One of the earliest documentary TV shows to focus on paranormal events was In Search Of… which ran between 1977 and 1982. The 1977 episode, In Search Of… Ghosts, which featured author, lecturer and Parapsychologist Hans Holzer, is likely to have laid the foundations for future ghost hunting TV shows (Matthews 2016). In recent years, with the advent of smart phones and video hosting websites, average citizens have been able to capture and share their own supposed paranormal encounters. Unfortunately, a blend of creativity, computer literacy and capitalism means that some people now stage convincing hoaxes and present them as evidence of paranormal activity (Ghost Diaries 201; Eddy 2016). When these hoaxes are discovered, they likely tarnish the credibility of other paranormal videos which may not have been staged. As such, members of the public may be sceptical of any paranormal phenomena and less likely to consider the topic with an open mind. To illustrate this point, the paranormal videos of YouTube user mellowb1rd will be used as an example.
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