For this investigation the normal trio of skeptic, on the fence believer and true believer head out to Glen Spey NY to investigate the Burn Brae Mansion. It was built in 1908 as a wedding present for Margaret Elkin. Tragedy would strike as Margaret lost her baby and then took her own life through hanging. She hung herself in a tree right outside her own bedroom window. It is said that the sound of children playing and phantom footsteps can be heard throughout the house.
The team arrives at the house to find a suitcase full of camera gear and investigation equipment. It’s certainly an eerie way to leave a gift and after unpacking the gear they call it a night and spend the evening in the very room of Margaret Ellis. As usual they are opting to stick together. It’s interesting to note that at 3:56AM it appears a door to the Second Floor Hall closes on it’s own. Was that merely a draft or is there something more to it?
Since there are no guests there is no hot water. The team sets out to stoke the fires and finds themselves in the basement. They come across quite a curiosity in the form of an electric chair. At least it looks like an electric chair complete with metal head plate and some jumper cables. We can only guess this is a Halloween prop, but it certainly sets the group on edge. Shannon almost immediately starts to come unglued and is desperately trying to get out of the basement. This won’t be the last time we see Shannon fall to pieces.
During dinner the camera mysteriously fades out and loses picture. The team begins to hear footsteps coming from the attic. They decide it’s a good time to head up there for an EVP session. As they sit down and ask questions, they get some interesting responses. There is a large bang after asking if they should leave. When nothing specifically follows that, they decide to leave only to have what sounds like a pool ball thrown at them. When they re-enter the room they discover one of the pool balls is outside of the triangle rack. Did someone really throw something at them? Was it done to try and get them to play or as a malicious act?
When they return back downstairs, Shannon claims she sees a shadow figure sitting in the chair. It wasn’t seen by the others, but it takes its toll on her. She is obviously having a bad reaction to this place.
The next day Jeff discovers that the MacKenzie family is buried behind the house in their own cemetery. They go to investigate and find the headstone of Margaret, her baby Levi and other small children. No matter who you are that’s a sad thing to see. Shannon is overcome with grief again and wants to get out of there. Tommy says he hears scratching and when asking if the spirit will be back at the house with them later, the needle pegs itself for several seconds. That certainly doesn’t bode well for building good relations with the entities of the mansion.
When they’re back in the house the living room light keeps turning on and off. It stays on for several seconds then goes back off. When they tested other light switches in the house, none of them worked. As Shannon put it, they have the sun during the day, then nothing at night. Is the light flickering a sign or is this just some bad wiring and good timing? Do they have evidence of the paranormal and confirmation that the spirit came back to the house? There are no sounds, bangs or other events to coincide with the lights turning on and off.
They split up to investigate the house, but Shannon is coming unglued. She can’t be left alone and when there are loud bangs from underneath the house they regroup and all head down to the basement together. Jeff says he sees flashes, like someone walking in front of him and Tommy says he hears growling. Shannon is in tears and has to leave, she simply can’t take it anymore. When they return to the house they discover the basketball they left out for the kids to play with has been moved. Were the banging and growls from an animal? Squirrel, muskrat, raccoon? They are in the basement and judging the from the junk, dust and cobwebs, no one has been down there in awhile. Did the basketball get moved by one of the kids who supposedly roams the house or did it finally moved due to a tilted floor, heat expansion or the wind?
When all is said and done these three can’t wait to get out of there. Jeff is a firm believer now and says the place is truly haunted. Shannon is still unnerved by everything she’s experienced. Tommy is convinced the place is haunted and dares anyone to spend the night and say otherwise.
Is Burn Brae Mansion haunted? Did they capture enough evidence to support the paranormal claims? There were indeed a lot of bangs and noises, but is that definitely a sign of something other than animals and creaking boards? Was a pool balls really thrown at them? Did it leap out of the rack? What about the camera going black during dinner? Did something interfere with the recording? Do they have more than personal experiences? Judging by their reactions, they’ve seen and heard enough to make them all believers.
Other Articles of Interest:
- Stranded – Yorktown Memorial Hospital – S01E06 – Season Finale
- Josh Gates offers up a couple of interesting points about Burn Brae Mansion
- Ghost Adventures – The Haunted Museum (Old Wengert Mansion) – S12E13
- Ghost Adventures – Haunted Victorian Mansion – S08E06
- Ghost Adventures wants to investigate Idol Mansion
- Paranormal Lockdown – S02E11 – Scutt Mansion
- Haunted Collector – Ghost of Geneva and Fort Fear – S03E07
- Ghost Adventures – Wolf Creek Inn – S15E13
- Paranormal Lockdown – Kreischer Mansion – S01E06
- Ghost Adventures – Mackay Mansion – S13E02
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.
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.
Other Articles of Interest:
- Haunted Collector – Ghost of Geneva and Fort Fear – S03E07
- Haunted Collector – Emmitt House Ghosts and Shadow Intruder – S03E05
- Haunted Collector – Island of Fear and Tropical Terror – S01E04
- Haunted Collector – Ghost Behind Bars and Haunted Brothel – S03E03
- Haunted Collector – Lakeside Terror and Pythian Secrets – S03E09
- Haunted Collector – Farm Stalker and Echo Club Spirits – S03E01
- Ghost Adventures – Palmer House Hotel – S07E04
- Haunted Towns – Fall River MA – Lizzie Borden House – S01E07
- Haunted Collector – Hollywood Haunted and Gold Rush Ghost – S03E10
- Haunted Collector – Ghost Tavern and Terror House – S02E09
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.
