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Ghost Adventures – Hauntings of Vicksburg – McRaven Mansion – Part 1

ghost-adventures-vicksburgThis may or may not be the next episode in the series, but it’s a trip to Vicksburg to investigate one of America’s most haunted cities, which is a claim being made far too frequently these days. Zak and team were invited by the Mayor to see what sort of answers they could find in regards to the hauntings of the city.

They start off with the McRaven Mansion which has been standing since 1797. Dr Steven Reed owns the home after purchasing it from Leyland French, who was supposedly driven out by attacking forces. It’s claimed that Leyland performed “rituals” and opened doors to the unknown he couldn’t close. However, none of this can be confirmed, so it firmly goes into the “we were told” category.

Steven says he doesn’t live in the house because it’s haunted. That is the extent of his comment without any real explanation. Yet he’s concerned about the tour guides who claim to have experiences. Lisa claims something pushed her, while Kari says something touched her on the inner thigh and she was attacked in a nightmare. Jai says something happens every day such as someone whispering to her or the feeling of uneasiness.

Not to be rude, but those are some seriously weak claims. Having a nightmare is not a sign of paranormal activity.

The investigation gets underway with Kari and Jai participating to face down their fears. Zak brings out the PILFER device which emits positive ions to create a charged environment. Sounds like they creating an environment to have experiences where none exist.

And sure enough, the get a stick figure on the SLS while Kari says her left side is cold. Not to be outdone, Zak claims the entity they captured went straight through him and up the stairs. This contact left him feeling agitated with everyone. And because the energy is so high, the batteries to their equipment keep dying. Or they bought crap batteries, take your pick.

In the upper rooms where Andrew Glass died, Jai feels something grab her waist and claim to hear Jai Jai on the spirit box. This is combined with a lady screaming on the box and it leaves Jai feeling sick and disoriented. Walking around on uneven floors in the dark would cause the same effect. It all feels like a bunch of cosplay nonsense.

These ill feelings are followed by a light anomaly, or bug, and the sound of furniture moving around. They head to the room of John Bob to discover things aren’t the way they’re supposed to be. A lamp is on the floor, a table is in the wrong place and there are some cast off rocks on the floor. Of course, none of this was captured and only Jai is familiar with the layout of the room.

They bring out the Paranormal Pick 2 and get the word, “French”, which they naturally assume is the spirit of Leyland French. I bet they felt silly when they found out Leyland is still alive. This is marked up to trickery by the evil spirits.

To be honest, this was a pretty silly episode, with yet another story of “rituals”. For activity that happens every day, their evidence is weak-their batteries died and they spoke to someone who isn’t dead through a spirit box.

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Demonic Ectoplasmic Residue or Pink Drywall Spackle?

The last Ghost Adventures episode, Exorcism in Erie, come across as very staged and false, especially the claim of residue on the stairs leading to the basement where Bishop Bryan performed his mini-exorcism on the horseshoe.

At the end, they claimed there was some foreign substance on the wall. They claimed it was wet and even looked like blood, perhaps even some sort of demonic residue left behind by the entity supposedly taking possession of Chris.

Even in the dim light, it very much looked like plaster spackle and it only took a few seconds to find an image of a wall being repaired that looked almost identical to the material on the wall in this episode.

When you compare the two, it’s pink drywall spackle. Zak, Aaron, Bishop Bryan and the owners are deliberately staging evidence to suggest an outcome. Had they turned the lights on, the deception would have been exposed.

So if they faked the foreign material on the wall, what else did they fake? What other props are they planting around the house? A lot of their previous discoveries and evidence have been dubious, but it looks like they may have been caught out on this one.

It seems clear that the demonic presence, the exorcism, the story of the witch’s house and the dark energy around a rusty bit of metal are a complete fabrication and hoax to try and sell their idea of demonic.

The image on the left is from Ghost Adventures where they claim it’s blood or foreign matter. On the right is pink drywall spakcle on the same sort of textured wall. Look at that, they’re the same. This is not a case of getting something wrong, this is a case of fakery.

The drywall image was taken from here – https://operationhomeblog.com/tag/spackle/

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Ghost Adventures – Exorcism in Erie – S14E06

imageTo continue with the demonic theme we have going, Zak is in Erie, Colorado to help a family who’s house and son are under a supposed demonic oppression. Jeff and Darlene bought the house in 1997 and have experienced demonic activity including growls, shadow figures and some force that tried to throw their son Chris out the window. Zak attributes this to a massive fault line that runs under the house. However, the actual center of the activity seems to be Chris himself.

