Paranormal Lockdown – Rampart St. Murder House – S02E10

imageNick and Katrina head to New Orleans to investigate the murder/suicide surrounding the small house on Rampart Street. When you read stories related to hurricane Katrina, this one will inevitably come up. It involves the relationship between Zack and Addie who came together during hurricane Katrina. After they survive the storm and chaos, things go terribly wrong with Zack killing Addie and then taking his own life. Rumors abound over what drove Zack to kill and the natural suspects are voodoo and demonic possession.

The apartment used to be on the top floor with the voodoo shop on the lower floor. Now, it’s basically a shell of a building. However, to Katrina’s mind, the old appliances and fixtures from the apartment still remain. It’s very unlikely those are the same appliances from a decade ago, nobody would be that morbid.

On the first night, Nick feels pebbles are being thrown at them. It seems Nick is partially right. Things are falling from the ceiling since it’s nothing but framing and we can clearly see the stones, but they aren’t being thrown, they’re just falling.

For day two, they bring out the Wonderbox and get the words, "you’re not alone" and "strangled to death". Katrina feels very out of sorts, but she is very much caught up in the events that took place there.

For the final day, they set up motion sensors which go off a couple of times. Also notice that the Geobox is running, calling out words in the background. And those words all have a ghostly echo and reverb added to them. It seems like that has been added for dramatic effect.

Editing through the words, they get "Please don’t hurt her" and "I hate myself", which they of course attribute to Zack and Addie.

For final portion, they bring in Bloody Mary, the voodoo priestess (classy stage name) and Leo the landlord. Leo doesn’t seem too concerned about the space and the events that took place. Mary sets up a cleansing ritual to help with the healing.

There is an air of mystery about New Orleans and the same can be said for this small apartment. Unfortunately, this investigation doesn’t shed any light on matters. It has an interesting connection to voodoo, but then again, so does everything in New Orleans. In the end, the evidence brings very little to light. They get a couple of hits on the audio devices, but there is really no other evidence to go on.

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Paranormal Lockdown – Malvern Manor – S02E09

imageThe next lockdown takes places in Malvern, Iowa at the boarded up and abandoned Malvern Manor, built by a Captain Cullers in the 1870s. He set it up as a hotel for his sailing crowd. After his use it was turned into a mental facility and continued that way until it’s closure in 2005. Josh Heard has now taken over ownership and gives Nick and Kristina a tour and explains what has been taking place.

People claim to see apparitions and hear screams. There is the story of Inez, a little girl that was found dead in her closet, strangled by her own jump rope. They see the remnants of fire damage that claimed at least one life. And finally, there is the story of Gracie, a mental patient that tugs at people. Of course it would be nice if they could prove any of these stories were tree and not the standard urban legends that surround a place like this.

To start Day 1, Nick brings in Johnny Houser who claims a dark shadow figure rushed at during an investigation. However, they don’t get that same sort of reaction on his return visit. The first day proves to be rather quiet, so Katrina will sleep in the hall where the shadow was seen and Nick will sleep in Gracie’s room.

Day 2 starts with an analysis of the recorder that Nick had running and it appears to have loud bursts, sounds and disturbances going off all through the night. In the noise, Nick hears, "Nick get up" and some violent screams.

As an experiment, Nick set up Infrasound devices to see if they can pick up the voices again, but things seem quiet during the day.

They next try to find Inez with the 3D mapping software. Rob says he can hear scraping on the wall and reproduces the sound on the paneling. Nick becomes extremely excited as he walks through a static field. He feels this is making direct contact with someone.

For the end of the day, Katrina will sleep in the parlor under the picture of the captain and Nick will take the hallway. As another experiment, the Geobox is left running upstairs.

During the night, the Geobox recorded words referencing Johnny and his return. It also mentions Inez and that there was a witness. Nick decides to bring Johnny back to the house to confront the shadow figure, but it doesn’t make an appearance. However, he gets a lot of goosebumps and his microphone falls out of his shirt. These are both taken as signs of the paranormal.

As they get ready with the 3D mapping software, a large figure appears and then disappears next to Nick. They also get the words, "Johnny is here" and "nice to meet you" on the device. Johnny explores the hall and says that room 7 is filled with sadness.

Katrina and Nick feel Inez was trying to be heard, but was kept quiet by the captain. That really doesn’t make any sense, but that’s their interpretation.

If we are to go by the audio devices, then there are plenty of voices calling out in the night. If we look to other evidence and hold off judgment on these somewhat dubious stories, then all seems pretty uneventful.

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Paranormal Lockdown – White Hill Mansion – S02E08

imageNick and Katrina visit White Hill Mansion in Fieldsboro, New Jersey, built in 1722 by Robert Field. When he mysteriously drowned, his widow Mary and 7 children were left alone in the house. It changed hands several times to become a field hospital, a brothel and even a speakeasy with supposed tunnels leading from the house to the nearby Delaware River.

