Ghost Hunters International

Ghost Hunters International – Quarantine Station

GHI continues their adventures down under and checks out the Quarantine Station in Sydney Australia. In the early 1800s it was an entry point for Australia but those who were deemed too sick to continue on were held there and treated with some pretty harsh medicine. It was common for cases of plague, typhus, cholera, smallpox and Spanish influenza to run rampant, and many people died during their time there.

Robb and Joe start off the investigation in the shower block where "guests" would treated to a hot shower of caustic chemicals that would supposedly remove bacteria, lice and several layers of skin. I have to say the tough acting Joe is just laughable. I have no idea why he took this combative approach but he just isn’t pulling it off.

And what is the big paranormal activity in this place? A rattling door handle. That they hear once. And Joe claims he hears "Hey". Yeah, that "hey" doesn’t come through well on the recorder if you ask me.

Barry and Dustin are in the hospital area with the 360-mic where Barry says he hears voices in the headphones. Barry keeps saying they need to come closer, so while he might be hearing something it’s not showing up.

Next up are Brandy and Ashley in the basement where Brandy feels a chill in her hands and up her side. Ashley feels Brandy’s hands to confirm one is colder than the other. Too bad no one actually had a temperature gauge at this point.

The big moments of the show come with Paul in the morgue. There’s always much anticipation when someone lays down on a morgue slab and asks for a sign. Paul claims to hear footsteps and shuffling while he’s down there. And then gets all excited when he feels a massive temperature drop. Too bad none of this evidence is actually captured.

Finally, the team claims to have captured some really interesting photographic evidence. I don’t see a damn thing in this photograph they show of the outside where there is supposed to be an outline of the little boy. And the thing that really irks me is that they show the photo, add their outline, then right at the instant they take the outline away they cut away to a shot of the client so you can’t compare the outline with the actual photo. I call foul! They did the same thing the other episode where they "say" the meter is moving rather than showing it. They keep cutting away rather than showing what is going on.

Even with this rather limited (or none for that matter) evidence they claim the place is haunted. I just don’t get it. Where is the proof? A door rattling is not evidence. Cold fingers are not evidence. Are you really going to call these completely common place occurrences evidence of the paranormal? While Paul had quite the time in the morgue without anything to support what he felt it’s nothing more than his mind playing tricks on him. The personal experiences are neat, but they don’t mean anything without proof and once again there isn’t any.

Not impressive at all.

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Ghost Hunters International – Argentina/Australia S02E08

So here we are with the next adventure of the GHI team which takes them to Eden Hotel in Argentina and the Monte Cristo House in Australia.

The Eden Hotel reports they have a little girl who died of tuberculosis on the property. There are claims of a woman laughing and that the dining hall still seems to have people enjoying dinner and indulging in conversation. And there is another little spirit who supposedly died of hypothermia and is still crying for help.

Rob starts us off by trying to gain the trust of the little girl and asks for her to show him around and find the other spirits. Immediately a cold spot appears which he feels is the little girl ready to give him the tour. Alas no thermal imagery or temperature readings to back up this claim of the cold spot. Cute theory though.

Barry feels that setting up a disco in part of the house will bring out the spirits and they bring in a strobe light and let it run for hours on end with no results for their efforts. Not sure what exactly this was supposed to accomplish. I can only imagine the poor sap who had to sit through that seizure inducing footage.

While sitting at the dining room they pull out the EMF and begin asking questions. Ashley and Joe say the device is getting readings but we don’t get to see the needle move. Right before the detector goes off each time they move the camera away and someone says "It went off". What’s the story with that shoddy camera work?

Finally, Dustin nearly soils himself as he’s searching for the little girl who died of TB. As he’s peering through the doorway he lurches back exclaiming he just saw a shadow figure. Of course we see no figure nor hear any noise. All we see is Dustin tripping over his own tail as he almost crushes the camera guy making his getaway.

