30 March 2017

Review: Ghost Adventures - Season 14, Episode 1 March 25, 2017 Stone Lion Inn

If you haven't seen this episode yet, you can through Amazon, click the link below.
Stone Lion Inn

With Ghost Adventures having thoroughly replaced Most Haunted as the worlds number 1 "Paranormal Investigation" type TV series, I thought I would give it another chance, and since I got sent an episode from the little known "Ghost Adventures Mole" who is definitely 100% NOT Zak Bagans (No relation to Bilbo I am told), I thought I would check it out. Now I should also let it be known I am not and have never been a fan of the show, I do not follow it, I do not know the characters and crew. And I only know the name Zak Bagans because h̶i̶s̶ ̶n̶a̶m̶e̶ ̶w̶a̶s̶ ̶w̶r̶i̶t̶t̶e̶n̶ ̶o̶n̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶r̶e̶t̶u̶r̶n̶ ̶i̶f̶ ̶u̶n̶d̶e̶l̶i̶v̶e̶r̶e̶d̶ ̶s̶t̶i̶c̶k̶e̶r̶ ̶o̶n̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶b̶a̶c̶k̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶j̶i̶f̶f̶y̶ I googled the show to see who was the main person.

The only other thing I recall about this show is Robert Bess, inventor of the Parabot Containment Chamber, got caught blatantly cheating on a Halloween special in 2009. You can google that if you like.

There may be some comparisons made by me during this review, with Most Haunted. I wonder if Zak and his Scooby Gang have an equivalent of Watson or GORT?

So with that said lets check out the official blurb.

Season 14, Episode 1 Stone Lion Inn
The crew investigate the Stone Lion Inn in Guthrie, Okla., where it is said the owner performs satanic rituals in the local cemetery. Later, Zak attempts to uncover the truth about what happened to the famous outlaw Elmer McCurdy after his death.

Firstly much like Most Haunted, this show is 100% a spoof. It is written, acted and performed. It is NOT in any way a legitimate investigation. But we will treat it as if it is real, as I know a lot of fans of the show really do think it is real despite the fact that ghosts do not exist which in turns makes this entire show pointless.

We are told that this location runs murder mystery tours, so instantly you have to be suspicious of the motives of the owners of this place for inviting the GA team to investigate. They rely on tourism, so what better way to boost that than to pretend the place is haunted.

We start off by being introduced to this lovely lady.

Becky Luker is her name! Also the Travel Channel ad for "Booze Traveler" is nothing to do with her, and in no way am I insinuating that the only spirits she has ever seen are Jack Daniels and Jim Bean.

A quick google of her name and she has done hundreds of interviews claiming she believes in ghosts, her Inn is haunted and so on.

The GA crew ask her if they are a part of her Murder Mysteries tour, and she says NO! And that nothing has been set up. She admits that she has been accused of performing Satanic rituals, but not that she has actually done them. My first thoughts are that this is a huge PR stunt by Becky, she has all the facials down, she looks and acts in a spooky manner and so on.

Worth noting the really high production value of this show. Much much higher than Most Haunted.

We learn about Elmer McCurdy and how she has based her mysteries on him. He sounds like a fascinating character. And I would advise anyone to go read about him.

It is revealed that Becky Luker off camera said that after her death she has arranged to be buried next to the body of Elmer McCurdy in an adjacent plot. What a lovely thing to make public.

Zak now tells us that Becky's "activities" in the cemetery may have inadvertently raised the spirit of Elmer.

We next hear from Michelle Smith

She talks about the scary things she has seen and heard, yet she still happily sleeps in this incredibly spooky room, and has not left her job. Hmmm.

Also bizarrely someone who I assume is Zak is dressed like this while talking to her.

I have no idea why he is dressed like this, it doesn't look cold, as Michelle is dressed in just a thin shirt, so not sure why he has the woolly hat on. I have no idea why he has a face mask on, unless he is really a Japanese woman on the Tokyo subway.

We hear a few more stories, and Zak does his best spooky voice in the narration and talks about "Scrying" a thoroughly debunked practice.

We then have a bizarre conversation between Zak and Becky whereby Becky reveals how many people she has killed over the years. And then follows it up with "as part of the murder mystery" Zak does play along, and acts scared, which is quite funny. Zak is like-able if a strange character.

Zak convinces Michelle to stay in a room on her own and conduct an EVP session on her own.

