The Exorcist Files – Infestation – S01E01

I just watched Exorcist Files, a new series from the Discovery Channel. The basic premise, at least for this first episode, is a discussion with several members of the Catholic Church who work in the area of exorcism. For this episode we main focus on Adam Blai who is a member of the International Association of Exorcists. First off, who knew such a thing existed? Second, he is the man who goes in to investigate claims of haunting, demonic infestations and possessions. In this episode, we get a glimpse of three of the cases he has worked on where supernatural forces are at play.

The first dramatization feels like it’s been pulled from the Amityville Horror. There are strange events in the house and the residents feel like they’re living in a dram state.

The second story discusses what seems like a haunted building with some interesting video and audio footage. I will say the audio footage sounds like someone coughing and talking, but the video footage shows all sorts of objects moving around such as doors falling over, brooms moving back and forth, chairs swiveling and things rolling around on a desk. That part was actually pretty wild.

The third story involves a ghost hunter. A woman goes out to investigate the paranormal and apparently brings something home with her. The interesting part here is that the church, or at least these representatives of the church, isn’t too keen on ghost hunting and paranormal investigations. They feel this is just inviting evil into you and your home and that it’s only a matter of time before something goes wrong. This seemed a little strange to me considering the number of priests who have worked with paranormal groups in the past. They were also indicating that saying a little prayer before you go and hunt down things from the spirit world isn’t going to help you.

Finally, we have a woman who’s had multiple bad experiences after her investigations into the paranormal. She now sees dark shadow figures, hears the sounds of footsteps and feels and evil presence. While in prayer she asked that the helpful sprits enter her to protect her. Adam says this was a big mistake and that she just invited the demons to use her body. That seems a little outlandish, but Adam comes across as a pretty levelheaded guy so you feel he has everyone’s best interest in mind.

There was interesting information in this. I assume this is a new series so I look forward to the next one. I think the discussion of the paranormal was the most intriguing part. If you haven’t had a chance to watch it, you might want to check it out. If you do a quick search on this show, you’ll find dozens of articles stating the Vatican gave backing to the show, then pulled out. From what I can tell, the Vatican never had anything to do with the show and at best may have offered a couple people to talk to. It looks like there are 10 episodes scheduled, but as with anything related to this sort of material and the church, we’ll have to wait and see if the rest of the episodes make it to the air. Ironically, if you to go the Discovery Channel website it’s pretty much impossible to find anything about this show.

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Paranormal Challenge – USS Hornet – S01E11

For this episode we head off to California to investigate the USS Hornet, a Navy ship that found itself in the middle of dozens of conflicts, caused the death of many enemies while at the same time driving its own crew to the breaking point. The crew faced death and destruction on a daily basis and for some it was too much to bear. Some say members of the crew never left and their energy can be felt in multiple parts of the ship. So how did the teams do in their handling of the ship and collecting evidence? In many ways, this was a very interesting episode with some solid investigation and understanding of the equipment and location. On the other hand, we see some of the classic problems we’ve seen before.

First off, I’m just going to come right out and say that Dante from the Soul Seekers is an asshole. I don’t know why he feels that going on a ship and acting like he’s the biggest, baddest man around is going to get him anywhere. His constant yelling was distasteful and annoying. Perhaps a little respect is in order? Why do all these people feel you have to be combative in every situation? Dante is yelling and saying he needs to see their power while in the very next breath he’s saying “Thank you sir” and “Can you do this for me please, sir?” You can’t go running around acting like a thug one second and then wash it away by saying “sir”. What the hell kind of process is that? It makes you look like a damn fool.

What about the evidence? There is sure to be a lot of talk about the flashlight going on and off by itself. Well, this is a trick we’ve seen for years and it’s no more spectacular now than it was three years ago when Jason and Grant of the Ghost Hunters started doing it. Sure, it looks like the flashlight is responding to commands, but if it’s the old ploy of unscrewing the bulb then it really isn’t that exciting. The results look great, but you can manipulate them by bumping it or stomping around. It is a pretty cool piece of evidence, however I’ve seen this done before and I just don’t put any faith in it. It’s a little too “delicate” for my liking.

The other big piece is the Morse code that blasts out of the Mel Meter. The interesting part is that the Mel Meter isn’t known for making those kinds of sounds let alone in that pattern. It’s very exciting that you can clearly hear what sounds like Morse code coming out. It would be hard to say it’s anything else. Do we really have a coded message from beyond? I don’t know, but I’d love to see them go back down there and keep working on that experiment.

