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Was the “coat pull” on Ghost Hunters’ live event faked?

Was the coat pull on Ghost Hunters live event faked? [gh coattug 150x150] (IMAGE)

Sci Fi

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).

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18 Responses to “Was the “coat pull” on Ghost Hunters’ live event faked?”

November 14, 2008 at 10:37 PM

The first video doesn’t have nearly the impact of the second. Certainly looks suspicious.

November 24, 2008 at 10:45 AM

GL-why is this video “suspicious”? Because it is a 3-D rendition of Grant’s actual movements and uses science (oh, the horror!) in analyzing the results? The author has produced a means to look at something other then the raw footage in a way that demonstrates the physiological reaction (or lack thereof) to what is becoming painfully obvious is nothing but a downward pull through the collar itself, causing nothing but an indentation in the fabric.

He has simply done what we are all encouraged to do-try and debunk what some claim may be a paranormal event. He leaves the conclusion up to the viewers. But to call the video suspicious is, IMO, without any sound basis whatsoever.

January 2, 2009 at 9:55 AM

I meant that the “event” on the show looked suspicious, not the video.

November 24, 2008 at 12:07 AM

I had to write in and defend myself and my reputation.

First of all I have never written Grant Wilson. I don’t know how to contact him and never will. I am not one of these teen fans that scream his name at conventions. I am a professional artist, 39 years old with two grown children and two Grandchildren (Don’t ask how)

The videos in question are mine. I am a professional VFX artist in hollywood. I have been in feature films for 10 years. I made the videos because I have been a fan of Ghost Hunters since day one and I have believed everything they have presented me since, because by nature I am a truting person. I was willing to give each of them the benefit of the doubt (Not knowing them and all like Grant says). Not knowing them allows me to be neutral on the subject and not let the “He is such a nice guy!” feelings cloud my judgment.
I stayed up that night watching the live show being the fan that I am and became upset as SOON as this happened. It was so blatant to me what was happening. I have no vendetta against anyone, I simply wanted to highlight the events and focus attention on the very real and obvious clues that let your sommon sense tell you that what he did was a simple parlor trick. Anyone who is not emotionally involved with Grant would come to the same conclusion about it.

Frankly I am very insulted that he would say i contacted him. It sounds like an attempt to attack my character and
discredit what I have done so that people will ignore it.

I have tried at my very best to say that each and every viewer needs to make up their own minds. I would never attack someone for believing in it, that goes against my character.

What little I do know of Grant I can garner from his interview. He seems very willing to attack anyone that
questions his integrity. it is up to HIM to prove that what happened was real. Not myself or anyone else.

I have no duty to come up with an alternative explanation.
That is his duty. His view all along with little to no analysis is to say it was a spirit.

Saying the Flir footage “Looked strange” by Jason is to me a very sad analysis of something that is so obviously the heat from his neck!

If they have been investigating Paranormal activities for as long as they say they have then they should be better at debunking things like this…..unless for some reason they
don’t wish to.

November 24, 2008 at 10:59 AM

Sorry for replying again, but I feel that GH has sidestepped a valid request (in fact, thousands of them) to prove that all was right in the State of Denmark that night.

FormerGHFan’s reply is filled with sincerity and justified anger. It is a serious accusation on Grant’s part to state that someone has sent him such negative emails, and unless he can provide proof that the author is who he claims it is, he should tread very lightly when accusing someone of so serious an action. Apparently, he is used to the fact that people will take whatever he says at face value. An attitude like this is bound to bring some serious repercussions if he doesn’t exercise better judgment in the future.

We’ve all heard Carl Sagan’s phrase “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence” and GH, even by omission, are implying this was somehow paranormal. In their quest to maintain this stance, they have put their own common sense to bed, either deliberately or unintentionally.

The 3-D rendition did not come from some amateur who likes to play around with SFX. It came from a professional with many years in the field. He is obviously good at what he does. And he has only asked the question of what would happen IF a collar pull actually occurred as claimed. If you don’t believe what the video shows, then fine. But in all honesty, IMO the video speaks-quite loudly-for itself.

At the very least, get behind someone you know, and without prior warning (make sure it’s a GOOD friend, and if this person happens to have one of their hands in their pocket or looped around their belt, so much the better) give a pull (downward or outward, your choice) on his/her collar. Don’t say anything beforehand, and watch their physical reaction. My guess is it will be nowhere near Grant’s over-the-top rendition.

I’ll admit, Grant is a likeable kind of fellow. He’s quiet, even shy, and a devoted family man. He’s educated and has a quite a bit of musical talent. But in all honesty, character judgment is a science. Just ask any homicide detective. Does anyone really expect someone to admit to a hoax?

