I recently watched Destination America’s new paranormal show, “Paranormal Lockdown”, and have mixed reviews. Though it is exponentially better than a lot of the shows currently on Destination America and is 1000 times better than “Cursed: The Bell Witch”, I was left with the feeling of “meh”.
It should be noted that the promotional ads for the show lists the cast as being paranormal experts. This caused a serious pause for me. There is NO such thing as a paranormal expert. Just because one has had a television show for seasons at a time does not equate to being a “paranormal expert”. Seasoned, yes. Experienced, yes. Expert, NO! There is no governing body or organization to quantify someone as being an expert. As Nick Groff is a producer for the show, he should know this and acknowledge that this is a serious misnomer.
I will say, I liked the idea of spending more than a limited number of hours at a location and declaring the location to be “haunted”. Spending 72 hours inside a location would enable one to critically review many of the claims being made about a possible paranormal location. However, this show failed to do that. They failed to utilize the time and light available to them to employ critical thinking and look at plausible causes for the phenomena they deemed as paranormal.
I also liked the idea that the show invited other guest investigators in for their lockdown. However, the guests they chose to bring in already arrived with a preconceived notion that the location was haunted, such as Lorraine Warren. For example, when John Tenney arrived at the Hinsdale House, it seemed that within a short amount of time of him being there, and no data to quantify or support his claims, he stated that the location was “haunted”. It would have been better had they invited someone with an actual scientific background or one who would not fall subject to a confirmation bias. Nonetheless, the fact that they would invite investigators from outside teams is still better than most shows do. Although there has been a lot of controversy surrounding Grant Wilson of “Ghost Hunters”, the fact that Nick Groff would extend the invitation to him, especially considering the many years of pitting “Ghost Adventures” against “Ghost Hunters” by fans and members of the respective teams, shows Groff is not opposed to outside opinions and shows his willingness to look past old rivalries.
What I found to be disappointing about the show was that it seemed that though it had a few nuances of a different take on paranormal investigating, for the most part it was just a cookie cutter of what we’ve already seen from numerous shows on Destination America. For example, last week at the Hinsdale House, both Groff and Wiedman claimed to have personal experiences and felt uncomfortable in certain portions of the location. However, they failed to acknowledge fatigue as possibly being the reason why they were feeling drained of energy, although at one point Weidman did state she needed sleep. They failed to acknowledge the fact that they were trying to work in complete darkness and never once touched upon the matter of pareidolia coming into play. Furthermore, the show uses a geobox which is just another type of ghost box and tries to pawn the device as being scientific and evidences of paranormal activity.
Although they attempted to do something different with the show, it still seemed to be a convergence of their own two starting shows, “Ghost Adventures” and “Paranormal State”, only with less dramatics and longer time spent each location. Overall, it is better than any of the other shows on DA, however, it fails to impress in terms of originality and critical thinking.