One quite annoying thing about this show is the constant sound effects and musical score going on. It makes viewer participation completely pointless. Sometimes shows can over produce, and take the viewer out of the moment, Ghost Adventures is very guilty of this.

We then cut away to a short interview with Grant Aguirre who is Becky's oldest son. They talk about Michelle, I wonder if she is gonna get blamed for the whole scam?

We are now back with Zak and Michelle and they are examining the EVP recordings. They have got something. They play the recording, and there is some cursing, she denies that she said said it. Zak accuses her and she looks incredibly guilty.

Luckily they have video of her in the room, they play it and amazingly it is not her saying the curse words! Cue dramatic music.......

Zak exclaims he is 99.9% sure that it is a spirit voice.

But hang on a second, the swearing is NOT picked up by the audio on the video footage, only by the digital recorder. The video footage seemingly shows that Michelle does not say the swear words, but it also shows that the swear words were not audible to the video camera.

So there are two possibilities here.
1. Michelle swore under her breath without moving her mouth, which is exactly what you would do if you were faking an EVP and knew you were being filmed. This would also make sense in that the camera filming her would not pick it up since she is speaking directly above the digital recorder.

2. The other possibility is that the swear words were added after the event through the digital software they were using on the laptop to analyse it.

So the conclusion we can gather from all of this is something I have been saying for years and years and years. EVPs are evidentially worthless, since they can be so easily faked.

Now if the video footage had picked up the swearing too, then it would be more interesting since physically we have something to look at that would in part back up her claim of not saying it, as well as the evidence of the swearing itself. And yes even then that could easily be faked too, but what I am saying is that it would overall be a more impressive thing to release as "evidence"

But instead we are left with Zak saying he has caught a spirit voice, when the truth is, he has caught nothing that has any real value at all.

Not to mention the fact when she was first asked if it was her, she looked so guilty like she had been caught out, and when they said they had video footage of her, she looked very panicked and not at all confident she was telling the truth.

It is worth saying that at least this show is giving me something to examine, to think about. It is not just idiots throwing stones about, and ridiculous screaming and so on. I am sure that happens on Ghost Adventures, but in this particular episode I am more impressed by the entertainment factor, and the effort made to make everything look good. Yes scientifically GA is completely inept, and they have no idea what real evidence should be.

They decide to go out side and do some experiments by the grave of Elmer.

It is a bit windy, they have some various pieces of equipment which they claim will help Elmer travel to the Stone Inn. They talk to Elmer, and using fancy equipment are getting no response at first. Some thing called a Puck ITC is used and they start getting answers back to their questions. This all stinks and the equipment they are using looks like the usual crap you buy from ghost hunting websites. Completely pointless exercise which is only fooling the kind of idiot fans who think these shows are real.

They turn on a "Spirit Box"

It is basically just a radio scanner and a speaker. What that has to do with spirits I have no idea. As usual people have taken technology that already exists, stuck the word "spirit" in the title, and then sell it to the kind of idiots you can only find on ghost hunting forums. Cathy I am looking at you here.

Nothing they provide in this portion of the show impresses me. It is 100% theatre, pre planned, pre written skits. Very poor.

Nothing they give I would class as real evidence. Just entertainment for the cameras and viewers at home. It would be a rather boring episode if they just sat outside in a tent and nothing happened.

But for Zak to say they have "irrefutable proof that we have made contact with Elmer McCurdy" is a joke. I refute everything they say and show, as it is NOT scientific, they are using ridiculous unproven equipment.

Even Most Haunted never use language like that, instead they will say that its the best evidence they have ever seen, but they never say they have irrefutable proof.

Back in the house and they have footage of a door opening a bit by itself. Looks to me like it has been gimmicked, possibly with some wire or string.

Zak is now in bed with his woolly hat on! Asking the ghosties to touch his toes.
The whole thing is getting a bit silly now, and not in a good way.

And the music effects in the background are so distracting too.

We get some more noises, a camera "falls" over, and they capture an orb! Yes ladies and gentlemen, the orbs are back in 2017!

I must say the first 20 minutes of the show were quite good, I was entertained, but then they started getting silly, setting up stunts, using ridiculous equipment and they have very quickly lost my attention.

The spirit box malfunctions so this of course is proof of spirits. Yes that is how they think.

Into the last 5 minutes of the show, and the whole thing is coming across as very set up and fake. I expect we will now have a big finale.

