Ghost Adventures – Linda Vista Hospital

The team jumps in and checks out the Linda Vista Hospital is East LA. A hospital that treated plenty of gang related injuries, but apparently was dishing out some mistreatment of its own. Lawsuits began to pile up because of the way patients were treated and the high number of deaths at the hospital. This ultimately closed the place down and it’s been abandoned ever since.

It certainly ranks up there on the creepy factor. Nothing like having your own incinerator with left over human ash to make you feel warm and welcome. Maybe that’s just leftover trash in there, but then again, what if it isn’t?

In typical fashion we see Aaron running down the hall yelling "No, no, no, no, no" because he heard something behind him. It was quiet, he was on his own, and then he freaked out. Poor Aaron, that guy is going to have a heart attack right on the show.

The spirit voice box makes another appearance. They do have a tendency to say interesting things, but again, their use by the spirit world doesn’t really seem plausible. The guys seem to be using this thing an awful lot lately.

But the big event for the night was Nick absolutely freaking out and throwing himself back through the doorway. I have to say this is the first time I’ve seen him lose control like that. Nick says he saw the figure of a girl right in front of him and it completely took him by surprise. We get to see some interesting slow motion of his getaway and he does look scared senseless. Zak adds the footnote that Nick’s camera and Aaron’s both have a glitch at the same moment the apparition appears so neither camera actually captures what happens. There’s no footage of what Nick saw, but it sure as hell made him jump. Good thing it wasn’t Aaron, we would have lost him for sure.

Lots of EVPs are recorded, but the voices they record have a lot of static (as usual). There’s not much visual evidence and they didn’t find out what freaked Nick out. Their side trip to the mental hospital next door – which of course is connected to the hospital by a "secret" tunnel (all the really cool places have secret tunnels) – doesn’t seem to yield much. They sort of skip over that part.

So what’s going on in this place? Who knows. Seems like there might be some freaky business going on in there. I’d like to see them come back and investigate this one again. I get the feeling there was a lot more ground to cover, they just didn’t have the time.

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Ghost Adventures – Washoe Club and Chollar Mine

For this episode the team heads back to the place where they did their first investigation and documentary. It’s also the site where they claim to have captured a full bodied apparition. It’s been five years and it seems the spirits are calling them back, literally.

Things start off with Mark and Debby (raccoon eyes) Constantino who have a slew of recordings which they feel are talking directly to Zak, Nick and Aaron. They claim the voices are saying Zak is coming back, they hate Nick and that the spirits are scared of them. The voices are all but daring the guys to step inside and investigate again.

As I always say, I hear something in those recordings but I’m not firmly convinced we’re hearing the same thing. The sounds I hear don’t really match the words they show. Sure, it would be neat to think you’re being called out by a spirit, but are you 100% positive that’s what you recorded? Difference of opinion I suppose.

The big evidence and reason for going is the full bodied apparition. They show it a few times and it does look like something is moving across the screen. It’s not definitive, but it is interesting.

The first part of the lockdown takes place in the Chollar mine where they almost asphyxiate themselves because they turned off the circulating air vent. And of course Aaron damn near knocks himself out as soon as he enters the mine by bashing his head into a support beam. The black widow spiders give him a bit of a scare as well. He was about to dig his own escape tunnel!

Out comes the voice box and it supposedly records the words "Frank", "stair" and "fell through". Interesting choice of words based on their location, but is there really anything to it? Other than being light headed that’s about all they captured in the mine. They got some random sounds which they feel is the sound of miners still working. Hard to say where those noises are coming from. Could be water dripping, could be wood creaking, could be other settling type noises.

Next up is the Silver Queen where they captured their apparition. They get some phantom smells which might as easily be coming from the wood of the place; odors do linger. With recorders going they claim to get dozens of EVPs. They even bring Mark and Debby back in for an hour to help grab some more spirit voices. Once again, it does sound like there are noises on the recorder, but it’s hard to agree with their interpretation. I don’t hear fully articulated words. They certainly feel it’s a full conversation, but it doesn’t sound like too much to me.

They capture what they say is another apparition. There does appear to be movement on the screen, but it’s not real clear or definitive. It’s certainly not as clearly defined as their original recording. Trick of light? Camera focusing in an usual way? Or is something really moving?

For all the name calling and the spirits calling Zak and Nick out, I don’t really think a whole lot happened. They feel they have dozens of recordings of the spirits and another apparition moving about the place. Something was captured, but what that really is, who knows. I was more amused to see their fashion sense of 5 years ago.

