Travel Channel Unveils Full October Schedule Including Extreme Hotels, Vampires, and a Four-Part Ghost Adventures - Dread Central
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Travel Channel Unveils Full October Schedule Including Extreme Hotels, Vampires, and a Four-Part Ghost Adventures

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A quest to highlight out-of-this-world expeditions; heart-pounding adventures; scary, tasty treats; and ghost stories from fascinating places has Travel Channel stars crisscrossing the globe in October; and we have your full details right here!

The month begins with a special premiere of “Extreme Hotels” as Anthony Melchiorri checks into haunted hotels around the world. Josh Gates searches for evidence of life beyond the stars in “Expedition Unknown: Hunt for Extraterrestrials,” while Don Wildman heads to Transylvania to unearth the real story behind bloodsucking, immortal demons in “Vampires: Mysteries at the Museum.”

The thrills increase when Zak Bagans leads a four-part “Ghost Adventures” lockdown in Vicksburg, Mississippi, considered one of the world’s most haunted cities; and the new series “Xtreme Screams” premieres with back-to-back episodes of the ear-piercing screams heard at hair-raising rides and attractions.

Here are more details about Travel Channel’s October series and specials:

Out-Of-This-World Expeditions

“Expedition Unknown: Hunt for Extraterrestrials” / Four-Part Special
It is mankind’s eternal question: Are we alone in the universe? Adventurer and explorer Josh Gates sets off on an epic 50,000-mile, multi-continent quest across North America, South America, Africa, and Europe, searching for evidence of life beyond our planet and the truth behind longstanding extraterrestrial legends. From exploring ancient signs of aliens on remote Easter Island to hunting for meteorite fragments in Zimbabwe, Gates boldly goes where no adventurer has gone before.
Airdates: Wednesday, October 4, 11, 18, 25 at 9 p.m. ET/PT

“Expedition Unknown: After the Hunt” / Four After-Show Specials
For fans that can’t get enough of “Expedition Unknown: Hunt for Extraterrestrials,” each hour-long episode will revisit Gates’ journey in a candid, behind-the-scenes forum. Gates and his team dig deeper into their astounding findings, further analyze key evidence, and reveal never-before-seen footage from the expedition.
Airdates: Wednesday, October 4, 11, 18, 25 at 10 p.m. ET/PT

Extreme Screams

“Xtreme Screams” / New Series
Fear has a sound, and “Xtreme Screams” will ensure that thrill-seekers’ screams – heard at exhilarating rides, attractions, and experiences around the world – will reverberate in viewers’ ears long after they watch each heart-pumping episode. From Colorado’s Terror-Dactyl, which launches riders 100 mph over Manitou Springs, to a heart-pounding jump off the 260-foot high Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, South Africa, one thing each adventure has in common is the ear-piercing shrieks coming from those brave enough to try it!
Airdates: Sunday, October 8, 15, 22, 29 at 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. ET/PT

Fun Food

“Food Paradise” – “Scary Good” / Special Episode
Take a terrifying tour of some of the most haunted, or just plain haunting, restaurants in the country. From kitschy kitchens that celebrate All Hallows’ Eve year-round to dining in dungeons or grabbing drinks with your monster squad in an old jailhouse, one thing remains the same: No matter where we go in “boo paradise,” the food is always scary good.
Airdate: Sunday, October 8 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

Spooky Adventures

“Extreme Hotels” – “Haunted Hospitality” / Special Episode
Host Anthony Melchiorri faces his fears—braving the most haunted hotels in the world. From Ottawa Jail Hostel to Chillingham Castle, the hotelier’s beliefs and nerves are put to the test as he travels to creepy castles and mansions, staying in rooms with fearsome stories from housekeepers and groundskeepers.
Airdate: Monday, October 2 at 9 p.m. ET/PT

“Vampires: Mysteries at the Museum” / One-Hour Special
The vampire legend may be over 1,000 years old, but Dracula and other vampire myths continue to both frighten and entertain us. Host Don Wildman heads to Romania to explore its rich medieval history, mystical folklore, and dank caves filled with bats to unearth the real story behind the vampire legend – and it’s even more frightening than we could imagine.
Airdate: Thursday, October 5 at 9 p.m. ET/PT

