Preview: History Channel goes on a gold hunt in Deadman’s Curse

Growing up, I loved to read about treasure. It was in a copy of collection for children that I first learned of the existence of Oak Island and the alleged treasure buried there. (They’re still looking for it on that other History Channel show.) I’m still fascinated by these stories of lost loot and the people who search for them. And the latest from the History Channel is a doozy.

The curse of the dead, which debuts Sunday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on the History Channel, follows a quartet determined to find gold in Pitt Lake, British Columbia, despite the alleged curse associated with it. In the first of eight episodes, prospector Kru Williams, mountaineer Adam Palmer, Aboriginal explorer Taylor Starr and his father, Don Froese, recount the legend of the lost Slumach Gold Mine.

The story goes that Slumach, an elderly Katzie First Nations man, died on the gallows in New Westminster in January 1891. Prior to his death, Slumach allegedly uttered the words “Nika memloose, mine memloose” or “When I die, mine dies. For over 100 years, many have tried to find the mine, to no avail. Well, that’s not entirely true. According to Walter Jackson, he discovered the mine in 1901 and, laden with gold too heavy to transport, buried it. Jackson died after returning home, but not before writing a letter to a friend with clues to where he had buried the gold. It has not been discovered since.

My biggest issue with shows like these is that they’re full of stories, guesswork, and assumptions, and they’re frustratingly light on actual discoveries. The curse of the dead starts with lots of backstory and research done by Kru and Adam enough to pique my interest, especially when Adam seems to have a line on a copy of Jackson’s letter. Meanwhile, Taylor researches Slumach, who he was, and why he was hanged. Both of these scenarios are compelling and really add legitimacy to The curse of the dead and what the producers are trying to achieve.

And, by the time the first 44 minutes are over, enough information has been unearthed for the band – and me, the viewer – to continue the quest.

The curse of the dead airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on the History Channel.

Image courtesy of Corus.

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