Fall 2015 television schedule: TV for lovers of horror, suspense, mystery, paranormal, super-normal, and the like

2015 Fall TV Guide Image

 I have to admit that I find this coming television season to be a bit of let down. I’m not seeing many new shows in the macabre, mysterious, or paranormal vein. Still, there are some intriguing newcomers, and some of my favorite shows are chugging along nicely.

As I assembled this list, I noticed there are a number of series out there that I gave up on in their early days … in past seasons, when there were just so many options to choose from. Considering the fact that these shows are still getting renewed, I may have been wrong to jump ship so quickly. Please let me know which, if any, of the shows I’ve marked as blue deserve a second look.


The color of the show title indicates how I feel about the show, based on my viewing experience, including past seasons:
Black = Have not yet experienced. I’m interested … or I think you’ll be interested.
Red = Have watched. Not recommended. Worse than the reviews or buzz indicated. (Not using here.)
Orange = Have watched. Recommended, with reservations or cautions.
Green = Have watched. Recommended. A good show that lives up to its reputation.
Blue = Used only on special edition lists, like this one. It means I do not watch the show, and feel neutral about it. I probably sampled it but didn’t stick with it … which in itself says something, I suppose.

Disclaimers about my selections: I highlight shows that appeal to me, and shows that I think will possibly appeal to the readers of this blog, as I understand them. Providing a guide to ALL the new shows is beyond me. Here you’ll find television that has a paranormal, gothic, fantastic, and/or mysterious flavor. (I don’t watch much in the way of personality-based reality and/or investigative shows like Ghost Hunters or Paranormal State. Documentaries are another story entirely, but I’ll save those for another post.)  Warning: I also have a taste for certain shows with a historical or retro flare.

Information about how the list works: I’ve included the premiere dates for new AND returning shows that are likely to appeal to my readers. (But I don’t watch them all.) For returning shows, I’ve researched the availability of past seasons, just in case you think you maybe made a mistake in the past by not making room for a particular show. (I know I regret not watching Grimm from the beginning.) I provide video trailers ONLY for new shows. The premieres are listed in the order in which they will arrive. I may add a few that will be coming after Halloween, but right now I just want to get this monster up and off my plate for a while.

Tips: If the series has specific page provided by the network, I’ve linked to it with the word ‘homepage’. If a series has past seasons available via Netflix, I’ve linked to the appropriate listing, to simplify your queue management.

PS: There is A LOT of information, including links and other moving parts, in this post. If you notice an error, or click something that doesn’t work, PLEASE let me know so I can fix it. I just couldn’t get through a 10th quality check.




Z Nation | SYFY | Fridays | 10/9c | Started Sep 11 (2nd season)
From the homepage:
Season 1 available on Netflix streaming. Episodes 1 & 2 are available on SyFyNOW.
Z Nation starts three years after the zombie virus has gutted the country, a team of everyday heroes must transport the only known survivor of the plague from New York to California, where the last functioning viral lab waits for his blood. Although the antibodies he carries are the world’s last, best hope for a vaccine, he hides a dark secret that threatens them all. With humankind’s survival at stake, the ragtag band embarks on a journey of survival across three thousand miles of rusted-out post-apocalyptic America. Z Nation comes from The Asylum, the production house behind Sharknado and Sharknado 2.

Who out there has been watching? Did I miss out on a good series here? It looks like I could catch up pretty easily.



NEW | The Bastard Executioner | FX | Tuesdays | 10/9c | Started Sep 15
From the homepage:
The Bastard Executioner is a blood-soaked, medieval epic that tells the story of Wilkin Brattle, a 14th century warrior, whose life is forever changed when a divine messenger beseeches him to lay down his sword and lead the life of another man: a journeyman executioner.

The pilot episode is available here … if you can “sign in to a participating TV provider.”  This new series is by the folks who are responsible for Sons of Anarchy — which I haven’t watched, but hear good things about. 



NEW | Blindspot | NBC | Wednesdays | 10/9c | Started Sep 16
From the homepage:
A beautiful woman, with no memories of her past, is found naked in Times Square with her body fully covered in intricate tattoos. Her discovery sets off a vast and complex mystery that immediately ignites the attention of the FBI, which begins to follow the road map on her body into a larger conspiracy of crime, while bringing her closer to discovering the truth about her identity.

