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Ghost Adventures – Route 666 – S13E06 – Part 1

814864_2So we’re off on the Ghost Adventures Halloween Tour. According Zak, we will start in Nevada and head south into Texas, following the trail of Satan himself. That is indeed a bold statement.

There are several destinations ahead, with the first of El Paso, Texas on the border of Juarez, Mexico. According to Zak, the violence and death seen in this area is due to the demons feeding off the dark energy. They head to the De Soto hotel, where it is said evil sprits lurk in all corners because of all the Satanic worship. This is supported by the sound of little girls in the basement of the hotel and the fact a Satan worshipper, when captured by the authorities, put curses on the officers.

Tenants say they hear a little girl running around, but when they open doors for her or get to the stairs, no one is there. There is also a story of a gunman that open fire in the hotel, and according to one of the men who witnessed the incident, he was possessed by something evil. His body convulsed on the floor and he spoke in tongues.

Based on these stories, Zak feels the little girl is actually a demon in disguise. Additionally, residents are fearful of the basement, even though most of them have never been down there.

To get a lay of the land, Zak meets with the property manager and heads down to the basement. He begins to feel dizzy and fights violent thoughts that aren’t his own. They meet with Rev. Harry Flores who says he saw a pentagram on the basement floor and people have claimed pebbles were thrown at them. When the location of the pentagram is pointed out, that’s where Zak says he was standing when became dizzy and violent. The Reverend, standing the same spot, doesn’t show the same behavior.

Reverend Flores, then takes them to the Concordia Cemetery, established in 1856 and the location of some 60,000 burial plots. It is also said that Richard Ramirez, the Nightstalker, not only slept in the cemetery to escape his abusive father, but also performed Satanic rituals. And it appears he’s not the only one as the Reverend claims there are decapitated Jesus statues, the remains of animals and upside down crosses. He also shows off the Infant Nursery, a separate plot of graves where people claim to hear the giggling of children.

The actual investigation starts with Zak in the basement of the De Soto hotel and Billy back in the Concordia Cemetery. You can tell right off the bat, Billy is not having a good time. But things aren’t much better for Zak as he smells something putrid right at the entrance to the basement. He gets the building manager, who agrees there is something rather foul in the air, although they don’t identify a source. A toilet could have exploded for all we know.

As they enter the basement, it’s only a matter of minutes before Aaron says he’s not feeling well, and there is the sound of a pebble being thrown. With the spirit box running, Aaron gets a male and female voice come through.

Zak, Aaron and Jay experience quite a few scares and when Zak has had enough, he brings out a large bundle of sage and burns it to cleanse the evil. He burns it right over the area where the pentagram would have been drawn on the floor. Aaron and Jay are both concerned about this sage burning and begin to become anxious and hostile. They claim they want to lash out against Zak and stop him. While their aggression is heightened, they also hear an argument break out right above them. This argument is linked to demonic activity and isn’t related to some sort of alcohol fueled dispute, because this is too high class an area for that sort of thing.

With their nerves on edge and the sage essence burning in the basement, they see something quite shocking on the monitors. One of the cameras picks up a fan as it moves off the ledge where it’s resting. It moves to the side, then collapses to the floor as though being pulled by a cord. When Zak rushes to the scene, he says there is an icy cold wind. And while discussing the ramifications of a junk fan falling in a basement, a light turns on above their heads. This again is the work of the demonic rather being related to junk wiring in such a well maintained and high class residence.

We also get some fun scenes of the residents playing with a camera that falls from it’s perch. A few seem quite taken with it and gaze longingly into the lens, while they ponder how much it might be worth at the local pawn shop.

Meanwhile, back in the cemetery, Billy recites a small prayer which concludes with the sound of a crow cawing at him. This nearly causes Billy to soil himself. Right on the heels of that, a group of figures is seen walking on the perimeter of the cemetery. Zak feels these are demonic shadow figures coming out of the sinister trio of trees that Billy is near. These trees are supposed to have sprung up like a trident in the location where Richard Ramirez practiced his Satanism. Based on the fact they are simply a few trees in a line and in no way form a trident, I’m not sure what Zak’s talking about.

