Monday, November 16, 2009


As I began planning for my spring 10 theme: Writing About Appalachia, I attended a professional development day on Appalachia/Affrilachia at the Kentucky Museum of Arts and Crafts. There, I had a chance to hear Frank X. Walker speak / read.

Frank X Walker is the creator of the word Affrilachian ("relating to an African American who lives in Appalachia"). I only heard the work Affilachian in the last two years, though it was coined more than ten years ago. I think it an important word, though, in that it allows one to describe a cultural tradition related to the region but not white nor hillbilly in any stereotypical way.

Walker was unexpectantly (to me, anyway) funny. He was sarcastic and witty. He laughed at himself, at the topics, and at the audience, all while discussing important social issues. He tackled racism (among other things) head on as he claimed, "A License Plate Called me a Nigger Today" (it's poem four at this link on Facebook) and read this poem about being in a place where everyone had a conferate flag on his (her too?) vehicle.

Affrilachian Poets have a website and a fan page on Facebook. I look forward to reading more of their work.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

High Noon

I’ve looked at several websites that list the “Best Westerns” of all time, and High Noon comes up on every one of them. I probably saw this movie as a kid sometime or another and maybe more than once, but I remembered nothing but the general plot line—a gang member gets released from jail early / on a technicality / whatever and comes gunning for the Marshal (now retired) who put him there; they will meet at “high noon” when his train comes in. Everyone tells the Marshal to run but he takes a stand on principle. No one will help; he stands alone against injustice, crime, evil, etc. And, of course, most westerns are romantic at heart, so it ends with the Marshal still standing and riding off into the sunset with his woman.

So, I set my DVR and there it was. So, tonight, instead of sleeping, I tackled High Noon.

Some interesting points or theories or interpretations or random facts about the movie I found with a google search:

· It can be interpreted as an Allegory for taking a stand against McCarthyism in the 1950 (when the movie was filmed)
· Rio Bravo is supposed to be a direct response to the perceived “un-American-ness” of the townspeople in High Noon (according to John Wayne)
· It was awarded four academy awards
· This was Grace Kelly’s first major role

One of the more famous quotes from the movie (and more interesting) is “People gotta talk themselves into law and order before they do anything about it. Maybe because down deep they don't care. They just don't care.”

To read more about High Noon, visit AMC’s Filmsite at It has a detailed over view and great list of interpretations.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

More Westerns

I have been trying to find time to watch as many westerns as possible so that students have more choices to write about it. Here are some I've viewed recently.

Comanche Territory (1950)
This movie begins with Jim Bowie and a Trader being captured by the Comanche because they have violated the treaty and entered the Comanche land. The latest treaty is being broken, though, because the signed version was stolen from the Trader. Bowie is there to “sit in counsel” with the Chief about the situation, assuring him that the white government wants to uphold the treaty. Bowie teaches the American Indians how to make the Bowie knife. In the movie, the chief is dressed very extravagantly, way more than he would have been in daily life. The Indians appear to be plains Indians complete with teepees and ponies, but the landscape is very western with rock mountain ranges. Bowie discovers that a local business owner and her brother are scheming to keep the treaty from being renewed so that the settlers can mine the silver from the Comanche Territory. Bowie tells Katie that she “doesn’t act or dress like a lady.” When he is startled by Katie’s behavior, he tells us that back in Louisiana, “when we run across pretty ladies, we make love to them,; we kiss them, spank them on occasion, but we never go around shooting them.” She puts on a dress and tries to impress him, and in fact, she is eventually persuaded by Bowie to “do the right thing” by helping him stand against her brother and the other settlers. The movie is not that impressive, but some of the things a paper on this movie might explore include race, treaties, gender roles, and clothing.

War Wagon (1967)
This comedy western is described with the following: “John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Howard Keel. An ex-convict and his partner eye an armored stagecoach fitted with a Gatling gun and full of gold.” It is based on a book called The Bad Man. The introduction to the movie tells us that Douglas did all of his own stunts in this film, his 11th western. He wanted this cowboy to be different and to stand out so in the movie he wears a flashy ring on the outside of his gloves, and he mounts his horse in a different way each time. So, about the movie, the war wagon is an armored wagon, iron-plated with 33 guards. Wayne plays a recently paroled man who is after the wagon for the ½ million that is on it. He gets five “hired guns” together and makes a plan.
One of these hired guns is an American Indian who spends most of his lines talking about the “dumb Indians” who should do as he has: “Learned to live in a white man’s world. Do as they do. Grab all you can anytime you can.” Another interesting character is in the film but for a few short clips when one of the outlaws falls in love with her and we learn that she is already married to a guy twice her age because she was “bartered” for $20 and a horse. A paper on this movie might write about saloons, gambling, gender roles, women’s rights, Indians, racism.

