Since most of you gentle readers have an avid interest in "the paranormal," the following documentary on DVD, may make an ideal gift for a number of people on your list..or even you.
NIGHT STALKERS - Southern California Paranormal Investigators
Filmmaker, Wayne Poe harbored a childhood interest in the paranormal cultivated during the heyday of shows like Unsolved Mysteries and In Search Of. As he grew up he says, “I pretty much thought it was all nuttiness,” that is until a childhood friend began to have his own paranormal experiences. Unable to dismiss his friend’s typically grounded and rational views, Poe then spent the next year immersing himself in the culture of Southern California paranormal investigation.
Poe got a lot more than he bargained for. “I was intrigued by their methods and philosophies on ghost hunting,” he says. “I was escorted to well known haunted locations in Southern California, as well as residences the ghost hunters attempted to rid of their own spirits.”
The first residential investigation is documentary gold, akin to something out of American Movie. The first team arrives at the home of a client, where the two lead investigators inform her that the spirits are watching them. Poe cuts to an interview with the team post investigation where the lead investigator informs us she “Knew exactly what to do,” since she and her colleague astral projected to the house prior to their physical arrival. Cutting back to the investigation, the encounter gets more and more incredible with tales of a dead woman in the closet, a ruthless killer in the basement, vortexes, a disembodied attack and the requisite demons. As if that weren’t enough, Poe is pulled aside and asked to turn off his camera so they can reveal this shocker – one of them is not entirely human! “I thought I was being pranked,” he says. Through it all, everything is caught deftly on camera, evoking the feeling that you are right there - in the center ring of this circus.
Of course, not all of the film is populated by “investigators” or psychics of this ilk. If you watch any of the para shows on TV regularly, you will surely see a number of familiar faces. In the many interviews that appear throughout the film there is an undercurrent of sincerity and longing for understanding. One investigator even goes so far as to state “People need to be ready to accept that what we are doing is not proof of anything.” Others passionately state they know paranormal occurrences “are real.” Poe’s chosen subjects thoughtfully address the topics of frauds, fakery and admit to a lack of understanding.
The viewer is given the opportunity to go inside real investigations in historical locales, businesses and private residences with teams and individuals that display a wide variety of techniques and philosophies, from high tech to low teach. Maybe most importantly, Night Stalkers provides far more interesting and compelling occurrences and possible paranormal accounts than you’ll ever see on TV. Of course, there’s a paranormal themed conference or two, one of which ends up being the foundation for a story arc within Night Stalkers, when the local team of skeptics from the Center For Inquiry infiltrate an event called So Cal Para Con. Mark Edward, a performing mentalist and skeptic says, “Let’s say you could talk to a dead spirit – which is ridiculous…it would rend the fabric of reality in two and its just not happening.”
Its not only interesting to watch these small stories unfold during the course of the film but, for me the most compelling is that of Poe’s, who as I mentioned began this venture with the opinion that “..it was all nuttiness.” Yet, toward the close of the film things begin to pull him into the investigations he’s filming…even when he’s not there.
Thought provoking, funny, poignant and entertaining, Night Stalkers gives you what the TV shows won’t.
THE NIGHT STALKERS DVD IS NOW AVAILABLE. $15.00 + $4.00 S/H
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