Haunted Collector – My Mother’s Ghost & Paranormal Predator – S01E02

For this second outing John and his team head to investigate a home where a mother is having problems with objects moving and noises. The client has lost several family members over the past year so unfortunately death has been a fixture in her life for awhile. She shows John some of the places where activity has occurred and shows several items her mom was close to. She was very interested in figures of angels. John also checks out the painting and other furniture. He seems to have a roving eye like a guy at a garage sale.

They also investigate the bedrooms where a music box might of interest. They decide to set up an experiment for that night where baby powder is poured over the floor to see if they can capture footprints. Unfortunately the team commits one of the classic blunders and walks right through the baby powder. Definitely getting an amateur vibe off that move.

John says he picked up an EVP during the night which they happen to capture near the music box. When they play it back to the client she immediately says it’s her mother. Purple flowers doesn’t seem to correspond with anything they were talking about but it means something to the client.

Since the EVP was heard near the music box John takes it to an antique dealer to learn more. It’s an old item but there is nothing especially unique about it. Of course a music box is a personal item so it would have sentimental value. Based on that John feels he needs to remove it from the house.

The next investigation sees John going to a home littered with all sorts of animal carcasses. The owner claims he hears all sorts of things and his son constantly wakes up and is scared to sleep alone. Not to be rude, but if I had to sleep in a house full of dead animals and shark mouths stapled to the walls I probably wouldn’t sleep either. The house is looking pretty scary right off the bat. Tone down the taxidermy and the young fellow might make it through the night.

They sweep the house and get spikes from a cane that is hanging on the wall. But just as quickly as they get the reading it disappears. And then comes back again. This makes John suspicious so off it goes to the dealer. It turns out to be a cane gun which was somewhat unusual for the time but not unheard of. As you might expect there was a shooting involving a cane gun in the same area where the cane was bought. No surprise that the gun needs to be removed from the house. But John doesn’t stop there he takes some shark mouths out of the son’s room. Even though nothing is really recorded in conjunction with either of these items he wraps them up and takes them away.

Now that we’re two episodes in this show has me scratching my head. As I said before I like the research, I like the daytime investigations and taking baseline readings. However, this whole taking stuff out of the house seems like the work of a guy who just wants to build a collection of cool stuff for his museum. I mean who doesn’t want an old cane gun?

But the other major problem is that (according to his website) John takes these items out of the house and does a binding ceremony on them. That basically calms down the energy and then he stores them in a case if the energy is still too high. That being said why can’t he do that for his clients? Why can’t they do a binding ritual and keep their stuff? And if it’s still too dangerous then wouldn’t this museum of his be insanely dangerous for people to visit? Wouldn’t his very life be in jeopardy with all that negative energy? If it’s safe for him to be around and the public at large then why can’t the owners be around them now that they’re clean? That whole part just doesn’t make sense to me.

Further I think their assumptions and connections are somewhat flawed. Shark teeth have negative energy? A cane gun that may have nothing to do with a murder decades ago is the source of problems in your home? A music box is rousing up the spirit of your mom and she’s causing problems? I mean really these things seem a little farfetched.

I’m not sure if I like this show or not. Part of me likes the line of inquiry but the other part things this is a way to get your hands on some cheap antiques…

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Haunted Collector – Haunted Bayou/Library Ghost – S01E01


SyFy has spun up yet another show on the paranormal called Haunted Collector which features the work of John Zaffis and his family as they try to help people cope with otherworldly events. I’ve been intrigued by the idea of the show but after watching the first two episodes that have aired I must admit I find several flaws.

John has grown up with the paranormal and has been around it just about his entire life. He studied demonology under the guidance of his aunt and uncle, Lorraine and Ed Warren. Yes, that Lorrain Warren of Amityville Horror and Paranormal State fame. That connection alone makes me a little skeptical but let’s put that aside for now.

What John does is investigate locations with paranormal activity and looks for the source. The angle here is that he believes objects are responsible for activity and by removing those objects you remove the activity. He believes that objects become haunted or contain spirit energy. Certainly a different take on things. Although we did see some of this in the very early episodes of Ghost Hunters and Paranormal State.

This first episode starts with John and his family visiting a home with activity. I do like the idea of the daytime sweep where they check for EMF and other unusual things during the day so they can take baseline readings. This is something we haven’t seen the other shows focus on. It was also interesting that they did EVPs during the day as well. Everyone does them at night as though that’s the only time spirits come out. Again, I like the idea of them working during the day and spending more than just one day at a location.

As they investigate the house during the night they pick up something odd on the thermal imager. They see a big blue cold spot on the wall. To try and discover the source of the problem they end up in the crawl space. Seeing there is no renegade pipe or AC unit they decide to start digging. And what do they find? Yep, a metal box. The chain of events leading to this box seems a little too coincidental to me but I’ll run with it.

And what’s in the box you ask? Why a gun of course. They just happen to find some gun in a little metal box under the house. John figures this is the source of all the problems and goes to a gun dealer to have him check it out and give some details on how old it is. The team makes a connection between the gun and some shooting.

The homeowner of course wants the gun gone so John takes it back to his museum for safe keeping.

For his second outing John heads to an old library with claims of activity that is scaring the kids. There are lots of noises and things bumping around. John and his team once again check out the building by day and try to get a history of the objects they find there. These items include a large stove and a typewriter in particular.

The typewriter is interesting since they get EMF readings off it. Somewhat odd for a manual typewriter to give off EMF spikes. They decide to set up some experiments to watch it which includes hanging some string in the room to detect movement as well as 4 IR cameras. They don’t collect any real evidence during the night but they feel the typewriter is the center of the problems so John goes to have it looked at by a dealer. It’s a very old unit and would have been quite expensive. Of course letters were the main form of communication during the time. I’m not sure why but John feels taking the typewriter away will solve the paranormal problems.

