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Ghost Adventures Halloween Special – Ireland’s Celtic Demons

imageDespite the debacle of their Halloween episode from a few years back, Zak, Nick and Aaron are out to do another Halloween special, this time in Ireland and not as a live presentation. They have several locations on the agenda including Leap Castle, the Hell-Fire Club, Loftus Hall and the Steward’s House with the Killakee Cat.

Ireland has a lot of lore and superstition. It also has a lot of additional religious beliefs. To start their tour of the countryside they head to a cave believed to be the birthplace of Halloween itself. This is where the spirits would make their way to earth to walk amongst the living. While they have a tour guide and priestess, neither seems to do a whole lot, except give them a blessing. The guys don’t go very far into the muddy cavern, perhaps because it’s too narrow, but we get tales of the mysterious energy in there and Zak drifts off into one of the trances we’ve seen so many times before. It’s a quick trip and they’re off again.

The next stop is Leap Castle which has it’s tales and legends. It was built in 1250 by the O’Carroll clan and was the site of many family despites that ended in bloodshed. One of the most notable gave name to the Bloody Chapel. One of the family members was a priest giving mass in the chapel. His power hungry brother broke in and ran him through with a sword. It’s been told there is a pit where bodies were thrown and left to rot.

This is also a location of the Hell-Fire Club, a group rumored to engage in Satanic rituals and human sacrifice. Their tour guide tells them he has evidence of these rituals still going on including a white circle on the ground and some charred pieces of a book. This where Zak and Aaron will investigate while Billy and Nick will investigate Leap Castle.

The location for the Hell-Fire Club all seems pretty normal, until Aaron feels a negative energy in the place. He begins to warn Zak that danger is upon them and even tries to stop him from going into one of the rooms. In typical fashion, Zak bullies him and shoves his way in. A few minutes later, Aaron is running out of the building like a scalded cat! He believes the hand of Satan grabbed him by the ear. He’s pretty traumatized by the whole incident, quite literally to the point of tears. Despite what Zak says, he once again acts like an asshole and treats Aaron like shit. This from the same guy that has damn near soiled himself a couple of times in recent past.

While Zak and Aaron are cleaning out their drawers, Nick and Billy are doing their own investigation. Even though Sean the owner seem confused as to why they’re visiting, they wander around his castle and begin to talk about their feelings of dread. Billy speaks of pains in his stomach as though someone has punched him and then reached in to twist his intestines around. Certainly couldn’t be any of the food their not used to.

While Billy deals with his pains, Nick gets bold and brave and jumps into the bit where bodies have supposedly been dumped. As expected, he begins to feel overcome and has to focus to keep his wits about him. He further adds that he hears voices and feels a strange energy. There are also more examples of "orbs" flying around the room causing a ruckus.

After Zak and Aaron had their encounter with the ear-pulling devil, they head back down the mountain, but Aaron says they need to stop the 4×4 cart. It’s time for him to have another emotional moment over what just happened. Instead of getting as far away from the place as possible, it’s better to pull over and share some deep feelings. Ah, but wait, there was a reason they chose this exact spot to stop. As Aaron says this is what they do, this is their way of life, a ghostly voice in the night cries out "Nooo".

With that part of the investigation done, they head down to the Steward’s House. Jay has been monitoring the house and hears all sorts of noises and bangs going on. This is the house of the Killakee Cat. It is said not to look into the eyes of the cat painting nor turn the painting upside down as this unleashes a demonic fury. Well, Jay turned the picture upside down. Did he call down the thunder?

Zak heads into the house alone, because it’s more dramatic that way, and begins to use the Spirit Box. As he stands in front of the cat painting he gets a meow out of the box. And when he asks who or what touched Aaron, he gets Satan. Nobody saw that coming did they?

They next head off to Loftus Hall, perhaps the most haunted house in Ireland. It is believed the devil spent the night in the house wherein he seduced a young girl, who then gave birth to the devil’s son. A son that was later killed and buried in the walls of the Tapestry Room. Amazing how many stories end with a body stuffed in the walls.

Despite this story, it was a convent for nearly 70 years. During that time 4 nuns lost their lives. Zak links this all to suspicious circumstances. Not to be rude in any way, but 4 lives in 70 years is incredibly small from a statistical standpoint. Show me a house with people living in it continually for 70 years that hasn’t had accidents? But the house also has religions statues without their heads, so clearly the work of the devil. Certainly not the work of vandals or miscreant youths.

