Haunted Highway – Bridge of Doom and Shades of Death Road S02E05


Bridge of Doom
Well, the team has certainly found some ominously named place for their next investigation haven’t they? Who actually names a road, Shades of Death Road? That’s not just a clever nickname thrown out by the locals, it’s the actual name of the road. I guess they’ve been waiting for paranormal groups to show up.
The first investigation is at the site of a terrible train disaster. As the train passed over, the entire bridge collapsed and who knows how many people lost their lives. There were so many dead, they were buried in a mass grave. As Jael and Devin investigate they come across some strange happenings and perhaps a little vandalism.
At the site of the collapse Devin seems to capture two figures on his thermal imager. Are these spirits or just some kids wandering around? It’s not like they didn’t just go into town and tell everyone they were going to the bridge for an investigation. Additionally, Jael conducts an EVP session and feels the bridge is going to collapse on her. While in the cemetery at the mass grave their video equipment is vandalized while they try and make contact with Mr. Collins, one of the designers of the bridge. Sounds like someone has followed them out there and wants to give them a show. Since these aren’t closed areas, it wouldn’t surprise me if someone was out there messing around. Maybe they were trying their own investigation. As for the equipment, that sadly seems like someone just smashing their gear because they walked away from it. Perhaps they were acts of the paranormal, but it’s far more likely they simply weren’t alone out there that night.

When all is said and done there really isn’t anything to support the claims that the Bridge of Doom is anything more than just a bridge and the train wreck was a sad accident.
Shades of Death Road
There are many urban legends about lonely stretches of road where strange figures can be seen on the side of the road and mysterious "hitchhikers" that are there one moment and gone the next. Jack and Dana conduct their own investigation and have some strange experiences.
With multiple cameras mounted to the car they decide to drive the lonely stretch. Within moments, the cameras begin to flake out and they get a flat. Certainly sets an ominous mood for the night. But then as they drive further down the road, Dana sees a figure at the side of the road. Now honestly, it looks like someone has stopped in the middle of the night to relieve themselves. I suppose it could be a full bodied apparition, but someone urinating on the side of the road after a wild night of indulgence is oh so more likely.
Jack captures a "mist" coming out of the lake. It seems like two figures rising from the water. Yes, that could indeed be some sort of water siren or it may be a gas leaking out from the lake itself. They’ve come across this sort of thing before, but It looks cool either way.
As Jack says, when you have a road named Shades of Death Road, people are going to expect certain things and there minds can easily play tricks. It’s interesting that the camera had issues at the bridge, and their radio malfunctions at the same time. Could be some spiritual energy, pocket of EMF or something strange and unusual that needs some more investigation. The lake certainly lends itself to stories of the paranormal as strange figures rise from the water. Pockets of gas aren’t quite as spellbinding as spirits, but who knows which is correct is in this instance. Are there really spirits trapped along the side of the road or do pranksters lurk in the shadows and natural phenomenon give the urban legends a spin of truth?
A lonely stretch of road can yield many things. Hard to say what we have going on here. It doesn’t seem like they captured any real evidence of lonely spectres walking the lonely road. Oddly, there was no story of a woman in white who asks people to take her home and then disappears.

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Killer Contact – Lucrezia Borgia – S01E03

image For this episode the team heads to Ferrara, Italy to investigate the legend of Lucrezia Borgia who is rumored to have lured dozens of men to their death to increase the influence of her family. She is reported to have poisoned men as well as several of her fiancés met an untimely end before actually getting married. So was Lucrezia the female poisoner of the family or has history improperly tied to misdeeds based on her family name?

The team investigates the Castello Estense where it is believed that Lucrezia poisoned many men and even had a special room, The Chamber of Poisons built so she could perform her acts in private. As they investigate they get some contradictory feelings and impressions that leave them divided on whether Lucrezia is guilty or a victim.

Greg and Molly investigate The Chamber of Poisons where Greg feels something is putting pressure on his head. Molly makes a big deal about the fact that she can’t get Greg’s face in focus on the camera, but we later see the camera does the exact same thing in the Chapel. So is Greg having an experience or is the camera experiencing a malfunction? To me it looks like the camera is broken.

They next investigate the Chapel and that’s where team becomes divided. Adam and Hector feel a presence that gives them a sense of peace. They feel this is Lucrezia trying to tell them she is innocent of the charges people have leveled against her. Greg and Molly investigate the same area and feel something more sinister. They feel extreme cold spots and that they’re being toyed with. Molly feels uncomfortable in there and doesn’t have the same sense of peace.

Unfortunately, neither group captures any real evidence of what they see or feel. It is all impressions of the moment.

Another part of the investigation is to check the basement for arsenic poisoning. While they take multiple samples, there is nothing to indicate arsenic is lingering in the area.

Overall I’m not sure if this is getting better or not. Their methods are still pretty flaky, their evidence is extremely light and in some cases non-existent and they draw some wild conclusions without any basis in fact. The Borgia have an interesting story so it wouldn’t be too big a surprise if the rumors and stories were true, but this investigation didn’t add anything to the narrative. I’m sure they had a neat time in the castle, but in the end they really haven’t given us anything.

So, what do you think? Did they make contact with Lucrezia? Is she guilty of taking men’s lives with poison? What do you feel is the most compelling evidence?

