The Holzer Files: A Review

                                                          The Holzer Files: A Review

cast left to right: Shane Pittman, Dave Schrader, Cindy Kaza

The Holzer Files Premiered on Thursday, October 3, at 10:pm on the Travel Channel. I have been looking forward to this show ever since the rumors started about Alexandra Holzer having a TV show on the paranormal. And here we are, finally!

I met Alexandra back in 2012 in Gettysburg, PA. She was a guest at an investigation run by the owner of what was a paranormal museum; no longer there. I had the privilege of investigating the house on Baltimore Ave. with Alexandra. We conducted a Ghost Box session and her father’s voice and the name Holzer came through on the Ghost Box clearly, loudly and more than once. I found her to be genuine, warm and caring, and also quite intense. She seemed to read me and look right through me. She accurately sensed some things going on in my life. At one point she expressed concern for me and encouraged me to keep my chin up. Alexandra is a medium. Back on January of 2014 I published an interview, which I conducted with her on the subject of mediumship. You can read this article on my Blog.

from left to right, me, Alexandra and unknown investigator in basement of museum.

Alexandra is the daughter of legendary parapsychologist Dr. Hans Holzer and has continued his research into the unknown. She is a published author and paranormal investigator and, along with her husband, founded the New York-based global investigation organization, Hunt with Holzer. She also has a background in art. It was Alexandra who provides the files, documents, photos, film and cases on her Father’s work, which is the basis for the show.

Alexandra Holzer

In case you don’t know who Hans Holzer was, he was an author of more than 140 books on the paranormal, as well as having his own television show, Ghost Hunter. Holzer was born in Vienna, Austria, on January 26, 1920, and passed away on April 26, 2009, at the age of 89. He studied archaeology and ancient history at the University of Vienna. Because war was imminent, he and his family left Austria and escaped to New York City in 1938. He then studied Japanese, comparative religion and parapsychology at Columbia University, and earned a Ph.D. He then taught parapsychology at the New York Institute of Technology. Holzer wrote more than 140 books (for some reason the total number is different depending on the source.) on the paranormal. He is probably best known for investigating The Amityville Horror case, as well as many famous haunted locations around the world. He was known for working with mediums, which he carefully and thoroughly vetted.  His first book was “The Ghost Hunter”, published in 1963. He is credited for first using the term. However, long before, Harry Price, an original member of “The Ghost Club”, founded in 1862, published a book in 1936 called, “Confessions of a Ghost Hunter.”
Hans Holzer

Holzer was a believer in life after death and ghosts who he believed were “stay behinds”. Ghosts were imprints left at a place which could be detected by sensitives. Some spirits could interact with the living. Holzer’s methods and beliefs have been called into question by many authors and researchers because of his use of mediums, which are considered to be pseudoscience.

The show bases its investigations on Holzer’s original files. With Alexandra’s guidance, a team of paranormal expert investigators follows in his footsteps to investigate anew some of his most fascinating cases.

Dave Schrader, medium Cindy Kaza, tech man Shane Pittman and researcher Gabe Roth are the newly formed team for the show. Dave Schrader has a long history in the paranormal field. He is a radio host of Darkness Radio and Midnight in the Desert, and has traveled extensively. He is known for fearlessly exploring the most bizarre and fringe paranormal subjects. He has also been on many Paranormal shows such as Ghost Adventures and Paranormal State.

Cindy Kaza is a psychic medium that trained at England’s Arthur Findlay School of Intuitive Sciences. One of her medium abilities is automatic writing, in which a medium allows the spirit to communicate directly through her via free-form writing.

Shane Pittman is the equipment technician who wants to learn as much as possible about using all possible technological methods, in the hopes of finding and documenting evidence. His passion is using the most current technology to advance paranormal study, wanting to validate and document paranormal experiences using the latest techniques available.

Gabe Roth is an experienced researcher, storyteller and producer with a background in journalism. He has produced several paranormal television series, including “My Haunted House” and “Evil Things.”

On the first episode, the team reopens a 50-year-old case of paranormal activity at one of the oldest homes in Rye, New York. The story is that a young woman was enslaved in the attic of the Rye home by her family because she was mentally disabled. She dies in the home at a fairly young age. The home has a history of paranormal activity, which, mysteriously, came to an end when a portrait painting of the young woman was displayed in the home. A connection was found to another home, which has opened as a museum, and is suddenly experiencing frightening paranormal activity. A connection to this house is that a young man, who was physically disabled, was imprisoned in a very small room of the home until his death.

The investigation proceeds with the team, lead by the medium, interviewing the owner of the home, then moving to the second location, where they interview the owner and the employees. All investigators experience frightening activity, and evidence is captured on the Flir camera.

I don’t want to ruin the show for anyone. With that said, I found this show to be beautifully filmed. I also found it to be very scary, and I’ve watched my fill of scary paranormal investigation shows. This is different. It felt genuine, raw and real. The evidence captured was compelling, as well as the experiences of the investigators captured on film. It’s well worth the time to view if you are a fan of the investigative show.

I used to feel that mediums, psychics, sensitives, and any form of old school tools or techniques was beneath my scientific mind. I have since formed a different conclusion. Hans Holzer carefully vetted his mediums. I now believe that, if properly tested, the use of mediums and sensitives can be very useful. After all, we are investigating “the paranormal”. The definition of paranormal is “beyond the normal, the unknown”. Since we are delving into things that are, by their very nature, invisible, unknowable, mysterious, and spiritual in nature, why not utilize scientifically tested, tried and true mediums? As one who has studied parapsychology, I have utilized tests devised by parapsychologists to vet sensitives and people who claim to have psychic abilities; to be telepathic, clairvoyant, etc. These tests are reliable if conducted properly. Of course, this comes with a warning. Watch out for phonies, fakes, and scammers. They are rampant in this field. But I respect this Holzer method and those using it, especially Alexandra and crew. The only criticism is personal. I wish Alexandra were an active member of the team. Maybe future episodes will feature her. I hope so.

This is a fascinating show, and, perhaps, the next chapter in an evolving science of a merging of modern, state of the art technology with old school procedures. I can’t wait to see what comes next.


Wikipedia for data on Hans Holzer
The Travel Channel Website for biographical information on the cast.
My own research and experiences
Photos of Hans Holzer and Alexandra are used with permission of Alexandra for the article on Mediumship, published in 2014.
Cast photo from the Travel Channel website.


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