I’ve long griped about how ridiculous these paranormal investigation shows on TV are.
The overhyped, overdramatized, overdone lunacy that is Ghost Adventures, the staid and boring Ghost Hunters, the southern, down-home idiocy that is Ghost Asylum and the plethora of what I call Wishful Thinking TV, they’re all just patently stupid. Usually investigating for an evening with all the lights out, with their night vision cameras and “equipment”, they’re all just pulling our and each other’s legs, and scaring themselves silly. And for all the hundreds of hours I’ve put into them, I have yet to see one genuine apparition.
Yet I watch them anyway. And feel stupid for doing so, week after week.
Then came Paranormal Lockdown.
I’ve written about it before in this blog, I think.
The show is refreshingly uncluttered. All you have are the two investigators, Nick Groff, a former original Ghost Adventures investigator and Katrina Weidman, a ten-year veteran paranormal investigator, and their single cameraman.
They somehow get it right.
Groff, Weidman and their cameraman lock themselves into a location for 100 hours (not just overnight), investigate continuously (even during the day), have better much equipment than the other shows, and have a healthy streak of skepticism. More often than not, they get better evidence too. Well, relatively.
Don’t get me wrong. They have their own problems, and they have their share of mostly wishful thinking. But the overdramatization and the overhyping is kept to a minimum, and they are more serious then their competitors. And they’ve actually given me a goosebump or two to boot, for the first time in reality TV of this sort.
The series premiered earlier this year with a truncated six-episode season, with no word that it’s going to continue. Then all of a sudden, there’s a special two-hour Halloween Special that just aired.
In this episode, investigating poltergeist phenomena at The Black Monk House in Pontrefact, England, there is actual evidence: strange noises, painful scratches, pushing, doors opening and closing, battery-less clocks operating, marbles flying around, big grandfather clocks being thrown about, an actual apparition. For a couple of moments there, I felt like I was watching a good horror movie and was properly sucked in. I actually wondered if I was watching real phenomena.
Keep it up, Destination America, and I just might keep watching.