Haunted Collector – The Sanitarium & Firehouse Phantom – S01E04

For this episode John investigates a house that sits on the site of a former sanitarium. The owner claims to see apparitions walking around the house and has felt hands pushing down on her. The claims go so far as to say a little girl was scratched repeatedly by an unseen force. Judging from the stories it sounds like a whole lot of activity is going on.

Aimee talks to a witness who sets up the old sanitarium like it was from a horror movie. People would go to there but would never be seen again. Groceries were never delivered there. And there was an ill tempered woman who kept people away. I’m surprised there was no mention of a swamp creature.

As John and Aimee investigate the house the digital recorders keep cutting out when they go near an old poor table. This doesn’t happen once, or even twice, but multiple times and with different recorders. Unfortunately, nothing really comes of this. I was expecting all sorts of things to happen in this area but all they got was the word "suffer" when they got the recorder working several feet away. Was the recorder malfunctioning? Is there something sinister in that corner? It seems like we were set up for a whole lot of nothing with that one.

For some reason John wants to have a look in the crawl space and sends Brian in there to check it out. He finds some broken glass that ends up being the remnants of a poison bottle. Keep in mind poison bottles were very common during this era. Mice and other rodents carried horrible disease so people laid out the poison like Pez candy to get rid of them.

The bottle is what John takes to his museum and puts under glass.

The Firehouse:

Next John investigates a firehouse in Pueblo Colorado (a town I used to live in) where there are reports of fire trucks driving themselves. They’ve also had several veteran firefighters die while on duty and there is a report of a boy falling down the fire pole.

The fire truck story sounds a bit suspect so it was good to see John debunk that. That model truck could shake violently as it idled and could release the brake. Obviously the truck could then take without a driver.

The team uses something called the Ghost Box which I assume is the same thing as the Spirit Box we’ve seen used on Ghost Adventures so frequently. As it runs Brian and Chris feel they’re talking to William who used to work there. William wants to speak with John. Unfortunately when they get him the conversation is pretty much over. They get the word "blaze" and not much else.

As they investigate they come across a bookshelf which has a broach in it. It’s a mourning broach and could have been worn by a widow of a firefighter. They feel this is the item to take out of the station and off it goes to John’s museum.

There were some interesting aspects to this episode. I really liked the debunking they did with this one. They didn’t take the story of the truck at face value and when they saw the little cars had moved while investigating the home they checked to see if the floor was level and found out it wasn’t. I still think the daytime sweep is something other investigators need to take up. Checking out the location by day seems like a pretty smart idea.

The thing I didn’t like is how the items John felt were the source of the problem were handled. Both of these items point to a problem I brought up before. All John does is put a glass cover over the. Why couldn’t he do the same thing for the owners and give the items back? Sure, giving a broken glass bottle back would be pretty pointless, but that broach belonged to someone and is a symbol of their loss, it seems like they should treat it like the heirloom it is and leave it in the firehouse not display it as some haunted trinket.

I still don’t understand why these items are the source of the problem when John can store them just fine with no ill effects.

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Paranormal Challenge – Eastern State Penitentiary – S01E02

Another Paranormal Challenge and another episode that left me scratching my head and wondering who these people were. But it was Eastern State Penitentiary which is such a cool location I had to tune in and watch. Considering all the past investigations I was hoping these two teams were going to walk away with tons of usable evidence. In the end what they had was exceedingly light.

Once again, the two teams left me wanting. One comes across as a madcap group of jerks while the other seems nervous and confused. I don’t like these kinds of matchups. You know, just do the damn investigation, this posturing and acting like your some rebel with a cause is pointless.

As usual, the group that acts the toughest ends up looking like the biggest morons. Scott W. looks like a reject from the Village People with that guard hat on and doesn’t seem to know what he’s doing. He has some grand ideas but can’t seem to actually get anything done. His team seems lost and inefficient the whole time.

The Mel Meter is going off all the time but I don’t really think that qualifies as anything. It’s an interesting device but I don’t know that I have any confidence in it. I mean, what is it really showing us? I do have to say I liked Sharon and her mocking tone as she walked down the cellblocks. I like her "I’m just a girl down here by myself" attitude.

The main excitement of the night was when Tony, who was down in The Hole, starts freaking out and hauls ass out of there. Did he have a panic attack or did something happen? It sort of looks like he worked himself up and his mind started playing tricks. I was expecting some evidence to come from that but I don’t think it did.

Anyway, the investigation didn’t turn up much even though there was lots of banging and odd noises in the dark. However, there is obviously water on the floor so are they just hearing running water or drips? Are those sounds just one of the many animals I’m sure lives in that abandoned space?

And speaking of evidence what they presented was pretty lame. About the only thing interesting was the "Hell no, I don’t think they know how to suck" EVP. I didn’t really hear that whole phrase but the word "suck" does sound like it’s in the mix. It’s not overwhelming stuff but not too bad.

The other evidence of the "help me", "just leave" and crap visual evidence presented by Northampton should have just been thrown out. They were grasping at straws there. I didn’t hear anything in their audio, and video evidence of an apparition and some sort of bubble made me laugh.

Overall this was a pretty disappointing episode again. These teams don’t seem to know what they’re doing and they aren’t actually accomplishing anything. I still think this is a neat idea but there is something missing … oh yeah, evidence. Perhaps they will come up with two teams who are more interested in finding evidence or debunking  than in pounding on their chests.

