Paranormal Cops – Meagan’s Ghost – S01E05

A concerned homeowner contacts CPD when her house guest is choked in her sleep by an unseen force. The team quickly finds an unusual connection between the victim and a deceased girl who used to be best friends with the home owner’s daughter.

The basis for the investigation is that Nicole stays over at her friend Britney’s house, but feels that the spirit of a friend who died is also staying over. Britney had a friend Meagan who passed away recently and Nicole feels she may be coming back to show she isn’t happy with Nicole staying in the same room she used to sleep in.

It’s a pretty sad story really, but when it comes to the evidence there isn’t much to say. The one piece they capture is a tag moving on a bear’s ear, but thankfully the video specialist Scott debunks it as just being at an odd angle. Common sense prevails!

In the end Ron doesn’t feel there is any paranormal activity in the house and that the family doesn’t have anything to fear. I don’t want to be rude or disrespectful, but did these families just need some closure to cope with these terrible events? Maybe they needed to know Meagan wasn’t trapped there. As Meagan’s father puts it, he’s not sure if a personal experience would make things better, or worse.

Well, I suppose if it gives them closure we should all be happy.

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Independent investigation of the Spalding Inn

Like hell it was!

This investigation is another issue I have with the Ghost Hunters. Jason and Grant are free to spend their money on whatever they want, however, when they turn their show into a blatant plug for a new business venture, that is going a little too far. Plus, if they think their new Inn is haunted why didn’t they get an actual independent investigation? Getting Robb from the Ghost Hunters International team to do the investigation was a pretty half-baked attempt at distancing themselves from the outcome. Would it be fair to say that Jason and Grant are Robb’s bosses? What do you think would have happened had Robb said, "Nope, there’s nothing going on here. This place isn’t haunted at all." Do think he would have been host of GHI for much longer?

I guess he thought the same thing which is why he says the place is haunted even after he’s captured some of the weakest evidence to date. Robb has a job to do and that’s declare this place haunted regardless of what he finds. The team claims to have personal experiences, but they could just be trying to act the part so to speak. When all is said and done they walk away with some pretty lame findings.

The way this comes off is a blatant attempt at advertising for their new business. And from this point forward we see multiple occasions where Jason and Grant are wearing Spalding Inn sweatshirts. Nothing like free advertising I guess. At least they announced it before advertising for it.

But the big question still remains, if they really thought this place was haunted (and not turn this episode into an Infomercial) why didn’t they get a completely independent group to come in? Robb is on their payroll so that hardly seems fair or ethical. Where is the unbiased opinion? I guess they can’t break ranks and go outside of the TAPS and SyFy family, but the way they handled this just smells oh so fishy. I guess had it come up not haunted it would have tanked business eh?

And are we really going to believe that Jason and Grant didn’t know the place was haunted when they bought it? That either makes them the worst researchers out there or complete liars. Two guys who’ve made millions with the paranormal claim they bought a property without knowing it’s history? Are they stupid or do they think we’re that stupid?

For a very in-depth review of this episode and hundreds of comments check out this review:

GH: Spalding Inn on The Skeptical Viewer

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What happened to that Ghost Hunters Live DVD?

Another thing that has been gnawing at me slightly about the Ghost Hunters is, what ever happened to that Fort Delaware Halloween episode? You know the one I’m talking about. The one where Grant gets pulled in all sorts of directions by some unseen force. The one that has caused all the controversy for the Ghost Hunters. The one that’s been spliced up and analyzed all over YouTube. Well my question is, why can’t you buy it? Both the Waverly Hills Sanatorium and Stanley Hotel full length investigations are available, so why isn’t this one? We obviously had to wait a year for them to come out for the next Halloween, but the time has come and gone for the Fort Delaware DVD to land in stores.

How come Jason, Grant and SyFy don’t want to release it? Are they concerned with releasing the DVD in tact and having people pick it apart? Would they prefer to leave that part out but if they do it will certainly seal the deal that they’re faking evidence? Is it their intent to simply act like this investigation never happened and maybe people will forget about it and the Ghost Hunters won’t lose face?

It just seems very odd to me that they release the previous two investigations and skip right over the one that seemed to cause so much trouble for them. Do they plan to skip this next one as well? I guess Jason’s famous words of putting their evidence out there and letting people decide for themselves isn’t what he really meant at all.

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The Ghost Hunters are NOT scientists

Nor are they scientific. Holding an EMF or K2 meter in your hand doesn’t make you a scientist. I’ve been reading quite a few articles recently comparing paranormal shows and one of the main arguments for the Ghost Hunters is how scientific they are. Scientific? Are we watching the same show? How can you possibly say the Ghost Hunters are scientific? Waving a meter (which has no actual scientific baseline) around in the dark does not make you a scientist. Holding a digital recorder and asking questions isn’t a scientific method. Quite frankly, the equipment they’re working with hasn’t actually been proven to do anything. There is no scientific benchmark that shows when these tools of the trade are actually working correctly. About the only thing that does have some real world guidelines is the EMF detector which actually has nothing to do with the paranormal world. It just happens to be something investigators have adapted to their craft.

