Ghost Hunters 4.21: "Hometown Haunts"

Much like the previous episode, this is less about the "name" locations and more about the "everyday" locations. And, as I said in the previous review, that's something that appeals to me, both in terms of the psychological effect a persona's home or business can have and the ability to help a client with specific concerns.

My opinion on the matter was underscored this past weekend when I was brought in on an investigation of Overbrook Asylum in New Jersey. The team was small, we had relatively meager resources, and the location was massive (including an entire network of underground tunnels). While the client had a short list of experiences we could work with, the location was surrounded with so much folklore that I knew it would be incredibly hard to debunk anything beyond the obvious. It was a spooky location, and it was fun to investigate, but I was under no illusions that I could conduct the most thorough job. (I'm sure it will look good on television, though; from what I understand, "Ghost Adventures" recently filmed there. They left tape on the floor and who knows what else!)

Smaller locations allow for more thorough coverage, longer time spent in key areas of the site, and in most cases, very specific experiences from the client that one can attempt to explain scientifically or replicate by natural means. The notion of sitting still and observing a room may not sound great for television, but it's definitely better in terms of investigating!

Case #1: Theodore's, Springfield, MA

I found the connection to Steve and his jazz/blues band to be one of the better aspects of the investigation, because it made the results a little more personal for him. Was it a possible distraction or another potential source of subjectivity? Sure, but when push comes to shove, objectivity has long since been discarded. I have to admit, though…it was a very cool place!

The apparent EVPs were not quite so clear as they seemed to think they were, and I thought it was a bit of a stretch to make the connections they made. But that was hardly the best "evidence" they had, so it's forgiven! The real star of the night was the combination of unusual sounds, unexpected shadows, and a relatively good thermal image.

I've said before why the "hot" thermal figures don't impress me; it's precisely what one would expect from a human being. "Cold" thermal figures, on the other hand, are a little more interesting. They're not as easy to explain, and while I'm certainly not claiming that they're paranormal in nature, they do present a more difficult puzzle to solve.

They showed Jason and Grant looking over the site for an explanation for the apparent "entity", which was a nice touch. Unfortunately, it would have been more compelling if it had happened under similar conditions (at night, no lights, etc.) so they could make a stronger case. Even so, it's the kind of "evidence" that would prompt me to investigate further.

Case #2: Victorian Home, Leominster, MA

This was another case with indistinct EVPs and an apparent thermal hit, but to be honest, I thought both were less compelling than the similar "evidence" from the first investigation. That's certainly true for the supposed human figure in the thermal footage. Did anyone else really see a human form in that mess? I went through it frame by frame and couldn't see what they were talking about. (Not that I'm the arbiter of such things, but I don't think anyone can argue that the first investigation's footage was a lot more distinct.)


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