Paranormal State S04E02 – Invitation to Evil

Ryan and team are called out to a house where a three year old claims she heard scratches and clawing at the walls and apparently has fits where she cries out for Jesus and spouts off some rather colorful language.

Michelle Bellanger comes out to get a sense of the house and says she senses clawing creatures and forces trying to dig their way out.

Since the activity came out of nowhere Ryan feels there has to be a trigger to it all. While having a conversation with the client’s brother Ryan hears a story where he dabbled in the occult and tried to summon a spirit. The brother created a summoning circle but before he could close it the rest of the group bailed on him and ran out of it. Ryan feels that since the circle is still open they have a created a gateway to the demonic. Man it’s easy to conjure up bad spirits. Too bad the good ones don’t answer the phone as readily.

Much to my surprise Ryan doesn’t call for an exorcism. Instead he feels they need to perform a closing ceremony to cut the spirits off. I find it amazing that someone can perform some half-assed ritual of the occult and you get possessed and open a doorway to hell right in your living room. But people spend their entire lives in hopes of getting glimpse of the divine and get nothing for it. And the people who do claim they have a conduit to the Almighty show up on TV in shiny suits. Just seems a little off balance to me.

In the end the closing ceremony is all they need to do. Gather around the kitchen table, hold hands, do a little chanting and viola, everything is right as rain. No more child hearing noises at night, no bumps, no bangs. I have to say, this one seemed a little weird.

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Paranormal State – S04E01 – Suicide Possession

After a long break Paranormal State is back again with Ryan at the helm. Really about the only thing different is that Eilfie was missing from the lineup. Maybe she had midterms or something.

For this episode Ryan is called out because Tony and his wife are having problems with spirits in their home. They hear voices telling them to hurt themselves, they see visions of themselves committing suicide, and Tony is being drawn down to the basement to drink his sorrows away. Certainly doesn’t sound good.

During the background check PRS does find out that two deaths have occurred in the home. One, involved a man possibly falling down the stairs while intoxicated. The other involves a girl who may have overdosed on sleeping pills. They certainly ham up the drama by showing the stairs and Lorraine Warren saying she thinks someone fell down them. They do the same effect when speaking of the girl and the pills. This seemed really cheesy to me. It’s the first episode of the new season so you have to build that dramatic tension.

Right before 3am as they’re investigating they begin to hear noises and a door slams on them. Katrina and Heather check the place out but don’t find and real reason for the noises. At least they get up and check out the noise rather than just sitting on the couch wondering what happened.

During the light of day they check out the house and find it has really high EMF readings. And not just in one spot, but throughout the entire house. The place is pretty much off the scale. As I’m sure you’ve read elsewhere, high EMF readings are usually attributed to people feeling nauseous, having a sense of being watched and hallucinations. Basically it makes you think you’re having a paranormal experience. Jay and Grant would use the term "fear cage" to describe the effects. Now, why the investigation didn’t stop here until they got their wiring issue worked out, I’m not sure. I guess that doesn’t make good television. Ryan says the high EMF is just bringing in more spirit activity so they still have a demonic force running around. He and Lorraine then jump to demonic possession and say that Tony needs him some Jesus in his life. They call for an exorcism.

This seems like a really big leap to me. They are really jumping on this exorcism bandwagon these days. It’s becoming their cure-all for unexplained problems. Mental illness sounds way more plausible for this type of behavior, but I guess demonic possession is sexier and gets better ratings. And Lorraine bases some of her demonic ramblings on the look Tony has in his eyes. She says it’s just not human. Funny how frustration, stress and lack of sleep look so similar to demonic possession.

As if on queue Tony begins mumbling about he hears things, has voices telling him to lash out, that he has crazy violent feelings for no reason and that perhaps his dabbling in the occult when he was a teenager has come back to bite him in the ass. Once again, none of these could be mental issues which are going undiagnosed and are aggravated by being bombarded with EMF 24 hours a day. They pretty much disregard any thoughts of mental issues, stress or anything else which might explain his behavior and go right for exorcism.

They do the exorcism and send Tony off to church. There is no mention of sending him off to see a doctor or counselor. There is no checking into his medical history to see if there might be another explanation. There is really no investigation into his current life to see why he might be acting out. Does he hate his job? Is he trying to get away from his wife? Does he have an addiction he doesn’t want to talk about? Jumping on the exorcism bandwagon seems way too over the top with the complete lack of evidence in hand. This show went off the rails pretty quick.

