Ghost Hunters is a paranormal reality show that originally aired on the Syfy channel from 2004 to 2016. After its original run ended, A&E revived the show in 2019 and is currently available to stream on Discovery+.
What is Ghost Hunters About?
Ghost Hunters starred Grant Wilson and Jason Hawes, plumbers by day and paranormal investigators by night, the founding members of The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS). Hawes and Wilson, along with their team at TAPS, visit allegedly haunted locations across the country and employ electronic gadgets to detect a supernatural presence.
Ghost Hunters premiered on the Syfy channel on October 6, 2004. Its original run lasted eleven seasons, with its final episode airing on October 26, 2016. After a three-year hiatus, the A&E network commissioned the show for renewal, this time starring only Grant Wilson. The revived Ghost Hunters premiered on August 21, 2019, and ran for two seasons, ending its run on May 27, 2020.
Ghost Hunters is the pioneer of the paranormal reality show genre. The show influenced three direct spin-off series: Ghost Hunters International, UFO Hunters, and Ghost Hunters Academy.
Is Ghost Hunters Canceled or Renewed for a New Season?
Ghost Hunters is currently in its fourteenth season, and fans are anxious whether the popular show will return for a fifteenth season.
In October 2020, Grant Wilson, the only remaining cast member from the show’s original run, revealed that Ghost Hunters would not be returning for a third season on A&E.
However, in May 2021, Discovery+ commissioned a new season of Ghost Hunters featuring an entirely new lineup. Gone is Grant Wilson, only to be replaced by his original Ghost Hunters castmates Jason Hawes and Dave Tango. They will be joined by Steve Gonsalves and Shari DeBenedetti, both of whom starred in Ghost Nation.
Despite the groundbreaking news about its renewal, Discovery+ has not confirmed a release date for the fifteenth season.
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1. Jason Hawes (2004 – 2016; 2021- Present)
Jason Hawes is the co-founder of TAPS (The Atlantic Paranormal Society) with his fellow plumber buddy Grant Wilson. As such, he is one of the two main characters who starred in Ghost Hunters since its inception in 2004.
Hawes starred in the show throughout its original Syfy channel run. However, he did not return for the revived series on the A&E network.
Hawes has appeared in more episodes than anyone in the show’s history, even Grant Wilson. He has appeared in 232 episodes in total. As he is set to return for the show’s upcoming fifteenth season, his appearances will only rack up.
2. Grant Wilson (2004 – 2012; 2014; 2019 – 2020)
Grant Wilson is the other half of the TAPS founding duo. Alongside Jason Hawes, Grant Wilson was one of the most pivotal characters on Ghost Hunters. He was a regular for the first eight seasons of the show. However, he left in the ninth season to pursue his personal interests. His only association with Ghost Hunters was a guest appearance on the 200th episode during the ninth season.
Grant Wilson returned for the revived A&E series in 2019. He became the central character of the show during its two subsequent seasons. Wilson confirmed that he would not be joining the show on its fifteenth season.
In total, Grant Wilson has appeared in 186 episodes of Ghost Hunters.
3. Steve Gonsalves (2004 – 2016; 2021- Present)
Other than Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson, the person perhaps most synonymous with Ghost Hunters is Steve Gonsalves. He is a paranormal investigator for The Atlantic Paranormal Society and appeared as the cast member on the original Ghost Hunters run on Syfy from 2004 to 2016.
Gonsalves did not return for the A&E revival series of 2019-20 but is confirmed for the upcoming fifteenth season. He ranks behind only Jason Hawes in the total number of appearances, with an accumulated 194 episodes in which he has been credited. Besides that, Gonsalves has also starred in spin-off series like Ghost Hunters International and Ghost Hunters Academy.
4. Dave Tango (2005 – 2016; 2021-present)
Dave Tango was an investigator and tech manager during the original run of Ghost Hunters on the Syfy channel. Tango’s first appearance on the show came in the eighth episode of the second season and appeared regularly throughout the rest of its eleven-season run on Syfy.
Subsequently, Dave continued to stick to his guns and joined the cast of several paranormal shows like Destination Truth, Ghost Hunters Academy, and Ghost Nation.
After a five-year hiatus, Dave Tango will return to Ghost Hunters in the upcoming fifteenth season. In total, Dave Tango has appeared in 177 episodes of Ghost Hunters.