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Ghost Adventures – Remington Arms

The Remington Arms factory was once the largest supplier of munitions in the world. During it’s history its had explosions that have killed workers, been the scene of riots where employees have been beaten to death and at least two workers fell into a furnace and were incinerated. The working conditions were less than ideal(clearly no OSHA) which lead to plenty of deaths and terrible working conditions. Lots of former employees and security guards say they see all sorts of activity in the place. Does a place that makes weapons of violence beget violence in the afterlife?

It looks completely run down and as soon as Zak and crew get started Zak almost falls through the floor after coming right to the edge of a bunch of wide slots set into the floor. Not exactly a trip to Disneyland. The place has the usual bumps and bangs. There’s lots of sounds going on, but are those the sounds of spirits or just sounds of the building shifting and settling. It has a lot of machinery in it so all of that could be creaking as it expands and contracts in the night. I wouldn’t be surprised if iron stretching sounded like a moan in the night. Even though the place is abandoned it’s right off a main road so there are plenty of cars and trucks rolling by which could be shaking the place or rattling the works. It’s not isolated so you have plenty of external influences on what you see and hear.

The guys get lots of voices on the recorders, but again, they sound muffled and muted to me. Those are never discernable so I really don’t know what to make of them. One thing that was interesting was a really loud bang, like a gunshot, that was recorded by one camera but not the other. What makes it unusual is that the camera on the first floor didn’t capture it, but the one on the fourth floor did. They both capture a car horn (so we know there traffic right outside the building) but only one gets the shot. I have no idea what that means, but it does strike me as odd.

Remington Arms has a bad history so who knows what’s going on out there. They did get a few things on their recorders but is the place really haunted? That’s hard to say. It certainly has all the makings, but I didn’t see it on this trip. I feel it’s pretty easy to explain away a lot of what they heard as normal sounds of an abandoned building.

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Ghost Adventures – Baggy pants but cool investigations

There is little doubt Zak went to the William Shatner school of overacting, but his crazy over emphasis, baggy pants and gravity defying hair gives him his own unique charm. But, unlike the couch dwelling Ghost Hunters, Zak’s enthusiasm keeps him constantly moving. He’s ready to jump into that mine shaft or go down the creepy tunnel, even if it does mean Aaron is going to bang his head. Maybe he is a little excitable, but I still enjoy listening to him tell the "dark" history of the place they’re investigating. Plus, it’s better than the underwhelming tone of Ghost Hunters and Ghost Lab. His mannerisms and tone bring the story to life and it builds up excitement for the episode.

Aaron, or as I like to call him, "Shaggy" is one scared pup and half the fun is watching him react to his environment. If you go into a building in the middle of the night that’s supposed to be haunted and full of dark energy, I’m not sure why you get to the point of soiling yourself every time there’s a loud bump or bang near you. It never ceases to amuse me that as they’re all standing in the dark that inevitably Aaron will yell "Oh My God!" and go running across the room like he got a cattle prod in the backside. He then follows it up with, "Dude, I Swear To God!" It’s funny every time!

Speaking of cool investigations I watched the episode at the abandoned Remington factory, the company that makes weapons and munitions. Even in the daylight that place was creepy. The buildings are falling apart, there’s tons of holes in the floor, and not much about the place seems structurally sound any more. And from some of the pictures they showed, it doesn’t look all that different now than when it was in operation. If nothing else you get a glimpse into the working conditions of the day. Perhaps working in a cubicle isn’t so bad after all. :)

Their reliance on "orbs" hitting them in the back of the head or neck, which then causes odd behavior, headaches and in more than one case possession, is really bringing the whole show down. I’m not going to say that orbs of energy don’t exist and Zak and crew can believe in them all they want, but from what I’m seeing those are dust particles. With the night vision cameras everything looks like an orb, especially when you’re trudging through an abandoned building. I’m just not buying that those particles are an explanation of anything. If dust bunnies are ghosts my house is the most location on the planet!

The other drawback is the use of Frank’s box and the other voice database tools they have. I have to say, those seem pretty silly and don’t really bolster their scientific method or credibility. How is a spirit supposed to know what frequency a word is on? Is there some owner’s manual they refer to ahead of time? But again, I’m not tuning in for the scientific aspect (I’m not even sure there is one), I just think the places they go are really interesting.

Even though the show can come across as juvenile at times – the Halloween special certainly had them in hysterics, but at least they had a Halloween special – Zak, Nick and Aaron are still engaging to watch. They get up and move around. They don’t just sit in the corner and hope something comes their way. It’s not perfect by any means, and I don’t think they’ve actually captured a whole lot, but they still have enthusiasm for investigating. A little too quick to say something is paranormal for my tastes, but after three seasons I’m still tuning in and having fun.

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