As Darlene describes it, Chris used to be loving and affectionate, but has since been taken with a lot of anger and heavy depression. Darlene feels Chris is under a demonic oppression and that he sees spirits all the time.

When questioned by Zak, Chris admits to going to "the witch’s house". There they found pentagrams, occult magazines and preserved animals in jars. They also found blood which he feels was part of a ritual sacrifice. Chris and his friends spent many hours there messing around trying to conjure something. Ultimately, Chris took a horseshoe from the house and buried it in his back yard. He also says he has seen the devil smiling at him.

Jeff and Darlene also have daughter who gives a quick interview and she says her son doesn’t like going over to their house because of the zombie ghost.

As they start looking around the house, Jay has an episode where his heart rate goes to 120 bpm and he gets red in the face. Zak also states the bed posts have turned red and look like devil horns.

Believing a dire demonic possession is in the making, Zak reaches out to Bishop Bryan Ouellette to perform an exorcism. Meanwhile, Aaron and Billy dig up the yard to find the "demonic horseshoe" only it isn’t buried at all, but is sitting in the garage in plain sight. Zak states that all the violent weather in the area is a form of demonic oppression and it manipulated someone to dig up the horseshoe and put it back in the garage.

Chris meets with the Bishop and says he feels cold, that there is energy in the room and that he feels it wants to take his life. During the blessing, Chris shakes violently and has no idea what’s going on, even though he’s keenly aware that his hands are shaking.

Zak has brought in Bill Chappell to bedazzle the masses with new gadgets that fluctuate and bounce in a manner Bill has never seen before. We have readings that go off the charts then bottom out as well as meters that rise and fall.

This coincides with Zak saying he sees a black mass on the stairs. Billy confirms there is something "billowing". The Spirit Box picks up "kill me" and "I’m breeding". Zak asks what the entity wants from Chris, and out of the garbled mess determines it says, "his soul" because that makes for better TV. As Zak pulls out the SLS camera, there is a figure dancing on the counter in the bathroom. This calls for a blessing of the house by Bishop Bryan.

The focal point is the basement and during the blessing a wet hand print appears on the wall of the stairs leading down. Zak says it looks like a child’s hand. Chris is upstairs during this and with the Mag Camera, there is a picture of him shrouded by a black covering. Zak says this is the dark figure he and Billy saw.

Bishop Bryan does a final blessing on the horseshoe or "demonic relic" as Zak keeps calling it and by the end his eyes are bloodshot and he is terribly congested. Proof again of demonic forces, so claims Zak.

This is perhaps the most ridiculous episode they have ever put their name too. It is utterly amazing that visiting an abandoned home and reading "occult magazines" will conjure a demonic spirit. Strangely, you don’t hear of angels following people who just happen to read a religious pamphlet. Further, Zak makes a wild leap to say the horseshoe is demonic and was used in rituals. How odd considering the horseshoe is normally considered a good luck charm.

It also appears Chris himself needs some medical attention. Another case where depression is associated with "demonic oppression". Has Chris seen a mental health specialist for his depression? Has he seen someone about his jerky movements? Depression isn’t caused by the devil. This isn’t Salem in the late 1600’s.

The hand print on the wall to the basement is dry wall repair kit that goes on pink and dries to white. As they sweep over it, you can see it drying in the center, but it’s still pink in the thicker areas.

The gizmos Bill is bringing in are a load of nonsense. Let’s conjure up some flashing lights without giving any sense of measurement and saying things are completely out of control and it’s never acted like this before.

Let’s also not forget the incidents with the Witch’s House happened so long ago that Chris has basically forgotten about it and can’t remember the details. Further, this deadly horseshoe was in the living room, yet no one else was effected. You would think such an evil totem would consume everyone who came within a dozen feet of it, let alone those who touched it. That would make it more cursed than the Brady idol.

Zak now sees the devil in everything. He’s even going to say it’s responsible for the weather. Funny how the houses next door don’t seem to be affected by this demonic horseshoe even though they are right in line of this evil ripple effect and fault line.

And why on earth did Zak meet a priest in a cemetery other than for dramatic effect?

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Please explain how this is not dry wall repair kit.

