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.

Filed under Ghost Hunters International, Posts by Logisti

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Comments on GHI: Citadel Rasnov »

February 7, 2008

Todd @ 9:26 am

I think that I remember Jason saying something to the effect that when he encounters something, instead of running away from it, he runs toward it. That was the only thing that I could think when Barry falls away from the door and sprints up the stairs.

The EVP's definitely were more static filled than clear. And looking at the screen, they must have seriously boosted the gain on that voice print from the picture of the wave form. Most EVP's would should up as barely a blip on a wave form. The first one had a huge wave form. This tells me that they are distorting the original source recording in a massive way.

Logisti @ 10:26 am

RE: Running Away, that's exactly what came to mind for me as well. Jason said that to Brian in GH Season 1 during the Eastern State Penitentiary investigation after Brian thought he saw something step out of the shadows in front of him, yelled "Dude, Run!" to the camera man and ran like hell.

I totally understand the instinct to run, but if this is supposed to be your job and you're supposed to be a professional then you've got to suppress that — especially considering that if you're running every time you see something that might be a ghost then how on earth do you expect to study it?

For me it all comes down to this: Are you (Generic "you" — not specifically directed at anyone) in the "Ghost Hunting" business because you want to do actual scientific research (or something at least vaguely reminiscent of it) or are you in it for your own personal excitement? I don't think people who are in it for the thrills make very good television, not to mention they do bad research and let the client down as well.

CrowTRobot @ 10:36 am

Good summary. I was actually enjoying this episode until the staged cat-fight. That was just all kinds of lame. But that's typical of any job – the most useless ones cause the most trouble. Anyway…

I really like Barry, but MAN I wish he would quit running from stuff. It's so frustrating. Something scares him, and we're stuck in tvland thinking, "Hey. We want see it too!" But nope – he runs away and that's that. And poor Brian. Even if this were nothing more than a tv reality show, him going down that well was quite impressive. Yet, his credibility is always questioned, and he may never overcome that. (btw I don't know how much of this show is real and how much is scripted, but Brian is much better without Jason constantly on his butt.)

Andy. I don't know if his absence is what made the show more enjoyable for me or not. I guess I'll find out next week.

One thought: What's the deal with all this 'research' on these places. Don't the caretakers/workers/whoever already know the history? And if they don't, can't they go to the nearest library, or computer, and look it up themselves? Do they really need the GHI team to come in and set the record straight?

CrowTRobot @ 10:44 am

Oh, and Andy, in case you drop by here:

Congrats. I hope mother and baby are fine. One word of advise: Hold your daughter every chance you get. Spend as much time with her as you can. Be sure she knows how much you love her; because before you know it, your little girl will be grown…

Todd @ 4:48 pm

About Brian and the well: I so totally would have done that. But I couldn't help but think, who's recording? If Brian and the camera guy are both in the bottom of that well, there would be almost no room to move.

Robbin @ 11:43 pm

Hello all, I am very glad to have found this site and have enjoyed the posts. I am a fan of the TAPS original series and a believer but am also a health skeptic. I was really looking forward to this new series but have come to dislike it.

I find that they are looking for any minute way to prove that paranormal activity is taking place. I could not believe Robb was pushing his opinion and saying that he felt the EVP evidence was very strong. Personally I could not understand it at all.

I am not sure why Donna is there in the first place she is always afraid. During this weeks EVP session she asked do you enjoy knitting or crocheting? Are you kidding me?

Anyway just my thoughts……

February 8, 2008

Logisti @ 2:12 am

re: knitting or crocheting

…and again, she asks IN ENGLISH! I mean, there's at least a chance the locals might know a few basic foreign phrases, but it's pretty definite they won't know either of those two words, even if they do knit and crochet.

It's yet another moment where you have to wonder why she's doing this since she's either naturally bad at it or just doesn't take it seriously enough to put in a little basic effort.

re: Donna/Shannon argument

When Robb sat down with Shannon afterwards I thought he was doing exactly what he should be doing as team leader, but then after listening to the conversation it seemed to me he totally dropped the ball.

I mean, here he is telling Shannon she's got to relax and fit in, Shannon basically says she's doesn't feel she should have to change her technique for anyone, and he responds by basically saying, go out there, give 100%, good talk.

