Paranormal Lockdown – Hinsdale House – S01E05

image Nick and Katrina head to northwestern New York to investigate a crumbling wreck of a house that is supposedly a hot spot for all sorts of paranormal goings on. It doesn’t take long to get an Amityville vibe from this place.

There are claims that a woman was hanged in a nearby tree, that a young box was killed by a buzzsaw and that one man turned and murdered his brother. But those are events connected with the area, not specifically with the house.

As we get started, we are told an exorcism has been performed on the house itself. Tim Shaw, a Medium, gives a tour stating he’s not a fan of the place. He shows off one of the bedrooms where flies gather in the window. Katrina says she feels a pressure on her chest. Both Katrina and Tim say they need to go outside to get away from the negative energy in there.

Another visitor, Tony Spera, comes to discuss the house. Tony is a demonologist and son-in-law to Lorraine Warren. Yes, indeed, there is a connection to Amityville as Lorraine has investigated the house and was part of the exorcism back in 1974. Lorraine has bad feelings about the house and there is another connection to local Native American burial grounds.

Also at the exorcism was Paul Kenyon. He claims to have seen a woman lurking in the house and he’s not a fan of the house either.

As the investigation starts, Katrina heads down to the basement where she captures heavy breathing and someone asking, "Where’s Nick?" She also captures, "Get out" when asking if someone plans to do them harm. It’s also during these early stages when Nick feels something scratch him.

It was Nick’s goal to sleep in Mary’s room, the one with all the flies, but there are overpowering oppressive feelings and he simply can’t do it. Instead, he sleeps just outside in the hall.

For the next day, the head out to look around the grounds. Their intent is to find the tree that could have been used for the alleged hanging. Katrina asks if the house is forbidden and gets a faint, "Yes" in response. While out in the woods, Nick hears chanting, but no one else seems to. But their exploration is cut short as they hear the cry of coyotes.

On the last night, they decide to stay up all night. Nick goes into Mary’s room while Katrina heads out into the woods again. Nick hears bangs and knocks and begins to get frustrated or agitated, not sure which. He starts asking question about death and the afterlife and says he gets the answer, "There’s no heaven" on the recorder. This seems to unsettle him greatly. Not much is happening out in the woods, but Katrina is brought back to the house by Nick screaming. Apparently his sleep deprivation is catching up to him.

When Katrina gets back to the house, he seems out of sorts and says he hears all sorts of mumbling and voices. He looks quite disoriented and confused.

Katrina is quite convinced that they made contact with something non-human and that it followed Nick home from the investigation. He was repeatedly woken up at 3am and kept hearing knocking sounds down in his basement.

An interesting house, but in the end, what do we walk away with? If we look at the different pieces, we have a rather broken down house with some sanitary issues. Who knows what sort of effect that would have. There are some voices captured on EVP that might be handing out warnings, but alas, there was no shadow figure, no demonic belching, they aren’t swarmed by the flies, the voices aren’t telling Nick to do something terrible and in general there isn’t a whole lot to support all these claims.

Feelings are one thing, but that can be caused by a multitude of factors. Has the house and grounds been tested for lead, gasses, mold, fungus? What about making sure the place is level so it doesn’t give that fun house effect people used to talk about? And let’s not forget, Nick is sleep deprived which is clearly going to cause odd behavior and have side effects.

It is interesting to note the connections between this house, it’s cast of characters and Amityville because it doesn’t take too many searches to find that investigation hangs under a heavy cloud of suspicion and doubt.

And exactly how many Native American connections will these paranormal shows make?

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Paranormal Lockdown – Randolph County Infirmary

image To kick off this adventure, Nick and Kristina take up temporary residence in the Randolph County Infirmary, a hospital and shelter that took care of the poor and mentally ill. It’s roots date back to 1852, but unlike so many other facilities of the time, we don’t have endless stories about cruel treatment, beatings, murder, suicide and terrible experiments. Instead, we simply have an old facility where hundreds of people lived. The facility wasn’t without tragedy however, as there are some 200 deaths and many nameless graves on the property.

The building is now in the hands of private owners who plan to renovate it. However, they claim to have what appears to be residual hauntings such as doors closings, handles jiggling, shuffling feet and a woman singing.

Nick and Kristina bring in a brother and sister who lived at the infirmary. They go on a guided tour, talk about some of the patients they spent time with and show off the basement cells. That seems a little odd, but it was for unruly patients.

The pair tell about seeing shadow figures on multiple occasions and how they felt an energy. They don’t report any mistreatment which is always a good sign.

