Killer Contact – The Butcher of Iquique – S01E06

image It’s more tomfoolery as the Killer Contact team heads to Chile to investigate paranormal activities at an abandoned Salt Peter mine. As with so many mines of the time this was a dangerous one with long hours, poor working conditions, low pay and disregard for worker’s right. They also got paid in money that could only be used in the company stores. So in essence they never made money. But, when conditions got really poor they decided to do something about it. Their strike didn’t get them very far and military forces were brought out. Perhaps more than 2000 workers were killed and soon after the town was abandoned and left to rot. As though there is some mystery here the team wants to know why the town was abandoned. Why did people leave their jobs? Was it because of the deaths or the working conditions. Is this really such a hard question to answer? Are they really mystified over this one?

But as the investigation unfolds, I’ll give you two guesses on who sees a shadow. Moving beyond that we have Greg and Hector hearing bangs against a window. Molly and Adam claim to hear voices as they stumble around in the dark.

For the second part of the investigation they head to the Blacksmith Shop to investigate around the heavy machinery. As you might expect with old, metal equipment, there are plenty of bangs and pops. There might be the faint voice of someone saying hello and when Austin asks if someone was killed, Molly sees yet another person appear who she says is sinister. They also feel they get the words, "we did not murder" as an EVP.

In the Engine Room, Greg and Hector tries to cause a stir by getting the citizenry to riot. They try to incite the crowd to action and feel the captured chanting. They ask if the murders drove people away or if it was the working conditions. A $10 gadget points to Humberstone, the mine owner as the cause of their distress. Admist all this "commotion" they feel they get the words, "get out of here, thieves" as an EVP.

So once again we have Molly seeing shadows everywhere. We have bangs and clangs around incredibly old, metal machinery as it cools in the dead of night. We have indistinct recordings. And finally we have a couple of random blips on the Tri Field Meter. Previously the responses on this meter have been pretty interesting, but now not so much. This whole investigation seems pointless. This whole line of questioning is irrelevant. Which is worse, dealing with the death of 2000 co-workers and family members or the horrible working conditions? Who the hell cares? That’s like asking if it’s worse to get run over by a Cadillac or a Ford.

It’s pretty sad that Killer Contact chose to end their season with this lame episode. When they kicked things off with Jack the Ripper I was interested. With each passing episode it’s been fading more and more. This first came across as a new approach to Ghost Hunters International, but it didn’t evolve into anything as intriguing or interesting. They certrainly picked some interesting locales for their investigations but their methods are misguided, trite and hapless. Their "tech guru" straps a camera to an RC car and put a board on an inner tube. These are hardly the work of genius. Molly is scared of her own damn shadow. Greg is ready to throw down and antagonize everyone until he comes across Austin who is purportedly channeling someone who wants to kill Greg, then he tucks tail and runs.

SyFy is desperate to find a paranormal winner. It’s great they’re willing to try new things and give people a chance to showcase their skills. But alas, Killer Contact is riddled with flaws and grating personalities. I don’t think we’ll see a season 2 of this mess. Not a good series. No a fun group of people. But then again. I was wrong about The Dead Files. People seem to enjoy that steamy pile.

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Killer Contact – Mayan Empire – S01E05

image For this episode the Scooby Gang heads to Belize to investigate the Maya culture and the antics of Lord Smocking Shell. It’s believed he may be the cause of the downfall of the Mayan Empire. According to legend he sacrificed anyone and everyone including children and through his selfish sacrifices he angered the gods. People report seeing Mayan warriors and the sound of children crying. People believe that Lord Smoking Shell spilled so much blood that the spirits of the area are restless and want to be heard.

The team brings in a Shaman to help commune with the spirits and offer their own blood as a sacrifice. As they investigate they hear plenty of noises and see things moving around. Fact of the matter is, they’re in the middle of a jungle so of course they’re going to hear things moving around. None of that should be considered evidence of the paranormal. That’s evidence that animals are in the jungle.

As they enter a sacrificial chamber they hear chanting. And as you might expect, Molly damn nears soils herself again as she sees a shadow figure moving around. Every single episode she sees the same thing and has the same reaction. Is she ever going to learn? When the Mayan expert analyzes the recordings he says he hears a crowd cheering and the sound of a ball bouncing. He says they need to go to Lamanai, where Lord Smocking Shell played games, a form of soccer we presume) and would kill the victors. So instead of investigating where they already might have evidence they go elsewhere.

In Lamanai they visit The Stela, a sort of shrine where the bodies of 5 children were found, supposedly sacrificed by Lord Smoking Shell in his attempt to ascend to the status of a god. They hear walking around and hear the Rem Pod go off. Austin kneels at the alter and offers up praise to Lord Smoking Shell for everything he’s done for the Mayan people. And admist his praise his finger gets cut and there is a drop of blood. Hmm, cut finger in a cave surrounded with rocks and branches. Clearly more signs of the paranormal.

Again, they need to devise some scheme for role playing so they decide to sacrifice Molly. They pretend to take out her heart and start tossing rocks around as though that will someone fake out the spirits. Now that they have energy in the air they head down to the ball court to see if they can stir up the crowd. They get a ping on their Rem Pod and yet again Molly sees a figure moving. They break out the Tri Field Meter and begin to ask if Lord Smoking Shell is responsible for the decline of the Mayan people. A blip on the dial is all they need for confirmation, case closed.

First of all, Molly sees shadow and movement every couple of seconds. This theory of a crowd chanting is a pretty wild stretch. The prick of blood on Austin’s finger could just be from a rock or who knows what else. And this role playing business is starting to get annoying. I love the idea of their investigation and the location, but their methods leave me cold.

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Haunted Highway – Black Angel and Arizona Domes – S02E06


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

image The 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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