5. Amy Bruni (2008 – 2014)
Amy Bruni was a paranormal investigator on Ghost Hunters from 2008 to 2014. She made her debut in the episode “USS Hornet” of the fourth season and her final appearance in the episode “A Textbook Case,” of the ninth season.
Between the two episodes, Amy Bruni managed to appear in 119 episodes in total — the most of any other female cast member in Ghost Hunters history.
Since leaving Ghost Hunters, Bruni has found success in another paranormal reality show, Kindred Spirits on Destination America and TLC, as both a star and producer.
6. Shari DeBenedetti (2016; 2021 – Present)
Shari DeBenedetti is one of four investigators, including Jason Hawes, Steve Gonsalves, and Dave Tango confirmed for the upcoming fifteenth season of Ghost Hunters. Of the announced names, DeBenedetti is the only female cast member confirmed for the fifteenth season.
Shari previously appeared recurringly on the tenth and eleventh seasons of Ghost Hunters. Her first appearance came in the episode “Innocent Until Proven Dead” of the tenth season. Subsequently, she made her final appearance in the episode “Manor of Mystery,” in the middle of season 11.
To date, Shari has appeared in a total of 14 episodes of Ghost Hunters.
7. Britt Griffith (2008 – 2014)
Britt Griffith was an investigator as part of The Atlantic Paranormal Society on Ghost Hunters from 2008 to 2014. His first appearance came in the episode “Wright-Patterson Air Force Base” of the fourth season. Furthermore, his final appearance came in the ninth season of Ghost Hunters in what was the show’s 200th episode.
Since leaving Ghost Hunters, Griffith has worked as an actor, producer, and digital technician on a number of horror/paranormal films, TV shows, and documentaries.
Besides that, Griffith also appeared in a slew of episodes on the Ghost Hunters spin-off series Ghost Hunters International in 2011.
To date, Britt Griffith has appeared in 103 episodes of Ghost Hunters.
8. Kris Williams (2007 – 2011)
Kris Williams was a case manager and paranormal investigator on Ghost Hunters from 2007 to 2011. During that time, she racked up appearances in a total of 83 episodes.
Williams’ first appearance came in the 13th episode of the third season, titled “Lost Souls.” Eventually, she left Ghost Hunters to star as a lead investigator in the spin-off series, Ghost Hunters International. Her final appearance came in the penultimate episode of the sixth season, titled “Taps Meets the Real Housewives of Atlanta.”
Furthermore, Williams also guest-starred in a handful of episodes of another Syfy paranormal series, Destination Truth, from 2010 to 2011.
9. Adam Berry (2010 – 2014)
Adam Berry was a cadet-in-training in the second season of Ghost Hunters Academy. He was the only cadet to graduate from the second season and the first in the show’s history to make it into the main Ghost Hunters show.
Subsequently, Mr. Berry made his debut in the Halloween 2010 specials and his official debut in the episode “Empire State Haunt” during the sixth season. He went on to appear throughout the next three seasons, with the ninth season being his last. Adam’s final appearance came in the season nine finale episode, titled “A Textbook Case.” However, he also appeared in the 200th episode special.
In total, Adam Berry has appeared in 82 episodes of Ghost Hunters.
10. K.J. McCormick (2010 – 2016)
K.J. McCormick worked for four years as a paranormal investigator on Ghost Hunters. As an on-screen presence, McCormick appeared in a total of 64 episodes of Ghost Hunters. His first appearance came in the ninth episode of season six, titled “Spirits of the Night.” Eventually, he appeared in his final episode in the eleventh season, titled “Manor of Mystery.”
According to IMDb, K.J. McCormick has appeared in a total of 64 episodes of Ghost Hunters.
Besides his on-screen role, McCormick also worked behind the scenes as a digital technician during the eleventh season.
11. Dustin Pari (2005 – 2010; 2014; 2015 – 2016)
Dustin Pari is an accomplished paranormal investigator whose work can be seen in shows like Destination Truth, Ghost Nation, and Ghost Hunters International. However, he is most known for his work in Ghost Hunters.
Dustin was a lead character from 2005 to 2010, spanning the show’s second to sixth seasons. He left after season six to pursue personal interests, including other paranormal TV shows. However, he returned for a reunion during the show’s 200th episode.
The following year, Pari became a regular on Ghost Hunters’ tenth season and continued that run through the eleventh season. When Ghost Hunters moved to A&E, Dustin chose not to return.
