Posts Tagged ‘paranormal


Ghost Hunters vs Ghost Lab

Being a fan of the paranormal — and being on a “Ghost Hunters” binge for the past week — naturally I had to catch Discovery’s newest ghost hunting show called “Ghost Lab.”

Inevitably, there is going to be a comparison between the two shows, so I decided I’d write out my own mini comparison between them.

  1. The hosts: OK, I like Grant and Jason from GH far more than the Klinge brothers of GL. Maybe it’s a southern vs. northern thing here, but the chemistry and sense of humor is better with Grant and Jason
    Stop eating our young!

    Stop eating our young!

    than it is with the Klinges. The Klinges just come across as overbearing — moreso Brad than Barry — but that’s also because Brad looks almost like a Klingon in several shots. It’s like he’s always snarling, which gives the impression of “Agree with me or I’ll eat your young!” And there’s also that feeling that they were both football lineman and never outgrew that mentality. Hopefully, they’ll grow on me as I get used to them, but right now, GH easily wins this category. (Oh, and I know it’s the South and it’s hot, but really, seeing the big guys sweating in HD is pretty gross.)

  2. All your equipment are belong to us

    But do they have our fine acting skills?

    Equipment: No contest here: Ghost Lab takes it. They have a giant horse trailer that they work out of. They have giant CSI style TVs and seem to have a bazillion gadgets that the GH guys don’t have. I don’t know if Discovery sprung for all this crap or if the Klinges come from money or what, but TAPS seems rather rinky-dink in comparison to them. (But let’s face it, Jay has 5 kids at home, and Grant has 3. I have a feeling that the Klinges have yet to reproduce, or if they have, have the potential to eat their young, so they may have more disposable income to spend on equipment.)

  3. Theory: This is kind of a draw. I want to say Ghost Lab has the edge here because they are experimenting with Brad’s “Era Cues” theory, which is mildly better than running around measuring things with no theory at all. (Oh, and “Era Cues” was somewhat brought up in GH when they were in Europe, investigating The Viaduct Tavern.) However, going to the “parallel universe” theory was really reaching. And they seemed extremely quick to pronounce a place haunted from having a few EVPs. I still like TAPS’ practice of assuming a place IS NOT haunted first, and looking for logical answers before assuming anything supernatural.
  4. Holy Batheft!

    "Holy Batheft!"

    Investigation: Generally, I like GH’s approach, although I loathe when they bring out people who use dowsing rods and the like. But there’s only been one episode of GL, so I can’t draw a conclusion here. However, calling the lab the “para-lab” is annoying — I wonder if the GL guys call their rig the “para-mobile” or if they break out the “para-EMF detectors” and have “Para-shark repellent” stashed in the “para-lab.” Result: Too early to call.

  5. Sorry guys, I still dont like you.

    Sorry guys, I still don't like you.

    Crew: Again, too early to call. However, it seems like the Klinge brothers have enough ego to require a second trailer. They easily overwhelm the rest of the staff, who just shrink away in the background because the brothers are just so intensely focused on the mission at hand (ERA CUES!) that everything else is just shoved out of the way. If you watch Katie Burr (which I was, because there’s only like 2 women on the crew), she almost always has her arms crossed, which is a classic defensive stance. The GH crew has more personality, and gives off more of a “team” vibe, even in their pissing contests. GL will have a lot of ground to cover here, as GH did a great job of giving you a feel for the entire TAPS crew.

  6. Pacing: GH frustrates me at times, because it seems like they spend entirely too much time setting up and breaking down, which just bogs
    Ive found orbs!

    I think I've discovered 2 orbs!

    down the rest of the show (but then again, wandering around in the dark for 7 hours and finding nothing won’t do anything to help that). However, GL seems to be the exact opposite. It feels like they rush in, talk with people, talk about Era Cues, sweat, talk to an “expert,” capture a few EVPs, emit a few Texas-style whoops and yeehas, pronounce a place haunted and then move on. At least GH kinda feels like more of a story.

So, that’s the initial impression. I’m going to keep my eye on Ghost Lab to see how it evolves. (Remember kids, ERA CUES! Disagree with Brad and he’ll eat your young!) But I’m also going to keep watching Ghost Hunters, because hey, if nothing else, it’s entertaining to watch people stumble around in the dark.


The binge

Yesterday I was feeling rather logey (pronounced “low-gie”), so I decided to start watching a ton of “Ghost Hunter” episodes. My buddy from Blabs of Steele came over and networked my computer and my PS3, and ever since I’ve been watching all kinds of crap that I have on my computer. Now, I love paranormal stuff, and since it’s the beginning of October, I figured “Why not?” Figured it would be a great way to get in the Halloween spirit … so to speak.

