Paranormal State – Ghost on the Tracks – S05E04

This is also an episode that really didn’t make much sense. An owner claim his hair salon is being haunted by a spirit, however, there are no previous actions on the property that would warrant such a haunting. They make the leap and try to draw a link that a train wreck which resulted in the death of two people is linked to the salon. The two have nothing in common with each other, but that’s the connection they’re making.

Their investigation is rather uneventful except for the fact that they discover there are mice in the basement of the salon. As Michelle says, if there’s one mouse, there’s many. That would explain any noises they hear in the place, but there is also the claim of seeing a young boy with black eyes who plays on the stairs. There is no reasoning for a boy spirit to be at the salon and as they do their investigation they get no signs of any activity except for a few animals. The story behind that figure will probably remain a mystery.

Reaching at straws they start to ask the residence if they’ve had experiences near the train tracks where the accident took place. Ryan then makes the assertion that the further away you get from the train station the less the activity. Since the salon is somewhat close to it they conjecture that this is causing the supposed activity (which they didn’t actually experience or capture). Energy runs in lines across the earth so it’s using the train tracks to get to the salon. This theory is just baffling! Since they really have nothing else to offer they go with the idea of Feng Shui to keep out the bad energy.

It all seems pretty farfetched. They can’t find any evidence to support the claims so they just make up a remedy. I guess this really does show the power of suggestion. You can make yourself believe something is happening and you can put up faux remedies to make it go away.

Maybe a haunted salon does better business than just a regular salon.

Of course the final scene of all of them sitting in the salon chairs was priceless! That was the best part of the whole episode!

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Paranormal State – Spirits of the Slave Dungeon – S05E03

I was really quite excited about this episode since Charleston is right down the road from me. Charleston is full of ghost stories and is certainly steeped in history so when they made their way to an old city jail where severe punishments were handed out regardless of your crime it seemed they would have an investigation full of evidence. While it sort of starts off that way, it goes off the rails pretty quickly. Right from the beginning Ryan takes on an almost condescending tone toward the tour operator about how he’s treating the spirits. He’s all but saying that running his ghost tours is wrong. Why he’s taking this stance is a bit of a mystery to me. Mr. Stand in the dark and yell at the spirits to come out and show themselves is picking on some guy just trying to run a business. Anyone else see this as a contradiction?

Ryan and team play it up on the first night when they try and reach the spirits. They ask for a sign of their presence and try to record voices and movement. But the next day they get called out by Dr. O who mysteriously shows up out of nowhere and takes issue with the way they’re investigating the spirits. He claims the spirits told him to come down to the jail and talk to Ryan and his team. Dr. O says they need to change their ways and make offerings to appease the tortured spirits of the jail. They need to offer up water, fruit and candles. Ryan gives in immediately and does what he’s told. It’s like their sitting in the Principals office being scolded.

By happenstance there is a large thunderstorm that night (a large thunderstorm at a coastal town, that never happens!) which Ryan attributes to the spirits and the visit by Dr. O. The team makes their offering, apologizes for their insensitivity and then the storm passes, which they again attribute to their own actions.

Talk about odd. Does Ryan really think his actions with the spirit world can make storms come and go? He’s supposedly from South Carolina, but acts as though it never rains in the South. And who is this Dr. O chap and why did he pick now to show and raise a fuss? I’m sure it had nothing to do with the cameras and the thought of a little air time for himself. Why hasn’t he spoken to the tour owner before? Hells Bells, it’s not like the tour started yesterday, he must have known about it for years. This really smacks of seeking some limelight for your own personal gains here.

Why did they actually show this episode? What was the point? If anything is comes across as Ryan having his own personal agenda and he called in Dr. O himself to try and interfere with the city jail tours. Who knows why he would do that, but the whole thing was rather pointless.

Maybe I’ll plan my own trip down there and see what kind of things I can see and hear for myself.

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Ghost Adventures – Hill View Manor S04E06

For this episode, Zak and the team head to the Hill View Manor which has played many roles over it’s long history. Originally built in 1925, it started as a home for the poor, where those released from prison could learn a new skill and get back on their feet. Later on it was changed to be a home for the elderly, where many came to spend their final days. It also served as a mental institution. Like so many of these institutions it has dozens of accounts of poor treatment, guests who were violent and difficult to control and suicides. And not only did patients take their own lives, there is a report of at least one doctor jumping from the roof. But you have to ask, considering some of the patients who resided there, did he jump, or was he pushed?

