A Haunting

Common Sense Media says

Spooky real-life tales might genuinely frighten.

Age(i)

2
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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Some people's stories involve family details like arguments between parents, alcoholism, depression, etc.

Violence

The type of violence depends on the episode, but one included a ghost strangling a woman, glass shooting out of a cabinet and injuring a woman's face (with blood), and household objects flying around a room breaking on walls and people.

Sex

Adults shown sleeping in bed together, teen couples hug briefly. Nothing sexual.

Language

Occasional "hell" or "damn."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Depends on the episode, but one featured an alcoholic father who drank from a bottle of hard liquor and, in one scene, appeared drunk.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this sometimes-scary docudrama series tells real people's stories about experiences with the paranormal. Episodes include dramatic re-enactments of ghostly appearances, children being frightened in bed, angry arguments between parents, and occasional injuries as a result of contact with spirits. Stories also sometimes include potentially upsetting family details -- like a father becoming a heavy drinker or a mother becoming seriously ill. Some episodes contain religious elements, such as a priest performing an exorcism and asking Jesus Christ to cleanse a house.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Docudrama series A HAUNTING tells the stories of people affected by paranormal experiences, using dramatic re-enactments and interviews, spooky music, flashes of scary images, and somber narration. For example, one episode documented the childhood experiences of Billy Bean, whose happy family slowly crumbled after they moved to a house filled with strange noises, eerie sensations, and occasional apparitions. As Billy describes it during the show, his father developed a drinking problem, his teenage sister left home, and his mother developed serious health issues as a consequence. The episode features interviews with many of the people involved in the story, including the priest who performed a blessing on the house.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

These first-hand accounts -- along with the accompanying dramatizations -- build a scary tale that will frighten many children and even give some teens the creeps. While the re-enactments are poorly acted, the repetition of certain frightening scenes (along with the other dramatic elements) creates a real sense of foreboding. Creepy music and skittish camera work provide most of each tale's "documentation," but scenes occasionally include real violence. In one episode, for example, a woman wakes to find a ghost with a bloody facial scar strangling her, and in another scene, a family finds themselves under siege in their own home, with books flying off the shelf and furniture slamming against the walls, sometimes hitting and injuring people. In other words, if you don't like scary stories, this one's probably not for you (or your kids!).

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the supernatural. Do you believe in haunted houses, spirits, or paranormal events? What about the possibility of contacting the dead? Has anyone in your family had a brush with the paranormal? Is the idea of a spirit world scary or comforting? What do you know about other cultures' beliefs about the paranormal or spirit worlds? Why are we drawn to ghost stories and other tales of the supernatural? What's their appeal?

TV details

Cast:Anthony Call
Network:Discovery Channel
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of A Haunting was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 16 years old Written byDarudeLover April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

So cool...

This show is so cool, I watch it every day. The first time I watched it, this show freaked the heck out of me, but now, I laugh at it. It's a show of believeing or not, but even if you don't believe in the paranormal, you can still get a kick out it! :-)
Teen, 15 years old Written byPsych April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

I was terrified, but I couldn't look away . . .

I love love love this show! It's really scary, but that's it's appeal, along with the fact that these people really did experience these things. Younger kids definitely would not like it, but older kids and adults will love it. The first time I saw it, they were having a marathon. I watched a little and now I'm hooked. My mom and I watch every day.
Adult Written byZoeygirl April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

Sometimes scary,but true!

The television show A haunting is based on actual true stories of people who had experiences with the spiritual world. If you are the type of person who has nightmares when watching something scary this isnt for you. I have had my own personal experiences with the spiritual realm, so i know that it exists. I love watching the shows so that i can know which games or books to avoid and also how to recognize some unfamiliar spirits!!!

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