But this is the house with all the excitement. To get the ball rolling they switch over to night vision mode, but there is a small glitch. The lights go out, yet the audio keeps working. This allows us to hear Zak start yelling for no reason. He then mumbles, "get him off the property." It’s then time for Zak to drift off into one of his trances. Nick and Aaron are so concerned about his safety they leave him alone in the room and head back to watch him on the monitors.

They report there is strange banging coming from the tapestry room and Zak arrives in time to record bangs and film balls of light or as I like to call them, bugs. They confirm more orbs on the stairs where a nun fell and passed away. Zak heads to the upper floors where the owner doesn’t let many people go because he feels it’s the most haunted and dangerous. This is where the orbs have lead him, so this is where he has to go.

Zak immediately feels there is someone up there and as he records himself discussing the topic, a door in the background closes slightly. The next minute of conversation is bleeped out because Zak is swearing his head off. He barely raises an eyebrow at Aaron being touched by the devil, but a door moves and he loses his damn mind. Again.

They reconvene downstairs where it’s said the devil came over to play cards. With Kinect camera in hand, they ask if the devil would like to play a hand. To tempt the devil, Aaron has 3 playing cards of the number 6 in his hand even though one of them appears to be missing or blanked out. When Nick smacks the table and says for the devil to join them, a stick figure appears on the camera. It doesn’t take a seat at the table, but rather stands on Aaron’s head. Zak then asks for it to wave it’s arms around and spread it’s legs. Why is he asking the figure to spread it’s legs? What’s he got in mind?

The stick figure then drains all the energy out of Aaron and soon he’s outside throwing up. It appears he’s been touched by the devil twice on this trip. But he survived and lived to tell the tale. Not many can say they danced with the devil on Halloween night. That’s a story to tell the ladies isn’t it?

Quite a trip around Ireland and some strange events. We’ll just skip over most of it and jump to the Kinect camera. Now that was a little unusual. Who knows what it was picking up or if it was just glitching out. Who knows what hackery has been done to that device. I seriously doubt Aaron was actually touched by the devil though. As with all of these episodes so much can be said and so much can be refuted. But they got to hang out in Ireland and play around in castles on Halloween. Got to give them credit for that.

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Now raise your hand if you wanted this door to slam shut and bust Zak right in the head?? Now that would have made me believe the devil was in the house.

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Ghost Stalkers – Springfield State Hospital – S01E02

imageFor this episode Chad and John head to Sykesville, Maryland to visit Springfield State Hospital. It is yet another tragic tale of a facility set up to treat mental illness that ends up with overcrowding and stories of patients locked up for hours and perhaps days on end. The conditions reached a breaking point and the hospital was ultimately shut down. Now there are tales of spirit energy and patients that still roam the halls. Work crews hears hear moaning, while other feel a presence. The building has been abandoned for years so there are plenty of stories circulating around.

As they speak to Ivy, who knows an awful lot about a building she’s never been inside of, they hear stories of abuse and isolation and that some patients were left down in the steam tunnels below the building. As Chad and John look over the place, Chad is once again inflicted with pain from some unseen force. This happened in the first episode as well and they feel the encounter has left a scratch. They also take a quick peek down in the steam and tunnels and I’ll be damned if it doesn’t look like they built rooms down there. What the hell went on in this place? Did they seriously stick patients with mental disorders in tiny little rooms with dirt floor where they probably couldn’t even stand up?

There property also has it’s own cemetery, but sadly, the patients were simply buried. There are no markers to list their names. The best they got were numbers. That’s no way to be remembered.

John goes first on his solo investigation and hears knocks and what he thinks are moans. As I’ve said so many times, this is an old, rotting building, there are going to be bangs as the place settles over night. There could easily be moans as pipes expand and contract or doors creak on their hinges or birds settle for the night. It’s best to look for the simplest answer, not try to bend sounds to be the paranormal.

Chad is up next and right from the start he is out of his mind with fright. Every sound makes him jump out of his skin. Like before he near the point of hysterics as the walks around the building. This goes far beyond just being nervous, this almost the point of panic. In this state, every noise is going to sound like the devil reaching out to get you. You’re clearly going to see and hear things in the worst possible way. This really isn’t a good way to approach investigating the paranormal. And compared to John’s rather cool demeanor as he walks around the complex, it makes Chad seem ever more hysterical.

