March 18, 2008

Ghost Adventures

A few folks have mentioned they wanted me to review a two-hour documentary called "Ghost Adventures".  I saw it when it first aired and there did appear to be a couple of pieces of compelling evidence in there. It's basically 3 guys (later only 2) that take their own cameras, no camera crew or sound guys, and go to reportedly haunted places.  I liked their style and concept, and I really liked some of their evidence — at first.  Now I'm not entirely sure, but let's go through the best of it and you guys can watch for yourselves and decide.

Off the top of my head, there was video of some unexplained mist entering a 2nd floor hotel room from the hallway; also what appeared to be a very clear (but nearly transparent) outline of a man walking across a room past an exterior light; and finally in the basement of a supposedly haunted building there was a very blair witch moment when they turned a corner and (instead of seeing someone standing against the wall and being knocked unconscious) they see a brick fly up from a pile of debris as if thrown.

Certainly the evidence seemed compelling, but my first concern was when their "expert" reviewed some of the video footage and insisted that it absolutely could not have been faked because there would be telltale signs in the source material.  I agree that might be the case if he was looking at the original, but if it was edited on a computer and then recorded down onto the cassette he reviewed I'm fairly certain there would be no such evidence of tampering.

Also, the brick moment just seemed a bit contrived to me and right before it happens it seems like the one guy is heading straight for that room, which is down the hall and to the left, without explanation.  Previouslly they were wandering so it seemed odd to me why he suddenly wanted to go into that specific room down the hall.

Also, there was a verbal exchange between the two documentarians right then that seemed suspicious to me.   One of them says, "This is the room."  The other one quickly responds, "What room?" and the response is something like, "…that you were talking about" — What's that about? Why would they be talking about this room?

To me that seemed almost like a slip-up, sort of like "We're stumbling around in the dark here, where are we going now? Oh! I see… this is the room where we rigged up the brick… oops!"

Now, I'm not saying that's what happened, but I am saying that it's a possibility and I probably wouldn't even have mentioned the possibility of a hoax (because ultimately, in the back of our minds we know it's always a possibility — we just hope it's not probable) except that the comment does strike me as particularly out of place and the entire scene (I think one guy actually runs away from the other one and is found several minutes later cowering in a corner) really does have a contrived, Blair Witch vibe to it that makes me less inclined to believe it's a real documentary and more inclined to suspect some staging and scripting was going on.

But that's just me. I know a lot of people found it to be credible and compelling so feel free to make your own case for or against their evidence, I'm certainly not making any concrete conclusions.

Filed under Ghost Adventures, Posts by Logisti

Permalink Print Comment

Comments on Ghost Adventures »

March 18, 2008

Stephen @ 11:28 pm

I haven't watched the whole video, but I have seen the YouTube clips of the brick analysis. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMzfVgYRWII) Both the analysts talk a great deal about how you can't see a string. However, they don't talk about the much easier possibility.

Here's how I would've done the brick shot:

1. Turn on my video camera.
2. Toss a brick into the corner.
3. Reverse the footage.

Voila! Now we have video footage of a brick apparently taking off of its own accord. No need for cumbersome, potentially visible strings.

It's a VERY old cinematic trick, and the fact that none of their analysts even mentioned it is… interesting.

March 19, 2008

Logisti @ 9:45 am

While I agree that's a possibility, I think that's overly complicated considering they are playing a continuous recording from the moment they turn the corner and see the pile of rubble to the moment they turn and run, and before/after.

You would need to be an expert cinematographer and spend hours upon hours at each seam point to integrate the footage in a way that wouldn't be completely obvious to the independent scrutiny they subjected their film to.

On the other hand, the string explanation is far simpler. If someone asks why can't you see it I would suggest fishing line combined with dark, grainy film = invisible. If someone points out the trajectory isn't consistent with someone pulling the brick I would suggest that after the initial tug (to get the brick airborne) the hoaxer simply let go and allowed gravity and inertia to do the rest.

March 21, 2008

Stephen @ 2:47 am

Not sure that you'd need to be an expert to splice it in– looks like there are easy splice points right before and after, at least in the footage on YouTube.

I'm not sure that their experts are quite so expert or independent. The physicist claims that you'd need a thick string to lift the brick. If I were going to have a brick thrown at me, I'd make sure it was fake (and very light).

The main thing leading me back toward the string theory is that what Slim the video analyst calls a levitating board looks a heck of a lot like a string caught in the light.

Logisti @ 2:57 am

hehehehehe… string theory.

Wes @ 8:20 am

A string, possibly. Reversed film, not. If you examine the footage frame by frame (I have too much time) you can see the "brick" twists slightly, is stationary for a second, and then takes off. Obviously, a thrown brick wouldn't settle on something, pause, and then twist the way it did.

April 23, 2008
(Pingback)

Ghost Hunters investigate Goldfield Hotel in Nevada @ 10:29 pm

[...] sure when those renovations are coming. Some of you may have seen a two-hour special called "Ghost Adventures" which was received rather well and I believe this location, as well as the next one (The Old [...]

[...] 23, 2008GH: Old Washoe Club This is another location featured in the "Ghost Adventures" two-hour special. It's got some interesting history behind it. There was a [...]

May 21, 2008

Louis @ 2:55 pm

Yes, it seems a little to convenient for these two guys to:

1 Waltz into this specific room in a pitch black basement
2. Shine their flashlights in unison,
3. Where their hand-held cameras are pointed
4. In almost the exact location of where a brick sits and suddenly flies across the room.

