9 November 2017

REVIEW: Ghost Chasers Episode 2 (Hastings)


Despite me claiming that I wouldn't review any more episodes of Ghost Chasers I am back with my review for episode 2, and the reasons why I am back will become apparent soon enough. So before we get going, I popped to see some of the girls who work in the BadPsychics offices, and waited for them to leave the room, I then riffled through their draws, as I usually do, and I found a suspiciously looking back massager, that had a crude drawing of Kay Nambier on it, no idea what that is all about, and why would a back massager smell all fishy, anyway I delved deeper and found some sticky blurbage, and here it is...

"Supernatural scares with Kay Nambier. The team investigates paranormal activity in Hastings, where they attempt a midnight seance at a large abandoned seafront hotel."

So this cocky no hat Raggy Doll bloke called Paul Hobday reads my review of episode 1 of his show Ghost Chasers, and he has the nerve to tweet about me!


Did I say those words about the show in my episode 1 review? I can neither confirm or deny that, but one thing I will say is that I hate it when people think I am praising them, so I am back to rip this show to shreds, I will leave the lot of them lying in a pool of their own viscera by the time I have finished with them.

And with that the episode has now begun, and we are reminded that "This programme is for entertainment purposes only", I think I will be the judge of that.

Housewife's favourite Kay Nambier starts off with his creepy sounding voice over. 


He is clearly loving the British weather.

Kay goes off to find Ian, Chris and Paul, and we then witness one of the greatest moments in the history of paranormal TV when Paul and Chris do the handshake/hug with Kay. A very American style move, made to look incredibly awkward. Ian however is smart, he has experience, he knows what he is doing, so he goes for a full on man hug thus saving awkwardness.


Truly is a wonderful moment.

Also nice to notice that everyone has kept in character coming from the previous episode, that being 
Chris = Raggy Doll Hat / AKA. Raggy Hat
Paul = Raggy Doll No Hat / AKA. Raggy No Hat
Ian = 1950's Sherlock Holmes Character
Kay = Annoying attractive all round decent bloke. 

It is chucking it down with rain and Paul refuses to break character and put his hood up.

We are told briefly about Aleister Crowley, an English occultist who died in Hastings, so guessing he might make an appearance later on.

Ian Lawman is still trying to claim he has had these magic powers since he was a child. I literally interviewed him about a decade or so ago, and all he claimed then was he was a "sensitive" yet now he is seeing all sorts. Come on Ian, at least keep your story consistent, that is all we ask.


Quick interview with Joel Griggs from The True Crime Museum, Joel comes across quite well which is rare when these types of shows bring on someone to interview.

He "sells" the Museum quite well, which is his job, and if I went to Hastings I would probably quite like to visit this place.

Ian Lawman is claiming to feel all manner of nonsense, which I will ignore.

Chris then has an EMF meter and seems interested that it goes up when he holds it up to some light thingy, erm, that is what is causing it.


And then that stupid skeptic Paul goes and ruins everything by explaining the science behind how high electromagnetic fields can affect people, make them feel paranoid, uncomfortable etc, and says that to Ian to explain why he has been feeling a tad dodgy. Ian then counters by saying that he believes the ghosties use the EMF as a way to communicate and make themselves felt by the living.

Stupid Paul with his no hat on. Skepticism this, skepticism that, blah blah blah, shut ya face. 

I might have to start cheering on Ian at this rate, at least he talks proper bollocks that we can all get behind, and then moan at because he is talking bollocks.

Stupid Raggy Doll Paul just talks sense, and lets be honest, that is ruining it for everyone!

So far there has been a distinct lack of banter from Chris which is incredibly disappointed. I have heard from my Ghost Chasers Mole that Chris has earned some of the following nicknames over the years.
Chris "The Bantster" Howley
The King of Bants
The Bant Snatcher
The Banteater
The Flying Bantelope
The Archbishop of Banterbury

The investigation proper has now started, and still no dodgy green filters or faked night vision, they are just filming with the ambient light present. Such an amazing idea.


Ian Lawman starts talking about a girl called Lucinda who is with him in spirit but was never found.

Ian starts to call out to Lucinda asking her for a sign, a noise, a visualisation, something. They hear some steps. And go to investigate. I happen to know what caused the noise, so just waiting to see what they claim caused it.

And yes they admit that it is one of the displays in the museum. Now they claim that all displays were turned off before they started. Ian asks Lucinda to now turn the display off, and after a few moments it does stop.

So my explanation for this is simple, the display was never turned off, and I assume it is activated either by a movement sensor or a timer. Either would explain why it came on. A spider for example could have crossed the sensor and that would set it off, or the timer simply activated it.

So although this scene is interesting, there is nothing here that would suggest paranormal activity. And to be fair to the Raggy Dolls, only Ian is really claiming any such thing, the others although interested are not claiming this as definitive proof of anything, so well done guys.

Kay is now feeling a bit heavy, but this could all be psychological.


