New Ghost Hunters Set Shows More Of America’s Haunted History

Courtesy: Image Entertainment/Syfy/Pilgrim Films & Television

Jason, Grant, Steve, and Tango are back again.  Syfy’s hit paranormal investigative team, TAPS, offers fans the second half of its seventh season now out on DVD.  This new four-sic set sees the team investigates some pretty interesting spots.  Among the most interesting of the investigations are investigations of Seaview Terrace, the Carnegie Library, the Sun Inn, and Hanoverhill Roadhouse.Most people probably don’t know the name of Seaview Terrace.  The mansion is actually pretty famous.  It’s the mansion where the original Dark Shadows television series was filmed.  So what better place to investigate than the real life set of a show about a half human-half vampire?  The investigation isn’t without its rewards, either.  The team captures its share of disembodied voices and other unexplained things that go bump in the night.  That’s not all that happens.  A couple of the team members even see their equipment, which was allegedly sitting stable on a table fall over right in front of their own eyes.  There shouldn’t have been any way that it should have fallen.  Between these instances and others, the team leaves little doubt that there’s something left to be explained in this famous house.

Things don’t let up from here.  The team investigates an old jail and a very well-known library, both of which showed signs of some paranormal activity.  And in the spirit of the holidays, the second half of Season Seven offers fans a pair of investigations in Bethlehem, PA.  The team investigates the Sun Inn and the Hanoverhill Roadhouse.  Employees and guests of the Sun Inn reported instances of a little girl’s spirit roaming the building.  And to no surprise, the TAPS team does capture what seems like images of a little girl.  They even hear what sounds like a voice that could be hers.  Having completed this investigation, the team makes its way to the Hanoverhill Roadhouse.  The story behind this investigation is of a little boy who always sad and crying when he’s spotted.  The team doesn’t capture any images of him.  But they do capture what sounds like a whimpering or crying sound at one point.  That evidence alone makes for enough to validate another investigation at another time.  These investigations and the set’s bonus disc make for lots of entertainment for both Ghost Hunters fans and for any paranormal enthusiast.  The set is available in stores and online now.  Season Seven Part Two can be ordered direct via the NBC Universal online store at

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Entertainment One brings fans another family friendly classic in Babar Season One

Courtest: Entertainment One

2012 has been a good year for classic television fans.  Thanks to Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon, fans of the classic Nicktoons have seen even more seasons of the classic 90’s Nicktoons get proper releases.  Fans of Dark Shadows have seen the release of the full series thanks to MPI Home Video.  And a much wider release of that series will be coming out soon, too.  Now, thanks to Entertainment One, fans of another classic have reason to be happy.  That classic is HBO’s classic animated series, Babar.  That’s right.  “Babar:  The Classic Series Season One” was released just last week thanks to Entertainment One.  In an era when so much programming is anything but kid and family friendly, this season is a welcome addition to any family’shome library.

“Babar:  The Classic Series Season One” has all thirteen of the first season’s original episodes.  It follows Babar’s family from the very first episode, in which he has to explain to Alexander about what happened to his mother right to the episode about a phantom.  As a fair warning, that very first episode may be difficult for some younger viewers as it does depict Babar’s mother being shot by The Hunter.  However, it’s necessary in Babar’s story explaining his lesson to Alexander.  This is the onl difficult moment in season one as the lessons imparted on the children in each episode are something that both kids and kids at heart will enjoy.

In the opening episode of Season One, Babar tells his children the story of how his journey to becoming king of Celesteville began.  The story goes all the way back to when Babar was just a baby elephant.  His name is chosen as it was actually his first word.  Babar explains, as he narrates the story, how emotionally difficult it was to have lost his mother because of a hunter.  However, because of what The Hunter did, Babar knew that there were things that he didn’t want to do.  Though, he knew he had to do them.  What he meant was that he had to face The Hunter.  And he does just that when The Hunter returns.  He gets The Hunter to chase him, and tricks him, making him fall into the hole left by the trunk that he had pulled up.  The Hunter loses his gun, and Babar grabs it and throws it away.  He explains that he was then on his own, and had to find the rest of the elephants.  He does just that, and eventually defeats the Hunter as Season One goes on.  But that first powerful episode also teaches an important life lesson.  It teaches we all have to do things we might not want to do at times.

In another of the first season’s great moments, Babar teaches the children that “The Show Must Go On”.  He tells them about how he tried to put on a ballet once, when he was a young king.  He invited the famed prima ballerina Madame Soretoza to perform in the ballet.  At first, everyone was excited.  But when she runs everybody off with her bad attitude, Babar has enough and tells Madame Soretoza that she is no longer needed and they are going to run the ballet on their own.  The ballet turns out to be a success, too.  As a result, the children learn that it’s better to work together than trying to act like they’re better than others.  In short, it’s a lesson about team work and having a good attitude.

