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Samaritan Cult House
Bizarrely and unexpectedly I am getting a decent amount of unique visitors for my Ghost Adventures reviews. Not many comments sadly, but plenty of people are reading them, so since I had a spare hour or so on this lovely hot Sunday I thought I would give this episode a watch.
Lets start off with the usual blurb to wet your whistle.
"Zak and the crew investigate an abandoned prison in Guthrie, Oklahoma, which in the 1990's served as the headquarters for the Samaritan Foundation, an organization with rumored ties to murder and terrorism."
There you have two fans of the show openly admitting that Ouija Boards are easily faked, and the second person even throws some facts in there.
So for that I would like to tip my hat and say "bravo" to these fans.
Unfortunately I made the mistake of reading on, and came across this highly intellectual debate.
"Demonic Shit" this is the official terminology apparently.
So as I start to watch I have to admit that Zak's narration is so wooden. I understand he is reading from a script written for him by the writers, but perhaps he could do a few reads first, just to get his cadence right. Even Yvette Fielding has mastered the art of reading from a piece of paper, and she has an IQ of 89. (Like legitimately, she took an online IQ test and got a really low score and its been an "in joke" with the cast a crew to make fun of her behind her and Karl's back.)
This is the woman mentioned above.
What a lovely friendly looking woman she is.
We learn some history about the whole story, and it is quite interesting, you should go look it up.
"Death of Allen Ross
Chicago filmmaker Allen Ross married Linda Greene and followed her cult, the Guthrie, Oklahoma-based Samaritan Foundation, as they moved from place to place following her instructions. Following Allen's murder, the group disbanded. Prosecutors believe that Linda Greene committed the murder. She died in 2002 of natural causes and was never charged. A cult member, Julia Williams, was found guilty of being an accessory after the fact to murder, by helping to bury the body in the basement. She was sentenced to two years in prison."
Zak talks to the caretaker, and asks her what she would like them to do as part of their investigation. She says that she would like them to conjure up the spirits of Linda Greene and Allen Ross. Something which lets be honest we know is going to happen regardless.
I am not saying this is just another scam episode made purely for the purpose of tourism, no I am definitely not saying that at all.
Zak has got on his breathing mask on, which I have now been told is due to a chest condition he has.
Zak has seen something through his 3rd eye. And yes it is as 'cringy' as that forum member earlier said it was.
Next up we get to hear from this guy.
Apparently he is an investigator (I assume a Ghost investigator) called Biggs and he talks about the negative energies there, how his team members have seen things including a little ghost girl. I am guessing he is auditioning for his own show on Travel Channel.
Biggs shows them around a few rooms and conveniently finds some kind of card with symbols on it, and it has the symbols of the cult on it. Yes this card has just been lying about in the dirt and rubble for over a decade and Biggs just happens upon it the moment he walks in a room we can assume he has personally "investigated" many many times before.
Clearly this is a set up, and a rather obvious one. Biggs then asks Zak if he would like to see another one, and then bends over and "finds" another card on the floor. Come on guys this is embarrassing. Don't pull stuff like this as it is dumb, even by your very low standards. Biggs clearly put the cards there, and has been told to show them to Zak. Why not have the cards in a protective glass case since historically they are of interest, don't leave them on the floor with fake dirt and aging techniques to make us believe they are the real cards used in rituals by this cult. Just look the screen grab, the card is brand new, just with dirt on it. If it was real it would be scruffy as hell and all faded.
Zak is now interviewing some lady who has investigated the property, Something else i have noticed about Zak is that he repeats back everything people say to him. For example the lady says.
"I was looking at some of Allen Ross' possessions, papers" Then we get an edit cutting her off.
And Zak repeats back to her
"You were reading letters by Allen Ross"
Look she just said that. You don't need to frame the story when she just said it.
So a big pile of letters, papers and so on, is just left in the house, years and years after a murder. No one took them for evidence, they just left them on the floor. Ok guys, we believe you!
The lady tells a story of when she was reading these letters she felt something pull her back. As in the spirit of Linda or Allen.
We cut to the car and they are examining an EVP on the laptop.
And as usual you cant make out what is said until they tell you and of course what they tell you fits their narrative of the story perfectly.
Have I mentioned that EVPs are evidentially worthless, and only an idiot who does not understand the scientific method would ever consider them as so?
From the one word "video" that is supposedly said on the EVP, Zak takes that as Allen Ross telling them they need to find a video that has never been discovered before. (Note: they never find a video, and this is never mentioned again)
We come back from the break, and Zak is telling the team there is an issue at the location, that being "black mold". And that the structure is unsafe and could collapse any second. Zak says they all have to wear respirators. The unsafe structure part is then just ignored.
