What Would TAPS Do?

Everything I know about paranormal investigation I learned from the TAPS team. That’s The Atlantic Paranormal Society, for those who are uninitiated into the world of Ghost Hunters. I love Ghost Hunters, and tonight is their season premiere. I can’t wait. 🙂

There are so many reasons why I love this show. The team is great. You can tell that they’re not just coworkers, but also friends. The deleted scenes on the DVDs are fabulous for this, allowing fans to see all the pranks and jokes that didn’t make it into the final episodes. I’ve become especially fond of investigators Kris Williams and Amy Bruni, because they prove that chicks can kick butt at paranormal investigation. And the show is informative, because the TAPS team visits interesting sites that have more than just scare factor, but also historical significance. You learn American history, occasionally from the ghosts themselves.

But what I love the most about Ghost Hunters is their focus on disproving hauntings. They go into an investigation intent on finding everyday explanations for paranormal phenomena, what they call debunking. Cold spots? Probably a draft. Footsteps? Could be the house settling. Slamming doors? That pesky draft again. So when I had my own brush with the paranormal this past Christmas, I asked myself what would the TAPS team do, and set about debunking it.

My grandmother passed away in my parents’ home after a long battle with cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Her room is now the guest room, and some guests are a little unnerved staying there. It doesn’t bother me, because I know that if she does decide to visit, she’s not trying to scare me, and just wants to let me know that she’s still checking in on me. I kept this in mind when I stayed with my parents over Christmas, but when I heard rustling and footsteps in the room at 3 am, I didn’t roll over to see what the noise was. When I woke up the next morning I discovered that doors to the cabinet that housed my grandmother’s record collection were wide open, and it startled me.

First I checked with my mother to see if it was normal for the doors to open by themselves. Nope. Then I asked myself, what would TAPS do? They’d check to see how easy it was to open the doors. Maybe the latch was old, or the springs were loose. Nope. I opened the cabinet, I closed the cabinet, I tugged and pulled, and everything worked fine. In fact the latch worked a little too well, because it was hard to open.

At the end of each investigation the Ghost Hunters are always asked, “Do you think this place is haunted?” Do I think my parents’ place is haunted? No, but I think there was a little paranormal activity that night, and it was not the ghost of Christmas past. I know she’s watching over me…and I hope she’s not too appalled by the sex scenes and the f-bombs I dropped in Blood, Smoke and Mirrors. 😉

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