Ghost Adventures Documentary

Goldfield-NV-hotel I’ve been looking for this show for months and last night I finally got a chance to watch the original Ghost Adventures Documentary with Zak, Nick and Aaron which they shot on their own back in 2006 before they had a series on the Travel Channel. They are on their first ghost hunt trying to find evidence of the paranormal and investigating different locations, specifically the Washoe Club and Virginia City.

It’s interesting to see how it all began. We do get more insight into the paranormal experience Zak had which started him investigating. In an old apartment, he would repeatedly get woken up at 3:00 AM by the sound of a woman calling his name. During the documentary he talks to the maintenance guy who says he’s not surprised since a woman was killed in that apartment. From that point Zak sets out to document the paranormal. What I find odd is that he kept having this paranormal experience with the woman speaking to him, yet there are no recordings or anything else. I figured he would have captured something of the event.

So at least we learn what brought Zak to the paranormal field. He’s talked a little bit about it before but here we get more details about his experience.

The documentary starts by showing Zak, Nick and Aaron trying to find locations for the paranormal and not having too much luck. But at Virginia City things begin to change for them.

This is also the documentary where they captured what they believe is a full bodied apparition walking across the screen at the Old Washoe Club. It shows Nick in the middle of the room setting up the equipment, then a figure comes into frame, seemingly following him.

This fuels their passion for the paranormal since now they feel they’ve actually captured solid evidence. Interestingly there are clips of them on several news programs talking about the footage. And they get some write-ups in the local newspapers. This basically launches them as paranormal investigators and then leads into the second part of the documentary where they explore the Goldfield Hotel.

After talking with several of the local residents they’re given a tour of the hotel and shown the multiple locations where people have seen things and had experiences. For this investigation it’s just Zak and Nick since Aaron isn’t convinced this ghost hunting business is for him. And during that investigation things get a little topsy-turvy. Zak films a brick being thrown at him. This causes complete chaos for Zak and Nick as they run from the room and then become separated. It’s just the two of them and now they’re in complete darkness.

No doubt the first instinct is to laugh at the screams and running, but I have to admit if I was roaming around in the dark and something started throwing bricks at me from out of nowhere I would probably haul ass out of there too!

Zak claims the brick literally lifts off the pile and flies at him. He even has the footage to prove it. And low and behold it does look like a brick comes flying at him and some boards get knocked over in the darkness.

It’s certainly interesting and different. You can see the team developing the style they would later use on their show. While the amount of evidence isn’t overwhelming, they do capture some pretty attention-grabbing stuff. It has a different feel than the currently running TV show, but its entertaining none-the-less. I have to say I like their documentary style where they give the background of a place, talk to people and then focus their attention on multiple buildings in the same location. I’m glad I finally got to see their original paranormal investigation.


Goldfield Hotel photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

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Destination Truth – Spirits of Easter Island – The Moa – S03E15

Easter Island

Josh and team head to Easter Island to investigate mysterious spirits that are not only said to inhabit the island by may also be responsible for the creation of the Moai. (I have to admit right off I had no idea there were so many of those statues on the island. I thought there were a few dozen, not several hundred).

On the tiny island Josh talks with locals who believe they’ve seen and experienced the spirits. They describe them as shadows, and claim to hear workers calling out directions for the construction of the Moai. They are also told that the island itself contains energy and can either accept or reject you. Upon the advice of a local tribal leader and a local healer Josh seeks out a special plant that will protect them as well as increase their chances of the experiencing the spirits of the island. Following the special map the healer has created they inch their way along a sheer rock cliff until they find the leaf. I have to say this is one precarious climb and the crazy drink better be worth the trek! And was it me or did this entire segment seem like some sort of Holy Grail quest?

After bringing the leaf back they’re made a tea and drink to luck. Right afterward the team gets ready for the investigation. Of course, I fully expected Josh and Ryder to start hallucinating and speaking in tongues, but the drink didn’t seem to throw them off kilter any more than they already were.

