Ghost Adventures

Ghost Adventures – Pennhurst State School and Hospital

Ghost Adventures kicked off the new season with a visit to a place that seems particularly disturbing.

Pennhurst was a hospital for the physically and mentally disabled. It opened in the early 1900s and over the course of its history degraded to the point where patients were abused, neglected and even killed. The rumors of violence start early, right when the place opened, and continued up until it closed in 1986. So many reports came to light that eventually news stories were aired and former patients sued the institution for violating their rights.

After a 32-day trial and an immense investigation, prosecutors concluded that the conditions at Pennhurst were not only dangerous, with physical and mental abuse of its patients, but also inadequate for the care and habilitation for the mentally retarded. The State of Pennsylvania also concluded that the physical, mental, and intellectual skills of most patients had deteriorated while in Pennhurst.

Obviously this place has a troubling past, but does it have strong paranormal elements? Former employees certainly think so, with lots of reports of noises, bangs, people looking out the window, figures and footsteps.

Almost half the episode is taken up with documenting the site and quite frankly I was a little disappointed when they started the investigation. The narrative is fascinating albeit shocking.

The investigation came across as a little tame this time around. Considering how large the place actually is versus the evidence they found, it feels like they either didn’t get to go everywhere or there just wasn’t that much activity. Zak and team say they hear a few voices and footsteps, but as always I find it hard to hear them. Is it me or does it always sound like there is just as much static as anything else?

I wish they would have broken this up into a two part episode. I would really have enjoyed more on the history on this location and a much longer investigation. The place is so large and there are so many tunnels it seems they just barely scratched the surface.

Pennhurst State School on the Travel Channel
Pennhurst on Wikipedia

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Ghost Adventures Live Halloween Special

Congratulations to the guys for not spewing expletives all over the place on live television! Well, except for that one part. :)

What better place for a Halloween show than an asylum? And Zak goes in with his usual excitement and enthusiasm. And Aaron goes in with his usual concern and trepidation and raised eyebrow to the camera. Come on Aaron you should be used to this stuff by now.

Overall the investigation was very entertaining to watch. Zak and crew kept things moving along nicely even when they ran into a few glitches.

But let’s get down to the business of discussing some of those crazy devices and the guests they brought on.

Chris Fleming and his spirit box:

Ok, what the hell is this thing? Chris seems like an interesting guy, but his gizmo seems to be tuning in radio stations more than anything else. And does the Spirit Box always sound like that or was it just a TV thing? That pulsing was incredibly annoying. Again, I can’t say I really heard anything and the little bit I did hear sounded like radio waves just as much as the paranormal.

The Constantinos and live EVPs:

First off, ease off on the eye makeup Debbie. Under the IR camera that comes across as, well, scary. The words demonic raccoon come to mind. But moving beyond that, I was pretty underwhelmed with this segment. Again, I’m not hearing the voices and I don’t see how these two have mystical insight into EVPs. As far as their special technique for EVPs? It looks like they’re pressing Record and then Play. Not sure how "specialized" that really is.

It was still interesting to have new people in there. Their part wasn’t too bad until they got to the medical center and then Debbie got a little moody. Maybe that is her style of provoking but she seemed a little out of it all of a sudden.

The Guest investigators:

Who picked these three to be on the show? Kelly looked like he was ready for the challenge, but the other two looked like they were scared to death. However, Kelly barely said anything during the whole segment. And when they got locked in the solitary rooms, they just stood there. You had recorders right? Why not start investigating? You would think they’d have some idea of what to do since they were fans of the show and you would think they’ve at least watch a few paranormal shows on TV. But yet, they pretty much just stood there. Can’t say they offered anything of benefit to the show. It was a neat idea to bring them, I was just expecting a little more. I thought that one girl was going to soil herself when they locked her in. Zak sort of had to break the mood and let her know it’s just for effect.

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Ghost Adventures Live

It’s only a few minutes away. I’m checking out the site and reading some of the background on the place. Wow, it was horrible. What started as a hospital with grand plans of treating mental illness turned into some crazed laboratory where they did experiments on unwitting patients. Sounds pretty sad and gruesome. If all goes well this should be a pretty cool event.

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Ghost Adventures Halloween Special

Even though Jason and Grant have abandoned their post for Halloween that doesn’t mean we are left without some ghost hunting excitement. The Ghost Adventures crew will step in and helm a 7-hour live investigation of the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in West Virginia.

(Chevy Chase, MD) This Halloween season, on October 30, 2009 from 8PM to 3AM ET the Ghost Adventures crew, Zak Bagans, Nick Groff and Aaron Goodwin, will voluntarily lock themselves in one of America’s most haunted locations, the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, for a LIVE seven-hour, paranormal investigation.

Zak and his crew maybe a little “odd” at times, but he still has a stage presents I find interesting and engaging. I have a feeling their quirky antics could make for a very worthwhile show. Plus, the place they are visiting certainly has a checkered and troubled past.

For example:
Ghost Adventures will have unprecedented access to the entire asylum — from the seclusion cells, where the most violent patients were shackled, to the medical center, where primitive procedures and autopsies were performed.

And where some of the “primitive procedures”, why the lobotomy of course, the cure-all to mental disease:

Dr. Walter Freeman, who had no surgical training, “perfected” the lobotomy on the patients at the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum. The patients would not be given anesthesia, but were instead given electroconvulsive therapy (which are basically electrically induced seizures) until they became unconscious. He would then stick an ice pick between the eyeball and eyelid and hammer it into the brain, where he made sweeping motions with the ice pick to destroy brain matter. He performed around 3,500 lobotomies in his lifetime, until he killed a patient during one and lost his medical license.

Their methods are a touch different, but I like these guys. As I stated in a previous post Zak has a great narrative style and his enthusiasm draws you in. He seems really excited about the location he’s at and wants to see what he can find. I can’t say everything they find is compelling or that yelling, “Dude! Did you see that?” doesn’t make me roll my eyes, but I’ll be tuning in for this event, this looks cool as hell!

Want to read more of the events that took place at the Asylum? Check out this article:

And read more about it on Wikipedia:

More details on the show can be found here:

As an aside, if you want to do your own Ghost Hunt on Halloween, you can! The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum is offering a Witches Ball from 7pm – 1am and then a Ghost Hunt inside the Asylum from 1:30am until 7am.

I don’t think you could ask for more on Halloween night!

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