The Controversial ‘Ghost Hunters’ Episode That Got the Original Show Cancelled

Everyone loves paranormal TV shows, and no series stands taller in the genre than Ghost Hunters and the spinoff, Ghost Hunters International. The original Ghost Hunters documented a specially-trained team of paranormal investigators as they travel around the country to look into serious hauntings and paranormal occurrences.

While the original TV show has since been rebooted, Ghost Hunters International has largely been forgotten, except by the most diehard fans — and as one of the original investigators revealed in the years following the show’s cancellation, much of the blame could lay with the production company for airing one particular episode. 

When did ‘Ghost Hunters International’ premiere?

The cast of 'Ghost Hunters'
The cast of ‘Ghost Hunters’ | Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for A&E

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The original Ghost Hunters debuted in 2004 and quickly became a staple in network programming. The show focused on real-life paranormal techniques, headed up by The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS) team. The show maintained an element of realism since the investigators all had “normal” plumbing jobs during the day and pursued their passion for all things paranormal by night.

By 2008, the show had grown in popularity so much so that it was launching spinoffs. One such spinoff was Ghost Hunters International, which aired on the same Syfy network as Ghost Hunters. Also similar to Ghost Hunters, Ghost Hunters International focused on a team of paranormal researchers who actively investigated a wide variety of haunted locations, according to IMDb.

The team traveled around the world, visiting the sites of some of the world’s most famous hauntings, including the Grand Hotel Viena, Quarantine Station, the Tasmania Supreme Courthouse, and the San Lucas Penitentiary. 

Kris Williams revealed the reason for the show’s cancellation

The Ghost Hunters International team included lead investigator Barry Fitzgerald and co-lead investigator Kris Williams, a veteran of Ghost Hunters. Also on the team was a handful of tech experts, case managers, additional investigators, and special guests.

For a little over four years, Ghost Hunters International kept fans glued to their screens — however, in early 2012, the show was abruptly taken off the air. 

For years, fans were confused as to why the show was pulled so quickly. Still, in June 2015, Kris Williams herself made a special in-person guest appearance where she discussed the paranormal investigation business and why Ghost Hunters International was ultimately canceled.

During her lecture in Bennington, Vermont, Williams revealed that the show became too heavily reliant on ratings, and that one particular episode drove a wedge between Williams and the showrunners.

She stated that the episode in question featured a cast member cutting herself during a bloodletting ritual and that Williams wasn’t comfortable with the episode airing. Producers made the decision to air the episode anyway, which ended up “backfiring” in a big way, and ultimately caused ratings for the series to plummet.

Could ‘Ghost Hunters International’ ever get revived?

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Even though the way that Ghost Hunters international went off the air was unfortunate, Williams doesn’t seem to have any hard feelings toward the network.

“SyFy is amazing. I honestly couldn’t say that enough. But this never should have happened,” she revealed. Williams also said that she is still heavily involved in the world of paranormal research and study, but without the sensationalized attitudes that dominated the later seasons of Ghost Hunters International

While Williams didn’t say anything about Ghost Hunters International being revived in the future, there could be some hope for fans who remember the glory days of the show.

After all, Ghost Hunters went on a hiatus before ultimately getting a reboot. Still, even if the show does come back in some form, it would likely be with an entirely new cast of investigators, since the original series leads have all been disbanded.