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?


Thursday, 23 April 2015

Review - True Supernatural - Dybbuk Box

Today, we're looking at two stories: The Dybbukk box and Bigfoot. We start with

The Dybbuk Box
Kirksville Missouri, Father and son Jason and Ross Hackston dive into a basement at an isolated farmhouse. They retrieve a large box that is buried underneath the house and bring it out to take along for examination, Inside is the famed Dybbuk box.
Regular paranormal viewers may have seen this before  - apparently this once innocuous wine box was used by a woman to trap a Dybbuk (a Jewish demon) that was bought through a Ouija board.

Throughout its history, owners have reported bad luck, swarms of insects, electrical disturbances,terrible smells and terrifying nightmares.
Current owner Jason bought it to test it in his own museum, vowing he would never take it home. But once people in his workplace demanded he remove it due to bad luck and the smell, he relented and took it back to his residence. Even though he claims that the box had a powerful sickening effect on his own body. He began to suffer bloody eyes, bruises and choking sensations, none of which could be explained by doctors.

But to the lab: 'expert' Taner Edis PhD, Professor of physics, and his team run some tests on the box. 
Firstly, they test the box for radiation suing a Geiger counter. he only picks up background blips, so nothing on the outside. lets open it up.
Still no radioactivity.
Next, using a blacklight, we see some glue spots and grime.
So bringing out the big guns, we use a very high powered microscope, so we can see the plant cells of the wood, looking for toxins... and... nothing.
What did we prove? Nothing. What did we disprove? nothing. But it was fun to pull the box out and look inside. Its reburied to wait until the next tv appearance I guess.

Who doesn't like a good bigfoot story? We're told that we will see never seen before evidence. Bring it on.
Pacific Northwest - home to bigfoot, well one variety anyway.
Our 'never seen before evidence' is a new foot cast. ok, expectations lowering. We're shown a couple of anecdotal stories, which are great, but not proof.

We've seen in other programs how these casts can be manipulated by bears and humans, so as much as it looks like evidence, unless someone saw a bigfoot actually leave these prints, they're not so great. But wait! that's just what happened. Ok.

let's get it to the lab.
But we don't test anything. Instead we have a couple of people in lab coats tell us that it is possible that bigfoot exists.

Ok, so seeing a pattern arise in this show where there is a main, dazzling story, and the second 'filler' story that gets no real conclusion.

i still like the concept of this show and am hopeful that they are leaving some actual finding until the series final. Guess we'll just have to wait and see,..

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Review - Ghost Asylum - Rolling Hills Asylum

Ok folks, here's the deep down duck huntin' version of ghostly adventures. If you like good ol' bearded boys from Tennessee doing your ghost hunting, then here's the show for you.

Obviously since the market has been flooded with paranormal shows, each one has to have its own point of difference - this show has two. 1) good old southern boys who join together for a prayer before heading in and 2) The Tennessee Wraith Chasers claim that they will not only find the ghosts, they will attempt to construct a trap and catch your ghosties for you.

Today, we're heading to the:

Rolling Hills Asylum
Located in Bethany New York, the unused asylum has been featured in almost every ghost hunting show so far. From watching these, we know there's a few spirits that hang out in this space: Roy, a giant that was dumped at the institution as a child, Raymond, an evil entity that appears as a very tall black shadow and Emma, a nurse who was by all reports a mean one who practiced witchcraft.
As all good locations seem to be, this one has had many incarnations, a poor house, a tuberculosis ward, an orphanage and of course, an insane asylum. This we find out by visiting  local historian Kelly in town with 'Doogie' and 'Chris'.

Back at the Asylum, we follow 'Porter','Brannon' and 'Chasey' in finding Roy's room. Upon leaving the room, Porter sees someone walking down the hallway, of course, we don't see it so we take him on his word for this.

Night One Doogie and Chris turn up and we all bring it in close for 'a shout out to the big man' and we end the prayer session, grab our K2s and head inside.

We're looking for Roy in his room, Chris is talking away and the phonetic generator stars spitting out words. yay, i love this bit of kit - it purportedly pulls the energy out of the air and lets the ghost talk to you. Sometimes they might be confused and talk about cookies, but other times, you can totally use what they say as evidence...such as now when "Roy" apparently says "sister" - which is totes amazing because get this - ROY HAD A SISTER! woah.

Cut to the morgue, where the others are taking turns in laying on the slab. There's reports of feelings of vertigo and illness from people who have laid down on this before, so we're not surprised when Porter claims he feels weird, Chasey climbs on up for a go and feels sick too. The K2 meter is going beeeeep and all of a sudden, a suit hanging from the ceiling starts spinning around. Is the slab full of EMFs? Is the suit pissed off? Can you have a ghost of a suit? I suppose if it suits their purpose...

Meanwhile, Roy is still making buttons glow as Brannon plays some classical tunes and all of a sudden, the phonetic generator says 'evil'. maybe he just doesn't like the music.

