Paranormal Lockdown – Franklin Castle – S01E03

Destination AmericaNick and Katrina head to Cleveland Ohio, to investigate Franklin Castle which looks like the house from the first season of American Horror Story. And like that TV house, this one has seen quite a few deaths. It is said that the Tiedemann’s experienced several deaths within the house including multiple children. There is a tinge of a rumor that some of the deaths may not have been accidental.

The house has been owned by several families and Kristina catches up with Jim and Dee Romano who lived in the house as children. They claim to have seen and played with an apparition who died decades earlier. They believe it was Emma and she wore Victorian era clothes and visited them many times.

John Tenney makes a brief appearance to look around the house wherein his microphone dies while talking about the little girl Emma. Everyone attributes this to paranormal intervention and are quickly running around the house looking for the ghostly source.

To start their investigation they play hide and seek with Emma. Nick feels he gets touched and both he and Katrina hear knocking. Rob thinks he captures a shadow figure but it’s not really showing up on the replay.

For the first night, Nick feels someone was touching his head all night. Katrina isn’t saying much except she has odd dreams of being in a haunted house. They pick things back up by investigating a small room that might be a closet. Nick says he feels drained and experiences emotions. Katrina says she gets the words, “get out” on her recorder.

Next up is the attic and the electronic spirit box, which also has motion sensors. They feel something is running down the stairs and Rob again feels he captures something poking its head around the doorway. Nick says he sees a black mist and decides that is a good place to sleep for the night. He put up motion sensors which ultimately go off. On his recorder, he feels he gets the words, “I need help”.

In the end, the batteries die for a microphone, they get knocking sounds in an old house, what they feel is a mist, a cry for help on a recorder and feel drained by some sort of presence. I wouldn’t say those have no explanation.

Additionally, where is this little girl that Jim and Dee said they played with on dozens of occasions? They made it sound like she popped up every day and was as real as any other kid in the room. How come she didn’t make an appearance?

It’s also interesting how Jim and Dee talk about playing with Emma, but yet they are scared of the house. There’s no mention of Emma getting violent or scaring them or throwing things, so what’s the story? And again, here are people that won’t enter until the cameras are rolling.

There’s also some odd approaches to these investigations. First, going into sleep deprivation is going to make you hallucinate and see things that aren’t there. It’s not going to make you vulnerable, it’s going to distort reality. It leads to misinterpretation and misunderstanding of your surroundings.

Also, Nick and Katrina sleep in the house and say they jump out of bed and start investigating. However, a minute later, we’re back to night time. What are they doing during the daylight hours? Clearly there is some personal hygiene and eating to be dealt with, but why no investigation during the daylight hours? Why no recording of the noises the house makes during the day? Why aren’t they looking to see if they can find the source to the noises they hear or give the house a bit of a debunking? Feels like there’s a whole lot missing.

Sure, this house has had tragedy, but when you compare the “stories” to what was captured, it’s really hard to say that Nick and Kristina captured anything more than the creaking of an old house.

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Ghost Adventures – Hellhole Prison – S12E07


The Yuma Territorial Prison had a brief but sordid existence. It opened in 1876, but only operated until 1909. It goes it’s reputation as the Hellhole Prison due to the extreme heat of the area and poor treatment of inmates.  During it’s run, it housed prisoners in some pretty grim surroundings, most notably the Dark Cell, a hole cut into the side of the granite hill, where prisoners would be chained in a small cage about 5 feet high. It would be unsettlingly dark and it’s rumored the guards would drop snakes and scorpions on prisoners.

During it’s run as a prison, 111 people died from snake bites, tuberculosis, suicide and a prison riot. The bodies are buried behind the prison in unmarked graves. There is a plaque listing their names, but nothing identifies the remains themselves.

Some of the reports of the paranormal include shadows, crying and feelings of sadness. There is even a pictures from the 40s that shows a supposed apparition next to the prison walls.

As the investigation starts, Zak meets with a woman who wants to share her experience. She claims she felt a presence and had her hand pushed by a prisoner she believes to be John Ryan. She felt his sadness as she tried to communicate with him.

They start off with the SLS camera on the cells. They aren’t able to detect anything, but they do hear a scream. No source for the scream, but they are out in the open and sounds will echo and travel from anywhere. During their EVP session, they easily hear a train in the distance.

