Hey kids! Have you wanted to visit a haunted house in the middle of the night (or during the day for that matter)? How about seeing said haunted house from the comfort of your own home? How about seeing said haunted house from the comfort of your home with a high quality picture, good lighting and flows at a good quality frame-rate without urban legend sighting pixelation or film grain? How about not only seeing said Haunted House with all of the above, but also, possibly, coming close to getting in trouble while at the scene? Well, you’re in luck. Because videographers like Dan Bell have turned it into a fascinating series…This is Dan Bell (no pun intended).
Okay, we’ll get this out of the way; Only a handful of locations that Dan Bell visits are potentially haunted. Unless you are squeamish when it comes to dirt and grime and have obsessive compulsive disorder, it doesn’t always fall into ‘horror’ or anything scary. But that doesn’t stop us from seeing some incredible videos on his channel that, in all likeliness, we will not be seeing in person or putting the work in to find…Unless you’re a well-travelled American exploring your country with (possibly) nothing to lose, and have stories to tell on how far your dollar can go when it comes to one star accommodations on a shoe-lace budget. The reason I say this is because for the most part, even when he’s in the company of other videographers, you will not likely see some of these places in the way in which they see them. It will also save you a good pair of shoes.
Some videos in particular really stand out, due to their significance within American History – for instance, he did a trilogy in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, where the Mothman was spotted in 1967 (and explored ‘Mothman’s Lair’, which was just a world war 2 bunker…still fascinating though). He also did an episode of the Motel Room that serial killer Aileen Wuornos lived in, and revealed that while the bedroom was more or less different (same bed frame), the bathroom was exactly the same as when Wuornos was there. Others are haunting or horrifying in a different way, possessing a sadness with a visceral effect…One being the Abandoned Dog Fighting Crack House. Which includes the rooms where the dogs were kept…the thought of it is very unpleasant.
Dan’s most famous video, for better or worse, was one that got him on the news a few years ago, and he has sense made the video private on youtube out of concern for his well being. Reason? Well, he found something he wasn’t meant to find, something illegal, and nearly came face to face with its owner…we’ll leave it at that. Despite this, his library more than makes up for one missing video.
When I said “Hey Kids!” at the beginning of this review, I was obviously joking – I wouldn’t recommend his videos to children. Not necessarily because they could give them nightmares (though they might – his choice of editing, sound emphasis and music can be as such to do so), but because I believe that they could be encouraged (and peer pressured) into getting their mates together and to go look for this kind of thing in their local area without their parents knowing (in case they were told ‘no’ or get grounded). Which could mean getting lost, getting injured or sick, or being found by people you don’t want to meet in the day time, let along a dark night. Some of you might be laughing because your kids are never far from a screen – take warning, regardless. But if you’re of age and know the consequences and responsibilities that come with Bell’s work, you grow to appreciate the lengths he goes to get interesting content. And if you’re an art student looking for haunted house or urban decay reference material, his work is perfect for you!