30. MTV's Fear

Air Dates: 2000 - 2002
Network: MTV
Best Episode: "Eastern State Penitentiary"

You know why shows like Ghost Hunters suck? Because the paranormal investigators involved love to overreact at every little sound, clearly playing up the situation for entertainment's sake. And, even worse, they never find any actual ghosts. The contestants on MTV's Fear, the badass reality show that the network should bring back at some point (maybe even just lock Snooki in a haunted asylum), never came across any legitimate apparitions, either, but at least their terrified reactions weren't fabricated.

The show's premise tapped into the curiosities of teenagers dumb enough to walk through creepy old abandoned buildings on Friday nights. A group of contestants were locked in a supposedly haunted locale (closed-down jailhouses, hotels, or hospitals), given night-vision cameras, and asked to individually handle dares.

Fear really kicked into scary overdrive whenever the dares came in the form of séances or reenactments; one participant on the “Eastern State Penitentiary” episode, for example, had to strap herself in a Tranquility Chair, used to torture disobedient prisoners, for a long period of time, in complete radio silence. Something we'd only do if they paid us.

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