A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this documentary-style series investigates paranormal activity and -- with its graphic descriptions of murder, torture, and assault -- is purposely designed to scare viewers. Although some team members are skeptical, the general consensus is that the crew regularly witnesses paranormal activity. Participants claim to feel and see ghosts, and one medium seems to become possessed by a spirit during many episodes. Some folks will certainly enjoy the brief thrill that all of this offers, but younger and more sensitive viewers should steer clear.
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What's the story?
In the British docudrama series MOST HAUNTED, a team of medium and parapsychologists led by Yvette Fielding explores and investigates sites of purported paranormal activity. In each episode, the team spends 24 hours at a location trying to document poltergeists, ghosts, noises of unknown origin, and more. After Fielding gives a daylight introduction to the location, including the history of its supposed paranormal activity, and mediums report what they sense in different areas, including names, descriptions, and activities of ghosts. Once night arrives, the cameras switch to \"night vision,\" giving the investigative team an eerie appearance, and séances, automatic handwriting, possessions, and other interactions with spirits carry on through the night. In the morning, team members analyze the investigation, with the more science-oriented parapsychologists offering skeptical opinions of the gathered \"evidence.\"
Is it any good?
While rumors of faked possessions and staged events have circled the show, Most Haunted delivers surges of fright mixed with historical information to delight fans of the genre. (In one episode, for example, the team explores Arreton Manor. The house -- which is located on a small island in the United Kingdom and dates back to 872 A.D. -- is packed with history and rumored to be haunted by several entities, including a young girl who supposedly watched her brother murder their father and was then killed herself.) The mediums are quite convincing, and often the camera crew becomes involved when someone feels a tug on his shirt or a presence beside him. Plenty of gasps, jumps, and bleeped expletives accompany muffled knocks, creaks, and alleged visions, adding to the tension.
Whether or not you believe the team experiences real contact with the spirit world, Most Haunted offers a mildly thrilling journey through historically fascinating locales. But with its purposely frightening moments -- as well as graphic descriptions of ghastly events -- the show is best for sturdy teens and adults.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the appeal of scary movies and TV shows. Why do people purposely choose to watch things that will frighten them? What's the appeal? Families can also discuss ghosts and spirits. Do you believe in otherworldly beings? Have you had any experiences that can't be explained by logic or science? What role does the belief in spirits, ghosts, and the paranormal play in our lives and in our culture?