Babar teaches many great lessons in Season One.  That’s already been noted.  Another of the great lessons shared in Season One is to never assume and falsely accuse someone.  He teaches this in “The Missing Crown Affair.”  When the children are arguing over whether or not a diary has been stolen, Babar sits them down and tells them the story of the time that his crown went missing on the first anniversary of his coronation.  When it’s suddenly taken in the middle of the night, Babar and his friend Sephir go on a hunt to see if they can figure out the mystery.  Sephir and Babar begin to assume that his own friends are trying to have him dethroned.  Of course, he doesn’t have solid proof of that.  In the end, he discovers that everything was just an attempt to set up a huge anniversary party to celebrate the big day.  The point of his lesson was that just because soemthing went msising doesn’t mean that assumptions should be made, nor should accusations be tossed aroudn without solid proof.  In the end, the diary is located, and apologies are shared.  Even Babr finds out in the end that it was Celeste who took his crown that fateful night.  She put an engraving on it declaring her love for him.  It leaves everyone with a great feeling.

Babar has wonderful life lessons in all thirteen episodes of Season One.  But that’s not all that makes this set so impressive.  The packaging for the double disc set is equally impressive.  It would seem that more companies are beginning to use Shout! Factory’s example, as the two discs in the set each get their own spot in the case, thus protecting the discs and preserving their longevity.  So kudos to Entertainment one for the slim and safe packaging for the discs.

Babar was originally aired on HBO in its heydey.  So not everyone was able to get it.  But now that it’s on dvd, audiences everywhere have the opportunity to share in this classic family friendly cartoon.  From the thirteen wonderful lesson filled episodes to the packaging, “Babar:  The Classic Series Season One” is one more wonderful addition to every family’s home library.  It’s one of those programs that just as it’s already transcended generations, will continue to do so for even more generations, if this collection is any indication.

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MPI Home Video gives fans “The Best of Barnabas” in new compilation

Director Tim Burton and superstar Johnny Depp have teamed up for a remake of the classic gothic daytime drama, Dark Shadows. The big screen remake will hit theaters May 11th. In celebration, MPI Home Video has released two single disc compilations dubbed, “The Greatest Episodes Collection.” Yesterday, we focused on the first of that pair in the “Fan favorites” compilation. Today, we focus on “The Best of Barnabas” collection. This collection boasts nine of the best episodes centered on Barnabas. One of those episodes sees Barnabas prematurely age as a result of Dr. Julia Hoffman’s attempts to cure him of his vampirism. In another of the compilation’s best episodes, Barnabas’ love interest, Victoria, is having a bad dream that centers on Barnabas, after Angelique comes back into the picture as Cassandra. This leads Barnabas to confront Victoria, and take matters into his own hands. And in another of the compilation’s best episodes, Barnabas travels back to 1897 to solve a mystery of Collinwood. Yet again, Angelique is there to cause trouble for Barnabas. Together with the remaining episodes in this set, “The Best of Barnabas” is one more great addition to any Dark Shadows fan’s library. Episode 349 sees Barnabas prematurely aging as a result of Dr. Hoffman’s attempts to cure him of his vampirism. Because her attempts backfired, Barnabas blames her. He starts to think that the only solution is for him to return to his vampire state. Victoria shows up while Barnabas and Dr. Hoffman are talking. Fearing her reaction, Barnabas sends Victoria back to Collinwood. After Victoria leaves, Dr. Hoffman suggests that Barnabas use Victoria to return to his vampire state. But he refuses to do that. Dr. Hoffman keeps pushing Barnabas as much as he keeps telling her he won’t do it. When Victoria returns, Carolyn comes in to talk to her. When Carolyn goes out with her male companion, she tells him she wants to investigate the claims against Barnabas, but he convinces her to leave it alone. Later that night, Barnabas gives in to the pressure of using Victoria, or so it would seem. He turns into a bat and flies to Collinwood and slips into her room. When he enters her room, he’s still unable to bring himself to bite her. Then, Carolyn comes to check on Victoria after hearing a noise, which causes Barnabas to turn back into a bat and slip out of Victoria’s room. As the pair is talking, they hear a noise and turn to see a bat outside the window, ending the episode. The way in which Episode 349 ends is just one example of what made Dark Shadows such a great show. It always found great cliffhangers to keep audiences coming back. though the cliffhangers were only one part of the whole story that made each story so great. The stories themselves were the real stars of Dark Shadows. And another of the great stories included in this set is in Episode 535. In Episode 535, Victoria is having a bad dream that is centered on Barnabas. But she refuses to tell anyone, including Barnabas, what she sees in her dream. That is until Barnabas confronts her about it. When she tells him about her dream, Barnabas takes matters into his own hands, and puts himself into a dream state to confront Angelique, who is now under the guise of Cassandra. Even after having gone through the dream state, Barnabas tells Julia that he still has a lot of questions; perhaps more questions than answers. Speaking of questions, questions surrounding the past history of Collinwood lead Barnabas to travel back in time to the year 1897 to investigate one of the mysteries of Collinwood’s past. Yet again, Angelique is there to cause problems for Barnabas. She keeps making advances on Barnabas. But he keeps spurning her advances. So she shows him a vision of someone putting a stake through someone in a coffin. She hints to Barnabas that its him being killed. While this is going on, Quentin convinces Jamison to get information on Barnabas, and what he’s doing there. Quentin believes Barnabas cursed him. It all makes for a really great story for audiences. Dark Shadows is loaded with great episodes. Whether the episodes in the “Fan Favorites” compilation, or any of the episodes included in the “Best of Barnabas” compilation, fans of this classic daytime drama have eighteen total classic episodes to enjoy all at an affordable price. This pair of compilations may not have all the episodes from the show. But at roughly six hundred dollars for the entire set, which ran five-years, paying about ten dollars per compilation is just as worth the money. In the meantime, one can only hope that certain television networks will resurrect this classic for a whole new generation, just as these dvd’s will definitely do, too.

