We use the term “bro” in a gender-neutral sense and as a verb, as in to “bro-out” (hang-out).
Who are “The Ghost Bros”? We are a multi-ethnic group of paranormal television show fans and screenwriters from various places in the US. We include folks like April M. Sanchez currently of Austin, Texas, Nanea Taylor of Charlotte, North Carolina, as well as Sam Watson and Kathleen Foley of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As for our Los Angeles based crew, there’s Cheryl Puente, Kat Bogey, Lisa Jay, Melissa Turkington and yours truly. Think of us as a gaggle of scary dark-side grown-up Mouseketeers. We’re a cadre of horror writing fans/screenwriting splinter-cell within the sub-culture of The Ghost Adventures Crew international.
What do we do? We beat the doldrums by getting together and watching Ghost Adventures (Travel Channel, Discovery Plus) and discuss the program with the hash-tag #GhostAdventuresLiveTweet. The group started a couple of years ago when everyone discovered we have a penchant for a show about some dudes who go investigate haunted locations across America and even around the world. We collectively decide on what episode, a day and time and get our snacks, drinks and candles ready and it's party time. Sometimes strangers and other friends online join in with their commentary too.
Here’s the official history from Sam- “I believe I had tweeted out some observation about the use of ghost science on a Ghost Adventures episode, and Melissa mentioned about how a live-tweet should be done. And then I saw that a few other pals were also fans of the show, and that’s what got it started. Ghost Bros recognizing Ghost Bros.”
April has the low-down. “Our first formal live-tweet was: March of 2020 with Season 9, Episode 12. It was Sam who put out the Twitter announcement and we rallied and made it happen. She adds to the history, “I believe it was in 2019 that someone had tweeted about Ghost Adventures and then the rest of us responded to that tweet about how much we also love that show. It turns out there was a very small group of us who were not only mostly screenwriters, but had the same guilty pleasure of watching Ghost Adventures. Then we started tagging each other and doing Ghost Adventures memes back and forth. It’s been a thing ever since.”
Cheryl recalls the first group watch of the show, “Though I was scared, I knew I could face anything with my team.” She had never heard of Ghost Adventures before and decided to be brave and go into it as a group activity.
Melissa clarifies the origins. “It was Sam tweeting about an episode of Ghost Adventures, I thought it was hilarious and asked him to live-tweet the next one. He said, “only if you join me”, and The Ghost Bros were born!” “It was definitely fairly early in the pandemic when everyone was looking for ways to socialize in lockdown.”
Melissa’s also good at describing the group dynamic. “What’s fun about the live-tweets is getting to see all of our writing styles come out at once. It’s like our own little writers’ room. Sam has a great balance of ribbing the show but genuinely loving it, and Kathleen is a completely sarcastic counterpart to this. Tay (Nanea-”Tay”-Taylor) is the superstitious one who wants nothing to do with it and Lisa is the type to get possessed voluntarily. April always has a personal ghost story she pulls out of nowhere. Thuc and Cheryl are the intrepid explorers who are just too excited to be there, Kat is basically just there for the man candy, and I am the debunker. It’s fun to see what we come up with on the fly.”
The last session we did together was upon the Discovery Plus release of Demon House, a documentary film by Zak Bagans (#DemonhouseLiveTweet). During our group hangs, we’ve had spooky things happen. One time a big storm rolled into April’s neck of the woods while we were viewing and mysterious sounds from inside our houses have coordinated with our group watches. Sometimes a few of us will get stuck in a time warp (or we have commercials and have to time sync to each other across various streaming apps). No matter what, it’s a ton of hilarious fun as we laugh together about the antics of The Ghost Adventures guys. During all of this, we absorb storytelling skills from the format of the show and how to captivate audiences and draw out characters. This lends to our screenwriting.
When asked if the Ghost Adventures guys could do anything differently, Lisa says, “Are you kidding? It’s perfection.” Others of our crew think so too. Lisa elaborates, “I like to make jokes about the show with The Ghost Bros and heckle it but it’s totally out of love. Zak and his team seem like honestly great people and I love what they’re doing.” As for April, here are her wishes: “Lock Zak Bagans in more rooms/places alone… poor Aaron always gets locked in alone. Also, It would be cool if they invited more guests onto their show, and not just celebrities. I like it when they travel so it would be cool if they did more of that.”
Sam thinks Ghost Adventures is a good influence. “Watching Ghost Adventures always gets my mind racing with ideas for my own horror stories. It stirs the imagination for sure. It’s also good for research, especially when they investigate a storied location. I’m definitely someone who does a lot of research for projects, so I always appreciate any history that Ghost Adventures presents.”
Here’s how the show adds to April’s storytelling arsenal, “It puts me in the right frame of mind and reminds me that tension and silence are super scary and that those two things create an atmosphere where you can get spooked. Also, it reminds me that stories told in the dark are the scariest.”
As for Kathleen, her day job is being a librarian and she says that watching Ghost Adventures with our group makes her think this: “horror is one of my favorite genres, and it can be especially fun when writers and readers remember to have fun with it. Yes, it can be scary, but that doesn’t mean it can’t also be funny.”
One day The Ghost Bros will do stuff offline, in real life. A step in this direction during the lock-down was branching out into the greater ghost fans community. Some of us virtually attended the Port Gamble Ghost Conference via Zoom sessions and live videos.