With just a couple pieces of really sketchy evidence they claim the place is haunted. Is it me or are they seriously lowering the bar for a place to gain the haunted badge?

In Australia they head to the Monte Cristo house where people hear noises, see apparitions and hear the voice of Mrs. Crowley telling them to leave. Since there is a balcony, there is a story of someone falling from it. The story goes Mr. Crowley himself shoved a woman overboard. A woman, he supposedly got pregnant. Those wealthy landowners, always up to no good with the hired help.

Personally, I don’t think they catch much of anything on this one. Quite frankly, the claims of the paranormal seem pretty slight to begin with. But hey, any reason to go to Australia is a good one right?

The two big pieces of evidence are Dustin and Joe hearing the window rattle as they try to talk to Mrs. Crowley in her bedroom and someone saying "Get Out" as the team is getting ready to end their investigation. A window rattling couldn’t possibly be the wind, a bird or a bug hitting it. As for the "Get Out"? Sadly, that isn’t what it sounds like to me. I’m not even sure they’re words. Sounds like someone breathing right next to the microphone to me.

You would think with someone saying "Get Out" the place has to be haunted right? Nope. They just give it the "there’s paranormal activity here" moniker and head on out. The Eden Hotel had just as lame evidence and they had no problem saying that place was haunted. What’s the deal there? Was it the fact Dustin nearly soiled his pants when he claims he saw the little girl that made the place haunted? Soiled pants = haunted?

Clearly there is no consistency in how they judge these places.


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Ghost Hunters International – Hitler’s Ghost

So the team kicks off the relaunch of the season with an attempt to track down Hitler himself. But not in Berlin, but in Argentina where it’s rumored he escaped to after he faked his death at the end of the War. In a now rundown hotel it is claimed that Hitler spent a great deal of time with other members of his party. It’s also claimed he had reconstructive surgery to change his appearance and then supposedly blended in with the natives. Hitler, hanging out at the beach sipping fruity drinks with umbrellas in them? Seems unlikely that’s for sure. But putting all this crazy conspiracy theory aside, let’s get to what happened.

First, I’m excited about GHI coming back. While I don’t think they’re paranormal investigations are any better than anyone else’s, the places they go are amazing. Who wouldn’t want to visit Dracula’s Castle or Castle Frankenstein, or churches overrun by Satanic cults? Their European destinations have an incredible history which is the part I enjoy hearing about.

So what did the team actually find? They claim to have gotten lots of footsteps walking up down the halls. Rob gets hits off the meter as he asks questions. And while asking questions there are loud bangs and the sound of a door shaking.

The big evidence is a photo of what looks to be some sort of alien sitting on the bed. There does seem to be some sort of blob there, but it doesn’t look human. Of course, the picture happens to coincide with a fair amount of light glare from the opposing camera.

So was there any evidence of Hitler? Nope. He’s not in the house. Maybe he was out by the pool or planning his next coup somewhere. But honestly, just about everything in this episode can be explained. The photo is a trick of light, as just about all of them are. It’s an interesting shape but I don’t put much stock In it.

The sound of boots walking? It’s an old building, that could be anything. We know for sure there are birds nesting in the place. If there’s one animal you do see, there’s dozens you don’t.

And the lights on the meter as Rob asks questions? You can always discount that as an electrical short, faulty battery or just the device acting randomly (I’m not saying that’s what it is though). It was really about the only interesting thing that happened, but I don’t think it’s enough to hang an entire investigation on.

The rattling of the door? Nearby trucks, trains, planes and buses could all make the door shake.

As with any old building a lot of the sounds they’re hearing seem rather normal. The meters lighting up was pretty interesting, but I find it odd that whoever is holding the camera can’t seem to focus or hold it steady long enough to film the meter. When Rob is getting activity the camera is shaking wildly and the meter is continually going off the screen. And if it is on the screen, it’s constantly trying to refocus so you still can’t see it. Have you people never heard of a tripod and manual focus? Set the damn focus and leave it!

