Stranded – Star Island – S01E01

We all know we’re tuning into this show because Josh Gates of Destination Truth fame is behind it. While that may garner a decent viewing rate for the first episode, does this show have what it takes to go the distance? And more importantly, just what the heck is this show about?

The premise is this – take a small group of investigators, in this case 3, to a supposedly paranormally charged location, in this case Star Island and leave them there for several days, in this case 5, to investigate and document as they see fit. There won’t be a camera or production crew. There won’t be a host or "leader" to offer them advice. What will they do and what will they uncover as they live and investigate in the same location for multiple days. It takes the Ghost Adventures lockdown idea and extends it with hundreds of locations located around the area to see what be uncovered.

For this episode we have Sara, Xend and Mike on Star Island to investigate what many claim is one of the most haunted places in the US. There are reports of a little girl roaming the halls and the spirit of a dozen people who mysteriously drowned.

Sara is a believer in the paranormal and wants to discover something that confirms what she’s always believed. Xend is the skeptic and believes the whole concept is quite laughable. Mike is on the fence and with the recent passing of his grandfather he wants to know more.

So how do things work out for this trio? They are confronted by a multitude of bangs. The see what appears to be an open window that mysteriously shuts itself. They hear what could be the laugh of a little girl. They experience multiple cold spots. And the whole time they feel something is there.

The bangs happen repeatedly and go on for their entire stay. The group checks out the cemetery to see if they can learn about the little girl and other people who passed away. During their EVP sessions they try to communicate and perhaps get the phrase, "Are they seeing me?" As the week progresses and the isolation sets in, Xend, the skeptic, begins to lose her grip. The becomes more and more frightened of the place and the noises. The admits she doesn’t like the dark, doesn’t like certain rooms and on their final night when she suggests they separate to cover as much ground as possible before they leave, she’s in tears with fright at the noises.

The three of them do conduct a couple of experiments by tying dolls to the doors to see if anything moves. They do see a window that appears to be open one moment, then closed the next. They try a couple of EVP sessions and check out the place under night vision. None of the EMF detectors come out, but I don’t know if that’s a plus or minus.

By the end Mike is a ball of fury who things he’s being messed and he’s tired of it. He’s about ready to grab an axe and start running around the place bashing in bathroom doors. Sara keeps her cool and just tries to soak it all in. As mentioned, Xend crumbles, but in the end claims she’s still a skeptic. I’m a little bothered by that. If she doesn’t believe in any of this, why the hell was she so scared? Why did everyone have to come to her aid? It’s not like she actually saw anything or encountered someone. She even says she wants to be proven wrong.

It’s a wild ride and being in a shut down hotel on their own will certainly leave an impression. But what evidence did they capture to support these paranormal claims?

There are dozens of bangs, no doubt about it. But let’s think about this, it’s an old weathered building, by the sea in changing temperatures and conditions. I’m pretty sure the place is going to pop and bang.

They don’t capture any video or physical evidence. They claim doors are banging shut, but which doors? They were never able to prove that. They did capture one EVP, but it’s incredibly faint and that’s not quite enough to build a case of the paranormal on. Their experiment with the dolls tied to the door doesn’t yield any results. There are no footsteps, nothing moves, doors don’t slam, nobody appears. I’m sure they will claim their personal experiences are through the roof, but when you think about it, the seed has been planted the place is haunted, is desolate and isolated, it’s dark, rainy and cold, I have little doubt the mind will wander and all sorts of things will start to happen. As Xend stated, it’s sort of like being in The Shining.

Overall, this was an interesting show. The investigators aren’t pro, but they get full marks for getting out there and staying a week in an obviously creepy location. I don’t think that too much happened in the way of evidence, but they had one hell of an experience that’s for sure. I like the idea they stay multiple days. I like the idea that they’re alone. I like the idea of it being amateurs in a place that may or may not have a paranormal past.

I just hope this doesn’t go the way of Paranormal Challenge where each episode brings a group that gets exponentially more cocky and arrogant and thus more annoying and stupid. I was quite amused by this first episode and look forward to seeing where we go next.

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