As far as the gals from SRIP, I’m glad they had enough common sense to not show more evidence of dust floating around. We’ve seen all that before, we don’t need anymore. Unfortunately, the teams are still committing the error of capturing themselves on audio as an EVP. They swear up and down it’s not them saying anything, but when you match up the audio with the video footage you can see them talking or more to the point whispering and they get all excited that they captured evidence. This proves something I have believed and said many times, EVPs are interesting, but they are so very subjective that for the most part they should just be discounted.

I really wasn’t all that thrilled with this episode. I think the Soul Seekers team acted like a bunch of juvenile thugs let loose on a ship. Their style of dress, talk and attitude all suggest “gangsta” rather than “investigator”. I think there is a lot more potential in this show and I wish they would live up to it.

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Paranormal Challenge – Linda Vista Hospital – S01E10

This was an absolutely horrible episode showcasing two teams that in my opinion have no investigation skills whatsoever. They acted like a bunch of kids running around in the dark, making a ton of noise, running from room to room without any sort of plan of how to capture evidence. They were juvenile, they were scared, they were annoying. This was nowhere near as bad as the previous episode, but I was so close to switching this episode off and saying forget it. Neither of these teams has any credibility with me.

Verify Paranormal acted like a bunch of drunken college kids running around a supposed haunted dorm. There was no method to how they investigated, they never stopped sit and listen to their environment, they didn’t do any EVPs (at least that they showed) and by the end of the show they were acting like a bunch of 8 year olds. What the hell is with walking around with pantyhose on your shoulder?

Also, what in the hell is wrong with their team member Scott who freaks out for no reason and starts running down the hall screaming for things to leave him alone? What the hell kind of investigator is he? This is on par with the Brian Harnois, "Dude, Run" fiasco of years gone by. If you’re that damns scared of the dark, don’t go hunting for ghosts.

I also have a serious issue with David sticking his hands in the human remains in the crematorium. Those are human remains, show some @#$%ing respect!!!

Paranormal EXP didn’t bring much more to the table. They seemed confused by the equipment and didn’t spend any time taking EVPs or trying to understand the environment. There was constant talking amongst themselves and at no point did it even seem like they were doing an investigation. It was more like they were wandering through an old building to get to somewhere else. They may have been a little more mature than Verify Paranormal, which isn’t saying much, but they didn’t convince me they knew what the hell they were seasoned pros at this sort of thing.

At the halfway point, I was ready to give up. I completely disagree with Dave and think these two teams are dreadful. They’re scared of everything and act like everything is a complete joke. It was a chore to watch the second half.

I thought the evidence they presented was crap. They had a couple of odd clanging noises and a reflection. I guess I should be happy, at least they didn’t show any orbs or capture themselves talking into the recorders.

This episode sucked. It was amateur hour on every level. The only redeeming part was Dr. Michael Shermer who gave both teams a false story about the hospital’s past. I thought that was a great experiment. It seemed like Verify Paranormal feel into it a little bit though. I’d love to see some more of that.

It’s disappointing this show is so hit or miss. Once again, I thought things were getting better and then we run into the pure sewage that was the last episode and then the waste of time that this episode turned out to be.

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Paranormal Challenge – La Purisma – S01E09

I’ve been quite lax in getting around to watching this episode and after only 20 minutes it was obvious I didn’t miss anything. I should have known by the abysmal names they chose of Paranormal Hot Squad and Ghost Bros that this episode would be on downward spiral. And seriously, who the hell invited Freddie Mercury to the investigation?

The guys start of by saying they plan to kill the women. What in the hell is that all about? The Indians were the victims here, what are they thinking? The ladies are no better by the constant antagonizing, screaming and taunting. What spirits are going to come out for this band of assholes? Why do they think going around being idiots and disrespecting everything will lead to results? It obvious everyone wants to talk to a loud, obnoxious, foul-mouthed bitch.

After 20 minutes of the investigation I was done. I hate these two teams and both of them are embarrassing. They should be ashamed of the way they acted and I can’t understand why Paranormal Challenge even aired this piece of crap. The whole thing comes across as the start of a low rent horror flick. It’s sad and pathetic. Regardless of whether or not this place is haunted they need to show some respect for the dead. They also need to show some respect for a place of worship. None of this is suitable behavior for a church.

Just when things were started to get better they bring this band of morons into the mix.

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