Ghost Adventures – Haunted Victorian Mansion – S08E06

The location for this episode is located in Nick’s hometown of Boston. Sadly, this episode was recorded right after the tragic events of the Boston Marathon.

The guys are here to investigate the Pierce Victorian Mansion that was built in 1875. It has been in the same family for multiple generations, many of which died in the house. Recently, it received new owners, but things have been less than comfy and cozy. Lillian and Edwin say they have seen shadow figures, a figure with black eyes and that Lillian was held down on the bed by some unseen force. Because of the activity, they have moved out of the house and haven’t come back.

As mentioned, the history of the house includes multiple deaths, which would be typical for the time. Members of the family passed away from cancer and natural causes. There was a child who died at the age of two, Rachel, and her mother died in the house as well, Bessy. Some of the claims include seeing a crying woman and a child at the window.

While there are several deaths of natural causes there is one strange death, the previous owner. It’s claimed the owner burned to death although there was no fire in the house. It’s reported he had burn marks on his face and died of smoke inhalation. It’s believed he was smoking in bed and may have been the victim of some sort of spontaneous combustion. They don’t have too many facts relating to his death. In fact, they don’t have too many facts about any of the events that took place in the house, yet somehow they come to the conclusion that there is a battle of Good vs. Evil going on in the house. There is no evidence whatsoever to support this Evil claim they’re making. With so little factual and recorded evidence to support that, it’s an absurd conclusion to make. Talk about jumping to conclusions.

I’ve said it before and I’m going to say it again, I’m so sick and damn tired of their overly dramatic and completely senseless dramas they keep slipping into these episodes. The demonic voices, the shaky images, the split images and distorted camera work needs to come to an end. It’s so damn juvenile and just scream amateur hour. This is supposed to be an investigation not some cheesy ass high school film project.

But as the move on with the investigation there are some interesting aspects to it. There are multiple bangs and knocks throughout the house as well as several EVPs in response to their questions. For example, they if someone is there and get some loud bangs right after. Zak and Aaron also claim to see a ball of light coming toward them and capture something moving with the X-Camera. Orbs have never excited me, by Zak believes this is evidence of a presence.

When it comes to EVPs, they do indeed capture quite a few. When they ask, "What is your name?" They get the response, "David". When they ask if the spirits know Edwin, they get a little girls’ voice saying, "hi". Edwin asks if they should leave the house and there is a response of "no’. When asking if he should sell the house, he gets "not sure". When Edwin asks what is the name of the woman who lives there, he gets "Lillian". So they get multiple responses, but none of those seem evil or malevolent or hateful as this whole Good vs. Evil war Nick was talking about would imply. Quite frankly, if you take these responses at face value, everything seems fine. If anything, you have a little girl saying Hi and another woman who isn’t sure how she feels about the house being in someone else’s hands. Certainly none of this "Get out!" or "I’ll kill you" that would be expected from the supposed dark and demonic spirits Zak says hides in the house.

Suffice it to say I have many issues with this episode. Zak and Nick are jumping to conclusions to try and sell the idea of the house being evil. They want there to be a demonic force so if nothing else, they’ll make one up. The EVPs they capture don’t suggest evil in any way. Sure, they get some banging, but that doesn’t come across as evil either. It seems the spirits might know who the owners are, but in the end, Zak and the team haven’t unraveled or uncovered anything. They haven’t brought the owners any peace or answers. In fact, they leave with as little information as they arrived. There might be some activity going on there but it doesn’t come across as the owners in danger. Perhaps they’re letting their fears get the better of them. Maybe they need to approach the house with cooler heads and do more investigation into the events. It sounds like there are still hundreds of questions that still need to be answered.

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Sleepy Hollow – S01E01

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is one of my favorite stories and although it may come as a bit of a surprise, I think the Disney 1949 cartoon rendition is quite a wonderful telling of the story. Sadly, the Johnny Depp version quite the steamy pile and other renditions try to go to far with the horror and gore and lose the core of the story. Let’s not forget, it’s a mystery – what happened to Ichabod?