Especially with celebrities, the public face is often very different from the private. How many times has the public been fooled by discovering that the nice politician actually had surprising secrets hidden away in his closet. To go to the extreme (and nothing to do with Grant but to make a point), Ted Bundy was thought by all who knew him to be an outstandingly good guy and totally incapable of the horrendous acts that he committed.

Personally, I get the impression that Grant is a nice guy and a good friend. But people sometimes do things out of character when they feel there is a good enough reason to do so.

I have to side with the author of the video. He has gone through great pains to put to the test claims that something was not on the up and up. Mention has been made of why Grant would fabricate evidence. The same goes for FormerGHFan. What would be his nefarious purpose in doing this? He has stated he used to be a devoted fan. He was upset (along with probably 50% of the viewing audience) that such a questionable event occurred right in front of the viewers’ eyes. He has simply provided an analysis that anyone can try in real life (as I stated above) and has never come out pointing the finger and name calling on a personal level. The guy who did the Fraud-O-Rama video, propelled by the same emotion of having been deceived, did an extended version of just that.

That Grant has responded to this simply shows what a good job its author has done. This obviously cannot be swept under the rug. In the balancing act between real or presumed fake, the scales are tipping heavily towards the latter. And not just because of this one particular video. There are thousands of cries of “foul”. His is just one of the loudest.

November 24, 2008 at 11:37 AM

“Who has the kind of time to do this?”

That’s an easy question—-someone with intelligence and a reluctance to believe outrageous claims without a lot of evidence.

We don’t need to “know Grant” to judge the video and other evidence the GH crew presents; the evidence stands on its own merits—-or, in this case, it falls because of its own shortcomings.

Anyone with half a functioning brain can see there was widespread fraud on the Halloween episode, as has indeed been the case for most of the series. Grant can deny it all he wants, but I would, absolutely love, to see if Grant, Jay, Steve, and the rest of the crew would be willing to stick by their stories if they had to testify under oath.

November 24, 2008 at 12:11 PM

Grant says he expects people to come up with an alternative explanation. There is no need to rule out every single possible explanation, all that is needed for disbelief is that his explanation does not elevate itself to a status of being the most probable.

The alternative has to be provided by Grant. He has to prove the jacket tug was done by a spirit and it could only have been done by a spirit, which would rule out all other explanations.

Does the video prove its fake; no it only shows that string can also be used to tug a jacket.

Grant’s comment on the video why someone would put so much time into it. If it is a fake it may intrigue some people to know how far someone will go to the extreme measures of trying to be convincing .If there is no need for contradiction you do not create one.

Do ghosts exist? We don’t know, they may exist. In many cases their seems to be more information and many reasons to believe they do not exist. The fact remains until scientific evidence is presented. People who see and believe in ghosts have the burden to provide evidence they exist. Skeptics remain open minded and patiently anticipate the evidence.

November 24, 2008 at 1:18 PM

“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.”
If Grant really “expects” the fans to debunk then why try to discredit them when they do? Also, if the fans are expected to watch a 7 hour episode then why wouldn’t they put together a video of some of the evidence? Remember, Grant “expects” it. Personally, I think that the person who put together such a thoughtful, non-emotional and scientific video did so because he wanted to prove that Grant was right and, in essence, proved him wrong.
Grant is correct, we don’t know him and that is why we don’t believe him. Although, if someone I do know was in Grant’s shoes that night, I wouldn’t believe them either. I am too smart to be swayed like that. Emotions shouldn’t cloud your intelligence. Sorry Grant, I’m not buying it.

November 24, 2008 at 1:23 PM

The alternative has to be provided by Grant. He has to prove the jacket tug was done by a spirit and it could only have been done by a spirit, which would rule out all other explanations.

The alternative explanation was ALREADY provided by Grant–’something’ tugged on his collar.

Grant CANNOT prove that only a spirit could have done it–because it’s already been shown to be something that can be done with special effects.

As to Grant’s comment about ‘why would someone go to all this effort?’, it’s very much justified.

Why would someone go to so much effort to prove that a given piece of evidence could be reproduced with special effects when every single piece of evidence we’ve ever seen on Ghost Hunters could have been produced with special effects?

We know that. It’s a given. Each viewer has to decide whether to take them at their word…or not. Wnat FormerGHFan and others have to prove is that Grant is the type of person who would knowingly fake evidence–not that this or that piece of evidence could be reproduced through fakery.

And he, and they, can’t do that.

So why go to all this effort?

November 24, 2008 at 2:20 PM

Again It is NOT my burden or anyone elses to prove Grant resorted to trickery.