Now, I’m one of those people who came into the series late. Previously, I only was able to catch shows on On Demand, and they were pretty sporadic, so I had no idea that there was so much staff drama going on on that show. For me, it was like Scooby Doo when they hit the celebrity guest stars stage … I would turn it on, see the core staff and a bunch of revolving new faces … though they never found out the haunting was caused by Old Man Smithers, and there was no secret treasure on the grounds.

So, with Halloween in mind, here’s a few observations:



  1. I loathe Brian. There, I said it. If you’re not a fan of the show, let me try and describe him to you: You know that coworker that is always on the phone yakking on and on about things with his girlfriend in a move to constantly reassure her that everything is OK? That’s him. He obviously has problems (as we find out later in Season 2), but man, he’s that guy who “just doesn’t get it.” When I was searching for his pic, I came across a blog that was kind of defending him, saying no employee should be treated like he was treated. Well, if you’re gonna say that, then no boss or no coworker should have to tell you to get off the phone when you’ve been on it for 3 hours and you’re on the clock. Oh, and he’s also one of the guys in the infamous “Dooood run!” clip, which is hilarious.

  2. Its a nightmare come true

    It's a nightmare come true

    The other guy I dislike? Andy. To be quite honest, in the first episode I saw him in, I thought he was a woman. He had longer hair and kind of a high-pitched voice for a man, and apparently was rather over-dramatic in that particular episode (“I feel a tightness in my chest.”) If TAPS’ goal is to walk into an investigation looking to debunk the haunting, Andy is the guy who is absolutely ready to believe everything and anything is a “bit of paranormal evidence.” It’s like he needs to be on “UFO Hunters,” where they try and mold the evidence into what they want it to be. After watching tons of these GH episodes, I pretty much assume that the pics I took at the Trans-Allegheny Insane Asylum were 99 percent dust — the only one that may be something else is that last one — but I’m not a “trained investigator” and have no idea of what’s what. But Andy sees a grasshopper jump in front of a camera and he’s like, “Dude! Evidence of paranormal activity!” He pains me in unimaginable ways. Thank the gods he is no longer with the show.

  3. The Demonologist. I see this term pop up on shows like “Ghost Hunters” and “Paranormal State,” and it gets me to to wondering … how does one become a “demonologist”? Is it like a night class at CCAC or something? Is it a degree or just a certification class? And just how many hours does it take to get one, because you know, I’d love to be able to put on my resume that I’m a “Certified Demonologist.”
  4. In my mind, one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen happened in the third episode of Season 2, when they were in New Orleans. Well, actually, they were out on a run down plantation where a scary little Torgo guy lived. And his complaint was about how a ghost living in his house would make his “lady friends” uncomfortable and leave the house. But I have an inkling that it had nothing to do with a ghost.  Meet Bruce at around the 8:20 mark.

    And at the beginning of the second one, you can just feel the sexual frustration rippling off of him. I have a hypothesis that every time he says “lady friend,” a hooker gets her pumps.

    Personally, I was waiting for him to eventually break down and say, “Damn, if I don’t get none soon, I’m gonna explode, you know what I mean?”
    I dunno. But here’s all I can say about this: When you’re dressed in camo and flannel, look kinda dirty, have taxidermy in your house and entirely too much pent up sexual energy, the vast majority of women are going to get the impression that you’re about to go all “Silence of the Lambs” on them. Just sayin’.
  5. I love when they ask questions to the ghosts, and the answers would have to be rather complex for the ghost to answer.
    Investigator: “How did you die?”
    Ghost (with a British accent): “Well, it’s rather long and humorous story involving a wheel of cheddar cheese, an elephant and a squad of mice trained by the communists. Now, I was just walking down the street and …”
    Investigator: “Do you see yourself in the time period in which you died?”
    Ghost: “Come now old boy, let me answer your first question before you ask me a second …”
    Investigator: “Do you know you’re dead?”
    Ghost: “Of course I do! But the question is, do you know your brain is?”
  6. There’s been a lot of scary women on Ghost Hunters, but also a lot of cuties. And let’s face it, they’re much more interesting to watch than TAPS setting up, wandering around in the dark, and then tearing down.

So I like my women a little more normal and nerdy. So what?

One of the the things I like about the show is the fact that they just don’t automatically assume every little unexplained thing is Satan about to unleash his unholy hordes upon the world, and that they don’t use psychics in their adventures. However, I do hate their tossing around of the words “scientific” and “theory,” because what they do has very little to do with science. It’s more that they use technology and apply more critical thinking to their investigations than psychic investigators do. (To use the word “science” like they do means I’m pretty sciency while writing this blog, because I’m using technology that measures word count.)

But really, entertaining show — and I hope that they continue to make many more episodes. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have more episodes to get caught up on.


