Dark Holler is a limited-run paranormal documentary series set in the coalfields of West Virginia. In uncovering and then tracing out one family’s interactions with a dark spiritual entity over three generations, patterns emerge, leading to ever darker and more interesting questions about the nature of the relationship between our seen world and the unseen. How do place, time and bloodline factor into our relationship to that invisible other? How firm are the boundaries of our mundane, material world? Do those boundaries ever grow thin?
Driven first by interviews with the experiencers, Dark Holler seeks to reserve judgment, simply relating experiences and family secrets as they emerge organically, revealing a pattern of synchronicity and phenomena that start to direct us toward a particular entity. An entity with a name.
Join the crew and characters as they explore active locations and witness a mosaic of evidence take shape, a certain poetry in reality left by movements of the unseen. Hints at an undercurrent running beneath the surface of our material world.
Creator Ward Hiney has worked on documentary films and investigative journalism projects for over a decade covering topics from domestic terrorism to political corruption to true crime and the opioid epidemic.
What if the truth lies beyond our predictable world, but closer than we think? Over our heads, under our feet. Maybe we only see what fits the rules we've chosen. Maybe it’s been in front of us the whole time. Deeper than we dream, darker than we imagine.
But as the sun sets on the coalfields, out on the borders of the places people don't go, folks are experiencing oddities that don't seem to fit with what we know.
2 months ago
I’m glad that I didn’t know what I would be working on now eighteen months ago. That me would have called this me crazy.
Starting around 2019, I found myself in a position where a lot of my friends were coming to reject what we would think of as mainstream narratives about the way the world is, where power resides, and where we’re going. I had friends embracing all kinds of different “conspiracy theories”, running the gamut from aliens to demonic cults to secret societies to HAARP and chemtrails. Thankfully, I had a drawer in which to place all these things, a drawer with a neat little ‘nah fam, that’s crazy’ label on the front in a clean, respectable typeface. Helvetica, maybe.
The nice thing about having a drawer like that is that you can put anything in there and then you never really have to think critically about how vast a number of experiencers you dismiss as liars or madmen along with (of course) the actual liars and madmen. The unfortunate thing about having such a drawer is that sometimes just one or two of those things you shoved in there up and sprout tentacles and start lashing about the cracks you left the last time you tried to stuff something that wouldn’t really fit in there just because it made you uncomfortable to have it out here in front of company and everyone, leaving slime trails across the living room.
But you have enough friends cracking their drawers open and poking around in there and you sort of have to start figuring out how to have these conversations. “Fringe” conversations.
It so happens that I was diving into this world of the strange and unexplained just as, unbeknownst to me, a significant part of the paranormal world was turning its eye on Kentucky. A number of cases had been publicized concerning this region, particularly eastern Kentucky. Some of peculiar strangeness connected to the Mothman ‘flap’ of Pt. Pleasant, West Virginia fame. A friend of mine had planted a church in the Logan, WV area, which I knew was a short drive from eastern Kentucky, and so I broached the subject with him one day. Had he ever seen anything? Experienced anything paranormal there in true coal country?
As it turns out, he had come to believe that he had, a few weeks prior to that conversation, been involved in a genuine exorcism. It’s difficult to describe how this struck me at the time. If there were an english word for being simultaneously shocked and also feeling that in some almost inevitable way pieces had fallen into place somewhere. “How could this be?” and “How could it be any other way?” at the same time. It was a feeling I would grow used to.
Part of the reason for that feeling is that I also had a background in documentary film work, and had always dreamt of doing a project that dealt with southern WV. I had grown up in Alum Creek, maybe half an hour north of Logan, and though I’ve since moved several times, I’ve always had that idea nagging at me to someday do something that felt like West Virginia. I had finally reached a place in my career in video production where I had enough of my own equipment to allow me to do something on my own, and so it all came to feel very much as if an interesting story had fallen into my lap at a time when I really wanted to figure out my own position on this subject and had the capability to explore it via a medium I was familiar with.
Initially intending to only do a short feature on the story, we rapidly discovered that when you scratch the surface, the darkness goes much deeper than any of us suspected. Elements of time and place and kin all play into the case and a profound pattern of synchronicities and other phenomena began to present itself that must be witnessed to be believed. Dark Holler was born.
8 days ago
"If someone came up to you claiming to have experienced or participated in an exorcism, what would your initial gut-instinct be? For most, it would be immediate skepticism & disbelief given all the over the top sensationalism of Hollywood films like "The Exorcist" & televangelist charlatans like "Bob Larson". Join us as we talk with pastor Josh Robinson & former witch Kristen Bellomy who unexpectedly shared this unique experience soon to be featured to the upcoming documentary https://www.darkhollerfilm.com/. Is there way reasonable & biblical way to make sense of what seems to be a taboo & hush hush subject amongst evangelicals & especially the reformed world? Come Join us for the first part of our series to find out!"