I made 3 videos that Highlight the events as they actually happened. I showed beyond a reasonable doubt that:

1 The thermal image shows, not fingerprints, but rather shows the inside of his collar that was exposed to his neck and is now visible by the FLIR

2 Grant’s jacket DID NOT move (As Grant stated it did. He says he felt it move on the live video)Only his collar fabric moved, proving that No force acted upon him that should make his body react the way it did.

3 Grant (Who is right handed. Never once moves his right hand but chooses to keep it at his side and uses his other hand which is holding a recorder to investigate why his collar is moving)

4 Grant very visibly fidgiting with something at his side the entire time this is happening. Also that not once does the camera catch this action happening on his right side but only from the Left where we cannot see his right hand during the Tugs.

5 The jacket collar fabric was moved one final time after Jason inspected it and Grant did not feel it.

These are all facts. It is up to the VIEWER to decide if a Ghost pulled his jacket or if Grant faked it all.

I believe most viewers are intelligent enough to use Common Sense and make up their own minds about this and so have you Jack.

Good for you. You used your own common sense to make your own conclusions and I applaude you for that.

This is exactly what I intended.

November 24, 2008 at 2:22 PM

This 3rd video is crucial to seeing that Grant’s jacket does not move in any way.

I isolated his body movements so that you can clearly see that only the fabric is moving.

November 24, 2008 at 2:33 PM

One more thing. I would love to see these posts or emails he said I sent to him.

Maybe he is getting me mixed up with someone else who has made videos like this but I have not or would not ever email or post any messages to him. Especially to attack someone I have never met.

Attacking someones character makes you look childish
and unprofessional.

I am however not against spirited debate as long as it stays civil. Saying “Who has the time for that” to me is not civil. I happen to have periods of free time where I indulge my hobbies. I have been doing video editing and analysis/VFX for years. Something like this for an amateur may take days or weeks but for me it takes hours because of my experience level.

I could never make a judgement call as to his character or anyone elses and I expect the same in return.

I am sure he is a nice man and a good father.

If he has questions for me regarding my analysis I would love to address them personally.

November 26, 2008 at 5:20 AM

Reading discussions like this one makes me understand why the american presidency is decided by only 25% of the population.

The rest is too occupied thinking about religion, fairy tales and ghosts.

December 14, 2008 at 4:20 PM

Great Job on the video.

I once was a fan, now I am not. This hoax discredits all Paranormal Investigators, what a disservice to the community.
I am not a Paranormal Investigator, but I do believe in the paranormal, having had many personal experiences & been involved in exorsims/house blessings.
My objective differs in that I do not care about promoting the investigation of the paranormal & gathering followers, but rather to help individuals who have had activity to actually rid themselves of the entities. This has always bugged me about Ghost Hunters because they (Jason & Grant) always say “we need to help these people” but then they do nothing but try to reassure them that it won’t hurt them. HOW DO YOU KNOW?? Grant? Jason??….How do you know if it will hurt them or not?
Why isn’t a minister or priest called in to get rid of these hauntings? Especially when they are homes with children….ridiculous!
“Remember, we are just a phone call away” pleeeeze!
What will you do when they call? seriously.

December 14, 2008 at 4:27 PM

Great Job on the video.

I once was a fan, now I am not. This hoax discredits all Paranormal Investigators, what a disservice to the community.
I am not a Paranormal Investigator, but I do believe in the paranormal, having had many personal experiences & been involved in exorsims/house blessings.
My objective differs in that I do not care about promoting the investigation of the paranormal & gathering followers, but rather to help individuals who have had activity to actually rid themselves of the entities. This has always bugged me about Ghost Hunters because they (Jason & Grant) always say “we need to help these people” but then they do nothing but try to reassure them that it won’t hurt them. HOW DO YOU KNOW?? Grant? Jason??….How do you know if it will hurt them or not?
Why isn’t a minister or priest called in to get rid of these hauntings? Especially when they are homes with children….ridiculous!
“Remember, we are just a phone call away” pleeeeze!
What will you do when they call? seriously.

Back to the subject at hand. For me, this video proves that they have sold out. -I mean, come on, for this to happen on the LIVE Halloween show? seems a little too coincidental. The fact that Grant has his hand in his pocket the entire time & adjusts his collar before & after is evidence enough that trickery is at work.

February 16, 2009 at 2:00 AM

I feel so bad about the 10/31/08 episode. I am no longer a TAPS fan because of some of the stuff that happened on that live show. You did not even touch on everything. Honestly, it was as though the entire cast and crew was stoned. I guess I really did not realize how much they had really inspired me to believe in things I might otherwise be sceptical of. So when the 10/31/08 fiasco happened, it all came as a surprisingly big shock to me. No longer being a TAPS fan has left a big void in my tv-viewing life.