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.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Psychic protection, elementals & a plan of attack

I live in a very old gold mining city, built upon mine shafts and riddled with quartz and gold veins which are still being dug out to this day. This has lead to some interesting experiences growing up, as the violence and greed that this city has grown on has left some indelible marks in many locations. This brand new home is clearly no different.

Very recently I was invited to join an investigation in a home where activity of the elemental nature was rife.
Sure, the upper two floors were flooded with spirit activity, darting apparitions could clearly be seen almost upon arrival, but it was a very different entity that presided in an open and functioning mine shaft beneath the home. The home owners have spent thousands on employing miners to sure up the original mine, restoring the shafts, ladders and elevators that service the area. There is a glass floor in the house that lets you look all the way down into the mine itself. Since moving in, the family has experienced nothing but bad luck, voices, pipes bursting, things breaking and there is no way they can sell the property or catch a break.

Now, the actual investigation provided a lot of activity, from extreme hot spots, clear communication through ghost boxes and photo evidence. On the third floor we captured growling, draining batteries and the floor was moving like an elevator or a rolling ship for most of the night. This in itself is usually enough to give me physical symptoms, but it was when we ventured down into the basement that it became apparent that I needed to learn a few things.

Firstly, the concrete basement is open to the outside, it is late autumn here and very cold. However after ten minutes of making 'contact' the area became stiflingly hot. Through our communication with the many spirits it was clear that whatever was down there was causing the havoc in the home and it was not happy. Sulfurous smells wafted up, shuffling and raspy noises occurred, even a sound of what seemed to be two coins being rubbed and clinked together and a clear 'yeeeesss' to a question.
My head began to pound, when I peered into the mine for a while, I was almost sick.

After the investigation (and primary cleansing) I headed home. Not being familiar with dealing with heavy or angry energy, I did nothing to decompress...I simply went to bed. I woke with a migraine. I slept for roughly 20 hours on and off. The next two days I couldn't move from the couch, my dreams were feverish and I thought I had caught something nasty. I think it turns out I did. My energy was simply drained from me in a way I haven't encountered before. So, before returning to the house in a couple of days from now, I have to have a plan together. I know for sure i will ground myself afterwards by standing barefoot in the grass and letting the negative energy flow back into the earth, but I'm yet to research the best way for me to protect myself before going in. I'll update the post when I do, but any experienced advice is surely welcome!

Monday, 11 May 2015

Review - Ghost Asylum - Waverly Hills

Waverly Hills, Louisville Kentucky

Mug of tea, check. Alone in house, check. Ready for a down south ghost hunt? check!

8000 or more people have reportedly died in this location, so Porter tells us on the drive. it was also used as a tuberculosis hospital and suicides have been reported here. Pretty sure if you're a ghost show aficionado like myself, you'll have visited this place with other teams and other shows before, but unlike them, the Tennessee Wraith Chasers will build a trap and attempt to brig a ghoulie or two home with them. So let's jump in with the TWC.
The "Phantom Voltage Inducer"
Cuts of locals tell us of activity experienced at Waverly, ranging from scratches to being thrown to the ground. One man has a jolt to his pacemaker every time he visits and there's not only human spirits but a dark creeper too.

Chris and Doogie head into town to talk to a local news reporter, while the others head straight inside to do a baseline sweep.
Patients were experimented on , we hear from news reporter Chris, by having their ribs removed and even being crushed by heavy weights. A nurse aborted a baby on the premises and it was later found in the sewer system, not long after that one of the the nurses in question committed suicide.
During the sweep back at Waverly, the boys get hits at the spot where a nurse was found hanging. So that night when they all head in, it's the first place they aim for. After a 'fist bump to the big man' of course.

Inside, Porter suddenly gets a fit of coughing that he can't shake and sees a shadow down the hall, he feels that he is being attacked so steps out for a while.
meantime, Chris gets the name "Betty" coming through his equipment and feels a wave of sadness hit him.
In the body chute that runs under the sanatorium, Doogie is waiting by himself and hears strange noises coming from the darkness. Of course there's stupid sound effects going over this whole segment so we don't have a chance to experience any of it.
A flash of light in the darkness indicates that his equipment has just failed due to the fresh batteries draining flat instantly.

Back with Chris on the fifth floor, he's searching for room 502 where a nurse reportedly hung herself. The word 'wed' comes through the ghost box which leads to some questioning if she was going to marry a doctor...
But it's time to wrap for the night and have a quick review of the evidence: there's some raspy breathing and an unusual light flash.

What will it be? a box with some string? a carrot and a hook? Nope, we're building the 'Phantom Voltage Inducer' which is full of complicated panels and meters and will somehow trap something in there. probably some fingers by the look of it.

