‘Paranormal Lockdown’ Brings The Human Element To Ghost Hunting

Fans of paranormal shows know they tend to fall into one of two categories: the serious paranormal investigators that debunk much of what they find, and the not-so-serious investigations with very dramatic, and sometimes funny sequences, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Unfortunately for those who are really serious about this interest, most fall into the latter category these days, with crazy claims such as “psychic Bigfoot” mind manipulation and investigators freaking out over things they claim they feel that weren’t captured on camera.

Nick Groff (formerly of Ghost Adventures) and Katrina Weidman (formerly of Paranormal State) also set themselves apart from other shows in their approach, by spending seventy-two hours in lockdown in a location, setting up their camping cots to spend the night, and even sleeping in some of the most haunted locations in the country.

Before its debut, Paranormal Lockdown pulled together two stars of shows that fell in each respective category, so many amateur ghost hunters weren’t sure what to expect. With the debut a couple of weeks ago, however, paranormal groups online were buzzing about how much they enjoyed the show, and it was clear that Paranormal Lockdown — and the fans — were taking it seriously. And by taking it seriously, that’s meant in the very best way.

nick groff and katrina weidman of paranormal lockdown
Paranormal Lockdown’s Nick Groff and Katrina Weidman [Photo courtesy of Destination America]
It appears the success of that first episode was not a fluke, as paranormal investigators Groff and Weidman visited the Randolph County Infirmary in Winchester, Indiana, this week, and delivered again. The location once served as a “poor house” and later as a nursing home before becoming the abandoned building it is today. There was also a fire at one point in its history, with many victims buried on the grounds. One of the current owners told Groff that an estimated 200 people had died on the premises.

That may seem like a lot of potential ghostly fireworks and interaction, but Groff said they were mainly looking for residual hauntings, which is sort of like a record that plays an event over and over, rather than hauntings where an entity interacts with other people. Because the nature of residual hauntings means that things occur randomly and aren’t really provoked, Katrina and Nick brought in a brother and sister who had spent a great deal of time in the infirmary when their grandmother was running the nursing home that was there.

As the two walked with Groff and Weidman through the decaying building, they talked about the different residents that lived there, such as Doris, who loved her porcelain dolls. (Ghost Adventures would never be able to investigate this location, because group leader Zak Bagans is notoriously terrified of dolls.) The siblings also talked about an older gentleman that they used to spend time with who died right before the facility closed, and the young woman said she thought that he died of a broken heart because he didn’t want to leave the facility as they had become family there.

Weidman hoped bringing in the siblings might help the investigation.

“Having them come back it might actually help raise that energy because they have an emotional tie to this building.”

In this episode, as well as all previous ones this season, Weidman proves she is really the heart and soul of the series, often getting emotional because she makes these investigations personal to her. This might be the key to why fans are reacting so positively to the series.

Not that Groff doesn’t shine in his new role, as well. He has stepped up his investigation skills and is finally allowed to show what a talented paranormal investigator he is, although the show did have a few light moments this week, particularly when Katrina recruited Nick to do some quick morning yoga moves to start their day. It became quickly obvious that Groff is not a regular yoga practitioner, and he was giving some rather creative names to the poses. For instance, the Cobra position where you lie on your stomach and raise up the top half of your body and arch your back, he dubbed “mating with the carpet.”

If you didn’t see it and that doesn’t sound funny, you had to be there. Anyway, Groff and Weidman brought in another guest investigator this week — Grant Wilson from TAPS and the show Ghost Hunters, one of the original paranormal series on Syfy.

Paranormal Lockdown
Paranormal Lockdown is the latest paranormal investigation series on Destination America [Photo courtesy of Destination America]
While they were only expecting residual haunting experiences, the group did get some intelligent responses, including Katrina’s name coming through, and a shockingly clear EVP of someone saying “Hello?”

If you have an interest in ghost hunting and paranormal investigations, this is a show you should check out. If you’re a big Ghost Adventures fan, just be forewarned that Groff isn’t the drama queen here like his former peers and you won’t find the silliness of his previous show. Except when he’s doing yoga.

Paranormal Lockdown airs on Destination America on Friday nights at 10 p.m. ET.

[Photo courtesy of Destination America]