If you had the chance to own a 52-acre dude ranch, complete with a saloon and log cabins, nestled between mountains and forests in the beautiful American Southwest, would you? When Karen Broussard was presented with this opportunity, she couldn’t resist. Needing a fresh start, Karen moved her three children onto Gunslinger Gulch in Anaconda, Montana.
But, almost as soon as they moved in, the Broussards began to be targeted by deadly forces inhabiting the ranch’s abandoned buildings. Three years later, the family members are at their wits end. Desperately needing respite from the spirits who constantly haunt her and her children, Karen contacts paranormal investigators Tim Wood and Sapphire Sandalo to find out what’s happening at Gunslinger Gulch.
The Ghost Town Terror follows Tim, Sapphire, and the Broussards as they uncover the mysteries and histories behind these hauntings. With each episode following on from the last and all in the same location, The Ghost Town Terror takes on a format that not many paranormal TV shows brave. But, do they get it right and bring a new meaning to ghost town, or does the show fall flat?
Let’s dive in and find out.
The Ghost Town Terror Air Date
The Ghost Town Terror aired on Travel Channel and the Discovery+ streaming service on Friday, March 11th, 2022. Due to the show being serialized, the first episode, “Get Help,” introduces the audience to the Broussard family and what they’ve experienced in the three years they’ve lived at Gunslinger Gulch. Tim and Sapphire also start their investigations in this episode, uncovering the history behind a violent haunting in the saloon.
“Get Help,” though an in-depth explanation of the show’s premise that provides a huge deal of context, is the lowest-rated episode of the season, perhaps for those reasons. However, it achieved its aim and kept viewers returning for subsequent episodes, each receiving a significant amount of praise.
The Creation and Production
The Ghost Town Terror was directed by Neil Fernandez. The show is his directorial debut, but he has previously worked in other departments on shows such as Alien Highway and Paranormal State. Joining him is story producer Keith Guinto, who worked on Portals to Hell and The Dead Files.
Other producers include:
- Jason Broome – Co-executive Producer
- Kendyl Berna – Supervising Producer
- Jeff MacClay – Supervising Story Producer
- Jeffrey M. Parka – Executive Producer
- Bill Hochhauser – Executive Producer
- Rick Sasson – Executive Producer
- Christine Shuler – Executive Producer
- Seth Sherman – Executive Producer
Despite its high production quality, The Ghost Town Terror doesn’t have a particularly large crew. J. Lazarus Auerbach worked as a camera operator for one episode, but the rest of the cinematography seems to have been handled by Neil Fernandez, Neil Watson, and the hosts.
Post-production was supervised by Eva Ruehl Swanson and coordinated by Alexandra Pann. Nine editors worked on The Ghost Town Terror, including Neil Fernandez. Gabe Stewart mixed the sound for the show, and Mitchell Lindskoog acted as the re-recording mixer.
The Ghost Town Terror Cast Members
Two hosts are responsible for taking us through the investigation of Gunslinger Gulch. These are:
Tim claims that growing up in San Carlos, he experienced some kind of paranormal activity daily at the hands of a demon named ZoZo. In 1998, obsessed with the paranormal and recently graduated from UC Davies with a history degree, Tim began to explore abandoned locations in his local area where visitors reported experiencing paranormal phenomena.
In the early noughts, he joined various investigative societies and started studying parapsychology, a field that still guides his investigations to this day. After setting up livescifi.tv in 2006, a live-streaming service on which Tim broadcasts his investigations, he hosted It Feels Evil on Travel Channel and guest starred in Paranormal Declassified. When discussing why he came on to investigate Gunslinger Gulch in The Ghost Town Terror, Tim stated there was a “need to get [the Broussards] help and get them answers.”
Sapphire worked for many years as an animator and character designer for commercials and TV shows. In 2019, she created the Stories with Sapphire podcast, which details many paranormal stories. These attempts focus on marginalized groups that don’t always get their fair share of representation in paranormal media.
