Thursday, 11 June 2015

Review - The Dead Files - From Beyond

Last time I posted that The Dead files was the season final. Where did I get that idea from?
Well, that week I lost my cat, my dog died suddenly, and lost my job. Maybe I felt like it was MY season finale?
Believe in curses? I do, I've cursed A LOT this last week or two...

OK, at least we have Amy and Steve to cheer us up. But warning, this one might make no sense, it's like an M. Night Shyamalan movie. you'll be all like:

We are in:

Macon, Georgia
A man named Jeff has contacted Amy and Steve, his family is being terrorised by somethig in the house.
No surprises when Amy turns up she tells us 'it's really bad'. If it was really good, I guess we wouldn't be there.

When Steve meets Jeff in the kitchen, we see a rattled man who is concerned for his family - especially his daughter who seems to be bearing the brunt of it. I like Jeff, he seems genuine and feels like he can't protect his family.

Amy is walking through with all the cameras in the dark where she is picking up on two male spirits who don't get along, possibly a grandfather and grandson dynamic. of course, 'it's really bad', and 'really stressful' in the house.
Why am I here again?

Meantime during the day, Steve has talked to Jeff about the activity in the house. the fire pokers move on their own, the furniture moves into strange positions. Tammy, Jeff's wife feels afraid for her daughter, although maybe she should be afraid for herself - there's something that watches her from the corner and sits on the bed.
Tammy feels it's dangerous.
It's unsettling.
And it's definitely getting worse.

Steve meets with Hunter next, Tammy and Jeff's son. He's seen the 'shadow man' at least 20 times. He seems concerned with his sister, but maybe he should be worried about himself if he's seeing this shadow guy so often.
Finally we meet Jessica, the daughter. Her drawers apparently open by themselves, she's seen a man in her room, had her hair yanked and she has nightmares and sleepwalks.
Amy picks up on this, but she's not sure if they're nightmares or something more...sinister. She's seeing little black children like figures on the bed and holding Jessica down.
We cut back to Steve and Jessica and hear how a ghost likes to spoon her in bed -she also wakes up with scratches.

Steve's 'putting his feelers out' and meeting with a local genealogist, Cecil Etheridge jr. Slaves. there, I said it. Well, we are in Georgia, so to be expected. the land owner had 'em. the neighbours had 'em, they were everywhere. Then the civil war came to town, there's some history here with locals who fought.
Steve takes this information and goes to see another historian where he learns there was a battle and a deadly ambush on the actual property.

Now Amy is picking up on the older man and the younger man, they don't see eye to eye and the land is the key here - also the civil war.

Skip to the sketch.
Amy firstly describes the battle which has left the area 'stressed'.
She tells about the older man who likes to watch things, Tammy explains about the man who watches from the corner of her room. This is when Amy describes the dynamic between the old and young man.
Now it's time for Amy to approach the nightmares, she doesn't believe that they are natural and it happens when there is supernatural goings on in the home.
Amy was also spooned by the ghost! sharing the love.
Scary time!
Steve 'turns it over to Amy' and she prescribes the cure.
we need an older male medium who needs to be gruff, this will remove the dead guys from the house.
But hang on!
Amy says this will not solve the issue. WHAT?
Jessica and Hunter are being abducted by aliens.
just incase you thought you misread that, Jessica and Hunter are being abducted by aliens.

I'm not sure i can type any more. I feel like I've been hit in the face with a fish, it is from left field and there was no mention of this during the walk through.
The family seems ok with this. really? Maybe they're aliens.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Review - The Dead Files - The Obsession -

Ru-Roh, final episode!

We had better get a good dose of faces from Amy before we are without her for a while.
And no more of Steve's Nuwe Yawhk accent.

We are in Oregon, Illinois.
Heading to a bar.

Amy arrives and instantly feels like the air is knocked out of her. we are left with the tag 'There is no hope here', before we switch back to Steve.
He's sitting with the owner, who says that customers just get up and leave, things fall off shelves, touching, etc. He's owned the place for 20 years, but recently moved in, where he's been more aware of activity. he's the former mayor of the town.
The location is the last place that local girl Mary Jane and her date spent their night in 1948, before being murdered. He has since become obsessed with the deceased girl and even spent his own money on having her body exhumed, in fact about $150,000 of his personal savings has gone in to the case over the last 15 years.

