Ghosts, ghouls, things that go bump in the night. Though we love the sense of suspense and terror that we get from these, we seek comfort in knowing they aren’t real... or are they?
Right here in Lexington, Kentucky, paranormal activity is no tall tale. "History Alive" is an emerging TV series from DMZ Productions, which is based in Richmond, Kentucky. The TV series explores paranormal activity in some of the most historic buildings in our country.
Darren Zancan is the mastermind and executive director behind "History Alive," as well as the owner of DMZ Productions. Zancan is also a part-time instructor at UK, teaching a Media Arts and Studies course.
After Zancan earned his master's degree at Northwestern University, he launched DMZ Productions and moved to Lexington. Although he had several other projects going on, Zanc wanted to create a paranormal TV series, so he drew up a synopsis in July 2018 and contacted paranormal teams in the region. That is where his relationship with the Lexington Paranormal Research Society was born.
Zuncan may love the paranormal, but you won't find him at haunted houses come October.
“If we went to a haunted house, I would squeeze your hands off," he said. "That terrifies me. Going into actual haunted property, let’s do it.”
The series fuses both the history of buildings and the present-day paranormal activity found within them. The team’s home and the primary location is the Waveland Historic Site in Lexington, though they also travel around to different locations in Kentucky. Waveland is where they filmed their pilot episode, which can be viewed on Facebook.
Zancan is creating a show in an already crowded genre, but Zancan isn't intimidated.
“I don’t focus on the competition," he said. "Not to seem naive, but I don’t worry about them. I want to do my work to the best of my ability without the distraction of comparing myself to others.”
Zancan's goal for the series? “To end up on the History Channel.”
The Lexington Paranormal Research Society has a podcast called “LPRS: Before Dark” where members discuss episodes of History Alive and respond to questions that viewers have asked on the group's Facebook page.
In one episode, Zancan and the hosts discussed episode two of "History Alive," titled "The Shadows of Whitehall."
Despite your first reaction, no, this is not Whitehall on UK’s campus. Whitehall is a mansion in Madison County, just north of Richmond. They elaborate on scenes from the episode, including stories of unexplainable noises caught on film and several accounts of seeing a “Woman In Black” seemingly float up to the historic building’s staircase.
Tune in to the podcasts, if you dare. Zancan explained that they’re pitching the TV series to some broadcasting entities, but until they get their big break, you can find episodes of “History Alive” on the Lexington Paranormal Research Society’s Facebook page.
By Grayson Dampier
Photos By Jordan Prather