Porter has headed off to talk to a Demonologist to see how they can protect themselves. PAUSE: this is a practical thing that frankly I'm surprised these shows don't (or rarely ever) touch on. Protection when entering these locations is important as it can affect health both mentally and physically. I wish they showed us more of a debriefing afterwards too, not just reviewing of evidence. A blog for another time maybe. UN PAUSE: Father Price explains how Waverly harbors many shadow people and recommends prayer and vigilance, especially on the fourth floor.

To set up the trap, Porter wheels Chasey in to the operating room on an old trolley, and soon after we hear footsteps in the hall and then something grabs Chasey's leg. It's then that the trap starts moving on it's own which is when the boys wrap the night.

Back home, the TWC look over the evidence which unfortunately there wasn't too much of. A shadow in the hallway, a bad EVP but then a not too bad touch on some clothing. We don't even test the trap because it didn't close up at all to catch anything. So it's hang the picture and head off for some food.

Sounds like a good idea to me, so I'll see y'all next week boys.

Review - The Enfield Haunting - part 2

This is a review of part TWO of the series, if you wish to read part ONE first, click here.

Focusing heavily on the relationship between Maurice and Janet, this episode reveals the wound that still exists over his own daughter's death both in himself, and his wife.

1977, In an unassuming council flat, Enfield London. Strange things have been occurring to a family who have become terrified and tortured by an unseen force. Janet, the youngest daughter, has been at the center of the happenings which are about to get much worse.

After being thrown to the ceiling by the entity, Guy is ready to admit the activity is real and calls Maurice back to the house. But when Janet presents with a bloody eye and the video feed cuts out as she is attacked, she is shipped off to stay with relatives. But it is at this time, Maurice tries a ritual in the girl's room, when Janet experiences activity  in the form of objects stacking and seeing an old man in the bathroom mirror, causing her to smash it accidentally. Clearly she is not believed and promptly sent back home. Janet shows her contempt towards Maurice for the first time for sending her away.

A medium is bought in on the advice of Guy to speak to the poltergeist and the small framed woman who sits on a chair in the lounge quickly taps into the entity, In a raspy voice she reveals a sexual assault episode which is pretty disturbing and a few different voices come through. It speaks directly to Janet before ending the session. Afterwards, she warns both Guy and Maurice that they should by no means attempt to communicate with the spirit in the house and that it is a 'house of death' for Maurice particularly.

Upon returning home, Maurice discovers his wife with another man; it turns out she hasn't been having an affair as suspected, but is instead, consulting a psychic. Maurice shows his disgust at this 'charlatan' preying on a grieving mother and sends him packing when he discovers his wife has been giving him objects that belonged to their daughter as payment. It is just as he leaves that Guy turns up. Over dinner they discuss potentially communicating with the entity.

Not long after, a knocking is persisting in the house when the family is gathered in the lounge during the day. This is the opportunity that Guy and Maurice have been waiting for and promptly ask it to 'knock once for no and twice for yes'. It is after Maurice is thrown from a chair that things ramp up and he demands that it speaks. Very quickly the raspy voice begins to emit from Janet and tells him in foul language that he is named 'Joe'.
It is apparently the opening the entity was waiting for, as at every opportunity now Janet rasps obscenities at everyone she can, even Maurice's wife when she unexpectedly turns up to visit. Of course, a Joe did indeed live and die in the house, adding intrigue and validity to the story.

There is a cruel moment when Janet calls Maurice's wife from a payphone and claims to be her dead daughter. This is Janet lashing out at Maurice for producing this new phenomenon but Maurice is determined to use this new addition to get the heads of the SPR involved. But when nothing is witnessed, frustration takes hold and Maurice forces Janet to take a drink and tapes her mouth shut. The voice of Joe comes forth and everyone can not help but be convinced. Of course, this incenses Janet who runs away from home during the night.

Maurice goes to retrieve Janet from her father's house, where Joe has given the new girlfriend a mouthful. He gives her a ring that belonged to his daughter and smooths things out. But they arrive back at the house only to find that he and Guy are barred from entering as the SPR has taken over the case.

The final scene is of Janet and Margret talking in the backyard. Janet declares that the voice is not so bad, because it means at least the poltergeist needs her and doesn't want to destroy her.
That's when Joe's voice comes from Margret "Is that right? I don't need anyone!"
Insects begin to swarm over Janet.

