“Haunted Gold Rush” is not your average girls’ road trip.
Paranormal investigators Corine Carey, Kelly Ireland, and Leanne Sallenback of Beyond the Haunting followed the path of the prospectors during British Columbia’s gold rush from Yale to Barkerville for their two-part documentary.
With a mix of historical details, with an assist from B.C. historian and paranormal researcher Dave Scott, the trio makes their way along the Fraser and Thompson rivers, retracing the steps of those who sought to strike it rich.
“It’s retracing the historic trail through our eyes and through that paranormal lens, which hasn’t been done,” Carey, 43, said during a video interview while at home in Coquitlam. “We’re really excited for ‘Haunted Gold Rush’ and just for people to see that perspective.”
Carey and Sallenback are sisters and grew up in a household where the paranormal was initially frowned upon. Carey had her first experience when she was three. She and her grandmother were involved in a bad car accident. It was uncertain whether her grandmother would survive.
She remembers seeing a man, talking to her, telling her everything was going to be okay. Later that night, she saw him again, standing in her doorway and she asked her parents who he was. But her parents told her it was all in her head.
“I learned from a very young age what I had, and not to talk about it,” Carey said. “As I got older, I realized that I did have a gift and I did have this ability. Things were coming true and I couldn’t deny it anymore.”
Her sister Sallenback, 37, shared the gift, as well as a room during their childhood. She fully embraced the gift, digging deeper into the phenomenon and reading up on all things paranormal.
Next was to introduce her high school friend Ireland to the paranormal. Ireland’s family never discussed the supernatural, but she also observed and listened and realized she had the gift.
“I started to realize that looking back on my own childhood, I do remember now,” she said, seeing her dog Smokey in the door one night after her parents had taken him to the vet. “I guess they put him down that afternoon and that night I remember sitting up in my bed and seeing my dog.
“It was one of those conversations that wasn’t really explored. It was just kind of pushed aside.”
The show also touches on the tangible tragedy that fell upon a community along the trail. The town of Lytton, B.C. was destroyed during a wildfire on June 30, 2021. The Trans-Canada Highway cuts its way through the town.
The show also touches on the tangible tragedy that fell upon a community along the trail. The town of Lytton, B.C. was destroyed during a wildfire on June 30, 2021.
It was a reminder of the hardship of living in the interior now and the past. In Yale, the trio experienced firsthand the gruff characters that made up the boomtown. They were investigating the Ward House, trying to uncover the story behind a young boy. It was in that house, however, that Ireland was overcome by an oppressive male spirit.
“We have a certain level of comfort with each other, to make everybody stays safe,” Ireland said. “So, with Corine, for example, if she’s experiencing something like that, Leanne and I will look at each other and sort of assess as we’re going along; at what point is it getting a bit too close for comfort and then we’ll figure out the next steps.”
After each location, the ladies do a post-mortem and circle back with the original witnesses of the paranormal phenomenon.
Their final destination, Barkerville, offered some compelling evidence as they felt as though the spirits were trying to separate the team.
“They were actively pulling us to different regions, which makes you think, ‘Oh, they have a strategy,” Carey said. “They were definitely intelligent.”
Haunted Gold Rush premieres on Sunday, October 30 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on T+E during the channel’s Halloweekend programming event, happening October 28-31.