I’m sorry I missed giving you a heads-up on this one. NBC doesn’t appear to be providing a way to watch the pilot, if you missed it. It is available On Demand on my TV provider’s system, so check yours.



Gotham | FOX | Mondays | 8/7c | Sep 21 (2nd season)

Season 1 is available as of Sep 21 on Netflix streaming
From the homepage:
GOTHAM is an origin story of the great DC Comics Super-Villains and vigilantes, revealing an entirely new chapter that has never been told. GOTHAM follows one cop’s rise through a dangerously corrupt city teetering between good and evil, and chronicles the birth of one of the most popular super heroes of our time.

Apparently, this isn’t faring well with reviewers, but I have to tell you I LOVE it. I had to get through the first 2-3 episodes before the bug really bit me though. This is one returning show I’m genuinely excited about. 



NEW | Do Not Disturb: Hotel Horrors | ID | Wednesdays | 9/8C | Sep 21
From the press release:
Even five-star hotels have dirty little secrets. Full of salacious acts, secret trysts and cold-blooded murder, DO NOT DISTURB: HOTEL HORRORS gives viewers a peek behind closed doors to shocking crimes that happened inside hotels.

This isn’t the sort of thing I’d normally share, but I’ll be watching it, of course. It might put my experiences at the Paranormal Hotel into perspective.

no video available at time of posting



NEW | Limitless | CBS | Tuesdays | 10/9c | Sep 22 
From the homepage:
Limitless follows the story of Brian Finch – an ordinary guy who gets his hands on an extraordinary drug called NZT that allows his brain to work more efficiently than he ever imagined.

I can’t say I’m super-excited about this one, but I’ll give it a shot.


scream queens

NEW | Scream Queens | FOX | Tuesdays | 8/7c | Sep 22 
From the homepage:
An over-the-top, biting satire, SCREAM QUEENS is part black comedy, part slasher flick and a modern take on the classic whodunit, in which every character has a motive for murder…or could easily be the next victim.

I don’t generally like horror comedies, but this a SLASHER parody, and I might be able to get into that. I do like Jamie Lee Curtis and Emma Roberts. 


NCIS new orleans

NCIS: New Orleans | CBS | Tuesdays | 10/9c | Sep 22 (2nd season)
Season 1 is available on Netflix DISCS
From the homepage:
NCIS: NEW ORLEANS is a drama about the local field office that investigates criminal cases affecting military personnel in The Big Easy, a city known for its music, entertainment and decadence. Leading the team is Special Agent Dwayne Pride, aka “King,” a native of New Orleans who is driven by his need to do what is right. … This colorful city that harbors a dark side is a magnet for service personnel on leave, and when overindulgence is followed by trouble, Pride’s team is at its best.
 This is clearly more crime drama than paranormal, but: New Orleans (!) Scott Bakula (!) & Lucas Black(!) <- that was last year’s note.

I watched the first several episodes of season one, but it didn’t capture me the way I expected it to. NCIS is no CSI.



NEW | Heroes Reborn | NBC | Thursdays | 8/7c | Sep 24
All 4 seasons of the original series are available on Netflix streaming.
From the homepage:
…an epic 13-episode event series that chronicles the lives of ordinary people who discover they possess extraordinary abilities.

I was enthralled back in 2006, when season 1 aired. (Save the cheerleader!) After that? Not so much. I drifted away. It would be hard for me to pick this up, I think, without watching the whole first series through. (But that’s just me. I’m sure they are starting it so that an all-new audience will get the big picture.) Aw, who am I kidding? I’ll probably give it a try.



How to Get Away With Murder | ABC | Thursdays |10/9c | Sep 24 (2nd season)
Season 1 is available on Netflix streaming.
From the homepage:
The brilliant, charismatic and seductive Professor Annalise Keating gets entangled with four law students from her class “How to Get Away with Murder.” Little do they know that they will have to apply what they learned to real life, in this masterful, sexy, suspense-driven legal thriller.

