Haunted Highway

Haunted Highway – Manchac Swamp and Moonville Tunnel – S02E02

image For this investigation Dana and Jack tackle the Manchac Swamp which has the bizarre tale of multiple people dying at the funeral of Julia Brown, while Devin and Jael investigate the Moonville Tunnel located in an abandoned mining town and is said to be the location of 26 deaths.

Manchac Swamp

Supposedly there was a local woman named Julia Brown that said when she died she was going to take everyone with her. True to her word, those attending her funeral were killed. The town had another problem that when a hurricane came along, the town was wiped out. As bodies were found they were gathered up and put in a mass grave at the high point of the swamp. That’s were Jack and Dana head.

It’s a dilapidated shack where people claim to see the lady in white, hear singing and see lights. As Jack and Dana look around something quite mysterious seems to be lurking in the water. At first glance it looks like a bizarre mist. It might even be something swimming just under the surface of the water. It does seem to gurgle and bubble and when Jack mentions it could be methane gas, it really begins to make sense. There is another piece of the footage where the water is bubbling at certainly looks like gas escaping from under water.

Another interesting piece of evidence is from the GoPro that is scanning the area. It looks to capture some sort of ghost or figure in the trees. It’s there one second then gone the next. At first glance it looks quite bizarre, but if you step back for a moment it more lends itself to camera glare. It feels more like a trick of light than anything else.

And thing that happens is Jack and Dana try to contact Julia Brown. Dana lights a series of extremely large candles. While asking questions, every one of them gets blown out. This could be a gust of wind or some gas heavier than air drifting through the swamp, but it’s pretty odd and interesting on it’s own.

Moonville Tunnel

Devin and Jael investigate and old train tunnel associated with coal mining. The tunnel is quite literally all that remains. The entire town has disappeared. As Jael and Devin discover, the only thing left are a couple of moss covered cement slabs.

The tunnel was used as part of the railway during the coal mining days. 26 deaths are attributed to the train including two trains that collided. People claim to see apparitions, strange sounds, rocks being thrown, the feeling of being watched and the smell of something sweet. These are each connected to one of the deaths that took place.

As Jael and Devin investigate the do hear rocks falling as well as smell something sweet. Devin also feels some presence get very close to him and brush in front of his face. They also feel they see some figure walking around. There is a story of Baldy Keaton, a bully apparently, and when the team tries to speak with him they get the sound of rocks falling. When reviewing their evidence they also feel they get a voice saying "murder".

Both of these locations make for some interesting stories, but do they contain paranormal activity? The swamp has a pretty bleak past and certainly some odds things happen out there, but are people mistaking natural occurrences for the paranormal? And when it comes to the Tunnel are people letting their imaginations get the better of them? Falling rocks and phantom smells certainly have more earthly explanations.

Are these locations haunted or do they just have some interesting tall tales associated with them?

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Haunted Highway – Island of Lost Souls – S02E01

image It’s been a long time since we caught up with Jack, Dana, Jael and Devin. In fact, I wondered if Haunted Highway was going to come back. But they are indeed back for another season and their first stop is Fort Jefferson in Florida.

Fort Jefferson was used as a prison in the late 1840s. It was home to many inmates such as Samuel Mudd, and it should come as no surprise the fort had a lot of deaths. Some would say that you if you got sent to Fort Jefferson, you were sent there to die.

They speak to a couple of witnesses who claim to hear voices, see figures, hear scream and have been touched by something. Some say they’ve been pushed. There is also talk of some mysterious lights that people see coming from the island.

One of the odd stories related to that is the underwater cemetery. Fort Jefferson buried prisoners on their own land, but since this is right at sea level the tide would quite literally wash the bodies away. As they come to discover, the graves have drifted out to sea.

The team decides to investigate together and Jael scouts out the underwater grave. She comes back with an impressive old, rusted chain that looks like it would have been attached to a ball and would have the classic "ball and chain" prisoners would have shackled to their feet.

Jack and Devin launch their helicopter to get an aerial view of the place. Not sure what that’s really going to tell us. I think Jack likes messing with RC toys.

As night falls Jack and Jael head out to the water cemetery for some EVP work while Devin and Dana head into the Fort. Jack begins to see lights off in the distant. First there are two lights, then one disappears, then the other. Dana and Devin seem to capture some sort of mist rolling across the tunnel.

In conjunction with the lights on the water they capture footage of what appears to be someone shutting the shudders on the lighthouse door. The light is there and then suddenly gone. Problem is, they don’t go check it out. I would have been all over that, but they accept it and move on. How do they know someone wasn’t in there?

Another piece of evidence is Jack hears someone whispering in his face and gets pretty shaken up about it. Not long after, Dana and Jael check out the lighthouse where Dana gets stuck inside. The door she goes through gets jammed and neither she nor Jael can push it open. Jack however has no problem pushing it open. Of course the first reaction is that the door was simply stuck. It’s warped in some way and just doesn’t fit right. Was there some sort of spirit trying to trap her there?

And finally, as they wander the grounds they come across part of the cemetery that’s still in tact and see what looks like a figure on the thermal imager. Is this the image of one of the prisoners? Does this belong to the voice that whispered to Jack and perhaps stuck Dana in the lighthouse?

So what do you think of Fort Jefferson and the return of Haunted Highway? Jack and the team had a few interesting things happen to them such as the whisper, the mist, the door getting stuck, the odd lights (perhaps even someone snuffing it out) and the image on the thermal. Does all this culminate in the place being haunted? Do they have evidence of strange and unusual paranormal activity going on? Some of does indeed seem quite odd, yet some of it seems very ordinary.

