Ghost Hunters International 2.16: "Wolf's Lair"

I'm not sure I like how often GHI is being sent to these high-profile legendary locations. I understand the marketing allure: pick a location with historical or mythological gravitas, and then viewers will come out of simple curiosity. And I'm sure there is some basic interest on the part of the team. But I personally find it very hard to investigate locations where reported activity is just as likely to be based on expectation and folklore as the genuine article.

At least this location makes a certain amount of sense, given that people died there under enormously stressful circumstances. If nothing else, it serves to put various theories related to trauma and activity to the test. But why in the world would anyone expect Hitler to appear there? He survived the assassination attempt! (For the record, I don't think GHI actually expected to see Hitler. But that was the claim of the client!)

Most of the investigation involved an outdoor set of locations, so the usual concerns applied. Site access control is certainly important, and a lot of groups will automatically dismiss much of what they capture in such a setting. GHI is hardly in that sort of position, but they did keep their wits about them in most situations.

At the same time, Brandy did come across some small evidence that suggests that the security of the area is not quite airtight, and it's hard not to wonder if some of what they heard was the result of interference by thrill seekers. And there's the inevitable wildlife issue to take into account. A lot of what they heard and experienced can, unfortunately, be attributed to such things. (And by the end of the episode, a great deal was dismissed.)

The indoor portion of the investigation was a bit more conventional. I once again enjoyed the use of multiple pieces of instrumentation, but I do notice a trend that brought a few things to mind. In particular, I noticed that much of the time spent with the various EMF meters and other handheld devices was spent trying to prompt apparent entities into communicating or otherwise demonstrating their presence. In essence, this amounted to getting the device to light up or otherwise register a sudden increase in whatever parameter they measure.

In the past, I've referred to this practice as using instruments as an "electronic Ouija board", which of course has certain negative connotations. But what is the issue? If an investigator believes in spirit communication, and this is a potential means of doing such, why not?

For me, it's all about intent and using the right tool for the right job. And as an investigator, I'm also conscious of the financial impact. Setting aside the scientific objections to the logic of using technical instrumentation as a fancy yes/no indicator, why use that kind of instrument for something so simple as that? It effectively ignores the purpose of the instrument in the first place!

I thought the EVP in this case was interesting, because even though it was at the same level as the background noise, the words were fairly recognizable. I'm still not convinced, of course, that this was not a matter of pattern recognition. The nature of the structure of the English language is such that there is a better than 50/50 chance of random sounds forming recognizable words, after all.

But I think it was a little more problematic to link the apparent EVP to a specific individual. I recognize that the client was the one who ran with the ball and made that tenuous connection, but I was a little surprised to see GHI take to it so completely. I suspect this is another instance of selective editing, however. For all we know, they just brought it up as something that would have been very cool, if it could have been proven somehow, and the editors made more out of it.

I say this because the interpretation of the odd "full spectrum" video was a lot more moderate in nature. While Robb did tie it directly to his personal experience (and understandably so), it was not assumed that the apparent figure was a ghost. It was just an interesting anomaly. I would have been just as interested had I been in the same situation, so I appreciated the similar approach.

One thing I did find very odd was the static nature of the team assignments. We've seen enough out of GHI to know that this is an unusual turn of events; they rarely fall into the kind of patterns seen with TAPS on the flagship show. It's unusual enough that some have already speculated that this was a move prompted by Pilgrim Films, either during production or in the editing room. Hopefully this is not a trend that will continue.


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