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Bates Motel – Caleb – S02E03

imageThings are getting downright creepy in the world of Norman Bates. In this latest episode we see Norma meet up with the Stepford Wives when she gets invited to the party that Christine is throwing at her insanely large and most likely paid for with drug money mansion. We also see Norman hanging out and attending Bradley’s "memorial" with his new buddy Cody, the smart talking cashier he met when buying hair dye for Bradley and now one of the techs for the theater production his mom was rejected for. She seems to be a sassy, worldly broad with designs on Norman. How does he keep ending up with these ladies?

But the big and nasty part of the episode is the revelation about Dylan. Norma has been hiding a lot about her past including Dylan’s father. Turns out it not who Dylan thinks it is. Oh my goodness, do we really have to go down this road? Is Norma just spouting her usual lies and mistruths or is this the real deal? Has Dylan been mislead about his father that Norma supposedly killed which caused all the strife in beginning? And did you see the way Norman threw his brother around like a rag doll? My word, when he loses his mind people get a serious ass kicking.

And let’s not forget all the disparaging remakes being made about Miss Watson. It seems the entire town may have been hot for teacher and she wasn’t one to say no.

Things are just getting bad. Bad, Bad, Bad.

So for next week we get to see the aftermath of Dylan learning the truth. Is he hanging out the window of his truck in a drunken stupor, because of brawl or perhaps him dealing with the news of parentage in a less than complimentary manner?

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Ghost Adventures – Fear Factory – S09E05

image The team heads to Salt Lake City, Utah to investigate an abandoned cement factory that’s been turned into a permanent Halloween attraction where staff members say they’ve had experiences with dark energies, seen shadows, and have even been pushed off ladders. There is even talk that occult activity has charged the negative energy and made this a breeding ground for dark forces. When the cement factory was abandoned it fell into the hands of the homeless community. They turned it into their own village until it was sold to the current owner and made a funhouse. Not much is known about it’s time as a homeless town, but it’s safe to say it wasn’t the happiest of times.

Right off the bat I’m incredibly suspicious of this investigation, this location and everything associated with episode. A money making Halloween attraction going on television with claims of paranormal activity and demonic entities? Talk about a boost in sales and publicity. This entire thing screams marketing campaign and based on some of the claims, it reads like the plot of a subpar B-Movie.

Putting that aside, let’s see what this modern day house of horrors has to offer. The interviews reveal that some employees believe they’ve seen shadows moving across the "Swamp Silo". Another employee says she was pushed off a ladder. Another claims to have had something follow him home sending him into a mood and funk his wife was just about to give up on. But the big story is Chris, a performer in "Hell’s Silo" who plays Satan and reads verses from a Satanic book he found. Which book is he reading from? Who knows, as the cover page is blurred out. It could be the Satanic Bible by Anton Lavey, but that is merely a guess. Zak believes it’s far too dangerous to show the cover to his impressionable audience or to speak it’s name. Goodness knows what we do with such information.

Chris also claims that he has talked with members of the staff that are Satanists themselves and they’ve admitted to performing rituals in "Hell’s Silo". Well isn’t that special. Gee, someone from a Halloween attraction saying they’re a Satanist who performed rituals to scare the crap out of the new kid. Let’s just keep piling on the high school scare tactics.

Moving on to the investigation, things starts off with a bang. Or rather the sound of something being scratched over wood. Billy captures some audio of what sounds like something raking over rough wood or plaster. It’s an odd scratching sound, but I don’t really feel that’s the sound of the demonic. Obviously Zak disagrees.

When Zak goes to investigate, the power to the building mysteriously goes off and all the emergency lights come on. Nick believes he hears a moan and there is some sort of sound captured on audio. Add to this, back in Hell’s Silo there is a series of loud bang and Zak feels these are all connected and the signs of an entity "charging up".

They make the best of the investigation with Zak heading to the area where the woman was shoved off the ladder. With his recording running, Zak feels he captures a voice saying, "it’s coming" right before power is restored to the building.

With this investigation really going nowhere, Zak decides to investigate on his own. Using his Spirit Box he picks up a female voice he claims is taking responsibility for the power outage. Of course it takes a long time to get a response and Zak seems to be waving his hands around as though waiting for the response.

To put the big icing on the cake, they invite Chris, The Prince of Darkness in Hell’s Silo to read from his Satanic book while they film it. Clearly they don’t condone or encourage him doing this, but since it makes for good television they’re all on board him doing it for them.

So off goes Chris into the depths of hell to read from a book that’s so scary the audio has to be bleeped out. And while down there, Zak jumps around wildly at some orb moving on the screen and feels he hears a dark voice speaking and demonic laughter. Chris says he’s feeling weak and Aaron says he’s feeling dizzy. Of course what do you expect to happen when you read such dangerous words? If nothing happened you might get the wrong impression about the bugaboo known as Satanism.

It’s amazing to me how reading the "Satanic" bible or rituals immediately conjures the devil and dark happenings, but continually reading the Bible doesn’t seem to do anything. You can conjure the devil on command, but God seems to be a lot harder to reach. Sorry, that’s just insulting and stupid.

This episode is bunk and it all feels like a commercial for the Fear Factory. Don’t get me wrong, the place seems cool as hell and if I had the extra cash I would head out there his Halloween and check it out. It looks like wicked good fun. But all the talk surrounding it sounds like complete rubbish. You don’t just conjure the devil because you read some passages from a book. Pretending to be the character Satan doesn’t make you the devil. If it does, Mark Sheppard who plays the devil on Supernatural is in some deep shit!  So are a lot of other actors out there.

