Ghost Adventures – Old Town San Diego – S05E03

Let this episode be a reminder that drinking and interviewing don’t always mix. Zak has one hell of a time doing shots at the Hotel and may have gotten slightly carried away. You never know though, was he really doing shots or as Nick suggest, where they just drinking root beer for the effect of it all? Either way, it makes for some amusing moments as Zak gets his drink on then tries to keep it all together and gets down to business.

The hotel is known for quite a bit of paranormal activity such as, bottles on the bar move, lights go on and off, and a woman felt a spirit go through her. A young girl died and a bed was made as a memorial to her. That bed was brought to the hotel when the owners wanted to get rid of it because of the experiences they were having. People feel the presence of Isadora Bandini, who opens the curtains to the window in her room, adjusts a large mirror in the corner and leaves indentations on the bed. There is a lot of activity, but there aren’t a lot of corresponding dark events. There aren’t stories of people being killed or mistreatment of servants. There just seems to be activity around the place without a root cause.

So, after Zak sobers up we get on with the investigation. They start things off in the Casa de Estudillo where they get a few experiences, but not much else in the way of tangible evidence. They all have a heavy feeling when they enter certain rooms as well as several knocks and the sounds of footsteps.

The investigation moves on to the Hotel where they bring in some dancers to get the party started. Senor Bandini loved a good party so perhaps he will come out to join them. Zak believes he hears some singing, but there isn’t an obvious connection to the dancers and Bandini. When the guys split up Zak brings out the Ovilus and gets several words like Mandy, Rose, Vase and Digging. Again, it doesn’t quite translate into anything solid.

Overall they get a few hard to define EVPs, some footsteps and a general feeling that someone is there. Did they actually capture the spirit of Bandini as he continues to oversee parties in the hotel? Hard to say. What we do know if that Zak had one heck of a good time and hung out with some of his fans.

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American Horror Story

Has anyone tuned in for this new series on FX? I just watched the pilot episode and it’s shaping up to be one strange and weird story.

We have a couple on the rebound from a miscarriage and infidelity trying to make a new start and forgive each other. They also have their awkward daughter who doesn’t fit in with the other kids and doesn’t try either. They move across the country to Los Angeles where they get a killer of a deal on an old, spacious house. The deal is too good to be true because the previous owners were killed there in a murder – suicide. Right off the bat we have a bad marriage, troubled teen and a house with a dangerously checkered past. But that’s not all. There’s the nosy neighbor who knows a hell of a lot more than she’s telling. Her daughter who has a habit of breaking into the house and telling people they’re going to die. And the housekeeper that simply shows up to resume her duties. She cleans the house regardless of who lives there. For good measure, there is the other troubled teen that has fantasies about killing his classmates and teachers. He also has a thing for the couple’s daughter.

Things get strange very quickly and nothing is as it appears. It’s Amityville, the Shining and A Haunting all mixed together. It’s a pretty interesting move to make this a series rather than a standalone movie. We should get plenty of character depth, plenty of history and plenty of chances for some good scares. This first episode certainly got the balls rolling; let’s hope the following episodes keep the tension building.

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The Dead Files – The Devil Made Me Do It – S01E02

I really want to like this show because of the premise. You take a psychic and a New York cop, take them to a location where paranormal activity is reported, let them come to their own conclusions and then compare notes. The show isn’t too bad and the information they uncover is intriguing, but Amy Allen, the medium, acts like such a complete loon at times it’s hard to deal with. When she’s just talking and going over details, she’s fine. She’s coherent and everything seems normal. On the walkthrough, she becomes babbling and incoherent. Her actions and mannerisms are the cliché way you see characters in a movie act during a séance. It’s just hard to deal with the constant almost nonsensical chatter she comes out with. It’s like listening to an 8-year old hopped up on Pixie Sticks. Plus, that stupid grainy overlay they put up when she’s talking is ridiculous. This isn’t Paranormal Activity. Get rid of that damn thing.

Stephen Dischiavi, the New York cop, always comes across as calm and collected. He has a matter of fact way of doing business and that keeps things grounded. He keeps the show from being laughable. I like what they’re doing, but there are some parts that are really hard to tolerate.

For this investigation, they go to a restaurant where strange phenomena have been occurring. The owner has seen figures and heard noises. The staff has also seen and heard things and many of them won’t go down there anymore. It sounds like there’s trouble in the basement. So what’s going on down there?

Amy does a tour of the place and flat out says she’s scared to go down to the basement of the building. She feels something evil is down there. Meanwhile, Stephen discovers a murder took place down there. The former owner of the property was beaten to death with a hammer. It turns out the owner made a sexual advance toward a male employee and that employee turned on him and beat him over a dozen times in the head and face.