Amy is seeing a nasty woman in her 20s. Whoop, off to the theater. Steve and the owner are talking about the female apparition. Steve has 'the eyes' on. He gets these when he hears people's stories.
Switch the lights off, Amy's in here now. It's bad, dangerous in here even. There's something Satanic and religious here.

Steve is now interviewing the workers at the bar. It's driving him up the wall a bit, and he's doing 'the eyes' a lot, even variations of 'the eyes' are happening. Ooh, he's getting a bit hard arse on them because he feels they aren't telling him the full story.

Confusion reigns in the theater for Amy right now, she's picking up on dead people but they are trying to tell her they are demons. This walk through is not very cohesive, but it's negative anyway.
no, please go on...

Marge. oh Marge, she's been terrorised by something that has followed her home. My bet is that something hitched a ride home in her hair.
It's like cotton candy, but instead of sugar, it's made of cobwebs and poltergeists.
Don't look now, but you've caught another one

Steve has done some digging on the Mary Jane case and discovered that Mary Jane and her boyfriend were possibly killed by the local sherrif, who MJ was having an affair with. SCANDAL!

The Reveal:
Three people are hanging out in the basement. One of them is Mary Jane. She reveals how her memory was affected in the bar, and the place is a bit of a trap. The frustration is amplified and controls the living. I'm not sure what all that means, but it doesn't sound great I suppose.
The Fix:
Steve 'turns it over to Amy'. we need 1) the owner needs to take Mary Jane and her boyfriend out of the building. How? just tell them. 2) a holy man needs to come in and do a blessing.
that's it.
What about Marge's house? What about Marge's hair? no help there I'm sorry.
Amy faces you ask? Good ol' Ames didn't let us down. Not only does she do her darndest at finding the hidden secrets in a location, she damned well keeps us entertained as she does so

Yeah, this review was a short one, but honestly, they didn't go out with a bang this season. This case felt really drawn out and uninteresting. Even the reveal and the fix were lackluster. Maybe it's time for a break guys. Find us some good hauntings and come back fresh. Til next time.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Review - Ghost Asylum - Canon Memorial Hospital - season finale

Hey there ghosterinos, it is with a sad and heavy heart that I bring you this review today for two reasons: 1) This is the last episode of Ghost asylum for the season, and 2) my furry co-reviewer (aka Zack the cat), passed away a couple of days ago. So where will I be venturing into, alone, without a paw to hold onto? It's the:

Canon Memorial Hospital
Oooh goodie, I'm excited and I'm pretty sure the cat would have approved.
The boys have been here before in an action packed episode during the first season, so this is a revisit - which I love. I'm happy to return to locales that have proven themselves and in some cases seem unfinished - as this one did when an entity supposedly took hold of Brannon and made him a tiny little volcano of rage. Now, No-one messes with little brother Brannon, so back we go to Banner Elk, North Carolina to kick some invisible butt.

legends: The area was once home to an Indian Princess (Estato? Estherto? potato, potarto?) who was forbidden to marry her true love, so she drowned herself in the nearby river, which was named after her (In my quick search I could only find Elk River in this location?). Doogie thinks that Estato is acting as a siren spirit luring others into this dark location where meaner things reside.

Very prudently, Chris takes Brannon to see a local Demonologist before taking him in, so they know how best to protect themselves, while the others head in to do the base sweep.
The guys hear a female voice inside, but feel she is running away from them, maybe she's shy.

S'cool, Demons waitin for me

Dennis the Demonologist tells the boys meantime, that once you've had contact with these evil spirits, they won't forget you, so they're all in that hospital up there just waiting. You can see Brannon swallow slowly at this point and I
don't blame him.

 Dennis tells them that to stand a chance against these things, they need to use their faith and have 'an armor of light'. And to most definitely don't let the anger get the better of them. He also gives them a bell to help remove the unwanted spirits, the vibration helping to dispel the energy.

