Stranded – 3 Valley Lake Chateau – S01E05

image First of all, this episode was awesome! It was the most exciting and nerve racking one so far. There were plenty of chills, scares and tense moments the entire way through. The trio was great to see in action and they immersed themselves in the experience! Let’s not dismiss the awesome driver who shows up in what looks like a dumptruck or work truck, whisks them through the night to the hotel, drops them off, then turns and leaves. Could this look any more like the start of the Shining? And right as they walk in the door, the resident cat scares the crap out of them!

For this episode, Princess (the skeptic), Yarc and Steven (the believers) head to British Columbia to investigate the 3 Valley Lake Chateau, a beautiful hotel nestled up against the mountains and fronted by a beautiful lake. It started as a small 20 acre hotel, but has grown to sprawling, albeit confusing hotel with well over 200 rooms. The picturesque scenery is deceiving because this is supposed to be a hotbed of paranormal activity. There are claims of footsteps, conversations, doors open, dark figures roam the hall and in Room 328 there is a dark haired woman appears at the foot of the bed and screams at visitors. The reasoning behind this activity is a little unclear, but as we soon find out, there are indeed things that go bump in the night.

Quite literally on their first night there is a loud bang that startles them all out of bed. Unfortunately they are too tired to investigate. But it looks like they are in for an eventful stay.

And indeed it is. On the second day, Princess asks for a sign in a rather taunting tone. Next thing she knows the battery in her camera is dead and Steven says he hears footsteps above them. They go upstairs and find all the chairs turned over and the room is a complete mess. Was it left this way or did something just happen? This is Room 328 where the "shrieking woman" makes her appearance. As Steven lays in the bed and asks for a sign, Princess jumps off the small desk after hearing something. This is followed by even more footsteps and the sound of something else being knocked over. The team is overwhelmed and takes off for safer ground.

The next night the head to the Bellevue Wing where a guest reportedly hung himself. While there they cat makes another appearance which paralyzes them with fear! That cat is evil! Now, they begin to hear footsteps, but is that just more of the cat walking around?

For the next part the head to the pool area which has been made up to look like the deck of the Titanic. An ill fated choice to be sure. There are reports that a figure can be seen at the bottom of the pool and it actually grabs people. The trio decides to get into the pool to see what happens. Steven and Princess go first, but they didn’t last long as Steven bails out within seconds saying he felt something. Yarc and Steven head back in, but they cut and scrape themselves to pieces as they rush out of the pool after hearing some growling or grinding noise. After they gain their composure and bearings it turns out the noise is coming from a fan. A fan that goes off twice just to mock them. Is that fan having a short or did some unseen force turn it on? There could be a perfectly normal explanation for that one, but it clearly scares the shit out of them. Steven is bleeding because of his hasty retreat.

For the final night they go to the theater where there are reports of music and phantom performance that still goes on. As Princess asks for a sign and Steven goes on the stage, the lights come on right in front of him. In a mad dash he is out of there! We come to find out when they stomp and tap the lights go off. This might be part of the show, or it might be a short, but not paranormal.

As they do a final check of the pictures they took, Princess notices a shadow on the wall. There is a clear figure of something, but is this a shadow from one of them or is it the shadow of the "shrieking woman?" Either way they head back up there and demand to have a sign or they aren’t leaving. The room is very cold and then suddenly the elevator decides to show up. Why did it go back down when they are the only ones there? Either way, that is enough for Steven to feel something is telling them to go, only the elevator loses power and they get stuck inside. The elevator simply loses power or refuses to move for about 10 minutes, but then without anyone doing anything it powers back up and then go back downstairs.

Their driver, George said some places had power while others didn’t. Was this simply an inconvenient power glitch or was there something else at work? Either way, being stuck in the elevator in the dark with all that going on would be nerve racking to say the least! That alone could bring someone to their knees!

Just about everything they experienced in the hotel turned out to be a perfectly natural occurrence from the lights on the stage, to the fans going off, to the cat jumping out at them. But the elevator getting stuck was a little unusual, if not extremely coincidental. The timing of the fans was pretty interesting if nothing else. The footsteps might have been the cat, perhaps another animal. And the bumps may simply be the building settling. Room 328 being a complete mess was a little strange though.

I had a great time watching this episode. They debunked a lot of things, but there are still some events that seem a little odd. They have some evidence that is worthy of more investigation.

