Haunted Collector – Bare Bones and Octagon Haunting – S02E08


Forestville, New York

For this episode the team heads to New York to investigate a pretty odd set of circumstances. There is a home tattoo business in a house from the 1800’s, which sits right next to a cemetery and they have bones crumbling out of the wall. None of this sounds good at all. I think the first time bones came tumbling out at me, the place would be up for sale.

The activity in the house consists of the sound of footsteps, the feeling of being watched, bones in the walls, the sound of running up and down the stairs and their son claims there is an evil man in the closet of his room. Seems like there is a little bit of everything going on here.

John is able to determine the bones are animal rather than human. The strange cement structure dig into the ground out in the back yard was a bomb shelter rather than a cold storage place for bodies and has nothing to do with the cemetery.

During the investigation they get the EVP of "Jerome", which they associate with Jerome Bennet who died of tuberculosis in the 1800s. While investigating the attic they find a leech pot which would have been used to try and treat TB by letting leeches try to clean the blood.

So putting these together they assume that the jar was used on Jerome and that the attic would have been his sick room. Most likely it’s also where he would have died. Instead of taking the leech jar back to his museum, John put the jar in a wooden box and put it in the running water of a nearby river.

I didn’t really get the sense much was happening at this house. They only captured one (very faint) EVP and that was all. There didn’t appear to be any other activity going on. The house has the usual bumps and knocks and considering it’s age, I would expect it to make the sounds of footsteps as it settles and for there to be plenty of other noises since I’m sure some critters have made their home in there – thus the bones in the walls.

Does the leech pot hold the key to all the activity? Perhaps it does, but is that the only item from that time period? They didn’t find anything else? If that was the sick room, I would suspect they would find other things in there as well.

Octagon Hall – Franklin, Kentucky

The Octagon Hall was built back in the early 1800s and is being converted into a Cival War museum. The current owner says he has a lot of usual things going on such as strange noises, voices, a little girl singing and multiple shadow figures. From the way he describes it, the shadow figures are everywhere. And one witness says he was charged by a shadow figure and was all but knock out because of it.

A lot of the claims about the house are easy to debunk. Uneven floors would cause the wheelchair to move. Sagging floor and the usual wear and tear on a building this old would cause plenty of noises including footsteps. And air currents would help make that pot swing in the kitchen that everyone associates with the little girl. Once again, some pretty debunking by Brian.

This is also another place where I don’t think they captured any real activity. When asked the question, "Did you die here?" they get a very faint yes. That really seems to be it. There was the faint sound of bell, but you have to remember, just walking around that place could cause the walls, and floor to shake and make those noises. There was the feeling of being touched, but when you’re down in a dark basement that sort of thing always happens. And it didn’t happen again. And there was no other evidence gathered at the same time.

Their item for the night turns out to be a picture frame of Elizabeth, the first wife, who died at a young age, along with her children. Wife and children passed away and the husband re-married and started over. They hear some bangs, although they don’t find the source of that bang, they start playing with a picture when a card falls out. It simply says the name of Elizabeth Caldwell. They put this together with the Ovilus recordings they got outside which said, "three", meaning the passing of mother and two children. to sum it all up they believe Elizabeth is getting upset because she is being ignored and her importance in starting the house and being the first wife is being overlooked.

Again, the crazy random happenstance way of finding that card is a little odd, but the story is plausible. I’m not saying I agree, just that it’s plausible. I do agree with John that Elizabeth should get a little more of a spotlight for her place in history, but I still didn’t see too much evidence to support any paranormal claims. Pretty much everyone they reported is indicative of an old house.

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Haunted Collector – Casino Phantom and California Nightmare – S02E07

Binion’s Casino in Las Vegas

For this episode, John and his team head into the back yard of Ghost Adventures and investigate Binion’s Casino in Las Vegas. The General Manager is reporting claims of people getting touched and grabbed as well as seeing apparitions. His casino is in the older and more historic part of Vegas where the rules were a little looser and dealing with problems a little more stern. It sounds like an episode that would be rife with mafia ties, cheating, stealing, lost fortunes and more.

John and his team find or are given a couple of token items such as a razor, poker chip and matchbook. They also research a tie clip, which turns out to be a "wizard", a way to cheat at cards.