The whole group is back at the "nerve centre" they start to review footage etc, as they are doing this the door to their room opens a bit by itself. They then ask the door to close and it slams shut "all by itself" in one of the more laughably fake moment of the episode. (Big finale moment) As they examine the door, the spirit box turns itself on, and starts making noises. I think the whole thing is getting a bit ridiculous now.

They finish off by photographing the whole area with a full spectrum camera, yet get no evidence whatsoever (this bit takes no longer than 5 seconds).

So they had all these things happen, everything that is easily faked, they claim the place is very very haunted, poltergeist activity a plenty, yet they don't capture a single piece of real evidence, not one thing that could be examined scientifically. Nothing at all.

And as the credits role, they even have a door slam shut by itself as part of special effects! Yes they actually did that as part of the end credits! Not part of the investigation, not evidence, but part of the effects that they finish the show on.

I would be amazed if anyone watched this and thought it was real. The vast majority of people must realise it is all faked right?

The show was mostly entertaining though, I will admit that, the characters were likeable. Michelle was easily my favourite cause she was clearly on the scam. Becky was way over the top to be taken seriously.

I give the show a solid 6/10

Please leave your comments below.
Please let me know if you enjoyed this review, if you would like me to do more, of if I shouldn't waste my time on it.

Tweet me on @JonDonnis and send your abuse to @TheBadPsych
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By Jon Donnis

28 March 2017

Review: Most Haunted Series 5 (or 19) Episode 2 (Wentworth Woodhouse Stable Block) - REALLY to air Friday 21st April, 10pm

Warning, this article contains major spoilers! Do not read on, although you really want to know if Watson has been fired yet don't you!?

So late last night a courier named Suki dropped off a jiffy bag marked "For Jon's Eyes Only - The Most Haunted Mole", inside was a VHS tape! Now for people under 35, a VHS tape, is an old kind of recording device, but it had moving parts, and actually existed in the real world!

Here is a photo of what I received, and again let me state this as strongly as I can, Karl Beattie is NOT the Most Haunted Mole.

Looks like the mole recorded the episode over an old "For Dummies" VHS tape, no idea who would need to pretend to be a Samurai, how very bizarre!

Anyway lets get the Blurb over with quickly.

Friday 21st April, 10pm
Wentworth Woodhouse Stable Block
Yvette and Karl are the first team to ever be allowed into the very haunted Wentworth Woodhouse Stable Block. Do they catch a ghost on camera? No of course not, don't be silly. Watson sees something, and does dog stuff, and the team see someone who couldn’t possibly have been there, but clearly he was so they will try and claim it was a ghost.

Before I even press play on my old dusty VCR, I want to answer the question from the blurb, "Do they catch a ghost on camera?" The answer is no.

Also let me say thank you to all the lovely feedback I received from my review of Episode 1. I do appreciate it, and it encouraged me not to slit my wrists and make the effort to write this review of episode 2.

Ok onto the show, fingers crossed for more of the dog and less of the screaming rabid creature.

Now if I recall rightly Most Haunted have already investigated Wentworth Woodhouse a couple of seasons ago. They never found anything then, but clearly Wentworth Woodhouse needs some more publicity to get numbers up, so rang up the Scooby Gang in the hope they would give them some new tourists.

This time they will investigate a stable block, I can feel your excitement from here.

Lets start with some good news as Watson is back!

Since these episodes have not aired on TV yet, Yvette hasn't realised that Watson is already way more popular than her, so she has no reason to fire him yet.

Glen is also back, and he is still smirking, but more importantly is rocking the "thumbs in the pockets" look. Psychologists say that this is a sign of extreme confidence, as his fingers are pointing towards his groin! So what I am saying is that Glen has a huge donkey penis, which would explain his constant smirk. That or he has cold thumbs.

They now enter a derelict squash court, whats the betting we get a bouncing squash ball later thrown by K̶a̶r̶l̶ ̶o̶r̶ ̶S̶t̶u̶a̶r̶t̶  a ghost.

Next Karl introduces us to Gort! No that is not his nickname for Yvettes Lady Garden, although you could be forgiven for thinking that. No it stands for Ghost observing robotic tracker! Which is basically a GoPro camera stuck on a remote control car.

Karl claims it is fully automated, so basically whatever it does they will put down to the ghosties! It doesn't half make a lot of noise driving about. I'm guessing it lasts one episode, then they realise it is crap and gets chucked in the bin with Stuart's wig.