Paranormal or not, at night that place will scare the hell out of you and keep you on your toes. If nothing else, they need to address the wiring in that place!

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Haunted Collector – Ghost Behind Bars and Haunted Brothel – S03E03

Old Montana State Prison

For the first part of the episode John heads out to the Old Montana State Prison to investigate reports of people being choked, pushed and scratched. Julia, the director, has had her own less than pleasant experiences. She believes the incidents are taking a violent turn.

As with any old prison there are stories of violence. Of the well known tales is about a Deputy Warden that was beaten by two inmates. The Warden came onto the scene, shot the two men, but had to pistol whip the two men, when the bullets didn’t seem to phase them. The inmates were finally subdued and lead to the gallows. The Warden didn’t waste any time in seeing them hanged.

The prison also consists of a Cell House where they hear footsteps and the sound of men talking. There is also the Maximum Security area where Julia felt she was being choked. Her daughter also had an experience out there where she was pushed by a cell door opening.

For the investigation, Brian takes pictures with an old Polaroid camera and captures what appears to be a woman. This is the Maximum Security ward which used to be the women’s prison. The women faced a tough prison life without basic plumbing. A life with two buckets basically. Jesslyn sees a shadow figure move around as she and Jason investigate the gallows. Those gallows were well used, so who knows what kind of activity could be there.

John investigates the photo and why a female would be in a men’s prison. That’s when it’s revealed to have been the women’s prison and he hears the tale of Lucy Cornforth. She got into an altercation and would be sent to prison. Unfortunately she wasn’t well educated and thought she would go to prison for the rest of her life. She attempted to commit suicide by drinking arsenic, but at the last moment changed her mind. Her daughter was aware of mom’s plan, grabbed the glass and drank it herself. Lucy was charged with murder and did indeed spend the rest of her life behind bars.

John believes this is the woman in the picture and the person who is trying to make contact with them.

As the nighttime investigation starts, Amy and Jess see lights down in the shower area. It’s basically underground so it shouldn’t be car headlights. When they investigate, Jess gets locked into the shower area and hears clanking on the walls. Jess can’t open the door, neither can Amy so they call for John. He has no problem getting the door open and finds a panic stricken Jess inside. It’s obvious Jess was in a massive state of panic so was she just unable to get the door open? Did she cause her own problems or was there something holding the door? Was it Lucy? A male spirit? A rusty hinge?

Although John can’t pin the activity on a single item, he does believe Lucy is the source. He brings a commemorative photo of Lucy and asks Julia to put it where all the visitors can see and know of her unfortunate predicament. According to Julia, once Lucy’s story is understood, the problems seem to go away.

Dumas Brothel

Where there’s a mining town, there’s a brothel. The Dumas Brothel opened in 1890 and went continuously for a hundred years. Travis is the new owner and he wants to restore the place. He says he’s felt a presence, has been touched and that a mirror flew off the wall and shattered on the floor. Perhaps his renovations have stirred up the past, but not in a good way.

Legend goes that a woman died in the Madam’s Suite in 1953. There are reports of woman dressed in 1930’s clothes wandering the halls. Brian and John see their own figure up on the balcony right as they start their investigation. When Jason and Amy search the different rooms they find a love letter from "J" to Sarah where he promises to quit the line and take her away from the life she leads. Right as they read the letters and say the names the bed begins to violently shake. For a moment it conjures images of the Exorcist. Was the shaking done out of violence of was a tryst interrupted? But the bigger question, was it really the bed shaking and how did that happen?

It’s presumed Sarah is a girl from the Red Light District and "J" was a miner. If this is true then the date of the letter, June 7, 1917 was the day before a massive mining accident took the lives of 168 miners. Could it be that "J" died in the mines and Sarah’s love and chance of getting out of her current life were gone?

Brian and Jesslyn bring out the Ovilus in the Madam’s Suite and get the words, "Cry", "Pain" and then the word "James" repeated several times. Is this referring to "J" in the letter and the pain and crying Sarah felt for him?

John and Chris investigate Sarah’s room where they hear the word, "wait" and a bottle of Laudanum falls over. Laudanum is some powerful stuff, basically liquid opium. Watch any movie or read a tale from that time period and Laudanum is prevalent. It was a cure-all that got people addicted, if it didn’t kill them from an overdose. If we put these pieces together do we have a story of Sarah killing herself after she finds out her lover James was killed in a mining accident? Were her dreams smashed and she couldn’t find a reason to go on, especially in a life where she had to give herself over to other men? This letter could be unrelated to Sarah or it may have gone another way. What if "J" was her brother and he was going to get them both out of that town because of the horrible life they were both leading?

