Ghost Files Revives the Paranormal Investigation Genre


Photo by Jacob Gabel

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Many people scoff at the ghost hunting genre of entertainment because it often features overly theatrical investigators, exaggerated claims, and clearly fictitious paranormal interactions. However, there is one ghost hunting series that stands above the rest in the genre: Ghost Files.  


Ghost Files is a paranormal investigation series on YouTube produced by the channel Watcher. It grew from humble beginnings as a fun, careless show where two friends, Shane Madej and Ryan Bergara, would visit haunted locations and investigate using a few simple tools, such as the infamous Spirit Box. This show grew extremely popular with the Watcher’s audience, so Shane and Ryan elevated their series to a more professional quality show as their production company grew. Now, there is an entire crew that follows Ryan and Shane to every location to produce the show, who film Shane and Ryan from every possible angle as they investigate using a wide array of tools and methods while they explore every nook and cranny of each building. 


If you are a skeptic of the paranormal, Ghost Files is still an excellent show for you. I personally don’t believe in ghosts, but I have still watched every episode of Ghost Files that has ever been released because of its unique format and comedic chemistry between Ryan and Shane. To elaborate, each location is covered in two episodes: the actual investigation that takes place at the location and the debrief where Ryan and Shane debate the validity of the evidence they collected during the investigation. Another fan of Ghost Files, Finn Scheffer, says that the show is so appealing because it offers the perspectives of both skeptics, like Shane, and believers, like Ryan, which “provides a good back and forth discussion of evidence” unlike other shows that “play up every other slightly spooky thing without any other explanation.” They also encourage their audience to get involved by joining the debate in the comments section, asking questions, and submitting their own evidence. This allows the show to focus on this interesting conflict so that the source of entertainment isn’t completely based on overly theatrical reactions to typically underwhelming evidence.  


Plus, the dynamic between the two friends is hilarious. Throughout the show they play games, engage in challenges, make fun of each other, and Shane is always trying to scare Ryan as he tries to chase off his terror by chanting “My fear does not define me.” Each of these details creates a lively, collaborative environment among the series’ creators and audience that establishes a welcoming community.  


I highly recommend Ghost Files because it has something for everyone. It’s fun, thought provoking, spooky, unique, and well-produced. Watcher’s channel has grown and improved immensely from their already great beginnings, and I recommend watching some of their other series like Puppet History, Are You Scared, and Dish Granted because their content is unlike anything else on YouTube.