Editor’s Note: On Monday May 17 Red Mango Reviews celebrated its fifth anniversary! In celebration of this milestone we’ve implemented several new things, including a new look (hope you like it), bringing on former guest writer Wayne Rock as our new featured writer, and six days of Top 5 Articles. This is the second of the six articles, and it’s by Featured Writer Alice Oscura with her new additional title as Paranormal Investigations Head Writer. Happy reading.
Alice Oscura, Paranormal Investigations Head Writer
Curiosity as to the existence of the paranormal has managed to build up quite a large following through a number of reality TV paranormal investigations series. The names Ed and Lorraine Warren (inspiration for The Conjuring films) as well as Hans Holzer are frequently mentioned as mentors to many in the paranormal field who are driven to prove the existence of the paranormal by employing various types of techniques and modern day equipment.
My inspiration this week in celebration of RMR’s Fifth Anniversary is a Top 5 Paranormal Investigations Series ranking. So, without further ado, let’s dive right into my top picks.
5. Portals to Hell (2019 – Present)
Jack Osbourne (reality star and son of rock legend Ozzy Osbourne) and Katrina Weidman team up to investigate notoriously haunted locations with particularly dark histories in order to find evidence to support the ongoing theory that these locations can actually be doorways to the fiery inferno we all refer to as hell. The series is not only fun and unique to watch but is also extremely informative as they actually take the time to research and explain the history of the locations.
The episodes are just the right amount of entertaining and creepy. They use a vast number of different techniques in order to communicate or provoke a response and also employ the use of renowned psychic mediums Cindy Kaza and Michelle Bellanger who utilise a popular method known as a “blind walk” through the locations. The team is not afraid to take risks in order to collect the necessary evidence which can be equally scary at times especially with Jack’s existing health problems.
They have an extremely structured approach to each investigation, and it helps the viewer to follow along quite easily with the crew. Although Jack has received numerous criticisms for his reactions in certain situations, one must note that compared to Katrina he hasn’t had several years of exposure to paranormal investigations. Despite this the series has a strong following and is already in its third season.
4. Ghost Nation (2019 – Present)
The Ghost Nation crew consists of three paranormal investigators who were formerly of Syfy’s Ghost Hunters television series. Jason Hawes, Steve Gonsalves, and Dave Tango have now formed a global support network of sorts for fellow paranormal investigators who require assistance in cases they are investigating. The team does its best to either debunk supposed hauntings or attempt to give peace of mind to home and business owners. Ghost Nation offers a more grounded and realistic take on paranormal investigations. Their take is based on a more scientific route and extensive historical research.
Longtime fans of the Ghost Hunters team began to follow Ghost Nation to relive the nostalgia of getting to see familiar faces led by the extremely professional ex-plumber Jason Hawes. The team added another former Ghost Hunters team member Shari DeBenedetti in Season 2. The series has completed two seasons so far but there is no word yet on its renewal for a third which is probably delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ghost Nation has received mixed reviews with some paranormal fans chastising the show for being too grounded and borderline boring. However, I can argue the point that not every supposed haunted location is an actual haunting, and most hauntings are just mild residuals from an era long since passed.
3. Ghost Adventures (2008 – Present)
Ghost Adventures has been around for ages it seems, and the show is now in its 21st season. The current team is led by Zak Bagans, paranormal investigator and owner of the popular Haunted Museum located in Las Vegas, Nevada, and includes Aaron Goodwin, Billy Tolley and Jay Wasley. Over the years, Ghost Adventures has managed to cover quite extensive ground within the paranormal fraternity in terms of being granted access to obscure and controversial locations such as The Cecil Hotel, the Joe Exotic Zoo and even the infamous Demon House in Gary, Indiana.
However, Bagans has come under fire numerous times for his aggressive techniques in using provocation in order to illicit a response. He also has quite the morbid taste for his collection at his Haunted Museum, namely: some of Charles Manson’s ashes; original drawings and artwork done by Richard Ramirez aka The Night Stalker; the original van that Dr Kevorkian used to euthanise his patients; and a mirror that belonged to deceased horror actor Bela Lugosi.
Recently, the series has also received criticism for the over-the-top reactions of Zak and his crew when they encounter the paranormal. They tend to yell and sometimes curse a lot which can be a major distraction when you are trying to review the evidence that they just caught. But some things remain the same and that is the fact that the evidence this team has managed to collect is overwhelming. They are still highly respected within the paranormal community and are still extremely dedicated to collecting evidence using the most modern equipment possible and by collaborating with many experts within the field.
2. Kindred Spirits (2016 – Present)
Starring Adam Berry and Amy Bruni, formerly of Ghost Hunters Academy and Ghost Hunters, Kindred Spirits is primarily geared towards investigations of residences where families experience frequent paranormal activity. The duo has more than 30 years’ experience between them in the paranormal field, and Berry and Bruni are noted to be extremely kind, compassionate, and respectful to homeowners. They also don’t employ a lot of yelling, screaming, or provoking. The series is currently in its fifth season with renowned psychic medium Chip Coffey joining the cast since the fourth season.
Berry and Bruni have an excellent comfort level with each other that is a great asset towards their investigations. Their results have managed to bring closure and comfort to many families across America and they have been guest paranormal investigators for numerous live events and other paranormal investigation series such as the abovementioned Portals to Hell. Their approach is simple and effective which seems to draw a lot of fans to the show.
1. The Holzer Files (2019 – Present)
Hans Holzer was known as America’s first Ghost Hunter. In this series his daughter Alexandra Holzer makes available all of her father’s research and private recordings to a special team made up of paranormal investigator Dave Schrader, psychic medium Cindy Kaza, equipment technician Shane Pittman, and researcher Gabe Ross. Using Holzer’s findings the team tracks down recent developments and revisit the locations.
Schrader is known for his gruff, no-nonsense approach. Psychic medium Cindy Kaza is best known for her automatic writing ability and psychometry (the ability to uncover facts about an event or a person by touching objects related to them). Each episode involves Kaza employing a method that proved to be most popular for Hans Holzer—the cold reading method where the psychic medium goes to the suspected haunted place without any prior knowledge of the location.
Some of Holzer’s recordings can sound particularly cryptic and vague at times because he didn’t possess the assistance of modern technological advances to aid him with his investigations. In the series the team strives to vindicate Holzer’s discoveries and research as while as clarify any convoluted sources of information. In the process of their investigations the team Holzer uncovers some dark history hidden away in America’s past and have managed to give present property owners a sense of closure and understanding into their haunted experiences.
So that’s my list. Which of these series is your favourite? Are there any you would add to the list? You can check out more paranormal investigations articles below:
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. Read More