Dig Into Travel Channel’s ‘The Holzer Files’ This Halloween
“Did anyone else feel that?” I asked. I was standing in the gloomy dining room of San Diego’s Whaley House (above). Built in the 1850s on the site of a gallows, it’s been called the most haunted place in America. Something, well, invisible had just brushed up against my leg. It felt like a cat asking to be fed.
I was on my first-ever ghost hunt, with Travel Channel’s The Holzer Files, which revisits cases from the 1950s and later that were investigated by parapsychologist Hans Holzer. (One became the subject of The Amityville Horror.)
My guides were his daughter, Alexandra, who says she’s in “the ghost business,” longtime paranormal investigator Dave Schrader and Whaley guide and historian Dean Glass. “It’s always the skeptics who have encounters!” Alexandra commented, laughing.
The October 17 Whaley episode was shot before my visit. After experiencing a scary run-in with an angry unseen force, Schrader had been hesitant to return. But he did, and he gamely tried to make contact for my benefit, using a special Xcam SLS camera that captures ghostly outlines. It failed due to a technical glitch, but Glass told us electronics often conk out here.
Next, we tried a smartphone recording app to do an EVP (electronic voice phenomenon) session. You ask spirits questions, and their answers, inaudible in the room, can sometimes be heard on playback. We got zilch. Maybe they wanted to stay off the record.
As for my encounter, I got a chill when Glass said, “That’s the exact spot where visitors report feeling the family’s pets.” There just might be something to this ghost business.
The Holzer Files, Wednesdays, 10/9c, Travel Channel