Within the current paranormal investigative entertainment scene, the Booth Brothers (Christopher Saint and Philip Adrian) are not as widely talked about. Today’s world is very crowded with many celebrity types either podcasting or on television; to stand out is tough. Only a handful of personalities are as well-known like Ed and Lorraine Warren, and their nephew John Zaffis. While not everyone is reliably credible, to stand out really requires a shtick.
When this genre made a comeback with the advent of reality style programming in the early 2000’s where viewers can tag along in an investigation from the comfort of their home, Yvette Fielding of Most Haunted deserves the title of scream queen. Some people cannot help but laugh at her knee-jerk reactions. Flash forward to many years in, men of varying occupations (non-paranormal related) are thundering in, ready to challenge anything supernatural that comes at them. For these good ol’ boys known as the Booth Brothers, they have their Stetson hats and a rock star attitude; they are sharp dressed men. They may well be the ZZ Top of this world. These cowboys are filmmakers first and paranormal investigators second. Chris is a musician and he had a brief stint with the Canadian-based band Sweeny Todd. He also produced many music videos. Because of this background, their works are heavily stylized; this reason is enough to get me interested in their “documentaries.”
For this article, let’s just assume the supernatural world exists. The human world simply lacks the tools to prove and only the means to observe through anecdotal means.
Chris and Philip’s enthusiasm for this fringe study looks genuine. My introduction to their works was with Spooked: The Ghosts of Waverly Hills Sanitarium back in 2006. This piece needs to be seen with the lights on. When it’s often shown as a preamble for the Halloween season, to watch one of their specials is time well spent than with those “I reject your reality and substitute my own” type of programs out there. Yes, I enjoy documentaries and when there is a show about the supernatural, I am all over it like fish to water.
However, even during the Winter season, especially leading up to Christmas and even afterwards, to look back at thier collection of works brings fond memories of the days I was investigating. My band of brothers sadly disbanded and I had no interest in joining the other side, another gang who saw the group I was with as rivals.
These days, their works are not repeated often enough on specialty networks like SyFy in the USA and Space in Canada. While the bros are still active in the scene, their fame has pittered to grassroots interest. I realize their work is not entirely historically accurate and their recreations are meant to delight horror fans. Viewers who are serious and looking for insight in the vein of Brad Steiger’s works will be disappointed.
While they continue to work as independent producers and to host local ghost hunts, their following in the word of mouth sense will often result in, “Booth, who?”
They need to make a comeback to displace the popularity of those programs Jason Hawes and Zac Baggins appear in. Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures are not very fun anymore. If I want to watch yahoos never quite getting that definitive evidence, I’m better off staring into my empty bottle of Tequila and answering the question of where the spirit went to myself. That’s easy enough to answer.
With titles like Children of the Grave and Haunted Boy: The Secret Diary of the Exorcist, I cannot help but notice if their preoccupation with particular haunts is tapping into a collective fear, on the death of youths who never had a chance at life. There is a sequel to Children, and even the latter has a new product. The origins of the Exorcist story are looked at from another perspective. I’m hoping these boys are not running out of ideas.
In this fringe hobby, there’s plenty of locations and strangeness to investigate. As for what can grip a nation depends if they can get permission and go wherever they want at places like the small island of Alcatraz. Their specialty may be holding them back, and I’d be highly amused to watch them draw out the ghosts from the O.K. Corral. The material they offered in the past few years are best of collections. I’m hoping a definitive masterwork can be offered so I can pick up both the video and book at the same time. My magnetic tape recordings of the material shown on television have worn out. While clips can be found on YouTube, I’m glad Unseen, a collection of cut footage from their televised features is offered in its entirety online.
The following are my picks of their work, ranked from best to worst
2009 The Haunted Boy: The Secret Diary of the Exorcist
2006 Children of the Grave
2011 Children of the Grave 2
2005 Spooked: The Ghosts of Waverly Hills Sanatorium
2009 The Possessed
2012 The Exorcist File
2010 Soul Catcher
You can find Ed on twitter looking for spooky things in all the spooky places.