Ghost Adventures

Ghost Adventures – USS Hornet – S04E08

Zak, Nick and Aaron head to San Francisco to visit the USS Hornet, an aircraft carrier that was in the thick of battle during World War II. It was responsible for shooting down multiple enemy planes and destroying enemy ships. It was no stranger to combat and not only did it takes the lives of those it attacked, mental stress and frustration took its toll against those who served on it. It’s reported that several men took their own lives, many through hanging, rather than deal with the routine of war. Of course, death would have been a common occurrence on board during wartime and many men lost their lives in the medical area.

The reports of activity extend through the whole ship, from the sounds of footsteps to seeing injured men in medical bay. One tour guide says a coffee pot came flying out of nowhere and shattered on the floor next to him. And there are claims of spirits walking and then disappearing into the walls. People also claim to see shadows moving around and women get their hair pulled as they tour the ship. If all the reports are to be believed the entire ship is still buzzing with activity.

To get right to the point I think this is worst episode of Ghost Adventures I’ve seen and it was riddled with the guys reaching at straws. They really don’t get any actual activity during this investigation but that doesn’t stop them from doing their normal jaw dropping claims of exciting and hearing voices that aren’t really there. When things are too quiet they break out the spirit box and claim to hear sorts of voices and intelligent responses. Even more than normal they were reaching to make words out of that static.

Their attempts at sounding the alarm didn’t accomplish anything so they go with flying orbs as evidence of activity. Multiple times Zak points out things are flying into and around his head. That is in no way evidence of anything.

When they run out of stunts that don’t get any results, they head down to the medical bay and start talking about all the personal experiences they’re having. Those don’t show up on a recorder so you can’t dispute them! First off, Zak seems completely annoyed at listening to Nick talk about how cold he is and how he feels needles in his arm. He just wants Nick to be quiet as he lies in the bunk. Was Zak too busy trying to formulate how to sell this ship as haunted and salvage this investigation? But when it’s his turn to lie in the same bunk, he repeats exactly what Nick says.

The play acting in sick bay was also pointless. Zak dressing up as though he’s injured is just silly. But it doesn’t actually yield any results regardless of how they would like to spin it.

When all is said and done this episode was a dud. Not because they didn’t find anything, but because they completely over exaggerated everything to make it look like they were still capturing activity. It honestly seemed like they were making up stuff left and right to make the ship seem haunted and improve the drama of the episode. You know, the spirits don’t always come out and you’re not going to capture something every time you go out. And that’s ok; you don’t need to make up evidence to keep us interested in the show.

As a final comment, that opening sequence was over the top cheesy and borderline offensive. I hope we never see that sort of crap again.

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Ghost Adventures – Vulture Mine – S04E07

Zak, Nick and Aaron head out to Arizona (one of my favorite places) to investigate the Vulture Mine, an abandoned gold mine which might actually be a real ghost town. The mine is obviously old, dating back to the 1800’s and the gold rush where fortunes could be made or lost overnight. It was the lawless Old West so any offense you committed would be dealt with by way of the gun or the rope. There are many reports of people being killed for attempting to steal the gold from the mine’s repository. Plenty of other offenses took place as well such as rape and murder. In many cases the bodies were simply left to rot in the sun, they couldn’t be bothered to bury the dead.

Sometimes fate would intervene on the thievery and we also have a story about a group of miners that went out into the quarry to steal some gold. Unfortunately the mine collapsed and all the miners were buried alive. They claim the bodies were never found.

Not to mention there were deaths from ailments like influenza that killed the miners and many school aged children.

So far this all sounds like the setup for a campfire ghost story! :)

After the team learns of the history of the mine they head into a neighboring town to get supplies. All the while a massive storm is brewing and unleashes it’s fury while they’re trying to make it back for the lockdown. The roads are a complete washout and the area is getting record rainfall. Perhaps showing a little more bravado than they should, the guys seem to be contemplating making a run to the mine. But that idea is thwarted as the police show up and escort them back to town.

Two days later they pick up where they left off and get started on the investigation. They hope the storm has charged the area and increased the paranormal activity.

Strangely they begin the investigation in the caretakers house. How we ended up here I’m not sure, but the guys claim to get EVPs right off the bat. The caretaker supposedly left because of the activity, but either I missed it or there wasn’t much detail given about this part of the story. Just seems like an off place to start.

After the caretaker’s house the guys head over to the hanging tree and break out the word database tool which brings up words like "tied" and "running". This all happens while they’re stringing up a noose. Sure the words seem to match the mood and situation at the tree, but I still don’t like this device. Again no real explanation of how it works and to be perfectly blunt that would be far too easy to pre-program ahead of time to give the right, but spooky responses.

