Ghost Asylum

Ghost Asylum – St Vincent’s Mental Asylum – S01E04

imageFor this episode of Ghost Asylum, we head off to Oklahoma City to visit the St. Vincent Mental Asylum – another location I have never heard of. It’s tragic that so many of these asylums have the same checkered past. This one started in the 1940’s as a treatment center for the mentally ill. Things went quite poorly and the story goes that a nurse smothered two patients. It was then taken over by a priest named Frank Dolan who turned it into a drug rehab center. Thing again went quite poorly and Father Dolan was killed on the property by the patients he was trying to help. The facility only lasted until the 1980’s when it was shut down. The property is now in private hands, but it stands abandoned. TWC spoke to the owner and he says it was an investment, although he’s not sure what to do with the place. Perhaps it’ll be renovated, perhaps just turned to rubble.

But many people have come to investigate this location and they talk of shadow figures in different parts of the asylum. They hear creaking and the banging of doors. They also claim to see floating orbs out in the woods. We have to take some of this with a grain of salt. The woods are a stones throw away from a neighborhood with plenty of street lights and traffic. Additionally, this is an old, broken down building with plenty of rats moving around so your going to hear footsteps and hear creaking. This nearly collapsed building will make all sorts of weird sounds.

As the team moves through the building the focus on Father Dolan and whether or not the entities with them had something to do with his death. The meters flash and spike so they feel they’re in the presence of evil. We also get confirmation of the rats in the building.

Armed with some evidence they seek out locals to learn more. Turns out then nurse that smothered the patients was most likely schizophrenic and sadly Father Dolan had his own personal demons and was supposedly arrested for soliciting male prostitutes.

During the investigations they feel they capture several shadow figures moving through the halls. Although this certainly seems like the work of the big rats or perhaps their own bodies casting shadows, they disagree.

Since they firmly believe the asylum is in the grip of a demonic entity, one that has driven the patients and staff to madness, they want to trap it and throw it out of there. The trap of the night has me scratching my head though. I understand the theory of burning sage for good energy and sulfur is supposedly left behind when evil is afoot. However, I don’t understand how they plan to use a wet-dry vac to suck up something from the spirit world. They seem to coat the inside with reflective sheets in hope of confusing the spirit? Can someone explain this one to me? I’m no engineer or scientist, but the validity of this one escapes me. Are they just picking a hardware store at random and basing their trap on what’s available in these small towns? Are we really expecting spirit energy to be trapped by what’s on the shelves of the local janitorial supply store? Good gravy!

Anyway, they burn sage which doesn’t seem to gain any reaction. They then turn to the sulfur which they believe causes more shadow figures. As they chase the spirit around and call it out, the bucket of sulfur mysteriously burns into a roaring fire which "could have burned the building down". A touch exaggeration, but ok, it did flare up. What else was in there? Like an fire, did it just reach a previously unused fuel source? Are demonic shadow figures the only answer?

The meters once again start to go off and they all feel their seeing things crawling the walls and coming to get them. This of course comes with headaches out of nowhere. The team wonders if this is the evil entity trying to get into their heads.

The sage and sulfur don’t draw in the spirits as they had hope so alas the wet-dry vac of demonic holding doesn’t come to fruition. So close though. They feel they have plenty of evidence though and head back to see what they have.

The grainy video evidence shows a blob moving across the wall, which they firmly believe is the shadow figure of the dark energy and they also feel they capture the name "Brannon" one of the investigators on the team being spoken by an unknown voice.

So where does this leave us? Is this place the residence of some dark force that drove the staff and inmates to kill? Are these real shadow figures or just the trick of the light or reflections? Would the trap have worked had the spirit energy moved into the right position?

The verdict is definitely still out on this one, but if nothing else, we have another interesting location. If nothing else we’re seeing some new places. You can check out some really interesting pictures of St. Vincent’s at the link below.

