Infamous Places

Haunted Towns – Salem – S01E02

haunted-towns-salemThe TWC team makes Salem their next stop to investigate the paranormal energy associated with the witch trials. They have three locations on their agenda, the Peirce farm where one of the accused, Mary, tried to hide before being captured and hanged, the Salem Cinema, former location of the tavern where the examinations took place to determine if someone was a witch, and the Barnard house, home of Reverend Barnard who believed strongly there were witches in the town who needed to be stopped.

First stop is at the Peirce Farm, where Sean, the owner, has meager information to share about hauntings or paranormal events. The most he offers is a staffer may have seen something in the study and the attic could be worth a look.

Despite Brandon’s belief, a half turned off flashlight is not evidence. And we should ignore the spaghetti bundle of exposed wires coming out of that basement panel box. However, they do get the words, “View” and “Hidden”, which Chris tries to weave into a narrative.

Up in the study, they get “Marry”, “Sacrifice”, “Slain” and, “Alice”, all words that could be associated with the trial. Even though “Marry” is spelled incorrectly for a name, they link together Mary and Alice being hung on the same day.

For Day 2, they investigate the Salem Cinema and the Barnard House. Porter and Brandon project court documents onto the screen and read from the trial notes while Doogie and Chris look around the reverend’s house.

At the cinema, we have more flashlight tricks, along with “Alice” and “deal”. At the house, Doogie feels something is wrong in the attic. Chris claims to get “six hundred sixty –” on the device as though the place is evil. Within earshot of Doogie, Chris asks the entities to touch Doogie on the left side of his face. No surprise for guessing that a few minutes later Doogie says something touches his left ear. Additionally, he feels something grabbing at his throat.

Now, pay attention to the scenes and notice the massive bundle of herbs or similar hanging from the rafters. It’s just as likely Doogie is having an allergic reaction to whatever that is rather than evil entities leaping out to get him.

And speaking of leaping, when Doogie asks for the entity to take it easy on him, he gets “Yank” followed by something touching his leg.

And that is the extent of the activity. Throwing away the ridiculous flashlight experiment, there’s not much else to work with. All the words they get fit together in an interesting little story that is a touch too convenient and a dash to obscure to be believed. But, maybe so.

It’s also interesting to note that Brandon says these women were “probably” innocent. How can you possibly say, “probably”? These innocent people had their lives ruined and taken through absolute ignorance and hysterics, there is no “probably” about it.

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Haunted Towns – Gettysburg – S01E01

gettysburgAbandoning their previous show and exploits, the Tennessee Wraith Chasers are now out to visit the most haunted towns to capture new paranormal experiences. Their first episode investigates Gettysburg, site of the debilitating battle that took place from July 1-3, 1863 and took the lives of over 50,000 men from both sides.

Instead of taking their investigation to the battlefield as others have done, the move closer to town to investigate the Mason Dixon Militaria and Stewart Farm.

The Militaria sells and displays period antiques including muskets, pistols and clothing. In particular there are army uniforms and a dress worn while attending one of the makeshift hospitals. The employees of the store claim activity of conversations, and shadows in the basement. Doggie  get readings of something close to the floor. When we see the basement, there is a slew of derelict wires on the ceiling right where he took readings.

To start the investigation, they put Brandon in a uniform and place him in a viewing coffin. They also bring out the white dress to use as a trigger object. However, neither of these generate much of a response.

With Chris, Porter and Doogie at the counter, they try for responses on the recorder. They get “Mike” and “closet” and the response of “yes” when asked if anyone was injured. However, none of these sound intelligible on playback. We also get the old trick of the flashlight going off without anyone touching it. When they put a pistol on the counter, they get “arms” from their Ovilus device. That’s about the only part that makes sense.

Doogie claims he gets the word, “van,” a reference to Mike, their audio engineer in the van, but try as I might, I don’t hear anything that even remotely sounds like “van.” It feels like they’re making that one up.

In a rather awkward moment, they record an EVP by the white dress. However, it’s not a woman’s voice, but a big old “f*ck you.” It’s bleeped out, so clearly no way to confirm. And it simply doesn’t fit.

Down in the basement, they play battle sounds and get the K2 meter to blink. Ask if the energy is a Union soldier and get some beeps. To try and see if the entity is intelligent, they ask who the leader was that gave the speech to the country after the battle. There is some sort of garbled static, which they say is “Abraham Lincoln.” I honestly don’t see how they’re getting a single name, let alone two distinguishable words out of that crap.