Tried it last year, but found it annoying and hard to follow. I thought it would be cancelled mid-season, but here it is, renewed for another year. I wonder if I gave up too soon. Did it even out eventually?



Once Upon A Time | ABC | Sundays | 8/7c | Sep 27  (5th season)
Seasons 1-4 are available on Netflix streaming.
From the homepage:
This is Fairy Tale Land. It’s filled with magic, monsters and all of the characters we all know from stories growing up. It’s real, and so are the people in it. But unlike the “happily ever after” you may have heard about, their stories continued, and The Evil Queen cast a Dark Curse over the land….This is Storybrooke. It’s a quiet, little, New England town filled with people who go about their everyday lives with no idea who they really are. The Queen’s Curse has trapped them here and placed her in near-complete control. They have no real memories and no real hope.

This is one I intend to marathon one of these winters. I wasn’t paying attention back when it was getting started. Since then, I’ve just always felt too far behind to catch up.



Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D | ABC | Tuesdays | 9/8c | Sep 29 (3rd season)
Season 1 & 2 are available on Netflix streaming.
From the homepage:
Clark Gregg reprises his role of Agent Phil Coulson from Marvel’s feature films, as he assembles a small, highly select group of Agents from the worldwide law-enforcement organization known as S.H.I.E.L.D. Together they investigate the new, the strange, and the unknown across the globe, protecting the ordinary from the extraordinary.” Executive producer: Joss Whedon

I wanted to love this, because Joss, but I found the characters to be totally lacking in appeal. I couldn’t connect with any of them. After 5-6 episodes I gave up. It seems to have some staying power, so maybe I (once again) gave up too soon. Perhaps this one will be marathoned in the future too.



The Blacklist | NBC | Thursdays | 9/8 c | Oct 1 (3rd season)
Season 1 & 2 are available on Netflix streaming.
From the homepage:
For decades, ex-government agent Raymond “Red” Reddington (James Spader) has been one of the FBI’s most wanted fugitives. Brokering shadowy deals for criminals across the globe, Red was known by many as “The Concierge of Crime.” Now, he’s mysteriously surrendered to the FBI with an explosive offer: He will help catch a long-thought-dead terrorist, Ranko Zamani, under the condition that he speaks only to Elizabeth “Liz” Keen, an FBI profiler fresh out of Quantico. For Liz, it’s going to be one hell of a first day on the job.

Adored Red, didn’t mind Liz, and enjoyed the episodes where the focus was on catching a bad guy … but the through-plot bored me. I haven’t abandoned this show yet, but I’m not eager to go back for it either.


tv show sleepy hollow

Sleepy Hollow | FOX | Thursdays | 9/8c | Oct 1 (3rd season)
Seasons 1 is available on Netflix discs.
from the homepage:
In this modern day twist of Washington Irving’s classic, Ichabod Crane is resurrected and pulled two and a half centuries through time to unravel a mystery that dates all the way back to the founding fathers. Revived alongside Ichabod is the infamous Headless Horseman who is on a murderous rampage in present-day Sleepy Hollow. Bound to the Headless Horseman by a blood spell cast on the battlefield of the American Revolution, Ichabod quickly realizes that stopping Headless is just the beginning, as the resurrected rider is but the first of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

Tried it. Found it to be so firmly directed at a younger demographic that I slunk away, feeling like Rip Van Winkle. In order to be lured back, I’d have to hear (from someone older than 30) that the show became AMAZING after the first 3-4 episodes.



American Horror Story – Hotel |  FX   |  Wednesdays | 9/8c | Oct 7
First 3 seasons available on Netflix streaming.
Season 1: Murder House
Season 2: Asylum
Season 3: Coven
Season 4: Freakshow – update: Arrives Oct 6
The homepage is here.
From Wikipedia:
According to creators Brad Falchuk and Ryan Murphy, the season would be much darker thematically from previous ones, and would see the reprisal of other characters. The season will be interconnected to the first season, and will feature an appearance by the Murder House and its realtor Marcy.