After watching this show for the past three seasons, and especially with the antics of last season (Return of Six), it seems to me that ninety percent of the people Ryan runs into are in the midst of having some sort of breakdown more than anything else. Perhaps saying you have a ghost in the house is better than saying you’re suffering from depression or have mental illness.

It’s interesting that in the first season they were more apt to debunk most of the claims people made, but now they seem to latch onto anything which might say a place is haunted.

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Ghost Adventures – Prospect Place

Whenever you have a location that has anything to do with slavery and the Underground Railroad there is bound to be death and negative energy. Prospect Place was a stop on the Underground Railroad where the wealthy landowner George Adams did his part to help the slaves. Many of the slaves they took in were too weak or ill to make it the rest of the journey and they passed away at the house. There is a claim a bounty hunter came to take away the slaves and turn George in, but he was driven off by George himself and farm hands. Legend has it that the farm hands followed the bounty hunter back to his camp, abducted him and hung him in the barn.

More deaths occurred when a train crashed a few miles from the homestead and the injured were brought to the house as it was turned into a makeshift hospital. Quite a few never recovered from their injuries. Hospital becomes morgue.

The Adams family is said to have had their own tragedies such as a child falling to her death from a balcony. Her body was stored in the basement until the ground thawed and she could have a proper burial. One family member is rumored to have simply disappeared one day. Eventually the family fell on hard times and during the late 60-80s the house was abandoned. During this time Satanic cults took over and practiced their craft inside. It is believed they held rituals and summoned demons to the mansion.

There’s lots of claims of shadows and apparitions and those interviewed claim they see something odd just about every day.

As far as captured activity goes there really isn’t a whole lot. They feel they capture a few voices and even a spirit laughing when Zak stumbles into a chair in the dark. Zak claims to feel a lot of energy when he’s in the barn where the bounty hunter was supposedly hung. It’s interesting that Zak and Nick take some time out to specifically address the issue of orbs versus dust. They explain they are well aware of the difference and that what they’re seeing is definitely not dust.

Aaron gets his usual feelings of being dizzy and nauseous. There is no outright moment of panic, but they say they’re feeling the tension of the past and cold, dark energy when in the room that the Satanic worship is supposed to have taken place in.

There is no doubt there has been some turmoil on the property with plenty of confirmed deaths. Are the spirits of the old South rising up? The eyewitness accounts certainly say it is, but it’s hard to say if the evidence supports it.

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Ghost Adventures – Execution Rocks Lighthouse

Haunted lighthouse! Cool! And this one has a pretty nasty past. According to historians the foundation for the lighthouse was used as a method of torture. People were drowned by being tied down to the rocks at low tide and left there as the tide waters rose again. The British did this very frequently and would leave the remains of the dead lashed to the rocks. How very pirate-esque.

The British weren’t the only ones leaving bodies about the place, Carl Panzram a serial killer, apparently would kill his victims and then dump their bodies on the rocks. This place already has tons of death and destruction and pretty much none of it has to do with shipwrecks.

There are personal experiences which include one person saying they were held down by a force. As Zak is getting the tour, Goofy Aaron gets sunscreen in his eyes so he’s filming with his eyes closed. It looks quite odd actually. At first you think he’s possessed. There is some downtime before the investigation begins and we get a rare glimpse of the guys away from the show. The Nevada boys fishing off the rocks is just hilarious. I’m surprised these goofs didn’t fall in. And seriously, Zak almost had that fish! I love the cookout though. It looks like they were having a blast cooking burgers and hanging out by the water at the lighthouse.

When they do get down to business, out comes those damned goggles with the word database. It does say some interesting things, but it’s hard to say it’s not just random. They make a pretty big leap saying the words they’re getting might be linked to a murder or suicide. It’s an interesting thought, but you need more than the word "mercury" to make that idea pan out.

In the end there’s not a whole lot of evidence on this one, but it’s a pretty cool place and if the history is correct some really nasty things took place there. Kind of kills the romance of the lighthouse and it’s keeper living in peaceful solitude, watching over the seas and gazing at sunsets. It’s probably the first time they’ve actually come out and said a place probably wasn’t haunted.

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