Either way, I suppose it’s the same depressing story of loss.

John feels the best course of action is to take the Laudanum bottle away. This was Sarah’s release and relief from despair. With all the renovations her spirit may be reliving those days. And according to Travis, the renovations have continued uninterrupted.

These are some interesting stories, but is there paranormal activity here and have they found the source of it? Singling out Lucy is a bit of a stretch in my opinion. They’re trying to connect a lot of dots and quite possibly going with the first sympathetic story they hear. Did Jess really get locked in the shower? Did she really see shadow figures? Did a woman appear in that Polaroid? That picture is really the only solid evidence they have and they seem to be running with that idea. Nothing else they come across really presents itself as the paranormal. Some interesting things happen, but I wouldn’t say any of it is truly unexplainable.

The Dumas Brother is a sad tale, but does it have more evidence to support the story? The love letter is real, but is that the right spirit? Was there really a Sarah or is that letter completely unrelated? Is all this really related to the Madam that died in 1953? Is that story even true? What evidence do they really have? A mirror that fell off the wall during renovations? Obviously no banging or hammering would cause that. Did they feel or capture a presence? John and Brian might have captured something, but none of us saw it. The bed shaking and the words from the Ovilus are very interesting. But I really don’t like or trust that Ovilus, so there really is just the shaking bed. Not sure what that was all about. When you put the letter and Ovilus together, it makes for a great story.

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Stranded – Burn Brae Mansion – S01E04

image For this investigation the normal trio of skeptic, on the fence believer and true believer head out to Glen Spey NY to investigate the Burn Brae Mansion. It was built in 1908 as a wedding present for Margaret Elkin. Tragedy would strike as Margaret lost her baby and then took her own life through hanging. She hung herself in a tree right outside her own bedroom window. It is said that the sound of children playing and phantom footsteps can be heard throughout the house.

The team arrives at the house to find a suitcase full of camera gear and investigation equipment. It’s certainly an eerie way to leave a gift and after unpacking the gear they call it a night and spend the evening in the very room of Margaret Ellis. As usual they are opting to stick together. It’s interesting to note that at 3:56AM it appears a door to the Second Floor Hall closes on it’s own. Was that merely a draft or is there something more to it?

Since there are no guests there is no hot water. The team sets out to stoke the fires and finds themselves in the basement. They come across quite a curiosity in the form of an electric chair. At least it looks like an electric chair complete with metal head plate and some jumper cables. We can only guess this is a Halloween prop, but it certainly sets the group on edge. Shannon almost immediately starts to come unglued and is desperately trying to get out of the basement. This won’t be the last time we see Shannon fall to pieces.

During dinner the camera mysteriously fades out and loses picture. The team begins to hear footsteps coming from the attic. They decide it’s a good time to head up there for an EVP session. As they sit down and ask questions, they get some interesting responses. There is a large bang after asking if they should leave. When nothing specifically follows that, they decide to leave only to have what sounds like a pool ball thrown at them. When they re-enter the room they discover one of the pool balls is outside of the triangle rack. Did someone really throw something at them? Was it done to try and get them to play or as a malicious act?

When they return back downstairs, Shannon claims she sees a shadow figure sitting in the chair. It wasn’t seen by the others, but it takes its toll on her. She is obviously having a bad reaction to this place.

The next day Jeff discovers that the MacKenzie family is buried behind the house in their own cemetery. They go to investigate and find the headstone of Margaret, her baby Levi and other small children. No matter who you are that’s a sad thing to see. Shannon is overcome with grief again and wants to get out of there. Tommy says he hears scratching and when asking if the spirit will be back at the house with them later, the needle pegs itself for several seconds. That certainly doesn’t bode well for building good relations with the entities of the mansion.

When they’re back in the house the living room light keeps turning on and off. It stays on for several seconds then goes back off. When they tested other light switches in the house, none of them worked. As Shannon put it, they have the sun during the day, then nothing at night. Is the light flickering a sign or is this just some bad wiring and good timing? Do they have evidence of the paranormal and confirmation that the spirit came back to the house? There are no sounds, bangs or other events to coincide with the lights turning on and off.

