Friday, January 28, 2011

Ghost Hunters International - Season 2, Episode 23


(Huissen, Netherlands - Huissen House of Horrors and Ijmuiden, Netherlands - Ijmuiden Fortress)

First of all: "Amsterdamned"? Woof.

Case #1 Huissen House of Horrors - Huissen, Netherlands -
Welcome to Holland! Land of people on bicycles! The first location the GHI team is investigating today is affectionately dubbed the "Huissen House of Horrors." And if I am correct, this is the first time the team has investigated a private residence. Making history, folks. The Huissen House has a pretty morbid history, which we learn from Susan Slaughter on the car ride over.

(Susan Slaughter)

Over a period of time (what that period of time is, we are not told) four women killed themselves in the house. They all hanged themselves in the attic. That's kinda fucked up. The current owner of the house, Johan Vlemmix (how adorable is that name?!) called the team in because there have been a lot of strange goings on; he claims to have seen an apparition hanging from the rafters in the attic.
And let me say that I agree with Joe Chin: the house does stick out like a sore thumb.

(Huissen House of Horrors)

As the team arrives, Johan comes out of the house to greet them. I love the strange, almost formal way foreign people speak English. "Hi, nice you are here." Johan explains that the house was built in the 1700's and stood empty because no one wanted to buy it, because it is a "ghost house." At one point the entire area became flooded, except for this house, so many people in the community fled to the house for safety. Their luck ran out when the flooding caught up with them and they were all drowned. Bummer.
Now, here is when things get ... interesting. According to Johan, once he purchased the house his life went down the crapper. He lost "517,000 Euro in the business" (not sure what "the business was") - currently the exchange is about 1 Euro to $1.38. Oof! His girlfriend also dumped him, though I have to think that had more to do with him being wicked poor. Johan seems to think the house will "get rid of him."
Apparently, the previous owner had a pretty bad turn as well. His wife didn't want to live there because she believed the place to be haunted and even claimed that she could "feel the devil" there. She left him and took the kids. This is pretty rough stuff, you guys. And everyone seems to think it has something to do with this house.

During the tour of the house, Johan shows Barry, Kris and Paul some of the hot spots. In the main entrance a chandelier likes to move on it's own. Everyone agrees that this is not normal. The first floor bedroom sometimes has a "very big light in the corner" that lasts for about five minutes and then disappears. In the second floor bedroom "some strange things happen here." Johan hides in a closet and bursts out, illustrating how the doors to the closet burst open. Barry is subdued and Paul is amused by this. Kris is frightened and delighted by the display because it means she gets to hide behind Barry and touch him.

(Kris Williams or, as I call her, Tits McGee)

There is also the sound of people walking around in the attic and "if you listen real good" the sound of an "old piano song." If you can't tell by now, all the quotations mean these are direct quotes from Johan, whose speech pattern is the audio equivalent of a candy store. In the attic there is a random rope hanging from some of the rafters. Johan will take it down and put it in the basement but then it will, miraculously, appear back in the attic. Four or five times!
Some lady is interviewed, explaining that she and her boyfriend spent the night in the attic and she swears she heard a woman screaming. Bitch, what are you and your boyfriend doing sleeping in a fucking attic? But in all seriousness, Johan really seems stressed out by the whole thing. Barry promises to give him some answers after they investigate and I really hope they find something for this poor guy.

(Barry Fitzgerald - this was the only photo I could find where he didn't look smarmy)

After the team sets up all the equipment, Paul shows Barry where all the stationary cameras have been set up. This is such an odd segment that both shows insist on keeping a part of the formula. Like, who gives a shit? Anyway, Barry mentions that since this is a house and it's a smaller area, there will only be one team in the house at a time. This will, hopefully, prevent any contamination of evidence.

(Paul Bradford)

Lights out and first we have Team Kris and Barry. Who would have though (eye roll). Honestly, these two have to be fucking by now, yeah? Anyway, they go to the second floor bedroom where there were reports of the sound of a piano playing. Barry busts out what looks like an iPad (barf) and opens up a keyboard app. He fumbles his way through some of "Moonlight Sonata" and gets a bang as a response. So he just starts mashing the keys to (probably) see if it will further piss off any spirits. Then Kris claims to be seeing some "shadow play" at the end of the hall. It's pretty dark, so she's not sure if it's just a trick of the eye. Barry comes over to check it out with her.
Side note: "shadow play" sounds dirty, right? Like "water sports" or something like that.
On the stationary camera you see nothing but these two idiots continue to stare down the hall. Kris thinks she hears something upstairs and Barry darts off after it. They run up to the attic and then we go to commercial. Back from commercial we find Barry breathing heavily in the attic with Kris. They hear some creaking boards and rustling. I heard some thumps, so, there's that.
Next up, Team Joe and Britt. They go down to the basement, which has a wicked low ceiling. Joe explains that Johan gets an uneasy feeling and has become ill when coming down to the basement. Possible explanations include: mold, carbon monoxide and high EMF. Britt does an EMF sweep and finds nothing; Joe doesn't see any mold and notices that it's pretty drafty down there, so it's not very likely any carbon monoxide will be building up. Alrighty then!
They lay out some equipment and do an EVP session. Super awesome: both guys bust out that V-leg stance you see all metal guitarists pull, since the ceiling is so low. Until Joe stands up like a normal person and walks around. I love you guys so much.

