28 Days Haunted review – the ghost hunting show that will have you rolling your eyes like never before | Television


LLooking back, those halcyon days of Living TV’s Most Haunted were a lukewarm treat. This show, quite a product of its time, had spooky sleepovers; celebrities screaming as they brush against walls/cobwebs/whatever; showbiz psychics claiming to converse with the spirits of deceased people via their own deceased spirit guides; witches, orbs of light and malevolent spirits, all under the eerie green glow of night vision cameras. Nowadays, like everything else, ghost hunting is a much more serious and solemn affair, and in the hands of American paranormal investigators and social experiments, it is as oversized as one would expect.

You could say that 28 Days Haunted (Netflix) is the hold-my-beer of spirit-hunting TV shows. He sends three teams of researchers to separate, and I use that term loosely, “haunted” places, in Colorado, North Carolina and Connecticut, to “prove” the theory – I’ll run out of quotes here – that it takes 28 days to completely pierce the veil between the living and the dead. It’s the kind of series that’s made to be shown in bite-sized chunks on Gogglebox, where viewers will hide behind couch cushions or roll their eyes so hard they might spin.

I fall into the latter category, with no disrespect to viewers who believe that transistor radios and homemade Daft Punk-style headphones give these folks privileged access to demons and restless spirits. Teams are led to their haunted houses/sites of special interest while wearing blindfolds, for no clear reason. “Not seeing is an extra layer of stress for us,” says one, which can only be answered with the first of many “duhs.” The second is coming very quickly. “He definitely has a story to tell, I can feel it from here,” says Amy, who is “a sensitive” (apparently the word has gone from adjective to noun). How she can sense there’s a story to be uncovered in a haunted house chosen by television researchers to appear in a ghost show is beyond my ability, but I guess I’m no psychic.

They all settle down for 28 days of testing, commune with the undead, and generally freak out in the dark. There are lots of flickering, radio-transmitted messages that only the person wearing headphones can hear, talk of “oppressive energy” and discarded furniture, off-camera. We hear a “blood curdling scream”, but it could also be that the door hinges need WD40. At one point, Jereme and Brandy’s team hold a wake for the living Brandy, so she can better connect with what might be a malevolent spirit. “I’m really nervous about the coffin experience,” she said before stepping into a coffin. What she sees when she is there is a woman. “Something happened to him because of a man.” What are the chances?

I guess being skeptical about it is like shooting fish in a barrel. If you’re of a cynical mindset, it’s not hard to tell it off at every turn – spirits can give you their first name, but not their last name, apparently, which is terribly inconvenient. But without being a fun sponge, and regardless of its “scientific” motivations, is there any chance that 28 Days Haunted is so over-the-top and woo-woo that it veers into entertainment? In a way, in a kind of tales around the campfire. He’s sometimes nervous enough to serve as Halloween fodder, if you’re really desperate for hauntings and have seen all the good movies more than once. There is a more questionable side, however. In one of the locations, the spooky activity is linked to the victims of a 1970 rape and two murders. There are hints that the spirits guided them to new information, linking these murders to another cold case. . Something about this left me a little cold, but maybe not for the same reasons.


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