Destination America to Air “Ghost Brothers”

I spend a good deal of my free time looking for stories to write about for the blog, and honestly, it’s getting tougher and tougher. Usually, my criteria hold that it has to inspire me to say something worthwhile, to contribute some thoughts or a different perspective than the one the original story is trying to tell. Most of the time, I like to debunk silly photos or other “evidence,” or just take people to task for their ridiculous claims. Paranormal “reality” TV shows are another favorite target of mine. So I was drawn to this story about a new ghost hunting show. But then…well, a whole range of mixed feelings immediately kicked in. And I realized that my thoughts on it were not my typical humorous take, but something more serious and introspective.

So here’s the long and the short of it: Destination America (the network that brought us the ridiculously fake and offensive Mountain Monsters) is debuting a new ghost hunting show, featuring an all-black cast. They are calling it Ghost Brothers. And apparently it’s a comedy.

The (Potentially) Good

So let’s talk about the positives first. It’s great to see people of color finally being represented on a paranormal show. Up until this point, I can count on one finger the number of folks on any paranormal show that weren’t white. Honestly, the only two that come to mind are Joe Chin’s brief stints on Ghost Hunters and Ghost Hunters International, and Rosalyn Bown of Ghost Hunters Academy. Other than that, though, paranormal TV has been pretty exclusively white.

Now this is something that has come up when talking with my friends and colleagues in this field. Most, if not all, of them are white. We often wondered why. And of course, one thing that kept coming up was that you don’t really see people of color on paranormal TV shows. I think it’s safe to say that the lack of diversity on these shows is a bit worrisome.

Whether you are talking about ghosts, UFOs, Bigfoot, or anything in the paranormal and/or unexplained realm, these are basic human interests that are shared by everyone. What happens to us when we die? Are we alone in the universe? Are there things on this very planet that we have not discovered yet? Questions people from every walk of life have asked. So where is the equal interest in investigating these phenomena? It’s a question that needs to be asked, and one that I don’t have a good answer for. If anyone has any thoughts on this, we’d love for you to comment.

The (Potentially) Bad

But reading about this show brought up more bad feelings than good for me. Like I said, it’s great to see not just one person of color, but an entire team, investigating ghosts. But personally, there are some issues here. The fact that they are really pushing that the team consists of three African Americans comes off as desperate, like the network is trying too hard to show how diverse they are. To use an issue like minorities not being represented at the Oscars to pitch your new show just feels classless and lazy to me, piggybacking on a bigger, broader issue to sell some reality TV show.

Second, calling the show Ghost Brothers just…makes me squirm a little. Is this a show about paranormal investigating, or is it a Blaxploitation flick from the ‘70s? It comes across as very tone deaf to me, considering everything going on in the world today. I’m sure I’ve laughed at my share of politically incorrect jokes in the past, but this truly bothers me. Is this really how the paranormal community wants to view the first non-white reality TV cast? Would making these three paranormal investigators, who just happen to be black, have a serious show with a more scientific background, unwatchable? That’s apparently what Destination America believes.

Lastly, the fact that it’s a comedy, in my opinion, just demolishes any of the “progress” in diversity that Destination America is crowing about. Because, you know what? If this were yet another trio of all white male paranormal investigators who were investigating and it was a comedy show, most everyone in the paranormal community would be totally against it. Again, it feels a little like exploitation of stereotypes to me, with the whole “THIS time, the black guys make it out of the haunted house alive!” thing. This feels different than something like Marlon Wayans doing “Scary Movie.” There’s a fine line between spoofing stereotypes and bigotry to bring awareness, and using those stereotypes purely to grab ratings.

Why does it have to be a comedy? Do we need to take them less seriously because they are not white? Now, I can’t say that’s what’s actually happening here. I haven’t seen the show yet. Maybe these guys just bring a little levity to serious investigating, and are trying to move away from the melodrama of Ghost Hunters or Ghost Adventures with some humor. I sincerely hope that’s what is at play here, and it would be a welcome change from the formulaic style of these shows that we are accustomed to. But my fear is that this is just more exploitation for ratings. The track record of Destination America is not good. Look how far back they set the stereotype of “hillbillies” with Mountain Monsters….