(James Hetfield is doing it)

Britt thinks he hears something up the stairs and runs after it. Joe claims it sounded like people having a conversation. They didn't find anyone upstairs, so Britt gets on the walkie and talks to Paul. No one was up there and no one was talking. Spooky! For the record: I heard nothing.
Now we follow Team Paul and Susan into the attic. They begin an EVP session asking if any of the women who killed themselves are with them. "Good Cop, Bad Cop" begins as Susan asks to speak to the very first woman that killed herself. Paul tries to persuade any of the ladies to speak up by pointing out that there are few records of their deaths and wonders if they would like to say anything, so they are not forgotten. Susan, however, talks shit - she thinks the original woman was responsible for all the other suicides, influencing the other women. Paul urges her to come forward and prove Susan wrong. Susan starts pushing further but Paul "shushes" her, claiming he heard a noise downstairs. Susan gasps as he moves down the stairs. Predictably, there is nothing and no one. I didn't hear anything.
Then he claims to have heard his named called by a male voice. Thankfully, Barry calls quits on the investigation. I can't take anymore of this. There's nothing there, that's obvious, so these guys are just wasting their time. During evidence review Susan finds some audible clicks while she and Paul were fucking around in the attic; to me it sounds like a pilot light trying to start but that's kinda jacked up since I highly doubt there's any gas hooked up in the house.
Britt gets the cigar, though, for his find. In the main entrance he finds footage of a candle and one of the electrical cords moving!

Barry, Kris (of course) and Johan sit down for the reveal. They mention the noise in the attic and Johan looks a little freaked out. Next is the footage of the candle and the cord moving - I think he peed a little. HOWEVER, as Barry explains, the reason for the movement is actually pretty simple: a draft. If the front door is open, even the tiniest bit, a draft will come through from the attic. That's what moved the objects. A "giant wind tunnel" as Kris puts it.
The clicks excite Johan! He's never heard them before, or, rather, "I never saw this all." Marry me?
So! Is this building haunted? No. There's too great a lack of evidence. But poor Johan just wants answers! Why is it that everyday, since the first day he bought the house (!), "everything is going wrong"? Is it all in his head? Barry bullshits about how the house hasn't had much love in it's life ("life", really, dude?), which can make it sit on a knifes edge (wat?) and can go either way. "Sometimes a house just needs some tender loving care." OH! I get it now. As Kris points out, everyone gets streaks of bad luck but you always bounce back. Johan needs to get his shit together, stop blaming the house and move on from all the bad luck he's been having.
Something that you start to notice while watching the episode is that the house looks like a fucking dump. There's nothing in it, some of the rooms are crumbling and it really does look like it's been neglected.

(Yo, I think we figured out why your girlfriend dumped you - no one wants to do it in that room)

Johan interviews that, thanks to GHI, he has a much more positive outlook on things. I think what happened here is that they explained that, while there is some weird shit in the house, it's probably not haunted - just a dump. If Johan would just fix it up, he might find that his luck will turn around.
In the car ride back to their joint hotel room, Barry calls Kris, Krissy and I throw up a little.

Case #2 Ijmuden Fortress - Ijumiden, Netherlands
The team takes a ferry ride to their next location. Britt is missing from the group because he had to "go back home to finish some things off." HE'S FIRED.

(Britt Griffith)

Filling in for him is Scott Tepperman. He's stoked to be there. Susan fills us in on the fortress: it was built in 1876 to protect Amsterdam from foreign invaders but was captured by the Germans in WWII. They used it as a regional command post. They also kidnapped prostitutes and brought them back to the fortress so they could rape them. Nazis. Barry nods as Kris looks uncomfortable. Apparently you can also hold up a black light to some of the walls and see the words "help me" written in blood. Groovy. Joe either mumbles "blood" or "wow" and I laugh - especially when he and Paul exchange looks of surprise. Kris wonders what the fortress has been used for since WWII; it's currently a museum. A lot of visitors have claimed to have had experiences there, so GHI needs to make sure that it's a safe environment for any guests.

