Ghost Hunters International 1.17: "A Cry for Help"

Both of the cases in this episode are run by the core five-person GHI team, so this give us a good look at how well they're working together. I have to say that I'm pleased, as a viewer focused on entertainment value. We're not seeing the "character building" that hobbled the first several episodes of this series and has emerged, in a disappointing sense, on the parent show. Instead, the team members are allowed to be themselves.

It's also interesting to note that GHI has something that TAPS does not. For all his faults, Barry at least tries to think of different equipment to use. His theories may be based on questionable claims, but he does try to think of ways to experiment and try new things. TAPS does not have that kind of resource on their team, and the lack is palpable in the lack of new ideas.

Case #1: Trekroner Fort, Denmark

This is a great location, even if it presents a logical nightmare. A lot of interesting things happened during the investigation, but the "evidence" was surprisingly scarce. The supposed EVP is easily one of the funniest things I've heard on either show in the franchise, and it actually made me respect GHI more. After all, if it's just about presenting manufactured proof, who in their right mind would generate that?

The incident with the tri-field meter was presented by the editors as a bit unusual, but it wasn't noted in the reveal. I can only assume that the team realized that the surface upon which the meter was standing was pitched on an angle, thus making it easier for it to fall over. (When those meters move and change orientation, they give false positives; hence the squealing.)

The big "evidence" in this case was the video that Angela took, with the supposed shadow form. I'm not at all convinced that it's actually something paranormal, because the camera is completely out of focus. The camera is also in constant motion. None of that footage is reliable as a result.

That plays into my usual opinion that GHI's main fault is their own propensity to believe. Even so, their main conclusion is that they found evidence that corroborates what has been reported, and the client expressed a clear desire to use that new information as a launching point for future investigations. I can't fault that conclusion at all.

Case #2: Casa Garland, Peru

This, to me, is the kind of investigation that should be seen more often. The team performed a solid investigation and managed to find real world explanations for much of the reported activity. Neither debunking example was particularly clever or innovative, but it's always great to see them point out apparent "evidence" that can be easily explained with a little insight and perspective. (Perhaps Robb's friend wanted him to come and investigate because the client wouldn't hear the same explanations from him!)

At the same time, I was once again struck by how careless Robb and Dustin seemed to be with the client. They would try to smooth things over, but they were a little too self-congratulatory when they were explaining why the "evidence" was not what it seemed to be. I'm not sure the client appreciated their tone at all.

This case also sheds light on a true challenge for so many investigators. When investigators encounter something familiar, something they can easily explain based on their well-tested knowledge or common sense, they are confident and sometimes arrogant debunkers. But when presented with something outside of that comfort zone that they cannot readily explain, they tend to default to paranormal explanations. GHI is better than some in that regard, but the difference between the first case and the second case seems to straddle that line.


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