El Dorado (I'll have to check on the year)
El Dorado is Spanish for “the golden one.” The trailer for the film says “It’s the BIG ONE with the BIG TWO: The story of two close friends who didn’t need any enemies to start a war.” John Wayne and Robert Mitchum team up with Charlene Holt who plays Maude, “a fine figure or a woman who stretches friendship to the breaking point,” to form “a beat up band of misfits with nothing to lose but their lives.” The movie is about a rich rancher who hires guns to drive off smaller land owners. This cattle baron tries to hire Wayne, but instead Wayne’s character teams up with the town and its sheriff to stand against him. Papers on this movie might write about gender roles, hired guns / mercenaries, the idea of the rugged individual, Hispanics or Mexicans, or the American notion of good over evil in the nineteenth century.

“Spaghetti Westerns”
So, what is a spaghetti western? Wikipedia defines the term: “Spaghetti Western, also known in some countries in mainland Europe as the Italo-Western, is a nickname for a broad sub-genre of Western film that emerged in the mid-1960s, so named because most were produced and directed by Italians, usually in coproduction with a Spanish partner.” I’d imagine the term is derogatory, and I won’t use it again. Wikipedia also tells us, “The best-known and perhaps archetypal Spaghetti Westerns were the Man With No Name trilogy (or the Dollars Trilogy) directed by Sergio Leone, starring then-TV actor Clint Eastwood and with musical scores composed by Ennio Morricone (all of whom are now synonymous with the genre): A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965), and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966). Atypically for the genre, the last had a relatively high budget, over one million USD. Leone's next film after the so-called "trilogy" was Once Upon a Time in the West, which is often lumped in with the previous three for its similar style and accompanying score by Morricone, although it differs by the absence of Clint Eastwood in the starring role” ( I did watch these movies, though, and I was not impressed. In fact, I’m not sure that individually one could write a very good paper on them, though a paper on the genre itself might be okay. Specifically, consider For a Few Dollars More. The introduction tells us: “A man with no name and a man with a mission hunt a Mexican bandit for different reasons.” The entire movie is Eastwood and the other character chasing a bad guy to kill him. There is no sub plot and very little dialogue. It was boring. I guess one might write about law and order in the west, or one’s sense of justice, but that would be pushing it. To read more about the genre, check out

The Last Challenge (again, I'll have to verify the year)
The movie reads: “An upstart outlaw baits a legendary gunslinger, now a Marshal in love with a saloon keeper.” This Glenn Ford movie is similar in theme to The Shootist, without John Wayne and the cancer. It’s about a poor guy who can’t retire in peace because everyone who wants to make a name for himself keeps showing up to challenge him to a new gunfight. I don’t know that there is much to write about, but there are interesting depictions of black servants and “ladies of the night,” in addition to western notions of law and order and gunsling-ing.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
This movie has a lot to write about, but most of it is peripheral. Let me explain.
This movie with Paul Newman and Robert Redford is described with: “When a persistent posse chases two outlaws, they decide to take their act to Bolivia.” In Bolivia, they continue their outlaw ways, and the posse catches up to them, and they go down in a blaze of glory. That’s not that interesting. However, I watched an intro about the movie on TCM that put it in a different light. It said that the movie was a “kinda partly true story” so one could certainly research the real outlaws and make comparisons. More interesting, though, was that the intro defined the movie as a reflection of a specific time period: The story, according to TCM, is in the 1890s, but the “attitude is purely 1960s” when the movie was made. It is “very much a new kind of Western for a new era” where “bad guys are the good guys” they’re outlaws but mostly they’re non conformists.” TCM continues, “They live outside the system. They answer to nobody and live completely on their own terms, and those terms involve robbing banks.” Now, I can imagine a good paper on that topic!

More to come, I'm sure . . .

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Dracula / The Real Story (English 101)

Several students have written about Vlad Tepes, or Vlad the Impaler (Dracula) in my English 101, the paranormal themed classes, over the last two years. So, when I saw Bloodlines: The Dracula Family Tree on History International I had to set my DVR. It wasn’t very informative, so I jumped on the internet for more information.