When it comes to evidence there are some odd sounds, but who knows if those are voices. The camera goes out in Ward W for both Chad and John. They interpret this as spirits building up energy to manifest. And that manifestation comes in the form of some black mass moving in front of one of the laser lights they have set up. People are doing some wacky things with Kinect devices. Who knows what we have here. I suppose you could say there is a figure moving between the dots, but to me it’s not really all that compelling. To be honest, there has been so much trickery and Tom foolery associated with these shows, that could just as easily be one of their crew wandering around. I’m gonna a bit more than a blocked out dot.

So the question remains, does asylum with it’s checkered past and abused constitute a location holding a portal where spirit energy can pass from one world to the next? I didn’t think this place was all that active. Oh, yes, it’s creepy as can be, but just because it looks the part doesn’t mean it’s haunted. I wonder how much Ivy and the start of Maryland are selling this place for? They’re brick buildings so it seems like you could do something with them. Fix it up and it would be a sweet haunted attraction. Oh wait, can’t do that. All that negative energy would make it haunted. Just ask Zak.

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Ghost Adventures – Island of the Dolls – S10E04

imageWe’re off to Mexico for another episode of lies, deceit and misinformation. Zak and Aaron are visiting the Island of the Dolls which we first saw in an episode of Destination Truth with Josh Gates. Yes, this is a wickedly creepy place riddled old, dirty, rotting dolls that are strung up in trees, across lines and on the walls on the small hut. It doesn’t matter what you’re afraid of, seeing all those severed heads and broken bodies would give anyone the creeps and make you jump. That being said, I’m going to ridicule the hell out of Zak for being a complete pansy on this investigation, so much so, that he nearly knocks Aaron down when one of the dolls make a noise behind him. Way to be a man, Zak.

The history of the island goes back to Don Julian who was grief stricken over a girl who drown while he was unable to save her. He then brought dolls to this island in memoriam of her and for decades he has placed dolls all throughout the island. Don Julian even died on this island and it said a water spirit (mermaid) took away his spirit. Unfortunately, Don Julian never cleaned any of these dolls and they are covered in cobwebs and are home to nasty looking spiders.

As the investigation begins, Zak is utterly befuddled as to how a fire could start on the island in a fire pit, at a campground, loaded with supplies and with a metal grate over the rocks. Dear me, are you really that stupid? You’re not alone out there! Someone is camping there! It’s pretty damn obvious considering all the supplies they brought. Not a single thing paranormal about that.

Next we have Zak bringing out the most cursed doll in the world and some cats running scared. This coincides with some dolls laughing. Of course this must be the paranormal rather than a couple of cats running from humans and someone leaving a motion sensing doll to scare people who come out there. Just because Zak is touching and waving his hand in front of a couple of dolls on one walls, doesn’t mean the doll making the noise isn’t on the opposite wall. This is also the part where Zak nearly bulldozes Aaron to the ground as he runs for his life. I’m pretty sure Zak ruined those pants he was wearing.

As they continue on into the night, they bring in Drunk Pedro to confirm he hears the voice of Don Julian on the different devices Zak has brought. They even bring another doll that can measure readings and what do you know, it doesn’t go off. Shocking.

However, Zak is firmly convinced that spirit energy comes darting out of the shrine to Don Julian. This is obviously a mouse, but oh no, this is spirit energy according to Zak. Funny how this black mass looks like a rodent.

Zak finally gets up the stones to take the haunted doll out of the bag and place it next to the one that can take readings. Again, nothing happens, yet Zak swears the ground underneath the doll gets hotter even though the readings from the camera don’t detect this massive temperature spike.

While Zak claims they’re in the middle of nowhere, it’s pretty damn obvious they aren’t. Clearly cats are on this supposed island, there are dogs in the distance and if there are dogs there are owners and that’s who’s making the noises they keep hearing. To play on the legend of this island, someone has placed sound activated dolls out there, but of course Zak isn’t going to show those. And clearly someone is out there camping, but this too must be the work of the spirit world. I mean how would it look if there were other people on their haunted and isolated dessert isle. Boy, wouldn’t they feel silly.

Yet again an absolute farce of an episode with fake evidence at every turn. No matter how dramatic Zak makes it out to be, there is nothing haunted about this island, it’s just creepy. Yes, bodies were thrown into the river, but none of them are making an appearance despite Zak’s antics. This is just more confirmation that Zak and his team are making stuff up and are either staging evidence or bending what they see to fit their horror story. You can’t help but laugh at these guys.

