paranormal investigation

Ghost Adventures – Remington Arms

The Remington Arms factory was once the largest supplier of munitions in the world. During it’s history its had explosions that have killed workers, been the scene of riots where employees have been beaten to death and at least two workers fell into a furnace and were incinerated. The working conditions were less than ideal(clearly no OSHA) which lead to plenty of deaths and terrible working conditions. Lots of former employees and security guards say they see all sorts of activity in the place. Does a place that makes weapons of violence beget violence in the afterlife?

It looks completely run down and as soon as Zak and crew get started Zak almost falls through the floor after coming right to the edge of a bunch of wide slots set into the floor. Not exactly a trip to Disneyland. The place has the usual bumps and bangs. There’s lots of sounds going on, but are those the sounds of spirits or just sounds of the building shifting and settling. It has a lot of machinery in it so all of that could be creaking as it expands and contracts in the night. I wouldn’t be surprised if iron stretching sounded like a moan in the night. Even though the place is abandoned it’s right off a main road so there are plenty of cars and trucks rolling by which could be shaking the place or rattling the works. It’s not isolated so you have plenty of external influences on what you see and hear.

The guys get lots of voices on the recorders, but again, they sound muffled and muted to me. Those are never discernable so I really don’t know what to make of them. One thing that was interesting was a really loud bang, like a gunshot, that was recorded by one camera but not the other. What makes it unusual is that the camera on the first floor didn’t capture it, but the one on the fourth floor did. They both capture a car horn (so we know there traffic right outside the building) but only one gets the shot. I have no idea what that means, but it does strike me as odd.

Remington Arms has a bad history so who knows what’s going on out there. They did get a few things on their recorders but is the place really haunted? That’s hard to say. It certainly has all the makings, but I didn’t see it on this trip. I feel it’s pretty easy to explain away a lot of what they heard as normal sounds of an abandoned building.

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Ghost Adventures – Baggy pants but cool investigations

There is little doubt Zak went to the William Shatner school of overacting, but his crazy over emphasis, baggy pants and gravity defying hair gives him his own unique charm. But, unlike the couch dwelling Ghost Hunters, Zak’s enthusiasm keeps him constantly moving. He’s ready to jump into that mine shaft or go down the creepy tunnel, even if it does mean Aaron is going to bang his head. Maybe he is a little excitable, but I still enjoy listening to him tell the "dark" history of the place they’re investigating. Plus, it’s better than the underwhelming tone of Ghost Hunters and Ghost Lab. His mannerisms and tone bring the story to life and it builds up excitement for the episode.

Aaron, or as I like to call him, "Shaggy" is one scared pup and half the fun is watching him react to his environment. If you go into a building in the middle of the night that’s supposed to be haunted and full of dark energy, I’m not sure why you get to the point of soiling yourself every time there’s a loud bump or bang near you. It never ceases to amuse me that as they’re all standing in the dark that inevitably Aaron will yell "Oh My God!" and go running across the room like he got a cattle prod in the backside. He then follows it up with, "Dude, I Swear To God!" It’s funny every time!

Speaking of cool investigations I watched the episode at the abandoned Remington factory, the company that makes weapons and munitions. Even in the daylight that place was creepy. The buildings are falling apart, there’s tons of holes in the floor, and not much about the place seems structurally sound any more. And from some of the pictures they showed, it doesn’t look all that different now than when it was in operation. If nothing else you get a glimpse into the working conditions of the day. Perhaps working in a cubicle isn’t so bad after all. :)

Their reliance on "orbs" hitting them in the back of the head or neck, which then causes odd behavior, headaches and in more than one case possession, is really bringing the whole show down. I’m not going to say that orbs of energy don’t exist and Zak and crew can believe in them all they want, but from what I’m seeing those are dust particles. With the night vision cameras everything looks like an orb, especially when you’re trudging through an abandoned building. I’m just not buying that those particles are an explanation of anything. If dust bunnies are ghosts my house is the most location on the planet!

The other drawback is the use of Frank’s box and the other voice database tools they have. I have to say, those seem pretty silly and don’t really bolster their scientific method or credibility. How is a spirit supposed to know what frequency a word is on? Is there some owner’s manual they refer to ahead of time? But again, I’m not tuning in for the scientific aspect (I’m not even sure there is one), I just think the places they go are really interesting.

Even though the show can come across as juvenile at times – the Halloween special certainly had them in hysterics, but at least they had a Halloween special – Zak, Nick and Aaron are still engaging to watch. They get up and move around. They don’t just sit in the corner and hope something comes their way. It’s not perfect by any means, and I don’t think they’ve actually captured a whole lot, but they still have enthusiasm for investigating. A little too quick to say something is paranormal for my tastes, but after three seasons I’m still tuning in and having fun.

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Ghost Hunters Academy – Almost making Ghost Lab look good

After just two episodes I stand in awe of the garbage the Ghost Hunters team will slap their name on. It’s almost neck and neck as to which is the dumber show, this horrid creation and the pathetic "contestants" they brought on board, or the tragic and inept antics of the Ghost Lab team and their claims of the paranormal. Just when you thought Ghost Hunters couldn’t get any worse, they spin off this bizarre creation.

Tune in to watch Steve and Tango try to act grown up as they travel across the country in their tricked out black Winnebago trying to teach a group of misfits what it’s like to participate in the non-paying world of paranormal investigations. A field of inquiry they can’t quite quantify, have a hard time justifying, and don’t really get paid for. Umm, what are we watching this for again?

I’ve only seen two episodes, but I can’t bring myself to watch any more. The very thought of seeing Heathyr with her fingers in her ears while the rest of the team discusses the location and it’s history makes my skin crawl. Morbid curiosity makes me want to tune in just to see how bad it gets, but common sense (and a heaping bottle of tequila) keeps me from actually clicking "Play". I just can’t do it. This show doesn’t have a single element that interests me, and like the regular Ghost Hunters this show and I have to part ways. It’s just not in the cards baby. It’s pretty bad when there are as many Ghost Hunter spinoffs as there are CSI spinoffs. When Ghost Hunters: Miami comes out, I’ll tune in. Until then, this show is going into the trash.

The last hope is Ghost Hunter International, but so far, that show is in the wind and MIA. And from the rumors I’ve seen who knows who’ll actually be coming back to do the show.

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