The first episode of Ghost Hunter’s Academy 1.5 (June 2 airing) enters the realm of reality show as eight cadets compete for the ultimate prize of becoming a member of the Ghost Hunter Family. One cadet will be eliminated after each investigation in this six investigation series.
Jason Sets the Expectations
The show began with a brief introduction to the rules and expectations by Jason Hawes. According to Jason, cadets will be evaluated on honesty, composure and patience.
Steve and Tango Assign Investigation Kits
Next up, Steve and Tango assigned each member their own personal investigation kit containing an EMF Meter, camera, digital recorder and other necessary equipment. Members were told they are personally responsible for their own equipment and if anything is lost, it will not be replaced. In the first season of Ghost Hunter’s Academy, misplaced or forgotten equipment was an issue on several occasions. The move to make each member responsible for his own equipment is a good step to hold people accountable, without the entire team suffering from once person’s error.
Steve and Tango Model Setup and Investigation Techniques
Steve and Tango demonstrated improved techniques as instructors of the class. Instead of throwing the team into the investigation on their own, Steve and Tango took a leadership role by splitting the team into two groups and modeling proper procedures for set up and investigation. As a result, cadets performed well setting up the investigation without incident and proceeded to the investigation.
Cadets Express Gratitude
Overall, cadets expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to investigate the Waverly Hills Sanitarium and said they would never have the chance if it were not for Ghost Hunters.
The new group of cadets appeared professional and experienced, and proceeded with confidence. I was impressed that overall they appeared comfortable and confident in their abilities. It was immediately obvious that this was not a group of wanna-be ghost hunters out to claim the spotlight.
At least that was the case for seven of them. Natalie appeared a bit anxious to do things her way and wondered off on her own to investigate on several occasions, despite the warnings from Steve and Tango to stay with her group. She also tended to talk while other members were speaking while investigating. At one point, she continued to whistle and call for a “reported” ghost dog while other members tried to do EVP work.
The team managed to capture several EVPs and Steve caught a video clip of an unexplained light that the cadets missed during their evidence review. When asked who reviewed that particular piece of video, Eric quickly admitted that it might have been him. I was impressed with his composure when admitting his error. It became obvious that he is not afraid of making a mistake and that he does not pass blame to others-an admirable trait in any profession, but vital to a paranormal investigation.
Time to Out your Team Mate
At the end of the investigation, Jason gave all members an opportunity to express which member they thought should be eliminated, and asked them to back up their choice. Not surprisingly, all members pointed their finger to Natalie, claiming she did not stick with the group and was difficult to work with. None of the members were questioned for their choice, except Dan Hwang. When he expressed Natalie as his choice, he admitted he had not worked with Natalie much and didn’t get to know her very well. Jason questioned how he could make a decision if he did not work with her and suggested he was merely hopping on the bandwagon. When Dan could not provide an answer, Jason stated that perhaps he should be the one to go home, if he could not back up his opinion.
Steve and Tango Select Team Leaders
Steve and Tango selected Adam and Rosalyn as the candidates that demonstrated the most promise. Throughout the show, Rosalyn conducted herself with professionalism and did an outstanding job with EVP sessions, speaking with confidence and respect. Adam went the extra mile to make an immediate call to Steve’s group when his team heard what sounded like footsteps on the floor above them. He generally appeared professional and eager to verify or debunk seeming paranormal events.
Adam and Rosalyn participated in the reveal with the owners (which was not televised) and are slated as next week’s team leaders. Jason cautioned them that the competition will increase and in their new role they will have a target on their backs and to proceed carefully.
Natalie Gets the Boot
The show concluded with bidding Natalie farewell. Although understandably upset, Natalie went the extra mile to point fingers at other members. When asked about wondering off on her own, she blamed it on the “communication thing” and claimed she told her group, but they didn’t listen to her. When questioned about why she continued to leave the group after being repeatedly warned by Tango to stick with the group, she claimed it only happened once. Video clips indicated that she was actually warned on at least 3 occasions.
Her farewell comments indicated that she was disappointed to be the first person to go, but that she had her own group. She said she planned to go home, start her group up again and continue to do investigations. Ironically, in her recruit video, she had claimed she had a group but that is was mostly her because everyone else was too scared to investigate.
On to the Next
Overall, I was impressed with the show. It appears to be a big improvement over the first season and felt more like a real investigation. I suspect that future shows will focus on personal conflicts between members to pit one against the other. It appears that Jason set the stage to call Dan Hwang’s contributions into question for the next episode, but time will tell. I will admit I do miss the enthusiasm and eagerness expressed by last season’s cadets. But, I think the tradeoff is more experienced investigators who are ready to take on the role as the newest member of the Ghost Hunter family.
Meet all the cadets in Ghost Hunter’s Academy Returns Wednesday June 2 at 9 Pm EST.