(It looks like a fucking Viking castle!!)

The curator, Jan De Leur welcomes the team to the island. Oh, yeah, the fortress is on an island. Jan rehashes some of Susan's history lesson and then we hear from a dour looking man by the name of Rob Vander Putten. He explains that many people died while the dunes were being dug and were buried on the island, so it's not unreasonable to think that there would be spirits here.
First stop: the Pink Room. The door is pink, which is why they call it that. Oh, and that's where all the prostitutes were raped by Nazis. Or, as Jan puts it: "give comfort to the Germans." Dude, there's no reason to soften the blow - they were Nazis, it's cool. No one likes them. He brings up the "help" written on the wall and that mostly women feel very uneasy in this room.
In the hallway you can hear a dog howling. There is no dog there. Also, some of the doors slam shut on their own accord. Barry points out that all the doors are on magnetic catches which have to be turned off from one power source (?) (I mean, is that a thing?). Jan agrees with him.
The Memorial Room is a place to remember all the people that died while building the island. A woman that looks like a Muppet explains that she saw a soldier standing alone in the corner of a room. He looked directly at her, took a step back and then disappeared into thin air. She saw him in a room filled with mannequins dressed in uniforms ... (me tilting my head to one side).
In the Dinning Hall Jan explains that people spontaneously feel a presence following them. Dude, whatever. The room looks like Valhalla. If I don't see the fucking ghost of a Valkyrie offering me some mead in a horn, I am going to be wicked pissed.
Kris reminds everyone that they have a lot of time tonight to investigate, so they shouldn't feel like they need to rush things. And they are encouraged to move about the museum, off of the path shown to them.

We begin with Team Barry and Kris. Barry starts speaking Dutch because he's a fucking gangster. He also sees something down a hallway and freaks Kris out trying to find it. Then there's a bunch of banging and what sounds like something being dragged across the floor. Kris freaks out and runs after Barry looking for the source. It's pretty creepy. Down the hall that Barry originally saw something in, they see another shadow. Barry claims it was something like a hand reaching out of one of the rooms and then going back inside. They follow it and ask for it's name. Instead they get a slight banging noise - I heard it too.
Team Paul and Susan head into the Pink Room. That's such a shitty name. As they begin their EVP session, a loud bang happens. They "give chase" (oh, Paul! You're so British!) and discover that one of the doors is closed. Another door shuts while they are in the area. Sure enough, there's a closed door and when they open and close it themselves, it makes the same sound. Spooky!
Back in the Pink Room, Barry and Kris do some EVP work. They fuck around with the supposed writing on the wall by flashing a small ass black light at a portion of the wall. Well, fuck me gently with a chainsaw! There's something on the wall! It's a creepy ass hand print. That's actually pretty messed up. Barry points out that a person with some chemical on their hands could have touched the wall and left a print.
Team Joe and Scott head into Valhalla. Immediately they claim to hear footsteps and the scuffling of feet. I'm too distracted by how big Scott's ass is. But, seriously, I don't hear much. Some rustling but nothing more. UNTIL I HEAR SOMEONE BREATHING REALLY LOUD INTO THE MICROPHONE.
Fuck that noise.

Barry calls it quits and everyone wraps things up. This was a muuuch better investigation! Scott finds a voice during Barry and Kris' investigation and everyone agrees that it's male and not in English. I love when they find shit like that - makes sense, right?! Susan can't find an explanation for the door shutting! Joe finds a creepy voice on another of Barry and Kris' investigations. Go, Joe!

(Joe Chin - he's pretty awesome)

Barry, Kris and Jan sit down for the reveal. Kris is looking in good spirits, which means Barry gave her some Lucky Charms last night. They show off the hand print but point out that it's probably not paranormal. HOWEVER. In the hospital, they had a camera set up in the "ultraviolet ranges" (sometimes it really does all sound like bullshit, no?). There are three lights that appear and then disappear in different places during filming. Pretty strange!
They play the first voice for Jan and he thinks the voice is saying "go to the right" in Dutch. Barry remembers that he was, in fact, moving to the right at the time. Earlier, during the investigation, Barry mentioned that the noises they were hearing were coming from the right side of the museum. Spooky! Kris gets all wet at the thought of it.
They play the creepy voice Joe caught and figure that it says "help" in English. Kris shows off her favorite piece of evidence: Paul and Susan are in a tunnel and they capture a very cute female voice saying "Hi!" Jan is pretty stoked that they found all the information, mostly because it means he's not crazy.
The place is haunted, duh. And Barry believes they will be back again, later on. Hopefully!

