Ghostbusters – When the dead flashes on the screen

Alex Landau never had to leave his home on his first ghost encounter. Viennese people live with his family in an old but elegant house with balconies in Hietzing. His daughter told him one day about Susi, who sometimes “comes to visit” at night. His daughter said she was very nice and friendly. “That’s reassuring – but who is Susie and how does she get to the kids in the bedroom?” Alex asked worriedly. It turns out that Susi is not human, but she was once. After doing some research, Alex learned that a woman named Susi had lived in this house for decades. Which doesn’t make nighttime hits any less scary, because if you believe Alex’s reliable descriptions, Suzy hasn’t been alive for long.

Alex didn’t need any more motivation. He read about the topic, collected the necessary technical equipment and went on a ghost hunting trip with friends and acquaintances. Always with him: his camera, now several. As Paranormal Signs Investigation (PSI)’s Ghostbusters record their investigations on video, cut them together into documentaries and upload them. In addition to their own YouTube channel, they can be viewed primarily on Amazon Prime. Also on Ghostflix ( Self-motivated: “Stream the Scream”) you can see it, a kind of Netflix of cultured ghost stories.

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“K2Meter”, magnetic field
Detector, is part of the essential equipment for ghost hunters. – © PSI

While all of this was still somewhat bumpy in the early seasons, season five is now ready to go live. Programs involving ghost investigations from Vienna have now been translated into English and thus can be seen virtually all over the world via Amazon Prime Video. Amazing success for a small team that still does everything as a hobby.

When the cross falls

It’s not the modern, fast-paced television you’d expect here as a “ghost investigation.” But on the contrary. The broadcast lasts up to three hours. Extensive equipment was prepared, and experiments were conducted as “catalysts”. Like a cross watched by the camera. And at some point it falls over “as if by magic”. In addition, there are handy measuring devices with which the team can measure “energy fields” in the rooms. If he realizes this, the device will flash and go off. The Soul Chest converts energies into language, and this would make it easier for wandering spirits to talk to inquisitors. Thus the box sometimes utters words such as “Stop!” Or “demon”! Outside.

It’s not a particularly fun place Alex and his friend Jurgen go to team up. Abandoned hospitals, the cemetery of the unidentified, the homes where unexplained crimes or deaths occurred. It is often musty, cold, and frightening. “Sometimes you can feel physically that something is not right,” Alex says. And straight away, frankly, don’t be an unconditional believer: “I’m aware we’re doing entertainment television and not science. But when you see things in the investigation that we can’t explain, you start thinking,” Alex says.

In the upcoming fifth season, for example, one is particularly proud of the witch board with which one wanted to communicate with spirits. But it went wrong, or well – depending on how you want to look at it: the cursor belonging to the board got stuck for no apparent reason and could no longer be moved, as if held by an invisible hand. “It was like something out of a horror movie,” Alex confirms.

The tape recordings and images from a full-spectrum camera, which will then be evaluated, are meant to take another look at the inexplicable. Actual images of ghosts, such as those seen in Hollywood films such as “Ghostbusters”, should not be expected. More here and there fog or strange reflection: a matter of interpretation.

Revenge of the unknown?

Or a matter of faith. Since a not very small group of viewers loves “ghost investigations”, yes, those are on their way to their own kind of television, like the series “Ghost Files” from Germany or the British analog production show. Abandoned places wield a certain magic of their own. If now you are also looking for ghosts, this has a certain appeal, even if the programs are very long and nothing particularly amazing does not always happen. There is a degree of suggestibility and imagination.

However, there are places where the team no longer returns ten horses. To the Unknown Cemetery in Alberter Haven, for example, where the bodies of unknown people from the Danube have been buried for decades. During the last photo session, Alex experienced an inexplicable dizzy spell. “Like when you suddenly run out of energy.” A cease-fire had to be made. A later medical examination revealed that there was no reason for this. A new photo session at Alberner Hafen is no longer pending.

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