Although all these things have been well documented as happening in the home and to the family, there are a few moments that we can look at and go 'hmmmm' to. A specialist was indeed called in to inspect Janet's throat and proclaimed that there was no way that she could keep up that voice without destroying her own. However, this has been contended over the years and it is unsure if the young girl just took the suggestion from Maurice to speak and used it as a vent for her frustration at the events.
The show has dramatised these moments, although apparently she did produce the voice when her mouth was full of water. There really was an old man named Joe who died in the house also.
But my understanding of Poltergeist was that it was telekinetic energy from a person, so the use of poltergeist is strange in this context, although I suppose in a perfect storm the haunting could have opened up the abilities in Janet.
The conclusion is next week, so reserving judgement on the wrap up until then. Still a great production and a very moody watch.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Review - The dead files - House of mirrors

Amy Allen and Steve DiShiavi are on the road to Independence, Oregon, in search of a haunting once again.
We all know the drill by now (don't we?), Amy does her walkthrough at night, filmed by husband Matt who is in turn filmed by another crew (?!) while Steve's realm is the day: interviewing occupants and digging into the history. We then spend the ep. going back and forth between the two, putting the puzzle (sometimes very conveniently) together until the finale with the householders where a creepy picture is presented and Amy's inscrutable cure is prescribed.Along the way we are entertained by the many faces of Amy Allen.

Here we go!
Steve, car, talking at the camera. he tells us how a couple living in a farmhouse are being terrorised by activity and think their relationship may fall apart without their help.
Amy is now telling us how there are tricksters on the property who create illusions and mess with people, but not in a "haha, got your nose" kind of way, more in a "you go crazy now" sort of fashion. They can also enter people's dreams.

Steve meets Terry at the kitchen table. He admits to hearing voices, seeing full bodied apparitions and even being chased by something in the house which he shares with partner Bobby and sometimes grandson Ashton. Terry is worried that it is affecting his grandson and feels utterly helpless.

"What the Hell?" is usually what we hear from Amy when she enters a location. This time is no different. She's seeing a person yelling in the lounge, it's someone who lives there, and now she is sensing a telepath in the home but HOLD THE PHONE there is the creepiest looking dead plant growing across the ceiling in this room and no one is mentioning it, OK, moving on...this telepath is making things appear.
"OH boy", no we're in the bedroom and meeting the 'tricksters'. They are apparently manipulating the occupants fears and anxieties.

Terry has just told Steve about the women's voices he hears in the kitchen and is describing the figures he's seen at the end of his bed, which are human shaped but smaller.

Come on Amy, time for a crazy face and yes! there it is. She describes the trickster beings as small black humanoids who are quite enjoying all the havoc they are causing.

Steve is now interviewing partner Bobby in the house. He describes the small black figures that both Amy and Terry have talked about, Grandson Ashton also tells Steve about things coming out of the closet  with red eyes and a tall man in the bathroom.
Right, time for Steve to do some history on the home and here's what we know: a prison superintendent lived on the land with his mother in the nineteenth century, he was blamed for a third of his prisoners escaping. His mother then died and was buried there.
Secondly, a deadly feud between neighbours in 1889 happened close by. Now we also find out that the house was moved to its current location from another farm property, so we head out there. Of course, there was a suspicious hanging and deaths there too. Feeling the urge to move anyone?

A sketch is done so it must be time to gather everyone for the reveal. We start the story outside and gradually ramp up the terror and it's not long before we're getting the close up reaction shots and furtive glances all round. We continue to go through the history until we get to the telepathy part, it's Terry, big reveal. It's not really explained but moving on to the tricksters now. Close ups for everyone! Amy crazy face comes out to play and there's tears. But we're not done, let's pull out the sketch: It's the tricksters standing around the bed. hang in there guys there's more, they have a leader.
There's that line "and for that I'm going to hand it over to Amy." Cringe.

Plan of Attack
First off, a physical medium needs to talk to the leader, but at the same time a shaman needs to come in and deal with the tricksters, setting up a wide perimeter around the house.
The guys have to write a journal every week and burn it.
Oh What? that's it? No African Wildebeest tamer? ok, seems easy enough.
Then there's the text at the end of the show that tells us they are still looking for a shaman and a medium and the activity still continues. So what then? Come in, stir it all up, terrify the occupants and then leave?
Seems odd that Amy can't at least hook them up with who they need to perform these things.
Also, most importantly, she neglected to tell them they need someone to come in and do an exorcism on that dead thing creeping across the ceiling, taking over their home which was by far the creepiest thing about the whole episode.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Review - The Enfield Haunting - part 1

Based on a true story. The Enfield Haunting portrays the 'true' events that occurred in 1977 - 1979 in an unassuming home in Enfield, North London.

Also known as the Enfield Poltergeist, it was widely publicized by newspapers and media at the time and investigated by Maurice  Gross (Timothy Spall)and Guy Lyon Playfair (Matthew Macfadyen) of the society for psychical research (SPR) as well as other researchers periodically, including the famed Ed Warren.

Hotly debated both then and now over the truth of the claims, Maurice Gross  asserts that much of the phenomena was indeed real.
However the activity, which revolved around a young girl Janet, was caught out on a few occasions faking incidents and seemed to enjoy the media attention.

The show does a great job at treading the line of portraying a clever, pre-pubescent girl who at times is in charge of her world and at others genuinely scared. According to theory, this is a prime environment for a poltergeist; the stress, frustration and sexual tension experienced by the youth (female especially) in some cases so extreme as to form physical or telekinetic activity.

