Tuesday, April 22, 2008

GHOST HUNTERS - Mount Washington & Ruffstone Tavern

SciFi Channel - Original Air Date: 4/16/08

Well into its new season, Ghost Hunters continues to be an amusing paranormal investigation show.  Things have calmed down a bit with the departure of Brian (to GH International), but that's probably good for the show's credibility.  In this episode, they investigate an amazing old hotel, the Mount Washington Hotel in New Hampshire.  Jason and Grant continue to be the heart and soul of the show, and they continue to do good work debunking some of the more obvious hauntings.  During this investigation, they hear footsteps -- which they catch on tape -- and get an EVP (which they stretch out revealing for 3 commercial breaks) which seems to have a female voice interacting with investigators Steve & Tango, and Jason & Grant as well.  Is it the voice of the Princess who used to own the hotel?  I can't be sure, but it certainly seems to be a disembodied voice answering the investigator's questions.  It does not seem likely to be tape noise or the other usual skeptical explanations.  So, either it's a clever hoax by a PA or producer, or something actually uncanny.  It gave me the creeps (and I'm usually immune to these kind of "tricks").

The second (much shorter) investigation is of the Ruffstone Tavern in Providence, RI.  The tavern is experiencing sounds and smells, things falling, and perhaps even an apparition.  Investigating, the team finds a musty smell in a cabinet that isn't always open, and an out-of-plumb shelf -- which may explain the smells and the falling items.  High EMF levels are revealed to be wiring -- which may explain some of the eerie feelings.  (The show calls confined areas with high EMF a "fear cage" -- as it is believed some people may be made uneasy by such fields.)  Opening the main doors may create a reverse vacuum, explaining some of the other movements or sounds.  For once, there are is no unexplained evidence.  Such skeptical conclusions tend to bolster the Ghost Hunters'  paranormal claims -- though, personally, I think some of the sounds and "footsteps" they hear (hear and other times) can be explained by animals.  Living in the country for much of my life, I can attest that intrusive animals -- either inside or on the roof -- can make an amazing variety of sounds, from tapping to things that sound like footsteps.  Yet, I've never heard "mice" or "squirrels" or "raccoons" offered as an explanation for noises on this show.  Perhaps our intrepid plumbers should spend some time with an exterminator to bolster their experiences.  Still, exterminators or not, the TAPS folks continue to be a good watch.

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