Before 2004, if you told someone that you were going into an old jail, asylum, or home, and that you had to be sure to have your EMF meter with you, that person would have assumed that you worked for the electric company.
After the debut of Ghost Hunters in that same year, the investigation of paranormal activity became much more grounded in science due to the analytical approach taken by the TAPS team. Unlike many investigators before them, no one on the TAPS team claimed to have psychic powers; instead the Ghost Hunters crew focused on empirical evidence that often times did not add up to a location being deemed “haunted”.
Steve Gonsalves, one of the original members of Ghost Hunters, said that “The field itself has changed a lot from when we first started. We have a lot more eyes on us, and the use of electronic equipment was a major change.”
Gonsalves and the team’s work has attracted the attention of “physicists, electronic engineers and others who have made equipment specifically for investigating the paranormal, which did not happen when we first started.”
The perceptions of hauntings and those who witness them has also changed over the years. According to Gonsalves, “When we first started, you couldn’t tell people that lived you in a haunted house or that you were a paranormal investigator. Today, if your house is haunted, you are the cool person in the neighborhood and people want to stop over.”
Ghost Hunters returns for its brand new season on Saturday, October 1 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Travel Channel and Discovery+, featuring original members Gonsalves, Jason Hawes, Dave Tango, and Shari DeBenedetti, who joined the group in recent years.
Gonsalves called DeBenedetti a “very analytical” member of the team who takes a lot for her “meter to get jiggled” when it comes to confirming ghostly activity. Gonsalves appreciates her honesty when it comes to debunking phenomena and said that her skepticism is important in the field.
Gonsalves is excited to share the recent investigations with the world, with one of the highlights being their recent work at Wilkes-Barre, Pensylvania’s Osterhout Free Library.
“The history of the location was very intriguing, and in terms of what we captured there, movement of objects is very rare and doesn’t happen many places, but the activity there was bizarre and impressive” Gonsalves said.
All seasons of Ghost Hunters are currently available to stream on discovery+, as well as Ghost Nation, which also featured Gonsalves, Hawes, Tango, and DeBenedetti as the lead investigators.