Movie Monday: SCARED!’s “Grand Midway Hotel”

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I’ve been meaning to write about SCARED!’s investigation of the Grand Midway Hotel for over a month now. (Maybe it’s even closing in on two. I got a bit behind again. What’s new? Story of my life!)

At any rate, Brian J. Cano was nice enough to send me a copy of the DVD of their Grand Midway Hotel investigation. When I’d talked with Brooke, their  case manager, she’d told how excited she was about this investigation in particular. Mostly because it was active in a way they’d never encountered before: dealing with a non-human entity.

Also, it was the first investigation where all three –the scientist (Brian J. Cano), the skeptic (Chris Mancuso), and the psychic (Lisa Ann)– were in agreement.

THE GRAND MIDWAY HOTEL

The Grand Midway Hotel is located in Windber, Pennsylvania. It’s no longer a hotel that’s open to the public, but it does host guests by invitation. (Mostly artists. As one of the owners described it on their website, the building is now a “breathing canvas.”)

You really get a sense of both the hotel’s history and its current reincarnation as a residential artists’ retreat from the SCARED! DVD. The hotel’s past is depicted in old photos and narrative, then when the team is investigating you get to see what the hotel looks like now. (And there are some wild rooms, man. The decor gives eclectic new meaning, but then there’s this one painting in particular that just creeped me out. I think of it as “the unicorn shadow person.” I was disturbed just viewing it on my TV. I don’t think I’d much like spending time with it in the same room!)

THE INVESTIGATION

I enjoyed this investigation because they teamed up with John Zaffis, Rosemary Ellen Guiley, and demonologist Adam Blai. I also liked how Chris sort of questioned the voice box gizmo Rosemary was using, but then also said, “Well, who knows?” when it seemed to be consistent with a reading. (I personally am not a fan of such gadgets either, but it was interesting to see how this one operated.)

But my all-time favorite part of the DVD was the “Easter eggs” Brian told me to hunt for. They were basically outtakes and some silliness when Brooke couldn’t find Chris the next morning. (He’d snuck in the secret room behind the bookcase, which I have to admit I might have been tempted to do too. Really cool little secret room! Don’t see those too much.)

But it was neat to see people like Rosemary Ellen Guiley and John Zaffis sort of yucking it up with the rest of the SCARED! crew. It really hit home that these are just ordinary folks pursuing a passion and enjoying each other’s company.

SINY ’10 FILM FEST

I decided to write about SCARED!’s Grand Midway Hotel investigation for Movie Monday because last week  they announced the episode had been accepted into the SINY ’10 Film Festival. That’s pretty freaking cool –not to mention well deserved.

I sure wish both them and it luck. It was a really good, fun episode. If you haven’t given SCARED! a chance yet, you really should. I definitely think you’ll like them. And the Grand Midway Hotel episode might be a good one to start with. (But they also have the recently released “The Urban Explorer’s Backpack,Vol. 1″ DVD out now too. That also looks like a fun one.)

OWN IT YOURSELF

Buy the Grand Midway Hotel DVD (or any of their other episodes) for $9.99 directly from SCARED!’s online store. Click HERE.

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