I know, I know — I can hear all of you naysayers groan just from reading the title. “It’s all faked, moron!” If that’s you, well then, there’s not much reason to read on, is there? Unless you want to hear what Grant Wilson himself said to me during our phone conversation today ….
This past Halloween night, Sci Fi aired their annual Ghost Hunters live show. Kudos to you if you have the patience to sit through the entire thing, though that still was only a fraction of a typical investigation’s length for these guys.
One piece of evidence caught on camera during the event was what people are calling the “coat pull” or “jacket tug.” Debunkers are coming out of the woodwork to call this a fake, with some impressive analysis.
During one point of the night, Ghost Hunter Grant Wilson was walking along and was seemingly pulled back from behind from his coat hood. You could clearly see the hood make a strange downward movement, and Wilson reacted as though he was pulled from behind. This happened three times.
Here’s probably the most impressively put together analysis of the events. Who has the kind of time to do this?
And here’s yet another, though not as in-depth:
Seems pretty fishy, right? Well I thought so, so I got in touch with Grant and talked to him a bit about the event, these videos and debunkers in general. Grant and the team had just finished investigating New Hampshire’s Kimball Castle.
As to whether this is something the Ghost Hunters have to face all the time, Wilson said: “It happens a lot. It’s normal, it’s natural, and we expect people to do that. I mean, that’s good. It means people are watching.”
This is probably the first time I’ve had to wonder if these guys would do anything to sabotage an investigation. I don’t know these guys personally, so are they capable of such stunts?
“I mean, no one out there really knows me,” Wilson continued. “If they did, they’d know I’d never do anything like that. I expect people to put their brain into it and come up with an alternate explanation and present it to me, rather than say ‘it’s so unbelievable, that you had to fake it, so therefore you faked it.’ It seems like a cop out to me.”
Even if Grant was putting the viewers on, wouldn’t the others — the cameraman, Jason, the guest Hunters — need to be in on the joke?
“Well I dunno! I mean, it seems to make sense. I’ve never tried it.”
These guys have a pretty sweet deal with Sci Fi, though. Despite what they said on this week’s ‘All Access’ episode, from what I saw last month, it seemed to me they are all doing pretty well from the show (I think Steve, for example, was driving a Lexus). So wouldn’t they want to make sure the show stayed interesting every week?
“Sci Fi and Pilgrim Films have never, ever pressured us to do anything like that. Honestly, I like doing the show. It’s fine. But I’m not getting any younger, my kids are growing up, and I miss my family a lot. It takes a lot of time on the road. What I’m getting at is, I couldn’t care less how well the show does. If the show does well, great, then it deserves to do well. If it fails, then it deserves to fail. And I’ll just go back to my quiet life with my wife and my boys.”
So what about the 3D reenactment I embedded above? Like I said, it takes a … special someone to have the time to put something like that together. And for what, really?
“Yeah I did see that and … I dunno,” Wilson told me. “I saw that and I think ‘great job,’ you know, because he’s doing what he could do. That guy’s left me messages, that I’m a fake and I’m a sell-out. And that angers me to no end, because I have none of that in me. I look at the video and, yeah, he put a lot of effort into it. I have no idea how legit it is, with the physics and all of that.”
I do wonder how many viewers analyze the footage we see and have had success in helping debunk what the GH team didn’t debunk. Has anyone gone so far as to change their minds?
“Y’know, it’s fine, but I just wish they’d help me figure out what it is instead of making a judgment call on me. And it’s natural — ‘see them on TV, what can I expect?’ But it doesn’t mean I’m not a human.”
Obviously Grant has a lot of fun with the job, and from what I witnessed myself, I’m not sure why they’d go so far as to fake that event. There are some videos calling the show “fake” because of the staged setups, where the team would position themselves before a take, but that’s going to happen in any reality show, whether you want to believe it or not.
So, what do I believe? I really want to believe Grant, and I felt he sounded very sincere on the phone. I’ve known some cheaters in my lifetime, so I raise an eyebrow when evidence like this shows up. Grant’s right — I don’t know him. I don’t know if he’s capable of pulling a stunt like that or, moreover, lying to me. Maybe it was a joke that got out of hand? It’s hard to say. Whatever the case, it’s all good publicicty for the show, regardless of how many say they’re not watching it anymore (oh, they still will).