Home > TV Review > Thoughts on Grant Wilson Leaving TAPS/”Ghost Hunters”

Thoughts on Grant Wilson Leaving TAPS/”Ghost Hunters”

As anyone who reads this blog probably knows, I’m not a fan of the SyFy Channel show Ghost Hunters. I haven’t watched the show for a few years now (with one exception, which I will soon explain), and most of my paranormally-involved friends and acquaintances no longer watch it either, for a myriad of reasons. But I actually tuned in last week, because they were advertising a development that would mean Ghost Hunters would “never be the same.” Basically, in what is perhaps one of the worst-kept secrets in television history, Grant Wilson, one of the founding members of TAPS, was leaving the show.

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Now before I get into my criticisms and have to once again deal with a bunch of comments saying how I’m jealous and have sour grapes, I have to say that I, once upon a time, loved Ghost Hunters. It was great to see a show with actual paranormal investigators and not just local yahoos and self-proclaimed psychics running around making claims they could never verify. These were guys who were dedicated, spent lots of their own time and money investigating the paranormal, and used scientific methods. We were all happy for them, and they inspired many more people to get into this field. But things quickly began to change. Instead of being skeptical and trying to debunk things, now they were finding EVPs every week and claiming locations were haunted, something they’d never done before. The focus shifted from helping the average family with ghosts (anyone else remember “We’re here to help?”) to pompous claims of being the first and only team to ever investigate whatever famous haunted location of the week they were visiting (which was rarely the case). The show went from being something we all enjoyed and respected and turned into a ratings circus. Those of us who actually investigate the paranormal came to see what the show was now really about: ratings and money.

Again, before anyone has a chance to lob insults my way for being jealous or whatever, let me just say that no, I do not want a TV show. I’ve been on TV many times, from local news to the Discovery Channel, and I’ve turned down many, many other shows, some of them quite ludicrous in their premise. I’m not jealous of them at all, merely disappointed. And as many paranormal investigators will tell you, when TAPS rolls into town, they change things. They do things to make it harder on the rest of us to get into places. They’ve done this with two locations my group had investigated prior to TAPS ever being there, one of them being Snug Harbor, a recent episode that I watched (see, told you I’d get to it). And for those of you who think the show is entirely real, I have a script they left behind that I can show you. They didn’t investigate overnight, only filmed the investigative shots they needed and then bailed.

Anyhoo, now that the disclaimer is over, my thoughts on Grant leaving. To me, Grant always seemed the more upstanding of the two founders of TAPS. Jason Hawes has always seemed a bit pompous, and in more recent seasons just seems very put-upon to be doing the very easy thing he does and gets paid tons of money to do. His lack of care shows through in every episode. You can tell his passion is gone, and he’s just doing this for the money now. Grant, on the other hand, has always seemed more compassionate and invested in the work.

Grant is a controversial figure though, as it seems that whenever TAPS gets caught faking evidence, Grant is at the center of it. Lots of people I know blame Grant for this, and call him the worst of the bunch. I don’t quite see it that way. I wonder if he’s just not as into the money, the trickery, the ratings, and perhaps his heart just isn’t into hoaxing things? And maybe that is why he fails.

According to a recent Grant Wilson FAQ on the TAPS website (which now just leads to the same info on Jason Hawes’ website), Grant left to pursue his education. If so, good for him. I tend to believe that his heart just wasn’t in it anymore. Though this could simply be a huge ratings ploy. Tease that he’s leaving on the season finale, then sort of admit that he has a “few more investigations to do” (so he WILL be back next season), and maybe by the time that all happens, he’s miraculously changed his mind and stays with TAPS. Even the way they handled his exit was staged. He tells Jason to turn off his mic so he can tell him while they are investigating? Hogwash. Jason knew exactly what was going on. They tell Steve Gonsalves to gather the team for a private meeting, and then the cameras cut to the team sitting in a restaurant, obviously being filmed by multiple cameras. Yeah, very private. Then the waterworks when Grant announces his departure. Maybe tears of joy that they all might get more airtime now (and thus, more money)?

