PARANORMAL LOCKDOWN: THE BLACK MONK HOUSE (2016)
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Personal Note: Before proceeding, I just want to state that I am reviewing a TV show and not trying to debate the legitimacy of paranormal shows or the paranormal itself. Whether you believe these shows are real, or just spooky television, is up to you. I enjoy these shows myself and from personal experience believe there is more to this world than meets the eye…I also respect the opinions of those that don’t agree.
Paranormal Lockdown is a fun paranormal investigation show where a pair of renown paranormal investigators Katrina Weidman (Paranormal State, Real Fear: The Truth Behind The Movies and it’s sequel) and Nick Groff (Ghost Adventures) are locked inside an allegedly haunted location for 72 hours and film their investigations. Whether you believe in it or not, it is spooky fun. For their Halloween special, the ghost chasing duo are drawn to Pontefract, England to one of the most notorious haunted houses in the world…The Black Monk House. The two are to be locked in this historically spooky place for a chilling 100 hours to find out what is really going on inside this notorious location…and if what we see is true…there is a lot going on.
This spooky special starts us off on a chilling note retracing one of the premiere season’s creepiest episodes filmed at a house in Hinsdale, N.Y., another notoriously haunted location the two visited. Nick claims his life has’t been the same since, as something has followed him home from Hinsdale. When conversing with a spirit box a voice says one word…Pontefract. This sparks Nick to gather his cameras and investigating partner and head to England for answers. Once there, we get a little background on the home, which was built on a stretch of land that not only hosted bloody battles, but the hanging of a monk for heinous crimes and some allegedly horrific poltergeist activity. Nick and Katrina then enter the house, with cameraman Rob and within minutes there are moving figures, strange sounds and Nick feeling suddenly ill. Once locked inside, we get some truly startling evidence such as doors closing on camera, shadowy figures and objects falling and being thrown fairly regularly. For those who embrace the paranormal and believe in the legitimacy of shows like this, it’s some very spooky stuff. The highly agitated behavior from our hosts, know to keep their cool, is also unsettling. For those who don’t believe in this stuff, just going with it could provide a very entertainingly spooky time whether you believe what you are seeing or not. After 100 hours of being put through the paranormal ringer, our frazzled hosts wind up back in Hinsdale for a final showdown…or is it?…with whatever entity has targeted them. Those few moments may be the most chilling, as it shows Nick as a man about to come apart with a frightened Katrina trying to reason with him.
As for our hosts…Katrina Weidman has always had a laid-back persona and seems to have a sincere belief in the paranormal. Whether you believe in it or not, she seems to believe and is very convincing as such. She seems very empathetic and sweet and it is actually unsettling to see her here so on edge and unnerved. It gives this special an extra layer of chills to see a professional paranormal investigator seem truly afraid. Especially when both she and Nick are physically attacked through sickness and scratches by…whatever. As for Groff, he is usually more melodramatic and sometimes can approach these investigations with a boyish sense of excitement and wonder. To see him here so intimidated and on the verge of a losing his cool is also unnerving. The climactic segment back in Hinsdale is especially freaky as he seems like he is about to have a breakdown right before our eyes. Creepy. Did we witness two seasoned investigators up against something they couldn’t quite handle, or simple some great acting? That’s up to you. I was spooked and entertained…and a little creeped out.
So, as a fan of this kind of programing, I was appropriately chilled and thrilled. There was some very spooky goings on and it was unsettling to see these two seasoned pros being truly unnerved and scared by whatever lurks in that house. Is it all smoke and mirrors?…or did we witness two people in the grasp of something supernatural and quite sinister? It depends on your personal beliefs and I am not here to question yours or defend mine. I am here to review a TV show and whether you believe in it’s legitimacy, or think it’s all theatrics, either way it was some very spooky and disturbing Halloween television.
For fans of this show, season 2 is on the way…