February 6, 2008
GHI: Citadel Rasnov
This Ghost Hunters International Investigation started out with much promise. One bad point (in my opinion) is that Andy wasn't with them — his wife just gave birth and he rushed home to be with her and his new child. Whatever his flaws, I'd rather see Brian, Shannon or Donna take a week off than Andy.
For this investigation the GHI team went to Romania and had access to the historic Citadel Rasnov, which once defended it's small section of the land from invaders and was overtaken at least once — but only because the invaders managed to cut off their water supply. Some pretty interesting history and definitely a visually impressive location.
Inside they were given the normal tour, which included a 200 ft deep well that has supposedly been dug by two Turkish prisoners who were killed at the end of construction. Donna's research suggested this story was only a legend and not historically accurate, however there were bones found at the bottom of the well.
Brian was actually given permission to rappel down into the well, and of course he did his EVP session at the bottom in English and subsequently reported that he felt a breeze and cold spots in response to his questions. <groan>
Within the museum there was a hallway that was thought to be paranormal because the museum's dog refused to go past a certain point in the corridor. Shannon and Donna attempted to coax the dog into running an experiment but they failed even at getting the dog through the front door.
Their methods of dog-coaxing involved waving their gloves enticingly at the dog's nose as if they were food, and attempting to push the dog from behind. They decided that they're failure to convince the dog to go inside was suggestive of paranormal activity. As an experienced dog owner I think the only thing it suggests is that they don't know what they heck they're doing wen it comes to dogs.
Donna & Shannon later managed to get into a heated argument about how to ask questions when doing EVP's. I'll settle the argument here and now: You're both wrong, here's why: You're in a medieval Romanian castle and you're trying to communicate with the long-dead residents in English.
If you had any shred of professionalism you would learn a few key phrases in the native language when you went on an investigation in a non-English-speaking country. With the magic of the internet it takes less than ten minutes to find out how to say, "What is your name", "How did you die?" and "Would you like to dance with my friend Donna?" in just about any language — and if you can't memorize a few phrases you can print them out to take with you — or have your producers do it, I don't care as long as you stop speaking English to dead, medieval Romanians.
On the up-side, Barry spoke Romanian and German during his EVP sessions, so that was a fine addition to the investigation — but don't get your hopes up too high, here's an actual quote straight out of Robb's mouth, "We weren't in there more than three minutes when Barry thought he saw a shadow move." — Robb apparently meant that in a compelling way, but I see it in another light altogether.
After Donna & Shannon's argument Robb split them up and had Shannon go investigate with Barry. They went up to one of the towers and as Barry approached a door he claimed he heard a growl. Upon looking through a crack in the door he jumped backward and yelled to Shannon, "Go! Go! Go!" (Translation: Dude, Run!)
Robb took the whole team into the tower because in his estimation, whatever scared Barry must be fierce. Donna also felt protective of her teammate, giving her unusual courage. Barry's side of the story? Apparently while looking through the crack in the wooden door he thought he saw a pair of legs walk by. Yes folks, fierce.
The evidence was limited to two possible EVPs, which were both thankfully in Romanian. In one, Barry had finished speaking German and Romanian and just begun speaking English when a potential voice seems to say a Romanian word which basically means, 'Could you repeat that' or 'I didn't understand'. In the other, Donna asks, "Who are you?" and you can hear what might be a voice saying, "Bine" which is basically Romanian for "I'm fine", which could make sense if someone perhaps misheard and thought she said, "How are you?"
They played them for Ciprian, their host at the museum, who did seem to recognize the Romanian words but was (like myself) not entirely convinced that it wasn't just plain old static we were reading too much into, which is the point I really started to cringe because Robb became almost aggressive, saying that what isn't impressive to a skeptic like Ciprian is impressive to a paranormal investigator and that he thinks it's definitely an indication of paranormal activity — although he stopped short of saying the place was haunted.
This got me thinking about some of the comments I've seen on Robb and my opinion of him is certainly eroding. He started off doing some excellent debunking, but he's proven himself very willing to take a leap of faith and now I've seen him actually become critical of someone who heard his evidence and told him they weren't convinced by it. Not cool. He's going to have to really turn around in order to earn back some respect.
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