The Enfield poltergeist however, may take some liberties with the original case study, such as showing an old man to be haunting the young girl, and the special connection formed between Maurice and Janet, which may be construed to muddy the facts of the activity.

This first episode deals with the set up of the family situation, single mother Peggy, daughters Janet (11) and Margret (13), sons Johnny (10) and Billy (7). We sense the tension in the mother having to raise the four children on her own after the father left (abandoned) and with Johnny having to go away to school due to 'behavioral issues'. Family life is strained, money is scarce and Janet even shares a bath with a slug in one scene.

After the girls experience some knocking sounds in their room, mother Peggy and brother Billy arrive in time to see a chest of drawers slide towards them on its own.
Just after this Maurice arrives at the home after being contacted by the SPR. He is met by two newspaper men who claim to have caught pictures of objects flying across the room. They tell Maurice that a police woman came to see what the disturbance was and witnessed a chair moving on its own; she left without further ado [Short of arresting the chair for being an unlicensed vehicle I guess there's not much they can do about poltergeists].

It's not long before the first newspaper article comes out and we witness Janet being bullied at school over it, and yet another stress we are privy to in her life; her older sister watches but does nothing to help.
The article draws attention to the family and very soon the SPR sends along Guy Lyon Playfair to help downplay the events occurring in the home lest it bring the society into disrepute. Janet takes an instant disliking to him.

We witness through the episode some of the events that are documented: marbles flying across the lounge, a teapot smashing on the floor and to finish off - Janet being tangled up in her drapes by the neck. The episode ends when Guy Lyon rushes into the room to untangle her and is thrown up to the ceiling.

Although I'm glad that this story has been made into a new production for us to watch, I am wary that for the want of drama and interest things will be (and have been) added in for pure effect. Such as the inclusion of the 'Old Man' that Janet fears she bought home from the cemetery and the addition of Maurice's wife having an affair (to what end this aids the plot we are yet to discover). For the most part it is covering the events in succession, but I'm sure as the parts progress we will get a bit wild with the truth.
The real truth however, is still yet to be discovered, I just hope they leave it open ended enough to satisfy the appetites of believers and skeptics alike.  

For an account of the REAL STORY click here

Review - ghost asylum- st. Albans Sanatorium

Ok, we're back with the boys from the south, I'm tucked into a blanket, cat on my lap, cup of hot chai by my side. This is probably going to be the best moment of the show - where it's all anticipation and no let downs. Alright, can't delay any longer. Let's go ghost huntin'.
Radford Virginia - st. Albans Sanatorium.
Once a boy's school, and then an experimental psychiatric hospital, it sounds like this one should be full of goodies. Those that watch or read my blog know the layout of the show. But for first timers, we do a baseline sweep with half the crew, while the others go meet some locals for some background. Then we all go in to investigate in pairs before it's decided what kind of trap to make : yep, the Tennessee wraith chasers don't just find the ghosts, they trap 'em too. Kind of like your local wildlife rescue only with more gadgets and way less to go on.
The guys are talking about murders and suicides on the site, Indian settlements and a possible demonic curse. Ticks all the boxes. There's one demon reported who is called 'red eyes' (points for originality) which has scared off police and visitors for years.

Doogie, Chasey and Brannon are heading inside and as usual go straight to the attic where a spirit called Rebecca supposedly hangs about. Apparently she kept a baby in a jar up here. Yep.
Chasey and Porter are in town talking to the local law about a young woman who was murdered near the building in the eighties - although her body has never been found. The officer seems happy for the guys to look for some evidence and even takes them out to the spot where her car was found. Thanks officer Andy.

Night falls and after a quick prayer, our intrepid crew start wandering about the halls and come across a bowling alley, they're looking for red eyes. The demon, not the flight...
Using a 360 degree periscope (or the octopus I like to call it), they check the emf (electro magnetic field) in the room. There's a small bang and something touches Chris's ear. He sees a shadow next, Doogie sees the red eyes and they're hearing things all around them. Instead of seeing what might come of all this 'activity' they decide to leave. Ugh. Of course.

Porter and the others are bothering Rebecca using an array of gadgets. They're excited...for some reason I'm not sure of, they are saying they've had intelligent interactions, but I just saw a couple of lights.
Porter says he feels like he's being followed and hearing the shuffling of feet. DON'T LOOK NOW BUT THERE'S A CAMERA CREW FOLLOWING YOU!

Yay, ovulus time! It's set to a creepy deep voice. Just like the magic eight ball, its words may or may not be appropriate to the situation. As in this time when it says 'always' .
Review at the end of the night, one orb, two very very faint evps. But no time to dwell because its TRAP TIME! let's bring in the native American Indian folklore to tie it all up and make a huge dream catcher. I'm part cringing part smiling incredulously, these are the moments people, this is why we watch. Right here.
Let's just pause a minute. I need to wipe the tears away.
Ok, montage, we're making a flimsy box from sticks and placing a crystal ball in the middle, all to the tune of a slide guitar. Then with a glue gun just going nuts like crazy string around the outside. Yep, looks pro to me boys, the technology is surely sound.

