As winter settles in with a bite in the air, and the lockdown isolation still weighing heavily on us, it’s the season for some haunting shows. We may as well lean into it while we have those monster-proof blankets wrapped tightly around us!

But even though you’re snuggled up, the original ghostbusters from the Ghost Hunters series – Jason Hawes, Steve Gonsalves and Dave Tango – are back with a new show that will send chills down your spine.

In Ghost Nation, starting Tuesday, 19 May on Travel Channel (DStv 179) at 21:10, they will be visiting people who claim to be struggling with hauntings, and using their scientific equipment and 30 years of ghost hunting expertise to figure out why certain strange phenomena are rattling the chains and spooking the household.

Ghost Nation is about us staying together as a team, as a family, involving other teams, and also getting in there and helping out homeowners. People who in their homes truly are frightened of things that are going on. Whether it's them, their children, or anything like that,” says Jason. “We’re getting in there and truly trying to figure out what's happening for these homeowners, to empower them, and just give them their strength back in their homes.” Steve adds that they are “taking on cases where we are actually helping people, not necessarily just running to try to get the best piece of paranormal evidence.”

The summoning

The Ghost Nation guys don’t just show up uninvited like an apparition. They’re coming out of semi-retirement because they have been summoned. When local ghost hunters are at their wits’ end, who are they going to call other than the original crew? “We highlight all these other investigators, and all these other people that are all around the country that are involved in this field, and they bring us some cases that sometimes they get stumped on or that they don't have the resources to really get all the answers on, and we come in and we assist them,” explains Jason. “It's nice because we're trying to show that this field is a huge community of researchers and explorers and investigators, and we wanted to show that there's so much more than just the people on the show.”

(Para)Normal activity

Jason is promising a level-headed approach to haunting rather than Scooby Doo-style madness, running and screaming at the snap of a twig. The team will be doing substantial work to investigate the backgrounds to the hauntings and tales of what dreadful things happened to spark them. “When we go in, you'll see cases where we were able to catch incredible activity that will air. You'll also see cases where we were able to figure out what was really going on in the house, and it didn't have any paranormal activity,” he insists. “Some of the stuff we caught is mind-blowing. But then again, you're going to sit there and see some of the things that we were able to figure out and you're going to be like, ‘Wow, that is truly amazing. I didn't know that that could cause this.’”

Chilling cases

We can expect some seriously spooked clients this season. Particularly when there are children involved.

  • The Higgins family’s nanny cam footage of their daughter Lily reacting to a glowing orb floating across her nursery created an uproar online. They claim that two people have died on the property, but in the episode A Nightmare In The Nursery, the Ghost Nation’s first stop will be the Ortonville Community Historical Society, where they’ll question locals about the Native American history of the area.
  • In episode The Novelist’s Nightmare, the Ghost Nation guys head for New Jersey, where horror movie writer and director Mario Cerrito fears that he has attracted a poltergeist that’s threatening his wife and children. The kids are talking about monsters in the house and hearing little girls crying, and the grown-ups also hear children crying in the night when they are home alone. They’ve had the house blessed but are at their wits’ end, and so is their local paranormal investigator.
  • Jason’s daughter Satori reaches out when she winds up puzzled by a third family case in the episode The Squire Street Haunting. The Mangiante family are terrified of something in the dream home that’s physically interacting with their little daughter Lily. They fear that Lily’s grandmother, who practices santeria, has invited something dark into the house. And with the house’s long history, the planchet on the Ouija board could be pointing to any number of culprits.

It’s one thing to be haunted personally, but we’ve seen too many classic ghost films like The Shining, Poltergeist and The Amityville Horror to let certain kinds of imaginary friends hang out with the kids. Next thing you know, you’ll have a recurring sewer clown infestation. These people need the Ghost Nation crew, stat!

Watch Ghost Nation S1 from Tuesday, 19 May on Travel Channel (DStv 179) at 21:10

Chills and thrills

And if that gets you in the mood, there’s plenty of bone-chilling TV out there for you. Just check your DStv TV Guide for times for the following titles…

  • Ghost Brothers S2 on Travel Channel (179)
  • Ghost Hunters S2 on Travel Channel (179)
  • Ghost Adventures S3 on Travel Channel (179)
  • Ghost Asylum S1 & S2 on Travel Channel (179)
  • Ghost Lab S2 on Travel Channel (179)
  • These Woods Are Haunted S2 on Travel Channel (179) or binge on Catch Up
  • The Dead Files S5 & S11 on Travel Channel (179)
  • Destination Fear S1 on Travel Channel (179)
  • Paranormal Emergency S1 on Travel Channel (179)
  • Paranormal Lockdown S2 on Travel Channel (179)
  • Paranormal Survivor S1 &S4 on CBS Reality (132)
  • My Haunted House S2 on Lifetime (131)

For even more spooky action, mark your calendars for the start of new series The Alaska Triangle, starting on Tuesday, 26 May on Travel Channel (179) at 20:15. It promises UFOs, actual chills because it’s freezing there, ghostly encounters, disappearances, monsters and more.

While you wait, try a local treat, with an absolute must-watch movie Die Spook Van Uniondale, which focuses on South Africa’s best known ghostly hitchhiker. See it on Catch Up.

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