While the items are certainly interesting how do they support the paranormal activity and for that matter, what is the activity? While looking around the place nothing seems to happen. Not every episode has to be riddled with spooks, specters and ghosts, but I didn’t see anything in this episode that backed up any paranormal claims. The most interesting thing was the tarantula in the bathroom sink. For casino that may have seen some dark times, it doesn’t seem like the team runs across anything. Since it’s Vegas they are going to assume that the "wizard" is associated with someone who got caught and that he was killed because of his cheating. They associate the "Secret Room" with dealing with the cheat and link the whole thing to Tony Stralla. To be fair, that is certainly plausible and considering this is Vegas, something like that probably did happen, but aren’t they putting the cart in front of the horse? There is absolutely nothing to support any of these claims. It’s an interesting theory, but it’s nothing more than that, a theory.

Gomez Residence – Glendora, California

After hanging out in Vegas, the teams heads over to Glendora, California to investigate a home owned by Pedro Gomez where he claims paranormal activity is giving him cause for concern. He feels a presence in the house, hears knocking on the walls, feels he’s being watched and has a sense of negative energy.

Unfortunately, I think they’re looking for answers in the wrong place. In fact, Brian seems to have the right idea before they even get to the place. First off, it’s been abandoned for years. I’m sure animals have made their home in the walls, ceiling and lots of other places. Second, it’s been vandalized. There was a ton of graffiti as well as plenty of "demonic" and "satanic" symbolism all over the place. That clearly is going to play with your mind. As Brian states, the noose in the tree was meant to scare the crap out of people. Especially since there is a history that the home was once a halfway house back in the late 70s. How else are you going to start an urban legend and terrorize young kids? You need to make up some stories and throw some scary symbols around. I don’t believe any of that means anything.

Additionally, it’s California, it’s on a fault line. The house rumbles with some regularity and that will cause the house to shake, shift and settle. All of those will cause strange sounds. A house settling is going to sound like footsteps and the bed rumbling is simply a small tremor or aftershock. Well, other than the obvious reason a bed might shake when there’s a couple in it.

The team does talk with the police who confirm there were problems at the house. Too many ex-convicts were allowed to stay there at one time, conditions were cramped and tempers flared. However, no mention of murder or other unsolved crimes. There’s the potential for restless spirits, but it’s not all coming together.

In the end they look into the pictures Pedro brought to them previously. They notice the words, "victim" and "murdered" on the back of the photo. They draw the conclusion that the man in the photo is reaching out to Pedro to help solve his murder. Now that is a spectacular story, but it’s a bit much for me. I don’t see how the pieces fit together to draw that conclusion. But as an officer of the law, Pedro is going to do his best to identify the man and investigate what he can. I wish him the best of luck, but I don’t see this as being anything more than a bunch of misguided kids throwing around trinkets with the hopes of starting a rumor about the house being haunted.

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Haunted Collector – Stirring the Dead and Ghost Writer – S02E06

Lorain County, Ohio

For this episode we head to Lorain County, Ohio where a woman claims the paranormal activity has increased since she started renovating the house. She claims to have seen an apparition, hears footsteps and has the feeling she’s being watched. Things seemed to start when she removed a boot from the wall while doing some renovation work.

As things get rolling it sounds like the radios in the basement are playing some sort of circus music. However, all the radios are unplugged and most of them don’t work. Unfortunately, the team doesn’t come back around to investigate any further.

There is a story about one of the previous owner’s children being killed on the railroad tracks. Ironically, at least to John and his team, they uncover a compass in the basement crawl space.

Without any real connection or supporting evidence, John ties the compass to the death and that the boy is lost and removing the compass will somehow help him find his way. I’m s little confused by this. How is removing the compass going to help? Won’t he be even more lost? I also think it’s just a convenient connection to link the compass to the boy. There is nothing to suggest it was his. The timeframe seems correct, but there is no engraving, no markings, no name, no other personal items to associate the compass with any one person. They are making a story to fit the evidence and drawing conclusions that support it.

They also have a plan to put the shoe back in the wall and seal it up. This will contain the energy and protect the house. John says this is an ancient tradition and that a shoe will ward off evil. I’ll have to look into that one, because I’ve never heard of such a thing. That would be a new bit of lore coming into play.

In the end, John takes the compass from the house, encircles it with salt and believes this will stop the problems. According to the end credit, there is still activity there. Yeah, how about we go back and investigate some of those radios some more. If spirits can communicate through them, perhaps John and his team should listen a little harder…

Tipp City, Ohio

John investigates another business that has had activity going on for quite some time. People claim to get touched, hear footsteps and feel a presence. There are claims of a previous owner dying and a fire in one of the rooms. A child is also supposed to play in the "mystery room", moving toys on a regular basis.

John makes another interesting comment almost suggesting that people are letting their imaginations get the better of them. And in the end there might be a lot of validity to that.

