Hans Holzer2

There should be more truth in advertising new TV shows. According to the Discovery Channel, owner of Travel Channel, the new TV series The Holzer Files, is based on newly discovered tapes from Hans Holzer’s most famous cases. Really? They just now found these tapes? I don’t think so. In fact, their press release had several errors or misleading information. However, misleading audiences was nothing new to Holzer, who knew how to entertain.

Holzer died in New York City at the age of 89 in 2009. He was an established author, writing somewhere between 120-140 books on the occult and paranormal. Most of his books focused on the paranormal; however, he wrote several books on witchcraft. His interests were eccentric and varied.

Fleeing with his family from Vienna, Austria in 1938, Holzer was born in 1920. According to Holzer, he held a Master’s degree in Comparative Religion (names vary depending on publications) and a PhD in Parapsychology from the London College of Applied Science. Unfortunately, this school does not exist. In fact, it is doubtful he completed any advanced degrees.

Holzer entered the entertainment business early in his career. His interest in the paranormal shifted his focus to paranormal research-esque. Although Holzer employed several mediums, he merely recorded his investigations and did not conduct much research beyond the visits. Armed with a Polaroid, Holzer shunned all gadgetry. He preferred to take the word of the mediums and never fully validated their observations.

Some say he coined the term “other side,” but this term was already in use. Instead, Holzer popularized the term. He did not like the words “supernatural” or “belief.” One of his famous quotes is: “A ghost is only a fellow human being in trouble.” This may be the case.

He did not create the “Holzer Method,” the process of determining natural vibrations. Further, it is debatable if he actually applied scientific fact to observations/investigations. He is most known for investigating the Amityville house, claiming (erroneously) that Rolling Thunder, a Shinnecock Indian Chief, possessed Ronald DeFeo. It’s a shame. He may have been a qualified paranormal investigator, but his credibility was undermined by his fabrications.

It’s disappointing that Travel Channel is sensationalizing Holzer. Press releases and advertising should not claim that his tapes were recently uncovered. It should have stuck with the truth: A paranormal team is reinvestigating former cases investigated by Holzer.