[Review] "Formula of a Haunting" with Ghost-Hunters Brandon Alvis & Mustafa Gatollari
Updated: Jan 19
When they're not shooting "Ghost Hunters" on A&E, Brandon Alvis and Mustafa Gatollari are advancing the paranormal field through science and they're sharing their journey with us on their brand new YouTube series, "Formula of a Haunting."
Using their time in between seasons of "Ghost Hunters" on A&E, Brandon Alvis and Mustapha Gatollari have released a different kind of paranormal series, one that focuses on analyzing potential evidence of paranormal phenomena with a scientific lens. In "Formula of a Haunting" Alvis and Gatollari take us behind-the-scenes as they break down hundreds of paranormal case-logs dating back to 2006, presenting their creepiest and most compelling evidence and answering an age-old question: ghost or natural explanation?
This is precisely what makes "Formula of a Haunting" so unique. Rather than zeroing in on the evidence, Alvis and Gatollari explain the protocols used, how they have evolved over time and eventually, the paranormal methodology and classification system they've helped influence. The series takes viewers through the trial-and-error process and while Alvis refers to it as the "boring side of the investigation" it's anything but boring for inquisitive minds. In fact, you might actually learn something from watching this show. 👻
Episode 1 "The Evidence: Villisca Axe Murder House"
In the series premiere "The Evidence: Villisca Axe Murder House" Brandon Alvis and Mustapha Gatollari review footage from an investigation at the infamous Josiah B. and Sara Moore House in Villisca, Iowa, which was the site of the 1912 brutal murder of eight people, including six children. Also known as the Villisca Axe Murder House, Alvis investigated the location with his team from the American Paranormal Research Association back in April 2009. If my sentiments about learning something from "Formula of a Haunting" were off-putting because you came here for a good scare, you can rest assured this series lives in the best of both worlds. As evidence is reviewed from the 2009 investigation, Brandon Alvis explains their process for collecting scientific data in the paranormal field:
"We start to see a pattern emerge. We start to see what the natural conditions are. Things start to change in the environment and that leads to a major piece of data."
Alvis and Gatollari refer to these natural conditions as a "Baseline Data Sweep" and any evidence collected is later tested by a third party professional from a technical company so that false positives can be ruled out. This is a process Alvis notes he would like to see more of within the paranormal community. Later in the series, he talks about an aspect of the paranormal investigation process that's rarely discussed but happens a lot of the time, the reality of capturing no viable evidence at a location. Part of shifting the conversation so that it is more science-based means opening up about these realities. Because when you do, you just might get your hands on a piece of evidence like the one captured by Alvis at the Villisca Axe Murder House which also happens to be the most haunting piece of EVP I have ever heard in my life.
Watch the first episode of "Formula of a Haunting" here👇
Episode 2 "The Evidence: Andres Pico Adobe"
Episode two takes us to the Andres Pico Adobe, one of the oldest residences in Los Angeles. Built in 1834, there have been reports of paranormal activity at the adobe since the 1930s but when the American Paranormal Research Association first conducted an investigation there in May 2009, they were initially met with crickets. That is, until they brought in a Spanish interpreter, notes Mustafa Gatollari, pointing out the stark difference in the investigation when they attempted to contact the entities in their native tongue of Spanish:
"It's so important to focus on the cultural aspects of a case. You have to try to meet whatever entities that may be there, on their level. We’re dealing with real people. These are people who died. These are people who may have died on the premises."
Watch the second episode of "Formula of a Haunting" here👇
In an interview with PopCulture.com, Mustafa Gatollari revealed the new series is a companion to a book he and Brandon Alvis will release later this year, with publisher Llewellyn Worldwide. New episodes of "Formula of a Haunting" will be released weekly on the American Paranormal Research Association's YouTube page. Episode 3, where they explore the Old South Pittsburg Hospital, is already up and let me just say, the spirits make it pretty clear that Alvis and his team are not welcome there.
Let me know what you think of the series so far in the comments below!