If you are a fan of paranormal television, you may remember the original Ghost Bait series. A new iteration is now on Travel Channel and stars investigators and hosts Bob Magill and Tina Storer.
Magill is a pioneer in the study of the paranormal and empathic investigator Tina Storer has a long history of investigating known hauntings.
The duo heads into frightening, personal hauntings in America by entering places where spirits are bedeviling the living, making people’s lives a living hell.
Their methods are rooted in science and employ techniques such as isolation combined with sensory deprivation to help a person sensitive to otherworldly spirits rid their space (or learn to live with) the intense paranormal activity recorded.
At each location, the two conduct their own paranormal investigation and use what they find for the eradication or mitigation of their client’s experience. They use the client’s own fear as bait to draw out the entity and essentially force a confrontation.
The official description from Travel Channel:
By facing their worst fears head on, Magill and Storer believe the living can overpower the negative forces around them to reclaim their sense of peace and control.
“Bob and Tina are two of the most dedicated paranormal investigators out there, and the unique way they conduct their investigations will keep you on the edge of your seat. And fans can’t help but root for the haunting victims as they’re forced to face their worst fears,” said Jane Latman, general manager, Travel Channel.
The duo heads all over the USA and in the premiere episode, Magill and Storer travel to the historic Brookdale Lodge in Santa Cruz, California to help an employee, Agnes, overcome a bully from the afterlife.
The official episodic description states:
The paranormal investigators discover the once famed hotel has a dark history filled with mysterious deaths and corruption.
Agnes must overcome her deepest fears and challenge the oppressive entity plaguing her in order to continue her livelihood at the hotel.
Isolated in the pool room, an area known for frightening activity, Agnes confronts the entity – alone.
Ghost Bait is set up for a 12-episode run and each episode will be half an hour. We spoke to Bob and Tina ahead of tonight’s premiere:
Monsters and Critics: We’ve got a 12-episode resurrected series. I think it came out back in 2010. Is that true?
Bob Magill: Yes, it did. It is true. It actually started as a web series, and I was fortunate enough to bring it over to a Fire channel. And then, more recently, obviously, we’ve asked to reboot it with Travel Channel.
M&C: Will it follow a similar path, or are you going in a completely new direction?
Bob: Well, when we did it originally, I was a therapist for social scientists. I also worked in TV and Film in a production company and the original idea was to basically sort merge the two worlds. Take the paranormal when people needed help, sorta put that therapy side to it, and then it turned into a web series.
So, the goal all along has been to not necessarily get out there hunting ghosts, like a typical ghost show, but rather helping people that have problems with the supernatural that are affecting their everyday lives, and basically what the show is going to do to continue that mission.
We really have the ultimate goal of helping people that may be afraid of their own home, or afraid of a workplace. A night watch in a scary prison. Help them figure out the ambient supernatural issues.
And when we rebooted it, it was very important to find somebody to bring on board that has that same mission and same goals that also has an extensive paranormal background. And that’s when I was connected to Tina to bring her on board for the new version and have her bring what she does to the table.
M&C: Tina, I read that your first ghostly encounter was at the age of 14. What happened to you?
Tina: I was trying to fall asleep in my grandmother’s attic at the time, and I just kept hearing a voice. All of a sudden this voice got very close — right up against my ear, and it just said in this breathy, very eerie tone — I still can’t get it out of my head — it said: “Yes” right in my ear, because I feel the breath and I sat right up.
It was my first experience ever hearing something like that, it scared me half to death. I was so afraid of being up in that attic.
Ever since then, I’ll hear a voice every now and then. It was always something that I was too afraid to kind of dive into, and get more familiar with, and I was afraid of my own shadow for a long time.
I got involved in the paranormal stuff — people were really shocked, like “wait, you’re doing this stuff. I thought you were like afraid of everything?” Well, that’s why I’m doing it. Trying to get over it, and I obviously had abilities, and once I decided to embrace them, they began to heighten.
M&C: A lot of people think afterlife spirits dwell in certain locations, can have an agenda for a lack of a better way of describing it. That they can actually pick on someone, or stay with someone, or actually get angry at the person inhabiting the space they’re in. Is this something you dealt with?
Bob: Yes, you know we approach every one of these cases and also the episodes with a healthy dose of skepticism. Sometimes simply being afraid of your own creepy old basement or hearing noises, or feeling someone is watching you could just be because it’s a creepy old basement.
