Sunday, August 19, 2012

Paranormal Witness - The Aftermath

So, a few days have gone by since the show.  My initial reaction of "that was fun" has been replaced by "wish I hadn't done the show."   I very much want the subject of the paranormal to be taken seriously and I'd forgotten how silly it can be treated by certain folks.  I went through this when the book was first published and I should have known better.  My bad.   When I Google my name, instead of just coming up with people talking about the book or the paranormal in general, I get "Sheepshead Bay Woman Held Down in Bed by Angry Spirit",  "Gravesend Woman's Sci-Fi Tale" and, the most offensive, - a N.Y. newspaper's headline, "Horror House."  After spending more than an hour with one of their reporters, talking to him about our experience and how amazing I thought it was and how our paranormal experience even lead to compassion for whatever was in our home, 'Horror House' was the best he could come up with.  I know the genre invites this sort of thing, but I wish it didn't. There are books out there, stories out there, besides my own, that take these matters seriously and wish to elevate the whole idea of ghosts/hauntings/after death communication, etc. to subjects that can be talked about with the same respect as any other legitimate experience. But that would lessen the entertainment value, and that's what TV is all about.  I knew that. I kept thinking about an episode of Paranormal Witness that we'd seen last season about a deceased woman who appeared to others in order to save the life of her injured son.  I cried during that show. It showed how a traditionally 'frightening' experience can be viewed in a poignant and compassionate way.  I had hopes that some of those values might have ended up in our episode. The little lady in the white dress was a sad figure, not a scary one. The old couple from whom we purchased the house had lost their only son and daughter-in-law. I wish the TV show would have chosen to focus on those elements of the haunting.  But again, I should have known better. My bad.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

"Paranormal Witness"


     This Wednesday, August l5th, at l0 pm, the SyFy channel will air their second episode of the new season, "A Brooklyn Haunting."  This hour-long episode is based on the SyFy channel's extensive interviews with myself and members of my family.  They seem to be quite thorough,  not to mention really nice folks.   I had been approached by two other TV shows, but after viewing their work, decided against it.   I have always felt that the story I documented in Grave's End sort of speaks for itself and does not need too much hyperbole. However, I also understand that SyFy has a show with an audience who wish to be entertained, so I am expecting a certain amount of CGI and scary stuff.
     The people with whom we met were, without a doubt,  kind and attentive and seemed sensitive to our story, seemed to understand that what happened to us was personal.  I watched the last season of Paranormal Witness and was very impressed at how they presented the stories.  They seemed to focus on not only the paranormal events, but also the people and/or families to whom the events happened.
One show about a mother, after her death in a car crash, trying to get help for her still alive son who remained in the wreckage, was done so beautifully, with heart and feelings and respect for the family involved.  It was one of the few 'ghost shows' that I can say truly touched me. Very well done.
     The interview process was a bit uncomfortable.  They booked a studio in Williamsburg that, unbeknownst to them, had little to no heating.  They came from England and booked ahead of their arrival so I am sure they were as shocked as I at how cold the studio really was.  It was mid-December and a freezing day outside.  I sat there, under the lights, for over eight hours and felt like I was going to start to shake so hard that they'd have to stop shooting.  They put blankets on my legs, gave me hot coffee and tried their best to make me comfortable, but, in retrospect, I don't know if I'd do the interview again under those same circumstances.  It took me hours after I got home to truly warm up. I was chilled right to the bone.  The lights did not prove to warm up anything, and they had a portable heater by my knees, but nothing helped.  It was so, so cold.  Just thinking about it makes me shiver (which, considering how hot it is today, is sort of welcome!) Even at the time I wondered how being so cold might affect the interview.....well, we shall see on Wednesday. They interviewed Matthew, Christine and my brother Joey on a different day, thankfully, so they weren't quite as cold.
     It's a little nerve wracking to let other people present your story.  I don't know how we look, although I got a glimpse of myself on the preview.....not impressed..... and, more importantly, how will our story be shown?  Will it be all scares and no substance?  Will they take things out of context? I am trusting the SyFy crew to do a good job.........