Next, they split up with Zak hanging out in the cell of John Ryan and Aaron off to the courtyard. Zak hears a loud bang while he is alone in the dark. Out in the courtyard, Aaron feels someone touch his back, begins to feel ill and Zak sees an orb of light during these feelings.

Of course, we must pay a visit to the Dark Cell, where Zak feels something touch him on the hand and hears footsteps. He also claims to hear someone knocking as well as something grunting at him.

Back at the command center, they pick up what sounds like saloon style piano music. Also, one of their panel lights begins to pulse. This leads them over to a museum display case and the Yuma prison band. Just behind this, is a stage where the SLS camera shows figures dancing and playing on stage. Zak and team are firmly convinced this is the prison band showing off for them.

There are quite a few interesting things about this episode. So much is made about how bad the Dark Cell is, yet the tour guide is utterly unphased by it. As Zak is nearly soils his knickers over the bats, the tour is guide is calm and says to hold out his hand so they can land.

The entire segment with Patricia Lynn Cody comes across as complete nonsense. It’s amazing how people are terrified to go somewhere until there’s a camera. And what about her story is so terrifying? We also have the garbled EVP so Billy and Zak create an elaborate story so it makes sense.

The photo they show from the 40s is dubious at best. We’ve seen way too many fake photos from that era.

Then for the end, we have the flashing panel light, "which has never done that before!" But it’s the wild story the convince themselves is real about how they were drawn to the picture of the band and then to the hall that’s really questionable. That is truly fitting piece together that support your claim.

Everything in this episode is laughable. The investigation is a dead end where they don’t capture any evidence, but instead of going with that, they make up outrageous stories and try to weave things together to make it seem like the place has energy. Zak is even trying to spin the demon angle with some of the questions he asks. You can tell it’s bullshit when they spend time airing footage of someone walking around outside by the prison cemetery.

And you can say and believe whatever you like about the band playing on stage. Hacking the crap out of an Xbox Kinect and claiming it to be a device to see the paranormal doesn’t make it so.

This is clearly an old prison that did some bad deeds, got a bad reputation and now people are just running wild with the stories. This episode was laughable and shows people will claim a haunting even when nothing happens.

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Paranormal Lockdown – Anderson Hotel – S01E02

image We’re off to the Anderson Hotel, which might be a real hotel one day, once they scrape off the remnants of being a flop house. It doesn’t look like it, but the place is undergoing repair and renovation, but apparently that has stirred up some trouble. There are reports of figures, shadows and even assaults taking place. One tour guide says he was attacked on the foot.

The term "flop house" doesn’t conjure happy images, and sadly, this place lives up to that name. It is said that a man hung himself in the closet of one of the rooms, that a 19 year old girl committed suicide and a man let a fire consume him rather than get to safe ground.

Nick and Katrina start the ball rolling by getting some background and a feel for the place. They visit the room where the 19 year old took her life and the original mattress is still on the bed and it looks hideous. They visit the room where the man hung himself, complete with broken furniture and empty liquor bottles, and the location where a figure has been seen in the window, which they are referring to as the burning man.

They also visit with the bakery next door and hear from the owner that she has experienced activity as well, basically since the renovation started. She has felt a presence, especially when she brought down doors from upstairs.

For this investigation they have brought back the Geobox and added a brain monitoring system to show activity while they sleep. Nick wants to use this while he lies down on the bed where the young girl died. He says he feels something is lying with him. He says he has visions of sadness. The recorder he left running picks up what he says are footsteps, screaming and the words, "get out".

As the night draws to a close, Katrina is not so bold as to sleep on the bed itself, but chooses to put her cot next to it. Nick takes the hallways and hears shuffling as though someone is wandering around.

The next morning they put the Geobox in the room where the man hung himself. They get the words, "Don’t touch me". although it doesn’t seem like Katrina is hearing the same thing as she barely reacts to this new device. To be honest, I’m not hearing much out of it either. Nick is repeating what it says although I can’t make out where he is getting the words from.

In the room of the burning man, they hear "get out" and Rob, the camera man, feels a stabbing pain in his side. After putting down the camera, they say he has been bitten as they see teeth marks. That is enough for Rob and he takes the night off. Of course, he’s never done this sort of thing before so that makes it all the more dramatic.

When they gather back again, Katrina and Nick light some sage and go from room to room to push the spirit out of the hotel. Rob has come back, but says his camera battery has died as all this is going on. They again hear shuffling sounds. From the Geobox, Nick says he hears, "you’re fucking killing me" as they whisk the sage around, which is then followed up with "warning guys", "understand", "here I am now", and "you stay right there". These appear to be said out of anger as the sage goes room to room.

