Whenever there's a successful reality TV series, there are loads of other networks and production companies that look to capitalize on the established audience of a specific genre and create content that will hopefully captivate that audience and maybe bring in new views as well. When it comes to the paranormal, there is no shortage of investigative shows. And when it comes to Ghost Hunters vs Ghost Nation, there are some key differences, even though the two programs share some history.
'Ghost Hunters' vs 'Ghost Nation': How are they similar?
Ghost Hunters was first created by Pilgrim Studios President and CEO Craig Piligian, who "cast" T.A.P.S. — The Atlantic Paranormal Society — and chronicled the group's quests for documenting the existence of paranormal activity. Although the series has featured guest investigators, some of who've gone on to have shows of their own, some of the most recognizable founding Ghost Hunters members were Jason Hawes, Grant Wilson, Steve Gonsalves, and Dave Tango. The show's first season debuted in 2004.
Grant Wilson exited the show after investigating for several years with the team, and Jason, along with Steve and Dave and other investigators carried on their paranormal cases under the GH banner until the show's eleventh season. It was taken off the air in 2016 and went on a three-year hiatus, until it was brought back on A&E with a new team with Grant Wilson at the forefront. A team that I was fortunate to be a part of.
The similarities between the two shows can be said of many paranormal investigative programs: The actual "sessions" are conducted at night. Infrared cameras are employed in order to see the investigators doing their work (and also probably to magnify the fear in our eyes). Both shows feature investigators attempting to "reach out" to any entities that may be there and request some sort of feedback in a variety of ways.
This could be through the invitation of manipulating equipment, making pointed noises or "knocks" in response, or manifesting themselves on cameras and/or capturing voices on digital recorders. (Personally speaking, I love being surprised by an EVP, electronic voice phenomenon. So cool.)
Both shows also work to debunk the paranormal claims by looking for practical occurrences that could explain the ghostly hauntings witnesses claim to have experienced.
Ghost Hunters and Ghost Nation also have a "reveal" portion, where they review the footage they've recorded over the course of their investigation and then present it to the client, i.e. the individual who is most perturbed by the paranormal claims.
'Ghost Hunters' vs 'Ghost Nation': How are they different?
Ghost Hunters features the same recurring team of investigators, although Grant, in later cases (Season 13, or Season 2 of A&E's reboot), took more of a hands-off role when it came to participating in the cases. Nation features Jason, Steve, and Tango, and they pair up with a local paranormal group of investigators depending on the location they're visiting.
Ghost Hunters started as a series that primarily investigated home cases, something that the first and second seasons featuring the new case did less of, opting for larger sites. This was especially true of its second season where the theme of isolation was a common thread throughout all of the sites — from a historic airfield in Utah, to a fort that held Billy the Kid in New Mexico, to a purportedly haunted hotel in Haines, Alaska.
Ghost Nation continues the trend of home cases but also, takes on "larger scale" sites like a factory and correctional facility. In terms of locations as well, Nation's cases predominantly seem to take place on the East Coast, whereas the newest seasons of Ghost Hunters have their cases spread out more across the U.S.
There are also differences in the type of equipment and evidence that are gathered in the shows. Ghost Hunters always stressed the importance of "when in doubt, rule it out," and not jumping to declare any sign of activity as paranormal, a tradition that the Ghost Nation team carries on. Much of the same equipment, manual tri-field meters and rem pods, are utilized in Ghost Nation.
The newest seasons of Ghost Hunters implement new technology adapted from other scientific fields: the electron multiplying camera (EMCCD) is utilized by NASA to document photon events, and it's yielded interesting results. EDI+'s, aka, "data loggers" are also utilized in Ghost Hunters, the device functions as an all-in-one box that detects changes in environmental conditions and graphs said data with a timestamp to see if they coincide with supposed paranormal activity.
A&E hasn't officially committed to a third season of Ghost Hunters and there's been rumors that the show may possibly return on a different network. Ghost Nation will return to the Travel Channel.