Have you ever tried navigating you home in the dark of night when the power goes out without the aid of a flashlight? Even though you know where everything is in the daylight, it can still be a bumpy walk in the dark, right? How do you think you would do in an unfamiliar prison, school, or hospital without the aid of a flashlight?
Dakota Laden, Chelsea Laden, Tanner Wiseman and Alex Schroeder can tell you all about the experience, starting with an all-new season of Destination Fear, a season where no flashlights were allowed in any of the decrepit and haunted (that’s right, I left that part out) locations that they visited.
The new “flashlight-less” season begins on Friday, November 25 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Travel Channel and discovery+ (streaming all day on November 25) and Dakota Laden says that the idea came from fellow Destination Fear colleague Schroeder, who banned them in one challenge last season.
“Every new season we try to find new ways to amplify the fear, and when Alex took away the flashlights last season, I thought I’d like to try to explore these locations without them for an entire season. No flashlights when you’re alone, sleeping, or walking through these places.”
Schroeder somewhat regrets giving Laden the idea, saying that “At the time, I never anticipated doing an entire season without flashlights. I should have known better than to give Dakota an idea like that.”
Not only was the fear factor turned up, but also the danger, as Chelsea Laden can attest to, especially in one of the episodes when she took a tumble down a set of stairs.
“You don’t realize how bad your depth perception is in the dark and it is incredibly hard to navigate anywhere, especially in these types of locations.”
Luckily she was ok, because the new season is filled with famous and infamous locations beginning with a two-part investigation of the Cresson Sanatorium and Prison.
The Cresson Sanatorium provided a particular challenge according to Wiseman, who said that the entire group was “physically drained” by the end of the two days due to the “amount of ground that we had to cover with no time for a break; it was non-stop.”
Other stand-out locations this season include the Winchester Mystery House, Defiance Jr. High School, and Norwich State Hospital.
Wiseman says that the world famous Winchester House was the “Most confusing building I’ve ever been in. Even if I had a map, I couldn’t find my way around it.”
Norwich State Hospital provided one of the most unbelievable events they ever witnessed in terms of poltergeist activity, with Dakota Laden stating that when they returned to their gear room, “our equipment was everywhere. It took 30 minutes just to clean all of it up, and nothing was taken or removed” at what was one time the largest asylum in the country.
Defiance Jr. High offered a familiar, yet frightening location, with Wiseman saying that “School in general is scary, but the energy in those abandoned hallways, and the basement and boiler room were intense.”
Schroeder says that “You don’t think of a school as being haunted, and it is familiar to all of our experiences growing up. It was like we entered an alternate universe, because all of the things that you picture in a school were still there; desks, book, papers. It also turned out to be one of the strangest and creepiest sleeping locations”
With the wide variety of locations and the flashlight experiment in each one, Dakota Laden says that this season has a “distinct tone, and I think that we all changed it up the most this season.”
The new season begins on Friday, November 25 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Travel Channel and discovery+ (streaming all day on November 25).