Stuart and Karl separate from the rest of the team. Have you ever noticed how perfectly round Stuart's head is?

Yvette is off with the rest of the gang, and Watson, who as usual looks like he cant be arsed.

Noticed how Fred is covering his groin area, almost like he is trying to hide something. I wonder what psychologists would say that is a sign of.

Stuart and Karl are hearing things, the amount of loose stuff about, every step is making noise, and easy to kick things to make noises.

Did the MH gang ever try putting heart beat monitors on, and put an on screen graphic showing them? I am sure that is a gimmick they should try, if only to keep the idiots at home who think it is all real happy.

Watson is still doing nothing, but Yvette is desperately trying to claim him doing nothing is proof of a ghost stroking him.

You can make of this photo what you will, but I will say that is Yvette, and that is NOT Karl.

Apparently a chair moves on its own, but of course it is not caught on camera!

Karl and Stuart are fascinated by a locked door and noises they claim are coming from it. But of course nothing happens on camera. GORT?

Yvette catches Watson looking at something. Most likely a mouse, or a insect.

He does not bark, does not chase after anything, just having a look. He even yawns. He is a dog doing dog stuff. But if you believe Yvette you would think he is having a full on late brunch with the ghosties!

We then get a good 5 minutes of the camera filming Watson standing still. No barking, no reaction, just Watson chilling out doing nothing. And this is clear proof of ghosts apparently.

Stuart sees someone in the distance and chases after them, we don't see anyone of course until the replay.

After 25 minutes of the episode we are told that Watson is "tired" and they have put him to bed! No joke! The single most interesting member of the team and they bench him cause he cant be arsed to play games.

Stuart admits that he saw a physical person and not a ghost, although they cant find them. Stuart seems genuine pissed off that he saw someone. I wonder if they knew that the owners of Wentworth Woodhouse had got someone to cause trouble, so that MH would report on it.

Now Yvette is claiming to have seen a shadow and thinks there is someone there causing trouble. Hmmm. Usually when things happen they instantly say it must be a ghost. I wonder if because none of them are faking it they realise it must be someone not connected to the crew. If that doesn't give the game away to viewers then nothing will. Perhaps this is also reason why Watson was put to bed, as they didn't want him to bite some student employed by Wentworth Woodhouse to fake activity.

After some discussion they have now decided that they have both (Yvette and Karl/Stuart) seen a solid manefestation of a ghost.
We get to see a replay from K/S and it is clearly a bloke. Most likely Glen since he is the only one who is supposedly off on his own.

As they talk about it more, they are really trying to claim it is a ghost.

They are now going to try and talk to this ghost.
"Make a noise with your voice" Yvette asks.
Which is still the dumbest thing she has ever said.

Yvette farts and Fred claims he can smell Sulphur! This scene is screaming for someone to add some classic fart sound effects. It is well recorded that Yvette has had stomach issues and has farts that stench like the breath of Satan himself.

We then hear a really strange wooshing noise.
Yvette says it sounds like a window being pulled down.
They then investigate, but things are being thrown. Again nothing on camera. I am guessing here it is Karl or Stuart giving us something to end the episode with.

A really annoying part of this new series is that they have to show endless replays of the same event over and over, despite the vast majority of things not being caught on camera.

I am not really sure of the purpose of having Glen on the show, I understand he is billed as the skeptic, but he doesn't give any skeptical opinions, or do anything.

All this throwing of things, noises and so on, its almost like they knew it would happen, so put Watson to bed so he wouldn't give the game away again. Afterall if you are going to throw bits of wood, stones etc around, the last thing you want is a dog about that will chase after them and return them to who threw them.

And with that being the end of the episode, we are shown the video of who I believe was Glen just walking in the background. And we are told it is the most groundbreaking footage they have ever caught.

And for anyone keeping track, we never heard anything more about GORT. Not a mention, nothing at all!

The episode is entertaining, and for that I will give it a good 4/10, would have got a higher score if Watson hadn't been thrown in the van and kept off the investigation.

Please leave your comments below.
Tweet me on @JonDonnis and send your abuse to @TheBadPsych
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And whatever you do, don't let the hematophagous arthropods bite. Because if you do you might catch leprosy, Q-fever, oriental sores and/or brucellosis

By Jon Donnis