The Article

Ghost Brothers promoWhat you see is what you get with Dalen Spratt, Juwan Mass and Marcus Harvey, the Southeast’s newest and most dynamic paranormal investigation team. These three best friends lead Destination America’s new series GHOST BROTHERS, on a mission to uncover whether some unique, legendary “haunted” houses are the real deal.

Raised in religious households, Dalen, Juwan and Marcus were taught that “messing” with the dead is dangerous business, but some unexplained experiences of their own piqued their intense fascination, ultimately driving them to find out firsthand just how spooky the supernatural can be. Blending natural curiosity with comedic flair, these charismatic characters offer a fresh, funny and unique take on the spirit world. From Pilgrim Media Group, producers of the long-running mega-hit “Ghost Hunters,” the six-part series GHOST BROTHERS is set to premiere on Friday, April 15 at 10/9c, only on Destination America.

“Anyone boycotting the Academy Awards because of the absence of minorities represented might well find a kindred spirit in, GHOST BROTHERS, the new series debuting on Destination America, featuring the first ever African American ghost hunting team,” said Henry S. Schleiff, Group President of Investigation Discovery, American Heroes Channel and Destination America. “At DA, we make a concerted effort to create programming that reflects the diversity of all Americans, everywhere, and are excited to have Dalen, Juwan and Marcus join our family.”

“Destination America is the leader in paranormal programming, and we are excited to bring diversity to this space with the very first African American ghost hunting team on television,” said Jane Latman, general manager of Destination America. “Dalen, Juwan and Marcus’ personalities shine through in GHOST BROTHERS, wearing their emotions on their sleeves in an incredibly relatable way during all of the fear, thrills and chills of investigating things that go bump in the night.”

“We’re excited to join the Destination America family and prove that there can be a little humor in the unknown,” said Dalen Spratt. “But the best part about GHOST BROTHERS is that THIS time, the black guys make it out of the haunted house alive!”

As budding enthusiasts of paranormal investigation, the GHOST BROTHERS take a passionate hobby to the next level in some of the country’s most haunted locations. By day, Dalen and Juwan are fashion designers with their own label called Loren Spratt, though, in their off time, they have been investigating haunted houses, hotels and cemeteries together since 2011. Marcus, a comedian and “Barber to the Stars,” met Dalen in 2009 and now, as an “experienced” ghost hunter, he considers himself the Peter Venkman of the trio.

Haunted hot spots explored in GHOST BROTHERS include the Magnolia Hotel in Seguin, Texas; Prospect Place in Trinway, Ohio; Allen House in Monticello, Ark.; Magnolia Plantation in Derry, La.; Delta Queen Steamboat in Houma, La.; and the Fitzpatrick Hotel in Washington, Ga..

Will I check out Ghost Brothers? Hard to say. I like checking out these shows, most of the time just for the guilty pleasure of watching something so terrible that it’s funny. I’m just not sure how funny this show will be.

36 comments on “Destination America to Air “Ghost Brothers”

  1. When I saw the preview seeing three black guys doing paranormal investigation really intrigued and delighted me. Finally there were some black guys! I felt,pretty much,the same as the author did and with eerily similar concerns! I didn’t know this show was to be a “comedy”though. I was just hoping that these guys didn’t portray the stereotypical African American who’s supposed to be afraid of “spooks” and things that go bump in the night. All I could imagine is picture of the black man in those black & White films who eyes almost bulges out of his head who turns and runs off screaming leaving whomever had come with them. That’s when I read it was labeled a comedy and my fears seemed they’d be realized smh. Hopefully if the series is picked up they’ll quickly move away from that stereotypical and embarrassing format! Why do we (blacks) always have to be clowns,the comedy relief from the seriousness of any particular issue? We are much more than comedians,sports stars,rappers,gangsters,prostitutes,thugs, or just plain idiots! I would rather see these “brothers” going in with a more serious approach using the latest in ghost hunting technologies while basing their investigation on facts,eye witness testimonials, and a more conventional approach. Pretty much like most of the other paranormal shows. I fear trying this comedic approach is going to fail miserably and the fault will be placed on the show having black hosts and not the comedy format. I watch these shows and the last thing I want to see is any investigation where the hosts are trying to be comedians,the two concepts just doesn’t work for me. These shows have moments where you can see the potential humor in certain situations but that’s best left to the imagination. I just hope they don’t make these hosts the scapegoats for this horrible idea of mixing comedy with the always frightening atmosphere of paranormal investigation. And please change that title!!!

