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6 Shows like Ghost Adventures: Paranormal Documentaries

Zahra Pettican itcherWhat’s scarier than a horror movie? A paranormal documentary where it’s possible that all the events are real! If you want to see paranormal investigators go after real ghosts, check out ‘Ghost Hunters’, ‘Most Haunted’ and other spooky reality tv shows like ‘Ghost Adventures’.
~ Zahra Pettican

Bro, This Show Is Totally Freaking Me Out!

If the Bill & Ted movie creators were to take on paranormal documentaries, it would probably turn out like ‘Ghost Adventures’, or what I like to call ‘Zak and Nick’s Excellent Ghost Adventures’. These two and technician Aaron, certainly do go to some really creepy locations around the world to investigate. Sometimes it’s hard to focus on the gravity of a situation when one of them is shouting out “Dude, something just touched my arm!” or “Bro, I’m like totally freaking out right now!”

Whether you’re a believer or not, the show is quite entertaining and you’ll certainly wonder about their provocative tactics. Zak Bagans (distant relation of Frodo and Bilbo?) has a habit of challenging any potential spooks by yelling insults and then when they take the bait he whines like a baby – “man, something just touched my back, it’s burning!” Nevertheless, they do capture some pretty cool stuff on camera and audio so that approach seems to work for them. If you can’t get enough real world spooky stuff you’ll enjoy these other series like ‘Ghost Adventures’.

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Shows Similar to ‘Ghost Adventures’…

‘Ghost Hunters’ (SyFy/Thrill, 2004-)

‘Ghost Hunters’ is one of the original ghost investigation shows, and the inspiration for many others. The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS) members Jason and Grant are plumbers by day but lead investigators for the team by night, in this docu-soap style show, and early episodes often showed behind the scenes glimpses of the team’s personal interactions and conflicts.

The TAPS team seem to take a more professional approach in terms of equipment, scientific proof and openness to debunking some stories. Each episode usually starts with an interview with their client and ends with a debrief outlining their findings via camera and EVP audio. There are definitely some bumps, pushes and shuffles in the night too.

Similarity Match: 90%
‘Ghost Hunters’ is the closest competitor to ‘Ghost Adventures’, but it seems a bit more mature and professional. E.g. they’re polite with the potential ghosts, unlike Zak who prefers to antagonise them into materializing.

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‘Most Haunted’ (Living TV/Really, 2002 -)

This is the UK version of ‘Ghost Adventures’ where the team go to various locations and investigate alleged hauntings. The show is hosted by Yvette Fielding who usually works with a medium to establish a connection with spirits and reveal the story of the location.

Unfortunately, the show earned a bad reputation as Derek Acorah was exposed as a fake for pretending to be possessed and researching locations beforehand. Though the real mystery is how he got away with it for so long, since he was never great at acting. Even if you’re not a believer, watch the early seasons of the show to see Derek in all his hilariously hammy glory.

Similarity Match: 90%
Relying on night vision equipment and a pushy, slightly grating host, ‘Most Haunted’ is the British version of ‘Ghost Adventures’.

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‘Destination Truth’ (Syfy, 2007-2012)

Josh Gates leads his team around the world in search of the truth behind supernatural mysteries such as Bigfoot, banshees and werewolves. If you love travelling, learning about other cultures and are addicted to all things paranormal, then this is the show for you!

Josh sounds like loveable Muppet, Fozzie Bear, as he narrates the show and goes about his adventures, and you can’t help imagining how cool it would be if he was joined by Kermit, Gonzo and the gang too. Alas, his human team seem to have fun anyway, as they use the standard night vision and thermal equipment to document findings to varying levels of success.

Similarity Match: 80%
Josh and his team have the same addictive enthusiasm for their investigations as Zak and his team, with the added bonus that ‘Destination Truth’ is more humorous and educational.

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If You Like ‘Ghost Hunters’, You Will Like…

Not all paranormal documentaries require investigations, some of them just retell people’s experiences and can be just as spooky. For more tv series like ‘Ghost Adventures’ watch the following shows.

‘Paranormal Witness’ (Syfy, 2011-)

I’m a sucker for this show that features real people who have experienced truly spooky stuff and then reconstructs the footage with actors. It’s sometimes cheesy but always compelling, and some of the stories are terrifying, particularly the ones about demonic entities and bad spirits. Even if you don’t believe in ghosts, you’ll probably still find the stories enjoyable.

Sure, it’s a dramatized documentary but that doesn’t make the events experienced in ‘Paranormal Witness’ any less real or scary than those in ‘Ghost Adventures’.

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‘The Haunted’ (Animal Planet, 2009-)

This show is similar to ‘Paranormal Witness’, but relies more on actual real life video footage taken by investigators who have tried to help families deal with their hauntings and scary experiences. To differentiate itself from the competition, it’s also comes from the (sometimes tenuous) angle of animals being haunted, as they are apparently more sensitive to the presence of spirits.

The use of real archived footage starring the victims of hauntings from former investigations gives it a similar feel to ‘Ghost Adventures’, perhaps even more authentic as it’s more personal for ‘The Haunted’ people.

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‘The Haunting of…’(The Biography Channel/Lifetime Movie Network, 2012-)

Hosted by the self-proclaimed ‘Happy Medium’, Kim Russo, this show takes celebrities back to the place of their paranormal experience. The celebrities are varying levels of famous – some of them you’ll struggle to identify – but some of the stories are quite gripping and Kim channels information from their dead friends and family, which could be true ability or Google, though the celebrities seem impressed by how detailed her insight is. The Nadine Velazquez and Fairuza Balk episodes are the most shocking.

‘The Haunting of…’ is about visiting paranormal locations like ‘Ghost Adventures’, but it’s far more personal and the celebrity element is an effective little gimmick.

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More Spooky Adventures into the Unknown

The internet is full of paranormal documentaries, you can’t go far without finding another one lurking around the next search engine corner. If you love the style of ‘Ghost Adventures’, check out their hosts other shows, Nick Groff’s ‘Ghost Stalkers’, or Zak’s ‘Paranormal Challenge’.  If you’re a fan of popular culture, you might like ‘Celebrity Ghost Stories’ and ‘Celebrity Paranormal Project’.

Do you have any recommendations to add to my list?

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