Travel Channel continues to get up close with the paranormal. Its annual “Ghostober” event will feature Ghost Adventures: Serial Killer Spirits. The four-part miniseries will focus on some of the most notorious murder scenes to haunt American nightmares. Zak Bagans and his crew of paranormal researchers (Aaron Goodwin, Billy Tolley and Jay Wasley) step into hallways of the collective unconscious visiting John Gacy Prison, Ted Bundy Ritual House and the home of one of the pioneers of accumulated homicide.
In “H.H. Holmes Murder House,” which premieres Saturday, October 5 at 9 p.m., Bagans and the Ghost Adventures crew investigate the Irvington, Indiana, home where Holmes killed a nine-year-old boy. The current owner “believes dark and sinister forces have overtaken the property, leaving her vulnerable to possession,” according to the press statement.
Herman Webster Mudgett, better known as H.H. Holmes, was one of America’s first serial killers. Terrorizing the Chicago World’s Fair a few years after Jack the Ripper terrorized the streets of London with a surgeon’s scalpel. The American physician cut his own initials into the pantheon of murder elite. He came to the nation’s attention as “the Monster of 63rd Street” and some people believe he escaped his execution and just might have been Jack the Ripper.
Erik Larson detailed Holmes’ murder spree in his book The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair That Changed America, which Martin Scorsese is bringing to the screens with Leonardo DiCaprio as the fake doctor who murdered between 27 and 200 single young women during the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. Mudgett christened himself Dr. H.H. Holmes after Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s popular London detective character. Dr. Holmes converted a luxury hotel into a house of horrors that had secret passages, gas chambers, soundproof windowless rooms, false floors, trapdoors, ovens and a vault. Holmes confessed to over two dozen murders. He was sentenced to death by hanging in 1896.
Given the renewed interest in the mystery surrounding Holmes, whose body was exhumed to make sure he was really dead, Bagans and the team return to “the only remaining murder house with one of Holmes’ living relatives to take a look at the evil presence he left behind.”
Ghost Adventures: Serial Killer Spirits is looking for proof that “evil energy lingers within the infamous locations associated with America’s notorious serial killers.” The investigators retrace the killer’s steps, visit places where the killers were known to frequent. They also interview experts to “gain insight on why these sociopaths committed their evil acts.”
The crew will also do time in John Wayne Gacy’s prison cell in Old Joliet Prison, “where they hope to come face-to-face with the Killer Clown himself. “John Gacy Prison” premieres Saturday, October 12.
In the “Axe Killer Jail” installment, the team visits the Squirrel Cage Jail in Council Bluffs, Iowa, which housed the Jake Bird, who “may have killed as many as 46 people and was said to have placed a deadly curse on the men who convicted him.”
The team studies the Anson Call House, an abandoned building locals believe has ties to Ted Bundy’s terror spree during the 1970s in the episode “Ted Bundy Ritual House.” The house which is located in Bountiful, Utah, is “overloaded with satanic rituals and violence, the home is drenched in a dark, sinister energy,” according to the synopsis. The episode premieres Saturday, October 26 at 9 p.m.
Ghost Adventures: Serial Killer Spirits premieres Saturday, October 5 at 9 p.m.
Culture Editor Tony Sokol is an old school geek who cut his teeth on the wire services and also wrote and produced New York City’s Vampyr Theatre and the rock opera AssassiNation: We Killed JFK. Read more of his work here or find him on Twitter @tsokol.