AMISH HAUNTINGS, WILL YOU WATCH? Those on my email list (you can sign up for the daily emails here) might remember me saying yesterday how I maybe haven't been great with the "business side" of my job. Plenty of outside companies "cash in" on peoples' interest in the Amish. It is, admittedly, frustrating for me because I've been offering up Amish reality in some form for over 20 years. But I can't compete with the deep pockets of Hollywood, so while some companies cash in, I've sort of struggled to stay afloat. SIGH, now we have another: the Destination America TV channel is going to be debuting the show "Amish Hauntings" soon. (photo caption: a still image from the show, it's dark and spooky and gloomy) It's sillier than Amish Mafia and vaguely disturbing. SIGH... Believe me, I have a LOT of tolerance for this type of thing. I mean, it's TV, and TV's job is to entertain, I get that ....I guess my problem comes when these shows sort of window dress themselves (as this one does in the beginning of the trailer) as reality. In fact the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) lists "Amish Hauntings" in the genre of "reality." There's nothing remotely "real" about a show like Amish Hauntings on a network like Destination America. The channel, according to Wikipedia, is supposed to feature "The channel features lifestyle, historical and travel programming focusing on the culture of the United States." Amish religion would generally not believe in ghosts per se. The Amish, like every other culture, have "spooky stories" that are fun to swap around the campfire, but there is nothing inherently "mystical" about their culture as this show tries to imply.
I'm disillusioned with the production companies and networks first, but also the people that watch these shows. People watch them because they are entertaining and if there were labeled and marketed as such I guess I'd be OK with it. But isn't there a way to offer reality AND entertainment at the same time? Or I am I naive? Click here to watch the disturbing two minute, 30 second trailer (I stopped watching around the 2 minute mark).
Okay, now to some real Amish reality, might not be quite as interesting, but here goes:
MEASLES FIZZLES: The measles outbreak that spread through the Amish settlements of Knox and Holmes County in Ohio earlier this summer appears to be officially over, although health officials are still on guard. Click here to read more.
MENNONITE RESTAURANT WITH SOME AMISH COOKS: If you are near Danville, Virginia (not Illinois, Ohio, or Kentucky, there are a lot of Danvilles!) the Windmill Restaurant sounds awesome, a Mennonite-owned restaurant that makes mouth-watering scratch-made recipes. Any of our readers been there? Read more here.
KALONA IOWA CHEESE FUTURE UNCERTAIN: A Kalona, Iowa institution, a business that produces a lot of fine cheese with milk supplied by Amish farmers, may be forced to keep its doors closed. Read the latest here.
Oh no, how crummy for Twin County Dairy! They may not be an Amish business, but they are a key part of the Kalona experience for sure--stopping in for a sack of cheese curds and trying not to eat them all on the way home is a favorite childhood (and adult) memory. I took my husband there shortly after we were married and had moved back to the area, and forgotten that everything in Kalona is cash-only, so all we had were our debit cards. "No problem," said the clerk as she bagged two pounds of cheese curds for us. "Just send us a check when you get home." I think that was the moment when my husband decided that Iowa was a pretty great place, even if it wasn't city living.
Emily, what a neat poignant experience to share. "Send us a check when you get home"...that just speaks incredible volumes right there....how wonderful