I wish Grant well. I really do. Like I said, he always seemed to be the most genuine of the bunch. But that being said, he could have left many years ago, when the credibility of the show was falling apart, and he didn’t. I’ve seen people on Facebook and other outlets thanking Grant profusely, and they are almost like memorials. He’s not dead, folks. And ghost hunting existed long before he was on TV. And mark my words, he will be back, at some point.

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  1. Doreese Dufaux ~ I can’t fix stupid
    August 9th, 2012 at 03:02 | #1

    I like the show no matter what and I have noticed that the show has hanged over the years as to the hunts being more commercial etc but I just figure the reason being is that they are more well known at this point. I would imagine they get flooded with people trying to get them to investigate anything and alot of crackpots just wanting to be on TV. I have watched this show from day one…. no matter what…. I like the show :)

  2. judy
    August 10th, 2012 at 17:54 | #2

    I hope Grant is not ill. If he is my pray’s are with you. He is such a big part of this program.
    I like this show very much.

  3. August 19th, 2012 at 14:06 | #3

    I have always enjoyed taps/ ghost hunters. i liked the fact that they debunk as well as find evidence of ghost.steve has so many phobias it’s it’s unreal that he is a former policeman. as for places they have investigated, they were the first to film at some of those locations. you want camera happy crews, try watching the ghost adventurers. not only have they investigated the same sites as the ghost hunters {afterwards}. the lead investagator , Zak, gets on my nerves, with his hushing of his co workers then running his own mouth!!now that is irratating !! i’ll watch ghost hunters anytime , rather then the other shows !!

  4. September 13th, 2012 at 18:56 | #4

    right on

  5. October 12th, 2012 at 18:21 | #5

    I always liked Grant the best, as well. He was more “sensitive” it seemed, and more dedicated. During the end of his work with the show, he seemed pale and sickly and unhappy. I hope he made a bunch of money for selling his half off.

  6. October 12th, 2012 at 23:27 | #6

    What is Grant doing now? Does anyone know?

  7. Jason Stroming
    October 13th, 2012 at 19:55 | #7

    @Larry He’s working at a tabletop gaming company called Rather Dashing Games, that I believe he and a friend started together.

  8. Jason Stroming
    October 13th, 2012 at 19:56 | #8

    @Cathy Meadows We noticed that too, Cathy. He said in a recent interview that lack of sleep was one of his main motivations for leaving the show. It definitely took its toll on him.

  9. October 13th, 2012 at 23:37 | #9

    @Jason Stroming
    Is Grant still married? There were Rumors that his marriage was failing, and that is why he left the show.

  10. George Stonikinis
    October 19th, 2012 at 17:21 | #10

    I’ve followed GH for just about the entire 8 years and I have some observations myself. Odd, how Grant’s exit precipitated a sudden explosion of activity at every stop on his farewell tour. What’s more, is the activity seems to have stayed at a high level ever since.
    The recent episode where the team is investigating the campground and see lights in the woods, but just stand there and comment on them is completely opposite the mentality that allowed them to ridicule Brian Harnois right off the show.

    As an investigator myself, I watch every week just so I can bone up on what lengths people will go to in order to fabricate evidence.

  11. October 21st, 2012 at 23:10 | #11

    I think a lot of evidence were faked on GH, not to say there aren’t things out there that can’t be explain. I don’t really think anybody really knows why grant really left. Is he still part own of that resort in New Hampshire?