Sapphire has appeared on Paranormal Caught on Camera and Paranormal Nightshift, sharing her expert opinions on the supernatural experiences of everyday individuals. The Ghost Town Terror is her first hosting gig, and she mostly acts as a researcher, finding the histories of the ranch’s borrowed buildings. Her aim in being a part of the show was to remind viewers experiencing similar paranormal happenings that “there are always people out there willing to help and able to help…”
Primary Focus of the Show
The Ghost Town Terror follows Tim and Sapphire and their guest investigators, Sarah Lemos and Scott Di Lalla, who are invited to join once the hauntings intensify. Very early on in the show’s story, the team discovers that many of the buildings on the ranch have tumultuous histories and spirits attached to them, creating intrigue right from the off.
As all the buildings on the ranch have been procured from nearby towns after being abandoned, they each have different stories, allowing for a large variety of supernatural beings to take hold. Pretty soon, Tim and Sapphire discover they are dealing with vengeful spirits and a dark demonic presence. On top of that, the Broussard family members have secrets they don’t initially share with the investigative team, and these secrets have strengthened the dark forces’ attachments to them.
Tim and Sapphire mostly rely on archival evidence to uncover the context for the hauntings. However, on the ranch, they use EMF meters to find the most active areas and then go in with EVP (also using the Estes method) to get some solid evidence and more information about why the spirits are holding on.
Sarah helps take the investigations deeper by providing psychic and spiritual readings of the ranch, especially concerning the family’s emotional reactions. The team also put Tim’s parapsychology knowledge to good use, building a psychomanteum to trap the demon within the ranch’s church and helping Karen use a God Helmet to sense presence.
As the story progresses, the team works with the evidence they’ve collected to conclude and inform the Broussards of their next moves. Not only do they have to expel the dark forces at work on the ranch, but they also must heal the Broussards of the emotional wounds that allowed the spirits and demons to contact them.
As a serialized show, The Ghost Town Terror builds upon previous episodes, creating anticipation and intrigue. Not all the loose ends are tied up with the final episode, but the show does come to a satisfying conclusion.
The Ghost Town Terror’s Impact on the Paranormal Community
Considering it aired quite recently, The Ghost Town Terror has attracted a surprising amount of attention from the paranormal community. Courtney Mroch of Haunt Jaunts puts this down to the show’s unique structure in the genre, explaining that “even though The Ghost Town Terror contains those familiar ingredients, it also felt new and fresh. It feels bigger and more in-depth than the customary shows we’ve grown used to…”
It’s true that story arcs are something of a rarity where paranormal TV shows are concerned. As Courtney points out, The Ghosts of Shepherdstown and the spin-off The Ghosts of Morganstown are possibly the only two shows to have attempted an arc before The Ghost Town Terror.
This is surprising considering just how well reviewers respond to this structure, commenting “I have to say that this show is unlike anything on travel that I have seen so far which is a good thing,” and “This is one of the best non-fiction ghost investigations I have ever seen.”
Positive reviews also espouse how spooky the show can be. “The town is genuinely creepy which adds to the enjoyment,” one reviewer divulged, while another praised the unorthodox ghost town setting, saying, “The fact that it takes place in a “ghost town” gives it a different aesthetic that really appeals to me.”
Tim Wood offered some explanation for this terrifying atmosphere, clarifying, “They’re extremely isolated up there, it’s not like they can knock on their next-door neighbour’s door and say ‘Hey, what’s going on here?’” For believers in the paranormal community, The Ghost Town Terror shows that the dream of owning a ranch quickly turns into a nightmare.
The Show’s Seasons and Episodes
There is currently only one season of The Ghost Town Terror, comprised of 6 episodes.
The Most Popular and Well-rated Episodes
As only 6 episodes of The Ghost Town Terror exist, we’ll list the top 3 highest-rated episodes according to IMDb user ratings. These are:
- Season 1, Episode 2 – A Place for the Dead
- Season 1, Episode 4 – Ornias
- Season 1, Episode 3 – Hunted
However, remember that it’s best to watch The Ghost Town Terror from beginning to end, as jumping between the highest-rated episodes will leave you a little confused about the overarching story.