"we goin' git you" says Chasey when the K2 lights up for them. Them's fightin' words I say, and whether you believe in Demons or not, probably wouldn't want to be asking it outside for a rumble in the carpark.

No 'fist bumps' or 'shout outs' to the big man tonight, it's a far more sombre and heartfelt prayer for protection before heading in.
Chris, Chasey and Brannon are on the second floor calling out Estato. The K2 is blipping and they get a response when they ask if she remembers Brannon. Not long after they catch a moving shadow down the hall.

Porter and Doogie are getting activity straight away on the third floor, the 'octopus' is lighting up and they're hearing things. All I hear is sound effects over the top of everything. Porter gets a strong push on the back which makes him angry, but he reins it in and keeps an even temper. The phonetic generator tells them to 'worry', but now Doogie gets the anger so it's time to call it for the night.
 On review we hear some evps. I don't know, I hear something but maybe it's lost in translation.

Psychic medium Justin comes along to check the location out. He senses a lot of death and suffering and a darker entity who controls the others. He's drawn to room 426.

TRAP! without Brannon, what?
Anyway, its an infrasound cannon trap, with the addition of a mirror trap (mirrors facing each other) with a black powder charge to blow up whatever they catch.
"Is this thing safe?"
That's what we like to hear.
They are trying to humiliate the demon by playing it the subsonic 'brown note', then exploding it, Or something similar.

Chris lights a candle and rings the bell, then takes up the cannon and begins walking towards the mirror, herding spirits before him. Eventually he gets close and the charge is detonated inside. They all feel lighter afterwards. Not sure if they caught it or scared the literal crap out of it.

An EVP says 'kill me'. Again, not sure if the TV lets me down, but I can't really hear it. I do hear something that could be 'goodbye'.
How do you get a demon out of a mirror? smash it!
Unfortunately there's no indication that anything is there. At least Brannon overcome the situation and that's something.

Hanging the picture, thanks to the 'Big Man' and heading out for...sandwiches today.

OK, so that's a wrap on the good 'ol boys from Tennessee for a while. Now we all know that TV ghost hunting is 80 % showmanship, 5% camera crews, and the rest is probably genuine. Oh, and some more percentages for editing. However, if we are going for entertainment value, this show does have it in bags. I love the trap building, and even though they never catch anything, the 'science' behind it is fun, and it always gives us something to hold our breath for at the end. The guys are engaging and the destinations are creepy. So while we try to hear over the sound effects, we must remember that ghost hunts are generally hours of waiting and minutes of action. So it's nice to have it all presented to us and wrapped up at the end. So until next season (I hope!), stay beardy guys.

Monday, 25 May 2015

ORBS - spirits or dust, why the passion?

This debate on whether Orbs are spirits, camera flare or dust has probably been going on since cameras were invented. The whole phenomenon really got a kick-start however, when we began reviewing video of strange blobs of light hovering over graveyards and places where we expected to see spirits - it doesn't take much for a mind that wants a sign to see one even in the most unlikely of places.

Since then, orbs have taken their place amongst the plethora of ghostly indications and they don't seem to be going away, in fact quite the opposite when now you can apparently classify them into colours and specific meanings - as in this website here.

The biggest argument that I can find in the case for Orbs is the old 'they have their own light-source' and 'they follow a particular path' phenomena. But do they? Are they swirling in the unseen air flows? Are they reflecting light from unknown sources?
Also the fact that Orbs seem to have faces or shapes to them is enough to convince most, but is this just good old pareidolia?
pareidolia - the illusion of seeing faces in the strangest places

Now, by no means am I an expert (on anything) but it does pay to look closely to this subject if you are seeking evidence of the other side. Any 'ghost hunter' worth his (or her) salt will use debunking as a tool just as much as he will use EVPs, EMF indications and temperature fluctuations, so of course why would we not apply this to orbs as well?

