With so many ghost hunting shows airing on television, it can be hard to work out which programme is most likely to match your paranormal preferences and give you the supernatural fix you need.
Whether you're looking for a show that delves deep into the history of a location, a truly scientific investigation of the unexplained, or just something that a fun watch with plenty of terrifying moments, then our beginner guide to ghost hunting shows will start you on your paranormal entertainment journey.
The list is presented in alphabetical order, it's hard to rank these sorts of shows as every show is different and appeals to different types of viewers.
To date there's been two seasons of the US ghost hunting show, 'Destination Fear', which follows Dakota Laden, his sister Chelsea Laden, and best friend Tanner Wiseman as they visit some of America's most haunted locations.
The team spend the night separated and alone in these paranormal hotspots, testing the limits of human fear. So, expect plenty of screams and scares. Because the crew's goal is to seek out creepy places, the show is more about their experiences at the locations rather than exploring or resolving the haunting.
They do arm themselves with various ghost hunting gadgets, but nothing out of the ordinary and their approach is more based on their own senses that scientific investigation.
Although it's not laugh out loud funny, the crew don't take themselves as seriously as some teams, so there are humorous and relatable moments in the series.
Fronted by Zak Bagans, 'Ghost Adventures' is probably the best known US ghost hunting show. The show is amongst the most popular in the genre and is an entertaining watching, although sometimes it can be a little overdramatic.
Zak and his crew, Aaron Goodwin, Billy Tolley and Jay Wasley, are scientific to a point. They're often seen using electronic ghost hunting devices, many of which were designed specifically for the team and have gone on to be used more widely in the paranormal field.
Despite their love of gadgets, where their science slips away a little is in debunking the happenings they encounter with any real depth.
With over 200 episodes to their name, over the years the team have captured some interesting and credible evidence in various different forms, earning them the reputation of a team that get results.
'Ghost Brothers' stars Marcus Harvey, Juwan Mass and Dalen Spratt, three friends who investigate the paranormal. They're a likeable team who don't take themselves too seriously, aren't overly dramatic and have fun while they investigate.
The show has more of a feel of an MTV series than a traditional ghost hunting show, which is a refreshing change from the standard cloned format most shows stick to. The team's investigations sometimes features a guest psychic, and although they do use ghost hunting gadgets, they don't let them swamp their investigation.
After almost three years away Grant Wilson returned with 'Ghost Hunters' in 2019 with a new team, better tech and more answers.
The team are heavy users of ghost hunting equipment and are scientific in their approach to paranormal investigation, although they don't experiment with technology as much as some other shows.
Throughout the show's history, and in the most recent seasons, the team have consistently produced solid evidence of the paranormal activity they encounter, often in the form of EVPs.
In 'Ghost Nation', Jason Hawes, Steve Gonsalves and Dave Tango respond to calls from paranormal investigators across the US and join them on investigations to lend their help and expertise. The team thoroughly delve into the witness accounts and background of the haunting and genuinely use this information to shape their "multi-stage investigation."
The team are very scientific in their methods, and while their investigations don't purely revolve around ghost hunting gadgets, they do often use some more unusual methods like sonar, but always explain the science and theory behind it.
They do have some ghost-hunting favourites to hand like EMF meters and a REM-Pods, but these aren't the sole focus of the investigations, instead the team rely mostly on night vision cameras and their own senses to test the claims of the victims of the haunting in a rational and controlled way. It seems they'll pretty much go to any length to try to debunk or recreate happenings.
Despite their rational and skeptical approach, the team do capture some good evidence which they showcase at the end of the episode.
Help! My House Is Haunted
'Help! My House Is Haunted' is a British paranormal show in its second season, with a third coming in 2021. The show is probably the most balanced on our list as the cast is made up of three investigators with differing methods.
Chris Fleming is the show's medium, who uses his abilities to gain an understanding of the property. Barri Ghai is the show's tech wizard, so most of his time is spent investigating with gadgets. Jayne Harris uses gadgets too, but her passion is rooted in the history of the haunting and the property and in each episode she meets with locals to find out more about the area.
Each episode has a strong narrative, which makes it an entertaining watch and the team visit interesting locations which have usually never featured previously in a television show. Throughout the first two seasons the team have caught some compelling evidence, which they showcase to the properties' owners at the end of each episode.
Amy Bruni and Adam Berry star in 'Kindred Spirits', which is as balanced and similar in style to 'Help! My House Is Haunted'. The US investigators also put an emphasis on researching and understanding the background of the haunting. They bring in a guests medium who can tell them a bit more about the property on a psychic level, and again sum up with the evidence they've captured at the end of the show.
Where the show differs to 'Help!' is that episodes have less of a narrative, which isn't a bad thing, just a point of difference which means the show has a more raw and organic feel to it. Unlike many other US shows Amy and Adam are level-headed and not overly dramatic making it an enjoyable and credible watch.
'Most Haunted', fronted by Yvette Fielding, is the show that pretty much defined the genre. In the earlier episodes the team used medium, Derek Acorah, who added a psychic element to the show. They were joined by parapsychologists, skeptics and investigators like Ciarán O'Keeffe, Matt Smith and Phil Whyman, who gave the show some scientific rigour.
Today, the team take a more back-to-basics approach to ghost hunting. They don't rely on gadgets and technology, which they believe to generally be unreliable and unproven. Instead what viewers get is the chance to see a down-to-earth team using their own senses and getting scared in the dark - something which is quite relatable, but most of all, fun to watch.
Although the team aren't massively scientific in their approach, they don't jump to the conclusion that everything that happens is paranormal, instead leaving it up to the viewer to decide. And with almost 300 episodes to their name, they've captured plenty of evidence along the way too, some compelling, some controversial - but either way, Yvette and the team have kept the debate going for almost two decades.
'Paranormal Lockdown' made it to three seasons before being cancelled, but the series is well worth a watch. Nick Groff and Katrina Weidman work well together and the locations they investigate are all very interesting. While two seasons of the US show were filmed in America, one exclusively revolves around British paranormal hotspots.
The duo, who take themselves quite seriously in the show, use a wide array of ghost hunting gadgets and often try new and different experiments, unfortunately they often get over excited and run off somewhere else rather than having the necessary patience to put the required time and effort into the experiment.
Nick and Katrina do obtain a lot of evidence through their investigations, some of which is very convincing. Most of the evidence they gather is in the form of indistinct voices through ghost hunting gadgets, which can be open to interpretation.
Portals To Hell
'Portals To Hell' took over where 'Paranormal Lockdown' left off, when Katrina Weidman joined forces with Jack Osbourne. The two work very well together and have a bit more fun than Katrina did in her last pairing.
Although the show's title sounds like it's all about finding portals to the infernal realm with demons popping up all over the place, actually the show is nothing like that. Katrina and Jack are rational and level-headed to the point where actually they debunk everything and very little happens in the show. For this reason the pair don't often have much convincing evidence to show at the end of the episode.
Ghost hunting gadgets do feature in 'Portals To Hell' and the pair try some unique and interesting experiments, but like 'Paranormal Lockdown', a lot of this feels rushed and fails to deliver any results.