Haunted Collector – Haunted Mansion and Ghost Mill – S02E01

Haunted Mansion

The previous season of Haunted Collector had a lot of promise, but so many of the ideas and conclusions didn’t gel with me. There were massive leaps in logic and a habit of making the evidence fit with a pre-determined outcome. Overall it was still interesting and some of their debunking procedures were right on the mark. I’m willing to give the second season a look, but after just the first episode, I see some things haven’t changed.

We start off by visiting a home a Warsaw Kentucky, where the owner has claims of doors opening, shadows and vases being knocked off display cases. There hasn’t been any contact or other physical encounters, but the owner senses something and wants John to look into it. Ok, fair enough, she has quite a few Native American artifacts so there is validity to her concerns.

Brian and Chris start off with some excellent investigation into the shadow and how that would be caused by the lights off in the distance. John and Jesslyn do some great work in the bedroom by showing the display cabin to be unbalanced and simply walking around can cause things to shake. People forget just how easy it is to make furniture and display cases shake. Sure, they weigh a ton if you straight lift them, but once in place, they’re not always as sturdy as they appear.

Still looking for root cause, John has an EVP session with Charlet. She seems to be the focus of the energy and intent. They get what sounds like “oh my god” and in the tone of child’s voice. There is also a lot of activity on their new “rem pod”. They had previously brought out a bone, which looked to be human and got a massive temperature change. However, the change was coming from under the table. Not to mention there was a fireplace a mere four feet away from them. Yes, the temperature drop was noticeable, but are we sure it wasn’t a draft from the fireplace? The house sits right next to the water and is over 200 years old. No draft in a place like that? No cold air blowing off the water?

There is conjecture that the bone may have come from a child, perhaps a victim of the riverboat accident that took place right in front of the house. Two steamers collided and dozens of lives were lost. Are we sure this is a child’s bone? It’s not like they took it to a lab and did any sort of real testing. They did have someone come out and look at it, but that’s hardly the same thing. Next, that’s a big leap to say it’s from a drowning victim. That’s based on one sound heard from one EVP. The conclusion is made before any additional investigation is done. In fact, John and the team hardly investigated the place. One random sound you think is a child’s voice and the place is haunted? Easy now, let’s not jump the gun or anything…

And supposedly when the bone is buried out in the backyard again, all the problems go away. Ok, two of the main issues were debunked with no evidence to support any of the claims and then a bone is buried in the yard supposedly bringing peace and rest to a lost girl. It wasn’t shown there were any paranormal claims in the first place and now there is no activity? Again, they’re forging links that I don’t think go together.

Ghost Mill

John and the team head out to Huron, Ohio to investigate an old Mill that’s set for demolition. There are claims of the little manholes being opened, objects moving, cries from the tunnels and banging. Ok, first of all, it’s an old building that’s coming apart, of course there will be bangs and noises. Second, it’s near the water and the damn thing is constructed like a wind tunnel, things getting blown open seems perfectly normal. The wind whistling through the air vents would sound like screaming (we’ve seen and hear this sort of thing dozens of times). So overall, all of this sounds pretty normal to me. But John heads out to see what he can find.

They do try to make things pretty dramatic with the blood on the hard hat. That’s transmission fluid. It’s viscous and red and would be in tons of the old machinery. Again, making something out of nothing for dramatic effect.

It doesn’t surprise me at all that there would be deaths associated with the Mill. Working conditions would be poor and owners care more about profits than lives. Accidents would happen and considering the size of the place, it would be easy for people to fall or get injured by the machinery. However, I highly doubt the story of the person being walled up in the silo. That story has come up so many times. Every time you investigate a mill you hear that story. It’s just as cliche as a worked being walled up in a house during construction. Could something like that during the time? Absolutely, but I really think those stories need to be taken with a grain of salt.

Finally, we have John bust up some rocks and find a lunchbox. Very typical for the area and doesn’t really prove anything. The scalping knife is extremely interesting as a relic and I agree, it’s probably killed some people, but I’m sure it was scooped up in the dirt used for the concrete or was churned up when the site was being planned. I don’t think it has anything to do with the Mill itself and is simply there. Not every place has to be haunted by the spirit of Native Americans you know. When we step back for a minute, they didn’t find any evidence, they didn’t capture anything visual or audio, they had no experiences and just happen to find some relics in the debris. Again, some interesting stretches to make it all fit.

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Destination Truth – Hanging Coffins and Kiyik Adam – S05E07

Anything dealing with exposed coffins, especially when those coffins are stacked on top of each other or are simply hanging off a cliff, is going to be a little unnerving. This latest adventure was no exception as Josh and the crew head to Milan to investigate hauntings at the local burial site. A tradition of hanging or stacking the coffins has been practiced for thousands of years. The deceased are carried up the mountain and laid to rest with dozens of others. Over time, those coffins has become worn and exposed with the remains becoming visible to passersby. But the claim is these spirits aren’t at rest and their cries and apparitions can be seen on a regular basis. Are there indeed restless spirits or is there something more earthly going on?