These sinister figures, who also happen to have automobile traffic moving behind them, don’t accost Billy or cause him any harm, they simply plod along, but he is a wreck and nearly frightened out of his wits. So much so, that he calls the authorities to come look around. However, they find nothing and he doesn’t record any other activity and nothing reveals itself to him.

And with that, they move on to their next location – Denton, Texas, a location on the so called Pentagram of Blood.

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Ghost Adventures – Colorado Gold Mine – S13E01

imageTo kick off the new season, Zak and crew head to Colorado to investigate a haunted gold mine. They’re specifically in Idaho Springs to visit the Phoenix Mine and the Comstock mine. There are tales of Uncle Ray, who supposedly practiced Black Magic and the sound of Tommyknockers. For those who remember Ghost Mine, that crew was fearful of Tommyknockers as well.

There are couple of odd stories about this mine. First, Uncle Ray, a former tour guide, not miner, who supposedly practiced dark magic and "left a trail of depraved evil" according to Zak, had his ashes scattered in the mine. The other story is about two men who were killed by a named Gillespie. He shot them in the head while they were out walking and looking at the mine.

If Ray brought this depraved evil as Zak calls it, why were his remains scattered in the mine? And clearly with the owners understanding since that section is closed off. It’s not like they snuck his remains in there and the location is mystery. And how do they know he practiced dark magic? What exactly did he do? Considering they believe in Bigfoot, Tommyknockers and who knows what else, they’re awfully quick to condemn this guy, but still put his remains in the mine.

To add to the quirks of this investigation, as Zak is hearing the story about the men being killed from Al, the owner, Jo and Victoria come up to tell him they just heard voices in the Comstock mine. Zak decides to investigate, but almost goes into a panic as he enters. He states he’s risking his life and oversells how dangerous the mine is. The ladies, in their sassy pink hardhats, show no signs of anxiety and forge ahead.

Zak breaks out the recorder and gets the words, "get out" and he does exactly what the voice asks and runs out of there. The ladies would prefer he stay and keep trying to communicate, but Zak wants no part of that action. Keep in mind, he’s only gone in a couple hundred feet.

While they say the mine is in bad shape, there is no way in hell the show or the owner would let Zak go in if it was really going to collapse. Even if he did sign a waiver, which I’m sure Zak would bring to our attention, they wouldn’t risk people’s lives. And those ladies had no fear of going in there even if Zak does call them crazy. Pretty sure this is yet another one of Zak’s phobias getting the better of him.

Before the investigation starts, Zak gets a call from Jo, who explains that she has a picture of some miners she caught in the tunnel and that there were blasting caps on the ground near where they heard "get out". So, the voice that Zak originally described as demonic, is now considered a warning because he was kept away from the blasting caps. Of course, the blasting caps need a charge to do anything, but that’s not the point.

Now, with the investigation really getting ready to start, they are thwarted once again by what Zak is describing as a bear and Hank says is Bigfoot. As everyone but Zak goes to investigate, because he is scared witless, they soon discover the cause of the disturbance is a raccoon. So, Hank is ready believe in Bigfoot rather than a raccoon nosing around in the trash. This is how myths and legends get started.

Ultimately, they make it into the mine and Zak asks if anyone can hear him. He asks if it’s the spirit of Ray and gets three knocks. When Zak asks for someone to appear, he gets a little stick figure on the screen, which nearly makes Zak soil himself. To Zak, this is confirmation of a Tommyknocker.

The next part of the investigation comes when they visit the ashes of Ray. As they try the spirit box, there is an orb and a flash of light above Aaron’s head. At the same time, Jay says something grabs his pants. Meanwhile, Billy, in another part of the mine gets a blob on his thermal imager.

For the big finale, they bring out the laser microphone. If the beam is broken, it makes a sound. And so, it makes noises as soon as they hook it up. Jay says it sounds like there was a cave in because of the continuous noise. Next, as they move closer to the remains of Ray, there is a lot of static as though someone is standing in the beam of the laser. This further convinces Zak that the mine is completely charged with spirit energy.

