Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Girly Ghosthunters (Television Show, 2005)

October Challenge Day 5:

In lieu of a movie tonight, I've chosen to write about a television series I binged watched last week.

I've been itching to write about The Girly Ghosthunters show since I first saw it (a whole week ago) and was afraid I wouldn't get to it until November, and then I was all like: it's my blog I do what I want.

Simply put, this collection of 13, 20 minute episodes were transforming - and I'll tell you why.

First: I know you laughed when you read: "Girly Ghosthunters". I did too. Why? What the hell is wrong with the word "girly"? Wait, wait, wait - I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's back up a bit.

Last week I was browsing through streaming apps for paranormal documentaries and TV shows to fall in love with. It's been a dry spell. I'm so devoted to this stuff that I created a Paranormal TV and Documentary page just to keep track of all the ones I've seen, loved, and want to check out. That's when I found The Girly Ghosthunters showing on Amazon Prime. My first thought: WTF is this? Then hit Play anyway.

The first episode opens with four young ladies who appear to be stealing a garden gnome from someone's yard. My second thought: WTF is this? Introductions to each of the ladies came across to me as silly, odd, and dare I say cheap.

They began their first investigation and my thoughts became verbal: "WTF is this?!" Why the screaming? Why so giggly? Why so naive? Why so scared - you're voluntarily going into frightening places and -

Just as I was about to write this show off (at around episode 4) I was hit with an emotional ton of bricks and realized:


WTF is wrong with me? These ladies are not much younger than me and I remember my early giggly and naive 20s well, oddly, and wait - oh my word, they are ... having fun... Why didn't I see this before!? They're absolutely totally genuine in their love for exploration, thrill of the ghost hunt, and are all best friends in real life. There's no acting here, there are no gimmicks, no taunts, teasing, or drama. They're not out to prove to the world that there are ghosts (the impossible) - with tons of equipment and serious faces. They're in a beautiful sisterhood, going on adventures with their dousing rods and spirit board, just being with each other, and taking some of the world along with the aid of one camera following them around.

In an instant I realized that I wasn't about to give these ladies a chance because they weren't like the big budget (prominently all men) shows - they didn't play by their rules. That's when I fell madly in love with The Girly Ghosthunters and I realized that I've been played by a stereotype on so many levels.

I soon located a very recently and wonderfully written article about these gals, and discovered that not only are they awesome, they are also ground breaking. Greg Newkirk, writes for the Week In Weird: "Girly Ghosthunters: How the First All-Female Paranormal Investigation Team Made Ghost Hunting History". In this fantastic article I learn more about the team, their drives, and a better overall picture of them (as seen with new eyes through their TV show):

"We were just a bunch of typical girls who watched a lot of Buffy and wore out our VHS copy of the Craft," Dana recalls. "We were nerds who were too old for summer camp and too young to do anything else, so we started doing what lots of teenage girls do - we started playing with spirit boards, pendulums, and reading books about magick, but it was ghosts that really interested us."

I also read, to my own horror, a mirror of my initial reactions and how I feared they were treated in the paranormal community: 

"People were so mean to us," Dana recalls, "There were a few psychics and paranormal researchers in the area who held events, and we were asked to do one, and got so excited. We made a big poster board, gathered up our best evidence - stuff we were really proud of. It was the only event we ever did because other investigators twice our age openly mocked us to our faces, said we were better suited for a girl band than ghost hunting, and called our evidence fake without even looking at it."...
"It takes a special kind of awful for a 30-year-old man to call a group of teenage girls 'attention whores' for no other reason than being young, female, and hunting ghosts. That actually happened. People are scarier than any supernatural monster."

This says a f***ing LOT about culture, stereotypes, sexism, and the belief that there are "rules" in paranormal investigations. Folks, I played a small part in this this assholery and I'm very sorry I did although I'm glad it was short lived. This says A LOT about how much has been ingrained in me. (that said, I feel the editing of this show played a significant role in "up playing" the young ladies as hapless, frightened women. I have an issue with the editing crew).

In all - these ladies are bad ass. I'm so glad I found them. I'm sad it was only 13 episodes but in those episodes my Mind Was Blown simply because I watched a bunch of women in their early 20's doing what I loved to do then: wander around and explore spooky buildings with some of my best friends. In fact, on the cusp of 40, I still love doing that exact same thing.

So back to the word, "Girly". Not a damn thing wrong with the word, "Girly". Oh, and to the (current) only commentator, leeleetoft, on IMDB who wrote:

"...Go out and have a drink and some potato skins and get back to us when you have more experience and can actually contribute something. Hopefully the venues you visit will not be put off and allow REAL investigators in to check things out."


I watched this series on Amazon Prime. Use the links under Find It. Watch It. on Horror Habit's sidebar to see where else you can find this simply delightful show.

PS: their garden gnome has it's own IMDB page. How awesome and hilarious is that?

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