  12. RayA.
    October 22nd, 2012 at 00:17 | #12

    I’ve watch GH for the last eight years and have noticed the same things you’ve mentioned. Jason used to never admit to a place being haunted, and now suddenly everything is haunted. I’ve been disappointed in the show for the last several years, since they started investigating locations rather than private homes. I hate that the slightest odd sound is an “EVP” and they somehow found a “translation” for what it says. I remember in the beginning Jason saying that they never tell the client what they think an EVP says because they want to see if the client hears the same or similar to what he and Grant heard. Now on every episode, they implant an idea into the client’s head by stating what they think the “EVP” is saying. I still respect them as true ghost hunters. They obviously have had true experiences and know what they’re doing. However, I’m disappointed in the show. It has become just as commercial as the rest of the crappy ghost hunting shows out there. Of course I still tune in every week, in hopes they will find something real. Still waiting.

  13. RayA.
    October 22nd, 2012 at 00:21 | #13

    And one more comment….I was extremely disappointed in obviously faked “phenomena” in an episode from this season. I believe you mentioned it, the one at the camp. Those “lights” were obviously fake. They almost looked like the lights you see on road caution signs. That is probably why they didn’t investigate, because then the audience would see the contraption making the light. The “evidence” was so cheesy. I can’t believe they actually allowed it on the show! I lost a ton of respect that night.

  14. Tim O
    October 31st, 2012 at 12:07 | #14

    Grant DID NOT leave due to wanting to go for more education Grant left T.A.P.S because he is a Morman and it goes against his beliefs and, it started to interfer with his marriage and with his kids. I know him personaly so please Get your info straight before you write it

  15. Robert A.
    November 1st, 2012 at 03:24 | #15

    After reading the above Story, I have to agree with everything stated. I’ve been watching GH since the first season, and the last few years seem to be more contrived and unbelievable. They used to debunk most things, but now almost every place has amazing evidence of paranormal activity. I also used to think Grant was the one of the group with the most integrity. When it was announced that he was leaving, the first reason i thought of was that he didn’t want to continue with the falsehoods on the show. I have noticed that this season without him, seems much more faked and scripted! I have really lost much respect and interest in the show, and TAPS in general!

  16. BillKutz
    November 3rd, 2012 at 15:58 | #16

    @Tim O
    Well Tim, I can say I know him personally too, but I don’t. That’s the problem with things in here, anybody can claim anything. I would be very suspicious of this explanation for the reason that he was on the show for many years. Now suddenly it’s interfering with his religion? I can maybe buy it messing with his family, as it has gotten pretty big, but if this was the reason, why would he not just come out and say it. Why does he need you to defend him? If someone leaves a show with little or no explanation, it opens things up for people to come up with their own reason. If you are friends with Grant, and you alone are privy to these “facts”, then how is the everyday person supposed to check their facts if they are so secret?
    Lighten up, I have read all these post and I don’t believe anyone has said anything against Grant, in fact he seems to be very well liked. People speculate in the absence of facts.

  17. November 4th, 2012 at 00:15 | #17

    I think GH started out honest & Sincere, but once the networks saw the potential of GH being a successful Sci-Fi show. It started faking a lot of stuff to make it more interesting and appealing to bring in a larger audience. Why is it, that when ever the Taps investigators hear something or see something we don’t see it? Will Jason retire after the show is canceled or will he become an actor or host to a new paranormal show. I am sure that GH will eventually be canceled and replaced with something else. Does Grant & Jason still own and operate a resort inn in New Hampshire? I’m just curious. BTW, Jason once lived in Canandaigua NY when he was an young boy. I was born and raised in Sodus NY, about a 45 minute drive to Canandaigua. I know that city/town very well and I know where Allen Town is located. Taps investigated there during one of their episodes. It’s the closes i ever came to Taps lol.

  18. Jason Stroming
    November 5th, 2012 at 21:16 | #18

    @Tim O As Bill said, anyone can claim to be a “friend” of Grant’s. And we did not say that he left to pursue his education, we were only reporting what the TAPS website stated. And if you truly were a good friend of his, maybe you should take a bit more care to spell his religion correctly. And if it were against his religious beliefs, he probably wouldn’t have done the show for almost a decade before quitting.

  19. Kristi Kreme
    November 11th, 2012 at 11:43 | #19

    @Jason Stroming
    LMAO Jason!!!

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