Ghost Adventures

Ghost Adventures – Tuolumne Hospital – S08E03

Zak and the team head out to Sonora, California to investigate the Tuolumne Hospital which is claimed to have plenty of paranormal activity. Sonora, is a former gold rush town and the Tuolumne hospital was set up shortly thereafter. So, does this hospital that recently closed in 2011 contain a lot of spirit energy? Zak certainly thinks so.

As they start their interviews, Zak gets a splitting headache that he attributes to feeling the residual pain of some sort of head trauma. When he goes outside, the pain seems to disappear. Kristy, a former employee has her own tale of feeling touched when she was working in the hospital. We also have Ed, the retired maintenance engineer who feels pretty comfortable with the spirits that linger in the hospital, so much so that’s he’s given the name George to one of the familiar entities. Ed doesn’t feel George is a hostile spirit, but he does like to play some pranks from time to time.

The guys capture some interesting evidence, with most of the attention on the Xbox Kinect footage. Billy set up a CPR mannequin on a hospital bed, with IV stand and other medical equipment around it. Oddly, the Kinect shows some soft of figure on the side of the bed, seemingly touching the CPR model and the IV stand. The Kinect represents people as wireframes and it looks like the right arm is moving all over the place. Obviously, we can’t see anything, but the Kinect detects something is in the room. Nick move the mannequin out of the way and tries the experiment on himself. After a while he feels something cold, then that wireframe figure appears again and Nick jumps off the bed holding this stomach and side as though he’s been hit.

I’m not sure what that proves, but you have to ask, what the heck was it? Is the Kinect sensor capable of picking up spirit energy? Was there really something there? Is there spirit energy still working as a doctor or nurse in the hospital? It doesn’t seem like this is a software glitch since, as Zak mentions, it can track Billy when he comes into the room and it didn’t do the same thing when Nick was laying down on the table. So I really have to wonder what we saw. And by the same token, was the energy trying to help or harm Nick?

Other evidence includes, in my opinion, some sub-par EVPs. They are nowhere near as clear as those we heard in the previous two episodes. When Zak asks what the figure tracked by the Kinect was doing, the reply is "help patient". But it follows this up with, "now get out". Odd for a nurse or doctor to try and help then tells everyone to get out. They also get and EVP of the word "George", the name Ed gave to the spirit he believes is there. Since that’s obviously not his real name, is it simply trying to identify itself by the name they already know?

Another piece of evidence is the monitor getting pushed over. While still in the hospital room, the EMF detector they left on the chest of the CPR model goes off, then there is a loud crash, which they find out is monitor that has fallen over. Supposedly it’s pretty sturdy, as most monitors are, so how did it fall over? They didn’t appear to "rig it up" with duct tape or anything, so did something really push it? Is the hospital staff getting pissed off at their game of pretending to be hurt or is there something a touch more vengeful in there? Or, did the monitor simply fall on it’s own with no otherworldly influence?

Finally, while Aaron is in the mental ward of the hospital, he get a recording of "please don’t help me". Again, this one is pretty jumbled, but it’s still an odd thing to say. Why would someone in that ward not want help? Or as with so many of these, is that not what was said?

While a hospital will always have a past filled with traumatic events, there is nothing about this one that stands out from any other. It’s not like they did weird experiments or had abusive staff. So why should it be haunted? Does the evidence suggest that it is? The EVPs they captured in this one don’t add to much for me. The Kinect is interesting, but who knows what we’ve got going on there. And again, way too many useless theatrics to try and make the location and the evidence more sinister than they really are.

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Ghost Adventures – The Black Swan Inn – S08E02

Unfortunately, the useless and pointless dramatics continue, this time with distorted figures, a painting bleeding from it’s eyes and ridiculous reenactments with dismembered and bloodied soldiers. Is this really doing anything to sell the story? These cheap theatrics are really pretty sad.

But that being sad, Zak, Nick and Aaron head off to San Antonio, Texas to investigate the Black Swan Inn. It was established in 1867 as a small dairy plantation. And to try and make a connection to some paranormal activity, Zak points out it was the part of the site of the Battle of Salado, where 60 Mexicans soldiers were killed when they took on a Texas militia.

The claims are the house are a little unusual. Jo Ann, the owner of the property, says that women are touched sexually and she has been touched on the inner thigh. There are also reports of a shadow figure with glowing red eyes as reported by Jo Ann’s daughter.