“Ghost Adventures” – “Hauntings of Vicksburg” / Four-Part Special
Paranormal investigator Zak Bagans and the “Ghost Adventures” team head to haunted Vicksburg, Mississippi, exploring the lasting impact the Civil War’s Siege of Vicksburg has had on the city. The team searches for paranormal evidence during lockdown investigations in McRaven Mansion, considered to be the most haunted building in the South; an antique doll museum said to contain dolls that come alive; an abandoned hospital; and the site of the Battle of Champion Hill.
Airdates: Saturday, October 7 at 9 p.m. and 10 p.m., Saturday, October 14 and 21 at 9 p.m. ET/PT

“Haunted USA” / Four One-Hour Specials
See America’s towns and cities like never before on this spellbinding tour of the historically spookiest and most spirited destinations in the country. From enchanted hotels to bewitched bar rooms, “Haunted USA” shows off some of the strangest and scariest paranormal places.
Airdates: Sunday, October 8, 15, 22, 29 at 10 p.m. ET/PT

“Ghost Adventures” – “Museum of Madness” and “Annabelle’s Curse” / Two-Part Halloween Special
“Ghost Adventures’” Zak Bagans has opened a Haunted Museum in downtown Las Vegas, housing his collection of haunted and cursed objects. With several new items on hand, Bagans calls on experts from previous “Ghost Adventures” investigations to tap into the energies within each object. In the second half of the two-part special, Bagans invites three lucky fans to the museum to further investigate the dark entities. Then Bagans ups the fear factor with the arrival of the famously haunted doll Annabelle, who comes with very strict rules: no physical handling, no provoking, and a quart of holy water must be on standby in case of possession.
Airdate: Saturday, October 28 at 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. ET/PT

Visit TravelChannel.com for additional show content and spooky extras.

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Fearsome Facts – Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966)

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Sir Christopher Lee returned to portray the charismatic count of Transylvania in Hammer’s Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966) for the first time since taking on the iconic role in 1958’s Horror of Dracula – an eight year absence. 

And while Lee endured a love/hate relationship playing the Carpathian Count over the years, the actor reluctantly tackled the role a total of 10 times for the Silver Screen. Three of those performances came outside of the purview of Hammer Horror, but this list is dedicated to the first Hammer Dracula sequel to feature the return of Christopher Lee in the lead role.

Now, here are 5 Things You May Not Know About Dracula: Prince of Darkness.

5. Dracula: Speechless

Dialogue never played a crucial part in Christopher Lee’s portrayals as Count Dracula, but this film is the epitome of that contentious notion. Lee doesn’t utter a single word during Dracula: Prince of Darkness’ 90 minutes of run time. In interviews over the years, Lee said that he was so unhappy with his lines that he protested and refused to say them during the filming process. “Because I had read the script and refused to say any of the lines,” Lee said in an interview at the University College of Dublin.

However, screenwriter Jimmy Sangster insisted that the original script was written without any dialogue for Dracula. There was even a theory that circulated for a time which postulated that Hammer could not afford Lee’s growing salary, so the studio decided to limit the Count’s screen time. Did this lead to the demise of Dracula’s dialogue? Regardless of whom you want to believe, Dracula is the strong, silent type in Prince of Darkness. 

4. Double Duty for Drac

Hammer Film Productions doubled down, so to speak, on the production and post-production aspects of Dracula: Prince of Darkness. First, the studio filmed the vampire flick back-to-back with another project titled Rasputin: The Mad Monk (1966). In doing so, Hammer used many of the same sets, actors – including Francis Matthews and Suzan Farmer – and crew members to shoot both motion pictures.

Second, Dracula: Prince of Darkness was featured in a double billing alongside the film The Plague of the Zombies (1966) when it screened in London. Insert cheesy cliche: “Double your pleasure, double your fun with Doublemint Gum.” 

3. Stunt Double Nearly Drowned

Dracula: Prince of Darkness introduced a new weakness in the wicked baddie, but it nearly cost a stuntman his life. During the film, it was revealed that running water could destroy Dracula. Wait, what? Apparently, leaving the faucets on at night not only prevents frozen pipes, but blood-sucking vampires, too.