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Haunted Highway – Lake Murray Beast and The Donner Party – S02E04

image Lake Murray Beast

Devin and Jael head down to South Carolina to investigate the South’s own little Loch Ness. There are reports of something large swimming in the lake. People report it’s hit their boat and has scales the size of your hand. There are multiple sightings, but nothing concrete.

The investigation yields a few interesting things as Jael and Devin head out onto the lake and ultimately end up in it. Their trip to the island where there have been sighting shows a large shadow in the water as the seagulls hover just above it. As they set up camp, there is the distinct sound of splashing in the water. When they take to the water something does indeed bump into the boat. Whatever it was gives the boat a pretty good knock.

Since they’re getting activity, they break out the scuba gear and head down into the lake to have a look around. While it’s pretty murky, something passes in front of the camera. And while they’re under water something hits the boat again.

The creature on the camera turns out to be a sturgeon, which makes sense. But, they’re told the sturgeon in that area several hundred pounds. Are people just mistaking a damn big fish for some aquatic beast? This would also explain the hits on the boat. A fish that large could certainly give the boat a good nudge.

So what do we have here? Is this mistaken identity or is the Lake Murray Monster still elusive?

The Donner Party

A grim story to be sure, Jack and Dana try to make contact with the Donner party. People report seeing lights and shadow figures. It’s a cold and bleak night, not unlike the conditions the Donners would have faced. With multiple cameras running, Jack actually gets an interesting hit on the FLIR. There is a large mass standing next to a tree. It’s there one second and gone the next. It’s possible that was a hunter or someone else out there, but the heat signature seemed wrong. They also capture something in the woods as Dana and their borrowed investigative hound scout the area. Might just be a small animal, but it has the dog all riled up. In fact, the dog has been distressed through the entire investigation.

But it’s more than just a thermal hit when Dana feels something scratch her on the neck. Immediately after she’s consumed with nausea and becomes physically sick.

And finally they get another thermal hit of a figure by the trees. This coincides with some lights they see off in the distance.

Jack and Dana come across some interesting evidence from their investigation, but it’s hard to tell what they’ve got. They capture a figure, but they’re in the woods so it could have just been another person out there. It’s not like they roped off the area or anything. Was Dana scratched by an insect or something falling or did something reach out to her? Were the lights something paranormal or a reflection from a car, house or campsite? They had some interesting experiences, but as Dana says, are they letting their imagination get the better of them?

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Killer Contact – Vlad the Impaler – S01E02

imageFor this episode our new team of investigators heads over to Transylvania to investigate the legend of the most widely known figure in the world – Dracula. Their destination is the Hunyad Castle where Vlad was a prisoner for some time. This is one of the locations that the Ghost Adventures team visited on their less than impressive investigation of this same legend. Does the Killer Contact team fare any better?

In the castle they investigate the Bear Pit, The Chapel and Vlad’s Cell. The reports for all these locations include people getting hit with rocks. Some hear voices and others claim to have their hair pulled. It should come as no surprise in a castle that’s a couple of hundred years old that falling rocks can be seen or heard. I think we need to discount that sort of thing right off the bat. That’s sort of like going to the beach and getting stupefied over getting sand in your shoes.

While in the chapel they get one hit on their RemPod and then say for certain there is a presence in there. They get no other signs, just that one beep. For them that’s enough.

In the bear pit they hear mumbling and once again feel that is confirmation someone is there. And someone evil no less. Let’s discount the echo effect those high stone walls would have. We must skip all the logical ways of hearing a noise and assume every sound is the presence of evil. It’s Dracula’s castle, what else could it be?

During their investigation they feel they get an EVP of the name Llona. What a crazy random happenstance this happens to be the name of Vlad’s wife. That’s not what I hear, but thank goodness everyone else hears it that way or the next segment would seem silly.

In Vlad’s cell, Austin is fixated on this idea that Vlad is the undead and a Stragoi. He continually asks this question desperately hoping to see a spike. He eventually gets one, which to him is confirmation that Vlad has become the undead. While he’s asking these questions there’s a loud bang at the window which is of course proof of Vlad. There’s no way it could have been a branch from the trees right outside the window or a bird or yet another rock tumbling and hitting the window, it must be Vlad.

Austin feels he’s communicating with Llona and she confirms that Vlad is living beyond the grave.

Overall their evidence is incredibly weak. If you take the individual pieces you have rocks falling in stone castle, the sound of mumbling echoing in a stone castle, the sound of something hitting and old wooden door and finally a couple of spikes on a TriField meter. I think it’s a huge stretch to say any of this is paranormal let alone it speaks to Vlad the Impaler being undead or the legendary Stragoi. That is some insanely flawed logic right there.

Another part of the investigation that shows how unsophisticated this team is, is the yelling from Greg in Vlad’s cell. What the hell is that all about? What is he trying to prove? Despite what they think of Vlad he was fighting to save his people from an overwhelming army. He was outmanned and needed to instill fear into the oncoming enemy. If you were coming to get Vlad and saw that would you keep going? Vlad may have been desensitized to the death around him, but I don’t he should be labeled a mad man. And when did he start drinking blood? That’s part of the vampire legend of course, but I don’t think that extends to the real man. I think we’re getting carried away with legend and myth.

The location is of course interesting, but I don’t know if this episode was better than the first. I admit fully I’m jealous of the two places they’ve gone so far. For those of us interested in such things, it would be a dream come true. I guess we’ll see what the next location brings.

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