“Living for the Dead” on Hulu – Why it Matters to Me

To be honest, I’d almost given up on ghost hunting TV shows. Even some of the shows that I’d liked (kinda-sorta) when they first aired… Too many have become self-parodies.

And, to be even more blunt, some of the cast who’ve signed deals for their own shows…? They have my sympathy. Often, between the “unscripted” directions they’re given and how the shows are edited… yikes.

But, as a fan of “Queer Eye,” I couldn’t not take a peek at “Living for the Dead,” just in case it was different. I wanted to see what kind of spin those producers might bring to ghost hunting.

I was astonished. In a good way.

As I see it, there are two kinds of ghost hunting.

One variety is what you see most often on TV: People (mostly men) portrayed as “everyday guys,” go looking for ghosts. They rely heavily on ghost hunting equipment, and seem unprepared for anything truly startling.

I understand how that appeals to the viewing audience. Anyone watching the show might think, “Cool! I can do that, too!”

And so they do.

And then they’re disappointed.

Or find themselves in a dangerous situation, physically or spiritually.

Or both. (Deep sigh.)

The other kind of ghost hunting is what I do: I visit sites with interesting histories and the potential for ghostly energy, perhaps intriguing “residual energy,” if not actual ghosts.

People like me rely on their senses (five or six), and only use ghost hunting equipment to check for anomalies that might explain the “weird vibes” of the site.

High EMF from bad wiring in a building…?  That can make anyone uneasy.

Add some infrasound, and people can have a genuinely terrifying experience.

People like me aspire to a rich experience at each “haunted” site, feeling a connection with history.

That’s the opposite of the “Dude, run!” version of ghost hunting, where people seem to want “a good scare.”

… Of course, those two different kinds of ghost hunting aren’t always distinct. There can be plenty of overlap in that Venn diagram.

Anyway…

Here’s my review, as a YouTube video. (I apologize for the audio quality. With seasonal allergies, my voice isn’t as reliable or consistent as I’d like, but I wanted to share this review as quickly as possible.)

And, if you’ve watched that TV series, I hope you’ll share your opinions in comments, below. (I’ll admit to watching a couple of the episodes twice. When they’re good – or fun, or both – they’re definitely worth a second glance.0

The Mandela Effect Site is Back… Sort of

Is this actually big news…? Maybe.

Unexpected? Probably.

The short version is: We now have a Mandela Effect YouTube channel.

And, as of a few hours ago, the two Mandela Effect videos that were at my ghost-related YouTube channel are now at the new Mandela Effect YouTube channel.

I’ve also added a YouTube Shorts video – less than a minute long – for those who have a passing interest in the Mandela Effect topic.

I’ll be adding content to both of my YouTube channels (the Mandela Effect one, and the ghost-hunting one) over the next few days, and then as time permits.

Here are the (boring?) details…

My long-time URL, MandelaEffect.com, now redirects to the Mandela Effect YouTube channel I’m working on. (That redirect may take up to 48 hours to resolve. Later, I may change the name of the channel, but my URL will still redirect there.)

So far, that YouTube channel contains the two Mandela Effect videos that had been at my ghost-related YouTube channel. (We’ve moved the videos, and fixed the subtitles so – finally – they’re readable.)

I’ve also created a one-minute video, explaining what the Mandela Effect is.

In the next few days, this new YouTube channel will feature more new YouTube Shorts (videos that are one minute or less) on the Mandela Effect topic. (That’s just the beginning. I’m working on this as fast as I can.)

Meanwhile…

The Mandela Effect WordPress site has been updated as well, and it’s now using the URL of MandelaEffectSite.com

Here’s why I’m making these dramatic changes.

The Mandela Effect videos never fit the topic of my ghost hunting YouTube channel.

I just didn’t know where else to put them.

And really, the hyperbole around the Mandela Effect topic had become so preposterous — and volatile — I thought I’d never talk about it again. (I know, “never say never,” right? lol )

Early yesterday morning  – around 3 AM – after reading the great, recent CNN article about the Mandela Effect, I woke up realizing that the Mandela Effect topic is now mainstream enough to encourage calm, genuine conversations. I’m hopeful.

NOTE: This does NOT mean I’m able to read or reply to emails or comments about that topic. Halloween – my busiest ghost-related time of year – is almost here, and I’m far behind on projects I’d promised my fans.

Mostly, I realized that YouTube could resolve two of my biggest Mandela Effect website problems: Inflammatory comments and website hosting costs.

Here’s why YouTube seems to be the answer:

    • YouTube blocks the most extreme comments, while allowing continued dialogue among viewers with a genuine interest in the topic.
    • YouTube can handle the massive traffic that the Mandela Effect topic seems to attract.

So, I’m pleased, and hoping this works.

Of course, some people will ask about the channel earning money. As if it’s immoral or something.

I addressed that general topic last March, when I more-or-less formally – and finally – “retired” from publishing my Mandela Effect research and participating in conversations.

But yes, in the future, with enough YouTube channel subscribers and a massive number of viewing hours, I may qualify for income from the ads YouTube displays with almost all of my videos.

(YouTube doesn’t approve all channels for that, and it’s not why I’ve created the channel. In fact, it’s a fairly moot point; for an income of about two cents for each view, I’m not seeing dollar signs in this move. It’s just saving me hosting bills. And time.)

For me, YouTube seems be a place where – once again – the origins of the Mandela Effect topic (and my actual opinions on it) can be seen, and friends’ conversations can continue.

Will this work…? I have no clue, but it seems worth a try.

(And yes, there will be trolls at YouTube. It’s the Internet. Do your best to ignore them, okay…?)

This was not an easy decision for me, and we’ve spent the past ~48 hours making the initial changes. It’s been a LOT of work.

However, I’m hopeful that — once and for all — YouTube solves the biggest problems related to sharing my original content. And, at the same time, it’s a place where people can comment and have conversations about this topic.

Warning: My Voice Was Cloned!

This morning, I was beta-testing some AI video software, and — for amusement — asked the AI to produce a ghost-themed video.

I provided the general topic and ideas, and AI did the rest.

I did not use my actual name when I signed up for the beta. (As you know, I’m a bit of a privacy fanatic.)

Well… when I played the video to see if the AI was worth using in the future, I was stunned.

They’d cloned my voice, probably from my YouTube channel. No doubt about it.

I’m doing my best to take this as a compliment: That, when talking about ghosts, using my voice makes the video sound more credible.
Or something…?

Of course, it might just reflect the number of podcasts and videos I’ve shared online, over the past 20+ years. That gave AI an abundance of voice samples to clone.

Whatever the reason my voice was selected: PLEASE be aware that this is going on.

Whether it’s my voice or someone else’s (Jason, Grant, Zak, Jack, Alex, Kris, Steve, Tango, Dustin, etc.), if the “voice” is saying things that seem a bit off, or outright uncharacteristic, report it.

This is especially true if the fake voice is being used for potential commercial gain of any kind, including on a YouTube channel or as an adjunct to “I want to be a celebrity, too” self-promotion. (Yes, I’ve already talked with an attorney, who put my mind at ease. See this legal precedent: Midler v. Ford Motor Co.)

And tell others, in case they might be confused, too.

In my case, if the recording isn’t on my YouTube channel or my own websites… It’s almost certainly NOT me.

It’s been a few years since I gave interviews or spoke at events, and – frankly – I’m enjoying having time to focus on my own projects. (I may return to Dragon Con, etc., in the future, but not yet.)