Night two.
Setting the trap in the bowling alley, Doogie and Chris head to the furnace room to push 'red eyes' toward the trap. He must chill out in there.
The guys in the bowling alley aren't feeling too good and the periscope (cousin to the octopus) is lighting up. Doogie thinks he was possessed by red eyes (you can get drops for that).

Contact with the murder victim Gina is seemingly being made in the other room through the k2.
Ovulus says police, father and Robert. Then the less friendly "out". Dance, fear, happen. She was at a dance before she was killed, Robert is officer Andy's first name. Her father passed away recently.

Back at the clubhouse now. We hear and see the evidence: there's a scream, some knocks and Porter's name is said.  The guys test the trap for any entities and...nope. really? A hot glue gun didn't catch a ghost?
A picture is hung in the wall and instead of pizza, the guys head out for a bit of frisbee. Unless that's slang for pizza?
Sorry the glue trap didn't work boys, maybe the demon didn't want to 'stick around'...

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Review - the dead files - deranged

Psychic medium Amy Allen and her detective partner Steve Di Schiavi are back with a new episode. According to the intro, they never meet during an investigation and only compile their findings at the end of the show when they have a sit down with the owners.
Ok, so today we're at:

Falconer, New York.
Steve is heading to Sheila's house, where everyone is being terrorised by a spirit, especially her fourteen year old daughter (hands up if you're hoping for a poltergheist?!)
But now we flick over to Amy and her husband Matt as they do a walkthrough of the location. Now, one good thing and one bad thing:
+ Matt sweeps through the property and removes all personal items so that Amy doesn't pick up on who lives in the house. Good.
+ Matt follows her around with a camcorder to film all of Amy's strange expressions and impressions. Fine. But why then do we need an entire film crew to catch both of them doing what is supposed to come off as an intimate, creepy, psychic ghost tour? I can just see ten people trudging around the house with them, making noise and getting in the way. What if one of them has B.O. and another keeps farting? do we then have an evil entity in the house? Seems an odd thing to do and makes Matt being there totally redundant. Bad.

Back to Steve. Hi Sheila. We hear how her daughter Sarah is having daily experiences, getting sick and bruising up. Sheila is sick too, stabbing pains.
Amy and Matt are being recorded recording again. Amy picks up on the physical pain that people in the house are having. She doesn't know how they cope.

Apparently there's a super religious presence in the house that wants the dwellers to believe he's a ghost. I don't understand. He IS a ghost right? Anyway, he likes a particular woman in the house and smothers people by sticking his fingers in their mouth.
George now, Sheila's husband. He's chased a spirit out to the garage before and tells how he had a visit from a strange man which ended strangely and strangely enough they never saw him again. Strange.

Upstairs now and Amy is pulling faces. She cops a lot of flack for this, but really, I like it. Being an overly emotive person myself, I can put myself in her shoes and I think my eyebrows would wiggle and I would scrunch my face up too, especially if I was seeing some of the things she describes. Oop, now there's a demon in the house. Ok.

Nathan, Sheila's son tells how he used to see a set of red eyes going into the bathroom and items go inexplicably missing - only to turn up months later.

Matt quietly films (why is he here again?) As Amy pulls some crazy voices saying there's some bad stuff going on, so I have to pause for a giggle and miss what she says about some bad lady.
Michelle Henry is a local historian that Steve visits to get the background. Turns out an owner of the property in the nineteenth century was committed to an institution for 'religious excitement' and classed insane and committed suicide.

There's also been four deaths inside the house so Steve goes to visit Tina Scott, a genealogist to get the low down. Then he meets a local cop to hear how a brutal murder was committed close to the house. Sheesh, sounds like a fun place...

Amy has picked up now on the deaths and the sickness, and decides that it's not healthy for the living to be there.

Reveal time.

We go through a few characters that Amy picked up on while Steve interjects and adds his findings - putting together who is possibly who. It wouldn't be a reveal unless we make someone cry, so bingo, check that box.
The religious guy plays the centre role, so he's the one Amy has had sketched up. Family sufficiently disturbed, a couple more spirits are thrown into the mix for good measure.
We know what Steve's going to say next. No Steve, don't say it!..' And for that, I'm going to turn it over to Amy'. Ugh.

