Northern Virginia-based Argos Paranormal’s video series, “The Witching Hour,” has gone national, with seven public-access TV stations in seven states—including Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Colorado and Massachusetts—planning to air its show this spring. Two more stations in two additional states have agreed to pick it up, but have yet to announce their plans.
That means many more people will see the program, Ryan Martinez, the group’s lead investigator, said Tuesday. Previously, the show aired on Northern Virginia and Pennsylvania cable television, and Argos’ YouTube channel.
Argos’ Graffiti House episode, filmed last April at the antebellum building owned by the Brandy Station Foundation in the historic Culpeper County village, will begin airing nationally in March, said Martinez, who produces the show. The Fleetwood Church episode, which was filmed last July, should begin airing nationally in May or June.
On top of that, “The Witching Hour” has been nominated for Best Non-Fiction Series in the upcoming 10th Annual Indie Series Awards, which judges independently produced entertainment created for the Web. Its awards show will take place April 3 at The Colony Theatre in Los Angeles.
Argos’ team of investigators help people determine if a site—whether a small, confined space or a large, open field, residential or commercial—has witnessed paranormal and occult anomalies, Martinez said.
Besides Culpeper, they filmed “Witching Hour” episodes at Belle Grove Plantation in Port Conway, birthplace of President James Madison, the Occoquan Inn and the Apollo Theater in Martinwsburg, W.Va.
For the fifth episode of their series, they investigated reported hauntings inside Fleetwood Church beside the railroad at Brandy Station.
“Our collective background in media has provided us with the experience to use the proper audio-visual equipment during our investigations, while our knowledge in investigative journalism enables us to analyze our evidence from a perspective of proof and logic,” Martinez said.
His brother Remso is a libertarian commentator who has worked on political campaigns and whose articles have been published by FreedomWorks, The Blaze and the Media Research Center.
Argos uses the paranormal community’s latest tools “to help us collect empirical data to help individuals figure out what goes bump at night,” he said.
The title of the group’s Web-based video series refers to the time period, around 3 a.m., when investigators say paranormal activity reaches its peak.
Martinez said Argos’ work at the Graffiti House was “unlike any other investigation we have conducted before.”
All was quiet for the first couple of hours, he said. Nothing came over the SB7 Spirit Box, which cycles through FM and AM radio stations to generate white noise—which Argos said is believed to help spirits communicate by speaking through the static. And not a single flashlight—which Argos said spirits can use to signal to the living—switched on.
But as 2 a.m. drew near, the investigators’ equipment started to malfunction, batteries started to drain, and they heard disembodied voices and footsteps echoing from unoccupied corners of the house, he said.
“This is when the spirits in the space around us began to make it clear we were not welcomed,” he said.
Their scariest encounter came when he and his brother, Remso, heard groans and screams echo from the second floor as they investigated an exhibit on Civil War surgery, Martinez said.
“The screams and groans we heard were so loud and clear, we honestly thought that it was perhaps a local who came to play a prank on us by making those noises,” he said. “However, after we had conducted a sweep of the premises, we did not find any traces of evidence which would have indicated that there was perhaps another living person on the premises.”
To hear those noises, readers can watch the Graffiti House episode.
Also at Brandy Station, the investigators spent a night in the former Methodist church, where reportedly mysterious voices were heard, shadowy figures were seen, and objects vanished.
Fleetwood Church served as a house of worship from 1881 to 1974, and its property includes a graveyard, Argos said.
The first season of “The Witching Hour,” which consists of six episodes, has already aired on Fairfax Public Access, seen by residents of Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties, and CAM Erie, the Pennsylvania city’s cable-access television outfit.
To learn more about the show, visit argosparanormal.com/witchinghour.html.