Ghost Hunters International

Ghost Hunters International – San Lucas Island – S02E12

Robb and the rest of the GHI team head to Costa Rica to investigate an island prison that is supposed to be as notorious as Alcatraz. There is the typical murder of inmates, the warden handing out brutal punishment, but there is also the reported death of both a priest and a nurse. Conditions were bad as people were crammed into small cells and in one instance a prisoner died, but no one said anything so they could keep getting his rations.

Right off the bat I have several problems with this investigation. First, the number of animals roaming around is staggering. We know for certain the place is full of bats, but I’m sure there are plenty of birds and other small animals that call this place home. Any noises and sounds they hear could easily be them. "I hear scratching at the door!" "That’s just an ill tempered boar trying to eat us."

Second is the rain and the lightning. You can hear the rain hitting the roof and sides of the buildings. Plus there is the low rumble of the thunder. This will contaminate any audio findings they come up. "Did you hear that growl?!" "Think that was thunder. Or maybe the chicken salad I had for lunch."

Right off the bat I’m already prejudiced against anything they find because of these environmental factors.

But moving past that, we have Robb and Barry investigating near the Torture Circle where Barry says he sees a pig like figure go running in front of him. However, it doesn’t show up on the thermal. They also hear the sound of a woman. Again, not picked up on audio.

Paul and Brandy go to the Slaughterhouse where several inmate murders took place. (Who thought inmates and knives was a good idea?) They claim to hear all sorts of noises. Again I ask, how is this not the rain, the animals and the wind? They didn’t capture anything.

Robb and Joe go to the dispensary where the murdered nurse used to work. Again, more claims of female voices but this time Robb says he sees someone walk across the room. The person walking was not captured on video. Paul and Brandy go to the dispensary, but they don’t see the figure either.

There is the story of a priest being murder so Joe and Robb go to the chapel to see if they can make contact. They hear a loud noise, but can’t find the source. Feral cat? That would be silly.

Robb and Joe head to the Slaughterhouse and tell the spirits they can’t get in. Low and behold the door starts shaking. A rickety door, on a worn out shack, in the middle of the jungle, on a rainy night. Wow, who would have thought something like that could happen? Don’t look now, it could be the wind!

They don’t really capture anything during the investigation, but at the reveal they have a few shoddy EVPs up their sleeves. What I find funny is that even the client can’t make out what’s being said, but after being prompted by Robb he agrees completely that’s what he hears. Robb is clearly not influencing the outcome.

With these couple of EVPs in hand Robb says the island is definitely haunted. Once again, they don’t have any truly solid evidence at hand. They didn’t capture any of the apparitions, no shadows, no clear cut voices. The entire basis for the prison being haunted rests of a few EVP recordings, which, just like every other EVP, could be interpreted as just about anything.

The place is certainly ripe for paranormal activity with harsh treatment, terrible living conditions and plenty of death, but the elements play too large a factor in contaminating any evidence they come up with. Whenever there’s bats, it makes me suspicious of any noises the team hears. And those things they see out of the corner of their eye? Yeah, that’s a bat.

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Independent investigation of the Spalding Inn

Like hell it was!

This investigation is another issue I have with the Ghost Hunters. Jason and Grant are free to spend their money on whatever they want, however, when they turn their show into a blatant plug for a new business venture, that is going a little too far. Plus, if they think their new Inn is haunted why didn’t they get an actual independent investigation? Getting Robb from the Ghost Hunters International team to do the investigation was a pretty half-baked attempt at distancing themselves from the outcome. Would it be fair to say that Jason and Grant are Robb’s bosses? What do you think would have happened had Robb said, "Nope, there’s nothing going on here. This place isn’t haunted at all." Do think he would have been host of GHI for much longer?

I guess he thought the same thing which is why he says the place is haunted even after he’s captured some of the weakest evidence to date. Robb has a job to do and that’s declare this place haunted regardless of what he finds. The team claims to have personal experiences, but they could just be trying to act the part so to speak. When all is said and done they walk away with some pretty lame findings.

The way this comes off is a blatant attempt at advertising for their new business. And from this point forward we see multiple occasions where Jason and Grant are wearing Spalding Inn sweatshirts. Nothing like free advertising I guess. At least they announced it before advertising for it.

But the big question still remains, if they really thought this place was haunted (and not turn this episode into an Infomercial) why didn’t they get a completely independent group to come in? Robb is on their payroll so that hardly seems fair or ethical. Where is the unbiased opinion? I guess they can’t break ranks and go outside of the TAPS and SyFy family, but the way they handled this just smells oh so fishy. I guess had it come up not haunted it would have tanked business eh?