Paranormal fun: Trans Allegheny Insane Asylum

My apologies in advance — I had to really shrink down the size of the main photos to get them to fit in the confines of this spacing…

So, a group of us went down to Weston, WV on Saturday, to visit the Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum. This is one of these “haunted” spots that was featured on “Ghost Hunters” (and they even declared it “haunted”). While I’ve never seen that episode (nor many of the Ghost Hunter shows, to be honest), it was still pretty cool to take a day trip and head down for a little ghost hunt.

Only in W.Va. does a lunatic asylum need to have a “posted” sign…

For me, this was more of a “for a lark” kind of a thing. I mean, I love stories of the supernatural, but actually going hunting for ghosts … I dunno. I mean, yeah, a side of me would love to do it, but a side of me would also love to dress up like a Klingon. Maybe not something I would do independently, but if there’s a group of folks going to explore, then yeah, I wouldn’t mind going along.

So here’s the low down:
1) The building itself is awesome. Just huge. Second-largest sandstone building in the world, next to the Kremlin. We’re talking 15 foot ceilings, 4 floors, 2 feet thick load bearing walls (and all of the walls are load bearing), lots of moulding (and mold). If you’re a fan of old architecture, this place is awesome. Run down, obviously, but awesome.

2) The tour guides are fairly bad. They walk you through, but they don’t have the skills to be good guides. They start their spiel before everyone is in the room, so half of the early stuff, I missed. They are straight from the hills of “by God West Virginia” — so while they are pretty friendly, they speak like, well, West Virginians. Expect phrases like “During the Civil War, the 7th Ohio Infantry come down here and took gold…” and “…they used this wheel for rehab, like to get them to work their rotary cuff…” However, there was a little girl volunteer who was with us who really new her craft. She could tell you which rooms were more haunted than others, the difference between dust and orbs in photos, and everything else. The other group had a guide who told them “I don’t believe in any of this stuff,” but then would recount stories of odd things. She also felt that it should be converted into a strip mall. (Because, you know, folks would travel down there to visit a strip mall.)

So, yeah, in essence, it’s a giant run down building that is slowly being restored. And since we’re talking W.Va., this means that they may get a floor done in the next 50 years. Most of the other buildings are blocked off and not included in the tour. I didn’t hear any voices, no weird sounds, and certainly didn’t see any apparitions. However, I did get “poked” (I was standing still, and my shirt suddenly went in and touched my gut like someone had flicked me), and in about 10 of the 130 pictures that I took, I got those odd “floating orbs” in them.

Now, whether these orbs are dust, water vapor, ghosts or angels (all of which I’ve heard them called), they are remarkably similar and consistent in their details. And yes, with my little 7 megapixel camera, there was detail to them. And what I also found interesting was that not everyone got pictures of the orbs, even though most of us were taking pictures in the same areas. For example, in the auditorium, I got a buttload of orbs on the left hand side, but not really any on the right. Others, standing within 4 feet of me got pictures of them on the right, but not on the left. Lighting? Dust on the lenses? I don’t know.

So, here’s my orb photos, and I’ll highlight and crop in on some of them. (And I didn’t alter any of these in any way, shape or form. Heck, I had to use MSpaint to crop them…I don’t even have any other photo programs on the computer). Make of them what you will.

No. 1:  If you look on the door to the right, you’ll see a circular “discolored mark”

When I zoomed in on it, I came out with this:

Now, here’s what’s funny. All of the orbs that I found in my pics have that distinct “eye” in the middle.

No. 2: In the upper right corner…

Zoom in and…

No. 3  Similar, but different door…with an orb low on the door

Kinda weak, but eh, you can still see the detail and see that it’s pretty similar to the previous ones. And there could be more, but it’s really too faint to tell.

No. 4: The Auditorium. It’s the mother lode of orbs.

If you look on the bulletin board and almost directly below it on the floor, there’s some orbs..

The Bulletin Board Orb: You can make out the “eye”:

The floor orb:

High orb: (near the top, to the right of the BB orb)

There’s more in the photo, I’m just too lazy to mark them all.

No. 5: More Auditorium Orbage

Comparing the orb to the plaster/mortar on the brick: Not the same thing.

The orb on the left:

Again, more orbs floating around in the pic…just don’t feel like marking them all up.

No. 7: The Becca Orb (on the left). Named after Becca, the woman in the pic.

No. 8: Volunteer orb: Named after the volunteer on the left:

Floor orb:

Cluster in the middle of the picture: I didn’t notice these at first, but there’s like a gaggle of 3, and there were more lower and to the left of them. But they’re pretty faint.

Now this one doesn’t contain any orbs, but it was taken about 30-45 seconds after the Volunteer orb photo (I’ll have to take a look at the time stamps). I just flipped the camera horizontal. No orbs.

However, when I first took the Volunteer orb photo, I looked and said, “Oooo, I think I got an orb!” The volunteer turned, took a picture of the same spot, and said, “Like this one?” In her photo, it was practically dead center of the picture. I wish I would have gotten a copy of it. I may try and track her down to see if I can.

