Ghost Hunters Academy – Episode 2 – Wilmington NC

The first minute of this episode pretty much set the tone for how things were going to play out for the investigation and quite possibly the rest of the season.

Heathyr couldn’t have been any more juvenile within that first minute. She flatly says they need to be careful of what they say since she doesn’t want to hear it when discussing the history of the location. The only thing missing is her singing “La La La La I can’t hear you” as she had her fingers in her ears. My God, what are you four? I’m embarrassed I’m even watching this show right now.

The gang shows their complete ineptitude and stupidity by failing to get anything set up the first night. They have to redo the tour because Heathyr was pouting like a spoiled brat on the deck and the rest of the team failed to take notes about the activity or where to place equipment. Seriously, these were the five best people who sent in applications? I can’t even imagine the crazies you turned down.

After stumbling and bumbling around in the dark Steve and Tango take the reins and get the group sorted out. They get the equipment set up and finally get to investigating. Even as they are investigating it’s still pretty much a disaster since they have no idea what they’re doing. It’s pretty comical in a sad and tragic sort of way.

As they’re packing up the gear they’re already talking about who the competition leader is, how great they are, who the natural leader of the team is, what kind of contributions they can make and how they’re more suited to stay than everyone else. Watching blatant ego and vanity is always fun.

The investigation is over pretty quickly and then it’s time to check the results. They have to analyze on their own and not share their results. Since they aren’t “tagging” the audio as to where they are in the room, who made what noise or cough, there are all sorts of extraneous sounds that they have to throw out. They pretty much just wasted two days and embarrassed the hell out of themselves. Have you by chance actually watched a paranormal investigation on television?

Ghost Hunters Academy is proving to be a waste and the five people they selected don’t even rank as amateurs. Heathyr is just plain embarrassing with the way she acts. Send this four year old home to mommy and try again. Susan is a dolt for a slew of reasons. Actually, everyone is a pain in the ass. Ship this group back home, they suck.

This really seems to be heading towards a show like Survivor and America Idol, both of which, I hate. I’m not sure I can stand watching another episode of this one.

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Ghost Hunters Academy – Episode 1 – Fort Mifflin

What do you get when you mix the showing signs of age Ghost Hunters, with the riveting stupidity of Survivor and add the hack talent of American Idol? Yep, you get the show now known as Ghost Hunters Academy.

Here are some new recruits who will learn the secrets of being a successful Ghost Hunter. There’s more to it than just sitting in the dark talking to a recorder and Steve and Tango will show these youngsters the ropes.

So what do we get out of these new faces?

After having a breakdown Susan admits she has empathetic feelings for the spirits. Funny thing is Heathyr the so called medium didn’t feel anything in the same room. Well, she does begin to say she might be feeling something, but then Susan steals all her thunder. But wait that’s not the biggest thing, it’s the fact that she held these mysterious abilities back and didn’t tell anyone about them. Now she’s skating on thin ice because they can’t trust her and who knows if she’ll be around for the next exciting episode. Queue the dramatic soap opera music and if you can pan to someone lying in a hospital bed that would be perfect.

Heathyr (the medium) tries to separate herself from the group by not going on the tour so her “abilities” won’t be tainted by knowing the history of the location. Considering she signed up so she could learn how to perform paranormal investigations it would sort of make sense that she actually goes along. This feels like a really cheesy way to get some alone time on camera. Strangely, we don’t see her abilities come into play at all during the actual investigation.

As far as the investigation goes this should basically be called the sit down show since no one actually feels it necessary to walk anywhere while they’re investigating. The guys sit on their asses in the Casemate, the girls sit on the floor in the Officer’s Quarters, and then Ben and his entourage sit on their butts in the Powder Magazine Room. I guess gone are the days when they would actually check the place out and try to debunk and explain the mysteries of a location. Why am I feeling that breeze? Where is that light coming from? What made that sound? It’s easier to sit in the corner and say you see a shadow and wait for it to come back versus actually wandering around to see what made that shadow.

This first episode was painful to watch. These “contestants” are complete blockheads. I guess they’re trying to add drama back to the show since the evidence isn’t really panning out these days. If I can sit through the junk that is Ghost Lab and give those crazy Texans a chance I can give this show another try as well. Not every first episode is a winner so it may take some time to find their groove, but if we get into all the troubles and problems of life as a Ghost Hunter and being in school and dating and parties and boyfriends I’m the hell outta here, I have no time for Paranormal 90210.

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Paranormal Activity – Movie Review

First off, the jittery camera work and swinging camera motions made me somewhat motion sick. About halfway through the movie I felt queasy and light headed. Just fair warning if you’re susceptible to motion sickness you need to prepare yourself.

I went and saw this movie last night and for a low budget film this kicks ass! To get a sense of what you’re in for it’s a movie length episode of Ghost Hunters or Ghost Adventures. Toss in a little Blair Witch action and you’re good to go.

