So you've decided to do a paranormal show for TV. You've got the gizmos, you've got a team together you've even got a location full to the brim with spooks. But before you open that creaking door and step into the unknown, take a look at our handy tips to making a successful Paranormal TV Show:
It's critically important to have at least one female member on the team, it makes the rather dull 'walking up stairs' a bit more exciting for viewers if a member of your crew is following her ass with a night vision camera.
You must at least once an episode say "did you hear that?" while pointing vaguely off into the distance.
It's vitally important that you are so manly that you don't sweat, you simply leak testosterone. Punch knuckles instead shaking hands, show your muscles at every available opportunity. Talk to the camera or each other in an overly threatening manner. It lets everybody at home know that you are absolutely in no way a homosexual.
You must have a highly trained ear. You will need to be able to decipher an indistinct muffled noise on your recording and construct an entire sentence. It also helps to tell everyone at home what you think is being said so that there can be no doubt that the spirit said something like: "tell Peter I love him" and definitely not "mmmfshshshsshhhh"
You must be be prepared to run after an apparition that only you saw. Don't worry, people won't care that they didn't see it despite some of the most high-tech camera equipment this side of the military being trained on the same spot and seeing diddly-squat.
Don't bother with hiring a professional historian to check out the validity of the claims of murder/suicide/battles/accidents etc. A shot of one of your team walking into a library will suffice. If the show calls for a bit more 'in-depth' research then a few shots of your team member leafing through an old book or using a microfiche should do. For an additional touch, a shot of them talking to an old man/woman in the library is generally accepted.
It's not important to have a catchphrase on paranormal shows, but if you can, try and say the word 'dude' at least fifty times an episode.
If, perchance, you find yourself in a location where, say, an entity is trying to talk to you through a serious of knocks it is important to leave the minute it quietens down. It's much more important to find something else to fill 45 minutes with without providing proof of the paranormal.
Special effects are really important. If your location looks as haunted as a Martha Stewart show-home then these will come in handy. During the initial 'walk-through' where various members of the public recount their eye witness accounts of ghosts at your location, you should have a handful of cut-scenes of the various ghosts walking through walls, looking menacing, screaming in agony etc. so the viewers know exactly what they haven't a hope in hell of seeing throughout the rest of the show.
Get your gizmos sorted. If it can't be abbreviated, don't use it! E.V.P recorder, E.M.F detector, K2 Meter, REM pod. Nobody has the fainest idea what they do but it sounds good saying it. And no show would be complete without alarms sounding and lights flashing everywhere. Which conveniently leads us to the next item.
Lights! Yes lights. Considering most of the show is the dark, you can never underestimate the power of a flashing light. It's a little known fact that ghosts are like moths, and will be attracted to lights on every gizmo you have, although daylight seems to be a bit of a no-go area for them for some reason.
Make sure you look good with a green tint. Night vision cameras can do a lot, like not seeing ghosts, but they can be very unforgiving if you don't have the right look. Overweight? Forget it! Those double chins will make you look like Slimer, not a good look if you're trying to be a professional ghost investigator.
So if you've taken our advice, then you should be ready to do your first investigation!
Don't worry if you don't catch anything though, nobody does. It's the thrill of the chase. The smell of fear and rotting floorboards from decrepit asylums. The kind of manly knuckle bashing friendship that you can only have after spending an entire night in a basement together.
So what are you waiting for? Go and get 'em! Or not, as the case may very well be.