And by the way, was it just me or were there some interesting cleavage shots going on? Not that I’m against paranormal investigations being done in swimsuits.

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Haunted Highway – Silver City Ghost Town and Shunka Warakin – S01E06

Silver City Ghost Town

I usually scoff at supposed "ghost towns" simply because the buildings are so run down, animals are living in the walls, boards are creaking and overall there is so much that can easily be explained away. However, this investigation turned out to be a little different and the things Jael and Devin came across would have scared the hell out of me? Are they all paranormal? Well, that’s the question…

We have the usual stories of misfortune associated with a hotel and the gold rush. We did seem to be missing the story of the jilted prostitute with an unborn child though. That always seems to come up. But anyway, as Devin is walking around upstairs a door swings open. Not really that big a deal, just a broken door knob or loose hinges. He thinks the same thing and checks the door to make sure it’s shut. Just after he walks away, it opens again. Maybe he didn’t secure it like the thought he did. Maybe it settles into some odd groove and then opens.

But next up is the lamp above the door that swings on it’s own. Sure, it could just be an lamp that just gave way. It might do that sort of thing all the time. Hell, it might just be broken and barely hanging on. Combine that with the door and it’s kinda weird.

There is also the rocking chair that seems to start rocking on it’s own. More than likely that was caused by some uneven floorboards and their walking around made one pop up enough to set the chair in motion. I don’t attribute anything paranormal to that one, for the most part.

Then there is Jael getting trapped in the "isolation chamber" in the Masonic lodge. Right after she asks if the spirits want her to leave, the small door slams shut on her. That right there is enough to make you ruin a perfectly good pair of pants. Was that just one hell of a coincidence? Was it some off camera trickery? Does that door close like that all the time and it’s no big deal?

Maybe all these events are just a bunch of coincidences and actually don’t mean a thing. Like I said before, it’s an old hotel, things are rusted, broken, damaged and more than likely no one is actually taking care of these things. Clearly, when we looked in certain rooms they were a complete disaster. Regardless, when you put them altogether, whatever the cause, that is one scary ass place.

This episode was pretty damn awesome.

Shunka Warakin

Once again, this is story similar to El Chupacabra, a creature that goes out, kills animals and leaves their carcases behind. The locals say it’s some sort of conglomeration of multiple animals. Jael and Devin are told to head out onto the plains to find it. So that’s what they do.

Using a goat as bait, they scour the area looking for signs. It’s hard to tell what they’re looking for, but ultimately they find some blood and what looks to be some torn fur from an animal. It does look like something nasty took place out there. They hear lots of howls and get hits in the Flir. Ironically, they just happen to have an RC car with them. Was that planned or was it always in the back of the car? Anyway…

They strap a camera to the car and discover the noises they keep hearing are related to a pack of dogs. And not cute little puppies other, but big, heavy, muscular looking dogs. It’s pretty easy to draw the conclusion that the dogs have at least something to do with the animal killings. A couple of hungry dogs could easily rip an animal to pieces, but if anything came up on them during the act they would just take off and leave the carcass behind. These could be escaped dogs or a pack that has been out there for quite some time. Considering the size of these ranches it would be almost impossible to find them or keep track of them.

It seems the Shunka Warakin has a pretty earthly explanation.

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Haunted Highway – Louisiana Swamp Woman and Pioneer Cemetery – S01E05

Louisiana Swamp Woman

In the intro to this episode Jack reveals that he has been diagnosed with MS and is handing over the reigns of the investigation to Jael and Devin. I wish Jack the best of luck with his medical treatments and hopefully we’ll see him soon.

Louisiana Swamp Woman

The story goes there were plans to steal away the Natchez Indian land and the tribe retaliated by killing two hundred French settlers. The French didn’t take too kindly to that and sent down 8,000 troops to deal with the Indians. Blood was shed, lives were lost and the tripe was wiped out. It’s rumored there was one lone survivor.

Jael and Devin head out to Cotile Lake where it’s rumored the woman fled to. There is location of multiple sightings.

While out near the lake they hear lots of noises, which would be typical and we have Devin slipping into the lake. I’m impressed that he discounts this as just him slipping and not some paranormal event.

However, there is an odd cold spot they keep chasing around the lake. It looks like a blue figure showing up in different spots. Each time they get close it seems to disappear and show up somewhere else.

Is there such a thing as the Swamp Woman, a sort of Siren that leads people out into the water and drowns them? I don’t think the evidence really confirms that, but Devin has his own opinions about what he saw and experienced.

Pioneer Cemetery

This is the legend of woman that has been separated from her family after her death. He husband and children were buried together, but due to a family feud, she hasn’t been laid to rest with them. It’s said her spirit can be said near their plot in the cemetery and that she comes to play with the children.

Jael sets up a test for a child to play with a ball. She also puts up a wind chime that will move with very slight breezes. Strangely, when she steps out of frame, the ball goes flying off it’s perch. I’m always suspicious right after the investigators go out of frame.

Next is Devin provoking some horse thieves with his noose over the tree branch. He tries to get a reaction and go so far as to put his neck in the noose. Moments later he claims the rope is hot around his neck.

Finally, as Jael and Devin are together near the gravesite of the family there appears to be some sort of blur just off to the side of them. Is this the figure of the mom? Is this just matrixing from the camera?

So did they capture evidence of a mother and her son playing in the cemetery? Did a spirit energy kick the ball? Are there apparitions roaming the grounds? Did they get enough out of this investigation to draw a real conclusion? There were some strange occurrences, but are they truly attributable to the paranormal?

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