I won’t go into any of the details of the movie since that would spoil it, but the premise is simple: Micah and Kate are experiencing something odd in their home and Micah goes out and buys a video camera to document what’s going on. He puts the camera on a tripod lets it run through the night. We are watching the footage that has been found after all the events have taken place.

It starts off mostly as a game, Micah wanting to capture something and make his girlfriend feel better about living with him. But something is happening, and the lack of sleep and helplessness starts to take its toll and soon the couple is tired, scared and desperate. They begin to lash out at each other which seems to feed this entity and soon it’s all spiraling out of control.

We’ll leave it there for the details of the movie. Half the experience is seeing it all unfold. I had a great time watching this, despite the motion sickness caused by the jerky camera motions. I’m not thrilled with the ending though, I thought it would have been done better. We won’t go into the details, at least not yet, but I think it went a little too Hollywood and broke with the spirit of the rest of the movie. But that aside this is good stuff and it shows that if you have a worthwhile story you don’t need $100 million in special effects.

If you have any interest in the paranormal, enjoy Ghost Hunters or Ghost Adventures or thought The Blair Witch Project was good then you’ll have a fun time with this one. Lots of bizarre things going on and you’re constantly scanning the screen to see what’s coming.

Definitely worth seeing!

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Ghost Adventures – Season 1 and some Season 2


It would seem all the really cool kids have their own ghost hunting show on TV these days. They have become the crime dramas of a decade ago; every network needs to have one. Even though it’s been on for two seasons I just discovered Ghost Adventures on the Travel channel. With so many shows on the air each one needs a gimmick and these three investigators, Zak, Nick and Aaron lock themselves in with the spirits so there is no escaping. Further, they take a more direct approach to the spirit world with a lot of provoking and daring the spirits to touch, hit or slap them. It’s all fun and games until a spirit punches you right in the balls. Their locations are a little different too, they have chosen locations which seem to have a turbulent past, prisons, asylums, murder sites and battlegrounds, not just the cozy house down the street, so their methods may be somewhat appropriate.

Surprisingly, Zak is a rather good narrator. He seems genuinely interested and excited about the past and his voiceover work brings the story to life. He seems ready to jump into that demon hole, climb that rickety-assed staircase, or find out what’s behind the locked door. But I have to say, when they begin to find evidence, things take on a whole different atmosphere and the members of the high school AV club show themselves.

I have never heard the words “Dude!”, “I swear to God bro!”, “Oh my GOD!”, “What just happened”, or “Did you just see that?” yelled so frequently. After a few minutes it becomes comical. Isn’t this what you were expecting to happen? Why so shocked?

Further, as with so many of these shows now days, everyone is all badass to call out the spirits and dare them to do something, but when something happens, they completely soil themselves and go running out the room like a stuck pig, the camera shaking like a scene from Cloverleaf! If you’re going to taunt and mock the spirit world, it’s not a good idea to gasp, scream and completely lose it when you think you get some sort of response. Way too many times these guys go into hysterics when they hear noises or think they see something. If you are sitting in a junk filled attic and something behind you falls over, like say a doll or birdcage, calling for Jesus and hauling tail is going to make me laugh and shoot soda through my nose, not make me believe in the paranormal.

Even Zak has a tendency to jump like he got a cattleprod to the buttocks and practically falls over when he feels something. Try to keep your cool, it looks better on film.

And the evidence gathering? Well, that’s seems sketchy at best. Their methods are pretty goofy, the evidence is questionable, and I sure as heck don’t hear what they hear. I’m not saying they aren’t capturing something; I just have no idea what it is. Cold spots, orbs, flashes of light, or something falling over really isn’t evidence to me. You’re outside, there are flashes of lights from cars. Bugs look like orbs and make weird patterns on camera. Cold spots could just be a draft. Doors opening and all those pops and creaks could just as easily be the building settling. To me, the paranormal is something can’t be explained through normal methods. Everything I’ve seen so far has perfectly valid alternate explanations.

All of that aside, I still like the show and have fun watching. I watch these sorts of shows because of the places they get to visit not because I expect them to actually find anything that would be considered credible. I can’t say they’ve found anything noteworthy, unusual or even something that makes me scratch my head; it’s more they’re adding to the urban myth of a place. But they have style, so it’s all good.

So why do I keep watching these shows? Because they make me laugh, and I think it would be a great job to go running around abandoned buildings in the middle of the night with the chance you might get something creepy to happen. You wouldn’t have to ask me twice to come along on one of their adventures.

They’re still entertaining and I’m still watching Season 2 and the upcoming Halloween Special. I’m pretty excited these guys will have their Halloween Special, then Ghost Hunters will have theirs. At least I assume Ghost Hunters is having one since I haven’t read anything about it yet.

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