Jumping right in I have to ask, why do people keep all the boxes of junk they immediately show to John when he gets there? If you think it’s causing a problem, throw that shit out! You know, these straight razors and this box full of tools could be causing a haunting in my shop and I have absolutely no room or reason to keep them, but you know what, I think I’ll keep anyway, just in case. Why throw away perfectly good junk?

The first thing we notice about this place is the insane levels of EMF going on. The whole place is flooded with those crappy fluorescent bulbs and the meters are off the charts. If that’s supposed to cause anxiety, nausea, fear, and other sensations, why not tell the owner to replace those damn things? That’s never even mentioned to her. No wonder that woman started to feel sick, the lights are horrible in that place.

It’s interesting they want to make something out the book that flew off the shelves by a convicted killer, but let’s be realistic here, those shelves are wobbly as hell, are all hand made and probably uneven, a book falling would be perfectly normal. It would be more unusual for it to never happen.

The one thing that’s interesting is the ball moving. It does appear to "jump" as though hit or kicked. Is that the spirit of the little girl? Since there is no evidence of a little girl dying there, why do they think there is a spirit there? Sure, I admit, that ball moved, no doubt about it. And it was cool as hell. But how about we do some more experiments and see if the floor rattles, was it shaken by someone walking, or is there some odd draft that caused the effect. Nothing of weight moved, so let’s not jump to too many conclusions just yet. The building is well over 100 years old, are we really saying that a draft, uneven floor and people walking around couldn’t cause that same behavior?

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Haunted Collector – Haunted Rectory and Grand Midway Ghosts – S02E05

Rectory in Sedamsville, Ohio

We find ourselves in Ohio, where the team is investigating the site of remodeling project. Tim is working to renovate a rectory. Along the way he’s lost multiple volunteers due to odd activity in the building. There are reports of doors opening and closing, shadow figures, chairs sliding around, a suitcase moving on it’s own and plenty of unexplained noises. There is even the story of a priest being murdered in the rectory. They also notice lots of scratches on the doors and leftover dog kennels.

As they begin to research, they quickly dismiss the story of the murdered priest. No such story exists. However, they find a lot of evidence about dog fighting and animal cruelty in the direct area. It goes all the way up to a the police breaking up a dog fighting ring. From what they can piece together, it appears the rectory, when it was abandoned, was used to house the dogs before they would fight. It’s even possible and plausible, the fights took place in the rectory itself.

While looking around the house, Brian gets several scratches across his back. The same thing happened to Tim while remodeling. They are pretty noticeable, but the source is unknown.

During the actual investigation the team brings in a Doberman that wants nothing to do with that basement. He won’t go down the stairs and has a small fit when left alone at the top. He seems genuinely upset with something. Perhaps with good cause as the basement is where they found the kennels and ultimately find a "break stick". It certainly looks well worn with teeth marks and blood.

So what do we have here? Do we really have the spirit of vengeful dogs? Were the scratches on Brian’s back from animal thinking more abuse was coming? The dogs themselves were calling for help?

Murphy Residence – Windber, Pennsylvania

John heads off to Pennsylvania to investigate a hotel under renovation that might have some relics of it’s mining past still lingering. Blair, the owner, says there are reports of voices and whispers, a figure in the hallway, and there is a legend of woman who was killed on July 4 while watching fireworks. We can’t find a hotel without the story of woman being killed there.

John makes an interesting comment that the "atmosphere" might be causing people to believe they’re having paranormal experiences. When you mix mining towns with all the liquor, prostitutes, deaths and hard labor, you do get people expecting something to happen.

Also during the investigation they capture the sound of a whistle. They associate this with the whistle that used to go off when there was a mining accident. This would signal the town to come together to hear news about workers. If that’s the case, and since hundreds of workers would have been killed while working in the mines, it’s sound would certainly be associated with death. But are we sure it’s not a train whistle? I mean, they are next to some train tracks right? Sounds could be carrying from down the line? Did the sound happen at completely different time each day? Did they check if there was any train schedule there? Again, I think this is another big example of jumping to conclusions.

The discovery for the night is an old miners lamp. We all know the story of miners digging deep into the earth only to release methane or some other gas that would either asphyxiate them or blow them up. With the open flame of the lamp, explosions would be common. The thing that bothers me with this lamp and removing it, if there’s one, there has to be dozens, perhaps even hundreds. How does removing one change anything? As Blair mentions, there are 14 miles worth of tunnels or something like that. I really don’t see how taking this one item has solved any problems.

And what about that chair moving? Are we sure it’s not being rattled around by the trains or that the house isn’t vibrating because of the cars? There are tunnels you know and the vibrations would carry.

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