An extremely odd claim comes from Viktor Salazar who says he heard a voice say, "I’ll hurt you", "I’ll kill you." This was followed by a crushing pressure inside his body. The story goes deeper in that Viktor went to the hospital right after his visit to the Inn and had to have his gallbladder removed. Oddly, it was twisted and crushed. But that’s not all. After that was over he suffered a stroke. He, and his wife believe this is the work of the spirits that wander the grounds of the Inn. Is Viktor simply in poor health with some previously unknown medical conditions or did an angry spirit reach into him and cause him harm?

Like the previous investigation we actually get some decent EVPs this time around. Zak asks multiple questions and get responses that actually make sense.

When asked how many spirits are in the house, he gets the answer of "8".

When he asks for the name of someone in the house, he gets the response "Madison", the name of Jo Ann’s daughter.

Zak asks which battle occurred on the land and gets a response of "which one". Apparently the Battle of Salado isn’t the only bloodshed seen on this land?

And oddly, right as the investigation starts there is the sound of heavy footsteps walking across the floor above them. And to be honest, it’s really hard to discount those. It really does sound like someone in boots walking across the floor. But they don’t find anyone and don’t capture anything about it.

Jo Ann’s mother passed away in the house 6 months earlier and like Houdini, she set up a code word with her mother to know it was her. Zak and Jo Ann try to make contact and according to Jo Ann, she hears the word she’s been waiting for. Bossier was the name of the town her mother wanted to visit before she died. The word is pretty hard to hear, but Jo Ann is quite convinced it’s what she’s been waiting for.

As far as negative energy goes, nothing really comes across. There are the footsteps, but they don’t get the hostility that Viktor experienced. There is no "I hate you", or "I’ll kill you" or any other threats. They don’t capture any shadow figures or get a sense of darkness around the house. They believe the dark energy the others have experienced is a Texan who may have died in the battle with the Mexican or may be a survivor who was bitter toward the battle and the attempt to take the land. But unfortunately they aren’t able to prove anything. Also, there is no touching that would match the original claims made by Jo Ann.

So is there a dark energy in the house? At least one thing can be debunked. The shadow figure with the red eyes is more than likely a rat, or series of rats that have made a home in Madison’s bedroom. They capture the little devils on the night vision camera. This would also explain the pinches and bruises she received. It also proves there are animals in the house which may account for lots of other experiences and noises.

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Ghost Adventures – The Pioneer Saloon – S08E01

It’s a brand new season of Ghost Adventures and I have to admit, I approach this with a lot of trepidation. I haven’t been that impressed with a lot of their previous episodes. The reenactment theatres are really wearing thing and the overly dramatic way they present their evidence shows desperation. It’s even more blatant that they feel a place is haunted before they even get there. You know, not everything is a portal to darkness or a gateway to the other side. Sometimes a hole is simply a hole and a hole in the wall is a hole in the wall. Even though I’m a bit late on checking out the season premiere, I did just that. And unfortunately, some things never change.

For this episode, Zak, Nick and Aaron head off to the Pioneer Mine in Goodsprings, Nevada. It’s the oldest running saloon, built in 1913 as a mining town. As expected there were plenty of gunfights, prostitutes and stories of woe and sadness.

A card game got out of hand one night and Paul Coski, a cheater, ended up paying with his life. If you’ve ever visited one of these town, like Tombstone, for example, cheating at cards was about the worst thing you could do. I think kicking puppies and kittens was considered a minor offense in comparison. Well, Paul ended up getting shot multiple times and left for dead on the saloon floor. Some people say his spirit is still there.

And then we have the story of Carol Lombard, siren of the silver screen and wife of Clark Gable, who sadly died in a plane crash just a few miles from the saloon. In a miscalculation of altitude, the plane didn’t clear the mountain range and all 22 passengers on board died. The saloon was set up as a makeshift base of operations and the bodies of the dead were actually brought back there. Clark Gable waited at the saloon for news of his wife. It is believe the spirit of Jane Lombard lingers in the saloon. But to contact her, you need to address her by her real name, Jane Alice Peter. Noel Sheckells, the owner of the saloon, says who women asked for her by name and got the answer of "yes" as a response.

Some of the other paranormal experiences include the shadow of a man in cowboy hat, lingering smoke as well as voices. On the surface it doesn’t sound like much and a great many things sound like either wishful thinking or the types of noises you would expect from a hundred year old building. But as we get deeper, I have to admit, those EVPs are pretty impressive for once.

