While I looked away, The Travel Channel delightfully morphed into an exciting outlet for all things paranormal and weird (also its now called TRVL?). This past summer they announced a new series of documentaries called Shock Docs and after the first one aired, I didn’t hear anything else. It’s not surprising since they don’t seem to market their specials well, have an elusive social/blogger presence, and their website appears hopelessly out-of-date most of the time. (Update: Found a page on Facebook dedicated to ShockDocs.)
Perhaps their efforts have been spent on launching the new Discovery+ premium streaming service launching today, January 4. My guess is that they've saved up these documentaries as exclusive original content for the streaming service. Here are the one’s I’ve read about so far, including two unaired documentaries that both have (hidden) pages on the Discovery+ site. (FYI: Verizon Unlimited customers get a free subscription, otherwise you'll have to sign up for a $4.99-with-ads or $6.99-no-ads plan.)
Devils Road:The True Story of Ed and Lorraine Warren
Premiered 7-7-2020. This retrospective look at the figures behind The Conjuring universe is a love letter to fans. Ed Warren, a self-taught demonologist, and Lorraine Warren, a clairvoyant, investigated over 10,000 cases, founded the New England Society for Psychic Research, published many books, and rose to fame after being one of the first investigators of the Amityville Horror house.
The UFO Phenomenon (re-released as The Phenomenon)
Premiered 12-30-2020. Not to be confused with James Fox’s stunning documentary The Phenomenon (released Oct 6 on VOD), the Travel Channel dumped this documentary with little fan fare as a year-end toast. It features a retrospective of the history of UFO encounters and government agency cover-ups including the recent bombshell disclosure by The New York Times about the Pentagon’s secret program called the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program.
Amityville Horror House
Premieres on Discovery+ on 1-4-2021, and will have a special airing on January 22, 8pm ET/PT on the Travel Channel. The Lutz Family moved into their dream house and 28 days later fled in fear after being terrorized by malevolent spirits leaving all their belongings behind. Through the years many people have come forth to call it a hoax, offering compelling evidence of money problems and a deal with a writer to cook up the 1977 best selling book, The Amityville Horror. The house has exchanged owners several times and most recently went up for sale in June 2020 at staggering low-cost of $782K (once listed at $1.5M), a mere three years after it was last sold in 2017. Oddly the listing did not include any interior pictures of the house. See the Zillow listing.
The Exorcism of Roland Doe
This docs tells the true story of the Roland Doe, a 14-year-old boy possessed by malevolent spirits in Washington, D.C. Numerous subsequent exorcisms were recorded by Catholic and Jesuit priests, and witnessed by almost 50 people who reported furniture moving, strange noises, and objects flying in the air. The story inspired William Peter Blatty’s 1971 book, The Exorcist, and the 1973 movie of the same name.
This is Halloween
Premiered in 10-28-2020. TRVL hosts look back at the history and cultural phenomenon of our favorite haunted holiday. (A special thanks to AllHallowsGeek for pointing out this omission.)
In 1974, the U.S. government exercised imminent domain over the town of Boston, Ohio and evacuated hundred of residents. The reason was for the creation of a national park (that wasn't formally designated until 26 years later). Some say it was a chemical spill and others say it goes back to old satanic cults and paranormal activity. Most recently, in 2016 four teens broke into a restricted area of the park and were attacked by "a monster" and one was killed. It was all captured on video since they were broadcasting to social media. This is fascinating watch.
Editorial Note - I did not receive any compensation from either Discovery+ or Verizon for this post, which seems kind of dumb since I'm giving them free advertising.