The next location is the Stewart Farm, along the road where the troops would have traveled. It was also a makeshift field hospital. They speak with Stephani, who claims both her son and grandson have had experiences. Her son claims he saw people looking down on him, while her grandson saw “a blue monster,” aka a soldier.

As they start, there is a small noise, which they immediately say came from the room where the son had an experience. A bold claim to make since they had no idea where it came from. In that room they hear a small sound from a table, which they make out to be as significant as the table levitating. Small pops from an old farm settling at night. Who would have thought?

To add trigger objects to the mix, Porter fires a musket. Doogie immediately says he feels something and Porter claims a shadow is on the staircase. But, things turn sinister as they get a temperature reading of 66.6 and Porter gets “Satan” on his Ovilus. This is followed by “unholy” and “homicide”. This makes Brandon jump to discussing demons. Here we go again.

In the barn, they perform the musket experiment again, and ask any spirits what that noise was. From the burp of static, they get a response of “cannon.” Porter says that is correct as he did a double load in the musket.

As we bring things to an end, they once again have to insert the idea of Satan and demonic forces at work in the area and the activity they captured was off the charts and proves the soldiers still linger.

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The Demon House of Seattle – Revisit

Here is another interview with Keith in regards to his house which has been dubbed the Demon House of Seattle. It’s presented by ParanormalZoneTV, and comes well after the investigation by Zak and Ghost Adventures. Keith is joined by Karissa, but it’s best to gloss over her portion of the program as she’s not helping to give credence and credibility to the claims.

Keith does bring up valid points about the Ghost Adventures investigation. First, the slant of the show was to make it seem like Tina was responsible for the events in the house. Second, anyone who dismisses or agrees with paranormal activity simply because of Zak needs to check themselves. Let’s just take a step back for a moment. Zak is in no way a scientist or even using scientific methods. He is a former DJ who paired up with a photographer to create his show. He claims to have the powers of a sensitive, powers he developed over his career.

His job is to entertain, to dramatize, to generate interest, to gain an audience and to get renewed for another season. His truth is relative and if a haunting sells, that’s what you’re going to see. And if no haunting sells, that’s what you’re going to see.

From that angle, anyone who says Zak did a great job by discrediting this house or that it only improves his credibility as an investigator is buying into the marketing machine.

To that end, let’s have a look at the evidence that Keith has on file. First of all, everything we see is after the fact. There are pictures of his office in disarray, symbols and numbers painted on the wall, kitchen drawers open, scissors and cross shoved into the wall, a burned bible and chairs put on top of tables. However, there is nothing showing these events in progress. There is no physical evidence of phones being thrown, of plants levitating, or numbers being drawn through inhuman means.

The rebuttal is that the spirit energy is capable of draining the cameras, cutting off the power, blanking out the video so it’s action can’t be seen and all sorts of other trickery to hide it’s methods.

Even though the 666 that we saw in the final cut of Ghost Adventures was one of several messages that were left on the same door, it was never able to be captured. Keith would get a message, paint the door, then another would appear in the same place. This happened several times, in the same place, but couldn’t be captured.

Karissa claims that when she first entered the house, her phone was thrown. The same thing happened to the UK investigators. It happened a third time when someone else came to investigate the house. The expected behavior when you came over to the house was to have your phone thrown, but yet it can’t be captured.

Fair enough, maybe the cameras don’t always work, but the investigators are able to record everyone walking around their sensors after they’ve gone off. Keith is able to detect motion in his house and get an email, but nothing is capable of capturing a single image of these events taking place.

It’s stated hundreds of EVPs have been captured. Ok, fair enough, that could be worth something, however, simply because you capture a voice doesn’t mean it’s from beyond the grave. A captured voice alone is not proof of the paranormal. A voice on a recorder can be duplicated in hundreds of different ways. Who’s to say that voice isn’t coming from outside? Who’s to say it’s not from a radio or television? Who’s to say it’s not being picked as interference from another device? Who’s to say it’s not a fragment from a baby monitor or phone call?

If you knew nothing of the paranormal claims and were shown the evidence, you would immediately think Keith is the victim of some terrible and senseless acts of vandalism. You would believe you were being shown photos for an insurance claim. However, showing pictures of open kitchen cabinets is not proof of the paranormal. Showing pictures of a broken chair on a desk is not evidence of the paranormal. Even a picture of a burnt bible is nothing more than evidence of a ruined bible.

