Ghost Hunters 5.8: "Garden State Asylum" (Part I)

I've mentioned in previous review that this is the first time that TAPS has gone to a location after I've been there to investigate. It's definitely a different kind of viewing experience, because I can't help but compare my own experience to what was ultimately shown. For me, it was quite revealing, not only in terms of how the team reacted to the site, but how they interpreted certain events.

Before getting into the "evidence", I wanted to summarize my observations of the site from my investigation. Unfortunately, I was brought onto an investigation conducted by another regional group at the last minute; as a result, I did not have the resources and personnel of my own team, which I would have preferred for such a large site. I had only handheld video, audio, and a flashlight.

As seen on the show, the complex is massive. In many, many locations, the building was simply abandoned one day. Notices and pictures are still on the walls. Old medical supplies are all over the floor. Books, games, playing cards, letters from home, clothes, etc. are all still there, tossed around. It's psychologically off-putting, to say the least. That's not something that came through in the episode nearly as much as I thought it would.

The lack of power and light, combined with the debris made it very hard to navigate. Again, this was not something pointed out nearly enough in the episode. There are sections where the paint has peeled off the walls, so it's incredibly loud when you walk around and the paint chips crack and crunch underfoot. And the sound carries like you would not believe.

Underneath the buildings, linking them all together, is a vast and incredibly confusing array of passageways. There's no natural light down there, so turn off the flashlight, and it's absolutely impossible to see. And if you get lost down there? It could take hours for someone to find you. Some of the passageways are long dead-ends. Not for the faint of heart. Again, not something I think was entirely apparent from the episode. I think it's obvious that the team had someone around to get them from place to place (probably Tom, the client, who was also our guide at the time).

There are also things living in the complex. rats, cats, dogs, who knows what else. The rats sound like whispers on audio. The other animals leave "presents" in the tunnels. You can hear them in the distance in the tunnels as well. The entire area is surrounded by woods, so small game is rampant. Not only is it very hard to see the animals, but since the sound carries, the animals can make quite a racket.

When we were there, the main stories were about Shadow People in the main building (at least, the main building for us), both in the main room and in one spot on the second floor. Tom mostly talked about orbs in pictures (which I attributed to the massive amounts of dust). I don't recall being told about a blue light in the tunnels or a ghost nurse.

I had one personal experience of note. It was in one of the patient rooms on the second floor of the main building. I noticed what looked like a wind chime hanging from the mesh over the window, and I thought it would be a good idea to ask questions. As I stood in the room, I felt something stroke my hair, right over the back of my neck, just behind my left ear. I called in another team member to conduct a more detailed EVP session and check for other readings, but there was nothing found.

The window in that room was not broken at the time, and nothing was coming through the vent high on the opposite wall. If there had been a source of air currents, the dust would have pointed us to the source, since it would be visibly moving in the direction of air flow. There was no such indication. But it was a personal experience, there was no corroborating data, and so I had to discount it.


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