It was a neat location and it was fun to see the GHI team back in action. Hitler was a no show, but they did their part to add some more mysticism to the hauntings of this Argentinean hotel.

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Ghost Hunters International

The season is almost over and GHI has been to some of the coolest places I can think of. Castles, ruins, forts, monasteries and plenty of other unusual places have all been on the list. Who wouldn’t want to go visit those wonderful castles, let alone the fact they may have a troubled past? I mean going to see the castle Frankenstein, the castle of Dracula or the ruins of the castle occupied by legendary Lady Bathory would be a once in a lifetime experience. And probably one of those trips where you need to make sure you pack an extra set of undies. They are the stuff of legend. But if that wasn’t enough what about a Satanic monastery or a fort that has the spirits of those who died in battle? And one who seems to want to push you over the edge, literally. The places these guys get to go are just unbelievable.

While we started off the season with Donna and Bryan in tow, their time with the group was somewhat limited and soon they both leave for personal reasons. Even Andy has to take his leave as a new edition to his family takes precedence. Justin jumps in to help lead the team with Rob and Barry while other members of the Ghost Hunters team come and go to take up the slack.

Now Barry just cracks me up. He is probably one of the most excitable guys when it comes to the paranormal, but when things start bumping, it seems like he wants to lock the doors and batten down the hatches. It’s all fun and games to chance down the boogey man, but when he bears his teeth, it might be time to take a step back. He seems a little overly jumpy at times. But I do like the full spectrum camera he’s been working with. That’s a pretty cool setup with the two cameras side by side taking pictures at the same time. Strange anomalies in a picture could be nothing more than a camera glitch or improper settings, but you never know, something could be there.

Where Rob came from, I have no idea, but I like him. He seems a pretty down to earth sort of guy. He keeps his cool, is ready to charge down that dark corridor or into that small dark space. And although he does seem a little hit and miss with calling things haunted he does have command of the situation and of the team; even though that teams keeps changing on him.

Trekking across Europe in search of the paranormal has got to be surreal at times. They are going deep into the countries where people have always believed in spirits, even vampires and have plans and rituals for dealing with them should they rise up out of the grave. It’s hard to imagine going to the places that actually inspired the legends of Dracula and Frankenstein. For some of these places a 200 year old castle is a modern dwelling. The fact that Andy will jump up on a rickety ass ladder he just happens to find lying on the ground in a castle cracks me up.

Compelling evidence? I think they’ve found some. Lots of the EVPs sound like they could be anything, especially when they are supposedly in a foreign language. Is it really speaking back in German or Romanian, or does it just sound like something we want to hear? There’s certainly noise in the background, but don’t all abandoned castles that are falling apart make weird noises?

What of the picture evidence? Well, a lot of that could be anything. Shadows, tricks of the light or wishful thinking could make you see just anything you want. Is that a boy in the glass or just an odd reflection? Are those muddy pictures capturing the essence of something in the full spectrum or do we see improper camera settings or even the camera focusing on the wrong thing? Or maybe in the dark someone put their thumb in front of the lens. But again, when you get enough odd pictures and strange sounds, is it just coincidence or do you really have something unusual?

But I guess that’s why we watch, to find that evidence and judge for ourselves. Apart from the paranormal aspect I like GHI because they go to some of the most remarkable places. I would love to have that kind of opportunity. It’s like a tour of Europe visiting famous castles, all in the dark.

I was a bit nervous about this spin-off show, but so far GHI is showing they have plenty of places to visit and their own personality to keep people watching. We’ll have to see how things turn out for next year. They have some drastic crew changes so we’ll see who comes back for the next season and where they plan to go. And I’d be curious to see if they will be allowed to investigate any actual homes. It’s all been castles and massive structures, I wonder if they will get the chance to investigate some personal residences as time goes on…

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