We are 100% user-supported!
Without you, there is no RationalWiki!
|Goal: $5000||Donations so far: $2890|
Help and donate today!
|It's fun to pretend|
|The Twilight Zone|
A Haunting is yet another ghost show (because we don't have enough of those, right?) that once aired on Discovery Channel, and a sad testament to the sensationalistic and pseudoscientific channel drift[wp] in a channel that implies it offers educational and scientific programming. Now though it has moved to the "Destination America" channel along with some of the other more dubious and boring material. Essentially the show is a collection of so-called "first hand accounts" and (very poorly done) reenactments of ghost hauntings, demonic activity, poltergeist attacks, etc. Unlike Ghost Hunters however which at least pretends to be scientific and skeptic in some way, A Haunting makes no attempt to offer any skeptic point of view, no expert advice, nothing. The viewer is simply made to believe the story is true right from the get-go, with no evidence whatsoever to back up the claim. Even the website is like this, causing unnecessary fear and paranoia for people who read the website's articles. And it's being presented on a reputable TV network. Because educational TV shows never lie to the audience.
It makes this editor wonder if it even qualifies as pseudoscience peddling.
The stories almost always take on the same basic plotline. A family/couple/woman always gets a fixer-upper house dirt cheap, or something very similar. As soon as they move in, they begin to feel very uncomfortable, which soon escalates into forementioned demonic/poltergeist attacks. Desperate and out of answers, the family usually seeks out some pseudoscientific help, and in most instances this is in the form of a psychic medium or paranormal "expert." Then the family generally either high-tails it out of there, or gets a preacher or priest to perform an exorcism. Note that those last two may not necessarily be in that order, in order to give the illusion of variety to the show's stories.
While on rare occasions it’s a Wiccan or a medium that saves the day, 90% of the time its the good ol' fundy/Catholic Christian that saves the day. One particular episode (Spellbound) seemed rather intent on blasting Wicca in particular (like something out of a Jack Chick Tract). This has caused the show to be heavily criticized for having an overly Christian leaning/bias, or worse, being outright spiritual warfare propaganda.
- The show's page on Destination America's website