Children of the Grave
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(Oct 15, 2007)
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Winner of Best Paranormal Documentary of 2008. Explore abandoned orphanages and cemeteries to uncover the tragic haunted past of thousands of orphans buried in unmarked graves. Acclaimed documentary filmmakers, The Booth Brothers (Spooked, The Ghosts Of Waverly Hills Sanatorium as seen on the SyFy) unearth the shocking existence of ghost children!
Philip Adrian Booth and Christopher Saint Booth have put together a remarkable look at children of the grave, those children lost and forgotten, and buried with only a number as a site marker. The film will hold your attention and is spooky! Locations for filming of haunted sites included the states of Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and the city of Los Angeles. Viewers will find the journey to Zombie Road and its shadow children near St. Louis, Missouri macabre viewing. For the first time, a photo shot accurately captured some of these dead shadow children on film and is shown, and discussed. Pythian Castle, located at Springfield, Missouri, is also covered in-depth. That this orphanage has ghosts is evident. The structure was also used during World War II to interrogate Nazi prisoners of war. The brutal history of what happened at this location lives on in its ghosts, and there are psychics and sensitives who relate stories about it. As a film about the paranormal and the supernatural, this should be among the viewer's top selections for the year 2007. Scary and riveting, this one will hold your attention from beginning to end. The documentary features such notable paranormal investigators as: Troy Taylor, Rosemary Ellen Guiley, John Zaffis, and Keith Age. If you are interested in the paranormal, don't miss this film! Well crafted, historically accurate, concise, bluntly and honestly examined, truths revealed, exciting -- these are a few words that define this fine DVD about ghosts and the paranormal. Highly recommended. --Lee Prosser GhostVillage.com
Children of the Grave is the highly-anticipated follow-up to the Booth Brothers 2006 documentary Spooked: The Ghosts of Waverly Hills Sanatorium and like its predecessor this film delivers non-stop chills from the very first frame. Easily one of the most informative and well-researched documentaries in the para-reality genre, Children of the Grave is also something many other such films are not: genuinely sensitive to the subject matter and respectful of how it is presented. In Children of the Grave the Booth Brothers have assembled a team of leading paranormal experts who together delve into the sad, disturbing history surrounding the thousands of cast-off children who once passed through the somber halls of America s orphanages. Many of these now-desolate places were likely not much more welcoming when fully-operating generations ago. As the expert cinematography of the Booth Brothers so aptly reveals, some of the larger institutions had all the appeal of oversized mausoleums. Cast into these grim surrogate Victorian mothers some of which were still operational well into the 20th century - were the abandoned, the unwanted, the neglected, the abused of America s children. Stripped of all vestiges of childhood (in many cases even their names were replaced with numbers) the children subsisted in the orphanage netherworld until they were adopted out (sometimes to even worse fates), mercifully outgrew the institutions, or, anonymous and forgotten, died. And as the Booth Brothers show us, death is only the beginning of the story. Over a ten-day period, trekking across six states, the Booth Brothers and their team of experts conduct on-site investigations of some of the most notorious orphanages in the Midwestern United States, at least one of which Pythian Castle is preserved in good condition. The viewer watches as each layer of the story of these ill-treated and once-forgotten orphans unfolds through narration and visual imagery that only heightens the tension. The sites are creepy enough on their own, but as the evidence of documented paranormal activity begins to mount, the viewer is transfixed and it becomes immediately obvious that this documentary will merit a second and even a third viewing to absorb everything that is presented. In two instances the first being the team s investigation of the Pythian Castle tunnels and the second being the hunt conducted on demon-haunted Zombie Road every concept of reality, of what is real and genuine, is challenged by the camera s unaltered images. The stark reminders of the unseen all around us that are delivered in these segments will thrill believers and could give the staunchest skeptic pause. The paranormal experts chosen by the Booth Brothers each lend a particular focus to the investigation and the film. Authorities such as John Zaffis, Troy Taylor and Rosemary Ellen Guiley anchor the investigation with important facts concerning the nature of hauntings by children; the team in the field, led by Keith Age, Greg Myers and the Booth Brothers themselves, backs up this insight with haunting video and EVP (electronic voice phenomena) captures. In the end, however, more than attempting to convince us that the ghosts we see are real or that paranormal events can be documented, the Booth Brothers accomplish their true purpose and that is to strip the forgotten children of the grave of their anonymity, to put faces and stories with the numbers etched on tombstones in desolate, lonely cemeteries, and to make them memorable in death so that in a small way they can never be forgotten again. View this documentary. It is a stunning piece of work. --Alyne A. Pustanio Haunted America
Overall, I thought this documentary took a new approach to the field which was nice. There are so many television shows out there trying to reproduce the formula that SyFy's Ghost Hunters has been successful with. The Booth Brothers bring a historical information documentary that would make the producers of the Discovery Channel jealous! In my time working as a paranormal investigator, I have run across many instances of children ghosts and caught them on EVP. The bone chilling evidence of young spirits that is caught is remarkable and will have you believing that sometimes places do hold unseen residents. I would highly recommend this documentary for anyone who is looking at understanding ghosts or just wanting a good scare because the evidence is so shocking, it will give you the chills! --Minnesota Ghosts.com
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The Booth brothers, though, totally ticked me off. I only paid $1.99 to watch this, but I regretted spending even that much. For one thing, they went all over the place. They gave minute information about many things, but they never went into an in-depth history about the places they visited.
While it isn't uncommon for ghost hunters to sometimes exaggerate a little bit, this show was totally into sensationalizing. Some of the things they said didn't seem to even have proof to substantiate it. For instance, at one orphanage, there was a hostile ghost that didn't like people intruding into his space. Now personally, I can understand it if ghosts wouldn't like people coming into an area they consider their territory. However, these men seemed to assume that the ghost of the former janitor was a pedophile who killed the kids, even though it didn't seem that there were any documents to support this.
The one thing they focused on was how orphans tended to be mistreated. It succeeded more in a social commentary of days of old than it did as a documentary on ghosts.
It did have a few scares with that creepy blonde ghost they kept showing. It had a very abrupt ending where they talked about how some children are evil, and then they made a quick reference to Mary Roff. It was very confusing and irritating.
Overall, a film piece that plays on the hopes of people that there might be something after death. That maybe there are ghosts roaming the earth. To date, hardly any evidence of such a phenomena exists and these folks are just playing on peoples hopes and dreams for a buck. Not once does the film try to explain anything about the phenomena other than, "if people die horrible deaths they'll haunt places." Or, "if it's a child ghost they'll cry and act like children"; one scene later, cue baby_crying.wav and claim it was a recording they made at a grave site claiming it's an "EVP." The whole thing is laughable.
Not worth the time. They won an award. I'm not sure how. I wonder who the "also rans" were. And I really TRIED to like it.