By Susan E. Clarke
Many consider Maine to be the safest state in the whole of the USA (note: these people have never seen a moose), but watching a few episodes of the paranormal documentary webseries ‘Haunt ME’ will definitely make you think again.
Team leader/creator/director Ashley Brooks, historian Carol Cleveland, audio analyst Ty Gowen, visual evidence analyst Shawn Ruarke and occultist Katie Webb reunite again for season two of their spine chilling horror investigations, funded by their fans and sporting some new tech.
What can I say about this series, besides a caution that you will never want to be left alone inside a darkened room ever again? If you love having your gooses bumped, or hiding behind a large pillow while braver people walk down dimly lit corridors seeking out the dead, then this one’s for you!
The series follows a familiar format, with a different location explored for supernatural activity in each episode through the use of an array of audio, visual and spiritual equipment. It will have you debating with your friends as to the validity of the evidence gathered, or whether Ty has just managed to antagonise a kindly old spirit into burning his ears off.
But what really separates ‘Haunt ME’ from other ghost hunting shows is its use of setting. The roaming camera introductions to each location are fantastic and, coupled with the use of old photographs and anecdotal evidence of previously-recorded hauntings, you get a good sense of each building’s rich history. This allows you to immerse yourself in the team’s experiences, and you can even begin to visualise the ghosts in question thanks to the cutaways illustrating the different past uses of this week’s spectral hotspot.
Premiering on the Entertainment Experiment online network alongside other Maine webseries such as ‘No Refund For Content’ and ‘Ragged Isle’, the Pine Tree State becomes a personality in itself, as you are steeped in the colorful history of its landmarks and past residents. This flavour continues into the hypnotic tempo and strong visual aesthetic of the series.
As a treat, ‘Haunt ME”s title sequence is subtle but wonderful, with a mix of team poses and genre-related imagery. It really gives you a great sum up of each individual investigator’s personality, which in turn allows you to really care about their well-being. It heightens the threat of the situation when your favourite ‘character’ is choosing to do something that puts them on edge, especially when things have already taken a distinct turn for the weird. To back it up is Grant Wilson’s chilling opening theme, which sets the off-kilter tone of the rest of the score and provides the series with effective punctuation for its turbulent journey through each spine tingling adventure.
‘Haunt ME’ is full of believers, which leaves no room for the Scully in the family. So get together with all your ghost-loving friends and watch both seasons, or risk being left with ‘unfinished business’.