Kay starts talking to the ghosts while Paul films it using his iPad and a thermal imaging attachment. I will admit that while I hate the use of EMF meters, I don't mind the use of the thermo cam attachment. It's simple, it is a good gimmick for the viewer at home to understand and see.


It might just be me, but I swear I can make out a ghost with some kind of mask on holding a woman's leg with a red shoe on stood right in front of Kay and Ian here.

Ian is "seeing" hooded ghosts now, but no one else can see them, and the thermo cam is not seeing anything either. So either Ian is lying, or we just proved that the Thermo cam is useless at detecting ghosts?

Ian is now claiming he can see Aleister Crowley, which we did expect would appear, just not on camera of course.


They leave the area and head back to this skull. Not at all creepy!

Suddenly Chris' phone starts talking, looking for a wifi connection. But surely everyone's phone was turned off, Chris confirms his phone was turned off.

So either he has accidentally pressed the power button on his phone, or the ghost of a rapist and triple murderer who was executed 100 years ago, has developed the ability and knowledge of how to turn an iPhone on. Hmmmm.

Worth noting that I am just 19 minutes in to a 45 minute episode, and a fair bit has happened, the episode has held by concentration and interest, which is incredibly rare for any kind of show in this genre.

The Raggy Dolls have now moved to the Palace Court Hotel, where Aleister Crowley apparently had stayed.

Joel Griggs starts telling us some stories of people who have died in the hotel. Stories which do seem to match what Ian is telling us. That would suggest that Ian has researched this location and already knows some stories. 

In the world of the smartphone, he could just go to the toilet, use google on his phone to find out about the location, and get enough info that he could blag the rest. Unlike the old days of Most Haunted with Derek Acorah, things today are so much easier to research, which makes the input of psychics almost pointless in investigating such places, as there is no realistic way to control things to make cheating or researching impossible. 

Every time I hear the name Crowley in this episode all I can think of is this Ozzy Osbourne song, and now it is stuck in my head, so why should I suffer alone?


They are now in the cellars of the hotel, and Ian is hearing some kind of ritual kind or chant. 


I genuinely thought Chris was holding a banana here for a moment, which to be fair is as much us as an EMF meter in a paranormal investigation.

They find a door that has been nailed shut, from the other side, and it is the other side of that door that Ian is sensing the most activity.


So Chris decides to kick down the door, which is criminal damage surely?


We now get to see "Kung Fu Chris" (Another nickname he has) do his best to kick the doors down. But he cant get it done, so they have a break, and Kay gets to do some more voice overs. It is now the middle of the night, and they are in an abandoned part of the hotel, and because Kay cant stop coughing he gets to put a mask on.


You would think the housewives would be pissed off that he is covering his face, but I hear they thought it was even more kinky.

They head up to Room 308, and Ian is trying to contact the dead, and help a woman cross to the other side. 

The lack of green filters and fake night vision really does make this show stand out, and if anything makes it more creepy to watch.

They hear some noises and go investigate, and they then found a second Room 308! That is spooky.

They decide to split up with two people in each Room 308.

They do quite well here to build up a sense of tension.


Kay claims to have seen something, but it is most likely just a shadow, but when they try to replicate the movements, he doesn't see anything.

Kay does come across as very honest and I have no reason to not believe him, however his experience could definitely be put down to nerves, fear, and so on.

They head down to a small room which has a walk in safe inside. Kay seems genuinely very scared, and I do wonder if the other 3 see him as a soft touch at times, after all he has not to my knowledge done these types of investigations before, he is a singer and a model.

Chris and Kay are gonna be closed inside the safe with Paul and Ian outside.

Chris loads that random word generator Echo Vox thingy on his phone.
Worth noting here it is not really a random word generator, it records what people present say, and then replays that back in a random order. So if you are talking about ghosts, naming people who have died etc, that is all going into the app.


Love or hate this show, the shot above has to be one of the all time great shots in the history of this type of show. That really is a masterful shot, I am sure unintentional due to the space constraints of being in this safe, but damn that is a good shot, even if the app kinda looks a bit like KITT from Knightrider. A quarter of Kay's disembodied head in the top right is a genius shot, so well done guys.

Kay says to the app. "My name is Kay can you please repeat that" then the app does indeed say "Kay". But like I said previously, the way this app works is by recording you and then playing back what you have said in a random manner. So purely by chance if you play with it long enough and ask enough questions that include the answer in the question you are asking, you are going to get some kind of interesting response, this is not the ghosts though, this is just the way the app has been written to work.

Then the inevitable happens, they cant open the safe door to get them out, so we now get a great little scene of panic, people kicking the door and so on. All very funny and I am sure exaggerated for effect. For the record they are not claiming this was paranormal, so I really don't mind things like this, its all good fun and entertaining to watch, but Paul, dude, you cant smirk when doing those things, it gives the game away.

After they have escaped they head off to a room, draw a giant hexagram on the floor, put down candles, tarot cards and basically made it as spooky looking as hell.


