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|Part of a series of articles on the paranormal|
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|Articles on skepticism|
|Cold reading · Committee for Skeptical Inquiry · Debunking · Hoax · James Randi Educational Foundation · Magical thinking · Prizes for evidence of the paranormal · Pseudoskepticism · Scientific skepticism|
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Paranormal television is a genre of popular reality television programming. Its scope comprises purportedly factual investigations of paranormal phenomena, rather than fictional representations found in such shows as The Ghosts of Motley Hall and Ghostbusters, or cartoon/children's series such as Scooby-Doo and Rentaghost.
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (March 2008)|
Accounts of supernatural occurrences have always been common in the print media. The 1705 pamphlet "A True Relation of the Apparition of One Mrs Veal" by Daniel Defoe is a well known example. Local TV news programs in the UK and USA have featured ghost stories since the 1960s. Paranormal television arose from this tradition.
One of the earliest paranormal TV shows was In Search Of..., hosted by Leonard Nimoy which ran for six years from 1976. Rod Serling was originally slated to host the series until his death in 1975. In Search Of... explored many paranormal topics, including UFOs, cryptozoological creatures (cryptids), lost civilizations, and other mysteries. Though the subject matter gradually lost popularity, the show gave way to future TV series following the same genre.
Discovery Channel started to explore the genre with some success from 1996. The Fox Broadcasting Company had a news-style oriented show, Sightings, that was hosted by Tim White (newscaster/reporter) and this show lasted for six years. MTV's Fear premiered in 2000, establishing the visual look and editing style followed by most paranormal reality television show. In 2002, the British satellite channel LivingTV launched the ghost-hunting series Most Haunted. Its success helped spawn other shows on the channel, including Dead Famous and Jane Goldman Investigates, and the channel developed a distinctive identity based on paranormal programming. The production company responsible for these programs, Antix, also produced two series of Spook School which followed the investigators of Para-Projects as they teach members of the public how to become paranormal investigators themselves.
Other notable shows include Creepy Canada, Proof Positive, America's Haunted Hotels, Ghost Hunters (not to be confused with the earlier European Ghosthunters), Ghost Adventures, and A Haunting. YTV, a Canadian youth-oriented station, has a more toned-down version of similar programming called Mystery Hunters.
Noting the recent trend in reality shows that take the paranormal at face value, New York Times Culture editor Mike Hale characterized ghost hunting shows as "pure theater" and compared the genre to professional wrestling or soft core pornography for its formulaic, teasing approach.
LA Times staff writer Ed Stockly wrote that "the paranormal/supernatural-investigation subgenre that has cropped up on cable television over the last few years, which includes Ghost Hunters, Destination Truth, Ghost Adventures, Ghost Hunters International and a few others" promises to "take a skeptical approach in its investigations and to rely on science to confirm or disprove paranormal claims. So far not one has been able to consistently keep that promise."
||This section may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. (January 2010)|
|Program||Original Run Years (Premiere–Finale)||Original Channel/Network|
|6ixth Sense with Colin Fry||2002||Living TV (UK)|
|Ancient Mysteries||1994 - 1998||A&E|
|The Antiques Ghost Show||2003||Living TV (UK)|
|Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World||1980||ITV|
|Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious Universe||1995||ITV|
|Arthur C. Clarke's World of Strange Powers||1985||ITV|
|America's Haunted Castles||2005||Travel Channel|
|Creepy Canada||2002–2006||n/a (Canada)|
|Celebrity Ghost Hunt||2011||Biography Channel|
|Celebrity Ghost Stories||2009–present||Biography Channel|
|Crossing Over with John Edward||1999–2004||SyFy|
|Derek Acorah's Ghost Towns||2005||Living TV (UK), Travel Channel|
|Encounters: The Hidden Truth||1991||Fox Network|
|The Extraordinary||1993-1996||7 Network (AUS)|
|Extreme Paranormal||2009||A&E Network|
|Extreme Ghost Stories||2006–2007||ITV1 (UK) WE (US)|
|Exploring the Unknown||1999||Saban Entertainment, Fox Kids|
|Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files||2009–present||Syfy|
|Fenómeno||2000||RTP2, Mínima Ideia (Portugal)|
|Fortean TV||1997–1998||Channel 4|
|Ghost Adventures||2008–present||Travel Channel|
|Ghost Hunters Academy||2009–2010||Syfy|
|Ghost Hunters International||2007–present||Syfy|
|Ghost Lab||2009–2011||Discovery Channel|
|Ghost Stories||1997–1998||FOX Family|
|Ghost Stories||2009–present||Travel Channel|
|Ghosthunters||1996||Discovery Channel Europe|
|Ghostly Encounters||2009–present||Viva/W Network (Canada), A&E Network, Biography Channel|
|The Girly Ghosthunters||2005||n/a (Canada)|
|The Haunted||2009-present||Animal Planet|
|Haunted Houses: Tortured Souls & Restless Spirits||2005||Biography Channel|
|Haunted History||1998–2008||History Channel, Biography Channel|
|Haunted Hotels||2002-2006||Travel Channel|
|Haunted Lighthouses of America||2006||Travel Channel|
|A Haunting||2005–2007||Discovery Channel|
|I'm Famous and Frightened!||2004||n/a|
|In Search Of...||1976–1982||n/a|
|Investigations of the Unexplained||2007||Travel Channel|
|James Randi: Psychic Investigator||1991||n/a|
|Jane Goldman Investigates||2003||Living TV|
|Most Haunted||2002–2010||Living TV (UK), Paranormal Channel (UK), Travel Channel|
|Most Haunted Live!||2002||Living TV (UK), Paranormal Channel (UK), Travel Channel|
|Most Terrifying Places in America||2008–present||Travel Channel|
|My Ghost Story||2010–present||Biography Channel|
|Mystery Hunters||2002–2006||Discovery Networks, YTV|
|Nachtwakers||2011–present||RTV Oost (Netherlands)|
|One Step Beyond||1959–1961||n/a|
|The Othersiders||2009||Cartoon Network|
|Paranormal?||2005||National Geographic Channel|
|Paranormal Challenge||2011||Travel Channel|
|Paranormal Cops||2010||A&E Network|
|Paranormal State||2006–present||A&E Network|
|Paranormal State: The New Class||2010-present||A&E Network|
|Psi Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal||1996–2000||n/a (Canada)|
|Psychic Detectives with Tony Stockwell||?||n/a|
|Psychic Kids||2009–present||Biography Channel|
|Psychic Witness||2005||Discovery Channel|
|Scariest Places on Earth||2001–2006||ABC Family|
|Scary...But True||2001||Syfy, YTV, Chiller|
|Scream Team||2002||Living TV|
|Sightings||1992–1997||Fox Network, Syfy, syndicated television|
|The Sleep of Reason with Steve Bell||2007||Studio Universal|
|Spook School||2007–2008||Unexplained Channel, Antix Productions|
|Strange But True?||1993||n/a|
|Strange Universe||1996||UPN, syndicated television|
|The Dead Files||2011-Present||Travel Channel|
|The Unexplained||2009||Biography Channel|
|The UneXplained||2011||Biography Channel|
|Truth or Scare||2001–2003||Discovery Kids, The Hub|
|Unexplained Mysteries||2003||syndicated television|
|Weird Travels||2003–2006||Travel Channel|
|World's Scariest Ghosts Caught on Tape||1990s||ABC|
|Woh Kiya Hai||2009–present||Express(Pakistan)|
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