A good ghost story never dies. And neither does the format to share that ghost story.
Those were the thoughts shared by “Maritime Haunting” producer Jeff DeEll during a January Zoom conversation with storyteller Steve Vernon and investigator Adam Myles. “Maritime Haunting” was successfully renewed for a second season by paranormal streaming service Paraflixx and community TV service provider Eastlink in January.
ParaNova Productions originally pitched Season 1 of “Maritime Haunting” to Eastlink, and its format reflected the focus on storytelling, with re-enacted segments and on-site investigation geared for the Nova Scotian audience. The team kept the format when it was picked up by Paraflixx.
“We’ll probably keep the same format (for Season 2) because it worked pretty well,” DeEll admitted, adding the production team will invite special guests to explore new locations with Myles.
Myles said he thought his role would be one behind the camera, but his manager, special effects technician, Aaron Peerless of Phantom Effects, and DeEll had other plans.
Myles was a paranormal investigator with Paranormal Phenomena Research and Investigation in his early 20s before getting into special effects, and he met with DeEll, who got him to provide the on-site investigation.
“The storytelling with Steve, that’s going to be the focus, but then let’s visit the location,” the 42-year-old recalled of his conversation with DeEll. “I hadn’t done any (investigating) in quite a long time, but it’s always been a passion of mine.”
“I’m a little bit older than I was,” Myles added. “I like working behind the camera a little bit more, but, it was nice. I jumped on it and Jeff made it very, very easy to be in front of a camera. It’s been a great experience.”
The decision for the ParaNova team to move forward with Season 2 was an easy one after a showing of “Maritime Haunting” at the Zedex Theatre in Greenwood, Nova Scotia.
“We just chatted a little bit about who would be up for doing a Season 2 and everybody was on board,” DeEll said.
Vernon will be returning to set the tone of each episode, recounting campfire tales of ghastly events that led to the show’s revenants and shades.
“I’m very excited about the idea of Season 2,” he said. “This will help raise my profile as a storyteller and let other folks hear my words.”
One of the biggest aspects of the ghost story for Nova Scotians, especially those recounted in Vernon’s books, is that it’s a part of the province’s heritage.
“Long before cable television and streaming came around, people sat around campfires and told ghosts stories,” Vernon said. “It has basically painted our existence with a little colour.”
The seven Nova Scotian tales of the uncanny that were featured in Season 1 were White Point Beach, Sister Annie of the Randall House Museum, the ghost of Haddon Hall, the abandoned settlement of Roxbury, The Grey Lady of Seaforth, Acadia University’s Seminary, and the lady of the mist that haunts Three Fathom Harbour.
DeEll was mum on the stories that will be featured in Season 2 of “Maritime Haunting” — even Vernon was left in the lurch — but he did hint at a few cryptozoological tales, which will keep.
The plan for the premier of Season 2 is to have it coincide with the 2024 Halifax Paranormal Symposium in October.