St. Vincent’s Home at

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Ghost Asylum – Hayswood Infirmary – S01E03

imageFor this episode the Tennessee Wraith Chasers (TWC) head off to Maysville, Kentucky to investigate the Hayswood Infirmary, also known as the Hayswood Hospital. Like so many other medical facilities of it’s time, the hospital was understaffed and under funded to handle the volume of patients that passed through it’s doors. It was in full swing during WWI and WWII and saw it’s fair share of men suffering from Shellshock or PTSD as we know it today. Unfortunately, the doctors were scarce and medication even more so. The pain medication had to be rationed and most of the wounded suffered through days and weeks of pain. It sounds like a terrible place and you’d be better off it you never got wheeled through the doors.

The place is a wreck now, with caved in ceilings, broken windows and debris littering just about every square foot of the place. The building comes with it’s own bit of legend known as they Hayswood Ghost. Footage was taken on the grounds looking up into a window where a face can be seen coming towards the window then darting back into the darkness. Many claim this to be positive footage of an apparition freely roaming the decrepit building. Others aren’t so convinced. From the absolutely pixelated footage, it’s hard to make out anything.

But the TWC is once again on a quest to identify a paranormal hotspot and set a trap to see if they can contain the energy from the spirit world. After making their way through the multiple floors they investigate a couple of key areas. One is the morgue where they crawl into the coolers to see if there is any activity, which turns out to be quite uneventful albeit nerve racking. The other is the Veteran’s Recovery area where they have constructed a massive Spirit Board in an attempt to communicate. I’m not quite sure how the spirits are supposed to use that board, but their K2 meters supposedly register energy and contact in that area. I really wish someone would just sit down and try to use one like they did in the old days. A good old fashioned séance would be awesome!

At first glance the "trap" they’ve devised appears to be a fish tank with a limestone rock in a mason jar. At second glance, it’s a fish tank with mason jar and a limestone rock. There is a hint of legitimacy in so far as many people believe that water helps to conduct spirit energy and limestone is able to store spirit energy. Water has been brought up numerous times in investigations such as those relating to boats and mills and limestone is supposed to be the cause of the events that take place at the Stanley Hotel in Colorado. The idea here is that they will lead a spirit to the water and then electrify it so the energy is trapped in the limestone.

Well, we all know water is a conductor as are certain types of rocks, so combining electricity, water and an abandoned building is absolutely safe. What could possibly go wrong?

So the team makes contact and then lures their spirit to water. They have meters on the tank that go berserk as they coax the spirit on. There’s a whole of hollering and excitement as they feel they contained a spirit in the limestone. So they pack up the whole thing and check out their findings inside their Faraday cage. Did they nab a spirit?

The reading prove elusive and like Charlie Brown at Halloween all it appears they got was a rock. There are no signs they’ve captured any energy from this outing. From all the activity they got from their Mel Meters and K2 devices they’re quite convinced there is a ton of activity out there, but they weren’t able to bring it home with them.

Additionally, they gave the Hayswood Ghost footage a once over and feel the footage is bogus and is not evidence of the supernatural. In their minds it appears to be CGI or at least staged in some way. I’m going to have to agree with them on that one. The face appears too easy to fake, the picture far too grainy and overall it appears to be the work of pranksters. Oddly, the footage was taken by a friend of those who posted it on the Internet, but they’re not saying where it came from only they believe it to be the real deal. Who knows what we have here, but I’m still going to side with a hoax. Looks like someone trying to start their own legend for the Hayswood Infirmary.

But anyway, another trap was set, but it failed to harness the energy of the spirit world. We did get to see a very interesting location, yet another I wasn’t aware of, so that’s not a bad thing. If you want to get a bit more information and see some interesting pictures of both the building and the inside, have a look at the link below from AbandonedOnline.

I’m still not sure if I like this show or not. They’ve presented 3 very interesting places that are new to me so that’s great, but these inventions of theirs are leaving me scratching my head. I’m all for trying to capture this energy, but I’m not sure capacitors, solar cells, fish tanks and limestone are going to get the job done. I’m not sure what will, but doesn’t appear to be a step in the right direction.

