‘Ghost Brothers’: TV’s First African-American Paranormal Team

'Ghost Brothers' Juwan Mass (l.), Dalen Spratt (c.) and Marcus Harvey (r.) make television history as the first African-American paranormal investigation team (Photo Credit: Destination America).

‘Ghost Brothers’ Juwan Mass (l.), Dalen Spratt (c.) and Marcus Harvey (r.) make television history as the first African-American paranormal investigation team (Photo Credit: Destination America).

Fashion designers Dalen Spratt and Juwan Mass, along with their barber Marcus Harvey, are the epitome of going where no man has gone before. The trailblazing trio is making history as television’s first paranormal investigation team of color on the Destination America  show Ghost Brothers.

Ghost Brothers is a six-episode series that chronicles Spratt, Mass and Harvey traveling throughout various areas of the Southeast to uncover the supernatural in historic locations. Unlike Destination America‘s other sibling programs such as Mountain Monsters, A Haunting, Ghost Stalkers or Ghost Asylum, the team on Ghost Brothers marries together being inquisitive with a cool sense of humor in the midst of a suspenseful ambiance.

The concept for Ghost Brothers originally developed while Spratt and Mass were both roommates. Spratt, the more vocal of the three, suggested to his Clark Atlanta University classmate and frat brother that they hunt ghosts together. Mass, who remembers living with his grandmother on the Gulf Coast across from a cemetery, was reluctant but wanted to support Spratt’s vision.

“Loyalty has no conditions,” expressed Mass seated on the far right of a panel during a press luncheon at the spooky Graveyard Tavern in Atlanta. “If he’s going in, then I’m going in behind him.” Spratt, seated in the center, wanted to charter new territory, noticing instantly a lack of a black presence in paranormal activity.

“This whole idea came from thinking outside of the box,” says Spratt, a self-proclaimed fan of the horror genre. “I never saw a representation of myself on any of these shows. We handle stuff differently than everybody else. Trying something different landed this blessing to us.”

Spratt and Mass, who originally met at Clark Atlanta University (CAU) in 2005, started investigating possible locations in 2011. Harvey, who cuts both Spratt’s and Mass’ hair, overheard the idea and wanted to participate. “We all do our own thing in entrepreneurship,” insists Mass, “but this is beyond what our trade is. It’s good to go in with a fresh eye.”

Each episode of Ghost Brothers, according to the pioneering paranormal team, is a collaborative effort between them and the executives at Destination America. The episodic series melds together grainy black-and-white footage, historic reenactments and Blair Witch Project-style imagery. Some of the sites Spratt, Mass and Harvey visit on Ghost Brothers are a slave plantation in Louisiana, a murder hotel where they were enlightened on doppelgangers, a steamboat and a spot on the Underground Railroad.

Raised with strong family values that uphold faith, the men of Ghost Brothers agree that each scenario starts and closes with them praying with each other. Spratt, whose mother is the head pastor of a church, says, “You’re going into the most unfamiliar place, a place that you’ve never been to, and you don’t know if it’s good or bad. It’s the most frightening experience.”

Spratt continues. “We cover ourselves with the blood of Jesus before we go in all of these locations. We don’t bring anything back with us. We stay very close to our religious beliefs.”

Ghost Brothers premiered on Friday, April 15 at 10 p.m. ET on Destination America. Check local providers for channels.

This post was written by Christopher A. Daniel, pop cultural critic and music editor for the Burton Wire. He is also contributing writer for Urban Lux Magazine and Blues & Soul Magazine. Follow Christopher @Journalistorian on Twitter.

Follow The Burton Wire on Twitter @TheBurtonWire or Instagram.

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