This was probably one of my favorite episodes of "Ghost Hunters International" since the show began. In fact, it's quite possible one of my favorite episodes in the franchise in years. This is the kind of episode that should have been the template for the franchise and was supposed to be the norm for "Ghost Hunters". The irony is that the team often criticized for deeming every location as "haunted" is the one that is now more in touch with the TAPS philosophy.
This episode also continues to paint Barry in a more positive light, a process that has been ongoing since the start of the year. I'd like to think that this is the real Barry. We've seen his willingness to experiment with new equipment before, and while I don't always agree with this theories or his interpretations of data, it's a whole lot better than spending an entire season talking to a K-II Meter. (Can anyone recall the last time we saw TAPS offer anything new?)
The team was in full debunking mode in Spain, and Barry was a large part of that. But to be fair, he wasn't the only one, and that was the best thing about the episode. The team heard the stories, catalogued the experiences and data, and did the legwork to find natural or scientific explanations. And in some cases, those explanations required some actual thought and consideration.
I'm not going to say that GHI has always been this disciplined in their investigative protocols (few teams are), and it's quite possible that things could take a backslide in the future. But that begs the eternal reality show question: is this a progression in the right direction, or has this always been happening in the background? Is this just a momentary change of pace, or are the producers (and team members) actually listening to the audience criticisms? Only time will tell.
Case #1: Castillo de la Coracera, Spain
I liked the "EMF listener" device, though it might have been helpful had someone (in this case, Barry) explained why the device would be useful and what kind of output would be considered unusual or notable. There is some interesting data suggesting a link between EVPs and fluctuating EMF fields, so the listening device sounds like it was designed to gather more data along those lines.
Proving that the "footsteps" could be the result of water rushing down the drainage system was a very nice touch, particularly the decision to test the theory by actually pouring water down the drain. And recognizing the "scream" as Spanish horses in the distance was a good example of site awareness. Considering the nature of the site, outside noises were hardly surprising, but they've missed the obvious in the past.
Case #2: Castel DâEscales, Spain
The cameo by Jason and Grant was ridiculously staged. While I believe that Robb probably did contact them on the day in question, the producers obviously got excited by the cross-promotional opportunity and pushed to get it on film after the fact. Thankfully, Robb's question was all about debunking, and not advice about proper misuse of the K-II Meter.
It's amazing what a little temperature mapping can reveal; it's a lot better than claiming that a transient one-degree temperature difference is remotely meaningful! Tracking down the "footsteps" as banging pipes, correlating a few different sources of audio, was another good call. I also really liked the vibration sensor; my own group has begun using this technology recently, and it is very useful. Hopefully we will get to see them using it more often in the future.