Dark Shadows Fan Favorites collection boasts nine great episodes at a great price

Twilight.  The Vampire Diaries.  Supernatural.  Buffy The Vampire Hunter.  Ask any viewer is they know these franchises.  Odds are that the majority of those asked would know at least one of these franchises, if not more.  But ask them about a little gothic daytime drama by the name of Dark Shadows, and the number of people who know of it would likely be far less.  Next month though, that number may start to rise, as Tim Burton and Johnny Depp reteam once again for a big screen adaptation of the classic vampire drama.  Wait.  There was a vampire drama before all those others?  That’s right.  And in celebration, MPI home video is offering quite the treat for fans of this classic tv show.

MPI Home Video has released a pair of collections of classic Dark Shadows episodes, alongside a full series set with the full five year run in a special coffin shaped box.  Being that the full box set boasts a hefty six hundred dollar price tag, we’ll focus more on the new single disc sets, as they’re more affordable at roughly ten bucks a pop.  With any luck, next month’s resurrection of this classic series to the silver screen will also mean its re-birth on television, too.  It used to run on Syfy at one point many years ago.  Before that, it originally ran on ABC on weekday afternoons.  And it had more than its share of gripping episodes.  Nine of those episodes are included in the first of the two sets on which we’ll focus, “Dark Shadows:  The Greatest Episodes Collection.  Fan Favorites.”

The “Fan Favorites” collection includes episodes from 1967, 1969 and 1970.  One of the best fo this collection is Episode 212, which opens the set.  Episode 212 is one of the black and white episoeds from early in the show’s run.  In this episode, Barnabus returns to Collinwood for the first time and meets Elizabeth and a then young David.  At first Elizabeth and David are welcoming to Barnabus, despite the fact that he still looks the same as his picture that hangs in the house.  He does a good job keeping the pair from knowing it’s really him.  But eventually Elizabeth becomes very suspicious of Barnabus, and wishes she hadn’t let him in.  Meanwhile, as he looks around, Barnabas states that he was home and that he’d make Collinwood his again.  It’s a great start to the collection.

Episode 212 is just one of the great episodes in the “Fan Favorites” collection.  In what is considered one of the odder episodes, Episode 1065 sees Barnabas and Julia travel to 1995.  That in itself is what makes this episode such a standout.  It’s not the first tv show to wonder what the 1990’s and beyond would look like.  So seeing how the show’s heads decided to take that story was interesting.  In this episode, Barnabas and Julia discover that Collinwood in 1995 was in ruins and that both Carolyn and Quentin had gone insane.  Doctor Stokes is apprehensive at first about admitting this to them.  But he finally breaks down and tells them.  Though he adds he doesn’t know what drove the pair crazy. While he tries to get in to Carolyn’s mind for answers as to what happened, Barnabas and Julia encounter Quentin, and try to get answers from him.  Neither side results in answers in this episode.

The “Fan Favorites” compilation also includes another important favorite in Episode 370.  This episode aired November 24th, 1970.  This time out, audiences what really happens when the spurned Angelique unleashes her fury on Barnabas and Josette.  Angelique uses a voodoo doll of sorts and wraps a cloth around its neck, strangling it.  This causes Barnabas to be strangled.  He’s checked out by a  doctor who determines that Barnabas is fine, and can’t figure out why he’s choking.  Ultimately, when Barnabas is about to die from the strangulation, Angelique realizes the error of her ways.  So she runs to the doll and unwraps it just in time.  But she still vows to find a way to get revenge without killing him.  What makes this episode important is that Angelique is the one that turned Barnabas to a vampire.  She also plays a role in the new upcoming big screen adaptation of this classic show.

According to most of the material that’s out there, the big screen adaptation of Dark Shadows essentially takes a bunch of the show’s various episodes and mixes them together.  Bits and pieces of these are seemingly included in the overall plot for the new movie remake.  However the reviews turn out for the new movie, this “Fan Favorites” compilation is a great re-introduction for fans who haven’t gotten to see Dark Shadows in ages, and an equally impresive first impression for those audiences who’ve never seen it.