People ask me all the time what got me into horror. The answer has always been simple. Growing up a kid in the 70s, I was hooked by the weekly documentary TV show, In Search Of.
It didn’t hurt that it was narrated by Mr. Spock, one of my idols at the time. His voiceover work on that show was always, and I mean always, pitch perfect. Somber, serious, Leonard Nimoy took us all on a trip to the weird and paranormal that has been noted as the inspiration for an entire generation of writers, directors and actors. I don’t think I’ve met a writer at Samhain Horror who hasn’t said this show deeply impacted their lives.
In Search Of was my classroom for the bizarre and unexplained. Every week, I sat in my living room sipping on a Nehi, huddled close to our TV that was as big as our couch (at least the cabinet was – the actual screen may have been 20 inches tops). It was where I was first exposed to Bigfoot, The Loch Ness Monster, ghosts, life after death, real buried treasure, aliens, the Bermuda Triangle and ESP, just to name a few off the top of my head. Everything seemed and looked so real, I couldn’t help but shiver at the thought of monster and ghosts populating the same world where I rode my bike with baseball cards in the spokes and played Wiffle Ball marathons until we could no longer see the ball.
The film itself was grainy, the terror palpable as each tale unfolded. Any episode of In Search Of back then was scarier than most horror flicks. And now that I can watch them on YouTube today, it still holds true. I’ve said it many times that the baritone of Leonard Nimoy’s voice is the horror soundtrack of my life. Without him and that wonderful show, I may have never discovered my true passion.
Summer’s winding down and Halloween will be here before you know it. Now’s a perfect time to watch this show for the first time or catch up with a long lost friend. At the very least, it will explain how we horror writers of a certain age came to be.
What’s your favorite episode? I know mine was Bigfoot and my first exposure to the famed Patterson Gimlin film.
Well, it’s finally here. Grant Wilson’s last investigation on Ghost Hunters takes place this Wednesday. I thought it was fitting to re-post this, which was written right after the announcement that he was leaving the show. And this time around, The Monster Men have added our video tribute. Good job Grant. On to the next.
For at least one episode of Ghost Hunters, the ghosts took a back seat on February 15th. After eight seasons of chasing spirits from coast to coast and even across the Atlantic, Grant Wilson announced that he will be leaving Ghost Hunters at the end of the current season.
Truth be told, I’m kinda sad he’s leaving. I’ve been a fan of the show since the very first episode. Yes, I fully understand that it’s entertainment. I don’t take everything I see on the show as paranormal gospel. I simply can’t stop tuning in week after week, getting my night-vision fix of spooky places.
I know it has its detractors and critics. It’s a rule that the greater your success, the greater your criticism. However, I do give them props for their dedication and passion. I’ve spoken to a few folks who are on other paranormal shows on TV, and the truth is, they only do investigations when there’s a camera crew in tow. This isn’t a vocation for them. It’s a job that gets filmed, edited and broadcast. Grant and Jason and their T.A.P.S. team have been living this life, years before TV came calling.
These two plumbers with a passion for ghost hunting have accomplished something that I, as a horror writer, truly appreciate. They made the paranormal cool and almost…normal. Their millions of fans seek out other venues to get their shivers. And that’s where I and a load of other writers come in, sharing the spirits and demons that roam our minds.
I’m not surprised that Grant is leaving. I’ve always thought that he and Jason would retire, leaving the show to the young hands to carry on their work. I’m the same age as Grant, and I know all that travel, combined with what I’m sure is a comfortable bank account, would equal my early retirement. You have to wonder how many days out of the year Grant actually got to be home with his wife and kids. I’m sure, at times, his family felt he was the ghostly presence left behind as a faint ripple of energy in their house. It’s time to kick back, recharge, reconnect and relax. The ghosts will still be there should you decide to get back in the game. In fact, with each dying breath taken every minute of every day, the number of potential undead to investigate just keeps on building.
Grant, thank you for eight years of creepy, fun Wednesday nights.
For everyone watching since he’s left, what do you think of the show? Do you like the dynamics of the team?
And now, The Monster Men get to say so long, and come back any time…
From the stygian depths of two minds addicted to all things dark and scary. This time around, we talk about the state of paranormal television and wrap things up with my own encounter with a ghost in a hotel room in Spain.
I hope you like my hat. I’ll sign that wonderful straw hat and mail it to a random commenter, so all you need to do is tell us what you think and you too can look like an escapee from a country fair! As you can tell from this still, even my partner Jack is having a hard time looking at it.