THIS I care about. Deeply. Not only am I huge fan of the show in general, I am also currently embroiled in writing a novel that is set in a hotel. (And I have been for some time. I started the project long before AHS announced this season’s theme.) I’m both looking forward to the show, and scared witless that it will somehow affect my book negatively. From what I’ve seen so far, the two hotels are quite different, but those teaser trailers don’t necessarily show us what the show will actually look and feel like. Here’s an example:


tv show haven

Haven | Syfy | Thursdays | 10/9c | Oct 8  (resuming 6th season, I guess.)
Seasons 1-5 are available on Netflix streaming.
from the homepage:
Syfy’s one-hour drama series Haven, starring Emily Rose, is based on the novella The Colorado Kid from renowned author Stephen King. The series follows the shrewd and confident FBI agent Audrey Parker (Rose) as she arrives in the small town of Haven, Maine on a routine case. Before long, her natural curiosity lands her in the epicenter of activity in this curious enclave, which turns out to be a longtime refuge for people that are affected by a range of supernatural afflictions. The truth about Audrey’s mysterious past (which she can’t fully remember) starts to come out as well.

Yet ANOTHER show I think I missed out on. Likely to be a future marathon. The only question is when do I pull the trigger on the start pistol?


walking dead season 5

The Walking Dead | AMC  | Sundays |Oct 11 (6th season)
Seasons 1 – 4 are available via Netflix streaming. Season 5 will be added Sep 27
AMC is pretty great about doing marathons before a new season begins … keep an eye out for season 5.
Homepage here. I trust no story description is necessary?
I’ll make an exception to the trailers-for-new-shows-only rule in this case:



Fargo | FX | Mondays | 10/9c |Oct 12  (2nd season-kinda)

Season 1 is available on Netflix DISCS (And if it comes to streaming, I’ll be trumpeting the news via my regularly scheduled Macabre & Mysterious Media posts.)

From the homepage:
The all new “true crime” case in Fargo’s latest chapter takes you back to 1979 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Luverne, Minnesota. “Lou Solverson,”a young State Police Officer recently back from Vietnam, investigates a case involving a local crime gang, a major mob syndicate and a small town beautician “Peggy Blumquist” (Kirsten Dunst) along with her husband “Ed,” the local butcher’s assistant…

I know this is an outlier, but the first season of Fargo, which is only tangentially connected to this season’s, was perhaps my favorite show of last year. Now, maybe, that’s because I’m a Minnesotan myself, but I think it was more than that. It was just chock full of stellar performances and subtle, brilliant writing. (Despite the funny accent … which I DO NOT HAVE.)  This year, we get Patrick Wilson,  Kirsten Dunst, Jean Smart, and Ted Danson in lead roles. That’ll be  real good, ya know.



Seasons 1 & 2 are available on Netflix streaming right now.
From Wikipedia:
The show examines the strange happenings in Hemlock Grove, a fictional town in Pennsylvania. Roman Godfrey, heir to the town’s wealthy Godfrey family, befriends the town’s newcomer, Peter Rumancek. Recent brutal murders in the town have stirred up rumors, and the two work together to shed light on the case while also hiding their own dark secrets.

I haven’t gotten around to this yet. I fear it may be too obviously skewed to a younger demographic than mine. (Sleepy Hallow really bit me good, didn’t it?) This will be its last season, though, so I’ll probably watch the whole thing eventually. (Three seasons can be done on a long cold weekend.)



NEW | Supergirl | CBS | Mondays | 7:30/8:30 c | Oct 26
From the homepage:
“Supergirl is an action-adventure drama based on the DC Comics character Kara Zor-El, Superman’s (Kal-El) cousin who, after 12 years of keeping her powers a secret on Earth, decides to finally embrace her superhuman abilities and be the hero she was always meant to be.

I haven’t been impressed with the superhero shows the broadcast networks have put in front of me. (Netflix, on the other hand is doing some interesting things with Daredevil. And they are planning to come out with Marvel’s Jessica Jones in late November. But I digress. I’m only going through Halloween here.) Supergirl is unlikely to be the hero I want anyway. When do we get Wonder Woman? 



