Nick Groff

Paranormal Lockdown – Kreischer Mansion – S01E06

image From their previous episode, Nick and Katrina visit another house in New York, the Kreischer Mansion, built around 1885. There have been a couple of tragic events, such as the shooting death of Edward Kreischer as well as mafia related murder where a man was strangled, stabbed, drowned and then incinerated in the furnace. There are actually news stories related to the mafia hit, so details of that story might be true. That happened in 2006 so these two events are decades and decades apart.

However, people claim the house has a darker past than that. As was the common practice of the time, seances were held in the house in an attempt to contact the departed spirit of Edward. Some believe this portal to the other side is still open, letting in evil spirits.

Some of the activity experienced includes a stabbing sensation, the figure of a dark woman and the feeling of being touched. It is said, the figure of the women seems to be handing out a warning, but about what remains unknown.

As they start the investigation, Nick and Katrina feel cold spots and a static charge like electricity. Katrina says she feels a pain in her back and feels something touch her elbow. Nick feels he smells sulphur coming from the house and gets the words, "I’m Edward Kreischer", "Hi Katrina", "I’m dead" and "murder" from the Geobox. As the culmination of all this, Nick gets a stabbing pain in the leg. They’ve also had a couple batteries die which they feel are feeding this entity.

The next day, they start off in the basement by taking some pictures and show just how easy it is to cast a mysterious shadow on the wall. They supposedly hear the cots being moved as well as more batteries mysteriously drain. While in one of the rooms, Katrina says something was thrown and she hears loud knocks.

For the final day, Nick and Katrina will conduct their own seance with the help of Colleen Costello. During the event, Nick grows ice cold and feels a pain along his back. On their devices, they feel they get the words, "I’m sorry" and "I’m coming downstairs".

Their goal is to close they portal they feel has been letting spirits in. And it seems all you have to do is ask the spirits to go the light and they will leave. No gusts of wind, no resisting voices, no candles getting blown out. Just tell the spirits to follow the light and everything will be fine.

While the house looks impressive and if restored, would be amazing, I fail to see how this place is haunted. I have no confidence in that Geobox as Nick is the only one that hears anything from it. An old house, that’s been abandoned for a few years has loud and odd knocks in it? Well, who knew that sort of thing would happen? The dreams that Katrina has about figures giving her a warning – come on, what else are you going to dream about after hearing all those stories?

To be honest, the history and legacy of this house doesn’t exactly fit with the "rampant paranormal activity" claims. We have two grim events to be sure, but this house doesn’t seem all that active really. Yes, they both make comments about aches and pains, but those sorts of personal experiences are subjective. Everyone has had phantom pains and the like. That’s not evidence that defies all normal explanation.

But there it is, the final episode of the very short first season of Paranormal Lockdown. They picked a few interesting places to visit and while I don’t think it helped their credibility to have Grant Wilson show up on the scene, it’s good to see Nick and Kristina back on the paranormal circuit.

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Paranormal Lockdown – Hinsdale House – S01E05

image Nick and Katrina head to northwestern New York to investigate a crumbling wreck of a house that is supposedly a hot spot for all sorts of paranormal goings on. It doesn’t take long to get an Amityville vibe from this place.

There are claims that a woman was hanged in a nearby tree, that a young box was killed by a buzzsaw and that one man turned and murdered his brother. But those are events connected with the area, not specifically with the house.

As we get started, we are told an exorcism has been performed on the house itself. Tim Shaw, a Medium, gives a tour stating he’s not a fan of the place. He shows off one of the bedrooms where flies gather in the window. Katrina says she feels a pressure on her chest. Both Katrina and Tim say they need to go outside to get away from the negative energy in there.

Another visitor, Tony Spera, comes to discuss the house. Tony is a demonologist and son-in-law to Lorraine Warren. Yes, indeed, there is a connection to Amityville as Lorraine has investigated the house and was part of the exorcism back in 1974. Lorraine has bad feelings about the house and there is another connection to local Native American burial grounds.