Hayswood Hospital at AbandonedOnline

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Ghost Asylum S01E02 – Kuhn State Hospital

imageFor this episode, the members of Tennessee Paranormal Society head to Mississippi to investigate the Kuhn State Hospital. The hospital was established in 1832 and has been the scene of some nasty events. It certainly housed victims of smallpox as well as the injured in the Civil War. It was also a mental hospital and prison. As with most asylums of the day, lobotomies, ice baths and electroshock were prescribed regulary. It would also be pretty hard to image that there wasn’t some sort of abuse or mistreatment of both patients and prisoners. Like other facilities, it seems this was built to store the unwanted of society rather than take care of them.

As we learned from the previous episode, the goal of the team is to actually capture spirit energy. To that end they are working to devise a "trap" that can hold the energy while at the same time giving some sort of measurement reading to prove they actually have it. It’s certainly an interesting idea (and yes, it sounds like the plot of Ghostbusters), but can something like that actually be done? Can you really hold spirit energy the same way you store energy in a battery? Does the technology and know how exist to make it happen. And more importantly, is this group the one that will make it happen?

The reports for such a place could be guessed before talking with anyone. "You can feel their presence when you walk in the door", full bodies apparitions and shadow figures that roam through the halls and come darting at you when you view them straight on. Really the only thing missing was the footsteps and the glowing red eyes. Perhaps those were claims but were just edited out.

The part I do like about this show is they take baseline readings during the day and the team sticks around for more than just one night. At least they can get a sense of the building and understand some of the noises it makes so they don’t think every bump and creak is paranormal. It’s also nice to not see orbs or flying dust particles mistaken for paranormal events. They do seem to get a few hits during the daylight hours and from this they mark their "hotspots".

As the investigation goes along it appears the entities are attracted to Brandon who has Asperger’s. Back in the day, this would have been seen as a mental disorder and someone like Brandon would have found themselves as a patient in such a facility. The team feels that Brandon is seen as a kindred spirit and the energy is attracted to him.

As they make their way around the massive 40,000 sqft facility they hear the usual bangs and bumps and get repeated hits on their mel meter and K2. I can’t say I’m satisfied with either of these devices, but they were making noises and have  flashing lights. If that’s an indication of the paranormal then so be it.

The trap they create and set up consists of a doorframe, some glass sheets in the frame and a crystal suspended in the center. The crystal is supposed to hold the energy and they’ve added lasers so they can see if anything is moving within the panes of glass.

To be honest, I’m not sure which trap seems the most unusual. I know many people feel that crystals focus and contain energy, but are you able to capture a spirit with one? And especially in this sort of contraption?

The team uses lasers to "herd" the spirits toward Brandon who is trying to lure them into the container. The meters go off, bangs are heard and in the end they feel they’ve captured something in the crystal. However, when they get it back to Tennessee they aren’t able to get any readings to confirm they have something in their trap.

As they review the evidence they pull up footage of what they believe is a full-bodied apparition. Tucked away in the corner is a mass that seems to reveal itself then disappear. What do we have there? Is this an actual spirit or "matrixing" that makes you try and make out shapes and patterns even though they don’t really exist?

This wasn’t a bad follow up episode, but I’m in no way convinced their "trap" is going to work nor do I believe their "inventions" are inventions at all. Putting a diffuser on the end of a laser pointer isn’t an invention. Brandon may be a bit of a tinkerer, but to say he’s an inventor might be stretching things.

While this isn’t a bad show, it’s by no means great. Sometimes the low tech answer is the way to go, but I don’t know if you’re going to catch a ghost with door frame parts you find at a hardware store. But as with so many of these shows, it’s about the location and story behind it rather than actually capturing evidence. I was unaware of Kuhn State Hospital before this episode, but there is a fair bit of information out there. I’m sure going inside and wandering through the halls would be a thrilling adventure. Here’s a couple interesting links to begin your own research.

Additional information on Kuhn State Hospital:

Pictures of Kuhn State Hospital at Abandoned Playgrounds – Notice how the buildings lay out in the form of a cross.
Abandoned Mississippi: Kuhn Memorial State Hospital
Pictures of Kuhn Memorial Hospital at World of Decay

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