Ok so here is the truth, in America even more so than the UK you have a thing called Health and Safety. If at any point anyone on any of these types of shows was in danger, filming would stop. Instantly, the kind of lawsuits that would be involved if anyone was ever in any real danger would take down production companies, and even the TV channel itself.
Is there a bit of mold at the location? yes but it is nothing dangerous, they have already been in the place and looked around. The structure will have been checked by professional structural experts for safety, and again if there was even the slightest of problems with that, they would not have been allowed in. So this whole part of the show is purely theatrics.
Back to the show and they have brought in the big guns, or big gun if you will in Darren Evans a Demonologist, he looks more like a poker player to me.
I am guessing he will be about as useless as Fred Batt is on Most Haunted.
Zak and Darren then have the most ridiculous conversation, with completely straight faces about how Darren has the ability to conjure demons. It is 2017 and I am watching grown men talk about demons as if they are a real thing.
Also Zak keeps talking about Yakult
Zak and Darren have found themselves a Ouija board and are going to have a play.
Did you know that "Ouija" is a trademark of Hasbro, Inc. Yep.
And that the Ouija Board was "regarded as a parlor game unrelated to the occult until American Spiritualist Pearl Curran popularized its use as a divining tool during World War I"
As for the board itself, it has 100% been proven to NOT contact the dead. If you blindfold all participants it stops working. And if no one is deliberately pushing it, it can also be explained using the ideomotor effect.
So with the knowledge that Ouija Boards have nothing to do with talking to the dead, have been completely debunked, and are no more than a board game owned by Hasbro, lets watch two grown men fanny about in the dark with it as if they were scared school girls from a 1980s horror film.
As they start, I quickly noticed that neither Darren or the cameraman filming them have respirators on. Although another team member elsewhere does. Hmmm.
Darren promises Zak that he is not going to push the planchette and that he will let it do it's own thing. Darren is leading the "experiment" and starts asking questions of the dead.
As they sit there with nothing really happening, Zak starts getting some muscle spasms, of course these are nothing to do with the uncomfortable way he is sat down, his slouched posture, no they must be the ghosts.
The planchette starts to move, and the camera filming it keeps going out of focus, how to fix this instantly? Swap the camera to manual focus instead of automatic focus, afterall you are filming in the dark, with two people who have head torches on.
Zak is still twitching, I am thinking it is acting now instead of genuine muscle spasms, all we need is for him to go full on "Derek Acorah possession" and then we have a TV show!
Watching them closely, they are both complicit in the moving of the planchette, Zak is definitely choosing the letters it stops on, and Darren is helping it move in the desired direction.
Zak gets up from the table claiming he was feeling weird, in some kind of trance.
Then the cameraman hears some noises in another room, which must be a ghost, they cant possibly be that of a cat or a rodent, no that would be just too big a leap of faith, must be the ghosties.
So a fair 10 minutes on the Ouija Board and all they got was "J.P." the covenient initials of a James Philips who had died at the location. All in all a huge waste of time.
Now apparently Linda Greene had a thing about barcodes, so one of the team who has a barcode tattoo is gonna play on the Ouija Board with Darren. Bet the Planchette goes crazy now.
As I predicted the planchette moves more easily, and it is clearly the team member moving it to various numbers that match his tattoo, you can tell he is leading the planchette as his head movement exposes him, his performing the movements with his head just a fraction before he moves it with his hand. This is a pretty poor investigation so far. Parlour games never impress me.
This whole segment is a set up. If you think this is real folks then you need your head checked.
Two thirds of the show in and I am starting to yawn, they have lot my attention now.
Zak sneaks back in the room and as he does the ghosties spell out
"KILL GET OUT" on the Ouija board.
Why couldn't the ghosties at least say please?
They play with the Ouija Board some more and they go through a ridiculous routine to spell out some things that personally relate to Jay, the team member doing the Ouija Board with Darren.
We've finished with the Ouija board nonsense now, and as Zak moves back into the room, in the corner to the side we see some wood fall. Despite Zak saying it "Levitated" clearly it did not. And because we are filming in night vision, it is simply not clear enough to see what really happens other than a piece of wood falling. Something that is easily set up. We are told it is a major event and definitely poltergeist. I however think nothing of the sort because I am not an idiot.
Zak then sets up that Puck ITC device thingy, you know the one, where they input a load of words related to the location, then ask it questions, and random answers come up which they then do their best to fit to their agenda.
And with that the episode ends. It was a poor episode, not very entertaining, too many obvious set pieces, some over acting and that was it.
I guess I just like a bit of science with my investigating, but these guys just want to play about in the dark and do silly things.
3/10 for the episode, would have been 4 but the wooden plank levitating stunt was a bit silly even for me.
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By Jon Donnis
Watch this episode on Amazon.com by clicking the link below.
Watch this episode on Amazon.com by clicking the link below.