But as we get all the details and back story, those incredibly over used, overly dramatic scenes of blood on the floor, a head vibrating back and forth and other dramatizations to instill that sense of foreboding came out. Please, just stop. It’s frustrating and to me just cheapens the whole thing. Let the story speak for itself, stop the flowing blood imagery and scenes out of a horror movie. No, it doesn’t scare me in the slightest, it just looks plain stupid. And you wonder why no one takes paranormal investigations seriously? How about you take yourselves and the subject matter seriously first.

Zak and Aaron check out the saloon with the owner Noel Sheckells looking for answers about the female crying. They get the response of "Ruby" not Carol or Jane Alice as they were expecting. And when asked how many spirits were there, she quickly gives the reply of two. When asked if Paul was there, the cheater at cards, she indicated "I think so" and "he’s here". These came quite quickly, were short and noticeably clear. So many of their other EVPs are a garbled mess, but these were easily distinguished. This is the first time I would agree with their analysis of what they heard. Who knows who Ruby actually is, but it really does sound like they made contact with her. Is she the one crying? That wasn’t caught. Was she killed by Paul? That would be total speculation. Was she one of the 250 prostitutes brought into town? Again, nothing but a guess. But it does sound like some poor woman is there and may be in distress.

As for other evidence, there are two "linear type anomalies" which to me look like crickets flying around, but Zak swears up and down they have debunked these as bugs, even though we can clearly hear crickets as they try to talk to Paul at the poker table.

And speaking of Paul, they set up a Rem Pod and bring out some drinks to try and talk to Paul. And perhaps it worked since the pod goes off and they get a very clear "whiskey" as to what he was drinking the night he died. It comes several minutes after the question, but the word is still distinct. This might not be Paul and it may not be an answer. It might be some other spirit wanting a taste of the whiskey Zak is holding.

Some other curious EVPs are caught when Zak asks the question, "how many bodies are buried or were thrown in the mineshaft under the saloon. They get a pretty distinct answer of "nine". Are there really nine bodies buried under the saloon? Are they victims of murder or is there something far less sinister to the story? Unfortunately, that’s the only answer we get.

While Zak and Aaron was investigating the saloon, Nick and Billy head off to the Belle Mine since there are claim of activity out there. Of course, the "noises" the owner hears sound more like the sounds of animals, creaking support beams and falling rocks. But the lads go for a look anyway. For the most part they simply risk their lives as they go down 300 feet worth of mineshafts. They hear some noises, but nothing really comes across as unexplained.

The most compelling thing about this episode where the EVPs and I think that’s the first time I’ve ever said that. Unlike the hundreds of others that have been offered up, these actually made sense to me. They were clear, didn’t squeak or squelch and gave an actual answer we could understand. I think this may be the first time they really captured something. Who knows what it is, since I don’t think it’s Carol Lombard or the card cheat Paul, but it does sound like they’ve got a hold of someone…

There is already another show out, I wonder if that evidence is as good as what they present in this one. Minus the "linear type anomaly".

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Ghost Adventures – Passport to Hell – S07E20

I’m not even going to bother with this episode and quite frankly this might be it for me for the season and perhaps even beyond that. I don’t care for these recap shows. They are utterly pointless and are blatant fillers because of a lack of new material. One or two might not have been bad, but there have been far too many of them now. From where I sit, this means Ghost Adventures have run out of places to investigate and have nothing new to share. Even without that, the tone, style and depth of the show has been lacking for some time. To be honest, the show is in a decline. On far too many occasions they’re grasping at straws to come up with evidence. They spend far to much time on little side projects are meaningless. It used to be they visited places, gave a decent biography of the place then set about their business to see what they can find. Now their investigations are fractured and haphazard. Everything is demonic. Everything is a shadow. Every sound they hear is an EVP. You would also think that after this mean years and this many investigations the juvenile behavior would have toned down. Listening to Zak talk about sitting in an RV with a bunch of guy farting is just piss poor. What are you, 12? It’s all becoming a bit too much.

Even Zak’s book was underwhelming. In most places it was simply a recap of their episodes. There was very little added except some of his personal philosophies which he’s already brought up numerous times. Yes there should be a repository of paranormal data. People should be able to contribute. But it was mainly several hundreds pages of waiting for something to happen.

Just like with Ghost Hunters I’m losing interest in this show. It was entertaining, perhaps even a little dramatic, but now it’s gotten to the point that it causes more eye rolling and groaning than curiosity. If there is another real episode coming I will tune in, but even so, I’m not drawn in like I used to be.

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