Founding Member Leaves 'Ghost Hunters' Cast

Fans of SyFy’s nurse essays have been buzzing about whether or not someone would be leaving the show soon.  The get high off ambien being run on SyFy clearly indicated a big change was coming, and that likely a member would be leaving the show.  The cast cried as the “shocking” revelation was hinted at, and from that moment people have been trying to guess who was quitting, and why.

Well, the “who” was answered on tonight’s mid-season finale.  Ghost Hunters co-founder Grant Wilson will be leaving the show after a few more investigations.

useful siteThe episode featured two investigations, with Steve Gonsalves filling in for Grant during the first for “personal reasons”.  In the middle of the second investigation, Grant tells Jason Hawes that he has something private to discuss.  At the end of the episode, a meeting of team members is called together in order for Grant to announce his impending departure.  The cast seemed shocked, although I find it difficult to believe that something so momentous for their group could have been completely unexpected.

The question remaining for fans is “why”?  Grant broke the news to the group by stating, “Eight years has put stress on us in various ways and over the course of a while.  Jay and I have been talking, and it’s been a very difficult decision to make, but I’m going to be leaving Ghost Hunters.  So it’s just time for me to back off, step aside and umm…. (at this point Grant is emotional and fighting tears) No one has done anything wrong to push me there by any means.  It’s a tough decision to make, but it’s not the end.  It’s not goodbye, still have a few more cases that I’ll be working with you and I appreciate the support.”

The history of the Ghost Hunters franchise makes me wonder if there was some sort of conflict with producers or the direction of the show.  Over the years we’ve seen many senior members leave such as Brian Harnois and Donna LaCroix, both of whom left a wake of speculation of bad blood behind them.  Also, both of those former members ended up with spots on the cast of dating site for herpes positive.  Is a Grant spin-off likely?

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Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson worked together as plumbers for Roto-Rooter before founding The Atlantic Paranormal Society (T.A.P.S.)

Some chatter in the forums hinted that perhaps the filming schedule was causing conflict in Grant’s personal life.  It was noted by more than a few viewers that Grant had not recently been wearing a wedding ring.  Or, maybe he just wanted to pursue things closer to his heart.  He’s an artist, musician and author so it may be that he just felt it was time to move on.

Finally, it may be that Grant felt conflict with the pressure from show producers to “create” more evidence.  The internet has rampantly attempted to point out shenanigans taking place on Ghost Hunters, most famously an incident wherein Grant is accused of being caught faking a ghostly encounter.  In that episode (a live 2008 Halloween ghost hunt) , Grant claims to have been grabbed on the collar of his jacket by an unseen hand.  It is argued that Grant was using a string threaded through the sleeve of his jacket to fake the maneuver.  Video below:

Responding to the accusations of fakery, Grant claimed that he’d “never do something like that.”  He also said, “Sci Fi and Pilgrim Films have never, ever pressured us to do anything like that. Honestly, I like doing the show. It’s fine. But I’m not getting any younger, my kids are growing up, and I miss my family a lot. It takes a lot of time on the road. What I’m getting at is, I couldn’t care less how well the show does. If the show does well, great, then it deserves to do well. If it fails, then it deserves to fail. And I’ll just go back to my quiet life with my wife and my boys.”

So it seems even then his heart wasn’t totally set on the show succeeding or at least growing.

What will this mean for Ghost Hunters? I suspect the show will continue to thrive in our culture obsessed with the supernatural.  Others have tried to come up with a formula that beats GH, but none have succeeded.  I imagine there will be some sort of provocative twist in the next season to grab ratings after Grant’s departure, but the show will go on.

Although I’ve not been closely following GH for the past few seasons, I always did like Grant.  He seems like such a “golly gee!” kind of guy.  I admit to being charmed by his signature, “What the frig?”  I do wish him the best.