The cure
The elderly woman can't be dealt with. Really? Thanks for that.
A holy person needs to perform a sermon for the religious zealot, then a blessing.
Three sensitives are needed, two females and one male, one of them has to be a physical medium and they have to have a seance.
The daughter needs to be removed from the house until this is done.
Wow. Lots going on at this house. I'm left scratching my head though, as there is so much written history about this place that Steve presented, it just seems far too possible that Amy is given prior knowledge. I would love to believe everything I see, but this is tv, it needs to be entertaining, it needs to be neat and folded and laundered and put back on the shelf. Having said that though, for the entertainment factor, I'm glad we're back in normal homes again, is far more interesting than large tourist attraction sites and gives more of a human angle when Amy and Steve present them with the information at the end - even if that is given in a way to scare the living daylights out of them "you have a demon, and by the way, here's the pictures...also you'll need a left handed monkey trainer from Guatemala to perform a ritual to remove it...good luck!" 
we're watching you watching her and it's creepy

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Review - Haunting Australia - Woodford Academy

Whoosh, Splash, psssshhhhh. Yes, with this many sound effects, it's got to be a SYFY show!

I really wasn't going to to review this one, but as it's my home turf, I guess I should. Welcome to ghost hunting - OZ style...mate. Gah, couldn't help it.

Straight up we are introduced to Allen Tiller - an accomplished paranormal investigator (never heard of him,soz)and medium / Clairvoyant, Rayleen Kable (never heard of her , soz) and Robb Demarest (have heard of him) the beleaguered ghost hunters ex - I guess they had to get him out of the country to stop him appearing on radio and blurting inappropriate things out. 

New South Wales, the Blue Mountains
we arrive at the Woodford Academy for boys, purportedly 'teaming with activity'. being previously a pub, a gentleman's residence and a sanatorium, it has all the ingredients for a great location. We're told there's six good spirits and six bad spirits - nice of them to be so down the line. One was apparently a woman who hung herself - 'Mary Jane' - we hear from a couple of accounts that aren't too spectacular.

We see that CCTV is hooked up around the property and the team walks towards the building 'Armageddon' style as the incredibly cheesy voice over states 'let the ghostly games begin'. The format is almost identical to British TV show Most Haunted, which was notorious for faking or at least wildly exaggerating claims. Anyway, we're in with the first investigator or 'into the inky void' as the voice over claims in some harkening to Edgar Allen Poe - Medium Ian Lawman (don't know him either) has a camera strapped to him so we get a Blair Witch style POV. As an aside, we meet Ian properly who tells us he is a triple threat with clairvoyance, mediumship and psychic abilities. we get almost circus music behind this which feels like the programmers don't believe him either...

Rayleen joins us now in the attic where she says she feels sad and is accompanied by a little girl. Turns out a little girl was once locked up in there.

Back to Ian who is not happy in a bathroom. maybe he saw the amount of eyeliner he had on in the mirror. Someone's gonna have panda eyes in the morning!

Now we are joining Ray and Gorav? Who are these two? nope, no time to find out as they head out into the 'dark, chilly garden', not your ordinary garden then? The guys are trying some EVPs.
They use a full spectrum camera and claim they've caught a woman behind a tree. pats on the back all round.

Time to send in the big guns and Robb heads in. Straight away he's getting loud knocks and scraping, he's with Rayleen who tells him it's a little boy called Johnny.Johnny opens a door on command, good boy Johnny.
Straight after this a fire alarm goes off in the house - the fire service arrives and agrees that there was no fire, but that it happens pretty regularly. Faulty system anyone?

During the program, we are matching up hits with local tour guides who inform us of the history and legends. These stories must be told almost every day to groups visiting the location, so it brings down the viability of the mediums and clairvoyants 'picking up' on the resident ghosts.

Ian and Gorav are in a bedroom and we instantly hear footsteps and furniture dragging. Knocking occurs in response to their questions.
Meanwhile, Ray is walking around downstairs and is 'very scared'. Why is a professional ghost hunter 'very scared'? we don't find out. Probably all the sound effects and furniture moving and knocking and banging and doors opening...these ghosts must be exhausted.

let's finish up by sending Rayleen to sit in a chair - nope she's up and running away. She's scared too. Now there's tears.

Ooh, now we get to meet Gorav, so he is a healer which makes a perfect segway for him to cleanse Rayleen. Then he walks the building and spreads some of his special love around by smudging with sage and an 'ancient universal chant' which is just him going 'oooooooooooooohhh, move out, go to the beautiful world'. Oh, come on. I'm done, must I watch more?
Ok, for you guys I will.

AAAAAANNNNDD instantly I wish I didn't. now they are tooling around in a park on actual segways. WHY?! there's comical music playing in the background until...Gorav falls off and seriously hurts himself.
YAY! It WAS worth watching through!
So after this seriously awful goofing around scene, we review the material which is just not even worth mentioning as there was so much going on that there is no way I'm going to believe even a small bit of it.
A few words spring to mind after watching this show:

It's hard not to compare this show to the others out there already, and in comparison it just doesn't hit the mark at all. I'm not sure who their target audience is as anyone even remotely interested in this field would surely watch this show and discredit it in the first five minutes. is it a comedy? Is it a spoof? All I know is that I don't know and honestly I don't care as I'm closing the book on this and will try to forget that it exists and that it was made in my home country.
Going to hide in shame.

