Haunted Collector

Haunted Collector – Island of Fear and Tropical Terror – S01E04

Casa Blanca Museum

For this episode John heads out to Puerto Rico to investigate the home of fame explorer and conqueror, Ponce de Leon. They arrive at the Casa Blanca Museum where there are reports of doors closing on their own, figures roaming the grounds outside and a spinning wheel that moves on it’s own.

Right off the bat they debunk the spinning wheel, which is good to see. It’s actually not as hard to move as people believe and while walking around the room and stomping they get it to rotate.

They also discover what appears to be some sort of underground cellar. It could be for wine or personal items or as John points out, it could have been some sort of dungeon used by Ponce de Leon. Chris and Jason go to investigate perhaps with a little more haste than Chris would like since he actually falls off the ladder and crashes to the floor. He a little shaken, but otherwise unharmed. It looks like things are off to a bad start, but they don’t actually find anything of interest in this little cellar.

Things are a bit more exciting for Jess and Brian as they investigate the upstairs of the house. They’re caught off guard with the sound of multiple loud bangs that sound like the doors are shutting them in. It’s not one or two either, but a series that keeps them spinning trying to find out where then noise is coming from. As Brian says, they’re on a peninsula with island breezes, so is there merely the wind causing the doors to close?

John, Aimee and Chris investigate the grounds where the guards keep seeing shadow figures. What they discover is a large rock with carvings on it. Interesting they got an EVP of the word, “La Piedra” or “the stone” earlier. They come to find out this stone is from the native people of Puerto Rico and would have been created during a ritual where the native people would drink a special concoction to communicate with their ancestors and then carve what they see. Problem is, these are the same Puerto Rico natives that Ponce de Leon II was trying to remove from the area. He and his son set out to conquer the Carib people. It didn’t go as planned, Ponce de Leon’s son was captured, killed and quite possibly eaten in a ritual sacrifice. So now we have a native stone from the very people Ponce de Leon tried to eradicate sitting right next to his house. This does not bode well.

John obviously can’t remove the stone he decides to make an offering of fruit, tobacco and liquor to try and appease the spirits of both sides. It might have worked since the activity in the house has stopped, but the guards still claim to see shadow figures.

Mendez Residence

For the second investigation John investigate the Mendez home where there are reports of shadow figures, the apparition of a little boy, voices and scratching at the window.

This investigation takes on a bit of a darker tone as Grissell reveals that her grandmother was part of the Santeria faith and didn’t believe Grissell was her father’s daughter so she had no qualms in putting a hex on her and Grissell’s mother. The hex involved putting dead chickens around the house as well as seashells. Both of these are associated with the darker side of Santeria. Santeria is akin to Voodoo, or at least the perception of Voodoo.

As they investigate the house they get an EVP of the name “Miguel” which is Grissell’s father. He passed away three years ago. They also gets spikes on the meter when they get near the seashells Chayenne has in her bedroom, the same shells Grissell associates with Santeria.

They also learn about the coconuts on the property. Coconuts are used in Santeria to represent the human skull. Mark, Grissell’s husband has had dreams of the coconuts where a figure tells him to remove them. As they investigate the property they discover a small cave with coconuts, seashells and what appear to be teeth. Is this the site of Santeria rituals? It’s certainly a common practice in the area, both for good and bad.

John brings in a Santero who breaks open one of the coconuts to find hair and a chicken tongue. It’s his believe Santeria is being used here for evil purposes. He collects the coconuts and removes them. He also deals with the cave by removing those objects and cleansing it.

So what’s going on here? Are these people caught in the middle of some ancient feud where Santeria was used against families? Was this done by Grissell’s grandmother because she believed Grissell’s mother sinned against her son? It certainly seems like someone used, or is trying to use Santeria against this family.

While I don’t know either of these cases truly have a paranormal element to them they were interesting. Ponce de Leon is an iconic figure in history and maybe there is some bad blood between him and the people he tried to oppress. But is it really manifesting itself? As Brian said, a lot of this could simply be the wind. For the Mendez family it seems they’re caught in the crossfire of Santeria. Perhaps it’s directed at them, perhaps not. We don’t hear anymore about the voices or the apparition of the little boy. John didn’t really seem to capture any evidence of the supernatural so is this guilty feelings over the loss of the grandfather and the unusual behavior of the grandmother?

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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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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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Haunted Collector – Farm Stalker and Echo Club Spirits – S03E01

Farm Stalker – Montgomery New York

For the first part of the episode we have Mary Lu who feels threatened by the spirit of the former owner of her farm. She claims to see shadow figures and many of her animals have died in mysterious ways. She feels threatened and scared.

John checks out the house and while his team is there they come across two dead animals. While working an EVP session there is a lot of tapping and they discover a dead bird outside. While investigating the house they find a dead mouse on the pool table. The horses may not be affected, but there is a rising body count.

While working with Brian, the Ovilus repeatedly says the word Attic. During their search they find a Leyden Jar which is an early form of a battery. It conducts electricity and would have been used on animals to prove it could hold a charge. We also discover that the wiring on the farm is most likely crap and may actually be electrocuting the animals. It’s very likely Mary Lu doesn’t have any paranormal activity, but rather has some woefully inadequate wiring that’s shocking things to death.

The Echo Club

For the second part of the episode John investigate the Echo Club where the owner has experienced problems such as guests being choked and pushed as well as feeling a hand touch hers while turning off a light, the sound of doorbells ringing when there are no doorbells and strange noises all throughout the place.

Seems things started to happen after Deborah found a picture under the stairs. Turns out the picture is of Andrew Zaleski an immigrant who opened the town bank and loaded money. They also uncover that Zaleski may not have been the nicest or most patient of men when it came to debts. There is rumor he had a jail put into the Echo Club and those who didn’t pay where his guests until they made arrangements. It’s also told that Zaleski died in the Echo Club of a heart attack.

As they investigate the house the find doors that refuse to open then suddenly let go as well as a bottle mysteriously rolling out from underneath the safe of Andrew Zaleski. The picture of him and his men also keeps appearing. It mysteriously falls into the center of the floor and reveals a ledger of names and balances. Unfortunately several men have not paid off their debts. One of these men is Debbie’s Great Uncle Dominic. It appears that Zaleski is still tracking down his money.

John suggests that Debbie place the portrait of Zaleski and the ledger and put them in the safe. Since she’s done that, no more paranormal events have occurred. Odd that she didn’t put cash into the safe to pay off the debt. Seems like an offer of money would have been a better answer.

Both of these were interesting stories, but I don’t think there is anything more to the first story than bad wiring. It sounds like the original owner didn’t know what they were doing and once all the wiring was replaced the animals stopped dying. And it’s not like the team captured any evidence of the paranormal out there.

The second story is a little more unusual. They don’t capture any apparitions or have experiences of being choked or pushed, but they do get that odd bottle rolling out from under the safe, the door that can’t be opened and the picture of Zaleski showing up all over the place. Was he really trying to get his money from beyond the grave? Can’t he rest while there is a debt to be paid? And why not pay it? Why just put the ledger in the safe? Debbie acknowledged the debt, so was that good enough? Was that really the extent of the paranormal activity? Seems like Zaleski was an odd guy, perhaps even a little ruthless when it came to money, but was Debbie really the victim of paranormal events? If you look at the hard evidence it doesn’t really seem like anything happened.

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