Lisa speaks for our goals, “I’d love it if we got a chance to meet Zak and the Ghost Adventures crew and do an investigation with them. I’d also love it if we took a road trip to Vegas and spent some time with Zak at the Haunted Museum.” We are all in agreement with this. April’s picks of places to go for a ghost hunt together are: the Northeast or New Orleans. Kathleen would like some Philly ghost story sessions.
Cheryl clarifies how she imagines things could go-- “That we can indeed become the first group to make friends and party with the spirit world. As our resident “Scaredy Cat”, I personally feel like I’d be a lot less afraid if the ghosts were drunk. So I’d like that to happen. Get the ghosts lit up so they just chill with us instead of haunting." Nanea aka “Tay” is our resident skeptic who would stay at nerve-center running things when we go on a live ghost hunt one day. Melissa says she’ll go, but only if Tay goes too…
Sam sums it up for us about going on an in-person ghost hunt with Zak and the fellows. “I believe it’s the only dream that truly matters. I think I would literally gasp if I got to be there when someone yells, “Bro!” or pulls out the thingy with the dancing stick figures, or forces Aaron to go cower in a room by himself, or, you know, gets possessed. So, either this, or, I mean, we’re all screenwriters. Let us adapt this wonderful show into a scripted series!”
Tay has the last word for us today, “I always saw us as a mix of Supernatural and Scooby Doo! -- with me at headquarters watching and supporting safely behind the scenes because no way in hell am I chasing no ghosts or demons! That’s how people die! And someone needs to survive to write… I mean tell the story.”
Zak and Ghost Adventures Crew, we’re ready. Signed, The Ghost Bros.
With the 25th Season of Ghost Adventures coming out this Thursday, July 22nd, what are your favorite episodes of the show? Which ones should The Ghost Bros live tweet next?
Where to find The Ghost Bros
April M. Sanchez
James Smith with Aaron Kogan Management
April writes creature features and ghost stories that incorporate Latinx culture and people. She’s currently working on a feature ghost story set in her hometown of El Paso, TX.
Rowena Wallace @PeachHouseLtdUK
Cheryl’s written a TV series where the lead has family members they love come back from the dead - either as fun-loving ghosts or re-animated by super pharmaceuticals that never made it past trials. In her own words: With this being said, I think the spookiest stuff I write always comes from those that consider themselves still living, but aren’t. Other topics she covers in screenplay form are: “drug runners who dream of being dancers, old broadways stars who get their second wind in life as lead singers of rock and roll bands and martial arts vigilantes who are just trying to make it through college.”
Kat’s been working a lot! She’s currently doing cool stuff at the Warner Brothers Studio lot in Burbank, California. More on this soon. Follow her on Twitter to keep up with her.
Kathleen doesn’t believe in ghosts, but she’s seen three of them.
Lisa’s got some directing projects planned - short horror films- one she’s writing herself and one she’s directing for Jenn Dunn in Georgia. Her next feature screenplay is a low-budget folk horror witchcraft movie set in the midwest.
In her own words: I love to watch spooky stuff, but I’m terrible at writing it. I write a lot of genre-blending stories that center on people who are their own worst enemies. Very rarely is there an actual villain. Usually, it’s just a person who makes terrible decisions that send them spiraling.
I started a filmmaking collective of about 70 LA people who are all collaborating on a bunch of short films, so most of my free time is going to that. As for writing plans, I’m a contributor for Pipeline Artists and slowly working on a feature that might get a little spooky. I’ve also started going on weekly writer dates with people I met on Twitter, and it’s been a super fun and rewarding way to slowly leave my cave and meet people again.
In his own words: I love to write horror! I mainly love to use horror as a way to examine a character’s trauma especially when it relates to their identity and fears surrounding society’s view of that identity. My focus is television, and my latest horror pilot, written with a partner, uses its supernatural elements to do just that. It tells the tale of a grieving mixed-race family (African American and Native American) who move to a small town in Colorado. The town thrives off of ghost tourism- ghost tours, ghost mugs, ghost coasters, ghost everything. But it’s also exploitive of the history, especially of the town’s history with Indigenous people dating back generations. The history of the town intertwines itself with the very real supernatural elements that become revealed.
I’m developing a comedic supernatural web-series that I’m really excited about. I think one of the things that makes Ghost Adventures work so well is its humor. Intentional. Unintentional. It’s a funny show, which I think is simply natural in a world where regular people confront the supernatural. Comedy and horror work so well together.
Nanea Tay-lor aka “Tay” Taylor
Vivek Kolli Management
Tay says just say no to ghosts. She writes all kinds of cool stuff, like The Stroke After Midnight, with Thuc, and her award-winning script called Mantis.
Vivek Kolli Management
Thuc writes primarily features. Her horror/supernatural screenplays include titles like: Hag Stone, Blood Drop Killers, The Stroke After Midnight, Scent of the Delta and others. She also writes romantic comedies, historical dramas and more. You can find out about her work via her decks here: consideratecontent.com/pitch-decks-fun.
Thuc lives with furry living beings (canines and what-not) and a friendly ghost or two in a house built in 1925, in one of the first neighborhoods established in Los Angeles. Before that she lived in a factory building in Downtown Los Angeles that stems from 1880 (140+ years ago). She grew up in a rural East Coast town founded in 1630. She just really likes living in old places with history. Thuc has been watching Ghost Adventures on and off since 2008.