NEW | Wicked City | ABC | Tuesdays | 10/9c | Oct 27
From the homepage:
“Wicked City” follows a unique case set in a noteworthy era of L.A. history, starting with a murder case from 1982 centered on the rock ’n’ roll, cocaine-infused revelry of the Sunset Strip. Alliances are formed to solve a serial murder case.

Another outlier, but intriguing. The idea for this is to have each SEASON set in a different era, in crime-ridden Los Angeles. Apparently this is a thing now. (Thank you, American Horror Story and Fargo.) Watch the following “presentation video” to see why I’m actually pretty excited about this. (Shades of one of my favorite seasons of Dexter.)


tv show grimm

Grimm | NBC | Fridays | 9/8c | Oct 30th  (5th season)
Seasons 1 – 4 are available on Netflix DISCS.
From the homepage:
Grimm” is a drama series inspired by the classic Grimm Brothers’ Fairy Tales. After Portland Homicide Detective Nick Burkhardt discovers he’s descended from an elite line of criminal profilers known as “Grimms,” he increasingly finds his responsibilities as a detective at odds with his new responsibilities as a “Grimm.

This is the one that I missed that ticks me off the most. Why won’t Netflix bring it to streaming? I’d be all over that.



NEW | Ash vs Evil Dead | STARZ | Saturdays| 9/8c (?) | October 31
The homepage is at this link but it’s obnoxious and devoid of anything but pictures. Do they assume fans of The Evil Dead can’t read? Summary from IMDb:
Ash has spent the last 30 years avoiding responsibility, maturity and the terrors of the Evil Dead until a Deadite plague threatens to destroy all of mankind and Ash becomes mankind’s only hope.

Ten half-hour episodes under executive producers Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert, and Bruce Campbell, the original filmmakers of the Evil Dead franchise. I don’t generally do STARZ listings, but this one caught my eye.


Stuff on The CW:

I don’t watch this network, but it appears to be overflowing (like a heaving bosom from a tight bodice) with paranormal / horror / superhero shows — all geared to a younger, hipper, audience than me. Here’s a few highlights, but if these kind of programs are your thing, it’d be best for you to explore the whole CW line-up.

The Vampire Diaries | Thursdays | 8/7c | Oct 8 (7th season) 
Seasons 1 – 5 available on Netflix streaming. Season 6 arrives Oct 2

The Originals | Thursdays | 10/9c | Oct 8 ( 3rd season) Vampires & New Orleans!! 
Season 1 is available on Netflix streaming. Season 2 arrives Oct 6

Supernatural | Wednesdays | 9/10c | Oct 7 (11th season)
Seasons 1 – 9 are available on Netflix streaming. Season 10 arrives Oct  7
From Wikipedia: “As of May 20, 2015, 218 episodes of Supernatural have aired, concluding the tenth season. The series has been renewed for an eleventh season, and will premiere on October 7, 2015.

Of all the CW shows, I’m most likely to go after Supernatural. 

Did I miss anything you love? What show are you most looking forward to?


Halloween Index



Investigating a Haunting: Carlos Avery WMA, MN – part two

I’m in the early stages of my investigation of a suspected haunting in the Carlos Avery Wildlife Management Area, a local nature preserve. Last Friday, I shared the Facebook conversation which inspired me to begin this series, as well as brief sketch of the park’s history.



The day after I last wrote about this topic, my husband (aka Ogre) and I visited one small portion of the WMA. Since then, I’ve searched the internet to find any references to paranormal phenomena associated with the area. I am continuing to find and read dozens of old newspaper articles about the park and its environs.

Here’s what I discovered this week:


Over the past 25 years or so, I’ve spent hundreds of hours exploring our local public parks and doing citizen science projects in regional nature centers. My engagement with Carlos Avery, however, has been limited. (Or, at least I thought so, until I began to understand the scope and scale of Carlos Avery. I’ll get back to that in a moment.)

I’ve been driving past, and through, portions of the preserve for most of my life, occasionally noticing small signs meant to identify it, without any real understanding of its purpose. My first order of business was to find out what a “WMA” is.

