Not too long ago, Destination America picked up “Paranormal Lockdown”, a show featuring Nick Groff from “Ghost Adventures”. The show centers on two or three people (never really entirely sure) as they spend three days in haunted locations trying to uncover evidence to prove the location contains paranormal entities. Sometimes they even try to get rid of the spirits from the location. Sounds good, right? I am inclined to say many would be wrong, and for a number of very good reasons.
Let's address the elephant in the room. It comes as no surprise that Nick Groff and Zak Bagans had some issues while filming a documentary in Bagans' previous house. The house was claimed to be ridiculously haunted, thus piquing Bagan's interest to film the paranormal investigation and then tearing the building after the piece was finished. One never knows what really happened between Bagans and Groff, but one can surmise the two had been drifting apart in the newer episodes of “Ghost Adventurers”, where Groff was sent repeatedly on his own during investigations. Maybe to get his own timeslot within the show to quell bad vibes? It's hard to say since this is merely my own speculation on the matter.
Hence, “Paranormal Lockdown” was born. Groff now has his own show. Now, being that he was a former “Ghost Adventures”, I was hoping to have another exciting show to watch in dealing with the paranormal. Sadly, I was wrong. My first reason is the over-stylized theme song and the over-the-top cinematic effects for the introduction. What makes “Ghost Adventures” so special is the lack of over-stylization making us inclined to believe what we are watching is real, documented activity. Make of that what you will. Groff's introduction to the show leads me to believe I would watch this show for entertainment purposes, not for “real” concrete evidence of the paranormal.
Groff and his team member, Katrina Weidman, never really bother to explain the type of equipment they use. This leaves the viewer feeling alienated from the seasoned, avid “Ghost Adventures” viewer. He neglects to explain his instruments and how they make or break the validity of a paranormal investigation.
This may be a bit biased, but Weidman, who has experience in conducting paranormal investigations, does not bring the same warmth and closeness as its rival counterpart. She instead comes off as a bit cold with an otherwise bland personality. How long does Nick feel we are supposed to watch this show without drawing comparisons to his last show? How long does he expect us to watch a show that lacks the closeness, experience and personality compared to the show that gave him his likability and notoriety?
I question the validity of their investigations. It seems as though things happen all too quickly in terms of paranormal activity with the given locations. Furthermore, none of the investigators take the time to explain where this evidence came from nor do they try to debunk their findings. “Ghost Adventures” winds up being the winner to me for a few reasons. They add this do-it-yourself element to the show. There is no fancy cinematography being used. The investigators only use their own crew and their own makeshift nerve center. This adds validity to their findings. They are also truthful in the fact that if a sound is not authentic evidence to the paranormal investigation, they take the time to debunk their findings.
Finally, the show has been going strong since 2004. Not only has this given them the time to prove themselves and their investigations, it demonstrates a sense of closeness, personality and trust to the audience. They have been friends for a long time, since before the show even began, taking a chance on a show that could or could not have given them the popularity they have now.
Nonetheless, their stripped down quality, amount of time and scientific, handmade equipment they put into each episode shows that Bagans and his crew really do care about what they do. It is proving the paranormal does exist, not for entertainment or the money. Bagans is even in the process of collecting possessed items, which will be housed in his very own museum. This only adds more credibility to the fact that he lives and breathes what he does for a living. Only time will tell if “Paranormal Lockdown” will match up to its senior rival on the Travel channel and on Sy-Fy. The show is still new, so it may have a chance to redeem itself in my eyes.