Haunting Australia - and now my nightmares


Monday, 27 April 2015

Review - Ghost asylum - Mansfield Reformatory

Back with the good old boys. Before we even start, we have a warning that tells us that they are professionals...blah blah permission...chasing ghosts without proper training will get you killed.
WILL get you killed? How, will the good old boys come and kill you? 

Mansfield Reformatory Ohio
The TWC ( Tennessee wraith chasers) are looking for ghosts in this massive prison. I'll admit it does look pretty impressive as they pull up to it, at its peak it housed 2000 inmates, so it ain't small.
We have some short clips from former inmates and tour guides that tell us what to look for. Pushing, grabbing and noises seem to be the most prevalent. Some of the boys head out to talk to Scott Sukel a local historian, while the others head inside for a base sweep - straight up to the west wing attic, where we can see some tiny cells with original inmate graffiti on the walls.
Meanwhile, Scott the historian tells us a story about how a guard was killed, a prisoner set himself on fire, and where the paranormal 'hotspots' are.
We've been here before with other shows, but it's interesting to see if they pick up on the same activity. Unfortunately though, they don't try new angles on investigating the space so it can be a little 'been there, done that'.

The boys all come together and trade stories, which helps them decide where to investigate. Then we bring it in, rock a quick prayer to the big guy and we're off again.
Chris and Chasey start to hear noises straight off the bat. Chasey mumbles some deep south ding dong diddly stuff, so we have to have subtitles. A door shuts on its own in the distance and we see an orb. Gah, orbs. I hate orbs as 'evidence'. Unless they pulse with light and have a face peering out of it...even then...

Chris sits in solitary confinement and tells us he hears things - but there's so many stupid sound effects put in over the top we have no chance of defining what it is.
Next, Porter tries some antagonizing which results in some small blips on the k2. There's also a new toy that looks like an octopus and we throw some magnets around for the ghost to play with.
Now in the cell where the inmate set himself on fire actually has the instruments going crazy. For a moment anyway.
Doogie asks "Are you trapped?" Meter goes off, door slams somewhere off camera.
A quick review shows a whisper that the team says is saying 'God give me justice'. Hmm

Day two.
The trap.
Mirror box. No reason, no specific relation to the prison. We're calling this one ' The wraith dome'. Oh, and there'll be a balloon inside.
The boys place the trap outside solitary and when they feel that something is inside (lights going off), they will pop the balloon which will somehow force the entity into the mirror. Interestingly, they do capture a clear white mist inside the dome which is pretty cool. They pop the balloon and wrap it up for the night. 

Back in Tennessee and time to go over the evidence. One faint evp, but the trap footage is compelling. The mist is very visible and perhaps an eye is visible.
Checking the trap and...nope. nothing.
Hang that picture boys and head out for food, pizza again!

This is typical of watching hours and hours of this stuff, we finally have something we might call evidence. But anyone who really knows, that's how this stuff goes in the real world. In the meantime we'll watch the effects and flashy reactions for the entertainment. Thanks boys, enjoy your pizza.
If looking into a camera could catch ghosts - these guys would be set

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Review - The Dead Files - Guardians of the dead

Psychic Medium Amy Allen and retired homicide detective Steve Di Shiavi team up to perform investigations of reported hauntings.

First we visit the location with Steve. The two investigators never cross over during the examination, Steve talks to the owners, does some research on the history and Amy does a walk through of the property with just her husband and a handicam. Then at the end we all have a sit down and present the findings.

This ep we travel to Montego Bay, Jamaica. usually we just visit people's homes on this show, which is, in my opinion, more interesting than traveling to exotic locales. Let the other shows do that I say.

Night time, Amy starts talking about a brutal past with the old sugar cane plantation that we are investigating. She looks up at the building and says, "I don't want to go in there".

We switch to Steve during the day, he meets the owner who tells him about the history of the house - a legend says that a notorious female owner killed her 3 husbands and buried them on the property.
The owner's mother tells Steve about the family's involvement in the building. The sightings, sounds and odd things going on at night. 

we switch to Amy who picks up on an older lady and a crazy / angry man - and makes the huge statement that he is involved in hundreds of deaths. Now, Amy has been critisised for her over the top reactions to what she is seeing and the delivery of her info. This is no different when she pulls a crazy face and says the man is 'vicious' in the mode of Gollum...Ok Ames, rein it in.

Steve is still interviewing people. The employees tell him about their experiences, ranging from touching, holding and sounds. One compelling statement is from a housekeeper that says a ghost held her hand and spoke to her as 5 other entities approached her. She said she thought she was going to die. I don't know why she is back in the house if this is true.