Things move quickly with Josh and Ryder seeing a floating orb off in the distance. They give chase but end the pursuit as they literally come to the end of the island. They stop right at the foot of a Moai. No sooner have they stopped when Evan goes "straight up crazy bananas", throws his camera equipment down, rips off his shirt and starts screaming that something is all over him (are we sure Evan didn’t drink the crazy brew made by the old medicine woman from the strange plant?). It’s so bizarre and so out of character you have to wonder what the hell is going on. Evan claims he feels hands all over him, grabbing and pulling at him. He’s clearly unnerved and freaked out (and partially naked, in the rain no less). But there is no evidence of the assault so the team has no choice but to press on and continue the investigation (while Evan puts his shirt back on).

They soon come across a cave and start an EVP session (because you always go into the creepy cave during a rainstorm and start asking questions). They get some moans and groans in response to their questions, but nothing quite definitive. That is until the EMF meter goes off for no apparent reason. Clearly there is no electricity in there so that is a little strange.

Meanwhile, Rex and team are doing their own investigation in the woods when Rex hears someone calling his name. He hears quite a bit of movement and footsteps but they aren’t able to capture much. Are the spirits talking to Rex or is it just his imagination and the wind?

When all is said and done they capture some sounds and what could be a moan. Since most of the recordings come from their time in the cave, a lot of the sounds could be water, rocks, animals or other echoes. Clearly there is some spiritual energy out there and people believe in and respect that energy. Was it enough to be captured on tape? No, but that doesn’t make the island less mysterious and if you ask Evan, something is surely out there.

The Moa

The Moa is a real life bird that used to live in New Zealand and is thought to be extinct. But is it? People have recently begun to have sightings that may dispute that claim. The Moa is a wingless bird that can grow to over 10 feet tall and remains have been found in multiple locations.

But before they can even begin the investigation they are plagued with problems. First the GPS won’t actually give them directions in a language they can understand (technology, such a convenience). Next, Ryder feels compelled to show off her sheep herding skills. Sadly, she must have left those in her other adventurer pants and all we see if Ryder running back and forth across the field with great speed and dexterity, but alas, no sheep in hand. Good effort though… I guess…

After talking with some locals and the museum staff they formulate a plan (which includes a helicopter) to head into the high country to see where some of the remains of the Moa have been found. They head right up to the top of a snow packed mountain peak and while looking around Josh and Evan take a bit of a tumble. It certainly looks like they’re going to tumble down the mountain but they manage to dig in and keep from falling off the cliff. We don’t need a cliffhanger with Josh and Evan literally hanging off a cliff, that is a bit much.

Narrowly escaping disaster they head back to the low country to scout the area with the help of a plane and boat. Of course when it comes to boats and planes, who doesn’t want to play a game of chicken and Ryder buzzes Josh as she skims along the water. Considering their luck with motorized craft I half expected some sort of mechanized water disaster to occur. Luckily it was all good clean fun and no harm was done.

They made their way to shore and set up base camp. Josh and Ryder set off on a sweep and get a hit on the thermal. Considering the distance and the fact the thermal hit was a red blob, it could have been anything. But not to let an opportunity get away, Josh bolts down the path after it, and right over another cliff. With the audio completely "bleeped out" we see Josh go headlong into the bushes. Unfazed he jumps up and says whatever he was chasing is gone. That’s it Josh, walk it off!

As they continue looking around they find some feathers, a jawbone, and footprints. The teams also hears plenty of noises like rustling, footsteps and broken branches. They are in a forest so for the most part that is all pretty normal stuff, no?

And with that they head back to HQ to analyze the evidence.

