In an obvious attempt at trying to cash in on the new surge of paranormal interest, A&E has developed a reality type show with the “Penn State Paranormal Research Society” or P.R.S. In a more obvious attempt on cashing in on the paranormal is the P.R.S.
In the beginning, the P.R.S were a group of students researching the paranormal. Like thousands of other groups out there, they followed almost the same patterns. It wasn’t until A&E introduced to the world the show “Paranormal State” that the P.R.S got some following.
The show’s premise is not unique, nor revolutionary to the paranormal field. Their methods do not bring us closer to the understanding of the unknown. In fact, one can argue that since the show has aired, most people see the paranormal research or “Ghost Hunting” as a joke.
The P.R.S team does a horrible job of gathering tangible evidence while doing investigations as well as approaching their caseses in a scientific manner. For example, they use the common tools most researches use, but throughout their episodes, it seems like they are more concerned in creating tensions or exploiting situations than using their tools to show us what they can capture or have learned. In fact, of watching the show for the past four months, I can only recall of two pieces of evidence they showed.
It doesn’t help their credibility when the editiors of the show put in pre-made sound effects to rattle their audiences. Don’t believe me? muster up enough energy to watch one episode. You will noticed that they place their own generated voices / noises / creaks / howls …etc Especially right before they cut to a commercial. I guess they need the shameless cliffhangers to keep viewers from changing the channel. Or maybe they do it to bring the viewers back from the trance like state that you are put into after listening to the group’s director (Ryan Buell) talk into his recorded with his somber voice. His famous “Director’s log”.
I still watch the show. I don’t know why. My girlfriend hates it and hates me watching it; but I guess it’s like watching a train wreck.
Aside from the editing and the lousy investigations they do, the group doesn’t seem to really do it for the pursuit of knowledge. It seems like their mission is to find and interview people with claims of hauntings and comfort them by bringing to the investigation some real characters. Like the medium/psychic Chip Coffey. Overly dramatic and at times to flamboyant in the presence of the home owners to really bring any light into a situation. There is also the famous/infamous investigator/psychic Loraine Warren. Using her clout to boost the show’s rating, is such a disgrace. Loraine (along with her late husband) were the first to investigate the “Amityville haunting”.
Along with the loose investigations and Chip Coffey’s theatrical pandering, the P.R.S team does an injustice to the professionals that truly seek understanding of the unknown.