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Haunted Highway – Black Angel and Arizona Domes – S02E06

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So here are two interesting cases to close out the season of Haunted Highway. Jael and Devin visit a cemetery overseen by a Black Angel while Jack and Dana head out to visit some haunted domes in Arizona.

Black Angel

The story of the Black Angel states that it’s a statue that was erectd by a woman as a memorial to her husband and son. Of course there are rumors that she was responsible for the murders. People are scared of the statue and claim that if you touch it you’ll get sick. There is even one witness who says her friend committed suicide after touching the statue. Another claims he saw waves of energy enter the cemetery and those waves lead him to the Black Angel.

When they first get to the angel, Jael makes the comment the head is looking down as though to hell. Ok, settle down. Plenty of statues look down. It’s a sign of sorrow, piety or respect. It doesn’t immediately mean something is looking right into the bowels of hell. But oddly when Devin takes thermal images of the statue, it does show some radiant heat. Could just be something with the metal, but it is kinda neat.

While they don’t get much out of the investigation, a local historian says they should go investigate the Pest House a tuberculosis ward and then the site of a smallpox outbreak. It’s believed many people are buried in a mass grave.

Apparently sensing he might need it, Devin just happens to have a Ground Penetrating Radar machine with him. I guess he keeps that in the trunk of the car, "just in case". Anyway, he roams around the area looking for a mass grave. He doesn’t find anything conclusive, but thinks he might have some bumps that are bodies. While Devin is checking the grounds, Jael feels something is behind her.

As they wrap things up, it doesn’t feel like they capture anything. There are no figures, shadows, EVPs or the normal stock and trade of the paranormal world. It seems someone purchased a statue, the statue changed color over time (as metals and stone are want to do) and now it seems to scare people and they make up stories and legends about it. You go to any cemetery that’s been around for a couple of generations and all the statues will take on a sinister appearance and all the headstones will be tainted black. I see these all the time, it doesn’t make them evil or haunted.

Arizona Domes

This is an interesting little investigation about some odd military styled domes that have been left in the Arizona desert. People report seeing shadows, that rocks get throw and they hear voices. Jack and Dana head out on a long and dusty trail and spend the night amidst these giant structures that echo with every step.

As they look around they see someone standing in the doorway mere feet away from Dana. This causes Jack great concern and he says she needs to get the hell out of there. Once they’re back together they head to the doorway to see what they can find. They immediately discover a "trap door" that some hobo has converted into a house. Judging the sleeping bag, it’s not the den of the paranormal. It immediately becomes apparent that people have turned the domes into makeshift houses. People see shadows, hear voices and see shadows because people are wandering around out there. There is nothing paranormal about these places and Jack doesn’t even try to say there is.

And that brings us to the end of Season 2 of Haunted Highway. I didn’t expect this show to come back after the medical issues Jack ran into in his personal life. It’s been an interesting road and they’ve hung out at some interesting locations. Most of the places they end up seem to be shrouded more in urban legend than actual paranormal activity. It’s interesting to see how people come up with stories to explain events or simply relay legends without thinking about them. While some of the eyewitness accounts are interesting, some of them seem downright impossible to believe. It feels like a lot of people have story ready just in case a camera crew shows up. People want their 15 seconds of fame. Maybe there really are strange events going on in these places, but far too much of it comes across as fame seeking and flat out boasting. But hey, it’s still a fun ride and I hope we don’t have to wait so long to see what the gang gets up to season 3.

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Killer Contact – The Hell-Fire Club – S01E04

imageThe Hell-Fire Club is a name that has come up several times in different paranormal investigations. Depending on who you ask, they were a secret society of aristocratic men with dark desires. While there is no real evidence to support the claims it’s rumored they held dark rituals, orgies, tried to commune with Satan and held sacrifices. The Killer Contact team is on the hunt to see if the members actually got away with murder.

The first part of the investigation takes place in Scotland. A man reports that he was at Gilmerton Cove and saw visions of a woman being tortured and punished, shadow figures and felt he had his throat cut. He attributes this to the residual energy of the Hell-Fire Club.
 