But here comes Fox with a new telling of this tale, and by the first episode, I think they may be on the right track. It appears Sleepy Hollow is bringing a lot of elements into the story, both from the story and from the surrounding time period. Ichabod isn’t a gangly school teacher scared of his own shadow. Far from it. He worked with George Washington on convert missions for the revolutionary war. Like some other stories (Once Upon a Time, Lost) this one is told both from the past and in the present.

We first find Ichabod on the battlefield and he may in fact be responsible for the Headless Horseman. Washington sent Ichabod to hunt him down. When engaged in battle, Ichabod delivers the fatal blow that takes off his head. But then, the world changes and Ichabod wakes up in present day Sleepy Hollow. The Headless Horseman is riding again and we learn there may be more to his story than a simple specter. He may in fact be Death himself.

We learn that Ichabod actually married Katrina, but that she was tried and killed for witchcraft. And speaking of witchcraft, we have Sheriff Corbin who sounds oh so similar to the Sheriff Corwin of Salem Witch Trial fame.

But that was all in the past, Ichabod is now in the present. Somehow, through the magical weavings of his wife Katrina, he has been slumbering and recovering from his wounds and has been awakened to once again fight the Hessian. According to the legend, Ichabod needs to keep the severed head away from the body or the Horseman will become even more powerful. We also hear tale of two witch covens, one good, one evil, working to suppress and control the Horseman.

A lot of pieces comes at us, but overall I think it blended together pretty nicely. We have modern Sleepy Hollow with Old School Ichabod looking for the Headless Horseman will dark forces try to stop their efforts. These dark forces are more than likely tied to witchcraft and I have no doubt the events of the Salem Witch Trials will come to light. There is a TON of material to work with here and it looks like the writers will delve into that subject at will to make the story more intriguing without going over the top on useless grisly details.

I like what I see and look forward to the next episode. There is a lot of pieces to this puzzle and while they might take some liberties, I think a lot of historical information is going to come to light and some interesting twists on the old theories will come along for the ride. This is another attempt at making Ichabod a "detective", but I think this time around they might have gotten it right.

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Ghost Adventures – Yost Theater and Ritz Hotel – S08E05

The guys head out to Santa Ana, California to investigate the Yost Theater and the Ritz Hotel. Not the famed Ritz as you may think, rather a flop house where drug use and prostitution were the order of the day. Sadly, the Ritz fell on hard times after a drowning in the basement pool. The Yost Theater has also has also seen a tragedy, Ernest Ball the composer of "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" died in the backstage dressing room. However, their investigation of the Ritz Hotel hits the brakes when they come to find out a construction crew is taking the place apart. Overcoming adversity they turn their attentions to the Willella Howe-Waffle House. Turns out this house has a checkered past with abortions. Obviously these were illegal back in the day, but it’s not clear as to whether this way back alley butchery or a husband and wife trying to help women of the day.

There are many claims about hearing voices as well as the owner hearing a growl in the downstairs area of the theater. Others claim to hear the voice of a little girl, although there is no really history about her. As Zak, Nick and Aaron investigate, they too hear plenty of noises and bumps in the dark. It turns out that most of those bumps, at least in the theater are merely rats. This does go to show that animals live in all sorts of place and plenty of noises can be attributed to the little devils.

They do the usual EVP work and oddly the word "haunting" comes up multiple times. They hear it in the Howe-Waffle House as well as in the Yost theater. They also get the words "in trouble" and "abortion" when trying to get answers about the doctor. Unfortunately, the quality is going down hill. The words are hard to make out and while they can fit into context, it’s not distinct like those earlier ones.

While trying to make contact with Willella, Zak says she should manifest into a ball of light so they can see her. In the lower portion of the screen, they feel they capture evidence of her manifesting as there is a little ball of light. Conclusive? Hard to say.