They move indoors and head to the actual gold vault. Not only is it the scene of multiple attacks but apparently a Charles Stanton was convicted of some nasty crimes involving a young girl. Zak begins with some taunting to throw a bottle and they hear the sound of rock coming at them and hitting the floor. Do we just have some loose dirt falling from the shaky ceiling or did something really happen? They also claim to get some EVPs of "Get Out" and "Leave".

Zak also tries to lure the spirits out with some silver dollars. They seem quite interested as an EVP of "I want your money" is supposedly captured.

Nick heads into the vault itself and gets and EVP of "take the gold". This seems to happen while Zak is playing with the gun and fires off one of the blanks. Perhaps the spirits think a robbery is taking place? Do they want in on the action or trying to stay out of the way and not get hurt?

In the Assay’s office they use a seismic meter and have it go off while they hear footsteps. They also claim there is a scream captured by the night vision camera. It’s interesting but I don’t really find this to be all that substantial.

The make a brief stop to try and talk with Mexican Rita in the bordello. They claim to hear her talking through the radio waves, but they only capture the word "Yes". It’s a short conversation and they move on pretty quickly. I don’t think the got too much out of this one even though they’re excited about hearing a voice.

The old school house is also another claimed hotspot since many of the children died of influenza during this time period. They claim to get EVPs of a child taunting Aaron over his bald head. And they claim that as Aaron leaves the school and heads back to their base for another camera the piano starts playing. Both Aaron and Zak prove the piano can’t be played by hitting all the keys and jumping around to cause vibrations. It does seem to be a pretty stuck device.

I really enjoy stories about the Old West and ghost towns so I especially enjoyed this episode, but as far as evidence goes I don’t really think too much happened. I don’t like the word database nor the radio device. The supposedly thrown rock could have been from anything considering the entire place is weathered and rocks are everywhere. The only think that I found interesting was the piano playing in the recording. The piano obviously doesn’t work and they are miles away from any additional noises so did something vibrate the piano enough to make those sounds or is there something else going on here? I’m not sure what it means but I would like to have seen them do a little more investigating after that happened. A recorder in the room and a camera on the piano seems like something they should have set up. As it stands now it seems like a lucky coincidence rather than anything paranormal…

This was a pretty adventurous episode, the guys were getting a little crazy with trying to make this lockdown…

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Ghost Adventures – Hill View Manor S04E06

For this episode, Zak and the team head to the Hill View Manor which has played many roles over it’s long history. Originally built in 1925, it started as a home for the poor, where those released from prison could learn a new skill and get back on their feet. Later on it was changed to be a home for the elderly, where many came to spend their final days. It also served as a mental institution. Like so many of these institutions it has dozens of accounts of poor treatment, guests who were violent and difficult to control and suicides. And not only did patients take their own lives, there is a report of at least one doctor jumping from the roof. But you have to ask, considering some of the patients who resided there, did he jump, or was he pushed?

The current reports are of black masses in the hallway down by the boiler room where a man died after being dropped off there to sleep of a drinking binge. He didn’t make it, quite possibly due to alcohol poisoning or fumes from the boiler itself. People hear footsteps in the hall and Candy, who was giving the tour to Zak and team, says she was grabbed on the rear end and grabbed on the arm by an unseen force.

In the basement hallway a female patient fell down the stairs and died after becoming disoriented. The basement is also full of personal effects like suitcases, pictures and letters. These are leftover from the many people who passed away while they were residents. People claim to hear an old man saying "get out" and "leave" when they go down there.

There are also claims from a film student and her crew who believe they caught bangs and voices on their equipment while making a short film about the paranormal.

The stories continue with claims of a cafeteria worker who gets mad when people don’t form a line in the dining hall. Apparently at one point the lights when off and the doors flew open. A minute later, the lights came back on and all the doors closed again.

Finally, there is the roof where there are reports of two people jumping to their death. One is a doctor who apparently just couldn’t take the pains and pressure of where he worked and what he had to deal with. The other is an elderly patient. Some feel the elderly man may have been pushed off.

As with any place like this, you have to sort out the fact from the fiction. What are the real stories of the events that took place and what has become lore and wild imagination. No doubt these events could all be real, but it does make you wonder how much of this is just being handed down over time.

On the whole, the investigation is loaded with EVP recordings. They claim to hear things like "get that guy" and "get out". Zak also feels that his shirt is being tugged and at times feels he has hands running over his back. They all seem to experience being touched in some way or another.

As the investigation continues the motion sensors they set up start to go off and Zak claims he sees an orb run into the hall right as it happens. To me, this orb looks more like a bat than anything else. We know that places like this are home to dozens of animals and if you’ve watched Ghost Hunters you’ve seen plenty of old abandoned building with bats flying around. I don’t think this was as mysterious as they claim it is.

