Ghost Adventures – Season 1 and some Season 2


It would seem all the really cool kids have their own ghost hunting show on TV these days. They have become the crime dramas of a decade ago; every network needs to have one. Even though it’s been on for two seasons I just discovered Ghost Adventures on the Travel channel. With so many shows on the air each one needs a gimmick and these three investigators, Zak, Nick and Aaron lock themselves in with the spirits so there is no escaping. Further, they take a more direct approach to the spirit world with a lot of provoking and daring the spirits to touch, hit or slap them. It’s all fun and games until a spirit punches you right in the balls. Their locations are a little different too, they have chosen locations which seem to have a turbulent past, prisons, asylums, murder sites and battlegrounds, not just the cozy house down the street, so their methods may be somewhat appropriate.

Surprisingly, Zak is a rather good narrator. He seems genuinely interested and excited about the past and his voiceover work brings the story to life. He seems ready to jump into that demon hole, climb that rickety-assed staircase, or find out what’s behind the locked door. But I have to say, when they begin to find evidence, things take on a whole different atmosphere and the members of the high school AV club show themselves.

I have never heard the words “Dude!”, “I swear to God bro!”, “Oh my GOD!”, “What just happened”, or “Did you just see that?” yelled so frequently. After a few minutes it becomes comical. Isn’t this what you were expecting to happen? Why so shocked?

Further, as with so many of these shows now days, everyone is all badass to call out the spirits and dare them to do something, but when something happens, they completely soil themselves and go running out the room like a stuck pig, the camera shaking like a scene from Cloverleaf! If you’re going to taunt and mock the spirit world, it’s not a good idea to gasp, scream and completely lose it when you think you get some sort of response. Way too many times these guys go into hysterics when they hear noises or think they see something. If you are sitting in a junk filled attic and something behind you falls over, like say a doll or birdcage, calling for Jesus and hauling tail is going to make me laugh and shoot soda through my nose, not make me believe in the paranormal.

Even Zak has a tendency to jump like he got a cattleprod to the buttocks and practically falls over when he feels something. Try to keep your cool, it looks better on film.

And the evidence gathering? Well, that’s seems sketchy at best. Their methods are pretty goofy, the evidence is questionable, and I sure as heck don’t hear what they hear. I’m not saying they aren’t capturing something; I just have no idea what it is. Cold spots, orbs, flashes of light, or something falling over really isn’t evidence to me. You’re outside, there are flashes of lights from cars. Bugs look like orbs and make weird patterns on camera. Cold spots could just be a draft. Doors opening and all those pops and creaks could just as easily be the building settling. To me, the paranormal is something can’t be explained through normal methods. Everything I’ve seen so far has perfectly valid alternate explanations.

All of that aside, I still like the show and have fun watching. I watch these sorts of shows because of the places they get to visit not because I expect them to actually find anything that would be considered credible. I can’t say they’ve found anything noteworthy, unusual or even something that makes me scratch my head; it’s more they’re adding to the urban myth of a place. But they have style, so it’s all good.

So why do I keep watching these shows? Because they make me laugh, and I think it would be a great job to go running around abandoned buildings in the middle of the night with the chance you might get something creepy to happen. You wouldn’t have to ask me twice to come along on one of their adventures.

They’re still entertaining and I’m still watching Season 2 and the upcoming Halloween Special. I’m pretty excited these guys will have their Halloween Special, then Ghost Hunters will have theirs. At least I assume Ghost Hunters is having one since I haven’t read anything about it yet.

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Alone in a Haunted House

This spine-chilling and deeply thought-provoking documentary follows the exploits of paranormal investigator Joshua P. Warren, who, in an attempt to prove or disprove once and for all the existence of apparitions and spirits, spends a night in a home known to be haunted. What transpires is positively spooky as Warren (who wrote How to Hunt Ghosts) uses tools such as infrared scanners and electrostatic generators to arrive at the truth.

At a run time of 25 minutes this show is about as riveting as watching paint dry. And the ending is just as predictable.

There is nothing “positively spooky” or “spine-chilling” and there is absolutely no “truth” to be arrived at. How and why this was turned into a DVD is a complete mystery to me; it’s absolutely horrible.

Joshua Warren builds up the drama by saying he will spend the night alone in a haunted house. An interesting premise and could be the lead in for something quite unique. But that’s not what happens. For a place that is supposedly haunted where he documented activity previously, absolutely nothing happens. While his Shatner-esque delivery of dialog is mildly amusing this story goes nowhere.

You hear a couple of creaks and bangs (in an old house that’s a shocker), see a lot of dust (who would have thought you would see dust in a house from the 1920’s which has been vacated for months) and that’s about it.

It’s not interesting, it’s not entertaining, it’s not even long enough to get a tour of the house. A complete waste of time and I’m not going to spend more time writing about how bad it was than the length of the show itself.

Alone in a Haunted House

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The Unexplained – Hauntings

This absorbing A&E program profiles three families who are certain that specters and other strange phenomena inhabit their homes. From a Midwest clan that enlists a ghostbuster to a Pennsylvania family followed by spirits to 11 different houses, these stories could turn doubting Thomases into believers. On the other hand, skeptics may prefer to accept the logical explanations of historians, psychologists and a prize-winning physicist.