Amy is still pulling faces and pretending to vomit in the dark. Now she tells us there are 12 foot tall black guardians in the backyard that are very dangerous.

Steve does some research into the legends and discovers that there is only a modicum of truth in them.

Eventually we sit down with Amy, Steve and the owners. Amy tells the terrified people about all the things she encountered, accompanied by crazy face pulling. Steve reveals how the legends aren't necessarily true, Amy isn't sure, but pulls her story together a bit more.

Now, every episode, Amy sits down with a sketch artist and does a scary picture to show. This time we see the guardians. I can't stand how formulaic it is that every single time Steve says 'for that I'm going to turn it over to Amy'. It makes it feel scripted and I cringe every time.

Amy tells the owners what they need to do to clear the house. This also irks me because she comes in and tells them all this scary business and then leaves. This time, we need an exorcism and a medium (isn't she a medium? why can't she do it?)

I'm totally dubious on this show as from memory, Amy appeared on shows years ago as an investigator with no talent of her own, but now she is an extremely accurate medium with intimate knowledge of the arcane. I'd love to be proved wrong, but the flashy graphics and sound effects do nothing to support the validity of her findings. Entertaining none the less.
Mama Mia - Here we go again...

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Are ufos actually esoteric phenomenon?

Chris Pittman, as seen on Ancient Aliens, hosted this AMA (ask me anything) session about two years ago. But I've only just stumbled across it in my 'research' and it has opened up some new theories on not only the UFO debate, but the paranormal field as a whole.
You can read the full Reddit AMA Here.

Chris starts out by stating that even though he is a 'UFO researcher' he doesn't believe there has been any conclusive proof that Aliens even exist. So ...what does that mean? That in itself is enough to make me read more, a pretty unique standpoint for an investigator you might agree. In his own words, he says that if he was willing to espouse wacky theories about Aliens, he would get more airtime on TV and the media, but clearly this isn't his motivating factor, which does tend to lend more credence to his theories.
"...The biggest failing of so-called paranormal investigation is that reasonable, accurate and verifyable [sic] claims are simply not as entertaining as wild falsehoods."
I think that due to the upsurge of paranormal TV, in this particular field - UFO hunters - and the like, we have to take into consideration the 'entertainment value' of said shows. As much as serious enthusiasts may watch skeptics debate on theory for hours, the reality is that it wouldn't get air time, or drag in the enormous audience that over sensationalised programs with all their fancy graphics and crazy batman angle camera shots do. So we have to sift through the detritus to get to the tiny specs of gold. Like panning. For gold. yes...

Anyway, Chris answers the questions that we all want to ask in this Reddit, and takes us down some paths that we may not have traveled before. Firstly, he answers questions about implants and so called evidence by saying he doesn't believe them, for the simple reason that he doesn't trust the people coming out with this stuff. He also doesn't believe that there is a government cover up, or any so called 'proof' of existence. OK, so what DOES he think? How does a UFOlogist study UFOs if he doesn't think they exist or that there is any proof of their existence at all?!

Then he hits us with his theory:
...I investigated very many UFO sightings over a number of years. I never found any proof of aliens. In fact, I came to believe that UFOs represent some kind of non-human intelligence based on this planet, although I can't prove that, either. I am convinced that UFOs are real, in the sense that there is some kind of aerial phenomenon that is encountered by people that cannot be explained by weather, aircraft or anything conventional like that. I don't know for sure what they are.
 Intriguing. He goes on to speculate that there is a non human intelligence based on this planet and that these entities deliberately 'trick' people into thinking they are 'spacemen'.  Are these entities coming from Earth? Throughout the AMA, he unfolds that during regression therapy (which he himself is dubious on) the stories are held close together by common threads. Mostly abductions are medical in nature, and more often than not covered up by 'screen' memories - usually of an animal in their room - most times an owl - creepy. But when regressed, these animals turn out to be the big eyed Greys watching them and sometimes taking them away.
Chris himself says that delving into this subject is dangerous - that he and his loved ones have suffered because of this and many unexplained things have occurred whilst researching the subject. The spookiest thing he says is that if you start looking at them, they start to look back.

The main theory posed is that some type of 'supernatural entity' shares our planet, and that we are exposed to it during 'altered states of consciousness'. Whether they are creating these altered states or we are more susceptible when we are naturally in these states is yet to be considered. But if we look back through all our recorded history, we see that encounters with bigfoot, imps, sprites, ghosts, angels, demons or even Aliens are rife. So surely something is going on here. Are they all the same thing? Chris posits that wherever there are UFO sightings, there is generally other supernatural phenomena reported also.
I'm certainly intrigued by Chris's theories and will look into them some more. He has a very down to earth and commonsense approach to the field that both embraces and constructively speculates on what is real and what isn't.

What do you think?