The greatest challenge facing “Haunted Hospitals” producer Tobin Long is finding the stories Canadians have to share.
“I find the Canadian stories really interesting. I find Canadians a little more reserved, cautious. They’ve already gone through the filters of being skeptics,” the Toronto-based documentarian said. “They haven’t fully bought into something, but they definitely know they saw something.”
Season 1 is currently airing on the Travel Channel, and Smith has been given the green light to proceed with Season 2. That means they’re actively pursuing eyewitness stories from Canada, the United Kingdom
Long, who has worked on comedy and science docuseries like “Still Standing” and “Time Warp”, took on the project as his stepmother – a nurse – would come home and share stories about the uncanny.
“For her it was a haunted elevator story, or it would be a patient who would see people,” he said. “It’s just creepy that it would happen in a hospital, but over time, you talk to other professionals who work in hospital facilities that this has happened and they always have a similar story.”
Archetypal stories like the deceased nurse still making their rounds, or the doctor with unfinished business are what drives the narrative on “Haunted Hospitals”. But what really piques Long’s curiosity, as well as some of the paranormal investigators on the show, are the ones that don’t follow any of the more common themes.
“When you hear the stories that people aren’t talking about, you’re like, wow, those are really spooky,” Long said. “Those are the ones that intrigue us as.”
Discretion is exercised, as the show does not mention the locations that are afflicted by the supernatural.
“The last thing we want is a bunch of ghost hunters going into those locations pulling out their equipment and EVP recorders because you can put people’s lives in jeopardy,” he admitted.
In addition, given the subject matter, the crew of “Haunted Hospitals” ensures a comfortable environment to share their tales.
Long will approach every interview grounded and from a logical viewpoint. He’ll ask follow-up questions that focus on all aspects of an experience. In part, that’s due to the professional being interviewed are not allowed to talk about their bizarre accounts.
“For some people it feels cathartic because they’re not allowed to talk about this,” he admitted.
Canada has plenty of ghost stories attached to working hospitals and abandoned facilities. St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto is known to have a nurse still making the rounds, according to John Robert Colombo’s Haunted Toronto, and Riverview Hospital in Coquitlam, B.C., which is used as a filming location for movie crews has left a few actors unsettled.