So, yeah, it was a good time. I’m certainly not trying to say what these things are, cause I don’t know. But it’s pretty cool to look at and make wild speculations.

Oh, and on a funny note: Apparently in the first group that toured, there was a guy who was really into paranormal investigations. He did EVPs and such. However, what’s really funny about him and his girlfriend is that they had parked right next to the asylum, and have electric seat adjustments in their car. When they were getting ready to leave, the driver’s seat was all out of whack. He rolled down the window and said “Holy cow, look at this!” When he opened up the car door, his knees were in the steering wheel, and the seat was reclined almost all the way up. Yeah, he could have been screwing with us, but I really don’t think he was.

So, anyway, if you get a chance and have the interest, this could be well worth your time to check out.


Lessons learned from "A Haunting"

One of my great weaknesses is a good ghost story. I’ve always loved them, and they’re one of the few kinds of movies that actually can scare me. Not because of any particular belief in them, but because they can actively engage my imagination.

But from my addiction to the TV show “A Haunting,” I’ve found that my addiction has lowered me to watching and listening to just about anything, from “Paranormal State” to “Ghost Hunters” as well. While I’m ashamed, I still feel better about myself than some of my friends who are addicted to “American Idol” and other reality TV shows.

One thing, however, has come out of watching this show continously. I have learned tips to help you cope with the paranormal, should the need ever arise.

1) If a house is on the market for a long time and priced substantially lower than all the other houses in the area, it is haunted. While this seems like it could be for any number of reasons, like a missing roof, it is actually because satanists sacrificed small children in there, or something similar, and evoked demons to haunt it.

2) Another house tip: If all the doors are and windows are nailed shut, that doesn’t mean you’re living in a bad part of town. It means that the house is haunted. You shouldn’t just “buy it anyway.” What the hell are you thinking?

3) Ghosts hate electricians. You can tell this because they constantly like to electrocute them. If you’re an electrician, you should ask if the house is haunted.

4) If you’re child is creative enough to have imaginary friends, he’s generally smart enough to name the friend something other than “Man” or “The Fairies.” I mean, if it’s fairies, it could almost anyone, like the Bee Gees.

5) Don’t blow all of your money on new furniture until you’ve lived in said house for quite a while. Many of the people who endure hauntings always say, “I was financially strapped.” So, either don’t spend thousands on furniture, or keep money set aside in a “get the fuck out” account. That’s probably a good idea anyway, but you know, some people don’t think about it.

6) Only Catholic priests can perform exorcisms. So if you’re a member of the Protestant church, you’re fucked. Of course, I still don’t know if that’s worth the trade off for other Catholic clauses, like the restrictions on sex and such. But hey, it’s always an option.

7) You can never develop land, or renovate your home. Doing so disturbs the spirits, and will incur their wrath. So suck up the asbestos and lead paint, which is what probably killed them in the first place.

8.) If you’re a young white couple, you can be damn sure you’ll be haunted at some point. They don’t tend to go after minorities or older couples. I’m still working on the theory why. So, don’t get married until you’re older than 30, just to be safe.

9) Amazingly, crack dens aren’t haunted by ghosts, just the living dead. Feel free to shoo them out and move in as soon as possible.

10) Psychics and wiccans are all over the place. If you’re being haunted, feel free to invite them in and make them fix it. They love to do it. Just like all nerds love to be invited over and then be called upon to fix computers.

11) Being possessed is a lot like being really drunk: You can say what you want, not remember it and apologize later on, and it’s instant forgiveness. “I didn’t mean to say your ass is fat. I must have been possessed or something!” “Oh honey, I’m so sorry! I feel bad now. I have a confession: That wasn’t a demon that carved ‘ass’ into your chest…”

12) Demons are a lot like drunks. Sure, they say “Your God can’t help you now!”, but are always defeated with a little bit of sage burning and little sayings.

13) Ouija boards open portals to other dimensions, just like Monopoly opens portals to capitalism. Game manufacturers are the root of all evil, and will swallow your soul if you let them.

14) If your wife or girlfriend tells you there’s something wrong with the house, and it doesn’t involve the tile in the bathroom, refrain from saying “Oh, it’s just your imagination.” Doing so will earn you the same look of disdain as if tell her that her cats are ugly, or suggest anal sex or a threesome with her best friend (though the cat comment will earn more anger than the later two in most women). And when she tells you that she feels like she’s going crazy, save your eye rolling until you are giving her a hug, or banging her ass while mocking her cat.

15) Paranormal investigators are, ulitimately, as useless in their offers of help as armchair quarterbacks are during a football game. “OK, well, we made some EVPs, and have video of stuff moving around by itself. Yup, you’re haunted. Whelp, time to go. And thanks! Good luck to you!”

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