According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources:

“Wildlife management areas (WMAs) are part of Minnesota’s outdoor recreation system and are established to protect those lands and waters that have a high potential for wildlife production, public hunting, trapping, fishing, and other compatible recreational uses.”

This, then, is not the kind of park most of us are accustomed to.

It’s a beautiful area with good access. It provides habitat for a multitude of species, (only a fraction of which are game animals.) I’ve learned that it is a popular spot for birders.

But. It is also often full of hunters, many of them inexperienced, who are absolutely intent on killing something.

If, like me, you believe that a haunting can be caused by a concentration of negative or harmful intent, or by a saturation of fear or tragedy, then it’s only logical to see how the atmosphere in a hunting preserve could become … tainted.

(I’m not knocking the practice of hunting. I don’t really get it, in the absence of a need for food, but that’s just me. Here in Minnesota, hunting is fact of life and I don’t begrudge the hunters their space. The WMA isn’t meant for me. I understand that I am only a curious guest there … one who is a little worried about getting shot as I continue to explore the grounds. I think I might need to add some blaze-orange to my wardrobe.)


When Ogre and I visited there were no hunters. (Apparently, though, turkey season has since started.) The access roads were closed to vehicles due to muddy areas, resulting from a recent thunderstorm, but we were encouraged to grab a map and walk in.

In our two and a half mile walk, we saw a flock of turkeys, a herd of deer, a variety of birds, and this little guy:

Carlos Avery April 2015 garter snake

It’s early spring here, so the park felt quite open and well lit. It was quiet, though some frogs were calling from the wet areas. Overall, it was peaceful and pleasant. At no point did I feel unsettled or uncomfortable.

Of course, this was just a taste of the WMA, in of one of the most frequently accessed areas of the preserve. I have not yet located the specific sites of the tragedies I referenced in part one of this series, so I cannot say that anything bad or traumatic happened here. I would be surprised if there was even much hunting this close to the park entrance.

It does appear that gunfire is common though.

Carlos Avery April 2015 gunfire evidence


It’s important to understand that this is a huge tract of land, ( 23,000 acres,) containing a variety of zones which are dedicated to diverse purposes.

This particular WMA includes the Wildlife Science Center on its grounds.

This center “was founded as a federally funded research facility in 1976, in order to observe and document the physiology and behavior of a captive population of gray wolves.” (WSC)

Now, in 2015, the center houses more species than just the grays.

I know this not just because I can use google, but because I was once a regular volunteer there.

Yes, I’m admitting that I have spent a great deal of time on the Carlos Avery property, without realizing it.

In my defense, the Wildlife Science Center feels very distinct from the rest of the WMA. You visit the center by going through this arch, which is visible from a well-trafficked two-lane highway:


“Carlos Avery Game Farm” by Bobak Ha’Eri – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

The white structures you can see in this photo are part of an eleven building complex built between 1936 and 1941. (I have never been inside any of these buildings.)

After you go through the gate, the road curves to the left, past the complex.

The section of the property which houses the Wildlife Science Center is composed of modern barns and sheds, as well as the main building, which is just a modified, late 20th century, residential house. Large, chain-link, animal enclosures stretch back into the park, providing homes for animals. (Resident species include: gray, red and Mexican gray wolf; coyote; fox; bobcat; lynx; cougar; black bear; porcupine; and several different kinds of raptors.) The entire center is well fenced and only open to public tours on Saturdays.

During the week, the yard of the center is over-run by a pack of 20-30 large-breed dogs which belong to the center’s director … or at least that was true when I was working there ten years ago. (There were also several wolf-dog hybrids.)

Most of my job was dealing with dead things. I chopped up gophers, which had been turned in for a bounty, then laced them with vitamin supplements, so they could be fed to the raptors. I boosted road-killed, maggot-infested, deer into a wheelbarrow and carted them over to the wolf enclosures. (This was very hard for me. I have a particular aversion to maggots.)

I wasn’t permitted to handle the live creatures, (other than the dogs,) though I did once get to stroke an anesthetized adult wolf who was having a medical procedure done.


