By Will Wade,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Animal-oriented ghost-hunting show covers little new ground.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
There's no specific constructive takeaway, but the show offers lots of fascinating anecdotes -- and some physical evidence -- about ghosts. It also proposes that pets are more attuned to the supernatural world than humans.
Positive Role Models
The investigators keep an open mind as they sift through hours of audio and video footage to find evidence of the paranormal.
Violence & Scariness
No violence, per se, but the show has a general sense of creepiness/scariness that could disturb younger/sensitive viewers.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this series follows what has become a fairly standard ghost-hunting formula, with a team of paranormal investigators visiting an allegedly haunted site hoping to document evidence of the supernatural. The twist in this case is that the show focuses on animal ghosts and pets with unusually strong reactions to the spirit world. There are plenty of creepy shots of allegedly haunted sites and a few mildly spooky stories as witnesses recount their experiences, but no swearing, drinking, sex, or anything else that might be too much for tweens (as long as they don't scare easily).
Where to Watch
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What's the Story?
When people encounter mysterious chills, doors that seem to close on their own, unexpected sounds, and other things they can't explain, they call in the Pennsylvania Paranormal Association to investigate. The team of trained supernatural researchers stakes out allegedly haunted sites, using scientific gear to (hopefully) capture evidence of ghostly presences. THE HAUNTED, which airs on Animal Planet, focuses on beastly hauntings -- such as abandoned research labs that used animals as test subjects -- that may now be the home of four-legged spirits.
Is It Any Good?
There are already plenty of shows that follow supernatural investigators trying to find scientific proof that ghosts exist, and The Haunted follows the same basic formula. The better shows in this genre sometimes manage to document things that are hard to believe – objects moving across a dresser or sounds that actually seem like human voices and recognizable words, for example.
But The Haunted devotes much less screen time to the actual investigations and instead relies heavily on eyewitnesses retelling their experiences. Eventually, all these second-hand ghost stories tend to sound alike and aren't as interesting as actual ghostly footage. The animal-themed twist makes this a very niche-focused production and may limit its audience as well as its pool of potentially haunted homes. Not that many people really think their homes have a ghost in the attic -- and, out of those who do, how many suspect the apparitions are animals?
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about ghosts. Do you believe in ghosts? Do you think animals can become ghosts or that pets are more sensitive to the spirit world than humans?
How does this show compare to other ghost-hunter series that look for evidence of human ghosts?
- Premiere date: November 22, 2009
- Cast: Amy Cobb, Cathy Nance, Chris Hatfield
- Network: Animal Planet
- Genre: Reality TV
- TV rating: TV-PG
- Last updated: June 3, 2023
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