We have a team that helps us find cases much like you describe, that are vetted and validated.
One perfect example is we’ve had cases where people had someone with them in their lives when they were alive be unkind to them or try to hurt them in the physical world.
And believe it or not … to the point you made, when one of those people passed away, they actually still targeted that person. Might even help them confirm them to the best of our ability and to the best you can confirm, that we believe that was the same person tormenting them in the afterlife.
We have seen that sort of thing first hand.
M&C: I know that your show goes to California, the Brookdale Lodge, what technology do you use?
Bob: We do use a lot of technology that isn’t used traditionally. For example, we actually utilize what’s called a Tesla Coil in one of our episodes. For those that are not familiar, basically, the Tesla Coil puts out 500,000 thousand volts of energy.
The theory being, I’ve heard people say “Oh my flashlight flickered and went out and then I heard a door move.” There is a belief that ghosts, and spirits, and apparitions need energy in order to interact with us.
The idea was I’m gonna put 500,000 thousand volts in the air, and see what happens. If a 9-volt battery on its own or a flashlight makes a door move, maybe this will make a door slam shut or a dresser fall over.
So, we do like to use non-traditional gear and equipment like gear that you’re talking about so that we can actually send people into a scary place without a camera crew, without two cameras, a sound guy, so on so forth. That was the purpose of what you are talking about, but we bring new stuff for the new series that I think both fans and viewers would find very, very cool.
M&C: What was one of the scariest or strangest things that you experienced during the season?
Tina: Oh boy, that’s like hard to narrow down. Yeah, I’ve been doing this for almost a decade, but I still get pretty spooked and sometimes my nerves get the best of me.
You know, quite a few instances where you just kind of use me and I hear or see something and have it validated by people’s equipment. Or hearing the voice, and I’m getting the same later confirmation from talking to a historian, or the local caretaker getting a lot of things confirmed. I think that’s pretty spooky.
I think a lot of the physical experiences that I’ve had — those are pretty scary. Having things like pass through me, and sometimes they get kind of aggressive — some of the spirits that we’ve dealt with.
So, it’s kind of hard to narrow down to one.
M&C: This is the question for both of you to answer. Whatever it is that’s in the location that you’re called to help, do you ever feel that the energy or the anger of the spirit, or negative energy is focused on you — instead of that person — for interfering?
Tina: Oh, definitely. I guess I’ll go first. I think when we definitely try to step in and help these individuals — whether they are experiencing oppression, aggression from these entities, or whatever it is — when we try to step in and help empower them, and kind of foil the spirit’s plan, I definitely think it can upset them.
Also, we are newcomers. It’s a new bunch of energy that we’re almost adding to the property, wherever we are. And we have an intention of finding and seeking out these activities, and these spirits, so I think we can definitely amp things up, and we definitely have had some obstacles… I guess you can say.
Bob: Oh, I agree. I definitely agree. The ultimate goal again, and we appreciate your readers will be able to sort of get a better understanding of what Ghost Bait, the TV series is.
It really is not your typical ghost show in a sense that, what’s a therapeutic idea of helping people? There is something called immersion therapy where in your most basic form if you’re afraid of heights, someone will have you get on an elevator and go to a top floor of a high building. And then have you go in an airplane, and then ultimately have you parachute out of an airplane.
The idea being that when you are done, painting your ceiling in your kitchen on a six foot ladder isn’t quite as terrifying anymore.
This process we do really is immersion therapy at its core. You know, what good would it do us to go into someone’s home that’s scared and have them leave, and then we can find whatever is there and will try to explain what is there.
And then let them know what they already know — you know, a dead spirit, you have this, you have that, and then leave them to deal with it. We really do put them in ground zero with guidance, and with help, and with support.
So, to answer your original question… anytime you do that, and I don’t think the world of the supernatural is any different, you kind of start to get this feeling that these things that are there know what you are there to [do to] help their victims or to help the person or people that [these spirits] are there terrorizing.
So, I think in any case, you feel a sense of having all eyes on you — sort of on the other side, if you will.
M&C: What are some of the locations you are taking us to in this season?
Bob: We go to private residences everywhere from deep down in the south, to mountains of California, to places of employment, and business really all over the country from east coast, west coast and everything in between.
So, it’s a lot of different places, and literally we’re guided by those in need versus “hey, that that building looks creepy let’s just film there.”
Ghost Bait begins April 4 at 10pm and 10:30pm ET/PT on Travel Channel.