It's not a show to be taken too seriously. Some of the histories are true, but it's a series of ghost stories on steroids. It's like a badly written primer for true paranormal investigation. A gateway show, if you will.
Which is why I love it so much. You watch it, you are entertained, you get spooked, you're done. You can use it as a basis for homemade MST3K, spot various inaccuracies, and even play drinking games - a shot for every time your assigned family member freaks out. I felt it was a bit like the bastard child of Silent Hill 2 and *insert reality show of your choice*. You get the idea that the place is trying to screw with the families (a la crew members), but it's too linear to be anything but fabricated.
I love it, really. When I was twelve it got me interested in the paranormal. I hope we get new episodes or dvd releases - I'd love to see a 'how we filmed it' documentary.