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The Zozo Phenomenon by Darren Evans – Thoughts and Impressions

The Zozo Phenomenon focuses on Darren’s experiences with Zozo with dozens of letters from people running into the same sort of trouble as support. Couple that with YouTube videos chronicling contact with Zozo where none of them end well. So what is going on? Why is Zozo making a sudden appearance and causing all this mischief? I dare say not a single person had heard of Zozo a decade ago.

According to Darren, Zozo appears in the Dictionnaire Infernal, making it ancient. That’s not entirely accurate as Zozo is not listed as demon. The name is referenced by a girl who claims she was possessed by a spirit named Zozo, among two others. Depending on interpretation, that girl was determined to be a fraud. That aside, Zozo is not listed as a demon or deity.

But if it’s not a demon or spirit, why are so many people being affected? That lies in the sender’s of the letters themselves. Almost all of them mention depression, cutting, suicidal thoughts, being bipolar, emotional instability or some other form of mental illness. When going to the Ouija with a depressed mindset, it’s pretty easy to predict what sort of experience you’re going to get back.

What about the names Zozo and Mama? They are in fact the easiest names to spell on the Ouija. All you have to do is move in the "rainbow effect" and you get Zozo or Mama every time. But Zozo isn’t the only name, it can be Za, Oz, Zo and other extremely simple words to spell. It can even be Zaza, Lilly, Zach. Zozo has no idea what gender it should be and goes by so many names that anything you spell can be linked to Zozo. Some call that saturation bombing.

Just like the name, Zozo as an entity has been set up to encompass everything. Zozo is a deity, a demon, a Djinn and a trickster. Zozo is multiple things, things with multiple personalities, allowing it to cover a wide variety of bases. It’s not one thing that acts in one way, it’s dozens of things that acts with complete unpredictability so everything falls under the Zozo umbrella. That’s why when Zozo or whatever name it goes by gets something right, it proves his existence. When he gets it wrong, that proves he’s a trickster. Under what circumstances isn’t it Zozo?

When you step back, Darren lays out a blueprint of what a demon would do to build it’s brand. It would choose a mysterious name, something with Z, the lost letter. It would give false and real information. It would be helpful to draw people in, then strike. It would pick on the young and vulnerable. It would use the exact roadmap Darren details on how the Zozo phenomenon came into existence.

Darren explains how skeptics say the subconscious pushes the Ouija planchette using the ideomotor effect, then discounts it by saying Zozo is different. He recounts multiple skeptic claims, but dismisses them all with a, Zozo is different. He also admits to being obsessed with the board and can’t help but coming back to it time and time again. This is the power of Zozo rather than OCD, or addictive personality.

It’s also hard to discount the striking similarity between the word Zozo and the Zoso by Led Zeppelin. You would have to be blind not to see the style duplication of the Zoso signature of Jimmy Page and the Zozo style used for the book. Darren freely admits to his extreme fandom of Led Zeppelin and Page and his further work in the Black Crowes. It’s an amazing "coincidence" that Zozo chose a moniker so close to the one Page used and one that references his other band.

Further, I couldn’t find a Zozo sighting dating before Darren took up the mantle. Many claim John Zaffis knows all about Zozo, who says it’s ancient and a trickster. John has been on the paranormal circuit for decades, has he ever mentioned the name before Darren brought it up?

This will come across as harsh, but the letters pouring into Darren about Zozo experiences do not support his claim. They are from extremely vulnerable and impressionable people, who by their own admission, have harmed themselves and have a multitude of life problems. Even at the beginning of the book, Darren outlines a whole slew of traumatic events in his own life. Like other "hauntings" it’s easier to say you’re suffering from demonic oppression than a mental disorder.

When you put these together, it’s safe to conclude that Zozo and everything surrounding it is a fabrication. The fleeting reference in the Dictionnaire Infernal, the emotionally distraught letters and the dubious TV appearances don’t qualify as proof of authenticity.

Despite this, Darren is getting a lot of milage from Zozo. He’s managed to publish a book, consult on a movie, has been a guest lecturer, and has found himself on the set of a couple of TV shows. This "Zozo phenomenon" has given Darren his own form of celebrity status.

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Come on now. Are we really going to say this is a coincidence? The name, the style, the reference to Page, his involvement with the Black Crowes. This story starts with Darren and involves all his fandom tropes.

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