Alice Oscura, Featured Writer
The Holzer Files follows a paranormal team as they reopen the case files of America’s first ghost hunter, Mr Hans Holzer. Holzer was born in Austria in 1920 to a Jewish family. Due to the anti-Semitic atmosphere in Europe at the time Holzer’s family decided to move to America in 1938. He became an acclaimed author and parapsychologist, having written over one hundred books regarding the supernatural, occult, ghosts, and the afterlife. He also taught parapsychology at the New York institute of Technology.
Holzer employed an extremely popular method of fishing for information about a haunted location by using psychic mediums employing the “cold reading” method. The mediums would go to the locations without any prior knowledge on the history or background. He frequently used mediums Ethel Johnson-Meyers and Sybil Leek during his investigations. His most famous investigation is the Amityville house. However, over the years he has received a lot of criticisms regarding his methods from the paranormal community. Holzer has been recognised as the “father of the paranormal” and even inspired Dan Aykroyd to write Ghostbusters. Holzer was an avid believer in reincarnation and the existence of life after death. He died April 26, 2009 leaving behind a paranormal legacy in his writings and research.
In this series Holzer’s daughter, Alexandra Holzer, has decided to make available all of her father’s files and recordings from his previous cases to a special team made up of paranormal investigator Dave Schrader, psychic medium Cindy Kaza, equipment technician Shane Pittman, and researcher Gabe Ross. They comb through thousands of documents, letters, photographs, and audio and visual recordings dating back to the 1950s. Using Holzer’s findings the team tracks down recent developments and revisit the locations. The series has had two seasons so far and I am unable to pick and chose my favourite episodes because each one is terrifyingly jam-packed with evidence and creepy but interesting historical backstories. As a huge fan of all things paranormal and spooky, I was instantly hooked from the first episode.
Paranormal Investigator Dave Schrader is your gruff, no-nonsense dive-straight-into-the-investigation-at-hand type of guy. But he has been known to surprise the audience by a rare show of emotions when the story hits close to home (see S02: Episode 9 “The Final Word”). Their psychic medium Cindy Kaza is quite well-known in the investigative circuit. Kaza has made several guest appearances on Jack Osbourne’s paranormal show Portals to Hell. Her main methods are automatic writing, which is a claimed psychic ability allowing a person to produce written words without consciously writing, and psychometry (a form of extrasensory perception) by making physical contact with an object. Shane Pittman is basically the one who’s got all the cool techy gadgets that you need once you want to collect solid evidence whenever you’re ghost hunting. However, Shane also seems to be the one that attracts the attention of the more aggressive entities on a location.
Each episode begins with Dave Schrader, Alexandra Holzer, and Gabe Ross listening to the hauntingly cryptic words of whichever psychic medium Hans Holzer used at the time for that specific location. Gabe Ross would then call ahead to the chosen location to let the owners or caretakers know that the team was on their way.
Many of the backstories seem to be rooted in the savage and controversial history of America regarding their brutal treatment of the Native American Indians in terms of the land. What I really enjoy about the series is that all of the dark secrets are coming to light. They also encounter some particularly tragic ones where the spirit just wants their true story to be heard without all the gossipy fabrication that tends to take hold after a tale is retold, and it is just in human nature to want the story to seem either more gruesome or fantastical than it actually is.
I have never been this hooked on a paranormal series before, and although there is no word yet on a renewal for a Season 3, I’m going to keep my fingers crossed that they get the green light, and we get to learn about more creepy paranormal locations that the infamous Hans Holzer has investigated and documented.
Dark Alice’s Score: 8.5 out of 10
Are you a fan of The Holzer Files? For my ranking of the Top 5 Scariest Ghost Nation Episodes you can click here. Or for my review of paranormal investigation series The Osbournes Want to Believe you can click here.
Dark Alice has an old soul and a curious mind. I believe that anyone can be a hero and that the good guys should always win! I dislike cruelty to animals and think that they have far superior qualities to humans. My motto is there is no future without the past. I also have a weird penchant for Paranormal TV shows even though the slightest sound makes me jump. I enjoy writing reviews and throwing in fun facts to pique the readers’ curiosity. My ultimate goal in life would be to become a published writer one day. You can find me as Dark Alice Reviews on Facebook where you’ll get my reviews hot off the press. You can also find me on Instagram as alice_oscura and my Twitter handle is @lise_veliz2. For my extended bio you can click here.