Everyone chooses to celebrate Halloween differently. Ghost tours, haunted houses, and the most hyped horror remake of 2017 are all respectable options. But what about curling up in the dark and listening to a ghost story? As one of the last people to still have cable in their home, today I bring you some of the lesser-known paranormal programs on TV; watch at your own discretion.
The Dead Files – The Travel Channel, Saturdays @ 10 P.M.
Out of all of these ghost hunting shows, this one has to be my favorite. While it’s heavily edited (spoiler: all of these shows are guilty of this), to say that it’s 100% scripted would be an exaggeration. Hosts Amy Allen and Steve DiShiavi really do seem to care about their clients, people who are terrified and show their vulnerability each week. Real or not, pay close attention to some of the things Amy describes seeing; every investigation, a sketch artist depicts these horrific scenes based off her readings. It’s one thing to hear about the unexplained, and something entirely different to see it with pencil and paper.
Paranormal Witness – SyFy, airing on Destination America (check local listings)
While no word yet has been said about renewing this series for a sixth season, the first five have been terrifying. Paranormal Witness is scary stories told around a campfire level of spookiness. The show consists of regular people (re: not actors) retelling the scariest and unexplained things to ever happen to them, complete with reenactments that make your skin crawl. Think of it as I Shouldn’t Be Alive crossed with Are You Afraid Of The Dark?
Ghost Adventures – The Travel Channel, Saturdays @ 9 P.M.
Ghost Adventures is the definition of a campy ghost hunting show. Everything about it is over the top, including its host Zak – and that’s why you love it. Although old school fans of GA prefer the simpler format of the older seasons, the product on the Travel Channel now is definitely worth a watch. Zak and his crew have perfected the art of paranormal narrative.
A Haunting – TLC, Discovery Channel, Destination America (check local listings)
A Haunting is one of those shows they air during the day back-to-back, between marathons of shows about BBQ cooking and antique collectors and the like. These hour-long episodes center around one person or family’s ghost encounter, with the absolute cheesiest reenactments and special effects in the business. It’s so distracting that you forget to be scared by the story being told, which is a good thing. If you take each episode with a grain of salt, you’d still come out of it hoping that it was all faked. Because scary things like that simply can’t be happening, right? You’ll be glad to see the below-par acting and rehashed sets, given the source material.
Paranormal Lockdown – Destination America, TLC (check local listings)
While it was sad to hear that Nick Groff left Ghost Adventures, his fans were glad to see him reemerge, making this show. It premiered last year, with a simple concept. Him and co-host Katrina Weidman (formerly of Paranormal State) spend 72 hours locked inside a haunted location, capturing evidence of paranormal activity. Investigating a spooky house is one thing – sleeping in one for more than one night is another matter entirely. And yeah, you’re bound to catch a few things on camera while you’re there.
Whether or not you believe in the supernatural, the fun lies in the possibility, right? A recommendation for this year’s Halloween: check your brain at the door, and let that possiblility scare you.