ANN MASSEY gives us an overview of the latest paranormal web series, In Search of the Paranormal and reviews Season 2, The Skirrid Inn.
As a paranormal investigator myself, it is sometimes hard to look past the pantomime of some of today’s spooky TV shows and take them seriously. When I came across ‘In Search of the Paranormal’ I was apprehensive to say the least! I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised, and it shows what can be achieved when a team has full creative control.
Sage Paranormal is made up of Director and Producer, MJ Dickson, Carl Hutchinson, Corrine Gretton-West and Alex Gretton West. Each season of the show revolves around one location, which is occupied by the team for an entire week for a fully immersive experience.
Each season has voice over narration, interviews and dramatisation to set the scene for the location and experiences, before it goes into the investigations proper. We follow the team to the location, where they disclose the history and interview locals and witnesses to discover what paranormal occurrences have been reported within the property.
Much the same as any other show I hear you say! Well not quite – because for Sage Paranormal they are hearing the information for the first time too, and it shows. They have done all their own research and the interest they have and the excitement for what could happen on their investigations is clear.
Each episode then goes to the investigations, which we follow with the team and then go through the review of evidence and the findings and opinions of the investigators. There are no camera or TV crews to hand, no ‘sets’ and no retakes – just Sage Paranormal doing what they do best at some of the UK’s coolest paranormal locations!
In Search of the Paranormal Season 2, Episode 1 Review: The Skirrid Inn
The Skirrid Mountain Inn, to call it by its official name, is a 17th century pub just outside of Abergavenny in and a magnet for paranormal investigators. Unusually, there is very little historical documentation so the team were going in with conjecture, legends and tales – a fact they quantified from the start.
After some mood setting introduction music, we have the team driving in two separate cars up to the location as they discuss a bit about where they are going.
Speaking to the landlord of the public house among others, MJ Dickson and her team seek to expand their knowledge of the location they will call home for a week. From deaths to the use of the property as a courthouse for “The Hanging Judge” we learn what potentially could be hiding in the dark!
The voice-over narration we hear is good for setting the scene and explaining things, and I get why there is the dramatized re-enactment of some of the supposed history. Overall paranormal research is not very visual so it does hold viewer interest and create an image to go with any potential supernatural interactions. Personally however, I prefer to use my imagination!
We discover that there have been claims of violent entities, poltergeist activity, audio, shadow figures and even a “Lady in Red.” Geoff Fiddler is the landlord of the Skirrid Inn who tells us that one of the hauntings is believed to be Fanny Price, the wife of a previous landlord who died of consumption.
A good 15-20 minutes of the 48 minute show was dedicated to background, discovery and interviews. This gave me a real insight into both the location and the team members, which for me was a great thing. For those not familiar with paranormal investigation, there was clarity without spoon feeding for both the discovery phase and the investigation itself.
As the investigation proper began, explanations of the equipment being used and what was happening around them continued and I did begin to feel as if I was a part of the investigation. The team were very good at vocalising personal experiences and explaining things they were seeing that weren’t necessarily caught on camera without trying to win an Oscar which was quite refreshing.
The end of night review of evidence was just enough to make you want to see what else the team would find during the week. There was no pantomime, no screams, no hype. If you want that, find yourself a horror movie or one of the well-known mainstream TV shows, known for dramatising every sound or shadow to the max and screaming like a banshee.
If you are actually interested in the paranormal, history and want to see how a genuine paranormal team work without a full crew and refreshment truck in tow, this is the one for you.
‘In Search of the Paranormal’ is available with subscription through online streaming service Ickonic