He completely failed to address the issue in any way, and what's worse is that he didn't (at least on camera) have a similar sit-down with Donna, in fact he took Donna with him to the reveal as his temporary second-in-command, which basically sends the message that he blames Shannon for causing the problem — meanwhile we've already established that Donna's "technique" might drive even the most level-headed person to bang their head against a wall.

Todd @ 11:03 am

Robb did what he was supposed to. But the whole thing felt scripted/canned. I also felt that he failed to deal with the subject at hand. The better course of action would be to split the ladies up. If they are not going to mix teams (Andy and Robb pair up a lot, Brian and Barry), then put Andy and Barry together, Brian and Shannon, and Robb and Donna

What if @ 2:56 pm

Hi everyone,

I'm new to this site. I just started watching GH last year. What's with all the over-acting? Barry is going to hurt himself with all the over-acting and running away he's doing. Where was the dog during all this? didn't Barry hear a growl and see legs before he ran. Maybe the dog was placed in there by the owner?
I just about fell over when Donna asked about the knitting stuff. I'm thinking, why do we need to know this?
Do any of these people have any real experience?

Saya @ 6:08 pm

This show is going down hill fast. I use to think Barry was good but he bolts everytime he sees something. I can not stand flighty wimps and I am sick of his condescending talk o the women on the team. I never see anything, so it seems like a bunch of BS to me. Brian is a liar so I will never respect him. Robb seemed ok until this last episode. Sorry Robb but not everyone is impressed with your evidence. The fight between the women, what a suprise that sci-fi would show that. I didnt know Donna was an EVP expert. As they say there are no experts in the paranormal field. Too bad everyone did not walk through the door including crew before they see if the dog will enter….pack behavior. Andy is annoying but he is a good debunker. I thought they had some nerve at the end episode implying that it was so this investigation was so great. Having your first child is GREAT, and can only be witnessed once. I wouldnt rush back if I was him. He should bond with him baby. I wish Andy his new family the best.

February 10, 2008

Robbin @ 12:46 pm

In English that is correct….Apparently English is the language of choice for the departed. What a crock. Donna being an EVP expert is laughable at best. I thought she was the person that researches the cases now she is an EVP expert.

The fight between the two was so typical and the resolution was weak. Split them up like they have done with other cast members. Robb was just stupid! Ok Shannon you need to learn to work with Donna. Robb I am not going to change my methods. Ok Shannon go out and give it all you have. Mmmmmm yeah ok it might get better, right…….

Then to take Donna on the reveal? Take Brian instead he is a little goofy but he is more credible than, my battery just drained again Donna!

Also isn't it kind of odd that they have yet to capture any footage of anything yet? The only thing they have are minimal EVP's.

I can't wait for the original to start up again, because this show is terrible.

February 12, 2008

Stephen @ 3:53 am

I'm slowly learning to enjoy GHI, although for some reason I can't get into it as much as the "original" GH. Part of it is that their results don't seem to be quite as spectacular– which, if there's nothing to find, is to their credit.

The potential plus for GHI is the exotic locales. However, due to the premise of the show, the motto seems to be, "Travel to beautiful places, turn off all the lights, then videotape." Every place looks about the same in night vision.

The Citadel Rasnov episode made me wonder what kind of preparation GHI does for each site. Do they have the claims in advance? Photos of the place? Plans? A list of rooms? Sometimes planning is impossible, but I sometimes wonder if they try. While I was watching, I wrote up a brief list of things they might have done differently if they had prepared thoroughly:

1. Bring along a couple of translators able to speak the local languages. (Or just don't do EVP work– I'll be just as happy.)

2. Figure out the local path of the sun and try shining a spotlight at appropriate angles. What does the shadow look like? Then mount a still camera with a timer at a spot where you can see the shadow, and compare. Does it just look scary because shadows sometimes look scary?

To me, this episode was a complete null. They only captured EVPs, which at best, with their methods, aren't proof. The EVPs on this episode weren't even that. The personal experiences they reported were all single-witness, and the most dramatic was viewed through a crack in a locked room! There was also no useful debunking. It was a net zero.

