Ghost Asylum S01E02 – Kuhn State Hospital

imageFor this episode, the members of Tennessee Paranormal Society head to Mississippi to investigate the Kuhn State Hospital. The hospital was established in 1832 and has been the scene of some nasty events. It certainly housed victims of smallpox as well as the injured in the Civil War. It was also a mental hospital and prison. As with most asylums of the day, lobotomies, ice baths and electroshock were prescribed regulary. It would also be pretty hard to image that there wasn’t some sort of abuse or mistreatment of both patients and prisoners. Like other facilities, it seems this was built to store the unwanted of society rather than take care of them.

As we learned from the previous episode, the goal of the team is to actually capture spirit energy. To that end they are working to devise a "trap" that can hold the energy while at the same time giving some sort of measurement reading to prove they actually have it. It’s certainly an interesting idea (and yes, it sounds like the plot of Ghostbusters), but can something like that actually be done? Can you really hold spirit energy the same way you store energy in a battery? Does the technology and know how exist to make it happen. And more importantly, is this group the one that will make it happen?

The reports for such a place could be guessed before talking with anyone. "You can feel their presence when you walk in the door", full bodies apparitions and shadow figures that roam through the halls and come darting at you when you view them straight on. Really the only thing missing was the footsteps and the glowing red eyes. Perhaps those were claims but were just edited out.

The part I do like about this show is they take baseline readings during the day and the team sticks around for more than just one night. At least they can get a sense of the building and understand some of the noises it makes so they don’t think every bump and creak is paranormal. It’s also nice to not see orbs or flying dust particles mistaken for paranormal events. They do seem to get a few hits during the daylight hours and from this they mark their "hotspots".

As the investigation goes along it appears the entities are attracted to Brandon who has Asperger’s. Back in the day, this would have been seen as a mental disorder and someone like Brandon would have found themselves as a patient in such a facility. The team feels that Brandon is seen as a kindred spirit and the energy is attracted to him.

As they make their way around the massive 40,000 sqft facility they hear the usual bangs and bumps and get repeated hits on their mel meter and K2. I can’t say I’m satisfied with either of these devices, but they were making noises and have  flashing lights. If that’s an indication of the paranormal then so be it.

The trap they create and set up consists of a doorframe, some glass sheets in the frame and a crystal suspended in the center. The crystal is supposed to hold the energy and they’ve added lasers so they can see if anything is moving within the panes of glass.

To be honest, I’m not sure which trap seems the most unusual. I know many people feel that crystals focus and contain energy, but are you able to capture a spirit with one? And especially in this sort of contraption?

The team uses lasers to "herd" the spirits toward Brandon who is trying to lure them into the container. The meters go off, bangs are heard and in the end they feel they’ve captured something in the crystal. However, when they get it back to Tennessee they aren’t able to get any readings to confirm they have something in their trap.

As they review the evidence they pull up footage of what they believe is a full-bodied apparition. Tucked away in the corner is a mass that seems to reveal itself then disappear. What do we have there? Is this an actual spirit or "matrixing" that makes you try and make out shapes and patterns even though they don’t really exist?

This wasn’t a bad follow up episode, but I’m in no way convinced their "trap" is going to work nor do I believe their "inventions" are inventions at all. Putting a diffuser on the end of a laser pointer isn’t an invention. Brandon may be a bit of a tinkerer, but to say he’s an inventor might be stretching things.

While this isn’t a bad show, it’s by no means great. Sometimes the low tech answer is the way to go, but I don’t know if you’re going to catch a ghost with door frame parts you find at a hardware store. But as with so many of these shows, it’s about the location and story behind it rather than actually capturing evidence. I was unaware of Kuhn State Hospital before this episode, but there is a fair bit of information out there. I’m sure going inside and wandering through the halls would be a thrilling adventure. Here’s a couple interesting links to begin your own research.

Additional information on Kuhn State Hospital:

Pictures of Kuhn State Hospital at Abandoned Playgrounds – Notice how the buildings lay out in the form of a cross.
Abandoned Mississippi: Kuhn Memorial State Hospital
Pictures of Kuhn Memorial Hospital at World of Decay

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