Also at the exorcism was Paul Kenyon. He claims to have seen a woman lurking in the house and he’s not a fan of the house either.

As the investigation starts, Katrina heads down to the basement where she captures heavy breathing and someone asking, "Where’s Nick?" She also captures, "Get out" when asking if someone plans to do them harm. It’s also during these early stages when Nick feels something scratch him.

It was Nick’s goal to sleep in Mary’s room, the one with all the flies, but there are overpowering oppressive feelings and he simply can’t do it. Instead, he sleeps just outside in the hall.

For the next day, the head out to look around the grounds. Their intent is to find the tree that could have been used for the alleged hanging. Katrina asks if the house is forbidden and gets a faint, "Yes" in response. While out in the woods, Nick hears chanting, but no one else seems to. But their exploration is cut short as they hear the cry of coyotes.

On the last night, they decide to stay up all night. Nick goes into Mary’s room while Katrina heads out into the woods again. Nick hears bangs and knocks and begins to get frustrated or agitated, not sure which. He starts asking question about death and the afterlife and says he gets the answer, "There’s no heaven" on the recorder. This seems to unsettle him greatly. Not much is happening out in the woods, but Katrina is brought back to the house by Nick screaming. Apparently his sleep deprivation is catching up to him.

When Katrina gets back to the house, he seems out of sorts and says he hears all sorts of mumbling and voices. He looks quite disoriented and confused.

Katrina is quite convinced that they made contact with something non-human and that it followed Nick home from the investigation. He was repeatedly woken up at 3am and kept hearing knocking sounds down in his basement.

An interesting house, but in the end, what do we walk away with? If we look at the different pieces, we have a rather broken down house with some sanitary issues. Who knows what sort of effect that would have. There are some voices captured on EVP that might be handing out warnings, but alas, there was no shadow figure, no demonic belching, they aren’t swarmed by the flies, the voices aren’t telling Nick to do something terrible and in general there isn’t a whole lot to support all these claims.

Feelings are one thing, but that can be caused by a multitude of factors. Has the house and grounds been tested for lead, gasses, mold, fungus? What about making sure the place is level so it doesn’t give that fun house effect people used to talk about? And let’s not forget, Nick is sleep deprived which is clearly going to cause odd behavior and have side effects.

It is interesting to note the connections between this house, it’s cast of characters and Amityville because it doesn’t take too many searches to find that investigation hangs under a heavy cloud of suspicion and doubt.

And exactly how many Native American connections will these paranormal shows make?

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Paranormal Lockdown – Randolph County Infirmary

image To kick off this adventure, Nick and Kristina take up temporary residence in the Randolph County Infirmary, a hospital and shelter that took care of the poor and mentally ill. It’s roots date back to 1852, but unlike so many other facilities of the time, we don’t have endless stories about cruel treatment, beatings, murder, suicide and terrible experiments. Instead, we simply have an old facility where hundreds of people lived. The facility wasn’t without tragedy however, as there are some 200 deaths and many nameless graves on the property.

The building is now in the hands of private owners who plan to renovate it. However, they claim to have what appears to be residual hauntings such as doors closings, handles jiggling, shuffling feet and a woman singing.

Nick and Kristina bring in a brother and sister who lived at the infirmary. They go on a guided tour, talk about some of the patients they spent time with and show off the basement cells. That seems a little odd, but it was for unruly patients.

The pair tell about seeing shadow figures on multiple occasions and how they felt an energy. They don’t report any mistreatment which is always a good sign.

They start things off with the Geobox, Nick feels someone is walking along with them and feels they’re being followed. Since Bill liked checkers they try to use it to make contact. They also try to connect with Doris and get the words, "Responding to you", "I’m right" and Katrina’s name, twice.

With night setting, Nick brings out another device, the Jacob’s Ladder to try and stimulate the atmosphere to help make contact. He spends the night in the cells while Katrina heads to the basement. They both gets some knocking sounds, while Nick says he hears a woman.

For night 2, a familiar face appears. Grant Wilson has agreed to hang out for awhile and lend a hand. He monitors and listens for sounds while Nick and Kristina look around. They get plenty of knocks and banging.