Ghost-Adventures-Doll-Island-Mouse

Are you really going to tell me that’s not a mouse?

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Ghost Stalkers – Whisperers Estate – S01E01

imageHere we have inaugural episode of Ghost Stalkers which takes us into places believed to house portals to the supernatural and paranormal. Chad and John believe there are pockets of energy where the world of the living and the world of the dead collide and they’d like to find and document those places. This is a philosophy held by many people and cultures. Many believe a near death experience puts you between those worlds. Since Chad and John both had a near death experience, it’s their desire to find a way to communicate with this other world and see what lies on the other side.

The first stop is in Mitchell, Indiana at the Whisperers Estate. The home was originally built by John and Jesse Gibbons. Dr John practiced medicine at his home and it is said his personal life was rife with problems. His daughter supposedly died in the house after suffering second degree burns all over her body from an accident in the fireplace. The doctor was so distraught that many thought he went mad from his misery.

But the current owner believes there is something more dangerous and sinister lurking around. He claims guests have been scratched, slapped, pushed and attacked. He even says he was pushed down the stairs by this entity. A medium claims there is a dark portal in the corner of the house. There are even claims of a half man, half goat creature hiding inside.

There are lots of stories and rumors about this place so John and Chad spent the night alone in the house to document what, if anything happens in the still hours of the night.

Chad is the first to sit alone and right away he is wrought with fear and tension. He is a bundle of nerves and it’s not clear whether he is going to break down in tears or simply run out the front door. At this same time he believes he captures and EVP saying, "Chad, be a man". The gauntlet has been throw down and now Chad is determined to face his fears and investigate the house.

Things don’t exactly get better for him. As he looks around upstairs he feels he hears someone coming up the stairs to be with him. Of course, no one is there. There is however a bat circling around and it makes multiple sweeps back and forth.

Chad then heads to the basement where he feels touched on the back. While he is down there, the footage shows a chair on the second floor rock one time. The chair happens to have a little girls doll sitting in it.

At the end of his time, Chad says he spent the entire night feeling like he was poked, prodded, touched and even punched. He comes out no worse for wear, but he is firmly convince that something evil and sinister is in the house.

John then takes his turn in the house, but things are much more calm for him, that is until he feels a burning sensation on his back and lifts his shirt to reveal a scratch running down his spine. There are two thin, red marks going down his back which he believes are claw marks. He also claims he was pushed by something and there is a ringing in his ears.

While he doesn’t show the same signs as Chad, he feels that at the end of the night there is something coming through this portal. And this is a portal they believe they can measure.

When we look objectively at what we have, there is very little true evidence. Being scared or feeling touched are going to happen when you get yourself that worked up. Yes, John did have lines running down his back, but let’s be fair, that could be from anything. It could be from the very unusual furniture, it could be from the wall or something sticking out. Hell, it could be from one of the obvious animals that live in the house. Bats in the belfry Vern!!!

Another thing, the house is under some obvious distress. It needs additional support as seen by John in the crawlspace. The house is sagging which will cause people to feel off balance. I love old homes and I’ve been in dozens of them, in fact one that looks quite similar to the one in this episode and the floor tilted and leaned. I was in one that was so bad I was dizzy after being there for less than 20 minutes. Not every odd feeling is paranormal. Of course when you wander around in the dark and build up that tension, the mind will play tricks.

So, is this place haunted and more to the point is there a portal that allows entities from the spirit world into this once? Nothing in this episode convinces me of that. It’s just an old house with crappy support and a lot of stories surrounding it. It also doesn’t help that there are all sorts of skull and macabre decorations all over the place. Hey, I think they’re cool, but it sort of seems to send a mixed message.

The show was interesting and dramatic, but let’s take a step back and make note of one thing. This show is being produced and edited by none other than Nick Groff. Yes, that Nick Groff of Ghost Adventures fame. A group that believes every place they enter is full of dark and demonic energy. Does putting his name negate the show? No, but it does make you remember that this is all done for dramatic effect.

Still, an interesting kickoff and we’ll see what next week brings us. Chad needs to settle his nerves just a little, but perhaps that will level out a touch.

What did you think? First of all can such a portal between worlds and exists and if so, would this house serve as such an entrance?

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