This does seem to be the million dollar question, as in my experience, there are two camps - either you're with the orbs or you're against the orbs. Why then is there not a critical response to whether these objects are real or just a trick of the eye?
Maybe there is - this site takes possibly the most 'scientific' view on the matter so perhaps before we count ourselves as the for or against, we should cast our eye over it. I'm sure there's many others and if you know of one (or have your own) please feel free to let me know.

Many of you who will read this blog have probably seen or taken part of the google+ conversation since I posted these pictures:

Mine House investigation May 2015
and clearly have a strong opinion one way or the other. But what I want to know is why?
Why is it that there is such strong sentiments attached to orbs, when we are happy to de-classify other captures and move on without blinking an eyelid or creating a heated debate on the subject?

So I have no answers.
But as all of us who are seeking proof, continue to question. To rule something in or out without sufficient evidence seems foolish, so I will continue to be open minded and for now, use my own judgement to decipher these things.

By the way, this is what comes up when you look for 'the best evidence of orbs on the internet. shyeah.  Some dust falling from a heating vent. OR not? what do you think?

Do you believe? Do you discredit?
If so, I would love to know your reasons why -

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Review - the Enfield haunting - Part three

This is part THREE of the series, click here to see part ONE and TWO.
Part three marks the final episode in the series which has been documenting (and dramatising) the events that took place in a home in Enfield England during 1977 - 1979.

The haunting of Janet Hodgson began one night when knocking was heard on the walls of her bedroom, This quickly escalated to furniture moving and later voices coming from Janet herself. It was a widely publicised case at the time, and is still hotly contended among the parapsychology circles as to whether it was a genuine case of a poltergeist haunting or not.

We have seen as this case wore on how splintered the relationships became for Maurice and his wife, Janet and Maurice and the rest of the family. This episode deals with the relationships and gets to the heart of the haunting itself,  not before things escalate for Janet to the point of being hospitalised.
This occurs when she encounters a small light in her room that burns her upon touching it; she describes it as being 'like Tinkerbell'. Unfortunately the  head of the SPR (society for parapsychological research) is not convinced, which prompts Janet to tell the media that the whole thing was a hoax. However, Janet and sister Margret turn up to Maurice's house to beg him to come back, saying that they only went to the papers to get him and Guy back into the house.

Re-entering the home, Guy and Maurice decide to perform a 'disposession' on Janet, using the entity Joe's ashes in the ritual. Janet is tied to a chair as Guy begins. Instantly Joe comes through the little girl and causes her to shake violently and spit obscenities in his raspy voice. Not long after, the voices address Maurice in the guise of his own daughter Janet, who has passed; she tells him she doesn't forgive him. Then Joe's ashes fly across the room.
As the activity stops afterwards, it is believed that this is the end of the ordeal. Guy and Maurice decide it's time to leave the house, which Janet takes badly.

Being told to dispose of Joe's remaining ashes by his wife, Maurice takes them to a football field at night and spreads them on the ground. At that moment Janet is woken in her house and discovers her goldfish is dead. The family gets up for some hot cocoa and the doorbell rings, Janet goes to check and gets locked out of the house. She enters the backyard and sees herself sitting at the kitchen table with her family. The Janet inside begins to channel different voices and then shakes violently.

Home life for Maurice and his wife takes a turn for the worst when he races off to the hospital. Janet has been taken in after breaking her thumb in the last violent attack. Whilst strapped to the bed, she is burnt by the 'Tinkerbell' and then medicated heavily. When the doctors want to perform an ECT on her, Janet's mother calls it off by telling them that the whole thing was a joke that had gone too far, to the protestations of both Maurice and Guy.
However it is clear when they return home that things are getting worse - an incident in the bathroom has Janet cowering from flying tiles.

It dawns on Maurice that both he and Janet are both frustrated at events, so he takes her for a drive to the local air strip and encourages her to scream out her anger. They both scream: he for his daughter, she for her father abandoning her. Janet unlocks the puzzle while they are visiting Maurice's daughter in the graveyard. When she enters the house she seeks out Guy to let him know that Maurice is the one keeping the poltergeist here.

