This second of two pilot episodes for Discovery Channel's A Haunting: Seasons 1-4
- series is unlike any of the show's episodes - indeed, it is unlike any other ghost investigation I have ever seen. This truly is the family's story; not only do they recount their experiences via interviews, they reenact those experiences themselves (with the exception of the little girl who plays Heidi as a young child). It makes for a surprisingly personal viewing experience. One of the most moving scenes involves the family members being anointed and prayed over in their church - and I suspect that was the real deal rather than a reenactment. It's certainly possible, as this family was still very much dealing with the haunting at the time of filming.
A Haunting in Georgia revolves around young Heidi, who came to acquire a new "friend" soon after her family moved into their current home. This was a kindly old man named Mr. Gordy whom four-year-old Heidi came to love very much. Heidi's parents dismissed Mr. Gordy at first, thinking he was just a product of their daughter's imagination, but events played out in such a way that doubt and then fear came to define the family's experience. Heidi began seeing other entities, including a man wearing a blood-stained shirt and sporting an injured hand and a dark and shadowy figure that scared her very much. In time, the entities in the house make themselves known to other members of the family, physically scratching Heidi and her father at one point. That's when the family decides that they have to do something, first turning to parapsychologist Dr. William G. Roll. Roll looks for scientific explanations for hauntings, and - even though he can't explain the scratch marks on Heidi and her father - blames the family's paranormal experiences on a strange combination of localized positive ions, place memory, and - later on - innate psychic abilities in several family members.
Not surprisingly, Dr. Rolle's "just ignore it" advice does nothing to alleviate the family's problems, so they turn elsewhere for help. No definitive answers are forthcoming, as one psychic's "ghosts" are another psychic's "demonic entities." The rest of the video basically looks at how the family is coping with the frightening situation more than ten years after it began. You can't help but feel sorry for Heidi. As if having to endure all of these strange and frightening experiences weren't bad enough on its own, she has to deal with the ridicule of her classmates and local citizens once the story gets out. This is not the kind of localized or poltergeist activity that ends up with the spirits being vanquished or the family abandoning their home, and that really sets A Haunting in Georgia apart from other documentaries on the subject of ghosts.
This isn't the most exciting or creepy ghost story you'll ever watch and hear, but its differences from the norm make it quite interesting. And for those skeptics out there, A Haunting in Georgia spends a significant percentage of its ninety-four minutes discussing possible scientific explanations for the haunting. If you just want to hear a good, juicy true ghost story, this probably won't be what you're looking for. Those with a serious interest in ghosts and spirits, however, should find this to be a most compelling and unusual case indeed.