The Witch of Hinsdale is a 2020 American documentary in which a paranormal expert, a psychic and a cameraman explore an alleged haunted home.
The Witch of Hinsdale documents an investigation into an allegedly haunted house by psychic Gracie Ray (Psychic: A Gift of Grace) and paranormal expert Brian Hopson.
The first part of The Witch of Hinsdale takes the form of Ray and Hopson giving their impressions of the property intercut with them touring the house with the unnamed property manager and her son. She relates stories about the house as they tour. The son has obvious physical and mental handicaps and seeing him wander around aimlessly and make faces at the camera feels exploitative. It’s almost a kind of freak show vibe as if he’s just there to give The Witch of Hinsdale a bit of shock value.
After they leave it’s just the two of them and Michael Henaghan, their cameraman in the house. That’s when strange things begin happening. A voice tells Brian to get out right before they get the camera rolling (of course). Gracie gets locked in the bathroom. This makes Brian so mad he tells the spirit that scaring his sister is not cool.
Unfortunately, that’s the way the whole film goes. We get to see them use dowsing rods but nothing more dramatic than that. Brian says something touched him, but we see/hear nothing. Also, the spirit’s abilities must extend to knowing when the camera is running, because they mostly seem to make noises when it’s off. Even when they say they heard something and play things back with “enhanced audio” what they claimed to hear is inaudible. At one point as they’re walking through the house a card pops up saying they hear screams, but all we hear is spooky music on the soundtrack.
Similarly, near the end of the film, a card tells us Gracie and Mike start seeing “a shadow man” in the next room. But does he think to get footage of it? Hell no. The Witch of Hinsdale is all tell and no show. We get a few drawings but no footage of anything except a puff of smoke and two lights. No shadow men, none of the apparitions they claimed to see. There aren’t even any recreations.
The Witch of Hinsdale manages not only to make The Hinsdale House (“65 minutes of people wandering around in the dark saying they’re scared”) look good it even makes the Ghost Adventures movie Demon House look good. This wouldn’t even cut it as a YouTube ghost hunting show, let alone something you would want to pay to see.
“All they did was talk and talk and talk. No real investigation. I will never get that hour and twenty minutes and thirty seconds back.” Arlene Marier
“Sub par effort with unbelievable personalities whose past work involves acting and comedy. Nothing is documented on camera or recordings. I’d rather listen to first-hand accounts from people on a podcast than this.” Hockey Mind Canada
The Witch of Hinsdale is available on Amazon Prime
Not to be confused with The Hinsdale House (2019).
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