However, this episode has a lot of things wrong and plenty of misleading information. Noises in a tunnel, like creaking boards, that carry on for hundreds of feet is not the result of Tommyknockers. We already know animals are lurking around, what is to say they aren’t in the tunnels themselves? Jo has a photo of miners that looks it was created with a ghost app on a phone. Uncle Ray is such a terrible guy and purveyor of evil, that they buried his ashes in the mine itself. And again, Zak is ready to believe he is evil without a single shred of evidence. That’s not hysteria in any way.

When all is said and done, about the only thing they capture for sure, is the sound of creaking in an old tunnel and a raccoon. I don’t think these count as definitive evidence of the paranormal. Further, Zak already made claims about demons and has problems with the close confines of the mine. He is totally frightened, so he’s going to see whatever the heck he wants to see and his common sense has been thrown out the window.

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American Horror Story-Hotel – Season 5

I know American Horror Story season 5 completed several months ago, but I didn’t get a chance to watch it and with season 6 underway, I wanted to see what I missed. So it was time for a tv watching bender and while each season has been very good, I thought season 5 had some real interesting aspects to it.

There are true life elements woven into the different AHS stories, but season 5 really went after that. The hotel was based on the Hotel Cecil, which has a damn sketchy past. Serial killers did indeed call the place home, including Richard Ramirez – The Nightstalker. There was also a pretty grim discovery of a body in the water tank that was found because guests said the water was iscolored and tasted foul. That is all manner of wrong.

While the actual Hotel Cecil didn’t have the rooms, vaults and corridors as depicted, there was a certain hotel that did. It was based in Chicago and was run by H. H. Holmes. The Hotel Cortez even has the infamous vault, body chutes and furnace in the basement. The time period is different, but James Patrick March is Holmes, even down to "getting rid" of workman so no one would know the overall layout of the building.

We also have several real life serials killers that linger and show up for Devil’s Night. It’s a pretty nasty brood at the dinner table as they try to bring John into the fold. Bringing all those elements together made for intriguing and incredibly creepy stories.

It’s a variety of stories of themes, such as ghosts, vampires, killing sprees and the paranormal. But interestingly, a few threads come through about the meaning of relationships. Amidst the throat slashing, you have people trying to discover how to be in relationships and in love. And odd setting to be sure, but that just adds to the overall bizarre nature of it all.

There are also connections back to the first American Horror Story with psychic Billy Dean and Queenie. Queenie only makes a short appearance, but long enough for her voodoo skills to be consumed in an attempt to unseat the Countess. And we have Billy Dean, who comes to the hotel for Devil’s Night in a chance to talk with John about his crimes and why he did them. She is then treated to a host of holy horrors and takes a seat with serial killers from the past. This may put her off communicating with the spirit world for good.

Or does it?

As we jump into season 6, it feels as though we are watching a paranormal investigation re-enactment. Is Billy Dean just off camera getting the story of the events that took place? Will this lead to an investigation of the house? From there, will we be treated to an investigation of the Murder House from season 1?

That remains to be seen, but Season 5 was riveting. While more violent than other seasons, I was  more compelled to get to the next episode to find out what was going on. I would then say Season 3 was my next favorite with it’s witches and fascinating characters.

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Ryan Buell arrested and facing criminal charges

imageOh, how the mighty have fallen. A paranormal investigator accused of lies and deceit? Say it ain’t so.

With Ryan’s show off the air and his team garnering work without him, Ryan has been left looking for his next cash cow. That came in the form of his Conversations with the Dead tour, which he apparently started multiple times in multiple cities, but never actually held. Both Chip Coffey and Michelle Belanger ultimately broke ties with Ryan after he failed to give refunds for the never starting show.

It now appears the high jinks off screen have finally caught up with him and he’s been arrested facing felony charges of theft. Looks like Ryan has really stepped in it this time, but who knows what he’s really in trouble for. And who knows if fans who sighed up for his tour will actually get their money back. If they put him behind bars, I guess the tour really is canceled and he’ll have no choice but to give the money back.

Celebrity ghost hunter Ryan Buell arrested

You know, I don’t want to kick the guy when he’s down, but seriously, people should have known better. Ryan has been a fraud for years with his ridiculous antics and holier than thou attitude. He’s been treating people like crap ever since he got a show and his arrogance finally caught up with him.

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