The part that really bugs me is when they bring out the spirit box. I really can’t stand that thing, mainly because I don’t think it works. Or rather it works, but picks up earthly signals rather than voices from beyond. However, Zak and Nick claim to hear multiple voices responding to their questions.

In conjunction with the spirit box they bring out a new toy called the PX Generator which is a similar device to the spirit box. Once again it scans the radio signals catching words and phrases from spirits. They claim it’s not picking up radio station traffic because it simply moves past the channels way too quickly to pick them up. When it comes to things like this, the very explanation of the thing seems to contradict the way it would work. In the evidence they claim they have an EVP that crosses over 13 radio stations. I really can’t put any confidence in this device, it really seems like it picks up radio stations. It could be picking up talk shows, CB radio, wireless phones and who knows what else. If you scan radio waves you’re going to hear voices.

But with this box they pick up all sorts of conversations from people they believe used to be residents at Hill View Manor. So Zak and the team gets lots of experiences and lots of EVPs but nothing in the way of visual evidence. Nothing is actually captured on film.

One thing that appears to have been left out is the location of a morgue. It wasn’t mentioned, but you would think with all the death that took place it would have one. All the other buildings like this had one and Zak and team head right for it. Odd there wasn’t anything like that on this stop.

Who knows, maybe the PX Generator is picking up something. I’m not convinced so most of the EVPs really mean nothing to me. For people who can get behind the technology this place is a treasure trove of activity. If it does allow communication then Hill View Manor still has plenty of residence roaming around and could be one of the most active locations they’ve been too.

It was certainly a neat investigation and like so many of these places that tried to help people, perhaps it did more harm than good.

By the way, is anyone else getting the feeling that Zak is really railing against the skeptics these days? He dedicated the Stanley Hotel investigation to the skeptics claiming this would change their minds. And during this episode he called out the skeptics again while he was doing his live EVP session. Is this taunting? Frustration? A score to settle?

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Ghost Adventures – The Stanley Hotel – S04E05

Continuing their travels to the big name haunts, Zak and team head to the Stanley Hotel, a location that hardly needs an introduction. Just to say it, the Stanley was the site of the Ghost Hunters Halloween Special, as well as the backdrop for The Shining which Stephen King crafted after having his own set of experiences in the hotel. So what did the Ghost Hunters team come away with?

Honestly, I was a little underwhelmed by this episode. The main investigation takes place in a storage facility next to the hotel, rather than the main hotel itself. They discuss the Stanley and it’s history and do a quasi investigation while they sleep with digital recorders and cameras running.

They claim to get several EVPs from each room while they’re sleeping. Well, Aaron was sleeping. It seems Zak and Nick didn’t have such an easy night. Were they hassled by the spirits of the rooms or were they just so worked up they couldn’t get to sleep?

That was pretty much it for the main hotel. The guys head over to a large storage building which used to be a hotel on it’s own right back in the 70s. It’s main claim to fame is that it has a supposedly haunted mattress. A guest passed away while at the hotel and instead of throwing the mattress away, the hotel stacked it up against the wall in this building. That alone seems kinda goofy if you asked me. Keeping it as a conversation piece? Does the Stanley think it will bring in more spirits and thus more money if they hold on to it?

This is also supposed to be the scientific part of the episode where they bring in their scientist who makes a lot of the equipment they use. For this investigation he’s rigged up a series of cameras and also a rig that is similar to sonar that can detect spirits and their movement.

As Zak talks to the spirit that might be attached to the mattress they supposedly get more EVPs and the spirit sonar is tracking some movement and anomalies. It certainly seemed interesting, but how was this supposed to be able to put all skeptical doubts to rest? It had a neat "double histogram" but I really can’t say much else about it. What I can say is that it didn’t convince me of anything. It showed a bar graph. I think it’s great that people are working to make new detection devices and new ways to try unravel the mysteries of life and what it means, but I’m not going to jump and down and say this little gizmo is definitive proof of anything.

Apart from that, the team feels cold spots around the room and that it is charged with energy. Combined with their new technological evidence they feel certain they’ve recorded evidence of their conversation with the afterlife.

I have to say this was a neat episode, but as I mention, a little underwhelming. I also think it’s odd they really didn’t go through the entire hotel, but instead chose this outbuilding. But I guess with all the previous investigation of the main hotel the guys needed to do something different. With all the ghost hunting shows that have taken place there, the Stanley is more famous as a haunted site than as a great hotel. But I guess whatever keeps the people and the money coming in right?

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