This was a pretty fun episode. Just enough spooky stuff, absurd behavior and fact finding to keep it real.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ghost Hunters International

ANTM isn't the only "reality" TV show I watch. Since the beginning of time I have been obsessed with Ghost Hunters and it's spin-off, Ghost Hunters International. The original series "stars" average men and women that investigate supposedly haunted residences, historical buildings and commercial buildings. They use high-tech equipment to, hopefully, record any instances of paranormal activity.
Normally, the show tries to focus on the facts of whatever situation they crew is in but on occasion, personal drama peeks through. But that comes with any reality show, no matter the content. For the most part, Ghost Hunters has found a happy medium and I look forward to covering it when the new season begins (which is slated for February 23). Ghost Hunters International, on the other hand, is growing into it's own odd blend of fact and drama.
For the most part, I viewed GHI as a rather "trigger happy" show. The two lead investigators seemed way too happy to "officially" label a residence or establishment as haunted, or, at the very least, a source of paranormal activity. And one investigator in particular, Barry Fitzgerald, was a bit excitable. That made it so very entertaining. I often found myself laughing out loud at many segments of the show and this brings me so much joy.
The show is currently in it's second season, airing on the Syfy Channel. This season has been interesting because it's seen many changes - most notably, cast. According to Wikipedia the second season started in July of 2009 and has run over time to the present day. That's kinda weird. Anyway, the "winter season" began in early January and I've been watching it religiously. This week's episode was so spectacular, I just couldn't help but want to cover it. And it made me want to cover the rest of the season.
I'll do another post with my comments on the episode but here I'd like to do a little ... primer on the show. Here we go!

Ghost Hunters International (GHI) began after some of Ghost Hunters cast members traveled to Ireland to investigate some local "haunts" (har har). The team members met up with Barry Fitzgerald and went about their investigations. The spin-off premiered January 9, 2009 and did pretty well for itself. The first season saw a mixed bag of locations: United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Ireland), Italy, Romania, German, New Zealand, South Africa, Slovenia, Peru, Brazil, Denmark, Sweden, Philippines, Spain, France and Latvia.
The original crew consisted of Robb Demarest and Andy Andrews as Lead Investigators, Barry Fitzgerald as the Tech Manager, Brandy Green as Case Manager; with Dustin Pari, Brian Harnois and Shannon Sylvia as Investigators throughout the first season. Donna LaCroix began as the Case Manager before going back to America and returning to the original Ghost Hunters.
Andy left the show during the first season without so much as a word and was replaced by Dustin, as a Lead Investigator. Andy was a fairly polarizing cast member; fans have always been divided on him and the fact that he left the show so abruptly has led to some to believe that he was taken off the show. Dustin later left the show in April of 2010 to be with his family and was replaced as a Lead Investigator by Barry Fitzgerald. He has remained on the show to this day.
Robb's departure from the show was the most interesting development. It should be noted that GHI is not a show produced by any member of the original Ghost Hunters team but, instead, is a production of Pilgrim Films and the Syfy Channel. That means that the original team has no control over who works on the show. Or who leaves the show. Or why. Robb left during the third season, like Andy, without a word. Some point to GHI's ratings becoming low and the lack of sensational evidence that may have caused it. As the leader of the team, it was Robb's responsibility to keep the team on course with their set of principles. And those principles were a tad ... boring.
Brandy left the show amidst a flurry of rumors. But, like the other members that left, there's no concrete information. It was obvious that Brandy and some of the other team members did not get along very well, which might have led to her leaving the show. Or being asked to leave. She was replaced by Susan Slaughter, a team member cast from the reality competition "Ghost Hunters Academy."

The current team is as stands: Barry Fitzgerald and Kris Williams as Lead Investigators, Susan Slaughter as Case Manager and Investigator-in-Training, Paul Bradford as Tech Manager and Joe Chin as an Investigator. For now, Investigator Britt Griffith is still on the show but will be leaving soon. He was removed after making some inappropriate comments on a radio program, recently.
This mix is pretty good. Barry, an Irish man, has calmed down quite a bit and has made himself a very solid leader to the team. Kris, a team member from Ghost Hunters transplanted to GHI, is a very level-headed woman. I have noticed something that seems like a flirtation between Barry and Kris. Susan is a fairly low-key woman and seems to get along with all the team members. Paul (a British man) and Joe are very amicable  and do well at their jobs. Britt seems like a decent enough guy on the show but his recent behavior has really been sad. He made several comments about the public being "stupid" and used the term "faggot" all during one radio interview. So ... bye-bye, bub.
The remaining episodes will take the team to Serbia, Scotland and Puerto Rico. And I will be following them. So lets get on with this week's episode!
Copyright 2009 Dizzy Potato. Powered by Blogger
Blogger Templates created by Deluxe Templates
Wordpress by Wpthemescreator