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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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Expedition Unknown – Incan Mummy – S02E26

imageIn continuing his adventures and exploration into lost cities and cultures, Josh is on the trail of a lost Incan ruler, Atahualpa. He was the last great ruler of the Incan people, slain by the Spaniard Francisco Pizarro during the Spanish conquest. Pizarro demanded huge amounts of gold from Atahualpa, and even though he complied he was still sentenced to death. At first, Atahualpa was to be burned, but pleading for his soul, he converted to Christianity and was then strangled. He needed his body in tact so he could be mummified and rule in the afterlife. However, his body is believed to have been whisked away and it’s current whereabouts is unknown.

As Josh gets to know the history of Ecuador, he learns that the Incas came to this location because of the equator, to be closer to the sun. Josh also reads accounts of a sailor seeing a body and procession. While not specifically calling out Atahualpa, it fits the time frame and location. Also within the archives is the will of Atahualpa and other family documents. It’s shown they have private land where the body could have been buried, which would have kept with the custom of the time. The mummy would have been removed because it was the belief that if you had the mummy you had the power of the Incan people. It would have been an extremely influential symbol of power.

Josh then links up with German Molina, who is searching for the tomb. He’s found multiple Incan ruins covered by the jungle. They have aqueducts that still work after 500 years. There are also structures made from large rocks, in the shape of square that could be a temple. They believe they have found a location where the mummy would have been kept for a short time.

But the main resting place may be higher in the Andes mountains. From what they have been told, there is a farmer with promising artifacts and while he’s not willing to be shown or heard on camera, he brings out a sun necklace. It’s made of copper and gold and represents the sun people. Inspired by the find, they head further up and find man made paths as well as the remains of the Pucara or guard towers.

They discover an opening and after jumping inside, discover an ancient pin, again made of copper and gold, that would have been used to hold clothes together. But there is still more to be discovered as they head to another location where aerial surveys have shown some promising leads.

As they take images with the drone, it’s revealed the hill doesn’t have a natural contour, more of a stair step or terraced effect. As they map it, it begins to look man made with more of the watch towers on the perimeter. They also discover another trench which looks like it could lead into the interior of the mound, but has since collapsed. At the top of the hill are large stones that are not native to the region, and were most likely brought for a specific purpose. After surveying more of the features, they believe they are standing on a massive Incan fortress. They aren’t sure if it’s a tomb, or if Atahualpa would be buried there, but when taken with the towers and other relics already found they believe a much more thorough investigation and exploration is needed. Even if not the burial site, it’s a location of significance. And I have to say, the jungle and landscape is absolutely amazing. The lushness of that area is breathtaking.

Again, it seems they are right on the cusp of making an important and exciting discovery. Whether or not they find the Incan burial site remains to be seen, but it looks like they are about to unearth a major archaeological find which may reveal a slew of information not only about the lost king, but about the culture itself.

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Expedition Unknown – Lost Mexican City – S02E25

imageFor this episode, Josh is trying to unravel the mystery surrounding and ancient and powerful civilization very few people have even heard of. We’re familiar with the Aztec and Maya, but what if those civilizations modeled themselves after an even more powerful and advanced society? Enter the Teotihuacan, an advanced society that predates the Aztec by several hundred years. They too were a culture with advanced mathematics, incredible buildings, a vast understanding of the universe, and apparently shared a penchant for human sacrifice.

Archaeologists have uncovered uncovered burial chambers where people were bound and sacrificed as well as jewelry made of human bones. It was originally believed the Teotihuacan were a peaceful civilization, but it’s now believed they were a role model for human sacrifice and bloodletting.

Cholula is a neighboring city that has an immense underground pyramid built by the Teotihuacan. In fact, it’s the largest pyramid in the world, you just can’t see it. It has five miles worth of tunnels covered with art that predates the Aztec. This same art can be seen within other cultures, suggesting the influence of the Teotihuacan was quite vast.

Josh visits another site called the Mountain of the Blades, which is an obsidian mine. The Teotihuacan used the obsidian to make razor sharp weapons. Normally obsidian is a type of black glass, but in this very specific area, the obsidian is green. The Teotihuacan believed the green obsidian held supernatural powers which only they could harness. These same green blades have been found within other cultures the Teotihuacan visited.

While they haven’t found any tombs of Teotihuacan rulers, they have found multiple temples. Josh is able to enter tunnels beneath one of them. Within the tunnels they’ve been able to find more obsidian blades, pottery and carved statues. They have also discovered the tunnel ends at a room that is under the dead center of the temple. From the artifacts found as well as the shape and usual style of the room, they believe it is a representation of the Underworld.

It would have been used for rituals as well as ceremonies. It is also believed their rulers would have been cremated in a room like this, which explains why there are no burial chambers. It’s possible the new ruler would have been taken to the Underworld to preside over the cremation of the past ruler. When the ceremony was over, he would return from Hell as their new leader.

While there is no definitive explanation for their demise as culture, they are rewriting what they know. The Teotihuacan culture was far more expansive that previously thought with the physical layout of the town extending miles beyond what they originally mapped. They’ve also disregard them as a docile and peaceful people. It appears their level of blood sacrifice rivaled anything that came after them. And they were an incredibly powerful and influential people. Relics, such as the obsidian blades, have been found hundreds of miles away and it was these supernatural blades that instilled fear and submission within others.

It’s quite a fascinating story, with plenty of evidence left behind. It’s amazing they have pyramids almost completely obscured underground. And the weapons they made from obsidian, look as deadly as anything made from steel. In fact, the obsidian they mined was the steel of the time period. A dangerous culture that will surely offer up more interesting stories as their structure and past are unearthed.

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