The teams goes to investigate and Austin feels something is touching him on the back of the neck. Molly says she sees a shadow cross in front of the camera and as they follow it she says something comes at her. While I’m sure that’s an unsettling feeling, she has got to calm down. In every episode so far, she screams hysterically, yells out "no, no, no" when activity starts and is the first person to run away from the scene. Again, if you’re going after the paranormal, don’t soil your pants when you think you’ve found it.
 
Since they need to roleplay, they ask several questions and go through the motions as though Molly is their sacrifice. Austin asks repeatedly if he should kill her. When they review the audio they feel they hear a voice say, "lay her down for me" and when they ask if club members brought prostitutes into the tunnels, they get a "yes". Neither one of those sounds sinister, they sound more sexual. Considering rich guys were lurking down in the tunnels, the idea of hookers isn’t too shocking.
 
This is really all they get from Scotland so it’s off to Ireland for another investigation. This time they check out a hunting lodge at Montpelier Hill, a site rumored to have been used by the Hell-Fire Club. They bring along a cadaver dog to check to see if there are human remains in the area. The dog acts as though there are. They also get information about a Lord Santry who is rumored to be one of the most extreme Club members. It’s said he was a sociopath and prone to violence. According to a researcher, he believes Lord Santry set someone on fire. Sounds like old Lord Santry may have been the victim of syphilis. That sort of thing tends to drive you crazy and make you a touch hostile.
 
This is all scary stuff, but keep in mind, none of this is proven. It is "believed" and even the researcher says "he wouldn’t doubt" Lord Santry committed murder or that members did, but he has no documentation.
 
With all this new information, the teams heads into the hunting lodge to get to the bottom of the murders. It’s also at this point that the entire show becomes a complete load of horseshit.
 
Armed with an iPad that has a small piece of the indoctrination ceremony, Greg makes Austin a member  of the Hell-Fire Club. Austin feels someone touching him as they go through the ritual, then wants to be alone so he can make contact with his new found members. A few minutes later he’s standing off in the corner like someone from Paranormal Activity or Blair Witch Project. Austin, in some sort of trance, says he wants to kill Greg. Greg immediately says Austin is possessed. They also make the comment about his lifeless eyes. His eyes look lifeless because of the way the camera picks up the light. It will do that no matter who you are.
 
While in this "trance" Austin answers questions about the Hell-Fire Club. Greg demands to know who committed the murders. How shocking it is that Austin says Lord Santry? It’s the same name the researcher gave them and the only name they know. What a rare coincidence that Austin should say the same name. Give me a break!
 
Greg is convinced Austin is possessed and that they are talking to John Wilkes who was kicked out of the Hell-Fire Club. Austin gives all sorts of vague answers and in the end claims he doesn’t remember any of it and has a lapse of memory. Sorry, the whole thing seems staged, faked and smells like a big steamy pile of bullshit.
 
Every single thing in this episode is based on rumor. No facts are actually presented in any way and if you listen, every sentence is "believed" or "rumored". With a name like Hell-Fire Club I doubt they sat around reading poetry together, but everything we’ve seen here is wild speculation. Who knows what the hell they did in their meetings, but these jokers certainly don’t have the answers. And this whole possession thing is laughable.

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Haunted Highway – Bridge of Doom and Shades of Death Road S02E05

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Bridge of Doom
 
Well, the team has certainly found some ominously named place for their next investigation haven’t they? Who actually names a road, Shades of Death Road? That’s not just a clever nickname thrown out by the locals, it’s the actual name of the road. I guess they’ve been waiting for paranormal groups to show up.
 
The first investigation is at the site of a terrible train disaster. As the train passed over, the entire bridge collapsed and who knows how many people lost their lives. There were so many dead, they were buried in a mass grave. As Jael and Devin investigate they come across some strange happenings and perhaps a little vandalism.
 
At the site of the collapse Devin seems to capture two figures on his thermal imager. Are these spirits or just some kids wandering around? It’s not like they didn’t just go into town and tell everyone they were going to the bridge for an investigation. Additionally, Jael conducts an EVP session and feels the bridge is going to collapse on her. While in the cemetery at the mass grave their video equipment is vandalized while they try and make contact with Mr. Collins, one of the designers of the bridge. Sounds like someone has followed them out there and wants to give them a show. Since these aren’t closed areas, it wouldn’t surprise me if someone was out there messing around. Maybe they were trying their own investigation. As for the equipment, that sadly seems like someone just smashing their gear because they walked away from it. Perhaps they were acts of the paranormal, but it’s far more likely they simply weren’t alone out there that night.

