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Case Number 22624: Small Claims Court

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Ghost Stories: Seasons 1 & 2

Travel Channel // 2010 // 384 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Dawn Hunt // October 28th, 2011

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All Rise...

Too much ghostbusting means Judge Dawn Hunt needs a Teddy Bear Stories chaser.

The Charge

"Go to the place where terror lives."

If you're sick of made-up stories of spooky things happening then Ghost Stories: Seasons 1 & 2 might be just what you're looking for.

The Case

Over the course of two seasons Ghost Stories: Seasons 1 & 2 travels across the continental United States to hear first-person accounts of encounters with paranormal activity.

Disc One
• "Boise Theater"—The ghost of a former projectionist still lingers.

• "Trans-Allegheny"—A little girl's ghost haunts the former asylum.

• "Moundsville Penitentiary"—With so many murderers housed here it's not surprising there'd be a ghost or two.

• "Villisca Axe Murder House"—An unsolved murder involving the brutal slaying of eight innocent people has led to the house's haunting.

• "Peter Shields Inn"—A tragic gunshot accident results in the victim's ghost being trapped.

• "Elma Sands"—A woman murdered by her lover haunts the basement of a NYC bar built over the well where her body was discovered.

• "USS Hornet"—A decommissioned aircraft carrier houses a whole fleet of ghosts.

• "Fort Mifflin"—A woman who lost both her children before succumbing to Yellow Fever herself continues to scream into eternity.

• "Sammie Dean"—A prostitute's brutal murder leaves her ghost to wander the brothel she once frequented.

• "El Fumador"—The president of a club is shot in cold blood and he still wanders the halls of the club.

Disc Two
• "JJ Stark"—A racist drunkard is killed in a bar where he is still found messing around.

• "Prince Suleyman"—A sadistic Sultan comes to New Orleans and is part of a brutal massacre but ends up buried alive.

• "Sister Katherine"—Ghost stories from Galveston, Texas.

• "Toni Jo"—A seductive temptress haunts the courthouse where she was electrocuted.

• "Joel Clough"—A killer refuses to leave prison…even after death.

• "Dr. Edwards"—A doctor killed outside the hospital where he worked keeps on seeing patients.

• "Ghostly Lovers" (Bonus)—A four-part special about "spectraphilia"…and that's all I'll say about this one.

The compelling thing about this show is the number of first-person accounts that Ghost Stories: Seasons 1 & 2 is able to put on tape. Most of the stories stem from brutal violence, but there are a couple that are simpler, without a tragic death involved. This is a step below a show like Ghost Hunters which seeks to provide documented evidence of paranormal activity. Instead this is an aptly named show in which the backstories of such reported activities are laid out. There is a lot of recycling shots within each episode in order to draw each story out as much as possible. The footage is altered in order to give it sort of an "otherworldly" feeling, although the heavy orange tinting of shots tends to echo CSI: Miami more than a supernatural event.

Each ghost story pools together interviews, video recreations, and stock pictures in order to paint the picture of the history behind the ghost story. Narrator Jay Thomas (The Santa Clause 2) provides a common thread for the series. His voice borders on the over-dramatic at times but honestly there's not a tone that would do better for the show. It's simply too easy to not take it seriously at all so it's better to have the more serious Thomas lest the show devolve into farce.

Ghost Stories: Seasons 1 & 2 is not something you will likely commit a full day to watching marathon-style, but you may sit down with some impressionable friends or youngsters and listen to the tales of paranormal activity from across the United States. I'm kidding about youngsters watching this by the way…it's scarier to think these things actually happened than to see obviously fake deaths and gore. The best case scenario for watching this is with like-minded friends who have their own story about an encounter with something they can't explain.

While the transfer is not HD it's better than simple broadcast with only a low level of noise. The audio won't rock your sound system but you can hear everything, even the voices caught on tape from beyond the grave.

The only extra included is a bonus special episode.

The Verdict

I know better than to needlessly upset ghosts. Not Guilty.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 80

Perp Profile

Studio: Travel Channel
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• None
Running Time: 384 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Paranormal
• Reality TV
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• Bonus Episode


• IMDb

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