Many of the sounds were of native birds. Rare birds, but regular birds none the less. Also, the feathers were from native birds and didn’t belong to the Moa family. The footprints were from a large bird, but not from the Moa. Strangely, the evidence gathered is from rare and hard to capture birds which does speak to a need for conservation, but doesn’t quite support that the Moa is still in existence. A wild ride to be sure with the team risking life and limb and falling down a lot. However, both of these cases will remain a mystery for now.

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Destination Truth – Ghost of Petra/The Lizard Man S03E14

Josh and team head to Amman, Jordan to hunt for ghosts in the ancient city of Petra. Since I’m not up on my geography I was amused to have Josh bring me right up to speed on where Petra is through his use of the Indiana Jones series. Clearly Josh is a movie buff and knows how to clue in an audience.

A creature known as the Djinn (as in Gin and Tonic) is said to haunt the ruins of the tombs of the city. Right off the bat we have issues with luggage at the airport. Undaunted Josh heads to the local market to buy some new threads for Vanessa. She gets some fine clothes that cover her from head to toe, literally.

You know, the markets Josh end up in are some of the coolest places. They always seem to sell everything he might need, such as tomatoes, green beans and evil eye necklaces. These foreign markets, they have gifts for everyone.

After getting some local information Josh heads out into the middle of the desert to look for nomads who know about the Djinn. Nomads in the desert, that ought to be easy. Is it me or does it look like Josh is doing some stunt driving out there in the desert?

But you can’t go by 4×4 forever, eventually you have to ditch them for Josh’s favorite animal, the Camel. And the camel will take you to nomads.

While gathered around the fire the nomads guarantee that Josh will see the spirit. If you go out into the desert alone you will experience it. Is it the wind? Is it confusion over the immensity of the desert itself? Hard to say, but Josh heads out the next morning and finds some excavation workers who’ve had experiences. They claim they hear knives or swords clanging together and see shadows lurking in the tombs. They also hear their names being called when there is no one around.

In short order Josh is at Petra and sets up base camp. They set up right in front of the ruins and head out with the thermal imager. As you might expect, the place is extremely rocky and treacherous. Certainly the wind and echoes could play tricks on you. And speaking of tricks, Evan sees some flash of light streak past the camera.

They press on and go into the tomb where they hear the sound of rocks falling and then the sound of two swords clanging together. Immediately they experience what all the people have been claiming. Since the tomb is carved, there shouldn’t be any rocks falling. Josh sets up some more trap cameras and recorders to capture any more activity.

After the tomb, they move on to the next location. Ryder nearly falls off the cliff as they walk around in the dark, but makes it to the large room where they do an EVP session. They hear chanting and get someone saying "Yes" when asked if anyone is in there with them. They also get some wild spikes on the EMF meter when there is clearly no electricity out there.

The team does a regroup then moves off to different locations with Josh deciding it’s a good idea to go rock climbing in the middle of the night in the middle of the desert. Apparently any time is a good time to repel a sheer rock face. Meanwhile, base camp sees a shadow in the amphitheater and sends Ryder out after it. She doesn’t pick anything up but lets the recorders run.

As the sun comes up, the team heads back to the US with footage in hand to have it analyzed. Once again, Josh turns to the Ghost Hunters to have a look at what he has. The orb they see moving is either a bug or a bird. They agree someone is saying "Yes" in the tomb and they also hear the sounds of rocks and swords clashing.

In the end they don’t come away with anything truly solid, but they get some unusual sounds that match up with what locals hear. Is the place haunted or at least paranormal? Hard to say, they don’t capture too much, but what they do get is hard to explain for the area. If anything, they’ve added to the experiences and to the mystery of Petra.

Bishopville, South Carolina.

First off, I’m ever so disappointed I didn’t know Josh was filming in my neck of the woods. Columbia is a mere two hours down the road from me and had I known I would have made a pilgrimage. But I’m sure this is exactly why he doesn’t tell anyone where he’s going. I’m sure the last thing he needs is people tracking him down and expressing their man crushes for him while he’s trying to hunt dangerous things.