Now there are claims of the paranormal such as a child apparition running from floor to floor, voices, footsteps and the sound of a body being dragged. Some claim to see Mary Field crying at her writing desk. A tub upstairs is rumored site of a throat cutting. It is also believed a prostitute was strangled in the attic and mobsters murdered someone down in the basement and took him out through the tunnels.

But keep in mind, these are stories and while it’s almost impossible to think there hasn’t been a death in a house that has stood since 1722, the ones discussed are "believed" to have happened.

For Day 1, while in the basement, Katrina feels she sees a face sneak up behind her. When she makes a comment, there is a response of "sorry about that". In the attic, Katrina feels that something touches her arm.

With those being the main events of the day, Nick decides to sleep in the haunted tub, while Katrina sleeps in the attic. Nick puts out a motion sensor which does go off during the night. Not a big surprise considering how old, shaky and crumbling the house is. Anything moving close by could cause that.

For Day 2, they head back to the attic and as Rob sets up the 3D mapping software, there is a small stick figure under a table. They also believe they hear a child cry. The figure manages to stick around for a minute before disappearing as Nick moves in closer to touch it.

For Day 3, again in the attic, Nick asks if someone was murdered in this room. He gets an answer of "yes" and then "Cut his throat". This is followed by the equally garbled, "get out". Katrina feels this references the tub where the supposed murder took place.

As a final piece of evidence they get the phrase "Where are you daddy?" on the device.

While Katrina may be working herself into a frenzy of fear, very little seems to happen in this house. Because of ties to a field hospital, brothel and speakeasy, we’re lead to believe all sorts of dark forces are swarming around the house. What they walk away with is a stick figure on some 3D mapping software and Katrina being touched on the arm. A tap that comes in a room with low ceilings, odd angles and plaster/paint hanging off the wall for several inches.

There is certainly a want for the house to be haunted, as that would help the restoration budget. While there is no doubt the house has seen plenty of tragedy and death, the dark and sinister overtone of the voice over just isn’t there. Nick had no issues with any sort of figure behind the bar. Nothing happened to him when he slept in the tub. There were no footsteps, bodies being dragged or anything else for that matter.

Further, Nick says he found the exit to the tunnels, a bunch of debris clumped together, but not the entrance in the house itself. Does a tunnel actually exist?

Is there a child trapped in the attic as they want us to believe? That depends on how much faith you put in their 3D mapping software.

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Paranormal Lockdown – Statler City Hotel – S02E07

imageOur next outing on Paranormal Lockdown takes us to New York to investigate the Statler City Hotel. It was constructed in 1923 and became a high spot for entertainers, musicians and even Presidents. And apparently Al Capone did some business there, a mob connection they are going to hold onto throughout this episode, thus the unusual disclaimer at the start.

Conor Hawkings is the property manager and claims to have heard footsteps, had doors closed on him, has been touched and even spoken to. Their main piece of physical evidence is from a wedding photo where a black shadow figure can be seen lurking to the side of the guests. There is also the story of Mary Jean, a lonely 22 year old who committed suicide by jumping to her death from the hotel.

For Day 1, they head to the lower levels and the Turkish bath where it’s claimed stones are being thrown at workers. As Nick and Katrina look around, they indeed hear the same rocks. However, a quick look around the area shows it’s a shambles of construction and decay. It’s hardly a stretch to reason that debris is falling off the ceiling or walls and with the echo it comes across as sinister and someone throwing rocks.

For Day 2, Nick and Katrina pay a visit to the restaurant meat locker and the room where Mary Jean jumped. On the devices they pick up "girl", "ghost in the cellar" and "Mary." There are interesting things to note. First, Katrina shows plenty of filler around the windows which explains knocking, footsteps and bangs. Second, the device is speaking words in the background which everyone is ignoring. Again, the device is spouting out words and they choose which ones to run with.

As an experiment, Katrina moves some furniture around in the dining room. Her hope is the spirits will tidy the place back up again. As they work, Rob and Katrina feel they hear a muffled moan.

Day 3 starts with a review of the evidence where they see a chair move in the Terrace Room. To add to the drama, the lights on the wall mysteriously go out, which of course can only be explained by paranormal means, not someone flicking a switch. Further, Nick turns on the Wonderbox and gets the words "dismemberment" and "pool". When they try to get more information, they get the words, "not a guest", "a snitch" and "I was in the drum." These all capitalize on the mob hit notion they put forward from the beginning.

Now with the idea of the mob hit, Nick heads to the meat locker where they get "he sent his men". The next parts are blanked out since they supposedly contain names.

By the end, we are lead to believe a mob hit took place in the hotel. That as may be, but it was the 20s and New York, I’m sure there was a mob hit in every building during that time. The words and phrasing are interesting, but again, the devices put out a lot of words so it’s go with hits and gloss over the misses.

The chair moving was pretty interesting, although they don’t seem as intrigued as I thought they would be. Most of the activity has an alternative explanation, however, there are a lot of interesting voices that might be worth a second look.

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