After these items are removed the clients claim the activity has dropped off. I find some of the show very interesting while some of it seems a bit too oddball. First, I’m not too much of a fan of an object becoming possessed with dark energy. While we know a tiki can possess the Brady family while they’re off in Hawaii I’m a bit more skeptical when it comes to this sort of things happening to other people.

Second, John and his team make some pretty big leaps in logic. A gun buried under a house that has no connection with the owner and that could have come from anywhere and a typewriter several floors up in a library are the causes for paranormal activity? I’m not quite seeing the correlation.

So far I have mixed feelings. I like some of the techniques. I like the research based approach. I’m not sure the findings are very solid though.

Let’s see what this next episode brings.

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Ghost Adventures – Tooele Hospital – S04E26

Zak and the team head just outside Utah to Tooele to investigate perhaps one of the oddest buildings they’ve come across. It started as a poor house for the local residents, but then due to population expansion turned into an ill equipped hospital. They didn’t have the staff, funding or supplies to tend to the needs of their patients. They apparently had no morgue to deal with those that passed away.

The building now stands as a haunted attraction called Asylum 49. But there’s more. It’s not just a haunted house built out of an asylum it’s an actual nursing home for the elderly with 59 patients and a full nursing staff. Not many places can boast such a combination.

The owner claims to have seen apparitions. The nursing staff claims to have seen several different things as well. They claim there is a lady in white, a man in black and a little girl. Not much is mentioned about the nurse such as why she lingers or if she causes any mischief. Very little is known about the man in black other than he is an apparition that appears. There are multiple stories of people being attacked and scratched but is this dark figure responsible? And the little girl foretells of death. When patients start to mention her it usually signals someone is going to pass. But who is this little girl? Was she a patient? Did she lose her parents here?

Nurse Marie who gives the tour seems to be on the verge of hysterics the entire time. You get the sense that at any moment she is going to bolt from the room. No matter which room they go in she seems deathly afraid of it. If this place is so scary why does she stick around? If hates going into all these rooms why not get a job somewhere else? She seems to be tormenting herself.

Again, there are multiple accounts of people getting scratched. People have been scratched across the chest and on the back of the neck. Are they getting hung up on something and hurting themselves by accident or does something sinister roam the halls?

One thing to note, there aren’t the usual stories of abuse or bizarre experiments we’re used to hearing about from asylums. And the between clip graphics are certainly playing up that fact with lots of scenes of blood and nurses taking joy in patient suffering. Sure, the hospital had problems but did they go out of their way to hurt the patients? They’re building up the dramatic effect but I don’t get the sense it really happened. These little cutscenes are trying to build an atmosphere of something that was never there.

So what happens during the investigation?

For the second time we have some ridiculous theatrics to start the lockdown. Seriously, this is just stupid. I’m sure it was fun to do but it really comes across as juvenile. A hearse where slaves were bought and sold, now a fake ambulance where the elderly reside. This isn’t coming across as classy.

They start off in room 666 where they play with the Jacob’s ladder and try to talk with the spirits. This is where one investigator claims to have gotten scratched on the back of the neck. As Zak and Aaron start to provoke the spirits the electrical arc on the ladder climbs to the top and hovers there. The electricity seems to point toward the person yelling, first at Zak then at Aaron. It actually does this several times. Is this a machine with perfectly normal behavior or are we seeing something more? I thought this was actually pretty interesting.

In the basement Zak and Nick claim doors slam in their faces and that they hear footsteps. They capture evidence of a ball moving on its own, more footsteps and Zak jumping out of his chair at the sight of small shadow figures.

Since this is a working hospital are the footsteps and noises just patients and other workers wandering around and we should discount them? Is the Jacob’s ladder just a cool trick and it doesn’t mean anything? Is someone from the other side really calling out Zak’s full name?

I have to say I love investigations that involve asylums and hospitals. They have this past that just gets under your skin. Aside from the silliness with the skiing and showing up in the ambulance I really liked this episode.

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Ghost Adventures – Maysville Slave House – S04E25

The Ghost Adventures team head to Kentucky to investigate the Maysville Slave House. A house that started its life as a slave home but then became part of the Underground Railroad helping to free the salves it once sold. And now sits as a museum to those dark times.

William Phillips built the home complete with slave jail and dungeon. Slaves were bought and sold on the property. And I would think there is little doubt that slaves were beaten and killed there as well. The blood stains on the wall make it hard to ignore.

Jerry, the owner has seen several apparitions. He has seen a figure down in the tunnels where slaves would wait to make their escape. He’s seen the figure of a man with a brimmed hat. Many visitors feel a strong presence when they visit.

There is even rumor that a man shot himself in the head in one of the rooms. But the details as to who he was and why are somewhat vague.

But what does the team turn up? I first have to say I’m not really thrilled with their entrance. Showing up in a police escorted hearse and doing a parody of Ghost Busters seems a little inappropriate for a slave house. I don’t think these little comedic follies add anything to the investigation.

To summarize the guys claim to get lots of EVPs on their recorders. They have very few experiences other than being cold. But there seems to be a lot of voices coming through. They capture fragments in the white noise but the Ovilus has even more to say. When asked of Mr. Phillips the voice says they need to beware and that he’s a wolf. They hear the words kill and bone as they ask for more details. If they really are communicating it paints a pretty grim picture.

While sitting in a tunnel with multiple voices being recorded, Nick gets the chills and feels someone is close by. Even the recorder seems to agree as they capture the words "close".

I’m not a fan of the devices they use to capture these EVPs but the sheer abundance of them makes you wonder. It seems like plenty of voices are asking to be heard and not everyone made it to freedom.

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