Destination TruthEpisodes

Haunted Mining Town/The Taniwha
Season 3 - Episode 313
Haunted Mining Town/The Taniwha
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Haunted Mining Town

The Case: For this investigation, Team Truth welcomes Allison Scagliotti of Warehouse 13 for their trek to Chile's Atacama Desert.

La Noria and Humberstone are two mining towns that flourished during the nitrate boom of the early 19th Century. However, that boon was also a burden. The conditions for the residents were terrible, with treatment bordering on slavery. Many — including young children— suffered horrible deaths. It's no surprise that stories abound of these two towns. In La Noria, it's said the dead rise from their graves at night. While photos taken at Humberstone reveal the ghostly images of dead miners.

The Adventure: It is said that in La Noria there is a feeling of pain, that visitors can feel how the people suffered. Humanoid shadows have been seen walking directly into Humberstone's church.

La Noria is a dead, decrepit town, with streets running between collapsed buildings baked by the desert heat. There are memories there, memories of a time long gone. A child's leather shoe is buried under a broken wall. A few old pictures are found in one building. It's the cemetery, though, that holds them. Wooden crosses mark the graves; bones and coffins line the footpaths. Josh has never seen a place like this in his life.

The Findings: In Humberstone, the buildings have fared a little better. When they investigate the barn, they discover a spot that's six degrees colder than the rest of the barn. That spot is over an open space in the floor. Rex ducks in and gets goosebumps. He hears something above him. There's nothing there.

In the school, the rest of the team has other interesting encounters. Perhaps someone is still living in the scariest cemetery on Earth.


The Case: Deep in the remote waterways of New Zealand, the guardian of the waterways lurks. Called the Taniwha by the Maori, the serpentine aquatic creature is seen as both protector and destroyer.

Recent sightings have been deep in the Maori heartland, along the Kaituna River and a nearby crater lake. At ten feet long, with thick, cylindrical body, the taniwha is a fast, fearsome creatures. With their rows of dagger-like teeth, it's more than enough to draw Team Truth's attention.

The Adventure: The older generation of Maori have a deep respect for the taniwha. Along the Kaituna River, however, Josh encounters what could be a problem with investigating those sightings. As it is one of the longest rivers in New Zealand, with churning rapids, the white spray of the water could make spotting the creature's milky-white skin difficult. It is not a river for the faint hearted to travel.

The local Maori tribal leader claims that he and his people have seen taniwha in the local waters. He refers to them as "monsters", but "guardians" as well.

No sooner does the team finish their pre-investigation briefing at base camp than Ryder spots something on the IR camera. Under the waters where sightings have been reported, it's murky and there is a lot of growth. Difficult to see the bottom. Spotting such large creatures will be difficult. Josh sees something slither by in the vegetation.

The Findings: Josh gets something huge on the FLIR. It takes off like a shot and goes underwater, vanishing. When the team takes a motorboat over to investigate, they are swarmed by flying bugs of some sort.

Early Polynesians blended the natural and spiritual world into a complex tapestry of sacred creatures in an effort to understand the world around them. At the end of the investigation, Josh and the team are left wondering, which world the taniwha belongs to.

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