Josh makes the long trek up into the mountains, but not before stopping off to visit the market and talk with the locals. He also spends a little time spinning some pottery and making a disturbingly uncomfortable re-enactment of the pottery scene from Ghost. I’m not sure how I should feel.

But moving on… The team hikes their way into the interior and find dozens of coffins stacked in a cave. They are literally sitting on top of each other with the boards showing obvious signs of wear and decay. So much so, that Richie gives us an accurate account of the contents. I have to say, this seems like an incredibly awkward to get rid of the deceased. Carrying someone up the mountain, then into the cave, then over the river and to the top of the pile? Or as we see later, scale the rock face and bolt the coffin to the wall?

As Josh starts his EVP session and asks for signs of a spiritual presence, the flashlights begin to flicker, then the camera itself goes out. What should we make of this? Is this a sign or a sign of faulty equipment. I hate the “turn off the flashlight trick”, but the team has never done this one before so who knows.

As they ask for more, Josh becomes very unsettled at the sight of what he believes is a black mass right behind the cameraman. He’s so convinced of what he saw, he becomes visibly upset and even makes the comment that he either saw something or was hallucinating. Ironically, right behind the area of the sighting is a coffin. Kind of makes you wonder.

They move on to the next area, which is the location of coffins hanging from the rock face. Josh and Richie get the climbing gear and hoist themselves up. They do an EVP session about 20 feet off the ground, inline with the coffins themselves. What they get in response sounds like the creaking of a coffin lid. Was that the actual sound of someone trying to get out? Or was it just the wind or a change in temperature causing the wood to creak? I tell you this, I would have needed a new pair of pants. A sound like that under those conditions? I would have made a mess.

Although the investigation doesn’t outright give off the greatest evidence, when they get back to Los Angeles, they come across some interesting things. They don’t capture the dark mass Josh saw, but they do capture the creaking. The also discover a lot of the whispering and chatter people hear is most likely due to all the bats that live in the caves. However, when they review their digital pictures of the coffins, strange images appear. The first two contain some really unusual mist formations, but the third shows what looks like an apparition. Overlaid on top of everything else is a woman in profile with a distinct head, arms and facial features. This goes way beyond the usual matrixing. Seriously, what the hell is that? If this had come from anyone else, I would dismiss it as such. But that is a very clear image of what appears to be a person. I’m quite stunned.

So, are there spirits still moving around in this ancient burial site? The bats, the wind, and even the imagination can explain and debunk many of the things people see and hear. But the large mass Josh saw combined with the apparition in the picture have me wondering…

Kiyik Adam

The Kiyik Adam is another variation on Big Foot that inhabits the outer regions of Kazakhstan. Sightings have been on the rise and residents claim there is a 9 foot monster with thick gray fur out in the woods.

More than the investigation, this episode was fun to watch because of the people, their vibrant and elegant clothes as well as their hospitality. Watching Josh with the villagers and playing musical instruments was simply wonderful. I love the way Josh and the team respect other cultures and immerse themselves in it. I wish we could all be a little more tolerant like that.

But that first market they went to was a little unsettling. I guess they do indeed cook every part of the chicken and not every sign with a horse on it is for a pony ride. But hey, not everyone goes to a McDonald’s either.

So the team heads out into the night to see what they can find. They do hear some odd whistling sounds in the night. Witnesses report this same sound. It does sound like an odd whistle, but give it a few seconds and it sounds more like the screech of a bird.

They keep looking around and get a big thermal hit on the edge of the plains. They aren’t able to catch up with it, but something was there.

This investigation doesn’t yield much in the way of evidence and when they do further analysis, they do come to the conclusion that the screeching in the night is more than likely a bird, that the animal across the plain was a large elk or perhaps even a bear. It does seem that what most people are running into is some sort of bear. That would explain the height and the fur. Does that mean the “Big Foot” doesn’t exist? With that much unexplored area, anything could be out there. In fact, multiple “anythings” could be out there.

Too bad this was the last episode of the season. Seems like we waited nearly a year and have to wait again. Oh well, it was a hell of a lot of fun. The hanging coffins was pretty damn interesting, but the episode about Vlad was perhaps the most interesting. Not just because it was about Dracula, but because of the people, the legend, the buildings and paintings they discovered. It seems they just scratched the surface of that story and that area. I would love to see them go back and explore that area some more.

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Haunted Highway – Silver City Ghost Town and Shunka Warakin – S01E06

Silver City Ghost Town

I usually scoff at supposed "ghost towns" simply because the buildings are so run down, animals are living in the walls, boards are creaking and overall there is so much that can easily be explained away. However, this investigation turned out to be a little different and the things Jael and Devin came across would have scared the hell out of me? Are they all paranormal? Well, that’s the question…

We have the usual stories of misfortune associated with a hotel and the gold rush. We did seem to be missing the story of the jilted prostitute with an unborn child though. That always seems to come up. But anyway, as Devin is walking around upstairs a door swings open. Not really that big a deal, just a broken door knob or loose hinges. He thinks the same thing and checks the door to make sure it’s shut. Just after he walks away, it opens again. Maybe he didn’t secure it like the thought he did. Maybe it settles into some odd groove and then opens.