Like seriously dudes, this is some great looking spooky shit here!
Where as I could not imagine anything worse than going on an investigation with the Most Haunted Muppets, I think I would actually quite enjoy going on an investigation with the Ghost Chaser Raggy Dolls. Although clearly if I did, I would have to accept my role as Sad Sack.

Ian is now pretending to be annoyed that the guys have made this Hexagram, as it will draw in the most evil of spirits and energy etc. Ian reiterates that this is very serious and dangerous, and that by having a seance to try and bring forth the spirit of Crowley, that it is really risky. Ian even mentions Lucifer.


The three of them are stood in the Hexagram. Ian is spouting his spiritual nonsense. But nothing happens there, so they head off back to the Hotel's cellars and straight to the locked door that Chris couldn't kick open earlier.


Look at this for camera work, come on, this is another great shot.
However this shot does expose one thing, right in front of us is Ian and Kay, and in the far background you can see Chris and Paul, so who the hell is holding the camera! Holy shit is can only be the spirit of Aleister Crowley.

Ian is claiming he can see a mist between them and the others, Ian then claims that when you see mist it is the early stages of spirit manifestation. So next time you are driving along and there is a low laying mist in the air, know that you are really driving through thousands of ghosties!

Kay thinks that something has touched his hand, and with that we close down the episode, Kay goes over the main happenings of the episode and credits then roll.

This was a good episode, really good, at no point did I feel bored.

The gulf between Most Haunted and Ghost Chasers is huge when it comes down to the level of intelligence of those taking part, the camera work, the build of tension and so on.

Kay is great as the figurehead of the show, someone who is inexperienced, so very much is the person that the casual viewer can relate to, especially me, as I also have thick black hair and am incredibly good looking. Watching Kay is like looking in a mirror.

You have Paul who is the annoying skeptic, who is doing his best to ruin me as a skeptical analyst on such programs, and then you have The King of Kung Fu. The Bant, in Bant & Dec. The Archbishop of Banterbury, The Bantersaurus Rex, in Chris Howley, a man who has never been seen in public without his hat on.

And you have Ian. The resident psychic, and as much as I know he is not psychic, he does not talk to the dead, he has no magic powers, despite all of that, he does have a place in a show like this. He helps create the atmosphere when he starts talking about ghosts, and seeing apparitions and so on. And I would much rather have a psychic fannying about in the dark in an old building, than pretending to talk to your dead mother and then asking for money for the pleasure. So yeah even Ian has his place on this show.

So where does that leave me. Another episode gone, nothing that I really needed to expose, other than the Echo Vox nonsense. There was no camera trickery, no dodgy edits, no throwing of stones, hell I don't believe I even had to capitalise the words "OFF CAMERA" once in the whole show. 

The only mystery that remains is, who is the 5th member of the crew?

Paul, Chris and Kay are good people. Ian is an evil grief vulture of a psychic, but well he already knows that, and I am sure away from the nonsense he is a nice bloke too.

Ghost Chasers is such a welcome change in the world of Paranormal TV investigations. And yes they will set up a couple of funny moments, or exaggerate something here and there, but it is never done in a way to con the viewer, only to entertain them, so I don't mind that.

Where as Most Haunted is such a struggle to review, so much of an effort, a show I only watch because I do the review. Ghost Chasers is a show I would watch regardless of doing a review, I would just watch it because it is a damn good show.

So if you have not seen it yet, give it a watch, I will watch it again, and if they try any funny business, I will rip them to shreds, but two episodes in and I am left like a child without his toy. I hate being nice about these things, it is killing my gimmick.

Episode 2 I will give a strong 9/10

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By Jon Donnis

6 comments:

  1. I know you were happier if that's the right word with ghost chasers than most haunted but they definitely took advantage of you to claim something you did not actually say, what that says to me is that they are hungry for success immature and looking for validation, personally I regard those as traits of greedy people looking to make as much money as possible any way they can out of anybody and that they cannot be trusted and are basically arseholes, which kinda makes them as bad as most haunted. Pathetic hacks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did actually say that, you would know if you read the previous article.
      I was joking in the article above.

      Delete
    2. I would also say that they are no where near as bad as MH.
      Paul and Chris are decent people. Kay is just doing is job, and Ian, well Ian is a fake medium.

      But the show itself is as I describe above.

      I am not giving anyone an easy ride, I am being fair, and compared to MH, Ghost Chasers is a 100 miles ahead in just being an honest and decent show, even if they have a fake medium on.

      Delete
    3. Fair comment mate I should have read thoroughly rather than skim reading, my bad.

      Delete
  2. Hi Jon. I have never read of Crowley having connections with the tunnels under the Palace Court Hotel. He moved to Hastings for the last two years of his life, living at Netherwood Guest House at The Ridge where he died Monday 1st December 1947. He was frail and ill and spent most of his time in his room.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes that may be true, but then that isn't as good a story to tell on a ghost hunting show.
      Ghosts do not exist, therefore the whole show is a waste of time, but they have to try to be entertaining so will always try to tell stories etc

      Delete