So we head on up to Emma's room and light up some candles on a birthday cake for her. The K2 is going off, and we notice that the heat above the candle is moving a little bit. The cake seems to bring about some interactions, maybe the spirits are crowding in to see if their beards catch on fire.
End of night one, we review some of the EVPs, as usual, they're pretty hard to hear and i'm pretty iffy that they have interpreted them right.

Night Two Ok, we need a trap, because that's in the contract. So, today, we're making a faraday trap (a box that no electricity can leak out of) and heat lamps to somehow herd the ghosts into it, We're calling this one an inferno cage. I don't know, it must be pretty cold in there so I don't blame them. Montage of construction.

Back to Roy's room, we see a heat signature on a glass angel which excites everyone a bit. We end up setting up the trap in there. Everyone grabs a nice warm heater - I mean herding stick and starts pushing towards the box. The first trapping was too slow, so we reset and do it again. Gotchya, let's take you back to Tennessee.

Back home, there's two EVPs that seems legit 'Don't call me Raymond' and 'I'm gonna cut your f** head off'. But now to the trap. We listen, watch and monitor, until we discover there was nothing inside. We hang a picture on the wall and head out for pizza.

As per usual, 45 odd minutes of replays and sound effects lead to a couple of small but good pieces of evidence. Still, the entertainment value is there and as long as people are hunting, we're going to be finding. Shout out to the good old boys.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Review - The Haunting of - Dianne Farr

'The haunting of' is a strange beast as it is a spin off from the show,'Celebrity Ghost stories'.
In it, psychic medium Kelly Russo takes the 'celebrity' 'back to the place of the original haunting to try and make sense of it'.

So, we begin with Kim in the car en route to destination - today she is meeting:

Diane Farr
Known from the tv shows 'Numbers' and 'Rescue Me'. She claims that an old lady haunted her previous home and has followed her to her new digs. We hear how in the old house, the ghost almost prevented her from selling the place, but settled down after she had a word with it one night.
Kim pulls up and its all kisses, kisses, nice to meet you, lets go find some ghosts. So off we go.

Now, why is it that every time we look for ghosts it has to be in the dark? Anyway, the lights are off as Kim starts puling through the spirits that are hanging around Diane. It's not long before we have a crowded room and her best friend, a small angelic child and the creepy old bat are floating around in the ether trying to give messages to Diane through Kim. 

Diane reveals that she has inexplicable information for people sometimes, and just 'knows things' that she shouldn't. Kim brushes over this for now, then moves on to the 'energy vampire' that she believes is the old lady. Big warning to Diane, close up for reaction. Now Kim is ready to tell Diane that she has her own powers.

Time to talk to the best friend who passed over- she is now a bird that visits occasionally.
We are then shown broken mirrors and glass doors and a curious case of glass smoking up from the inside for no reason.
We have a moment where a picture jumps off the shelf by itself, and a light turns on and off. Diane is unfazed as it happens all the time, meh, whatevs.

Kim deducts that all this stuff happening in the house is coming from Diane. I assume its classic poltergeist activity as Diane can't rein her rampant energy in, although the 'P' word is never mentioned.

So, at the end, poor Diane looks like hell - from all the crying and turning lights on and off I guess. And Kim helps her perform a ritual with a piece of string that is symbolic of letting the angry old woman (who we now now as Katie) go. No more vampires in this house thank you very much.

Finishing up with a pun about spirits, we all have a chuckle and reflect on what we've learned. I've learned never to invite Diane to my house and to be wary of birds.

I enjoy watching Kim doing these house calls, mostly because you get to see a real emotional dumping from the people she visits. Whether you believe in psychics or not, Kim certainly has some uncanny information from somewhere, and her gentle prodding manner helps the people she visits let go of issues that have been holding them back for whatever reason.

Review - Ghost Adventures - Aftershocks - Stonehouse brewery and Missouri State Pen

I have had a long journey with these guys. Right from their early days when Aaron was scared of everything and Zak wanted to show all the ghosts how tough he was and Nick, well, he was there too.
I started watching Ghost Adventures mostly because I couldn't believe that it was a real television show - I mean, it was hilarious - and such a foil to the uber serious 'Ghost Hunters' style. I continued to watch because of the entertainment value and now, years later I realise that what began as a laugh, has become near and dear to me in the ghostly viewing genre.

I was there through the placement of the 'x' cameras and when Aaron was slightly, ehem, larger than he is now. And I was there every time Zak thought nothing was really happening and so miraculously became 'possessed'.

Having said all that, there has been a real evolution of character throughout the show. And nothing proves this more than the 'aftershocks' series. In these catch up shows, we revisit the characters we've met and see how things are faring. We also get more insight into what went on behind the scenes, which to me, lends more credence to the show. I also think that confronting some of these guests has made Zak seem a bit more compassionate and even display some genuine empathy...what now?

Stonehouse Brewery
Or, the Stonehouse Bar and Grill as Zak continues to call it even though he is corrected...
We meet up with Nikko Wu, owner and operator and hear that during the original visit, the GAC uncovered some creepy goings on underneath the structure and possibly seeping in from the stream that runs through the property.
In a moodily lit studio, Zak greets Nikko and in a grave voice recounts their first meeting. After lots of zooming closeups and looking at the floor, he asks her if she thinks she is cursed. Of course she is, pssht, next.
Friends have died, car accidents have occurred, someone has committed suicide - it is decided that the ghosts of murdered Chinamen are to blame.
Zak is concerned. Nikko is concerned. Things are grim at the Stonehouse Bar and Grill, I mean Brewery.

