Yesterday was Halloween, so naturally I watched the Ghost Hunters marathon and live event on the Syfy channel (yes, I don’t like the name change either–it’s supposed to be Scifi!).While watching Jason, Grant, and the rest of the TAPS team I started thinking about the many ways they represent what it means to be a superhero (which made me love them even more).

TAPS Founders Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson

For those of you who don’t know the story, Ghost Hunters is a reality series that follows the investigations of The Atlantic Paranormal Society, or TAPS. Started by Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson, TAPS investigates paranormal claims for residences and businesses. Everything they do is pro bono–the families and businesses they help don’t pay for the service, but what they get in exchange is a piece of mind and a caring, levelheaded team that will conduct an unbiased empirical investigation of their property. They aren’t sensational in their approach–on the contrary–they often debunk claims, finding rational and physical reasons for certain experiences.

So why do I think TAPS can teach us a thing or two about being a superhero? Actually I have several reasons:

One-They found a way to help people by drawing on their own skills and experiences.

Jason and Grant both had their own personal paranormal experiences. This shared background–and the lack of help available to people in their situation–made them decide to start a service to help other normal, everyday people experiencing paranormal activity. Jay and Grant weren’t paranormal researchers by trade. In fact they are plumbers. That may not seem like a natural progression, but their knowledge of plumping and homes combined with their problem solving approach has allowed them to debunk many claims (and fix a few leaky faucets during investigations). Every team member they bring on comes with their own backgrounds and experiences, all which help add credibility to the team and enhance their investigations.

Two–They’re not in it for the money. 

TAPS Team Members Dave, Jason, Grant, Steve, and Kris

Real heroes don’t do it for fame or money, and neither does the TAPS team. Like I said earlier, all investigations are done free of charge. TAPS invests their own money (plus some donations) into state of the art equipment and covers all overhead including gas and their time. Because of their unique, level-headed, and caring approach TAPS earned interest from the Syfy channel and now they have a growing brand to associate with their service, but this wasn’t the goal for the team. They did it to help people.

Three–People come first.

Every member of TAPS demonstrates the value of people first. Whether it’s their client, team member, or their own families, TAPS only does what’s best for others.

Four–They started small.

Jason and Grant started small and local, keeping their efforts in line with their resources. As they gained support, equipment, team members, and other resources they started reaching out more. Even now they recognize their limitations, especially when it comes to meeting their personal obligations such as family, and operate within those boundaries. This way their mission is sustainable, which is important for the many people they have yet to help.

Five–They attract and train others.

Every superhero needs a prodigy. TAPS is always looking for other serious, kindhearted team members to join them in their mission to help others. They have teams stationed in other areas (including with Ghost Hunters International) and continue to grow. Attracting and training like-minded people helps further their mission and to extend their reach, without overextending individual members.

Six-They balance family, work, and their superhero endeavors.

Just like any superhero, TAPS members have regular lives that they also have to keep up with. Family, work, friends, and home all need to be balanced with the many people who need their help. Though it isn’t always perfect, TAPS manages to keep everything balanced and fulfills their superhero role without neglecting loved ones or other obligations.

Above all, TAPS has heart. They saw a need and found a way to help people, even if it was in an unconventional way. So in my mind, the Ghost Hunters are real life heroes and we can all learn something from them.