All of this is a digression, really. Yes, I did feel watched–even hunted–sometimes when I was moving around in this part of the WMA, but that’s because I was being watched, and watched intently, by large predators who wanted my carcasses. Even when I wasn’t toting a corpse around with me, I still reeked of flesh and blood and decomposition. I’m sure I seemed likely to be quite tasty.

(By the way, I loved the work … well, not so much the tasks I was assigned, but the larger work. I’d still be doing it, but I screwed up and got myself dismissed. That’s an embarrassing story for another day, though.)

I will say this: The wolves (and other canids) like to howl. On still nights, and quiet, overcast days, I imagine their chorus can be heard throughout many acres of the WMA. That sound would absolutely contribute to a sense that the area is haunted.


As long as I went off on this tangent, I might as well share one more interesting tidbit about the Wildlife Science Center. Its director, Peggy Callahan, has appeared as a wildlife expert on an episode of History Channel’s MonsterQuest (Swampbeast, 2007, S1E5.) For the show, she devised and conducted an experiment meant to determine how long it takes for the body of a large beast in the wilderness to decompose and completely disappear.


My quest for accounts of paranormal events associated with Carlos Avery is only beginning. An internet search revealed two primary legends.

One that amused me is our old friend, the Linwood Woolly Beast. If you’ve been reading The Paranormalist blog for a while, you may have run into one of my posts about this creature:

My best guess is that folks are seeing a large, perhaps albino, deer. If you’d like to know more about the critter, feel free to click on one or both of the above links. I won’t be spending a lot of time watching for the Beast. If I spot him, I’ll be sure to let you know.

The second commonly told legend of Carlos Avery is more interesting to me. Apparently several people have reported seeing phantom vehicles in the park. Headlights and taillights are seen shining from areas that are actually inaccessible to a vehicle. (From the middle of a pond, or swamp, or otherwise road-less spot.) This is a legend I can pursue. The WMA is open to visitors from 4:00 am – 10:00 pm. I should be able to legally spend some time driving around in there while it’s dark, once the roads are open.

Though I have some feelers out in search of local people who have had unusual experiences in and near Carlos Avery, I haven’t yet been contacted by anyone other than “Rebecca” my original source.

If you are reading this page because you searched for information about Carlos Avery after encountering something unexplained in or near the preserve, please contact me to share your story. To remain anonymous, send me a PRIVATE message at my Facebook page. Our conversation will be confidential, and you will determine how you will be identified if I quote you or include your experience in this series.



Last week, I mentioned that this region of Minnesota was first utilized by fur traders in the 1700s, then by loggers in the early to mid-1800s. After that, some of the land that now makes up Carlos Avery was purchased by a carpet manufacturer which wanted to use the wire grass that grew abundantly there. (Wire grass is similar to sisal.)

Based on these facts, I am assuming that the land has been witness to some significant human activity in the past couple of centuries. I have not been able to confirm any particular settlements prior to 1890, but I do know that the carpet manufacturer created three camps on this property which, at one point, employed 100 men and used 250 horses. (I do wonder what camp life was like at that time, and how this activity could have contributed to the atmosphere of the area.)

After WWI, the carpet industry faltered, and the land became tax delinquent. Many acres reverted to the state’s ownership.

The Carlos Avery Game Park was established on about 8,000 of these acres in 1933. In 1935, the project was approved for WPA status and expanded. Since then, it has been subject to an evolving system of wildlife management.

And so ends my speculation about the pre-1933 era.


My continuing search through old newspapers has turned up a 1911 murder that occurred in Linwood Township, (which now borders a portion of Carlos Avery.) I have not yet ascertained how close this location is to the boundaries of what is currently the Carlos Avery WMA. (Remember, in 1911, the preserve had not yet been established.)

It’s an interesting, if brutal story, so I’ll likely share it in a future post. For now I’ll give you a glimpse of one James Dugart:

James Dygart Linwood Murder 1911


Starting next week, I’ll provide the details of at least one of the historical events that could be contributing to a haunting at Carlos Avery.

This is going to be a busy week for me, so I’m not sure I’ll have time to do any on-site investigations, but I will try. (Once I figure out how to not get shot.)

This Week in Macabre & Mysterious Media: April 6 – 12, 2015

Availability status updated on Aug 3, 2015.