But next up is the lamp above the door that swings on it’s own. Sure, it could just be an lamp that just gave way. It might do that sort of thing all the time. Hell, it might just be broken and barely hanging on. Combine that with the door and it’s kinda weird.

There is also the rocking chair that seems to start rocking on it’s own. More than likely that was caused by some uneven floorboards and their walking around made one pop up enough to set the chair in motion. I don’t attribute anything paranormal to that one, for the most part.

Then there is Jael getting trapped in the "isolation chamber" in the Masonic lodge. Right after she asks if the spirits want her to leave, the small door slams shut on her. That right there is enough to make you ruin a perfectly good pair of pants. Was that just one hell of a coincidence? Was it some off camera trickery? Does that door close like that all the time and it’s no big deal?

Maybe all these events are just a bunch of coincidences and actually don’t mean a thing. Like I said before, it’s an old hotel, things are rusted, broken, damaged and more than likely no one is actually taking care of these things. Clearly, when we looked in certain rooms they were a complete disaster. Regardless, when you put them altogether, whatever the cause, that is one scary ass place.

This episode was pretty damn awesome.

Shunka Warakin

Once again, this is story similar to El Chupacabra, a creature that goes out, kills animals and leaves their carcases behind. The locals say it’s some sort of conglomeration of multiple animals. Jael and Devin are told to head out onto the plains to find it. So that’s what they do.

Using a goat as bait, they scour the area looking for signs. It’s hard to tell what they’re looking for, but ultimately they find some blood and what looks to be some torn fur from an animal. It does look like something nasty took place out there. They hear lots of howls and get hits in the Flir. Ironically, they just happen to have an RC car with them. Was that planned or was it always in the back of the car? Anyway…

They strap a camera to the car and discover the noises they keep hearing are related to a pack of dogs. And not cute little puppies other, but big, heavy, muscular looking dogs. It’s pretty easy to draw the conclusion that the dogs have at least something to do with the animal killings. A couple of hungry dogs could easily rip an animal to pieces, but if anything came up on them during the act they would just take off and leave the carcass behind. These could be escaped dogs or a pack that has been out there for quite some time. Considering the size of these ranches it would be almost impossible to find them or keep track of them.

It seems the Shunka Warakin has a pretty earthly explanation.

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Haunted Highway – Louisiana Swamp Woman and Pioneer Cemetery – S01E05

Louisiana Swamp Woman

In the intro to this episode Jack reveals that he has been diagnosed with MS and is handing over the reigns of the investigation to Jael and Devin. I wish Jack the best of luck with his medical treatments and hopefully we’ll see him soon.

Louisiana Swamp Woman

The story goes there were plans to steal away the Natchez Indian land and the tribe retaliated by killing two hundred French settlers. The French didn’t take too kindly to that and sent down 8,000 troops to deal with the Indians. Blood was shed, lives were lost and the tripe was wiped out. It’s rumored there was one lone survivor.

Jael and Devin head out to Cotile Lake where it’s rumored the woman fled to. There is location of multiple sightings.

While out near the lake they hear lots of noises, which would be typical and we have Devin slipping into the lake. I’m impressed that he discounts this as just him slipping and not some paranormal event.

However, there is an odd cold spot they keep chasing around the lake. It looks like a blue figure showing up in different spots. Each time they get close it seems to disappear and show up somewhere else.

Is there such a thing as the Swamp Woman, a sort of Siren that leads people out into the water and drowns them? I don’t think the evidence really confirms that, but Devin has his own opinions about what he saw and experienced.

Pioneer Cemetery

This is the legend of woman that has been separated from her family after her death. He husband and children were buried together, but due to a family feud, she hasn’t been laid to rest with them. It’s said her spirit can be said near their plot in the cemetery and that she comes to play with the children.

Jael sets up a test for a child to play with a ball. She also puts up a wind chime that will move with very slight breezes. Strangely, when she steps out of frame, the ball goes flying off it’s perch. I’m always suspicious right after the investigators go out of frame.

Next is Devin provoking some horse thieves with his noose over the tree branch. He tries to get a reaction and go so far as to put his neck in the noose. Moments later he claims the rope is hot around his neck.

Finally, as Jael and Devin are together near the gravesite of the family there appears to be some sort of blur just off to the side of them. Is this the figure of the mom? Is this just matrixing from the camera?

So did they capture evidence of a mother and her son playing in the cemetery? Did a spirit energy kick the ball? Are there apparitions roaming the grounds? Did they get enough out of this investigation to draw a real conclusion? There were some strange occurrences, but are they truly attributable to the paranormal?

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