The current reports are of black masses in the hallway down by the boiler room where a man died after being dropped off there to sleep of a drinking binge. He didn’t make it, quite possibly due to alcohol poisoning or fumes from the boiler itself. People hear footsteps in the hall and Candy, who was giving the tour to Zak and team, says she was grabbed on the rear end and grabbed on the arm by an unseen force.

In the basement hallway a female patient fell down the stairs and died after becoming disoriented. The basement is also full of personal effects like suitcases, pictures and letters. These are leftover from the many people who passed away while they were residents. People claim to hear an old man saying "get out" and "leave" when they go down there.

There are also claims from a film student and her crew who believe they caught bangs and voices on their equipment while making a short film about the paranormal.

The stories continue with claims of a cafeteria worker who gets mad when people don’t form a line in the dining hall. Apparently at one point the lights when off and the doors flew open. A minute later, the lights came back on and all the doors closed again.

Finally, there is the roof where there are reports of two people jumping to their death. One is a doctor who apparently just couldn’t take the pains and pressure of where he worked and what he had to deal with. The other is an elderly patient. Some feel the elderly man may have been pushed off.

As with any place like this, you have to sort out the fact from the fiction. What are the real stories of the events that took place and what has become lore and wild imagination. No doubt these events could all be real, but it does make you wonder how much of this is just being handed down over time.

On the whole, the investigation is loaded with EVP recordings. They claim to hear things like "get that guy" and "get out". Zak also feels that his shirt is being tugged and at times feels he has hands running over his back. They all seem to experience being touched in some way or another.

As the investigation continues the motion sensors they set up start to go off and Zak claims he sees an orb run into the hall right as it happens. To me, this orb looks more like a bat than anything else. We know that places like this are home to dozens of animals and if you’ve watched Ghost Hunters you’ve seen plenty of old abandoned building with bats flying around. I don’t think this was as mysterious as they claim it is.

The part that really bugs me is when they bring out the spirit box. I really can’t stand that thing, mainly because I don’t think it works. Or rather it works, but picks up earthly signals rather than voices from beyond. However, Zak and Nick claim to hear multiple voices responding to their questions.

In conjunction with the spirit box they bring out a new toy called the PX Generator which is a similar device to the spirit box. Once again it scans the radio signals catching words and phrases from spirits. They claim it’s not picking up radio station traffic because it simply moves past the channels way too quickly to pick them up. When it comes to things like this, the very explanation of the thing seems to contradict the way it would work. In the evidence they claim they have an EVP that crosses over 13 radio stations. I really can’t put any confidence in this device, it really seems like it picks up radio stations. It could be picking up talk shows, CB radio, wireless phones and who knows what else. If you scan radio waves you’re going to hear voices.

But with this box they pick up all sorts of conversations from people they believe used to be residents at Hill View Manor. So Zak and the team gets lots of experiences and lots of EVPs but nothing in the way of visual evidence. Nothing is actually captured on film.

One thing that appears to have been left out is the location of a morgue. It wasn’t mentioned, but you would think with all the death that took place it would have one. All the other buildings like this had one and Zak and team head right for it. Odd there wasn’t anything like that on this stop.

Who knows, maybe the PX Generator is picking up something. I’m not convinced so most of the EVPs really mean nothing to me. For people who can get behind the technology this place is a treasure trove of activity. If it does allow communication then Hill View Manor still has plenty of residence roaming around and could be one of the most active locations they’ve been too.

It was certainly a neat investigation and like so many of these places that tried to help people, perhaps it did more harm than good.

By the way, is anyone else getting the feeling that Zak is really railing against the skeptics these days? He dedicated the Stanley Hotel investigation to the skeptics claiming this would change their minds. And during this episode he called out the skeptics again while he was doing his live EVP session. Is this taunting? Frustration? A score to settle?

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Destination Truth – Haunted Island Ruins / Moroccan Succubus S04E07

Haunted Island Ruins

Josh heads out to find a creature that haunts a series of man made islands in Micronesia. People hear noises in the night and don’t want to go visit the ruins. Legend has I that Governor Burg took away some bones from the location and soon after was plagued with illness and died. It’s very similar to the stories of the archeologists who opened the tomb to King Tut.