For example, has there been any study to show how these "spirit boxes" work? Chris Fleming swears by this thing, but how can you prove it’s working? It blinks? It generates noise? It creates static? Does that mean its working or having a short? How do you know that if you left it in a box overnight it wouldn’t do the same thing? Would that box then be considered haunted?

Another tool Chris Fleming showcased was the K2 meter. Again, where are the benchmarks showing how this device actually works? Is there some evidence showing the box sitting in a controlled environment and never going off? How do we know it’s not influenced by common factors in the environment?

Ghost Adventures has been using the "spirit goggles" to show sprits talking on certain frequencies. Where are the benchmarks showing that it works? How do we know it won’t just make random sounds when the radio is on, or the TV, or the microwave or a renegade toaster?

Besides the equipment, they don’t even employ a scientific method for their investigations. The scene isn’t locked down, people can come and go as they please. They frequently have to check if other people are in the house because of it. And that is another problem, they have multiple people wandering a location at the same time. How is this not contaminating the location? When people are wandering all over the place, and talking, and yelling, and moving furniture, how can you possibly say any noise, voice, bang, pop, footstep is not just someone else in another room? Hell, it could be the camera guy half the time!

Putting all that aside what have the Ghost Hunters captured? What irrefutable evidence do they have? In my mind, nothing. Almost every single piece of evidence they have is audio related. And garbled audio at that. They have what they claim are voices interacting with them. Many of these don’t sound like anything, but yet they assign words to them. Truth be told, these recordings could so easily be faked. I’m not saying they are, but there is nothing to say these voices aren’t just someone whispering. Further, there is nothing to say these aren’t recordings of the other TAPS team members as they wander through the house. They could be echoes, they could be coming through the vents, they could be someone whispering instructions, again, it could be the camera man. They recorded something, but there is no way you can say with 100 percent certainty it’s not just another person talking. It isn’t undeniable. It’s something that could have an easily created and earthly explanation. And if that’s the case, to me anyway, it’s not paranormal. Truthfully, TAPS is hanging their hat on the EVP.

ALL the picture evidence, from pictures of shadows to pictures of orbs to figures standing in doorways can all easily be explained. Jason and Grant like to say that a photo is just one moment in time, it doesn’t mean anything (unless of course they capture it, then it’s definitive evidence) and I agree. Those images could just as easily be lens flare, dust on the lens, objects flying in front of the lens during a long exposure, someone vibrating the camera during a long exposure or someone walking near the camera during a long exposure. As someone who has taken hundreds of long exposure photos all sorts of things can happen during a 1-10 second shot. Flickers of light, dust, bugs, car headlights, flashlights, and drops of rain can make the coolest patterns and streaks in your photos (and that’s with the camera on a tripod, not handholding it like you see most investigators shoot).

Also when it comes to the photos investigators take, the flash can cause all sorts of shadows, specs and orbs. That is one of the dangers of taking flash photography in a completely dark location that has lots of reflective surfaces and is riddled with dust and dirt. Really? It’s a surprise to see shadows, streaks, odd shapes and colors? Perhaps you should take a photography course…

These anomalies aren’t proof of the paranormal. While the shadow figure makes for a wild photo, a shadow cast from a camera flash doesn’t intrigue me. I’m not saying those photos are fake, I’m just saying that sort of thing is far too easy to reproduce through bad angles and inexperience with a camera, not to mention Photoshop. Unless you can go to the same place and shoot the same photo over and over again, at different times, it just seems like nothing more than a camera artifact. Even the faces in the mist can in many cases be nothing more than a neat pattern. Breathing near the lens on a cold night can cause that same ghostly effect. Plus, the brain tries to make patterns out of everything, I mean don’t you see faces in the patterns of wallpaper and linoleum? Are they haunted? I have a hard time believing most of the evidence they come up with, there’s just too many other, more simplistic explanations.

And finally, when it comes to determining if a place is haunted they have no scientific method for measurement. They’re analysis is completely subjective. I’ve watched episodes where they get dozens of EVPs and other evidence and firmly say the place is haunted. Then, they get the same amount of evidence and say the place isn’t haunted. Ok, what’s the yardstick here? What are you basing your ruling on? There is no consistent measurement for their findings. If you base something on a whim or gut feeling, sorry, that’s not scientific.

I’m not railing on the Ghost Hunters, I’m just sick of reading how people think Ghost Hunters is so much better than Show A because they’re more scientific . Truth is they don’t have one scientific method amongst the whole group. Not a single thing they do is scientific. And again, I’m not trying to be rude, but nobody on this show actually has a background in science.

While the show can be entertaining (or at least it used to be), let’s keep in mind that just because they found something doesn’t mean it’s paranormal. It still has to pass the burden of proof and nothing they’ve found does that.

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