According to many sources, Vlad the Impaler was a real person who lived in Romania in the fifteenth century. I found a blog devoted to him at that appears to be very detailed. There are links to
• His biography, including his crimes
• His time period and the places he lived, what they were like
• The Dracula myth and connection to Bram Stoker
• Current information about Transylvania
• A media library of image, videos, etc.
• A bibliography / documentation.

I also found a Dracula homepage at Certainly, Dracula would make a good topic for Essay Three.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wild, Wild West And Dances with Wolves

On Sunday, I watched Dances with Wolves again to help “get in the mood” for my three classes that are using the Old West theme.

Dances with Wolves ( is probably my favorite Western in a lot of ways. It is a movie that despite its shortcomings tries hard to highlight American Indian culture and values. However, it does still rely heavily on American Indian tropes common to earlier Western literature and films, especially in its portrayal of the Pawnee as the “savage Indians” and the Lakota Sioux as the “noble savages.” Neither idea is really complicated in the movie despite the limitations of both “types.” Another non-new image in the movie is the idea of “going Indian” or “going native”—the idea that a white man fed up with the world might leave it behind (that “rugged individualism” myth of the Western) and find himself by living off the land away from civilization, a notion popular in 19th Century mythology and literature even in such tales as Huckleberry Finn, which ends with Huck heading west for just those reasons.

According to most theorists, the story of the west, even the story of America, has generally been told in two versions. The first uses words like “manifest destiny,” “exploration,” “rugged individualism,” and “fate.” The second uses harsher terms for the Europeans, considering them conquerors and focusing instead on words of colonization, words like “conquest,” “environmental disruption,” “invasion,” and “exploitation.” Neither version tells the whole truth nor demonstrates the complexity of the relationship of both peoples (native and invaders) to themselves, to the land, or to each other. This movie vacillates between both ideas but does not break free of them. Reality was neither. A more realistic portrayal or more interesting one would have broken free of both and proposed a third (or more) way to tell the story.

Having mentioned some of it less favorable points, though, I’d like to say—I like the movie. I love the cinematography and the scenes in which the humanity of the American Indians is stressed, the scenes such as Kicking Bird and his wife embracing before he leaves for war. The look into Sioux culture, even if romanticized, is invaluable in helping to understand a way of life long gone. The buffalo hunt, the dance, the romance, the stunning beauty of the American west, make the film truly enjoyable to watch.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

UFO Conspiracy Shows

I caught UFO Files and Conspiracy on my DVR this week. Both were on the HInt channel (History International), which is channel 271 on my Directv.

Ufo Files
I got three episodes of this one. "UFOs: Then and Now?" focused mostly on Roswell and released government documents. "Roswell: Final Declassification" began with this note: "In 2001, experts get an exclusive look at top-secret government files of the 1947 Roswell incident." It argues that a controversy over the handling of the Roswell incident "raged behind the scenes," and that controversy holds the key to understanding the cover up. This particular episode treats the Roswell incident as two crash sites. The third episode was "Hangar 18: The UFO Warehouse" about the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. This episode also focuses on "declassified documents." It addresses specifically Roswell (again) and alien bodies recovered. It talks about Project Blue Book. It says that Wright-Patterson has become "a kind of graveyard" for these things (UFOs / Aliens). It does move a bit beyond Roswell, though, noting crash sites in Aztec, New Mexico; Paradise Valley, AZ (Oct 47); Kingman, AZ (May 53); Laredo, TX (June 53), and Kecksburg, PA (Dec 65).

Relevant websites


The episode of this show that I caught was "Majestic 12: UFO Cover up." It is also a History Channel show, and no surprises here, it also addresses Roswell. It began with a voice over "The following program presents theories about an historical event that is shrouded in mystery. It contains archival footage, reenactments, and dramatizations which invite you, the viewer, to draw your own conclusions." This show goes through the MJ12 documents, concluding that the documents "appear to be hard evidence" that there has been a cover up over Roswell and that there has been clear evidence of a presence of aliens on our planet.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Paranormal State / Chip Coffey

Again, it has been entirely too long since I posted in this blog. I wanted to make sure that I had reviewed Paranormal State and gave it chance, since Chip Coffey was so thoughtful in his responses to my comments. So, I set my DVR, and I caught five episodes.

"Devil in Syracuse"
This is the episode that started the conversation below. The first time, I watched only part of it and was turned off by the use of the demonic as paranormal and the exorcism. So, I rewatched it, keeping in mind Mr. Coffey's comments.

