Haunted Collector – Casino Phantom and California Nightmare – S02E07

Binion’s Casino in Las Vegas

For this episode, John and his team head into the back yard of Ghost Adventures and investigate Binion’s Casino in Las Vegas. The General Manager is reporting claims of people getting touched and grabbed as well as seeing apparitions. His casino is in the older and more historic part of Vegas where the rules were a little looser and dealing with problems a little more stern. It sounds like an episode that would be rife with mafia ties, cheating, stealing, lost fortunes and more.

John and his team find or are given a couple of token items such as a razor, poker chip and matchbook. They also research a tie clip, which turns out to be a "wizard", a way to cheat at cards.

While the items are certainly interesting how do they support the paranormal activity and for that matter, what is the activity? While looking around the place nothing seems to happen. Not every episode has to be riddled with spooks, specters and ghosts, but I didn’t see anything in this episode that backed up any paranormal claims. The most interesting thing was the tarantula in the bathroom sink. For casino that may have seen some dark times, it doesn’t seem like the team runs across anything. Since it’s Vegas they are going to assume that the "wizard" is associated with someone who got caught and that he was killed because of his cheating. They associate the "Secret Room" with dealing with the cheat and link the whole thing to Tony Stralla. To be fair, that is certainly plausible and considering this is Vegas, something like that probably did happen, but aren’t they putting the cart in front of the horse? There is absolutely nothing to support any of these claims. It’s an interesting theory, but it’s nothing more than that, a theory.

Gomez Residence – Glendora, California

After hanging out in Vegas, the teams heads over to Glendora, California to investigate a home owned by Pedro Gomez where he claims paranormal activity is giving him cause for concern. He feels a presence in the house, hears knocking on the walls, feels he’s being watched and has a sense of negative energy.

Unfortunately, I think they’re looking for answers in the wrong place. In fact, Brian seems to have the right idea before they even get to the place. First off, it’s been abandoned for years. I’m sure animals have made their home in the walls, ceiling and lots of other places. Second, it’s been vandalized. There was a ton of graffiti as well as plenty of "demonic" and "satanic" symbolism all over the place. That clearly is going to play with your mind. As Brian states, the noose in the tree was meant to scare the crap out of people. Especially since there is a history that the home was once a halfway house back in the late 70s. How else are you going to start an urban legend and terrorize young kids? You need to make up some stories and throw some scary symbols around. I don’t believe any of that means anything.

Additionally, it’s California, it’s on a fault line. The house rumbles with some regularity and that will cause the house to shake, shift and settle. All of those will cause strange sounds. A house settling is going to sound like footsteps and the bed rumbling is simply a small tremor or aftershock. Well, other than the obvious reason a bed might shake when there’s a couple in it.

The team does talk with the police who confirm there were problems at the house. Too many ex-convicts were allowed to stay there at one time, conditions were cramped and tempers flared. However, no mention of murder or other unsolved crimes. There’s the potential for restless spirits, but it’s not all coming together.

In the end they look into the pictures Pedro brought to them previously. They notice the words, "victim" and "murdered" on the back of the photo. They draw the conclusion that the man in the photo is reaching out to Pedro to help solve his murder. Now that is a spectacular story, but it’s a bit much for me. I don’t see how the pieces fit together to draw that conclusion. But as an officer of the law, Pedro is going to do his best to identify the man and investigate what he can. I wish him the best of luck, but I don’t see this as being anything more than a bunch of misguided kids throwing around trinkets with the hopes of starting a rumor about the house being haunted.

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