts are real. Let’s not kid ourselves: Everything you watch on such a show might involve animations and production. You might have enthusiastic actors, musicians, and storytellers to promote the show to a larger audience and advertisers. You might have set designers, illustrators, etc.


Photo credit: MY Entertainment

Much like a Godzilla confrontation with Gigan, for me, it’s only there for optional giggles or guffaws. Whether they’re hunting ghosts or trying to scare a flock of mosquito-like creatures away, it’s all about entertainment. There’s even a moment (towards the episode’s end), where one of the Adventurers seems to develop an evil alter ego as if he’s possessed by a spirit (a serial killer, or maybe Charles Manson himself).

However, when even the Discovery Channel has come under fire for fake “reality” shows, pronouncements of “Our ghosts are real” just doesn’t cut it. Still, you might want to get out a bag of popcorn and check out Ghost Adventures during a spare moment.

It even reminds you in its title that a quarantine makes for good binging of goofy spooky TV shows featuring ghosts, crazy monsters, paranormal witnesses, psychics, and supernatural scares in general. I do respect if a ghost adventurer is pursuing his passion and, on some level, appreciate that his project is a massive commercial success. If “supernatural” and magical forces arise to help put food on your table, fine…but I am unconvinced.

What are your thoughts on Ghost Adventures? Let us know in the comments!

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Wade Wanio is an author.

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