Amy gets the strong impression of something evil and demonic down there. She’s constantly fidgeting with her hands and saying the place is bad. Amy begins to get impressions of what happened and goes to a sketch artist to get a picture of what she sees. Interestingly, the artist’s sketch looks somewhat like the man who’s been incarcerated for the crime. Amy is saying there is a lot of bad energy down there and it’s been there for a long time. This event may have been brought on by someone possessed by negative energy.

It’s a pretty interesting ride and terribly tragic story. One mistake made by both men and lives are ruined. One man’s dead and the other will spend the rest of his life in jail. But is he a victim too? Was he taken over by some force? Was he truly not himself when the events happened?

Amy gets the owner to perform cleansing rituals on the basement to keep the evil entity in check. Is this something they need to do forever? Will this evil force move on? Will it grow stronger and cause even more destruction? It’s hard to say how things will play out, but the restaurant staff aren’t taking any chances.

Ghost Adventures – Mizpah Hotel – S05E02

For this adventure the guys head out to the Mizpah Hotel, a location they’ve been trying to investigate for years. They’ve continually asked for permission, but have always been turned down. Why do they want to check it out so badly? From Nick himself this is the place where he saw one of his first apparitions. He’d been interested in the paranormal, but when he saw a blue orb moving back and forth between rooms he wanted to learn and see more. Now they have the chance to come in and see what dwells within this old hotel from early mining days.

The legends state that multiple deaths occurred at the hotel. The Lady in Red was murdered in the halls, men were killed after allegedly stealing money from the vault downstairs and even a Senator was found dead in bathtub full of ice. There have certainly been some strange occurrences. Do Zak, Nick and Aaron get to the bottom of them?

As they try to make contact with the Lady in Red they get some usual activity where Aaron hears something, but Zak doesn’t. Zak is asking her name and says she shouldn’t just be known as the Lady in Red. When they check into it, they discover the words were only caught on Aaron’s recorder. Was the response only meant for Aaron? It’s not something you can make out clearly, but there is a sound there. We might have been on the verge of knowing who she was.

As the investigation continues, they get more EVPs in the hallway as well as the sound of footsteps. Nick feels something brush past him as it moves down the hall. The follow the voices and finally decide to split up to cover as much of the building as possible at the same time. Aaron heads down to the basement where he has some odd experiences with the elevator. In watching him, it looks like the elevator opens without anyone pressing the buttons. Is someone inviting Aaron in? Strangely, he walks right on in. An elevator opening isn’t that big a deal, except this one isn’t supposed to work anymore. With Aaron inside, he begins to talk and ask questions. When he asks if the spirit will open the doors and let him out, the doors do indeed open. In reviewing the footage, there is also a supposed black figure darting around just outside the elevator. It’s hard to say if the elevator is really reacting to Aaron or if it’s actually broken to the point of the doors opening unexpectedly. Either way, that whole scene smacks of something from Stephen King and I’m not too confident I would just go walking in there.

The next usual thing is the wood experiment Zak has going on upstairs in the hallway. He’s trying to make contact with the Senator and puts two boards together in an upside down V-shape. As he talks and tries to make contact, the boards topple over. There is no one around them and they do look pretty sturdy. But, how are we to know they just didn’t topple over? Zak anticipates my question, sets it up again, and goes even further to prove how sturdy they are by jumping around wildly right next to the boards. Sure enough, they stand firm. Based on that it’s hard to say they just fell over. And while we watch the footage the boards fall over again. Odd thing is they topple in the opposite direction as the first time. Is Zak capturing something walking through the hallway? On the one hand, that’s not exactly scientific and boards can just fall over. But, on the other, that’s cool as hell. Do we have a spirit wandering the halls and this is blatant proof? Like I said, I’m not sure what the deal is, but it’s cool.

Nick has some interesting experiences of his own on the 5th floor. He too is trying to make contact with the Senator, but instead gets a female voice on the recorder. Is this the kept woman or Lady in Red trying to talk to him?

Overall, they had some very interesting activity going on. It’s not just the captured voices, but also the boards falling and the unusual behavior of the elevator that has me intrigued. Is the elevator just shorting out or was someone trying to get Aaron’s attention? Did those boards just fall over on their own? Twice? Or did something interact with them? I’m not sure what’s going on, but it was highly entertaining. I love the old mining town investigations. There is just so much history and so many strange events that happened back then. Unfortunately, so many of the stories involve greed, corruption and death. But strangely, that also seems to make the spirits thrive.

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