We have written about some of our guilty pleasures, such as the great shark movie Deep Blue Sea, the epic Phantom of the Opera and teen horror The Faculty. Today it’s my turn. The mid 90’s were a special time for me. I was a teenager. Grunge and later on Metal/Hardcore were my music picks. I watched the X-Files on television and Faces of Death on VCR. One of the reasons I loved Gone Home so much is because it oozes that period. Recently, I rediscovered a television gem of that period: the tv-series Sightings. I read an article about a certain episode on Dinosaur Dracula and just for fun I looked for it on Youtube. To my surprise, I found almost every episode of Sightings there.
Sightings presents itself as a paranormal and news television series, hosted by news anchor and investigative reporter Tim White. It ran for five seasons until 1997 and there was a special in 2002. There are about 111 episodes in total, so you can do some heavy binging. Sightings started out as a special broadcast about animal mutilation, accredited by local law enforcement to extra terrestrial biological entities. It got high ratings and Fox decided to make a tv-show out of it. There was an unofficial reboot of the series in 2004 by some of the people who worked on Sightings. The show was called Unexplained Mysteries and dealt with pretty much the same subject matter.
The reason why it’s a guilty pleasure? They try to set it up as a real news show. They use experts on the most ridiculous subjects like water witching or vampires and moon craziness. These straight faced experts are the key to my heart. Seeing people trying to sell their theories as reality, makes me chuckle and warms my heart.
Eclectic mix of topics
Sightings offers a wide range of topics. I love that there could be a segment about ghosts one minute, with the next segment being about Bigfoot or a Loch Ness-like creature. There are interviews with witnesses and ‘experts’ in different studies. They show clips and try to analyze these. For me it’s a nostalgia trip. I love watching the grainy video segments of flying saucers. It reminds me of the time before the Internet and cellphones became mainstream. And because of the X-Files, everybody wanted to believe! The topics include but are not limited to: (mass) alien abduction, ghosts, crop circles, ESP, psychics, cattle mutilation, past lives, and so on.
I have to admit I am a sceptic at heart and when I see certain topics like crop circles or Bigfoot I have to bite my tongue not to yell at the television how stupid the so-called experts are. To be honest: for me that’s half the fun. It’s great to play in the background while I do chores or play a game on my phone. It’s the mix of nostalgia and ‘spookiness’ that keeps me entertained.
Is this show for everyone? No, I don’t think so. It’s either for the people like me who want a nostalgia trip, or for the people who are actually interested in the topics. As I said, almost every episode can be found on one channel on Youtube.
What are your favourite paranormal topics? Does this sound like a show for you? Let me know in the comments. I love talking about this stuff. For now: keep your eyes open, you never know what you will see!