Ryan begins the show with a description of why he does what he does, and he describes himself as "haunted" by things / the paranormal. So, he sets the stage at the beginning that his ability to detect paranormal events is a bad thing ("haunted" doesn't sound like fun). You can read more about why he is interested in the paranormal at; the direct link is

This episode then is described as a continuation of a previous one in that he senses the demonic force he has recently encountered is involved in the newest case. Ryan and his team make a site visit, and there they find confusion from the "clutter and disarray" in the house to the friend who seems to egg on a sense of fear and danger.

Ryan consults with a team: a counselor who evaluates the children, an Episcopalian priest who has experience with demonic forces, and Chip Coffey who can sense presences and what they are communicating. After a spiritual walk through, Ryan and his team determine that there is a demonic force (the same one Ryan has seen before) bothering this family. Before helping the family, they insist that the house get clean of its clutter and the family get set emotionally. to that end, the family cleans house, goes into counseling, and has the children baptised.

Then, they have an exorcism. The episode ends with Ryan's Director's Note saying that this demonic force may be following him, but for the time being, the force has been "defeated."

All right, so I can summarize the show. But, what does that mean? I really don't know. I agree with Mr. Coffey's comment that if one believes in good forces, evil forces are a logical extension of that belief. However, I generally believe things are neutral until made another way. I'm a nurture over nature kind of gal. I believe we are born neutral and life makes us what we are. And, I'm not a big believer in the devil and demonic forces. So, while they may exist, I'm not real interested (of course my early exposure to Catholicism just suggested to me that I should cross myself after writing that line.) :0)

Moving on, though, Coffey wrote that really only a handful of the episodes of PS have been about the demonic, so here's what else I watched.

"First Contact"
Ryan and his team receive a recommendation from Dave Shraedar (spelling unknown; I will have to research), a paranormal radio host, to investigate Gilliland's Ranch (for which I found the spelling in Ryan's blog), a hotbed of UFO activity and "creatures in the woods." Ryan and his team begin with a tour of the ranch, focusing on reported hot spots. The team also collected first-hand accounts (hey students: primary research) that described multiple paranormal phenomenon. They set up cameras and split up all over the ranch to try to catch something happening.

They saw, filmed, and showed some very strange light activity. So, then, Ryan brings in Chip Coffey to see if he can get a feel on what's happening (interestingly, he describe Coffey as a "psychic" where other shows have described him as a "medium"; is there a difference? are all mediums considered psychics since being a medium is considered a psi ability? who decides these categories?) Coffey is given very little information and asked to see what he feels. Coffey reads that the ranch is full of activity: "ETs," he says, and "look to the east."

That night they set up again, and the lights return. Clearly, the folks find it fascinating. They appear to decide that there was a compelling argument to be made that ufos were visible there!

Again, so what do I think? I thought it was interesting. The lights were there, and they were unexplainable. I'd like to see them.

Random FYI: Ryan's blog says that PS will be returning to the ranch May 15-17 for a field trip. Chip Coffey will be present, according to the blog! More information about the trip can be found on the PRS website at

"Hide and Seek" and "The Glove" and "The Fire" were also recorded. I think these episodes comes earlier than the ones above chronologically. Again, these episodes are all a bit more traditional paranormal investigations, in that they were similar to other investigative shows I've watched. In "The Fire" there does appear to be a need to help people, though, and that is what Coffey said separated PS from GH. I definitely saw that in this episode. Of course, Coffey was in. He tends to have the kind of presence in any show I've seen him on.

So, that's my thoughts on the show after further research and watching.

And just as a final shout out: visit Chip Coffey's website: And, I from there, I found his current blog: He's way cool. You can see references to our conversations below on his blog, too, on September 29, 2008. (and of course if you read the comments, see how his fans reacted--I think they think I'm evil and certainly "ignorant" and in need of "educating"--too funny)!

And, CC, if you read this one: I hope you get to have that dinner with the movie stars. That excitement was how I felt when you responded to my blog! You are my celebrity. Thanks for that.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Chip Coffey Said . . .

I was utterly surprised and amazed today to read a comment about my last blog post from Chip Coffey (see post "TV Shows about the Paranormal," and click on "comments."). I wanted to write back to him, but I searched blogspot and could not find contact information for him. It appears his last blog entry on blogger was in 2007. So, though I doubt he returns, I am going to write back here.