  2. Not even sure why this show was given five stars (on Amazon), watched with my fiance and what was very evident was they can out talk each other…if there was ghosts present you could not really tell since you could not really hear them and when you did hear something it sounded like it came from the crew or as if one of them stated it themselves. Why was the so called REM Rod not used at locations that had so much more activity or at all locations not just one. Maybe we are wrong for taking this show slightly seriously but I wish them the best for we will not be watching another.

  3. I am an avid watcher of Ghost Adventures with Zak, Aaron and other white guys. My family and I laugh alot while watching them. Why does everything have to end up racial? I love Ghost Brothers, and feel these guys have alot going for them. One thing we all need to remember though, there is no color or race in the spirit realm. When we pass our earthly bodies rot away, we become spirits. Finally, we will not be hindered by color.

    1. Well Ghost Adventures is not marketed as comedy (even though it probably should be). But Ghost Brothers is. That’s the big difference…


  5. Ok so here’s the deal people, from the author to the plethora of diversity in commenters, you could all do yourselves some good by realizing one crucial thing prior to commenting on things like this show. GHOSTS ARE NOT REAL. There is no reason, no evidence and absolutely no proof WHATSOEVER to prove otherwise. The one and only reason why soooo much diversity exists in “ghost hunting” is because it’s still an OPEN market! Meaning – no one has ever found a ghost, hence the reason why people are still “looking.” Or pretending to, at the very least.

    I’m sorry but childish toys should be boxed up and stored in the attic when we become adults. We don’t take Santa to adulthood, lets leave God, tooth fairy and ghosts in our childhood box. Grow up people it’s time to outgrow this bullshit from the infancy of our stupefied. naive, ignorant relatives from the past.

    1. You speaking of this with such absolute certainty makes you no better than the people who you are criticizing.

  6. Ghost brothers is fantastic!!!! I will watch every episode they had Mr at “who is this ghost bitch?”
    Ghost Adventures is awful I feel embarrassed for that crew just watching them and Zach Bagging is insufferable.

  7. Disappointed. I was hoping to see ghost hunters that aren’t afraid when they supposedly find what they are there to find in the first place (noises, cold feeling, being watched, and God forbid actually seeing something).

    I was hoping to see a fresh format, and exploring sites that not every paranormal / ghost show has not tramped through and investigated ad nauseum.

    It would also be great to see investigations of locations and claims of paranormal events that are not from 100 years ago, believe me there’s plenty of tragic circumstances and places that are sure to be worth investigating.

    It would be great if this show would go in that direction.

  8. Silly show. And I don’t buy the evidence. Bunch of amateurs. Ghost Adventures is still the best and most reputable of these types of shows — and I’ve watched them all.

    1. I was with you right up until you mentioned Ghost Adventures, one of the worst shows out there representing ghost hunting.

  9. this is so stupid!! if u dont believe in ghost then why are you even watching these show about ghost hunting?! there are a lot of ppl that are simple minded.. i am a paranormal investigator.. i do not fake anything that i have on video or my record.. i know what i have see felt and seen.. i know there is things that are unknown.. but anyways i love watching ghost brother ghost adventures ghost asylum and even dead files.. and i really hope the ghost brothers make it and do very well.. and again for those that has commented on here about there is no ghost and you dont believe.. and you think these shows are faked.. why are you even watching it?!! and commenting on here where ppl believe and likes watching these shows?! change your channel its simple!!