The "accounts" of the paranormal are things I heard in high school about kids who played D&D. The evidence they capture is so weak as to be discounted immediately. If this is the breeding ground for dark energy and the devil is so easy to get find, why didn’t he make an appearance?

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Ghost Adventures – Bannack Ghost Town – S09E04

image Zak, Nick and Aaron head out to Bannack Montana to investigate an old mining town with a checkered past and tales of the paranormal. The mining town was established in 1862 and hundreds of millions of dollars were pulled from the ground. As with so many gold rush towns it was lawless, harsh and riddled with disease. The claims of the paranormal extend from small children afflicted with scarlet fever to a sheriff that caused more chaos than he came to solve. So much in fact that he was hanged by an angry mob.

The death toll in the area is quite high with many children being boarded up in the Crying Baby House to quarantine their disease and the Sheriff is rumored to have killed over 100 men in 8 months. There is also the story of Dorothy who lost her life while swimming in a dredge pond. This has lead many to feel they’ve had experiences of crying children, the sound of footsteps, being pushed or touched and seeing figures moving around.

Things start off with Zak getting very excited at the idea of capturing a shadow forming out of the wall.

Our trio investigate multiple buildings and gets the usual bangs, knocks and footsteps. A lot of this should be attributed to the wood popping as it expands and contracts, although the sounds of someone walking outside on the boardwalk outside the saloon is pretty interesting. It’s quite loud and sounds like a set of heavy boots on wood.

Other evidence they gather includes a couple of voices coming through the Spirit Box. They get the words "hate" and "hurt" right at the same time Zak feels a sense of paralysis at the top of the stairs. This is apparently the same spot where Franciso says he felt someone pushing at his back as though trying to shove him down the stairs. Zak feels this is a demonic energy and feels it may be the corrupt Sheriff, Henry Plummer.

The group brings in a couple of triggers objects – an old style crank phone and very old radio. When Billy cranks up the phone he feels he’s seeing balls of light and energy around him. When Zak and Nick use the radio they feel they get the sound of a little girl saying, "momma".

They also capture the sound of what might be a piano playing in the saloon.

When they split up to check different buildings Aaron gets a couple of words on the Ovilus – Six, Men, Apart. Is this once again referring to them and the sprit of Sheriff Plummer?

While I don’t think they nailed anything solid – I discount the bangs, pops and orbs, they did get some voices that are worth investigating. The footsteps outside, while completely explainable as someone walking or just boards cooling, makes for an interesting sound outside the saloon.

However, there was the sound of piano and the voice. Is this proof positive they captured something? Not really. To me it means there is something worth investigating. I don’t really jump on board with these orbs and streaks of light. Zak can discount lens flare and dust particles all he wants, but that doesn’t make it spirit energy. And while I think the footsteps are neat, I hear those same sounds all the time in my house as the wood handles the heat and cold. It sounds like someone moving around all the time and I know damn well and good there aren’t any spirits lurking in here. Perhaps it is ethereal footsteps, but there are real world explanations too.

So, an interesting investigation with a couple of neat events. Plus, the place is wonderfully scenic with mountains, steams and deer. That makes the visit worthwhile.

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Ghost Adventures – George Washington Ghost – S09E03

image The crew of the Ghost Adventures heads out to New York to investigate a historic site linked with loads of dark energy – the Morris–Jumel Mansion. Between September 14 and October 20, 1776, General George Washington used the mansion as his temporary headquarters after he and his army were forced to evacuate Brooklyn Heights following their loss to the British Army under the command of General William Howe in the Battle of Long Island.

In 1810 the house was then taken over by Eliza Jumel. She was a lower class woman who tried to work her way up in society. She had some interesting political views that caused a bit of a stir in France. She was then asked to leave and returned to her home. She lived in the house until she died in 1865. Eliza is rumored to have murdered her husband Stephen Jumel by not tending to his wounds and ultimately letting him bleed to death.

While certainly historic and this is the location many of the Founding Father’s would have worked at, the "dark energy" just seem like it’s there. Perhaps that’s why they decide to take on another investigation at Katie’s Pub where the owner says he has dark energy and shadow figures lurking in his basement. The bar is supposedly the location where Carl "Charlie" Henry Klein committed suicide using a shotgun. They claim there is a bad vibe and negative feelings, but there aren’t any truly sinister events to support this. Someone did indeed take their life, but the owner claims the place is infested with dark energy.

It’s very easy to sum up this investigation as nothing really happens. Nick handles the Morris-Jumel Mansion while Zak and Aaron check out the bar. The big event for the bar is the black plastic that covers the Exit sign comes down. At the mansion Kinect device flips out and shows some stick figure, which they think is an entity, crawl up Billy’s backside. It’s kind of interesting, but are you really saying you’ve hacked the device that Microsoft built for the Xbox and now you can see the paranormal activity with it?

But overall these locations seem completely harmless. Zak and Nick both endlessly say there is bad energy and how they feel nauseous, or how it’s heavy, or whatever melodramatic term they want to use, but as far as evidence goes and not just feelings or an act their putting on, they don’t capture anything. A bag tearing off a sign isn’t the paranormal. There were no glasses thrown like the owners claim. There were no apparitions of Eliza appearing on the veranda as claimed. Maybe the spirits didn’t want to come out and play that night, but to me this is a whole lot of hype and no substance.

Eliza Jumel
Morris–Jumel Mansion

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