Ghost Hunters 5.9: "Inhuman Entity"

It's been some time since the last new episode of “Ghost Hunters”, and as usual, this next run will take us to the Halloween special and its aftermath. That seems appropriate, since TAPS is still suffering from the consequences of last year's Halloween debacle. As mentioned at the time, the somewhat subdued nature of the first eight episodes of the season felt like a direct public relations response to the allegations of fraud leveled (once again) at Grant.

The question is: will that measured approach continue throughout the fifth season, or will the team step back onto questionable ground? It's not just a matter of questionable actions; it's also the response to criticism that TAPS has failed to progress with new ideas since the third season. It's the notion that TAPS is now acting more in step with production desires than anything else, from team assignments to technical interpretations. The recent run of GHI episodes has once again reminded fans of the franchise how much more credible that team appears these days.

For better or worse, this episode had TAPS breaking into the same teams that they always have and using the same basic equipment set with the K-II Meter and FLIR system as the center of their approach. In other words, despite some talk earlier in the season to the contrary, nothing has changed or progressed.

Case #1: Ladouceur House, MA

I'm not going to criticize TAPS too much for all the talk about “inhumans” and so forth. It's not that I believe that there is any scientific basis for the claims made about “inhumans”, from their origins to their motives, but rather that I understand the desire behind such labels. Human beings seek to classify. The label “inhuman” is just one means of doing so. Much of what they attribute to “inhumans”, of course, is based on folklore and tradition within the field for decades, if not centuries. Whether or not the assumptions made in this episode sound valid will depend on whether or not that folklore and tradition holds any meaning to the viewer. (I don't assume a cause for reported paranormal activity, so I understand but dismiss such designations.)

However, I cannot fathom how they could take so much of their understanding of this case from yet another K-II Meter session. Where is the skepticism that they claim to hold so highly? Or even a shred of caution? What about, at the very least, including some other instrumentation along with the K-II in some attempt to validate it? Of course not. Jason and Grant take everything from the K-II Meter at face value, and concoct an amazing story out of the occurrence of blinking lights that cannot, in any way, be confirmed as significant. (Never mind that they had it sitting right on top of the electrical box for a water heater!)

The disembodied voice was interesting, even if it's impossible to know if it was paranormal in origin. The EVP of growling was very odd. It sounded like something that recorded in reverse; it would might be worth seeing what it sounds like backwards. I'm not sure what to think of Jason's scratches, which were probably the most substantial thing they had to report. If it happened the way that Jason said it did, then it's definitely worth noting. Which, unfortunately, points back to the credibility issue. A lot of people are going to question Jason's honesty.

But a lot more people are going to question the validity of the conclusions drawn solely from the K-II Meter activity, and rightfully so.

Case #2: Brentsville Historic Centre, VA

This one I found interesting because of the thermal footage. I was recently on an investigation in which the thermal camera malfunctioned due to a battery problem. The effect? An unusual thermal image of one of our investigators became “burned” into the screen. It looked, for quite some time, like we were walking through a static apparition. This footage was very similar to that situation.

Granted, Steve and Tango concluded that it wasn't a thermal reflection of Jason based on a review of the production tape. I disagree. For one, I've seen nothing to suggest that Steve or Tango has a lick of training with the FLIR system (or any of them, for that matter). More to the point, I think they were being a bit too picky with how they made their comparison. To me, it was obviously some kind of thermal reflection of Jason that was caught in a glitch in the system. Certainly nothing paranormal, given that it precisely matched the movements of the camera.

Steve's experience was intriguing, but I think this is another case of assuming the cause. The effect, the ringing in the ears, was noteworthy and deserved to be explored. But I think Steve and Tango jumped to conclusions by linking it to the client's story. It's similar to the problem with the K-II Meter session in the first case. A lot of what they find, they immediately attribute to the paranormal, even when the potential alternatives haven't been explored.


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