This post was originally published on July 22 2009
Welcome to a regular feature of Bronze Age Babies: Weird Wednesdays, where we look back fondly on books, TV shows, films, and reportedly real incidents connected with the paranormal. Growing up in the 1970s, I was acutely aware of a whole lot of weirdness out there: it seemed like we got reports of UFO sightings almost weekly, and in my home state of California, sightings of the mysterious Bigfoot were also frequent. Supposed psychics like Uri Geller were making appearances on all the talk shows of the day, and books like “Chariots of the Gods” brought pseudo-scientific theories to mass audiences. Television capitalized on the publics' interest with many shows that featured paranormal subject matter.
One of the most interesting TV shows to deal with the paranormal was “In Search Of”, a documentary series hosted by Leonard Nimoy (yes, Star Trek's Mr. Spock). The series premiered in 1976 and covered a wide variety of subjects: UFOs, witchcraft, lost civilizations, Bigfoot – you name it, there was an episode about it! With Nimoy as our guide, we viewers were whisked off into an unseen and sometimes frightening world. What made it all the more terrifying was the creepy music played on the show! This was not a show to be watched when one was alone in the house!
In general, the subject matter was handled in a serious manner. Eyewitnesses and experts were interviewed for each episode. The show sometimes used “recreations” of incidents, which often added some punch, and frequently left this young viewer having trouble falling asleep at night!
This show was one of my first introductions to the wacky world of the paranormal. The variety of topics covered had me going back to the library week after week, trying to dig up any information I could on things like Atlantis, Jack the Ripper, or Easter Island. “In Search Of” managed to both entertain and encourage further thought. Plus, it was flat out scary! For a preteen, it was a pretty good way to start my Saturday night – with the Love Boat and Fantasy Island to follow!
Unfortunately, the show is not currently available on DVD. To get your ISO fix, you’ll have to head over to YouTube.