I used to hunt ghosts. Really. I'd go to people's homes or businesses and check out their claims of things going on that didn't make sense. Out of eleven "Cases" I was able to explain to the folks what was really going on. In ghost hunting you learn quickly about heating and plumbing issues as well as general construction. Most of the people were relieved but a few were bummed out that they didn't have a ghost. Back in the 1980s, before Electra Magnetic Field detectors and affordable infra-red cameras an investigation was done in the library and at county records pouring through microfilm. Then you went to the house and did a perimeter walk and then inspected each room and then interviewed the inhabitants. Often times the problem was an over-active imagination coupled with a plumbing problem and since the average plumbing job at that time was 40 years old you had all kinds of sounds being made. The thing that I loved the most was the history aspect of it all; forgotten crimes, Spanish land-grants and all sorts of colorful people made it all worthwhile even though I never found a spook.
Don't get me wrong, I've run into a few ghosts. They are certainly real, they're just not what everyone thinks they are. That's another post.
Now, I don't know if I've ever talked about getting kicked out of M.U.F.O.N. for being a government spy (which ticked me off because Spy's make three times as much as I do ) but the short story there is that they weren't interested in facts and became hostile when I suggested that whoever was flying around the night skies might not be friendly (again, it's a long story). This is when I learned what JFK Assassination Theorists already knew, out here on the wacky fringe things get ugly when your theory contradicts some other guy's theory. That's because often the other guy has written a book, does conventions and your theory is a threat to his livelihood. Go to a Psychic Fair or UFO Convention sometime and you'll see what I'm talking about, there is a lot of petty ugliness between "Researchers". However bad the UFO guys are the worst of the bunch are ghost hunters as far as immature reactionaries go.
Oh man, where do I start?
First off, you have the groups that are ruthlessly territorial and are almost gang-like in the way they protect their turf. There are stories of one group hoaxing another as well as tales of cars being vandalized. Then you have the groups that charge people for an investigation, these guys are frauds because there is little accepted proof that ghosts exist so it's akin to an exterminator charging to get rid of Fairies. Then there are the ghost hunters who are just green with envy when another group gets it's picture in the paper or is featured on TV. Man, these people can just ruin your day.
I'm glad I'm out of that world. Now, I need to stress that not all ghost hunters are assholes, it's about half that fit the bill these days. The thing that has those guys all in a twist these days is the "Ghost Hunters" show on SciFi. All kinds of names are thrown around and accusations of frauds and hoaxes are thrown in the direction of the TAPS crew. Basically though it boils down to jealousy, the TAPS guys are on TV and they're not. Boo Hoo. Check the boards sometimes and you will see some petty stuff written about the guys from Rhode Island, it's pretty sad to say the least and worst of all it speaks to the over-all unprofessionalism of many ghost hunters. At the end of the day it's just TV, you turn it on and have some fun, there is no reason to make such a big deal out of it. But some people just can't help themselves.
I enjoy "Ghost Hunters" for what it is and I don't spend a lot of time thinking about the show beyond that. I don't think that the TAPS guys would want me to either.