The outcome of the EVP battle between Donna and Shannon was just to agree to disagree. If their techniques actually do anything, why not try it Donna's way for a couple of episodes, then try Shannon's, then compare the results? If there's no way to figure out which is the best way of doing EVP work, what does that say about EVPs?

I had to give Ciprian credit. After the reveal, surrounded by believers and with a camera in his face, he remained calm and polite but got his message across. The episode was worth watching if only to see that.

February 17, 2008

Nance318 @ 10:40 pm

To What if: I talked to Donna personally three nights ago and she said the reason why they couldn't get into the locked door which leads to the tower was becasue all the people who worked there( like the ones that work in the gift showp)they had all gone home except the guy that showed them around so noone knew where the key was and they had no one to ask.Donna has about maybe three years of experience but Brian has at least sixteen years of ghost hunting. But I agree on why is Barry always running away from things. He didn't act like that when he was with the reginal ghost hunters when they went to Ireland. Thanks

Nance318 @ 10:56 pm

To robbin, I agree with you that Robb should have taken Brian with him instead of Donna becasue she doesn't have the experience that Brian and Andy has. I don't blame Donna for getting mad at Shannon becasue shannon should have patience when you are dong EVPs and you can't rush things like that. I don't reaLLY care for shannon and I think that Jason whould have not recommended her to go along with that new team she just doesn't have the patience or realibity to handle the ghost hunting business. I say when the new shows of GHI start up again for them to get someone else like Dave Tango. The new show of GH will be March 5. Thanks

July 17, 2008

Angie Ellison @ 9:08 am

Love watching both Ghost Hunter's and Ghost Hunter's International. Although we know no one can lead the teams
as well as Grant & Jason, it is interesting to watch. I
feel like the facts need to be a little more correct and maybe the team not being short handed at times, but for the most part – it has been good. I look forward to watching the upcomming episodes.
Keep up the good work guys!!!!!!!!!!!!! Where will the teams go next?????

Nance318 @ 5:43 pm

Hi All, I want to wish Donna the best and hope she will get better soon to continue on the GHI show. I was sorry and sad to hear what she has. I think Andy is doing a ellecent job of Debunking things. I think Shannon is too cocky and really don't have much experience on doing EVP's or has the patience. I think Brian who is my hero is doing a bang up job and is showing that he is not afraid of ghosts by telling them they are chicken (compared to the Eastern State) he even goes to tell the ghost that their theater stings in the new show that was on 7/16 (I thought that was wild!)I like Barry but he need to get more nerve to check things out and not run just because he sees things that are scary. Rob is ok but he will never be as good as Jason or Grant when it comes to what they have found, I guess he does the best he can. Keep up the good work guys and I love the show anyway. I was surprised to see Dustin on the show he is trying to do a good job also at debunking. Good luck with the show. I think Andy and Brian are the best so far! Hope Donna can come back soon I will pray for her!

gem @ 9:06 pm

What is wrong with Donna? I'm really anxious now!

kevin @ 9:50 pm

Donna has Crohn's disease, which returned after a period of remission. Crohn's disease is an intestinal disorder, causing inflamation, swelling and other uncomfortable effects. It's not fatal, but there's no cure. Donna had a flare-up during the investigation that was broadcast last night and had to, I think, return to the states.

Logisti @ 9:51 pm

She has Crohn's Disease, a chronic incurable digestive illness that is considered an autoimmune disease and possibly passed on genetically. There is a very low mortality rate for the illness, so nothing to worry about there.

With treatment and proper diet it can often be diminished to a mild nuisance, however even with treatment outbreaks can sometimes be expected and without going into details, a Crohn's episode can range in degree from "incredibly not fun" to "temporarily crippling".

This was all mentioned in relation to last night's episode (she had to leave New Zealand to fly back to the U.S.), for which I have taken notes but haven't yet finished the post — sorry! Hopefully I'll have it up in the next day or so.


gem @ 10:13 pm

Gosh. Thanks, guys, for the info. I'm so sorry for her – she seems like such a great person and I'll be praying for her too, Nance.

I'm so annoyed with myself; I forgot to watch last night – Gasp! I'll look forward to your post, Logisti!

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