During the night, Nick got a loud bang while Katrina says she feels a lot of sorrow and heartache in the place. As they talk over how they slept, they get the word, "Hello" from the recorder.

As he states in the beginning, Nick feels there is a lot residual energy, but adds that there also appears to be an intelligent spirit in the infirmary. He’s not sure who it is, but he feels they got answers to their questions.

Randolph County Infirmary is certainly interesting and a fabulous looking building, but does it really contain energy? Yes, there were lots of bangs and noises, but that is not an exclusive paranormal occurrence. I still can’t say I hear actual words coming out of that Geobox. Nick says he heard Katrina twice, but I can make it out. To me, it just gives off random noise the entire time.

But again, we don’t see the aforementioned shadow figures and while Katrina may feel things, that’s not quite evidence. It’s a neat building and hopefully it helped a lot of people, but calling it haunted or even saying it has residual energy is overreaching. Again, just because an old building makes a banging noise, doesn’t mean it’s haunted.

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Paranormal Lockdown – Franklin Castle – S01E03

Destination AmericaNick and Katrina head to Cleveland Ohio, to investigate Franklin Castle which looks like the house from the first season of American Horror Story. And like that TV house, this one has seen quite a few deaths. It is said that the Tiedemann’s experienced several deaths within the house including multiple children. There is a tinge of a rumor that some of the deaths may not have been accidental.

The house has been owned by several families and Kristina catches up with Jim and Dee Romano who lived in the house as children. They claim to have seen and played with an apparition who died decades earlier. They believe it was Emma and she wore Victorian era clothes and visited them many times.

John Tenney makes a brief appearance to look around the house wherein his microphone dies while talking about the little girl Emma. Everyone attributes this to paranormal intervention and are quickly running around the house looking for the ghostly source.

To start their investigation they play hide and seek with Emma. Nick feels he gets touched and both he and Katrina hear knocking. Rob thinks he captures a shadow figure but it’s not really showing up on the replay.

For the first night, Nick feels someone was touching his head all night. Katrina isn’t saying much except she has odd dreams of being in a haunted house. They pick things back up by investigating a small room that might be a closet. Nick says he feels drained and experiences emotions. Katrina says she gets the words, “get out” on her recorder.

Next up is the attic and the electronic spirit box, which also has motion sensors. They feel something is running down the stairs and Rob again feels he captures something poking its head around the doorway. Nick says he sees a black mist and decides that is a good place to sleep for the night. He put up motion sensors which ultimately go off. On his recorder, he feels he gets the words, “I need help”.

In the end, the batteries die for a microphone, they get knocking sounds in an old house, what they feel is a mist, a cry for help on a recorder and feel drained by some sort of presence. I wouldn’t say those have no explanation.

Additionally, where is this little girl that Jim and Dee said they played with on dozens of occasions? They made it sound like she popped up every day and was as real as any other kid in the room. How come she didn’t make an appearance?

It’s also interesting how Jim and Dee talk about playing with Emma, but yet they are scared of the house. There’s no mention of Emma getting violent or scaring them or throwing things, so what’s the story? And again, here are people that won’t enter until the cameras are rolling.

There’s also some odd approaches to these investigations. First, going into sleep deprivation is going to make you hallucinate and see things that aren’t there. It’s not going to make you vulnerable, it’s going to distort reality. It leads to misinterpretation and misunderstanding of your surroundings.

Also, Nick and Katrina sleep in the house and say they jump out of bed and start investigating. However, a minute later, we’re back to night time. What are they doing during the daylight hours? Clearly there is some personal hygiene and eating to be dealt with, but why no investigation during the daylight hours? Why no recording of the noises the house makes during the day? Why aren’t they looking to see if they can find the source to the noises they hear or give the house a bit of a debunking? Feels like there’s a whole lot missing.

Sure, this house has had tragedy, but when you compare the “stories” to what was captured, it’s really hard to say that Nick and Kristina captured anything more than the creaking of an old house.

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