And are we really going to believe that Jason and Grant didn’t know the place was haunted when they bought it? That either makes them the worst researchers out there or complete liars. Two guys who’ve made millions with the paranormal claim they bought a property without knowing it’s history? Are they stupid or do they think we’re that stupid?

For a very in-depth review of this episode and hundreds of comments check out this review:

GH: Spalding Inn on The Skeptical Viewer

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GHI – Tasmania/Malaysia – Tasmanian Death Sentence

When faced with the total lack of evidence even Robb has to admit there is no paranormal activity. The team strikes out twice with their final stop in Tasmania at the Supreme Courthouse and again at the castle in Malaysia.

It wasn’t for a lack of trying though. Robb was trying to make something happen by trying to build up some tension when photographing the noose in the courthouse. As is so often the case when working with a flash, he was just seeing a reflection he created. And back in courtroom 1 they were trying to turn those couple of bangs into something. I’m surprised Robb didn’t say they were footsteps.

Dustin and Barry holding court really made me laugh! That was some funny role playing.

And not much happened in the Malaysian castle. Dustin and Barry got a strong smell of incense but little else. Plus, that scent could have just drifted in from somewhere so it really wasn’t that big a deal.

Once again, some really neat places to visit and I’m amused by both "clients" complete dismissal of GHI not finding any evidence. They firmly stand by the place regardless. I guess they hoping for better results so as to increase their tourism revenue.

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Ghost Hunters International – Port Arthur Penitentiary – S02E10

GHI continues with more investigations in Australia with a stop at the Port Arthur Penitentiary, a prison for British and Irish inmates. (As an aside you have to laugh at Barry and Paul’s reaction when they hear about the British and Irish ties) Apparently the paranormal activity here extends back to the 1870s. People see apparitions, have been touched, hear footsteps and have encounters on a regular basis.

When Robb, Ashley and Brandy are in the room of Reverend George they hear distinct footsteps above them. Of course there is nothing up there. Good thing it’s a calm night, no wait, it’s windy so that noise could be just about anything.

Paul is doing an investigation and the door keeps opening on him. We know it’s windy so there really isn’t much to that occurrence.

In the cell of John Gould, Brandy asks for John to come and make his presence known. She then feels something touch her and the word "Okay" later shows up on the recorder. Quick grab the thermometer! Oh wait, you left it in your other ghost hunting pants.

Again in the surgeon’s quarters, Barry hears a very loud bang. Again, it’s just the wind, but it does prove that people can hear and feel things that are nothing more than the wind. And when you already have it in your mind that a place is haunted you can really begin to believe anything.

In the same place, Barry is lying on the slab where the doctor perhaps did some unorthodox dissections. Joe says he is recording wild temperature fluctuations, but again, we don’t see the meter to confirm that. Additionally, as Barry is getting ready to leave he feels someone touch him across the shoulder blades.

Another piece of evidence is in the Commandants room where the bed curtains move suddenly. They only move once, but this could easily be a draft caused by someone opening a door in another part of the prison. A slight fabric flutter is nothing to get too excited about.

The big piece of evidence is the figure Barry caught on camera. While doing a 30 second exposure Barry captures a rather clear looking figure standing next to the building. I do agree that under normal circumstances a moving object won’t show up on an exposure that long. If anything the camera would record a blur in that area or something that might look like a haze. I’m not saying they did, but it wouldn’t be hard to artificially create a photo like this. However, it is pretty cool.

The final two pieces are the "Get Out" that is supposedly spoken as they’re talking to the inmates and the words "Payback" as Robb is talking in the surgeons quarters.

A lot of the evidence is pretty easy to debunk. We clearly know it’s windy so things moving, rattling and even the sound of footsteps could easily be attributed to that. Brandy feeling light headed when talking to John Gould can be the power of suggestion since he was convicted of doing some bad things to children. That can easily play on the mind. The temperature fluctuations weren’t actually shown to us and I always discount the EVPs now days. Those just don’t sound like anything and are too easy to recreate artificially. And shouldn’t these EVPs have accents? :)

The picture Barry took is really the only impressive thing they got. Personally I feel it would be very easy to recreate a picture like that, but if we go out on a limb and believe in it, it’s pretty interesting.

Robb of course says the place is haunted so I’m sure that’ll help tourism.

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