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Paranormal Challenge – Rolling Hills Asylum – S01E01

So this is the premiere episode of Paranormal Challenge where two teams of investigators face off to collect the best evidence within a given space and within a given time period. Not only will they be rated on the quality of the evidence but also on their teamwork, understanding of the equipment they have and choosing the best locations to gather evidence. It’s an interesting idea but quite frankly this inaugural episode fell short of being interesting or entertaining.

To start with the girls seemed nervous and completely out of sorts. They acted like this was their first investigation rather being season professionals. Besides dropping the equipment they came across as tentative and scared. When they got voices on the PX they wanted to turn on the lights. The word "paranormal" coming through the device brought everything to a grinding halt. Rather than following that up with more questions or more investigation they froze and almost came unglued. One of them starts to cry.

The guys were arrogant bastards and after only a few minutes I really wish Dan had been thrown down the stairs by Raymond. They were annoying to watch and while they seemed a little more organized the overly aggressive stance they took with everything was unneeded. Also, Adam, if you’re going to start busting up the place to create dowsing rods perhaps you should know what they are for and how to use them. This just comes across as moronic. Further, Dan, you lose all your cool and machismo points (not that you actually had any) for talking shit to a spirit and then crapping your pants yelling the telltale "Oh My God" when you get a response. This makes you look like an idiot.

Ditch the whole, we didn’t come here to lose mentality too.

So what about the evidence?

The girls presented a very odd EVP of what sounds like a struggle and then some screaming. It almost sounds like it was cut from a horror movie.

The video evidence of the orbs was weak and should be thrown out.

The guys presented an audio of "I am here" which I couldn’t hear at all. They also claim to get "Kill him now or I’m gonna get him" which again I don’t hear at all. I played that part several times and can’t make out a single word.

The video evidence contains orbs so to me that is junk. They have a still photo of what they claim is a silhouette against the wall. That’s a bit of a stretch I’m afraid.

I thought the evidence from both teams was really weak. And quite frankly I thought both teams were really weak. It was the battle of underachievement versus overcompensation. I was completely underwhelmed with this episode on many levels.

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Ghost Adventures – Loretta Lynn’s Plantation – S05E06

At least I think this is episode 6 of a new season. It’s sort of hard to tell where one ended and the other started. I’ve been completely off in my numbering so maybe this will straighten things out.

The team heads out to Loretta Lynn’s Plantation in Hurricane Mills Tennessee to investigate a series of paranormal claims by multiple people. Apparently the activity has been going on for 40 years, basically the entire time Loretta has owned the plantation. Some of the paranormal activity includes:

Loretta saw a woman in white on the balcony of her home wringing her hands and crying.

A tour guide was pushed down the stairs while trying to adjust some albums and pictures.

Loretta has heard footsteps on the stairs and so has her granddaughter.

The granddaughter Megan has seen a figure at the foot of her bed.

Shadows have been seen in the mill house.

In the Brown Room Loretta’s son claimed he felt and a saw a Confederate Soldier taking his boots off.

It seems the house is charged with activity. And multiple people claim to have experiences. It seems like everyone who works there has seen the woman in white – the wife of JT Anderson who lost her baby and died less than two weeks later. Multiple people also claim to see Confederate soldiers wandering around the property.

The property does have a link to the Civil War since many troops camped on the grounds and there was a small battle that took place. The Anderson Cemetery is located on the property and a slave pit used to make up the basement. So all in all there is a lot going on and Loretta’s home has a long history of battles, slavery and several deaths.

So what do we get from the investigation?

Zak starts things off with the Ovilus II which offers up the words "Must" "Kill" "Sixty" which Zak and Nick associated with killing sixty men in the mill house. It’s an interesting phrase to be sure. They also get a series of words such as "Dig" "Ground" "Lot" and "Manifest" which Zak and Nick interpret as they need to go to the cemetery so that JT Anderson can manifest. The device is throwing out words left and right so the guys rush over to the cemetery to where this trail leads.

Once there they get more words such as "Save", "Two", "Moan", "Seen" and "Brown" and draw the conclusion that JT Anderson tried to save his wife and daughter. He is also admitting to being seen in the Brown Room. That is a lot of wild connections but it sort of makes sense, but it’s really molding the data to support your conclusion.

Like some sort of scavenger hunt they head back into the house and break out a parabolic dish. It’s an interesting choice as Zak begins to pick up all sorts f phrases like "I hear them… I hear them coming" and the sound of footsteps. As Zak asks if someone is up there he claims to get "I need to go downstairs".

Everything seems to be leading them into the Brown Room, which is supposedly the hotspot of activity, but when they get there not much happens. Things are surprisingly quiet in this area.

With that part of the investigation over the guys split up with Aaron going to the slave pit while Zak and Nick go to the Mill House. Not much happens with Aaron but Zak claims to get the name Loretta Lynn when he asks who owns the land.

It was certainly a lively interview and it’s interesting to see Loretta Lynn discussing her experiences and being open about them. I’m not sure how I feel about that Ovilus device. I have my doubts about the validity. And the EVPs? Well, as always, hard to decipher and certainly open to interpretation. But a fun episode none the less. I think they did a good job of capturing the history of the place.

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