But not to be bogged down with all that, we have a woman called Morgana Wyze to talk to. And of course Blood Demons to discuss in hushed tones.
Morgana tells us that said Blood Demon is behind all the shenanigans and actually killed her son. Zak doesn't know where to look. Awks.
Morgana then does a cleanse on Zak because ghosts are sitting in his spine.

Wrapping up, Zak shows some genuine concern for Nikko, and speaks calmly and sincerely to her. Perhaps this is why I like Aftershocks so much. It's softer and somehow more raw because of it.

Missouri State Penitentiary
We meet Maggie Scott, a woman who has been visiting the prison giving guided tours. She claims that she has a real connection to the place and it has a hold on her.

Wait, Zak is seeing a ghost. It's possibly one of those spine sitters looking for a new host with fewer muscles and baggier shirts.

Back to Maggie and her experiences. But Zak isn't interested in that, He wants to bring out her ex husband - separated because of the penitentiary; she loves it more than him. The interaction is awkward and made more so by Zak pushing the ghosts between them, then turning marriage counselor.
The whole thing is riveting because of its voyeuristic feel and we all know we love that.
Out comes the daughter for interrogation, to fill in the gaps. More ghosts to blame, we all decide with Zak that Maggie needs to stop going there: come on Mags, we all care about you (now), do the right thing.

The whole thing feels like a big girly gossip session and we're all closer by the end of it. Close ups of shaking heads and steepling hands, monologue and fade out.

I love this version of Ghost Adventures. perhaps its because we get an insight to what people are thinking rather than just trying to capture evidence, we get to see the real impact it has on their lives, whether they are being taunted by a demon or believe ghosts are living in their toilet. I may have learned to have a healthy dose of skepticism over the years, but it doesn't mean I don't love hearing the stories and deciding for myself.

So thanks Zak, hope you can walk taller without those ghosts sitting around on your bones, see you next week.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Review - True Supernatural s01e01 The Betty Hill Dress

So, new blog, new show. Seems like a good place to start.

True Supernatural claims to put theories of the supernatural through the scientific testing process.
I actually like this angle on the genre. And clearly they think they're on a winner with the formula being able to pick up skeptics and believers alike. However, side note - I have never watched a program like this that isn't biased one way or the other (I'm thinking Nasa's Unexplained files) and it seems, as entertaining as this show is, it leans pretty much towards the believer's view.

But that doesn't take anything away from its entertainment and possibly scientific (why not) benefits.
The show focuses on two stories per 45minute episode. This one covers the famous Betty Hill dress, and the not so famous 'Ringdocus', 'Shunka Warakin', or the Rocky Mountain Demon Wolf.

The Betty Hill Dress

It begins in 1961 with couple Betty and Barney Hill, when they were allegedly abducted by aliens. A light descended from the sky, and hovered in front of the car. Barney got out to look at it (shake his fist at it?) and noticed it was coming closer. They drove off quickly and that is all they remembered until they 'woke up' a couple of hours later on an unfamiliar road much further south. Betty's dress was stained and torn, Barney's shoes were scuffed.
It's all reported to project blue book at the time, who took all the facts and came back with 'you were looking at Jupiter or Venus'. Wow, those planets are thugs.
Through hypnosis, the pair recall that they were taken aboard a craft and 'experimented' on. The story is actually quite intriguing and obviously something strange went on that night. 
But, we are looking to test this story using science, so off to the lab.
The dress at the time was reportedly covered in a pink powder substance, which Betty Hill washed off (she's no Monica Lewinsky) so that doesn't help proceedings. However, the scientist does her best to evaluate fibres and tears in the material. During the show we're told that at the end we could find alien DNA.
In the last five minutes we find out there is no DNA. Although, we are told that aliens probably don't have DNA. I'd like my last 45 minutes back please.

The Rocky Mountain Demon Wolf
In a town called Ennis, Montana, there's a small museum that houses the taxidermy carcass of the 'Ringdoncus' itself. Shot in 1886, this creature looks like a cross between a bear, a wolf and a hyena. It has apparently terrorised Americans for centuries. A woman in glasses tells us it has supernatural qualities, so...I guess its true? we're shown pictures of mangled livestock, so...I guess this creature did it?
For the next 45 minutes, we are told how experts will test the animal and people come on and tell you what it could be. Skip to the lab part... WE don't know what it is! Because the show couldn't even get a sample of the animal. Surely they knew that when they told me for the last 45 minutes.

I am a sucker. So disregard any negativity you may read in my blogs, because as much as I might snort and deride the production quality / material / stupid sound effects and dodgy conclusions, I'll be back. I'm keen to see what else we may or may not get to test in a fake lab somewhere because i love the stories. Guess i'm in it for the folklore.