I am an intrepid — I mean vicarious — ghost hunter. I boldly watch the ghost hunting shows from the safety of my paranormally inactive home, imagining myself sleuthing about the dank, moldering armpits of the world where bad things have happened and the disembodied may or may not linger.
As a result, I have a fascination with, and admiration for, those who do the do in real life, facing their own internal fears, longings, and metaphysics in an effort to sort the real from the imagined, the numinous from the fallacious.
The granddaddy of all ghost hunting shows is, appropriately enough, Syfy's Ghost Hunters, which was unleashed upon an unsuspecting world in October of 2004. Led by no-nonsense Rhode Islanders Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson — "plumbers by day, ghost hunters by night" — founders of TAPS (The Atlantic Paranormal Society), the Ghost Hunters franchise has evolved a solemn ethos of rigorous data and evidence gathering, with the avowed goal of debunking paranormal claims unless the evidence is incontrovertible.
Now entering its sixth season, the series celebrated its 100th episode last Wednesday night with an uncharacteristic flourish: a studio presentation live from NBC's (owner of Syfy) legendary Studio 8H in Rockefeller Center, hosted by Josh Gates (of Destination Truth) and featuring the entire active Ghost Hunters crew, as well as stars from spin-offs Ghost Hunters International and Ghost Hunters Academy.
Between the live discussion among Gates, the Hunters, and the studio audience, the team aired their latest investigation, a rip-snorting frolic through the dreaded former federal prison on Alcatraz Island.
Eric: You guys put the genre on the map in terms of being taken seriously, and that’s an amazing thing really.
Kris and Amy: Thank you. The big thing for us is being skeptics and going into it to find out what’s going on . What we find is what we find – either people believe it or they don’t. We don’t put on an act – what you see is what you get. We’re very serious – unless it’s Steve and Tango! We have a good time, but we’re very passionate about finding the truth.
Let’s move on to the really important stuff: if you snoop around on the Internet and check out the fan sites, you are the ghost hunting babes! How did this come to be? How do you feel about that? Reveling in your supernatural hotness and all.
Kris: We don’t feel “hot” most of the time. Usually we don’t have nice hair and clothes on – we’re climbing through all kinds of crazy little tunnels and basements, and running from bats.
Amy: Yes, everyone pretty much sees us at our worst so I don’t know how this happened. We’re both very curious about how this happened, but it’s interesting – that’s for sure!
[Laugh] We watch very closely to see what things change and it seems like you both have become a bit more fashionable, perhaps, over time. I would imagine that’s just something you’re doing on your own.
Kris: When I came into it I had been a flooring installer and carpenter for three years. I was a bit of a tomboy until this one [Amy] started, and she ruined me with the shopping and the clothes!
Amy: That’s what happened – we just started shopping more and that’s why we started wearing cuter clothes. It’s going to make me go broke!
Now that’s banner news – there’s my headline! Imagine how many people will be excited to hear that! How did each of you actually get on the show and how long have you each been on?