Dear Chip:

Thank you for taking the time to read my post about tv shows about the paranormal. I am pleased that you noticed and took time to write back your opinions and disagreement about my comments. I did not in any way consider your reply a flame. It was honest conversation.

I tell my students about the importance of a real world audience, but I don't often have one other than them myself. I will now have a fabulous example to use of someone reading and responding to my writing, even if only a blog entry.

I will also give Paranormal State another chance. I agree that it has a different focus. I guess maybe I didn't get that focus. I like the cool gadgets and the bells and whistles of GH, where the spiritual support for exorcising seemed a bit much.

Having said that, I certainly like(d)? (did it get cancelled?) that /the support you used in PK . I like the way you and the doc try to help children and their families accept their differences and how to use them. I remember one episode with a child who was afraid to sleep because the mother of her ghost friend was trying to kill her. You appeared to help her a great deal.

I guess my line, then, must be one of demons / possession. I'm not sure I believe in possession. And the episode of Paranormal State that I watched seemed to revolve around it, though in all fairness I was multitasking and not paying 100% attention to it. What was going on with Ryan? Have you helped him solve this crisis? I will set my DVR and try to figure out what happened next.

Thanks again for your response. If you are ever in Louisville, Kentucky, we'd love to have you come visit us at Jefferson Community and Technical College. My students love writing about the paranormal, so I imagine it is a theme I will use again.


Professor Stacy
Stacy Hartlage Taylor
Assistant Professor of English
Jefferson Community & Technical College

Thursday, September 25, 2008

TV Shows about the Paranormal

When the semester began and our theme of the paranormal was announced, I set my DVR to record anything it could find using the keyword “paranormal.” It has a recorded many tv shows, and between grading essays and dealing with the power outage (thank you Hurricane Ike), I simply hadn’t had time to watch any of them.

So, this week I have taken time to sort through them and get the highlights. I am going to share with you some of what I saw/learned. I am leaving out the definitely fictitious shows, such as Ghost Whisperer and The Dead Zone. Here, I am focusing on the ones that claim truth or truth seeking.

Crossing Over with John Edward
This show revolves around a proclaimed medium who “reads” a live studio audience. According to John Edward, “each reading that happens is a reunion.” He begins the show by introducing himself with “I talk to the dead.” He goes over instructions for understanding his readings, and then he says that the point of talking to the dead is “to validate that life and love are eternal.” He certainly seems to believe in what he does (or he is a fabulous actor) because he gets very, very emotional during the readings. Here is John Edward on Fox News talking about his ability The show’s website is

This show is not my favorite. My husband watches new episodes because he is fascinated by cryptozoology, especially about Bigfoot. It comes on History Channel. The website for the show is It comes on so often that my DVR picked up many episodes, including “Sasquatch Attack,” “Lions in the Backyard,” “Swamp Beast,” “Gigantic Killer Fish.” The website is fairly neat in that it has a description of some of the more exotic animals it has documented at
New episodes come on Wednesdays at 9pm. Episodes are available on iTunes.

Ghost Hunters
I like the Ghost Hunters. Their website is The show is a reality tv show / documentary that began in 2004 and revolves around Grant Wilson and Jason Hawes who, at least in the beginning, were simply ghost hunters as a hobby and held day jobs as Roto-Rooter plumbers. They founded The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS), which has its own website at You can also listen to them radio streaming on Saturdays from 7-10 at Grant is a fairly easy believer, and Jason is skeptic. He sees his role as a ghost hunter as one of trying to debunk hauntings. He explains, "After subjecting phenomena to recording, measurement, and experimentation, we may realize that our initial observations were in error, or we may see more evidence to support our hypothesis. But the point is to try to debunk it first" (Ghost Hunting 13). That is one of the cool things about these particular ghost hunters—that they invent neat tools and new uses for tools to try to measure paranormal activity. For instance, they use digital thermometers, electromagnetic field scanners, cameras with night vision, digital cameras, recorders, computers, ion generators, and noise generators. Another reason I like them is that they’ve been to my home town to record at least two episodes about Waverly Hills Sanatorium. You can see clips on YouTube, like this one

Ghost Hunters International
If you want more ghost hunters, visit them at I have not seen this one yet, but my husband recommends it. Their website says, “Like their U.S. counterpart, TAPS (The Atlantic Paranormal Society), Ghost Hunters International is a squad of real-life ghost-hunting experts — ordinary people who investigate and attempt to debunk claims of otherworldly activity. Comprising veteran TAPS investigators Robb Demarest, Andy Andrews, Brian Harnois and Donna LaCroix, along with Barry FitzGerald (memorable from the Ghost Hunters' legendary investigations in Ireland) and newcomer Shannon Sylvia, the Ghost Hunters International crew is primed to uncover some of the most startling paranormal evidence yet.” Episodes are available on iTunes.