They start things off with the Geobox, Nick feels someone is walking along with them and feels they’re being followed. Since Bill liked checkers they try to use it to make contact. They also try to connect with Doris and get the words, "Responding to you", "I’m right" and Katrina’s name, twice.

With night setting, Nick brings out another device, the Jacob’s Ladder to try and stimulate the atmosphere to help make contact. He spends the night in the cells while Katrina heads to the basement. They both gets some knocking sounds, while Nick says he hears a woman.

For night 2, a familiar face appears. Grant Wilson has agreed to hang out for awhile and lend a hand. He monitors and listens for sounds while Nick and Kristina look around. They get plenty of knocks and banging.

During the night, Nick got a loud bang while Katrina says she feels a lot of sorrow and heartache in the place. As they talk over how they slept, they get the word, "Hello" from the recorder.

As he states in the beginning, Nick feels there is a lot residual energy, but adds that there also appears to be an intelligent spirit in the infirmary. He’s not sure who it is, but he feels they got answers to their questions.

Randolph County Infirmary is certainly interesting and a fabulous looking building, but does it really contain energy? Yes, there were lots of bangs and noises, but that is not an exclusive paranormal occurrence. I still can’t say I hear actual words coming out of that Geobox. Nick says he heard Katrina twice, but I can make it out. To me, it just gives off random noise the entire time.

But again, we don’t see the aforementioned shadow figures and while Katrina may feel things, that’s not quite evidence. It’s a neat building and hopefully it helped a lot of people, but calling it haunted or even saying it has residual energy is overreaching. Again, just because an old building makes a banging noise, doesn’t mean it’s haunted.

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Ghost Adventures – The Domes of Casa Grande – S12E09

image For this episode, we have Zak, Billy and Aaron, literally losing their minds and running scared because they think the devil is after them.

Out in open spaces of Casa Grande, Arizona are the remains of what has been dubbed, "The Domes" – the relics of a tech company that never opened it’s doors. These strange buildings give off an other worldly appearance with shapes that resemble a caterpillar and a UFO. But it’s not fun and games as Zak weaves his sinister sounding tale of Satanic rituals, dead bodies, blood drinking and human sacrifice. That’s quite a villainous cocktail!

As part of his cavalcade of witnesses who back up these rumors, we once again meet someone who’s had such a shocking experience they vowed never to return – until the cameras show up. This poor chap says something latched onto him and followed him home. This caused aggression and suicidal thoughts. And while relaying this story, both Zak and his guest feel pressure on their chest and a strong need to exit the dome.

Another witness, a US Marine Veteran, says he has seen a huge black shadow haunt the mountain edge. He also claims to have found the remains of a dog. Well, the collar and skin of a dog which must clearly be the work of Satanic evil doers! He also states a body was found in the dome, wrapped in black plastic and chucked off to the side. No real connection to Satanic rituals as wrapping someone in plastic isn’t normally how that sort of thing is done.

Additionally, he claims hundreds of chickens were found dead in the dome with blood scattered with reckless abandon. It was a busy night for the forces of darkness if they needed that many chickens. Or perhaps it was a BBQ that went terribly awry. Either way, he only heard about these incidents, was not part of them first hand, so we’re clearly getting solid 12th hand knowledge of what took place.

But the piece de resistance is the former satanic priest turned co-pilot to the powers of light, Pastor Jesus Gonzalez. Jesus claims he participated in multiple rituals and even saw a man stab himself in a demonic fit. Not to be rude or cruel, but I’m not sure how that’s possible since he’s vision impaired. He also claims to have been attacked by demons now that’s he spreading the word of the Gospel. And to prove the point, the devil shows up to the interview to belch.

We also need to keep in mind, that according to Jesus, there is a Native American curse on the land.

The investigation starts with Zak, Billy and Aaron in the dome together. Billy says he hears a growl off to the side, while Zak says he feels something touch his left arm. At the same time there is some garbled mess in the recorder.

Things turn pretty zany as Jay says he sees something happening near one of the static cameras. The motion sensor goes off and the image gets blurry. Jay then claims someone is knocking on the RV door even though the other three are still in the dome together. At least it’s a polite intruder/demon that knocks before entering.

Armed with the full spectrum camera, Zak takes several photos, of which one has a large shadow figure on it. Or more to the point, one picture has a big, black blob on the left hand side. Clearly that’s the side of the devil, therefore, a demon made an appearance.

For the next part, Aaron goes into one dome, while Billy heads off into the other. Zak stays behind because Jay needs a chaperon.