Famous Guest Appearances
Once their investigation intensifies, Tim and Sapphire call guest investigators to help. These investigators then stay with the team throughout the remainder of the show. They are:
Sarah felt a connection to the other side very early in her life, first speaking to the dead at the age of 5. She has since become a certified psychic medium and lends her talents to “Ghost Hunter Cruises,” as well as helping other sensitives to understand and harness their powers.
She has appeared in 5 episodes of Portals of Hell, 8 episodes of The Ghosts of Morgan City and joins Tim and Sapphire in episode 2 of The Ghost Town Terror.
Scott Di Lalla
Working mostly as a cinematographer, Scott has contributed to several projects, both paranormal and otherwise. Tim and Scott have been good friends for a while, and Scott appeared alongside Tim for the duration of the demon-hunting show It Feels Evil.
He joins The Ghost Town Terror team in episode 4 to capture evidence of Karen’s demonic possession while Tim, Sapphire, and Sarah call out to it.
Controversies and Criticisms
Like every paranormal show worth its weight in viewers, The Ghost Town Terror has come under fire from its audience for being fake. “So much of this is scripted;” one reviewer complains. “Scenes where the family is discussing “findings” with the ghost team is clearly re-enacted (with terrible acting) and half of the “proof” is comprised of body sensations, gut feelings and fuzzy EVP’s.” Other reviews are slightly more forthright with their disdain for the supposed acting, stating, “The acting is terrible and see-through. I hate it,” and “What a load of B*LL*CKS.”
It’s true that, even in the first episode, it’s hard to believe the poor editing when the eldest Broussard son finds a mummified cat in “2021” wearing the same clothes he has on in his introduction. However, viewers also have a problem with the editing where the story is concerned. “The editing needs some work. After watching episode 5 what became of the the bones that were discovered?” Another reviewer said the loose ends were left open at the show’s end.
Finally, much of the criticism is directed at Sarah, who many viewers feel was too over-the-top. “The girl that plays the medium clearly wanted a bigger part because she is constantly over acting to stand out in scenes,” one viewer commented. Others agreed, one in a review titled ‘Love Show. Hate Fake Psychic’ who explained, “If she is a medium or even a empath she wouldn’t be so freaked out all the time.” As this series seems to be a standalone, it’s unlikely these criticisms will be addressed in any following seasons.
The Ghost Town Terror has not yet been renewed for a second season. On the one hand, this is to be expected, since the storyline was wrapped up in the last episode, and a return to Gunslinger Gulch will only retread ground. On the other hand, the show hasn’t been outrightly canceled yet, which may mean a second spin-off season is coming with Tim and Sapphire at the helm.
The most interesting and entertaining part of The Ghost Town Terror is the variety of investigative techniques they use from hosts who have studied their craft. The team strays from generic ghost boxes to feature techniques used by spiritualist societies in the 19th century, and they even stage a full exorcism. While Tim, Sapphire, Sarah, and Scott aren’t the most charismatic or humorous hosts, they appear to know their stuff and genuinely want to help the family.
The Ghost Town Terror attempted a concept that very few other shows in the paranormal genre take on, and, for the most part, it seems to have been a success. Paranormal occurrences and stories go hand in hand, allowing the crew to up the intensity with each episode and keep viewers hooked for the entire run. Surprisingly, more paranormal TV shows don’t have a storyline, but perhaps we may see a few more now that The Ghost Town Terror has proven you can have an arc on a relatively small budget.
The Ghost Town Terror is a unique offering in the genre, with high production quality and plot twists that will keep believers hooked until the very end. Skeptics may struggle since the team never tries to disprove their findings and inform the family they are being targeted by a demon after gathering a single, muffled EVP.
However, if you’re something of an agnostic when it comes to the paranormal, The Ghost Town Terror is an enjoyable watch whether you accept that it’s probably partly scripted or not. The limited episodes are packed full of investigation and information about the supernatural, and it won’t take up too much of your time to watch the whole series.
If you’re a lover of ghost stories and want a paranormal TV show that offers something new and unique, filmed in a fresh setting with bags of potential, The Ghost Town Terror is definitely worth your time. But, even if you don’t think you’ll be able to suspend your disbelief for the entire thing, give the first episode a go and see what you think.