Destination Truth
Joshua Gates hosts this show as a paranormal investigator who travels the world. He begins the show by saying, “I’m not sure what’s out there waiting for me, but I know what I’m looking for—the truth.” He mainly investigates claims of extraordinary animal sightings, cryptozoology, but every once in a while he does something different. I watched an episode on ghost hunting, though, where he and his team went to Pemba Island (off the coast of Africa) which is supposedly haunted by the ghost(s) of tortured slaves. They investigated the claims, traveled to the reported spots, recorded video, then took the video back to the States to a specialist to analyze the tape. Located at, the show’s website has full episodes available. Check it out.

Psychic Kids: Children of the Paranormal
Medium Chip Coffey and Dr. Lisa Miller (psychologist) help children and their families cope with their paranormal abilities. I’ve seen two episodes and both focused on children who saw/talked to the dead. I haven’t seen other psychic abilities explored yet. There have been six episodes so far, I think. It’s fairly new. The website is available at

Ghostly Encounters
This show came from the Biography Channel. The episode didn’t have a title. It began with a voice over saying, “Ghostly goings-on occur when the living venture onto pathways frequented by the deceased.” Basically, this show was a series of people talking to the camera about encounters with ghosts. These testimonies are broken up by a host, somebody Chow?, who explained what the person was experiencing. However, the host doesn’t appear to ever meet, talk to, or interact with the people talking to the camera. There are also reenactments that seem very low budget. The website for the show is

Psychic Investigators
This is also a Biography Channel show. The website is This show has three investigators. There are each given the same details of a case and sent to the scene of the crime. They interpret the evidence and try to solve the crime. Then, at the end of the show, the investigators get together and “solve” the crime. I’m neutral about this one. Watch for yourself; it comes on regularly Saturdays at 11.

Paranormal State
This show is a “rip off” Ghost Hunters. It focuses on Ryan Buell and the Penn State Paranormal Society. It is 30 minutes long. The website gives this description of the show, “Delve deep into the strange and the mysterious with Paranormal Research Society founder Ryan Buell and his team of investigators as they attempt to unravel inexplicable paranormal phenomena including sixth-sense experiences, ghost sightings, demonic disturbances, and brushes with the darkest areas of the unknown. Founded by Buell in 2001, the PRS works on cases across the country and is one of the most recognized paranormal societies in the nation.” I watched an episode called “Devil in Syracuse.” I had trouble following it because evidently Ryan has been battling a this demon that is following him around. They had an exorcism. I don’t know if it worked. There are several episodes on their website at

A Haunting (Discovery Channel)
This is a regularly broadcast show that purports to be a documentary. Again, my DVR picked up several episodes, including “Legend Trippers,” “Where Evil Lurks,” “Stalked by Evil,” and “Spirits of the Dead.” I watched a few minutes of an episode called “The Calling.” The show begins with a text screen that reads “The events depicted in this program are based on eye witness accounts. Some names have been changed to protect the identity of those involved.” This particular episode focused on a “family secret.” Rebecca can see / communicate with her dead “pop pop,” the grandfather who died when she was only six months old. That communication tells her of future events, so she is not only a medium but a psychic too. I watched an episode called “Ghost Hunter” about Stacy Jones, a former copy turned paranormal investigator or self-proclaimed “demonologist” who “battles the dark side” to save her son. In this episode, the reenactment was of Jones taking her son on an investigation of shadow people and then the son being haunted / possessed by something from that graveyard investigation. Eventually, they have to have an exorcism to save him. My opinion of this series is that it is full of cheesy reenactments with commentary interspersed between segments from the “real life” subjects of the particular episodes. The show’s website is There are also many clips from the show available on YouTube. Here is one

Haunted History
This show is from the Biography Channel. The particular episode I caught featured haunted places in Texas, focusing mostly on The Alamo. Much of the show was devoted to giving a history of the Alamo and listing the incidences of paranormal activity or ghost sighting. Again, like other shows from the channel talked about here, the show appeared very low budget. The documentary style was not very interesting, but the history was. Website available at This show comes on regularly, Saturdays at 8 pm.