All kidding aside, it was during the climactic battle scene in which Christopher Lee’s stunt double almost succumb to the icy waters on set. Stuntman Eddie Powell stepped in as the Count during that pivotal moment, as Dracula slipped into the watery grave, but Powell was trapped under the water himself and almost died.

2. Lee Loathed What Hammer Did to Stoker’s Character

Christopher Lee’s return to Hammer’s Dracula franchise was a stroke of genius on the part of producers, but Lee was more than a little reticent when it came to initially voicing his dislike for playing the iconic role. As mentioned above, a lot of speculation swirled around the lack of dialogue given to Lee in the Prince of Darkness script. And if you don’t count the opening flashback sequence, which revisits the ending of Horror of Dracula (1958), Count Dracula doesn’t appear on screen until the 45-minute mark of the film.

Dracula’s lack of character, and presence, began to affect Lee particularly when it came to signing on to play the character in the three films following Prince of Darkness. Indeed, the lack of meaningful character development led to Lee initially turning down Dracula Has Risen From the Grave (1968), Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970) and Scars of Dracula (1970). Lee said in countless interviews that he never got to play the real version of Count Dracula created by Bram Stoker, at least via Hammer Studios. This was a true disappointment to the late actor.

But Hammer guilt Lee into taking on the role over and over again, because the studio claimed to have already sold the aforementioned films to the United States with Lee’s name attached to the projects. Hammer informed Lee that if he didn’t return the company would have to lay off many of their workers. The tactic worked, since Lee was friends with many of the Dracula crew members. Fortunately for fans, Lee kept coming back for blood.

1. Faux Pas

Outside of the character of Dracula only appearing on screen for the last half of the movie, Dracula: Prince of Darkness had even more pressing issues that unfortunately survived all the way to the final cut of the film. One of the most appalling of these occurrences happens during the picture’s climatic confrontation. Watch the skies above Dracula and you will see the trail of a jet-engine plane staining the sky.

Another faux pas occurs in this same sequence when Dracula succumbs to the icy waters. Watch closely as the camera’s long shot clearly reveals the pivots holding the ice up underneath Chris Lee. Finally, watch the dead girl who is being carried during the opening funeral sequence. She is clearly breathing and quite heavily at that.

***

Which Dracula: Prince of Darkness moments did you find the most interesting? Were there any obscure facts you would have enjoyed seeing make our list? Sound off on social media!

 

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Carnivore: Werewolf of London Howls on VOD

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Joining the ranks of The Curse of the Werewolf, An American Werewolf in London, The Company of Wolves, and Dog Soldiers, Carnivore: Werewolf of London is the latest in a long series of fantastic British werewolf movies. Directed by Knights of the Damned’s Simon Wells, the film focuses on a couple trying to save their relationship by taking a vacation in a remote cottage, but rekindling their old flame soon proves to be the least of their worries as they learn that something with lots of fur and lots of teeth is waiting for them in the surrounding woods.

Carnivore: Werewolf of London stars Ben Loyd-Holmes, Atlanta Johnson, Gregory Cox, Molly Ruskin, and Ethan Ruskin, and is available to purchase now on Google Play, Amazon Video, iTunes, and Vudu, although it doesn’t appear to have received a physical release as of yet.

More information about Carnivore: Werewolf of London is available on the film’s official Facebook account, along with a ton of production photos.

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John Carpenter … NOT DEAD!

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We currently live in a world of false alarms. Within the last several days we’ve suffered everything from warnings of doomsday to Rotten Tomatoes accidentally celebrating the passing(!) and career of the very much still alive John Carpenter.

That’s right, kids; earlier today RT tweeted, “John Carpenter would have been 70 years old today! We celebrate his birthday by looking back at his five favorite films.” The tweet… has since been deleted.

We are here to tell you… John is very much alive! Alive and well, even. Carpenter himself responded on Twitter by alerting the site that “despite how it appears, I’m actually not dead.

This is great news indeed. One of horror’s best and brightest is still bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Now then, let’s take this time to celebrate the man’s birthday PROPERLY by talking about our favorite films of his. Speaking personally for myself…

Prince of Darkness is a movie that both unnerves and scares the hell out of me. One of Carpenter’s most thought-provoking works is just as frightening now as it was when we first received that grainy transmission as a dream from the year…

Tell us your favorite Carpenter movie in our comments section below.

…and HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JOHN!

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