Per Matt:
By far one of the highlights of ScareFest 2012 was attending the panel of Josh Gates, the host of Syfy’s Destination Truth and Ghost Hunters Live. I’m a huge fan of Destination Truth and used to watch Ghost Hunters all the time, so I know him well. He is simply an incredibly relatable guy, which makes him so good at his craft on TV. This was the first appearance at ScreamFest for Gates. As he took a walk around the convention, an idea formed in his head.

According to Gates, “It’s sort of weird. All of us, myself included, are here celebrating horror and the paranormal. We’re all into this stuff, and that’s… strange. It kind of got me thinking, ‘Why are we into this stuff?’ Why are we interested in being scared? On its face, it seems illogical. Horror, by its definition, is something terrible. Something to be avoided. Fear is an evolutionary response to danger. We’re supposed to run away from things that are scary and yet we don’t. We celebrate this stuff. That’s a lot of what we do with Destination Truth. We go looking for scary things and things that go bump in the night and people enjoy that stuff. We enjoy being scared. The other part of it is the unknown: whether it’s a paranormal investigation or horror movie, we all gravitate toward things that are mysterious. Things we can’t explain. We all like a good mystery, a good story.”

“I always try to talk a little bit about travel, wherever I go, because it’s what I’m really passionate about. It’s a big part of what we try to do with Destination Truth… to get people excited about travel. I think there’s a bit of a relationship between travel and the stuff that we’re gravitating toward here. Very few of us, in America, travel internationally. A lot of people are afraid or worried about traveling internationally.”

“Most Americans don’t have passports: About twenty percent have passports and travel internationally. When you go into a horror movie or a haunted attraction, you make a choice in your mind. You’re going to enjoy it. You know you’re going to be scared. You know you’re going into something unfamiliar, something uncomfortable, but you decided you’re going to have fun. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t go in there. Sometimes, when we travel someplace exotic and uncomfortable, or there’s a language barrier, sometimes people make a different choice. They say this is going to be frustrating. This is going to be difficult. They avoid it. I’m here to tell you, that if you approach travel the same way we approach this stuff, which is with open arms, being interested in the unknown, it’s really, really rewarding. I’m a big believer that to travel is really good for us. It changes us. It broadens our perspective, and makes us enjoy being home all the more. I’d encourage everybody to get outside your comfort zome. I roundly reject the idea that travel is expensive. There are lots and lots of ways to go to the other side of the Earth on a budget.”

“I hear from people a lot. ‘I wouldn’t go to that country because no one speaks English. I wouldn’t know how to get around.’ And that is — if you’re in the right mind-set — the fun of it. It can be a life-changing experience.”

Per – He is planning on hosting dinners at various spots around the globe. If you can travel to his location, you can dine with Josh and he’ll give a personal tour of the location. And one lucky person will get to “steal his miles” as well.

Notable Quotes:
– “We drive the crappiest cars. Just… the worst! And I blame Ryder for most of it, because she books them and does it to torture me.”
– “It is a challenge, sometimes, eating on Destination Truth.”
– “Destination Truth is the intersection between trying to do a real thorough investigation, looking into a real story, and making a TV show.”
– “The scariest spot that I’ve ever been… was in Romania, when the roof ripped off my airplane. If you’re in a plane, and then suddenly you are outdoors, something has gone wrong with your flight.”
– “The Amazon is like Pandora from Avatar. Everything is trying to kill you, after the sun goes down.”
– “I’m like an entrenched paranormal Agnostic. I’m really on the fence about it, even after making a show for five years.”
– Describing dangerous locations, such as Chernobyl: “To walk around, absorbing radiation all night is NOT next great vacation destination.”
– “I have been to 96 countries. Some of them are just a foot. If one foot hits the soil, I count it.”
– “The paranormal episodes are little easier to make. The creature stories are always more difficult, because they tend to be in more remote places. And there tends to be something there that wants to eat you.”
– “I really don’t like making the underwater ones. I love the Yeti stuff. I love the Himalayas. I think that’s one of my favorite stories. I put the water creatures at the bottom.”
– On his mysterious necklace: “It does have magic powers. And you should never look directly at it.”
– “I could close-up shop tomorrow, check out, and go there (Southeast Asia), never be heard from again, and I’d be very happy.”
– “I’m a Disney nut. And to have a little piece (Yeti footprint) of something I’ve done in the Disney theme park, is mind-blowing to me.”
– “I went to school for drama and archeology, in an effort to disappoint my parents, financially, as much as I could.”
– “I’m working with a company that wants to make one (action figure of himself), and they sent me mock-ups, literally, was just Indiana Jones.”
– “We tend to embarrass ourselves, occasionally.”