Deathly Spirits: A Ghost Story (and cocktail recipe) from Ted Raimi

A huge thanks to my daughter, Pooka, for finding this and sharing it with me.

If you only watch, play, or read one thing from this list, it should be:

movie poster whiplash

[EDIT] Now that I’ve found and added the sneak peek video for the 8th season of Ancient Aliens, though, I’ve got to say the TRAILER (at the very least) is not to be missed.

(See below.)



Nothing exciting in the releases this week, but The Babadook is coming next week! Wait, here’s something: A movie called Monsters: Dark Continent will be coming to theaters soon. I’ll share that next week. Right now, you might want to check out its forerunner. (What’s the the correct name for a movie that spawns a sequel?)

Monsters (2010) R

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Available streaming on Netflix.
Not Available from Redbox.
This film has surprisingly good reviews. Not sure how I missed it entirely back in 2010.
On IMDb here.

Whiplash (2014) R

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Not yet Available streaming on Netflix.
Available from Redbox.
I forgot to mention Whiplash last week. It’s not horror, of course, but it’s definitely intense and suspenseful. And weirdly inspiring for artist types.
On IMDb here.

Housebound (2014) NR

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Available streaming on Netflix.
Not Available from Redbox.
O.M.G. This one is fantastic. I’m not even done watching it yet, but I had to pause it so I could come here and add it to the list. Because I missed it on Monday this week, I’ll feature it next week too.
On IMDb here.


Ex machina (2015) R

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Not yet Available streaming on Netflix.
Available from Redbox.
UPDATE: It took me a couple of weeks after posting this entry to get to this one, but it was one of the best movies I saw in the month of April. This is scifi with a generous dollop of straight-up horror that takes over the middle of the film … in a good way. I have an issue with A.I. that goes all the way back to A.I. (2001) and this movie did not soothe me at all. There is just no good reason to be pursuing such technology. Decent acting. Interesting visuals. A head full of thoughts when you leave the theater. All in all, a good entertainment value.
On IMDb here.


Ancient Aliens | HISTORY (not H2) | Fridays | 9/8c

(Eighth season begins April 10th.)
I cannot wait! This is my favorite sleep aid of them all.
Webpage here.

CANCELLED: The Returned | A&E | Mondays | 10/9c 

(First season complete; there will be no second season … on A&E)
I’m catching up with this series this week. I missed it when it came out, but luckily all the episodes are available On Demand through my cable provider. To be honest, I had it confused with ABC’s Resurrection, which I tried and abandoned last year. This show has nothing to do with that. It is an American version of a French television series which began in 2012 and went on to win an International Emmy for Best Drama Series in 2013. I’m three episodes in, and I’m liking it so far. If you have the opportunity to see it from the beginning, give it a shot. This one might have some legs.
On IMDb here.

BUT THERE’S AN UPDATE, OF A SORT: I didn’t go back for it after I wrote the above piece, and now I’ve learned that A&E has decided not to do a second season. That’s the bad news. The good news is that French version has become available on Netflix streaming. So let’s try that again, shall we?

The Returned / Les revenants – FRENCH TV SERIES (subtitled)

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Available streaming on Netflix.
Not Available from Redbox.
On IMDb here.

The Lizzy Bordon Chronicles | Lifetime | Sundays | 9/10c

(First season complete; there will be no second season. Not yet on Netflix.)
Sorry I missed this, Guys. I’m not a Lifetime watcher, but I’m thinking of giving this one a go, because I love Christina Ricci.
EDIT: Ok, I’ve given it about 15 minutes. So far I see two characters that I could maybe love, existing in a show that might be too chaotic and experimental for my tastes.
On IMDb here.

The first full episode is available online right now, at Lifetime.
The movie that came first is available on Netflix streaming now too.



The color of each title is keyed as follows:
Black = Not yet watched. I’m interested … or I think you’ll be interested.
Red = Watched. Not recommended. Worse than the reviews or buzz indicated.
Orange = Watched. Recommended, with reservations or cautions.
Green = Watched. Recommended. A good movie that lives up to its reputation.