Also within the Yost they get the security guard to wander into some of the places he’s seen activity before. While there, they claim to see a shadow figure lurking in the corners. Hard to see that one, but possibly something there.

Overall, the three places yield plenty of noises, which is most likely due to animals in the woodwork, and some rather faint EVPs. It’s hard to say if they’re really capturing spirit voices and if those actually say what they interpret. They’re interesting place but I really can’t agree they hold all the dark energy that Zak feels they do. Sure, their past is a little checkered with some less than savory events, but it doesn’t appear to the dark portal of evil they want it to be.

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Ghost Mine – The Lost Chamber – S02E02

So we’re back into the mine for more thrilling adventures and maybe get some answers to all the questions that have been raised. But for the moment, the questions keep piling up.

The episode starts off with Jay saying he felt someone was still in the mine with him. Mike had left the mine 20 minutes ago, but Jay keeps saying he’s in there. When Patrick and Kristen check the cameras, there are odd glitches as Jay is walking.

Additionally, Mike and Bucket experience some sort of strange "paranormal time distortion" where they feel they’ve been working for an hour, but it’s actually been 6. Stan actually has to go into the mine and get them.

Patrick and Kristen head into the mine to check things out. In this new "chamber" they feel this is writing on the wall that appears to be "VI" when seen under black light. Additionally, they feel they’ve been chasing a "miner’s headlamp" right into a dead end. So Jay swears he saw someone that wasn’t there and now Kristen and Patrick are chasing someone that disappears into the rock. Kristen is also quite sure there is something written on the wall. That seems a bit of a stretch until Patrick and Kristen head to the library.

At first it seems they’re still working the Masonic angle to try and make it work for them, but they do come up with some very intriguing information. Kristen finds information about the "Chamber of Reflection" which is a room that should literally or figuratively contain a scythe, an hourglass and the VITRIOL. Doesn’t sound like much except the guys found what looks to be the handle off a scythe, the remnants of an hourglass and the letters "VI" on the wall. They could indeed have pieces from the "Chamber of Reflection". So did the Masons hold meetings in the mine because it was a secure and private location? Now, it doesn’t sound like any of this is sinister though. It just sounds like the mine may have been a meeting place. An odd choice, but considering the time period it would be easy to guard and very private.

So we might have an explanation about the chamber, but what about this time loss (if there was such a thing)? Strangely, Patrick takes a compass to where Mike and Bucket were working and the needle can’t find true North. It keeps moving in large arcs. It’s not spinning like you see in the movies, but it’s nowhere near steady. To be honest, I believe the readings off that old school compass more than EMF detectors. It does appear there is some sort of EMF that could be disorienting if you stayed in there long enough. So, not exactly time distortion, but it may have warped their perception of what was going on in the tunnel. I have no idea what that would feel like, but some sort of phenomena is in there. It’s natural, not paranormal.

And for the last piece, the miners have heard a lot of knocking lately. As Eddie says, that would just be rocks falling, debris or even the water. But when Patrick knocks on the wall with a rock, he gets a definitive knock in response. It doesn’t sound like an echo either. It doesn’t have a reverb quality to it. Very strange indeed.

The evidence is mounting up. It appears the mine was used as a meeting place for the Masons of the area, but it doesn’t seem sinister at all. The chamber may have been used as a meeting room and there seems to be some naturally occurring EMF in the mind that might be messing with the miners. Now, if we take the EMF into account, it could be why the previous miners left. They could have felt ill, disoriented, felt like someone was there when they weren’t, they may have felt like they were losing time and it may explain the noises they keep hearing. And considering the minders in the 1800 would know very little of EMF, it would explain why they took off as well. What they thought might be evil or spirits could have been their reaction to EMF. These are all very interesting things, but are we in the middle of paranormal activity?

There is still one big question left to answer, is there someone trespassing on the mine? We keep hearing about this elusive stranger, but as of yet, nothing has been found.

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