The original medium is reluctantly called back in and gets straight to work. Many voices  begin to emanate from both her and Janet simultaneously, then Maurice gets the contact he wants. His daughter comes through and through conversation they get the closure they both need, She passes over and takes the rest of the spirits with her,

This episode dealt with Maurice and his daughter, but didn't really approach why it began in the first place. In the end it was more about Maurice than it was about Janet and although that tied this story up nicely, did not parallel what happened to the real Janet afterwards. Also, in real events, Janet and her sister were caught faking evidence on a number of occasions and this too was not covered in the story. The makers of the Enfield haunting can perhaps be forgiven though as although the show was covering the poltergeist activity, it understudied human relationships and grief. Perhaps the reality of the activity was slightly irrelevant in the end, and by not studying the grey areas of believability allowed the story to unfold as it did. A very interesting watch and a delve into the world of the psyche.   

Monday, 18 May 2015

Review - Ghost Asylum - Moundsville Pen.

Well howdy folks, It's time to trap us a ghost or two and wander around in some dark places in a tank top or beard.
Chris chose the tank top option
Just before we do though, I see we are heading to Moundsville Penitentiary. I know this show is called Ghost asylum, and there is only so many of those to go around I guess, but I am getting kind of sick of revisiting all the same places that five or six ghost hunting shows have already taken us to. We know the history, we know the location, the ghosts, the legends and the equipment and approach is going to be the same. So what can we expect from returning again and again? Is there only a handful of haunted locations to go around? Are we trying to start a celebrity ghost cult by raising the profile of certain spirits? Anyway, let's watch and find out if something new and interesting occurs on ... Ghost Asylum this week.

West Virginia
'Shadows' seem to be the buzz word for this investigation. Also 'Evil'. We apparently like to hear the word evil in our ghost shows to keep us on edge.
As in any prison, there is a history of violence, with most well known spirit known as 'Red'.
Ok, we've all seen this place before, and to be honest, the sugar shack always seems to bring about a lot of activity (if TV is to be believed).
The Sugar shack is an underground area where inmates were allowed to hangout unattended. Obviously that meant rapes and murders would occur on a somewhat regular basis. The boys get some pretty huge hits down there during their initial sweep.

Chris and Doogie head to visit former prison guard Chuck Ghent. He informs the boys that Red ran the prison and instigated most of the violence and murders there. He has had cell doors slam on him and a girl was scratched badly during a tour he hosted.

Fist bump to the big man
and then inside. Chasey Brannon and Porter are upstairs looking for a shadow man while Chris and Doogie are downstairs looking for some lingering criminals.
Doogie has a harmonica for Red, as apparently he used to play a tune for the guards to let them know when there was a dead body for them to collect. What kind of prison was this?! I guess it's one way of keeping the population down.
meanwhile the others are setting up a laser grid and the octopus (I'm sure it has a technical name). Porter thinks he sees movement out the corner of his eye and then a bang is heard.

A new experiment! hoorah! Chasey is being placed in Red's cell while he is blindfolded and deafened by noise cancelling headphones.
Back at the sugar shack, the beards, I mean boys hear some banging, Porter starts freaking out, but turns out it is just a bat
More banging is going on in Red's cell, but when Chris goes to retrieve him, the only activity Chasey has picked up is a vibrating bed. Sounds great, maybe a nice massage is what he needed.
Upon review, we see how a weird red light intensified during an evp session. The laser grid camera picked up some walking legs pretty well too.

oooooh, I love this part. Mostly because it's hillarious, a small part because of the science behind it. And by science, I mean "science".
But before we make something dubious, we're going to a local paranormal museum and pick up some handcuffs and shanks that were original to the prison.The curator says he likes to pray and is a christian, and Chris tells him that they are also 'good christian boys' and that 'mama didn't raise no fools'. I guess that makes me pretty stupid and my mama raised herself a simpleton. You win some you lose some I guess.
Back to the con-trap-tion.
This is what we have this week:

This is what it really looks like:

When the trap is set a very interesting thing happens. The ovulus says 'surprise', but it says it with a clear inflection, not the usual flat tone. Then Doogie gets a pain in his side. I think he was surprise shanked. When they check his side he has three clear scratches.

