Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A Haunting: Gateway to Hell

I watched an episode of Destination America's A Haunting not too long ago, and I thought it was one of the better paranormal shows I've seen, so I decided to watch another episode.  This time I watched a 2006 episode called "Gateway to Hell."

Country singer Bobby Mackey has always wanted to own a country music club, so he decides to turn the former Rock ‘n’ Roll Roadhouse in Wilder, Kentucky into Bobby Mackey’s, despite the fact that his pregnant wife Janet has a bad feeling about the place.  Soon after Bobby buys the building, a man named Carl Lawson comes by and says that he used to be a handyman at the former club until it was shut down due to all the murders (there were six in the club’s last year alone); he warns Bobby and Janet that the club may cause people to turn violent, but Bobby isn’t worried since his club will attract a different type of crowd.  One day Janet sees the kitchen sink fill up with blood and feels a hand on her back trying to push her in, but when new employee Carl runs in the room after hearing her screams, the sink is empty.  Janet tells Bobby what happened, but he doesn’t take her seriously since he doesn’t believe in ghosts. (Really?  You don’t think a building where A BUNCH OF MURDERS happened might possibly be haunted?)  One night Officer Larry Hornsby is driving by and sees someone in the window of the club, so he calls for backup; when Hornsby and his fellow officer enter the building, loud music starts playing backstage, and they hear the voices of a man and a woman.  They hear the front door slam, but when they run into the parking lot, no one is there.

Janet is sweeping up a shattered light bulb when something pushes her down the stairs; after she hits the floor, she looks at the top of the stairway and sees a male spirit.  Bobby and Carl rush Janet to the hospital, afraid she’s going to lose the baby; she goes into labor and gives birth to a daughter.  Bobby Mackey’s opens a few weeks later, and Bobby tells Carl not to tell the customers about what’s been going on there.  In the storage room, Carl finds a diary belonging to a woman named Johanna, who was a dancer at the club decades ago and was afraid that her father had killed her lover; she poisoned her father and then herself.  The diary says that Johanna will “roam the halls of the club for all eternity, waiting for her lover to return.”  That night Carl (who now lives above the club) is awoken when he has trouble breathing, then the power goes out, so Carl goes to check the breakers; while he’s in the basement, he finds a hidden door in the floor and opens it to find a deep well.  After he closes the door, he turns to see the spirits of two men behind him.
Carl’s behavior changes after this, and Bobby confides in his friend Doug Hensley, a writer, who asks if he can talk to Carl about it; Carl tells Doug, “This place is evil.  I’ve seen stuff I can’t explain.”  Carl says that he only keeps working there so he can protect Janet and Bobby.  Janet tells Doug about the experiences she’s had in the club, and Doug decides to research the history of the building.  He finds out that two men (Alonzo Walling and Scott Jackson) were hung for murdering a socialite named Pearl Bryan, who was five months pregnant at the time of her death; Walling said that he would haunt the place where Pearl’s head was found.  Pearl’s body was found near a slaughterhouse, and it is believed that Walling and Jackson had put Pearl’s head in a well that was in the basement of the slaughterhouse.  This should come as a surprise to no one: the location where the slaughterhouse stood is now Bobby Mackey’s, and there is probably a decapitated head in the well Carl found.

Doug brings in Patricia Michelle, a psychic, to check out the club.  Carl says, “They’re here,” and Patricia cuts him off and asks him not to say anything and to let her walk through the club and see what she can pick up with her second sight.  She sees the spirit of a woman and asks what her name is; the spirit says her name is Johanna.  Patricia asks Johanna if she’ll let her send her “to the light,” and Johanna responds, “No, lady, don’t send me to no light.”  (Being a ghost is no excuse for bad grammar, Johanna.)  In the basement, Johanna looks down into the well and has a vision of a woman’s head in there.  Patricia feels dizzy and nauseous, so she is escorted to the bar area, so she can sit and have a glass of water.  Carl begins acting scared, and Patricia senses two male spirits in the room; she tells Carl that the spirits are trying to use his body and that he needs to ask a minister for help.  Doug brings in a minister, who says Bobby Mackey’s is “the most evil site that he’d ever stood foot on in his life” and that Carl is possessed by demons.  He agrees to perform an exorcism, and as he prays, Carl’s demeanor and voice changes, and he becomes violent, so Bobby and Doug come in to help hold him down.  The minister continues with the exorcism, and Carl starts speaking backwards and in Latin, at one point saying “I am Satan.”  The exorcism is successful, and Carl decides not to work at Bobby Mackey’s anymore (smart move, Carl); Janet also decides never to set foot in the club again, but Bobby still claims that he has never seen any paranormal activity there. (Seriously?  You witnessed an EXORCISM!  That seems pretty paranormal to me.)

This episode of A Haunting was pretty creepy, and you know I won’t be going to Bobby Mackey’s anytime soon (or ever).

My rating: 8/10

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