The tales of the paranormal really aren’t all that intriguing and for the most part it’s nothing more than odd sounds and bumps in the night. I suppose a ghostly stalker that follows you to each house you move to is kind of interesting. However, some of the evidence and claims border on the absurd. I forget his name but the debunker now turned investigator, who is apparently now a sensitive had me laughing. His talking about ectoplasm seems ridiculous and made the whole idea of paranormal investigation seem cheesy and foolish. As soon as he made his comment about it all I could think of was “He slimed me!” from the Ghostbusters movie.

I’ve seen the footage before but the last story with the fellow who has a cabin in the woods and all the unusual things that show up when he takes pictures of his kids had me shaking my head. I do a lot of photography and everything present in his pictures looks like dust, bugs, a dirty lens and just plain streaks of light that do odd things on a long exposure. Even his video footage looks like nothing more than lightning bugs flying around.

Apart from the stories is the amusing commentary from the believers and the skeptics. I have to say, both sides throw out some real whoppers as to explanations. I can believe they say some of these things with a straight face, it’s so far fetched.

But anyway, don’t expect much here. You won’t be on the edge of your seat with anticipation and excitement. More likely you will be laughing and shaking your head like I was.

The Unexplained – Hauntings

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A Haunting in Connecticut

In this unnerving docudrama, the Parker family is elated to move into their dream house — only to discover artifacts suggesting the home was once a funeral parlor. After finding coffin keys, toe tags and a big freezer in the cellar — and the children see an apparition — the desperate Parkers seek the expert help of the Warrens, a couple who investigated the famed Amityville case. The cast includes Vanessa Lock, Rod Pearson and Brett Fleisher.

NOTE: This text refers to the docudrama of A Haunting in Connecticut, not the Hollywood production that was released in 2009. When that movie becomes available I’m sure I’ll be posting more.

Just like the Amityville case, here we have a family who gets a deal on a house they can’t refuse. Their 14 year old son is being treated for cancer and the Parker’s need to be closer to the hospital. After searching they come across a house with rent that is too cheap to be believed. It has plenty of space and is convenient to the hospital. The Parker’s learn the house was a former funeral home and the basement still has much of the equipment left behind. They need the space and they need the location so they agree to not tell anyone about the house’s past. So they move in and try to cope with their son’s illness.

Paul and his brother move into the basement. It doesn’t take them long to figure out their room is the former morgue. What begins to happen is the children claim to see apparitions, hear noises and voices and feel the presence of someone in the house. As time goes by the kids can’t sleep, they leave all the lights on in the basement, and don’t want to be left in the house alone.

The parents see a change in Paul as he becomes aggressive, withdrawn and moody. Eventually his outbursts and unpredictable behavior force the parents to commit him to a hospital for his own sake and for everyone else in the house. He claims that now he is out of the house the spirit will start to go after them.

At this point, the floodgates open and all sorts of bizarre events happen. The rest of the family begins to feel the presence. The father claims his truck drove itself into the construction office he was working at. Mom claims an entity attacked her in the shower. A niece who is staying with them feels attacked in her bed. She claims her rosary is taken off as she sleeps. They feel cold spots, get pulled, hear voices and the feel the house is trying to hurt one of them.

After a priest doesn’t offer much help to calm their fears, Ed and Lorraine Warren are called out to see what they can do. They feel the house needs to be exorcised. The Warren’s bring out a team to help document the events taking place in the house. Ultimately a priest comes to exorcise the house, but the Parker’s decide they need to get away from it and promptly move out.

I don’t mean to be insensitive to anyone who is trying to cope with a child who has cancer but it’s hard to believe anything about this story. You basically have a family who is dealing with a boy who is facing his own death. Who knows what kind of mental state he is in and there is no doubt that knowing about the morgue would play tricks on the mind. Seriously, a 14 year old boy sleeping in a morgue? His bizarre behavior could be nothing more than the cancer and the medication taking it’s toll on him. Maybe the cancer is affecting his brain in other ways.

But moving past that, there is no evidence at all to support any claim the family is making. Even when the Warren’s and their crew come in, they capture nothing. There is one person who claims he saw such a sinister figure that he left the house and never came back. I find it a little odd that someone who wants to find the paranormal soils himself the first time he sees it and abandons a family who may be in need. Way to go!

While the Warren’s were interviewed for the documentary they say about 30 words and really don’t offer any insight into the events that supposedly took place at the house. Lorraine says she feels something but not much else.

As for the house itself, there is no discovery of a gruesome past, no tales of bad deeds that took place on the property, no crimes committed, no untimely deaths or other injuries to explain these restless spirits. And to my mind simply because a location was a funeral home where the dead passed through doesn’t make it haunted or give it any more cause to be so than anywhere else. The mind certainly associates it with death, but that doesn’t give rise to activity.

This is an interesting tale, but there is very little to support it as being real. The events and activities of Paul can be explained based on his condition, mental state, stress, medication and multiple other factors. As far as the truck crashing into the father’s work office? Where is the police report? Where is the police offer who investigated? Where is the CSI who determined the cause of the crash?

And speaking of where people are, where are Paul and his father during this story? Neither of them are represented in the interview. Mom, the younger brother and the niece tell their accounts, albeit shrouded in darkness so no one can see their faces, but the two people at the center of the events are strangely absent.

Just like the Amityville Horror, there is plenty story making to be had and lots of pieces you can create on your own, but as for being grounded in fact all I can say is, a distressed mind can conjure up all sorts of things.

An interesting story, but one I take with a large grain of salt.

A Haunting in Connecticut

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