    1. People, whether they believe or not, would probably want to see a show that handles the subject with respect and in a scientific manner. None of the shows you mentioned even come close to doing that.

  10. This show is a waste of time. I take the subject of ghost / supernatural investigation very serious. But when you try to put a comedy spin on a show. Especially in this field, It just looses all credibility to anything they do. If they were to be more serious then the public would actually take them serious. I continue to watch the show. But have yet to be impressed. Because they’re lack professionalism. And yes I know it’s labeled as a comedy. That’s why the public laughs at people that believe. They are not helping the cause.

  11. No.. just because you have not found anything that’s why you don’t believe. To each there own. I bet your the kind of person that still says “oh my God ” when crap hits fan.

  12. I agree with everything thing the author stated and I’m a white girl. My first thought was, ‘Are the idiots at Destination American insane?!?!’ I thought for sure that they would be turning this show into another three ring circus like Mountain Monsters. (BTW, they say that’s their #1 rated show. Is that true? That scares me America!) Anyway, with MM, they took a bunch of actors, told them to act out the most idiotic, ignorant redneck hillbilly stereotypes they have ever seen, run through the woods towards each other with guns chasing Bigfoot and that this would make great TV. So when I first saw that they had a new show with three black men chasing ghosts I thought it would be more of the same, just with what we would consider racist black stereotypes. Hence, the producers must be crazy and asking for controversy. The name alone made me cringe! Ghost Brothers? Why?!? Now, two of the three guys were in a frat together so… Yeah who am I kidding. I also had misgivings about this being billed as a comedy for all of the reasons the author stated besides the fact I figured it would just make for terrible TV. But then I watched it and then I wanted to watch all of the episodes because I just thought all of the guys were so charming and yes, funny. I think now that it may be advertised as a comedy not because that’s what the producers wanted it to be but because that’s what it became. These guys are just funny. Marcus is even said to be a comedian in addition to being a barber. Not only that but maybe BECAUSE they are black, I think they bring a different perspective to the places that have been hunted ad naseum by other teams of primarily white members! For instance last night I watched them investigate at the Mangnolia Plantation in Louisiana. This place has an extensive slave history and I thought the different outlook that this team brought was refreshing. I’m not naive… I realize that this is TV and is really all fake in most ways anyway. I hope that these guys can be taken as seriously as any other of the ‘fake’ TV teams can. In my opinion, these guys are just as serious in what they’re doing as the guys on Ghost Hunters or Ghost Adventures, they’re just a helluva lot more entertaining which when you think about it, that’s what they’re supposed to be. It’s TV. Besides, I can not stand the insufferable Zak ‘Tool’ Baggans anymore. Who gave that asshat a friggin museum and another show anyhow. Smdh.

    1. Thanks for the feedback! I haven’t watched Ghost Brothers yet. I’m sure the cast is made up of nice individuals, but I feel a lot of the paranormal shows are (save for maybe Jason Hawes and Zak Bagans). But I keep hoping for a good, authentic, serious ghost hunting show, and it is always more of the same. Entertaining is fine, but we have plenty of entertaining shows. I’m still hoping for a show at some point that doesn’t make entertainment it’s first priority. But then I realize that will never happen and keep reviewing these bad shows 😉

  13. I have a feeling we’ll never see that serious ‘real’ ghost hunting show. Why? Because nothing will ever happen on it and the ratings will just not be there because of it. I tend to be more of a believer because I’ve had so many things happen to me in my life but if I carried a camera around with me 24/7 I would likely never catch anything. Neither would a serious ghost hunting show. Things just don’t happen as often as these shows portray!! No one gets an evp every time they turn on a recorder. So if nothing happens or things rarely happen then the ratings won’t be there and that equals no money for those investing in the show. So it’ll never happen! Ghost Hunters was probably about as close as it got… Until even they got so boring they started obviously faking things to spice things up.