Other Articles of Interest:
- Haunted Collector – Cigar Bar and Childs Play – S03E02
- Haunted Collector – Spirits of Gettysburg and Headless Horseman – S03E06
- Haunted Collector – My Mother’s Ghost & Paranormal Predator – S01E02
- Haunted Collector – Haunted Bayou/Library Ghost – S01E01
- Ghost Adventures – Dorothea Puente Murder House – S13E05
- Haunted Collector – Firestarter and Haunted Museum – S02E10
- Paranormal State – Dwelling of the Dead – S05E11
- Ghost Adventures – Washoe Club – Final Chapter – S16E07
- Haunted Collector – Enfield Horror and Masonic Spirits – S02E11
- Ghost Stalkers – Whisperers Estate – S01E01
The formula is quite simple, take a skeptic, an on the fence believer and true believer, drive them out to an isolated and rumored to be haunted location, let them investigate any way they see fit, watch them panic and lose their minds, then check back in to see if their opinions and attitudes have changed.
For this adventure we have Tyler, the skeptic who’s former military and police. Amber, his sister, is the true believer of the group. And on the fence, but falling mostly into the believer category is Chris, her husband. Their destination is West Virginia State Penitentiary, a place just about all the paranormal shows have investigated. Ghost Hunters, Paranormal State, Ghost Adventures and Paranormal Challenge have all been there. They all claim it’s a place that will make you soil your pants. So how does this group fare?
West Virginia State Penitentiary was founded in 1866 for 250 inmates. By 1960 it had 2000 men in less than 750 cells, that’s 3 men to a cell. It should come as no surprise that conditions were pretty poor. 998 men died while the prison was open with some of that coming from inmate violence, some from medical experiments and some from the electric chair. The prison is known for the Sugar Shack where inmates got away with anything and everything. There is the death of RD Wahl down in The Hole. There is also the Psych Ward. It’s enough to mess with your head under the best of conditions, let alone being stuck there for 5 days.
So let’s jump right in and go over what they found.
Over the course of their investigation they hear plenty of bangs, clangs and bumps. Some of it even sounds like someone rattling the bars of the cells. Down in the Hole, in conjunction with all the noises, Tyler feels something hit his foot. He’s excited and ready to investigate, but Amber, the true believer of the group is ready to tuck tail and run like hell. In fact, that’s exactly what she does. Why does this always happen? People want to have a paranormal experience then run away screaming from every noise. When they review their evidence it’s possible they captured the words, "Behind you."
They may have caught a figure on the thermal imager, but they don’t follow it up so who knows. It’s also possible they simply caught some lights. It’s not like the prison is in the middle of nowhere.
As Tyler and Chris play basketball where the electric chair used to be, Tyler’s watch stops at 2pm, the same time the lights would dim from the executions. Did his watch just break or is there something more to this?
They also perform the old, make the flashlight turn on trick and just like Jason and Grant they are astounded when it goes off.
When the trio heads down to the Sugar Shack things get interesting. Amber says she feels something touch her face. Tyler says his flashlight gets hot. Strangely, the air is hot down there. We get the impression something is messing with them with anger filling the room when all of a sudden Chris and Tyler are ready to throw down with each other. Every word coming out of Chris’ mouth is bleeped out. Tyler is taunting him like he wants to have a fight. It looks like they’re mere seconds from tearing each other apart.
For the final night there is a rainstorm sweeping in and while Tyler reads about the murder of Red Snyder by another inmate, he feels something flick him on the back of the neck. Twice. And yes, he practically jumps out of his skin.
How does the evidence stack up? There was a lot going, but did they capture enough to truly say this place was haunted?
There are plenty of bangs and thuds. But is that indicative of the paranormal? The building is old and riddled with metal. That can make all sorts of noises and the temperature changes. The thermal image really isn’t conclusive of anything on it’s own. They don’t really capture any substantial EVPs. They say they hear a lot of voices, but where’s the audio? Like the others before them, they will swear to the personal experiences they had. The eerie feelings, being touched, and freaking out at all the noises. But is that really enough? If the name of the game is tangible evidence then I don’t think they have much.
I have to say, Tyler seemed to be the only one who wanted to pursue this investigation. Whenever there was a noise or bang, Chris and Amber wanted to run away. The constant, "Oh my God" and "I’m not going back in there" were tiresome. Why the hell are you on a paranormal investigation if you don’t want to investigate the paranormal? They start off acting like nothing can rattle them, but on the first night they are already coming unglued. I think Chris and Amber would do well to just stay home from now on. Perhaps they should just go back to hiding under the covers. It seems like a lot of what their reacting to is built up in their minds.A creepy place, plenty of violent stories and lots of being on edge for days on end. It can make you believe anything, no? It’s really disappointing to see people given such a great opportunity to investigate a location, but run screaming in the dark.
But the experiences are enough to make Tyler change his views on the paranormal. He felt something against his foot, heard voices and was touched twice on the back of the neck. He may have even channeled some dark energy when he tried to pick a fight with Chris.
I find the premise of this show very fun and exciting. I think it’s great they investigate for more than one night. I like the raw footage and the unpredictable nature. What I don’t like is people running from the very thing they’re going after. Stop running at every bump and sound. Stand your group. Ask questions. Debunk something. Stick around to grab some evidence. That is why you came all this way, right?
Other Articles of Interest:
- Paranormal State – Darkness Falls – S04E08
- Ghost Adventures – Dead Men Walking – S07E08
- Ghost Adventures – Nevada State Prison – S12E10
- Ghost Adventures – Missouri State Prison – S08E04
- Ghost Adventures – Fort Chaffee – S04E10
- Ghost Asylum – Missouri State Penitentiary – S03E04
- Stranded – Star Island – S01E01
- Ghost Adventures – Wyoming Frontier Prison – S07E18
- American Paranormal – Eastern State Penitentiary – Part I
- Stranded – Burn Brae Mansion – S01E04