But moving on. The residents of Bishopville claim to have a Lizard Man that is attacking cars and scaring the locals. He went dormant for years but has resurfaced again.

Josh in the South… Get ready!

And did he spend extra to get that Wagoneer or what?

And the hat, the hat completes the look!

Where is the first stop for the team? That’s right, the diner for the Lizard Sandwich then some shopping for Lizard Man paraphernalia. To find people who’ve had experiences Josh puts up posters for a town meeting. One person who’s had experiences and was sent to track it down was the Sherriff. He’s even got castings of its feet. Next up is Dixie who says her car was mauled by the creature and caused some severe damage. And finally we have Frank, a local pilot, who’s seen the creature during the daylight hours.

Now, here we have a backwoods pilot offering to take Josh up for a ride in a slightly unusual aircraft. Who else thought this was going to end in disaster? Come on, raise your hands. Maybe Josh should have accepted a swig from the unmarked container of "liquor" Frank offered. Just to calm his nerves and all. Especially for the landing, since Frank isn’t all that good at putting the "experimental" plane back on the ground.

Kamikaze flight over, Josh heads back to his town meeting. But first, a stop to visit the Button King and the legendary toilet covered in buttons.

At the town meeting everyone seems to have a story of the Lizard Man and warn Josh of snakes and other creatures that lurk in the swamps. After some fine food and dancing with the townsfolk, Josh snags some ATVs (he seems to like those this season) and heads out into the swamp.

Josh is one of those guys who finds some rickety structure in the middle of a field and feels compelled to climb it. Bless his heart. But while he’s up there he gets something on the thermal and gives chase. Right at that time the perimeter alarm goes off. The hunt is on! And then gunshots!

While trekking through the woods they hear growls and grunting. They get to the perimeter alarm and hear more growling in a thicket of bushes. Without blinking Josh brandishes his machete, ready for action. The growls in the bushes get pretty loud and angry so Josh retreats before the team is totally mauled. It’s not the Lizard Man so best leave it alone.

But he’s not done for the night. Josh decides to put on the hip waders and head deeper into the swamp. Always a good idea! Thin rubber always defends against swamp creatures!

Evan sees a big pair of the eyes in the darkness which more than likely has them chasing a coyote, which then turns into a pack of coyotes.

With the night wearing thin the team heads home to check out the evidence. The growls are coyotes or feral dogs. The damage done to the cars couldn’t have come from anything lizard like and more than likely aren’t even from teeth. And the big evidence, the castings of the feet, all turn out to be identical and a fraud.

This is one of the rare times where Josh flat out calls something a hoax and a fake. The Lizard Man is a harmless hoax, now advertising gimmick for the people of Bishopville. But they have cool characters and some fine Southern cooking, so all’s well that ends well.

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Destination Truth – Haunted Mining Town/Taniwha S03E13

Haunted Mining Town:

Without a doubt that has got to be the scariest cemetery on the face of the earth! Out in the middle of nowhere with open graves and exposed skeletons? That’ll test your mettle.

Josh and team head to Chile to investigate a mine that is reportedly haunted with the souls of it’s former workers. As you might expect with any mining venture, the conditions were very poor and some say it bordered on slavery. People lived and died within the mines and even children were put to work in the less than ideal conditions. The mine is now abandoned but people report apparitions, shadows, voices and even children playing in the abandoned school. People even report capturing ghostly pictures while out there.

As you may expect, Josh starts his monster seeking with a trip to the market. As you might also expect it has some interesting food; plenty of raw fish and other items which aren’t quite dead yet. Undaunted, Josh dives right in.

I’m also getting the sense that no matter where Josh goes, a parade or festival isn’t far behind. It’s not long before Team Truth is dancing in the streets and Josh is playing the cymbals. I think he has parade floats on speed dial.

