Ghost Hunters and other Paranormal

DVD Review: Ghost Hunters (1996) – Definitely Not The Sci-Fi Series!

While searching for more DVDs from one of my favorite television shows on the Sci-Fi Channel, I came across these DVDs from the U.K. I thought perhaps they would be on the same level as that show, especially after a little research showed that the writer of this show, Ian Cashmore, had been critical of the similarly named show airing in the U.S.

At the name, however, is where any similarities end, and I don’t mean that in a good way.

Described on the promotional blurb as Hear bone-chilling accounts of ghostly encounters…, it was nothing of the sort. The entire disc had three episodes of a U.K. series where people tell their stories of their encounters with a ghost or ghosts. A narrator tells why their stories ring true. They usually do this in the setting of where they had their ghostly encounter. Evidence is brought in which supports what they are saying.

No one ever says “Well maybe he can describe a Roman soldier in such detail because he’s seen them somewhere.” It just seems like the case is being made that what he says is true and here’s why – no voice of skepticism at all.

While there are a lot of people sitting around talking about getting evidence to prove the stories, there is little that seems to be actually done about it. There doesn’t seem to be any real “hunting” going on. And while I found the stories to be interesting, they were hardly bone-chilling. It was actually pretty boring.

Legend of the Legionnaires

In the city of York beneath the Treasurer’s House is a series of tunnels. A local plumber recounts the story of his encounter with a ghost when he went down there to run pipes.

There’s a lot of talk about the theory behind the paranormal sightings as various scientists and researchers talk about the ideas that have been bantered about.

Spirits of the Civil War

No, not the Civil War in America (although they do briefly talk about it and show photographs from Cedar Creek). It’s about the English Civil War between the Parliamentarians loyal to Oliver Cromwell and the Royalists loyal to Charles I. The battle they focus on is at Marston Moor outside of York.

The Phantom Schoolmaster

A bustling suburban town north of London is the focus of the next story. The staff at a photography studio reports strange happenings. Using a Ouija Board, they learn a bit about who is causing the mischief.

What follows is detective work as they research the story and put together the details of a life from more than 150 years ago that fits with what they reported to have learned from the Ouija Board.

I’d only recommend this to people who are interested in ghost stories in the U.K. It’s not typical of the haunting shows we’ve gotten used to over the past few years. While I might not like Most Haunted, it at least is entertaining. The U.S. version of Ghost Hunters at least takes a critical look at people’s claims and attempts to shed some light onto the story. This is neither.

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