One thing that I did find off about the interview, is Keith had a small fire break out in the house. I believe a poster or something similar caught on fire while he was getting ready for work. He’s unable to get out of the house because he couldn’t open the door. Later, Keith says the entities in the house aren’t malicious and he has nothing to worry about. I find that to be an odd contradiction if I heard it correctly.

I have no idea what’s going on in Keith’s house because clearly I’m not there and haven’t experienced it. However, the over the top claims and the evidence presented don’t match up. With the constant level of activity going on and with the technology available, you would expect quite a bit more in the way of tangible or visible evidence.

Bob Cranmer has the same situation on his hands. He has a house plagued with activity, like CDs being thrown with such force they shatter. It happens over and over again, yet there is nothing that proves these events actually took place, only the aftermath. Sure, he wrote stuff down in his journal, he took notes, he has pictures, but since this has gone on for years, it all seems pretty inconclusive. He did get a book out of the deal with plenty of people decrying the eternal battle between good and evil.

Comments have been made that the paranormal is like lightning and you can’t capture lighting. Um, yes you can.

image

The point being, anyone can run around their house, open drawers, throw plants on the floor, put chairs on the desk, do as they like with the crucifix, take pictures and declare the paranormal. People can run around in the dark, scratch themselves and declare they were touch by a demon. That doesn’t make it so.

Have a look and decide for yourself.

Demons in Seattle – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfH6mIKg63E

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Bob Cranmer and the Demon of Brownsville Rd

 

A comment was left about Bob Cranmer and The Demon of Brownsville Rd, but that name isn’t familiar, so I decided to look it up. Turns out the book chronicles Bob’s dealing with dark forces inside his home. At first glance it makes me think of Amityville.

I don’t have a copy of his book, but I was able to find a few interviews. I have to admit, I’m a bit skeptical for a variety of reasons, but the phrase, "my credibility as a politician" took me by surprise. Politicians are showman and have to market themselves. They tell people what they want to hear to get elected. That’s not a solid foundation for, "my story is real".

That slight prejudice aside, what details does Bob offer during his interviews?

Bob is pretty tight lipped, but a few details manage to come out, but they sound a bit cliche. The previous owners were eager to sell and took the first offer. There is a Native American connection and "possible" curse and bodies buried under the front lawn. The house may have been used as a clinic for illegal abortions. Lots of mood swings, behavior problems, depression and a nervous breakdown.

We also have broken rosary, broken crucifix, a child trying to stop the priest from blessing the house, pictures taken off the wall and furniture moved.

When asked for some specifics, more often than not, Bob responds with phrases like, "well, when you read my book", or, "it’s in the book", or "I don’t want to give too much away". Translation – I don’t want to miss out on sales.

To jump ahead, Bob wages war against "Evil". The details are sketchy, but some of it involves playing the movie, Passion of the Christ, 24 hours a day. That would drive anyone out.

In the end, they triumph and Bob gets his troubled son to build a Facebook page to promote his book. Now there’s something parents should follow, instead of getting mad at your kids for all the crap they drag you through – the sleepless nights, the drugs, the partying, the mood swings, the chaos, the wasted money – spin a yarn about how Evil caused it all and put up a Facebook page. Money can smooth over a lot of family issues.

But Bob isn’t in it for the money even though he mentions stores are sold out, he’s working with production companies about TV shows and maybe movie discussions. His story about God and the battle between good and evil needs to be told. This is the story of our age!

Keep in mind though, this isn’t a horror story or paranormal investigation. Even though he’s working the paranormal circuit, it’s a story about God.

It’s hard to get behind the "evil" angle when there are just too many "earthbound" explanations not to mention the hard sell. The more you say, "it’s in the book" the more capitalist you sound. If it’s just about telling the story, put out a free Kindle book.

At any rate, has anyone read this book? Comments to offer? I’m not against it or Bob, but I’m awfully suspect of a story that sounds like a blend of Amityville and Poltergeist.

Links to the interviews can be found below:

https://player.fm/series/beyond-the-edge-radio/1252015-bob-cranmer-and-the-demon-of-brownsville-rd – jump to 40 minutes
http://mysteriousmatters.com/podcast/282/the-demon-of-brownsville-road/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xD0gfu8I840
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJPaPFVGx5g – Jump to 38:00 minutes

And a couple of interesting reads by those who don’t quite agree with the claims:

Another Hell House, book and website. Honestly, this is getting old…
Former residents of Brentwood ‘demon’ house dispute book’s claims

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