Haunted Collector – Island of Fear and Tropical Terror – S01E04

Casa Blanca Museum

For this episode John heads out to Puerto Rico to investigate the home of fame explorer and conqueror, Ponce de Leon. They arrive at the Casa Blanca Museum where there are reports of doors closing on their own, figures roaming the grounds outside and a spinning wheel that moves on it’s own.

Right off the bat they debunk the spinning wheel, which is good to see. It’s actually not as hard to move as people believe and while walking around the room and stomping they get it to rotate.

They also discover what appears to be some sort of underground cellar. It could be for wine or personal items or as John points out, it could have been some sort of dungeon used by Ponce de Leon. Chris and Jason go to investigate perhaps with a little more haste than Chris would like since he actually falls off the ladder and crashes to the floor. He a little shaken, but otherwise unharmed. It looks like things are off to a bad start, but they don’t actually find anything of interest in this little cellar.

Things are a bit more exciting for Jess and Brian as they investigate the upstairs of the house. They’re caught off guard with the sound of multiple loud bangs that sound like the doors are shutting them in. It’s not one or two either, but a series that keeps them spinning trying to find out where then noise is coming from. As Brian says, they’re on a peninsula with island breezes, so is there merely the wind causing the doors to close?

John, Aimee and Chris investigate the grounds where the guards keep seeing shadow figures. What they discover is a large rock with carvings on it. Interesting they got an EVP of the word, “La Piedra” or “the stone” earlier. They come to find out this stone is from the native people of Puerto Rico and would have been created during a ritual where the native people would drink a special concoction to communicate with their ancestors and then carve what they see. Problem is, these are the same Puerto Rico natives that Ponce de Leon II was trying to remove from the area. He and his son set out to conquer the Carib people. It didn’t go as planned, Ponce de Leon’s son was captured, killed and quite possibly eaten in a ritual sacrifice. So now we have a native stone from the very people Ponce de Leon tried to eradicate sitting right next to his house. This does not bode well.

John obviously can’t remove the stone he decides to make an offering of fruit, tobacco and liquor to try and appease the spirits of both sides. It might have worked since the activity in the house has stopped, but the guards still claim to see shadow figures.

Mendez Residence

For the second investigation John investigate the Mendez home where there are reports of shadow figures, the apparition of a little boy, voices and scratching at the window.

This investigation takes on a bit of a darker tone as Grissell reveals that her grandmother was part of the Santeria faith and didn’t believe Grissell was her father’s daughter so she had no qualms in putting a hex on her and Grissell’s mother. The hex involved putting dead chickens around the house as well as seashells. Both of these are associated with the darker side of Santeria. Santeria is akin to Voodoo, or at least the perception of Voodoo.

As they investigate the house they get an EVP of the name “Miguel” which is Grissell’s father. He passed away three years ago. They also gets spikes on the meter when they get near the seashells Chayenne has in her bedroom, the same shells Grissell associates with Santeria.

They also learn about the coconuts on the property. Coconuts are used in Santeria to represent the human skull. Mark, Grissell’s husband has had dreams of the coconuts where a figure tells him to remove them. As they investigate the property they discover a small cave with coconuts, seashells and what appear to be teeth. Is this the site of Santeria rituals? It’s certainly a common practice in the area, both for good and bad.

John brings in a Santero who breaks open one of the coconuts to find hair and a chicken tongue. It’s his believe Santeria is being used here for evil purposes. He collects the coconuts and removes them. He also deals with the cave by removing those objects and cleansing it.

So what’s going on here? Are these people caught in the middle of some ancient feud where Santeria was used against families? Was this done by Grissell’s grandmother because she believed Grissell’s mother sinned against her son? It certainly seems like someone used, or is trying to use Santeria against this family.

While I don’t know either of these cases truly have a paranormal element to them they were interesting. Ponce de Leon is an iconic figure in history and maybe there is some bad blood between him and the people he tried to oppress. But is it really manifesting itself? As Brian said, a lot of this could simply be the wind. For the Mendez family it seems they’re caught in the crossfire of Santeria. Perhaps it’s directed at them, perhaps not. We don’t hear anymore about the voices or the apparition of the little boy. John didn’t really seem to capture any evidence of the supernatural so is this guilty feelings over the loss of the grandfather and the unusual behavior of the grandmother?

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