Yesterday marked the premiere for the pilot of paranormal investigation series Haunted Discoveries distributed through KoldCast and produced by Repentant Productions. Like many other popular “ghost hunting” shows, the series focuses on a group of paranormal investigators exploring locations known for being haunted and collecting evidence to prove or disprove otherworldly activity. Scary!
I was immediately intrigued when I read about this series. Considering I’m a paranormal studies minor and I recently wrote a term paper decrying the unprofessionalism and shoddy methods used on shows like Ghost Hunters, I find the web series particularly relevant. I approached the pilot episode with a good deal of skepticism, expecting it to be a carbon copy of the theatrics seen in similar shows. However, I was pleasantly surprised after watching and doing background research on the featured team.
In this pilot episode, the team from the American Paranormal Research Association (A.P.R.A.) investigates the legendary McConaghy Estate in Hayward, California. The estate has a tragic and mysterious history of family deaths, something that piques the interest of anyone involved in searching for paranormal activity.
The first part of the show caught my attention. It was obvious the team did their research. They emphasize the history of the house and ask questions regarding which rooms people died in and the context surrounding the deaths. Bridget Odien and Linda Casebolt research each location and create specific and targeted questions for the possible entities. Judging from the evidence collected in the pilot, this seems to get clearer results than tactics seen on other shows. They present the evidence as it’s collected, lending credibility to what they are able to find.
The lack of scientific method in paranormal investigating is a big pet peeve of mine, making me sound like the strangest kind of nerd, but what we see in Haunted Discoveries is refreshing. They do not use devices like EMF meters, which have never been proven to be reliable in collecting evidence, but rely entirely on audio and visual recordings, something straightforward that can be understood by and conveyed to anyone. Viewers with no knowledge of the paranormal will be able to enjoy the show.
Head of APRA and series creator Brandon Alvis emphasizes the steps taken to provide ordinary explanations for any evidence collected by the team: “The panel is comprised of Engineers, Medical Doctors and other professionals from various technical industries that can be of assistance in providing a natural explanation to the data collected by APRA. All data provided on the series has been tested by this panel and has remained unexplainable.”
The locations investigated on the show, such as the McConaghy House, are chosen because they possess both historical significance and have never experienced a paranormal investigation. The footage of the next four investigations, released weekly, will feature three never before investigated Historical Locations and the infamous Linda Vista Community Hospital located in Boyle Heights, CA for the season finale. They will all follow the same format seen in the pilot.
Overall, combining the in-your-face onslaught of creepy special effects and ghostly title cards typical of their genre, Haunted Discoveries takes the intrigue of shows like Ghost Hunters and adds real dedication to the truth and a desire to present only cold, hard evidence to the viewers on a weekly basis. Fans of web series such as Bumps in the Night will enjoy this glimpse into the real life side of paranormal investigation. Personally I cannot wait to see what they encounter next.