But that’s only the beginning of the fun. To "get a lay of the land" or that’s the claim anyway, Josh goes parasailing with guest star Allison Scagliotti, which he has dubbed "Scags". After scaring the crap out of her they jump into ATVs and race over hill and dale to the coordinates they marked on the GPS. So far, this is looking like some out of control vacation instead of a hunt for the paranormal.

Have no fear, Josh makes his way to the site and the creepy factor goes through the roof! The team sets up base camp then Josh and Scags head out to explore the abandoned town. Within minutes they find old photos, a hand made shoe from a small child and some bones. They press on and find the town cemetery that has long been deserted and that now sports open graves and exposed skeletons. It’s shockingly creepy! The bodies and the bones are clearly visible and Josh feels this is ground zero for paranormal activity. Ya think?! So, without adieu he starts solo EVP sessions in the middle of the night. EGAD!

You can tell everyone is completely scared out of their minds and Scags and Ryder claim to hear noises and voices. Ryder hears sounds coming from a spot they later discover is the head of an open grave. That’s just not right!

Before the teams has coronaries they set up the night vision cameras and then head over to the sister city with the abandoned school where children are reported to be heard.

Gabe and Rex start things off with an EVP session in what they think is a grave. With the entrance closed, Rex swears he hears banging above him and wants Gabe to let him out. Meanwhile Josh, Mike and Scags hang out in the old school where Mike claims to see strange lights moving all around. While all this is going on Josh sees a figure moving in the hallway which he captures on the thermal imager. Low and behold it does look like a figure walking in the doorway. Just a little unnerving.

There is also some audio evidence of someone saying "No" to a question and the words "I am" in response to, "is anyone still there."

Josh also gets a ton of photographic evidence of a mist that covers dozens on photos. But he dismisses them as just an anomaly. I thought was pretty interesting. Most people think a blur in the camera is a sure sign of the paranormal. I guess his photography background makes him more suspicious of such things.

Paranormal activity or not this place is creepy! An abandoned town, lost pictures, bones scattered around, the scariest cemetery ever, and something odd in the hallway will certainly make the mind wander. Is it haunted? Does it matter?


In New Zealand there supposedly lives a large sea creature that lurks in the water. It attacks and scares the fisherman and has grown to be the stuff of legend by the Maori. And you know if these guys are scared of something it must be damn dangerous!

Josh first has to be accepted by the Maori tribe so he participates in the acceptance ritual and sits down to have a large tattoo chipped into his face. Say what you will, but Josh really respects the rituals and beliefs of other cultures.

While talking to about the game plan for the night something is caught moving on the IR camera and the team plunges into the water after it. The vegetation is thick and Josh claims he sees things moving in the water.

They lose track of it but move to the bigger boats they’ve hired to cast a bigger net. Josh gets hits on the thermal imager and sees things moving in the water. They can’t quite get close enough to it to tell what it is for sure. But before they can make chase a swarm of bugs descends on the team. For a team that deals with monsters they’re pretty unnerved by these flying bugs and chaos ensues. The best Josh can do is gun the engine and make for open water. Ryder claims she is going to soak the boat in gasoline and light it on fire as soon as they hit shore. I think they lost their cool for a minute there.

Back on shore and not consumed by bugs Rex and Evan throw caution to the wind and go wandering around in the caves at night. Of course, Rex feels something brush past his leg in the dark. You fully expect that at any second Rex is going to be pulled underwater and Evan is going to have to call CP3O to get R2D2 to turn off the trash compactor… Oh wait, wrong story.

Before things get out of hand they sober up and head back to shore.

Anyway, the team gets some evidence but in the end they feel what they’re chasing is a very large, but very real eel. Perhaps the one the Maori see is an extremely large one, but in the end, an eel seems the most plausible answer. Not quite an aquatic dinosaur though.

And just think, even though there was a boat involved Josh didn’t run out of gas and get stranded in the middle of lake. His luck must be changing!

Seriously, that cemetery is creepy!!!

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