The trap is dismantled and taken back to Tennessee. We review the evidence and hear a 'lalala', see a light orb,
Brannon places the trap in the ...I don't know, trap checker, and tests for an entity. No dice.

Because Doogie got scratched, he gets to hang the picture on the wall.
Chris's mum has made a 'big 'ol mess of tuna casserole' so they head out to eat that even though it's not pizza. I suppose you have to shake things up sometimes.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Review - The Dead Files - The Instigator

The following program contains material that may be disturbing. The Subject matter and opinions may be considered controversial.

This is what we are told at the start of the Dead Files.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Steve Di Shiavi arrives at the house of Lisa, where he is informed that the household (her daughter, granddaughter and ex husband) is being 'attacked' by an unseen force, they need Amy and Steve's help. There are footsteps, doors opening and closing and even the refrigerator is being opened by something. Perhaps they need some food to go with all those spirits.   
The worst part of this situation is that Lisa believes the house has caused her marriage to break down.

Now, for non-dead files fanatics, Steve is an ex homicide detective who does the leg work throughout the day; interviewing people, digging up the history and generally being detective like and asking all the 'hard' questions. 
Are you sure it's a ghost? Oh, ok then.

Amy Amy Amy
arrives at location, with husband Matt on camcorder, and entourage of camera crew - so an intimate ten person walk through in the dark. She picks up on someone she calls the 'instigator' who likes to stir things up. Of course she pulls a face and says the word evil a couple of times. 

Quick cut back to Steve and Lisa. She's been touched. On the boobs. Awkward glances.

is Lisa's daughter who lives in the house with her own daughter. She and her mother have seen an old lady in the house who likes to stroke their hair. But worse than a nice head massage is being dragged out of bed by her ankles.

So Amy now picks up on this old lady who she feels is giving the man in the house a hard time. There's also a distinguished looking man who is inducing panic attacks in the people who live there. The instigator wants to be friends with this gentleman but apparently he has enough friends right now and isn't interested.

Steve has headed out to a local historian Elise. in 1872 a family moved into the property who had a lot of deaths and tragedies. 4 children and a woman passed, leaving a man in the house who dies broke and alone. Amy is now picking up on the distinguished man who we are assuming is this same guy. 
Digging further, Steve finds a death of a fourteen year old by typhoid fever - his father, a meat inspector to the city, fell ill and was taken care of for years by his elderly wife. Amy thinks the lady was cookoo in the coconut.
Who's the crazy lady?
before this history lesson is over, we hear about five people who were killed on the nearby train tracks.

Sketch time! Skip to the reveal. We are meeting Lisa and Tamiera out of the house because the ex husband is unhappy about the investigation.
As Amy speaks, we see the client's faces drop and nod in agreement. They all agree that the ex is under influence to these spirits - and that is not a good thing. These spirits are the old lady, the distinguished man and the instigator, confirmation by Lisa makes for more nodding and agreement. Steve backs up these claims with death certificates and pictures. Let's bring out the sketch because we haven't had tears yet. Yup, gasp. creepy. tears.
Now, one of the household is bringing these spirits in and giving them's the EX!
Oh no you di'nt

Steve 'turns it over to Amy' and It's time for the solution. A medium needs to move the old lady on, reuniting her with her dead son. Then the medium needs to move the distinguished man on. Then the instigator is to go. Amy hands over a small vial of tar water which she is to sprinkle at every opening to the house to keep the dead out. BUT, the women have decided to move anyway. Amy says that if the ex stays in the house they are to NEVER go and visit him as the dead will be focused heavily on him and things will get nasty up in there.

So wraps another episode of the dead files. I just have one question, why does Amy never pick up on things that Steve doesn't find? It just seems all too neat and tied up in string. Sure, maybe they edit it that way, but it does make me question how it can all be neatly packaged and no loose ends left dangling like real life. But then again, this isn't real life is it? It's ghost hunting tv, and it pays to remember that no matter how convincing it all seems.