Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The Phantom Cemetery

He seems like a nice enough fellow. He just happens to look a little like The Phantom Stranger, except not nearly as cool. Who, you ask? Just hold your horses, we'll get to that.

Phantom Stranger is one of my very favorite comic book characters who never seem to ever really do anything (See also the original Mr. Terrific, the original Red Tornado). Spooky and omnipotent, PS lurks in the upper corner of his own comic books, narrating the goings-on, but rarely getting his gloves dirty.

When worlds are threatened, he spontaneously shows up, spouts some heavy mumbo-jumbo, and splits. It's pretty cool, but frustrating. 

Amazon is being haunted by a whole slew of speculative documentaries with alluring titles such as Medieval Paranormal Activity, The Legend Of Borley Church, Paranormal Confessions, and Castle Of Lost Souls, and they all seem to be hosted by this guy who looks like Phantom Stranger, paranormal investigator Chris Halton.

See what I mean?

Castle Of Lost Souls has the intriguing synopsis of an alleged haunting in Saint Briavels Castle, built around 1075, which apparently has dark corridors and dank dungeons where all sorts of tortures, hangings, decapitations, and other horrors have occurred. In spite of watching a majority of the documentary, I don't recall seeing any of corridors, dungeons, or tortures. Paranormal Confessions features a synopsis surrounding a double axe murder at an ancient water mill in the year 1698, where the victims were hog tied to a beam and then butchered. Again, no recollection of seeing any of that.

Anyway, Chris Halton goes to all these supposedly haunted sites, talks a lot, and very little happens, then I fall asleep, slumped over in my chair, usually with a belly full of macaroni and cheese.

So back to the doc, The Phantom Cemetery features Mr. Halton investigating the infamous Bachelor's Grove Cemetery in Chicago, which is said to be haunted by a lady in white. He walks around in the woods, talking about various feelings and impressions he receives. At one point he complains about a negative smell. (Side note: I watch these programs with subtitles, and the subtitle said, "Crossed their pants" which seems to allude to the smells, and that seems fine to me). After many scenes of walking through a forest, he looks at an algae covered swamp, said that the swamp is dead, and a bullfrog jumps out of the water. In spite of the sudden appearance of the frog, I fell asleep.

Chris Halton seems genuinely interested in the history of each location, and in spite of a similar appearance to a certain spectral comic book character, seems like an affable guy. His delivery is profoundly dry, which could prompt a late-night audience with a full belly in a comfy chair to unexpectedly nod off.

Sorry, can't seem to locate trailers for these documentaries, but here's a little something.

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