He is credited with appearing in 53 episodes in total on Ghost Hunters.
12. Brian Harnois (2004 – 2007)
Brian Harnois was a tech manager and supernatural investigator on the first three seasons of Ghost Hunters. From 2004 to 2007, Brian appeared in 38 episodes in total.
His first official appearance came in the pilot episode of Ghost Hunters, titled “Altoona, PA (1).” He went on to appear semi-regularly throughout the first three seasons and had his final appearance in the 17th episode of season three, titled “Salem.”
Harnois left Ghost Hunters when he was offered a prominent role in the spin-off series Ghost Hunters International. He became the resident tech manager on the show throughout its three-season run.
13. Donna LaCroix (2004 – 2007)
Donna LaCroix was a case manager and paranormal investigator during the first three seasons of Ghost Hunters. Ms. LaCroix made her debut in the pilot episode and made her final appearance in the episode “Salem” of the third season. To date, Donna has appeared in a total of 35 episodes of Ghost Hunters.
Donna subsequently moved to the spin-off series Ghost Hunters International and stayed for its first two seasons before leaving the franchise for good. Donna’s exit from Ghost Hunters caused a major controversy, especially when she revealed damning backstage ethics and practices of her former cast members.
14. Samantha Hawes (2014 – 2016)
Samantha Hawes is the daughter of Jason Hawes, paranormal investigator extraordinaire and co-founder of The Atlantic Paranormal Society.
Considering her father’s obsession with the supernatural, Sam unsurprisingly also became a paranormal investigator. She joined the cast of Ghost Hunters in 2014, during the tail end of the show’s ninth season.
Subsequently, Hawes appeared semi-regularly for the next two seasons before departing after the episode “Manor of Mystery” in the eleventh season. Sam appeared in a total of 25 episodes of Ghost Hunters.
15. Kristen Luman (2015 – 2020)
Kristen Luman was a paranormal investigator on Ghost Hunters from 2015 to 2020. She joined the cast as a guest investigator in the premiere episode of season 15, titled “Barrels of Boos.” Luman went on to appear in two more episodes of the fifteenth season as a guest.
Subsequently, Luman became the co-lead investigator, opposite Grant Wilson, when the series was revived and moved to A&E in 2019. Luman and Grant helmed the two subsequent seasons on A&E.
Luman has not expressed any desire to appear in the upcoming fifteenth season. She appeared in a total of 24 episodes of the show.
Is Ghost Hunters Real or Fake?
As with any show that deals with the metaphysical, questions are bound to arise about its authenticity. The show Ghost Hunters has endured its fair share of detractors and skeptics. Based on reports from multiple sites, Ghost Hunters is varying degrees of fake. Some websites like Ranker.com have called the show “More Fiction Than Fact,” while Grunge.com has outright called Ghost Hunters “Totally Fake.”
Grunge.com, who went in hard on Ghost Hunters in their 2016 piece, put forward evidence disproving aspects of the show. One common point of contention among critics is how Ghost Hunters claim to be the first to investigate a haunted location when more often than not, it is not the case. It is rare for an allegedly haunted place to be pristine and not crawling with paranormal investigators or stupid teenagers.
Is the Show Scripted?
Furthermore, reality shows like Ghost Hunters pride themselves on being totally unscripted, with the dialog and drama forming organically. However, they were caught in their lie when an alleged script leaked online from one of their episodes. While several of the cast members claimed the scripts were fake, it still chipped away at the show’s credibility.
One of the most damning indictments of Ghost Hunters was former cast member Donna LaCroix’s departure. Donna, who worked on the show for five years as a case manager, revealed backstage details that painted the show in a bad light.
The show Ghost Hunters also has no love lost in the real-life parapsychologist community. They continuously receive hate from people who have dedicated their lives to paranormal research. The experts have called the TAPS out for fearmongering and fabricating drama for fame.
Additionally, ScreenRant.com published an exposé on their site in early 2018, revealing behind-the-scenes secrets and drama that threaten the integrity of the show and its cast members. Among other things, the piece covered plagiarism accusations, mental abuse, lies, and fabricating suspense.
Hence, the evidence overwhelmingly points to the show not being what it is advertised as — a reality show. There is strong evidence that even if Ghost Hunters is not entirely fabricated, certain aspects of the show are.