  14. would be nice if they had good ?????real???? equipment so much there missing bc they have nothing!! wanted to like it but its a joke i could do what they do and not only that but they run EVERYTIME theres something happening and they think theres a ghost really its not even i could tell on the thermal when you shine a flashlight and it stil stays there …..its not.

  15. Stupid show. Destination America ruined Friday night with this garbage.
    The ONLY reason this show is on tv is BECAUSE THEY ARE BLACK.
    Talk about playing the Fkn race card. Smh.

  16. The truth is noone can be a professional ghost hunter, we are all amateurs. Noone knows if ghost exist and if they do noone truly knows how to make contact, its all just trial and error. Noone can even prove any of the equipment works, and the sad thing is ALL evidence is always “proven” to be fake by the so called “experts.” So everyone needs to relax, if you enjoy the show watch it if not turn the channel. Its a show just like all the others, pick the one you enjoy and, well enjoy!

  17. Love these guys. Why does it have to be so damn serious? I’m always the one who cracks jokes when I’m nervous or scared. It relieves pressure. And Jawan is so easy to tease! Haha. I miss these guys when I’m not watching the show. They are just so much fun. Nothing else about it. Nothing else needs to be about it.

  18. Can’t watch this show. They use IPhones to conduct EVPs…. Yea no thanks. Extremely fake and make a mockery of paranormal investigation. Only thing going for this shows is that the hosts are eye candy. Change the title to ghost comedy

  19. I love ghost shows but these guys are way too childish to take serious. The corny jokes just ruin the show……ghost, spirits etc i take very serious and shouldn’t be taken lightly….and this is coming from a black guy!!!!

  20. Ok now I really like these young gentleman. It’s kind of cute to see things that go bump in the night thru their eyes, and they are a handsome bunch..BUT, since I am a volunteer founder of a Paranormal team and am use to people doubting our sincerity about what we see or feel or hear this show really makes us look stupid. They ask for answers when they use flashlights or other things. But when they get an answer they run. Our team would love to get half the “responses” they do and I can guarantee we would jumping for joy not anything else. I will use a word they love to use “literally” please take it a tad more serious and not give us serious teams a bad rap. For a comedy you have great show but at least tell the audience it’s s comedy.

  21. I can understand your skepticism about the existence po g ghost, it’s the same with UFOs. I confounded a Paranormal Group and I have seen, felt, heard toouvh to think that everything is so cut and dry. Of course if you actually prove to me that ghosts and UFOs really don’t exist I will gladly admit on fb and other genres that they aren’t really. I can’t prove they do and I can’t prove they don’t., Are you any better than I am.

  22. Forgive me, I didn’t read all the comments. I’m so mad at this show I needed to post online somewhere… Ya know, cause like it really matters…

    Ghost Brothers is obviously fake and very scripted. Black, white, show title, I don’t care about all that. What I do care about is integrity. As much as you can anyway, regarding paranormal documentation.

    Some people believe in paranormal possibilities and some don’t. If I’m watching a show that’s supposed to be about documenting possible proof then I want it to be legit.

    They spend more time talking to each other than doing anything else. I’ve watched 3 episodes and so far all evidence is weak garbage that can clearly be faked. When you add a bunch of edits, script reading and bad acting on top… Goodbye integrity.

    There are legit groups out there investigating. There are legit happenings that are hard to fully explain. I really don’t care about the whole black thing. It is a bummer though… First black paranormal show and it’s clearly fake and pandering to the lowest common denominator.

    Meanwhile I just watched Paranormal Lockdown Halloween special (black monk)… I thought wow… Some odd things… Then the last like 10minutes is clearly a fake scripted storyline wrap up… So long integrity…

    Ghost Adventures and Ghost Hunters both lost their credibility long ago. Was really hoping Ghost Brothers was going to be the new legit show. Turns out it’s worse than all of them.

    Oh… And I’m reading it’s supposed to be comedic… I haven’t laughed once.

    Dear Destination America, cancel this show or severely revise — hugs and kisses.

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