By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
Very few paranormal reality investigative shows are worth tuning into as All Hallow’s Eve nears. The problem is that it’s very rare to see a certifiable apparition on live television broadcasts. We’re tuning in to watch how the people and teams function rather than to catch circumstantial evidence. By watching any series, we’re accepting that this strange dimension manifests itself with the odd “what was that?” moment.
The ideas offered in The Alaska Triangle are crazy enough to have me want to write up into a Call of Cthulhu role playing game adventure! The second season began with a doozy, by saying a Black Pyramid is hidden beneath the snow. This has me thinking that would make for a great scenario. I’m thinking the Mi-Go is an appropriate enough alien species controlling everything with their mad science and kidnapping of innocents.
As for the ghosts, Alaska’s “Gold Rush Ghost Town” is the best. It has Mike Cooke, a paranormal investigatir figuring out why certain spirits remain at a very haunted museum (formerly, the Red Onion Saloon) in Skagway. He takes the clues offered in his EVP conversations and tries to piece together the story of love, loss and fear. Very few paranormal investigative programs even attempt this for their schtick. That’s what I love to see more of, and in that regard, tops my list of must watch series. As for whether this show’s broadcast on the Discovery Science channel does this series justice, that’s just up to the viewer to decide.
The Haunted Museum by Zak Bagans and Eli Roth is more about telling the what ifs, and how objects are cursed. There’s no reality or reasoning behind this product that isn’t rationalizing the bizarre. I’d rather watch Roth’s History of Horror (now in its third season) instead.
It’s tough to be authentic in this genre. Skeptics are everywhere and heckle those who are serious at the craft. The last week of the month has its coming mainstays, and afterwards, there’s Destination Fear returning Nov 6.
Kindred Spirits have finally grown on me. Amy Bruni and Adam Berry are an excellent team. They are out to help. I’m unsure if adding Chip Coffey to this series is good. He’s credible enough to get invited by various television based investigative teams, but once anyone sees how he’s replacing Sylvia Browne or is like Derek Acorah–that’s when I lose interest. If I’m to watch any of this series for the Halloween season, I’m sticking to the early seasons rather than recent ones.
I’m very surprised The Dead Files series is still going strong. You’d think that after several years, they’d run out of cases. The producers don’t send this team in blind, and film them as they work. They need to solicit and do their own independent research from the affected to ensure a wrapup that’s presentable before being able have the cameras roll.
Accolades for specific programs than the genre will love their teams because of how well they present themselves on screen. Past favourites never go away. Most Haunted has supposedly moved to YouTube, and the new Ghost Hunters aren’t the same as the old. Grant Wilson now leads this particular team. This series has a live stream scheduled to run on Discovery Plus on Halloween night.
The other half formed a new organization, and that became Ghost Nation because Jason Hawes doesn’t want to retire. There’s rumours the two leads had a feud. Aside from differing goals, it’s safe to believe they parted in amicable terms. Early this year, the last episode, “Tortured Soul Asylum,” brings his daughters to the show. I seem to recall early in the former series, he didn’t want his kids to enter this business. He kept Sam and Satori out of the limelight as they’re growing up, and the series said they’ve been at it for 20 years. The math is perhaps off. They’d be around eight when Ghost Hunters was on air, and these women look like they’re in their late 20s. It’s doubtful they were in a lot of cases as they went through high school and college. If he’s okay with his daughters joining the group, the next season will show two generations of Hawes attempting to crack the veil. I can’t wait for his protective daddy instincts to kick in, since it’ll give me a reason to start watching again.