Determined, they keep going, eventually open a window and "release" the spirit energy. They believe the air has been cleared so to speak and the heaviness of the oppression seems to be gone.

It’s interesting that both Zak and Nick are using the idea of sensory deprivation as evidence of the paranormal. Zak feels plunging into total darkness gets more activity while Nick feels depriving himself of sleep is the way to go. Neither of these are reliable and give false positives.

But anyway, some interesting stories about this place, but I’m not sure that Geobox is valid. Nick seems to be the only one hearing anything. It’s also hard to put stock in "shuffling" noises in a building loaded down with that much crap. And who isn’t going to feel weirded out and have sympathy and experiences when they lie down on a filthy mattress where a woman supposedly killed herself?

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Ghost Adventures – Leslies Family Tree Restaurant – S12E07

image For this adventure we’re off to the open plains of Santaquin, Utah to visit the Leslie’s Family Tree Restaurant, home to strange happenings and an abundance of spirits. According to the locals, the restaurant has been haunted for years and some claim there are a hundreds spirits lurking inside.

The restaurant has been around for 30 years and the current owner, Leslie Broadhead, says her daughters have both been attacked as well as some patrons. Bobby says a spirit followed her home and tried to pull her out of bed. Cory says she has seen figures and has witnessed attacks on other people, specifically during a ghost tour she was giving. A man was attacked in the bathroom and ended up with marks on his body.

During the interview, Zak feels energy, pulls out the recorder and gets the words "Get out". Cory talks about the basement and how it used to be a boxing ring along with lots of gambling and prostitution. With the recorder going again, they claim to get "orange blood" and while informing Zak that people end up with marks on them, Cory gets what looks to be a hand print across her neck and throat. Zak also says he hears a man’s voice during this event.

The family claims this is the norm and show several photos of people with scratches and bite marks. They even had a medium come in who feels there are multiple "portals" on the premises  and multiple entities.

As they do a bit of research, they find the area is the location of the "Walker War". This was a series of attacks back and forth between the Mormon settlers and the Native American Ute tribe. The gist comes down to a misunderstanding between the groups, which lead to one side shooting the other, tensions escalated and revenge ensued. This lead to deaths on both sides and "it’s possible" the restaurant is build on land where deaths "may" have occurred.

Zak starts off the investigation with a seance that once again has me confused. Why so comfortable with a seance, but so hostile toward the Ouija? But during the group session he claims the recorder picks up "I’m next to Bobby" and another "get out". They have the Rempod off to the side and it lights up when Zak asks if the spirits want them to leave.

While the seance is going on, Ashley is off to the side taking still photos. She feels someone is tugging at the Polaroid pictures she’s taking. She also feels cold spots and shortly begins to feel disoriented and has trouble grabbing things. This is the now obligatory moment where someone from the crew sick, dizzy and claims they’re going to throw up. For the past few episodes it’s been Billy, and before that Aaron, so now it’s time to pass the baton.

With Ashley having a mild panic attack, Zak goes over the top by kicking chairs and provoking the entity to attack because standing around in the dark and kicking things in random directions is always a good idea and it makes you tough and fearless. Zak claims this is uncontrolled anger and that he’s acting out without thinking.

After getting Ashley out of the building Zak heads back in for a paranormal showdown. He whips off his shirt and demands the entity scratch him. He wants a sign that someone is there and he wants whatever it is to leave it’s mark.

Low and behold, he gets a scratch across his back and through his tattoo. There is a thin red line on his skin that clearly could not have been made by any natural means or by brushing up against something.

Billy then heads to the basement using the sensory deprivation technique we’ve seen before of wandering in the dark, but with an IR camera around his neck. Aaron comes to join and they both feel an odd energy and hear what they think is some sort of growling.

After the investigation is over, Zak says he felt that same hostile aggression that made him kick him chairs and had negative residual feelings for several days. In essence, something clung to him the same way Bobby says something clung to her.

Interesting goings on indeed. Still, curious why Bobby is almost oblivious to the marks showing up on her neck and almost bored over the idea. And why is Zak so pro seance, but feels the Ouija is a dangerous portal? Finally, if the family is being tormented by those spirits, why are they giving ghost tours? Clearly they’re not trying to eek out any sort of financial gain by having a "haunted" establishment.

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