They split up to investigate the house, but Shannon is coming unglued. She can’t be left alone and when there are loud bangs from underneath the house they regroup and all head down to the basement together. Jeff says he sees flashes, like someone walking in front of him and Tommy says he hears growling. Shannon is in tears and has to leave, she simply can’t take it anymore. When they return to the house they discover the basketball they left out for the kids to play with has been moved. Were the banging and growls from an animal? Squirrel, muskrat, raccoon? They are in the basement and judging the from the junk, dust and cobwebs, no one has been down there in awhile. Did the basketball get moved by one of the kids who supposedly roams the house or did it finally moved due to a tilted floor, heat expansion or the wind?

When all is said and done these three can’t wait to get out of there. Jeff is a firm believer now and says the place is truly haunted. Shannon is still unnerved by everything she’s experienced. Tommy is convinced the place is haunted and dares anyone to spend the night and say otherwise.

Is Burn Brae Mansion haunted? Did they capture enough evidence to support the paranormal claims? There were indeed a lot of bangs and noises, but is that definitely a sign of something other than animals and creaking boards? Was a pool balls really thrown at them? Did it leap out of the rack? What about the camera going black during dinner? Did something interfere with the recording? Do they have more than personal experiences? Judging by their reactions, they’ve seen and heard enough to make them all believers.

Burn Brae Mansion

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Haunted Collector – Cigar Bar and Childs Play – S03E02

Cigar Bar

For the first part of the episode John investigate a cigar bar where there are reports of plates being thrown, shadow figures, the sounds of dumbwaiter operating when no one is around, a massive steel coffee grinder that moves on it’s own lights turning on and off and the sound of a hand cranked bell going off. David, the owner, recently started renovating and says the activity has increased.

Brian and Chris investigate the dumbwaiter and as luck would have it, it does make a ton of noise with no one around. It sounds like it’s going to come crashing to the ground.  In another part of the bar, Jason feels something touching the back of his neck. They don’t encounter any of the shadow figures or see any of the lights flickering.

As they research the history they find out there used to be a baby farm, a place where unwanted babies could be dropped off. Life was pretty cruel for the babies and many didn’t survive. It’s already looking like this bar has a pretty dark past.

Ultimately, the group is lead back to the dumbwaiter, where Brian says there is massive flickering and what looks like lighting. Oddly the discover a case of syringes. Were they used at the baby farm? Are they connected to mistreating of children rather than healing? They make quite a big leap here and draw a connection that the syringe was used at the time of the baby farm and was used to inject arsenic which mimics the symptoms of cholera. That’s certainly going out on a limb.

John takes the case away and that is apparently the end of the paranormal events.

Child’s Play

Next up, John visits a home where a mom claims to hear voices and see shadow figures. Even the handyman felt something strange down in the basement when something shot past him and caused the garden hoses to rattle.

What we come to find out is that the house is riddled with outrageous antiques from rocking horses made with real horse to casket covers and other morbid curiosities. No wonder her kids have a hard time sleeping at night.

As Chris and Brian investigate the basement they get an EVP of "find me". Chris also feels something is grabbing at his hair. The basement also sends Jason and Jess on a wild hunt where they chase their tails going from one Rem pod to another.

An unusual part of the investigation in the casket plate appears to be sweating. It has condensation while nothing else on the wall shows as being wet. John takes the plate to one of his many experts while Amy looks up the name Lucy Perrin. Turns out Lucy died in a fire. By coincidence the house was burnt down and then rebuilt. Further, the casket plate should have been buried with the deceased. Why it’s circulating around is part of the mystery.

While they have no idea who is causing the activity or if there is any real activity at all, John decides it would be best to bury the casket place with Lucy who is buried in Connecticut.

After placing the placard into the ground at her burial site all the activity comes to an end and everyone lives happily ever after.


The first episode really didn’t capture much evidence and the leap to the syringes being used at the baby farm is a little too thin for me. There is nothing to corroborate their assumption. It makes for an interesting story, but I don’t think it’s much more than that.

The second story is a little odd too. The house is full of weird and morbid trinkets and the mom wonders why the kids don’t sleep. Who buys a casket plate anyway? What about that says home decor? I can’t quite agree the condensation is paranormal in nature. The plaque is pewter and all that could just be from the AC, but it does come across as odd and mysterious.

I do find it odd they don’t capture any of the claimed events like shadow figures, plates moving, lights flickering, or whispering voices. They seem to be able to hone in on these cursed items without ever experiencing that. Sure, they hear some bangs and thuds, but it’s never the really big stuff.

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