Aaron sits with his Ovilus and gets the words, Sit, Jesus, Disaster and Demon. He also feels the cold presence of something or someone.

Meanwhile, Billy, who has worked himself into a paranoid fit begins to recite the Lord’s Prayer he found on a card next to Aaron several hours before. This is clearly a sign, and while saying said prayer, he feels a tight pressure in his chest, pains in his stomach and runs for the RV where he nearly gives Zak and Jay a heart attack.

Additionally, Aaron is having his own issues and busts out of the dome. As we catch up with him, he reveals to the static camera that he just saw a shadow with horns and everything.

A pretty entertaining episode to say the least. But I have to ask, with all these wild stories of the Devil, the demonic, the bodies and the trouble, why hasn’t the current owner just destroyed these buildings and cast the demons out? Oh wait, that would impact profits, can’t have that.

Was it me, or was the owner a pretty jovial sort of a guy? I mean he comes out to politely ask Zak to sign the waiver and then gives him a tour of the place. He also says Zak is more likely to get hit on the head from falling concrete than from something supernatural. He doesn’t seem too concerned about demonic forces does he? I guess he has the same idea, that all this satanic talk is just a bunch of stupid kids acting like idiots, getting drunk, doing drugs and telling each other bullshit stories.

So this just goes to show, that when you head out to the quiet plans of Arizona where sound can travel for thousands of feet, sit in a circular room with wild acoustics and think about the devil too hard, you’ll make yourself believe in anything.

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Paranormal Lockdown – Franklin Castle – S01E03

Destination AmericaNick and Katrina head to Cleveland Ohio, to investigate Franklin Castle which looks like the house from the first season of American Horror Story. And like that TV house, this one has seen quite a few deaths. It is said that the Tiedemann’s experienced several deaths within the house including multiple children. There is a tinge of a rumor that some of the deaths may not have been accidental.

The house has been owned by several families and Kristina catches up with Jim and Dee Romano who lived in the house as children. They claim to have seen and played with an apparition who died decades earlier. They believe it was Emma and she wore Victorian era clothes and visited them many times.

John Tenney makes a brief appearance to look around the house wherein his microphone dies while talking about the little girl Emma. Everyone attributes this to paranormal intervention and are quickly running around the house looking for the ghostly source.

To start their investigation they play hide and seek with Emma. Nick feels he gets touched and both he and Katrina hear knocking. Rob thinks he captures a shadow figure but it’s not really showing up on the replay.

For the first night, Nick feels someone was touching his head all night. Katrina isn’t saying much except she has odd dreams of being in a haunted house. They pick things back up by investigating a small room that might be a closet. Nick says he feels drained and experiences emotions. Katrina says she gets the words, “get out” on her recorder.

Next up is the attic and the electronic spirit box, which also has motion sensors. They feel something is running down the stairs and Rob again feels he captures something poking its head around the doorway. Nick says he sees a black mist and decides that is a good place to sleep for the night. He put up motion sensors which ultimately go off. On his recorder, he feels he gets the words, “I need help”.

In the end, the batteries die for a microphone, they get knocking sounds in an old house, what they feel is a mist, a cry for help on a recorder and feel drained by some sort of presence. I wouldn’t say those have no explanation.

Additionally, where is this little girl that Jim and Dee said they played with on dozens of occasions? They made it sound like she popped up every day and was as real as any other kid in the room. How come she didn’t make an appearance?

It’s also interesting how Jim and Dee talk about playing with Emma, but yet they are scared of the house. There’s no mention of Emma getting violent or scaring them or throwing things, so what’s the story? And again, here are people that won’t enter until the cameras are rolling.

There’s also some odd approaches to these investigations. First, going into sleep deprivation is going to make you hallucinate and see things that aren’t there. It’s not going to make you vulnerable, it’s going to distort reality. It leads to misinterpretation and misunderstanding of your surroundings.

Also, Nick and Katrina sleep in the house and say they jump out of bed and start investigating. However, a minute later, we’re back to night time. What are they doing during the daylight hours? Clearly there is some personal hygiene and eating to be dealt with, but why no investigation during the daylight hours? Why no recording of the noises the house makes during the day? Why aren’t they looking to see if they can find the source to the noises they hear or give the house a bit of a debunking? Feels like there’s a whole lot missing.

Sure, this house has had tragedy, but when you compare the “stories” to what was captured, it’s really hard to say that Nick and Kristina captured anything more than the creaking of an old house.

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