Zombos Says: Good
I don’t fully buy into the haunted-objects-causing-disturbances premise of Syfy’s new reality-based spook show, Haunted Collector: it smacks too much of Warehouse 13 and that Canadian television series, Friday the 13th (a deal with the devil produces cursed antiques), only they have Robey and Allison Scagliotti to emote dramatically. In Haunted Collector there’s only John Zaffis and his paranormal team, and they’re surprisingly so down to earth when finding possible culprits, you wonder what all the fuss is about. Zaffis doesn’t even lock up his collection of troubling artifacts. He keeps them in his basement. Can he sleep soundly at night without all that bad mojo giving him nightmares? I didn’t see him using any of that purple Warehouse 13 neutralizing goop, so I wonder.
I’m part skeptical and part susceptible: I had an incident with an old hand-crank Victrola back in the 1960s. Long story short, it came into the house, weird things began to happen (including shadows where none should have been), and my mom had it taken out of the house. Where it went I’m not sure, because it was placed in the trunk of a car—and that car disappeared shortly after that.
Two cases are investigated in the premiere episode: the first in a Louisiana home and the second in a Connecticut library.
In Louisiana, other-worldly irritations like footsteps, voices, and cold spots are upsetting Jill. When Zaffis arrives, his team pulls out the EMF detectors, and Beth—who is not a psychic, just very sensitive—focuses on a clown jar, which is creepy as hell (I’d have chucked it into the garbage immediately, EMF or not). An EVP question “do you want the tenants to leave” produces a clearly heard Yes, making Jill a lot more upset. A large cold spot on the kitchen floor has the team going under the house to find a box with a mud-caked 1950s gun in it. Jill has no qualms letting Zaffis add the gun to his collection.
In Connecticut, a library is so haunted the kids are too scared to go in. The usual claims of seeing apparitions, voices without bodies, and an old, non-electric typewriter that dings on its own have the team doing their EMF sweeps and investigating the library’s history. One interesting part of the investigation involved the team going old school and hanging rope around the typewriter, to see if the strands moved. Videotaping and EVP’ing also were employed, especially around the typewriter, which showed high EMF readings. I think at this stage, after so many episodes of Ghost Hunters, the constant explanations of EMF and EVP are superfluous and unwelcome time-killers. Maybe word balloons or some other informational popup instead of having Zaffis and his team explain them EACH TIME THEY USE THEM could be used instead.
What will keep me watching this series is the detective work: there’s a mystery to be solved in each case and a revelation of the perpetrator to be made. Zaffis and his team seem quite capable at handling that. And I’m hoping they run into an old Victrola: I’d really like to know what happened to it.
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