When all is said and done there really isn’t anything to support the claims that the Bridge of Doom is anything more than just a bridge and the train wreck was a sad accident.
 
Shades of Death Road
 
There are many urban legends about lonely stretches of road where strange figures can be seen on the side of the road and mysterious "hitchhikers" that are there one moment and gone the next. Jack and Dana conduct their own investigation and have some strange experiences.
 
With multiple cameras mounted to the car they decide to drive the lonely stretch. Within moments, the cameras begin to flake out and they get a flat. Certainly sets an ominous mood for the night. But then as they drive further down the road, Dana sees a figure at the side of the road. Now honestly, it looks like someone has stopped in the middle of the night to relieve themselves. I suppose it could be a full bodied apparition, but someone urinating on the side of the road after a wild night of indulgence is oh so more likely.
 
Jack captures a "mist" coming out of the lake. It seems like two figures rising from the water. Yes, that could indeed be some sort of water siren or it may be a gas leaking out from the lake itself. They’ve come across this sort of thing before, but It looks cool either way.
 
As Jack says, when you have a road named Shades of Death Road, people are going to expect certain things and there minds can easily play tricks. It’s interesting that the camera had issues at the bridge, and their radio malfunctions at the same time. Could be some spiritual energy, pocket of EMF or something strange and unusual that needs some more investigation. The lake certainly lends itself to stories of the paranormal as strange figures rise from the water. Pockets of gas aren’t quite as spellbinding as spirits, but who knows which is correct is in this instance. Are there really spirits trapped along the side of the road or do pranksters lurk in the shadows and natural phenomenon give the urban legends a spin of truth?
 
A lonely stretch of road can yield many things. Hard to say what we have going on here. It doesn’t seem like they captured any real evidence of lonely spectres walking the lonely road. Oddly, there was no story of a woman in white who asks people to take her home and then disappears.

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Killer Contact – Lucrezia Borgia – S01E03

image For this episode the team heads to Ferrara, Italy to investigate the legend of Lucrezia Borgia who is rumored to have lured dozens of men to their death to increase the influence of her family. She is reported to have poisoned men as well as several of her fiancés met an untimely end before actually getting married. So was Lucrezia the female poisoner of the family or has history improperly tied to misdeeds based on her family name?

The team investigates the Castello Estense where it is believed that Lucrezia poisoned many men and even had a special room, The Chamber of Poisons built so she could perform her acts in private. As they investigate they get some contradictory feelings and impressions that leave them divided on whether Lucrezia is guilty or a victim.

Greg and Molly investigate The Chamber of Poisons where Greg feels something is putting pressure on his head. Molly makes a big deal about the fact that she can’t get Greg’s face in focus on the camera, but we later see the camera does the exact same thing in the Chapel. So is Greg having an experience or is the camera experiencing a malfunction? To me it looks like the camera is broken.

They next investigate the Chapel and that’s where team becomes divided. Adam and Hector feel a presence that gives them a sense of peace. They feel this is Lucrezia trying to tell them she is innocent of the charges people have leveled against her. Greg and Molly investigate the same area and feel something more sinister. They feel extreme cold spots and that they’re being toyed with. Molly feels uncomfortable in there and doesn’t have the same sense of peace.

Unfortunately, neither group captures any real evidence of what they see or feel. It is all impressions of the moment.

Another part of the investigation is to check the basement for arsenic poisoning. While they take multiple samples, there is nothing to indicate arsenic is lingering in the area.

Overall I’m not sure if this is getting better or not. Their methods are still pretty flaky, their evidence is extremely light and in some cases non-existent and they draw some wild conclusions without any basis in fact. The Borgia have an interesting story so it wouldn’t be too big a surprise if the rumors and stories were true, but this investigation didn’t add anything to the narrative. I’m sure they had a neat time in the castle, but in the end they really haven’t given us anything.

So, what do you think? Did they make contact with Lucrezia? Is she guilty of taking men’s lives with poison? What do you feel is the most compelling evidence?

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