As they start of their trip they get the coolest car yet which is a beat up truck with a tiki bar on top. I’m surprised we don’t see more of these on the road, they are quite fashionable and wonderfully practical. Wherever Josh goes, a party is sure to follow with this baby. The police have to give him a warning though as his driving is making him pass in the wrong lane. He breaks out there’s a tiki hut of my roof excuse and they let him go. Seems you can get away with all sorts of things if you’re driving a tiki hut.

Before the investigation begins, Josh does some fine haggling at the local market where he comes away with some fine pottery and a copy of Major Payne. Now that’s a store that stocks everything! Of course he has to wake up the shop keepers before he can do any business with them.

But you can’t just go traipsing into the jungle and set up base camp. You need to ask for permission first, so Josh arranges a visit with the local tribal chief to see if they can go and investigate the ruins. These are the parts of the show I really like. We get to see Josh immerse himself in their traditions and show his respect for their beliefs and way of life. It’s really a neat thing to see.

And with permission granted and words of warning offered, the team heads out to the ruins and makes base camp. The team quickly split into the two groups and heads out into the night to see what they can find. Dan, Bobby and Shawn head out and find the tomb of Governor Berg and while looking around see an orb peeking through the undergrowth. They keep hearing noises while they set up for an EVP. The orb looks like a flashlight reflection but it’s on the other side of the plants so who knows what they’re looking at.

In another part of the jungle, Josh, Ali, Gabe and Mike find the ruined temple and crawl into the courtyard. They hear rustling in the trees as though something is walking around. Gabe then claims to see a shadow. The team checks the area then finds the main tomb where they sit down for an EVP session. They all feel a blast of cold air and then almost immediately Josh is feeling sick and has to leave. As he leaving things go really bad and he’s actually vomiting. The team gets him back to base camp where they get him an IV to rehydrate him. But it doesn’t end there, Josh is sick for the rest of the day and for the trip out of the Micronesia. Whatever it was, it got a hold of him that’s for sure.

As for the evidence there might be a response during an EVP. It’s a barely audible "yes" which the team finds interesting, but they aren’t staking the whole investigation on it. But the EVP comes at the time and place where Josh got incredibly sick. Was some bad food catching up to him or was something causing him problems? It’s interesting the whole team didn’t get ill so it’s hard to say if this is just an odd coincidence or if something dealt with Josh since he was the leader of the team.

Aisha Kandisha

There is a strange and mythical creature that is said to hypnotize men and lure them to their death. She has great beauty, but talons on her wings and the feet of a camel. (Oh the ex-wives jokes I could make!) Locals claim she is very real and very dangerous. It’s basically the story of the Siren of the ocean that lead sailors to their death. She’s not trying to wreck them on the coral reef, she’s trying to lure them over the side of a cliff in the desert.

Josh talks with eyewitnesses who claim to have seen her only days earlier. Josh and the team will need to head out into the desert and find the abandoned Kasbah which is where Aisha is said to live. Considering the rather rotten luck Josh has with air travel I was quite stunned he decided to use a hot air balloon for recon.

But low and behold he finds the ruins, marks them on GPS, then jumps in some dune buggies and blazes a trail to set up base camp. The builds are very old and look paper thin. The wind has certainly made them unstable. It looks like it’s been pretty much turned over to the local wildlife.

As the investigation starts, who was wondering how long it would take for someone to say "Rock the Kasbah"? Everyone knew it was coming, no one was bold enough to say it. :)

Ali and Shawn head out and come across bats and an owl making all sorts of noise in the night. This would certainly noises and screams that people hear. The owl screech pierces the quiet night! I bet that travels for miles.

Josh and Mike listen with the parabolic dish and hear the distinctive sound of chains rattling. Natives say you can tell Aisha is around because you can hear these chains. But as they both say, it could be from anything and definitely sounds mechanical. And who knows where it is, that sound could be hundreds of yards away.

They really don’t find much except for a crumbling building that literally comes down in Josh’s face, just as Mike predicted. It doesn’t deter him though, and the team presses on for more evidence. There’s little else to find however and the team heads back with a couple tooth fragments and a hinged bone. Both turn out to be from a cow.

It seem the legend of Aisha is mainly based off of wild sounds in the desert night. The screeching of the birds is certainly unnerving and when you add rattling chains and perhaps the howl of the wind you certainly have the makings for a very creepy night. But what are the people being attacked by? That could be anything, but my guess is on a wild dog or a wolf. Those always seem to be around in places like this.

Looks like both of these cases are the stuff of legend where regular events get blown out of proportion and take on a life of their own.

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