Haunted Case Files is a paranormal reality TV show that focuses on investigators telling their most frightening encounters. Get Ghostly Activities take on the show after the jump.
Haunted Case Files debuted on Destination America in August 2016. It originally premiered on a Canadian cable network in June 2016. Now, it airs on Travel Channel. The production company is Our House Media, based in Toronto. Our House Media also makes Paranormal Survivor and Scariest Night Of My Life.
Haunted Case Files Episode Structure
Haunted Case Files starts with a narrator, who sets up the ghostly encounter and paranormal investigation. Then, the program shifts between recreations of the events. The producers don’t spend much time with the clients: They really focus on the investigators and evidence.
By itself, this isn’t very different from other paranormal encounter shows like Paranormal Witness, My Haunted House and A Haunting. The different angle is that the investigators tell the story. Many reality shows don’t spend much time with the investigators. They just show up to confirm the haunting, have a jump scare or two, then tell their clients to call in a priest (ok, I’m generalizing here). It’s good to see and hear the experts talk about their cases, encounters and approach to evidence collection.
Most episodes focus on 3 investigations during a 45-minute show. That makes each segment move quickly and you get a variety of ghost hunts.
Recreating Encounters On Haunted Case Files
The recreations use actors and high-end production quality for special effects. That means they can hyperbolize the details of the encounter. I understand why the producers do it: It’s a TV show and the audience needs to be entertained (or scared in this case). But, the show steps back to reality and we see the investigators’ actual evidence. It’s not really a juxtaposition, or side-by-side view. They show the real evidence, label it actual photo or audio, and have the investigator talk about it.
This approach lends more credibility to the investigators’ work and the show.
Evidence Quality On Haunted Case Files
I’ll put on my investigator hat for this section: I’m not totally convinced by the quality of the evidence. Now, I’m not saying this for every segment presented. I do wish the producers would include more about debunking evidence. That may not work for the time allotment, but debunking is critical to any investigation.
To illustrate some of my points, I’ll use the first segment of Season 2 Episode 1 “Chilling Encounters” at Sandusky County Jail:
In this episode, the investigators presented their audio evidence, but I couldn’t understand it. For example, “I don’t want to be recorded” was presented. Without the label, it just sounded like some weird burping to me. Whenever a label is presented, it causes the brain to make sense of the recording. It shouldn’t need labels or transcriptions for that. If the EVP isn’t clear enough on initial playback, it’s not strong enough to present.
Although, the EVP gave me a creepy feeling during my first viewing of the episode.
During the episode, the investigator presented the actual photos from the investigation. I’m all for showing the real-life pictures. But, there’s one picture of the executioner that I’d debunk. The investigator followed a shadow person down a hall and took some pictures. They were taken by a full-spectrum camera. The image looked like a white, hooded silhouette.
I wish the investigator would explain how he tried to debunk the photo. To me, it looked like a matrix because it matched the white coloring on the walls. This is one reason I use video: You get the full context and I think video would have better captured evidence at this place.
If they had shown the debunking process, I would be more likely to believe an apparition formed.
Ghost Gadgets Used
The investigators used KII meters a lot. These devices are so sensitive, they can go off for any reason like hand movements. If they’d complemented it with a Mel 8704-R or natural trifield meter, I’d be more likely to believe it.
The team also used a Ovilus ITC device. These devices are also wildly inaccurate. As shown, the responses appeared to show interesting activity. The Sandusky County Jail co-ordinator confirmed the responses, but the Ovilus usually responds with gibberish during engagement sessions. It did make for good TV!
Ghostly Activities’ Take
I think the show is a fun and interesting watch. The recreations and evidence presented make for good TV, and it’s good to see and hear from ghost hunters about their cases. Do I think the producers take liberties with evidence? Yes, I do. Do I think the investigators are credible? Yes, I do. Do I think they’ve portrayed ghost investigations realistically? Sorta. Will I continue to watch Haunted Case Files? You betcha.
Overall, I rank Haunted Case Files as one of the better paranormal TV shows. It airs on Travel Channel on Sunday nights at 11 PM ET/10 PM CT. You can stream episodes through the Travel Channel app, too.
Jacob ‘Jake’ Rice has always loved ghosts and scary stories. When he’s not being a tech nerd for work, he’s the gadget guy on the team. He hunts ghosts, spirits and other paranormal entities in Seattle and the Puget Sound area.