Its as if it happened on cue.

May 28, 2008

Depodan @ 4:31 pm

On Oct. 17th at 9pm Extreme Ghost Adventures the show will air on the Travel channel. It will be interesting to compare their documentary with their new show.

May 29, 2008

Logisti @ 10:18 pm

To the guy who complained about having his posts deleted: We don't delete posts that disagree with our ideas. Disagreeing is perfectly allowed. We only delete posts that are rude and obnoxious.

Pro Tip: If you're calling people names and throwing out insults, your post will get deleted. Otherwise, generally speaking you're probably fine.

October 30, 2008

Joel @ 10:12 pm

30 Oct 2008

I just finished watching the show about the Goldfield Hotel and there was a scene where they were walking down the hallway and they saw a shadow or figure and decided to play back what they had saw, mistake. As I was watching and listening the playback and what they had just recorded was a bit different. On the live shot he says, "did you see it and he says woah!". On the playback, on what they just filmed, he says, "did you see that (2-3 second pause) did you see that.". I rewinded my DVR to make sure and sure enough the live and the playback were different. The so called expert should have caught it if he reviewed the video, what a sham!

October 31, 2008

Logisti @ 10:07 am

Interesting. Is it possible, though, that the dialog (in real life) went, "(1)Did you see that? (2)Did you see that? (3)Whoa!" and maybe the first time they show (1) (2) and the playback was (2) (3)?

Depodan @ 12:16 pm

The Ghost Adventures that was just shown on Travel channel was re- edited from the 2006 version. There was a part in the basement where Zak is saying who is making all that noise and throwing all that stuff. The ing on throw was edited out in the original version, there were people who thought he cut the word short and was'nt supposed to say that because the brick being thrown was a set up. In the new version the words all there so it was obvoiusly an edit point. theres actually new footage that filled in the events a little better.

November 3, 2008

tom @ 11:57 am

I have to rewatch that episode,the brick thing was funny scary but the way they yelled and left each other was hilarious…..just like i did scaring a friend of mine….Why didn`t they go back in there? and why was the brick going across and not at them????,,,,If I was a ghost iwould throw at someone to get rid of them,or try to grab them and scare the crap out of them……LMAO

November 22, 2008

Justin @ 8:22 am

I just watched the episode in the Abandoned Mental Asylum and the footage of a ghostly hand grabbing Zak's arm.

I have my dvr all set for all the paranormal shows for this reason… it was staged. you see some nice footage of an hand breaking Zak's shadow and then a wide angle shot from about 15ft away to show that it wasnt staged and somehow only Zaks camera caught the footage.

If you look at it closer the footage from Zaks camera you can see where his shadow was in prox to the doorway and where the IR light from his camera was pointed. If you then look at the wide angle shot zak is cleary further from the door and his IR light is against the back wall as opposed to the pilar and sideroom as it was in his shot.

Overall the show is decent for entertainment but as far as being a true documentary, it a sad and depressing attempt.

Justin

November 24, 2008

Oreide @ 1:05 am

Justin, I have to agree with you. During that scene Zac and Nick are clearly visible in the wide angle lens being used by Aaron, who is behind them. Later, during the “on the spot” analysis, Zac points out an orb that he claims touched him and made him grab his arm. Now that is excellent documentation for his EXACT location during this “ghost hand” snafu. When he claims the orb touched him and possibly manifested itself into the ghost hand you can see his shadow’s location is around 3 feet from the corner of the wall. Then when we see the replay in Zac’s camera (the only one that was able to catch the haunted hand) you can see that his shadow location is around 1 foot from the corner of the wall. Nice…
Just like my questions about the Riddle house and the falling bird cage (Not a string theory, but who moved all that stuff around in the attic after the initial tour and Aaron sitting up there by himself) I will come to the realization that it will never be answered by anyone “in the know.” Therefore, to conclude, I agree with your closing line, “The show is decent for entertainment, but as far as being a documentary” it leaves much (emphasis on the word, much) to be desired.

November 25, 2008

yoyo @ 6:16 pm

I disagree about the Mental Institution in NJ…I think had a LOT more "facts" in them then other episodes. It doesn't make sense that they would suddenly pay attenton to details…
~~YOYO

December 5, 2008

ernest scared stupid @ 10:28 pm

actually your talk about the differences in distance when he's near the corner, the other guy is USING A WIDE ANGLE.. you said it yourself. a wider lens can completely distort size and distance in comparison to a standard lens or even a slightly wider one. I have a a century optics MKII baby death for my camera and i can stand a foot away from objects and it look like I'm 6-7 feet away. just judging distances on cares is ridiculous and pointless. there's many times cameras can make things appear far from what they naturally look like. and all the talk about the brick getting thrown by a string… its not a string, you can see it doesn't drop like if it was "tugged" by a string. when he switches it to what looks to be thermal, black and white. you can easily see there is no string. and also you can see the boards fall in the background. its not that hard to see. they clearly fall a different direction. how many strings did they have hooked up? is geppetto hanging out with the ghost adventures crew?? also saying they oh just happened to be in that room. the kooky lady took em to that room earlier, it was down near where they thought they saw the shadow at, or something move down the hall. everyone is like why didn't the ghost throw the brick at them.. do you want spirits to perform? is he gonna dance and make dinner for them next?

December 7, 2008

Oreide @ 3:56 am

Scared Stupid. You’re kidding me, right? Have you seen the clip? Go watch it it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNetYXoG4S8 At 2:53 Zac will claim to have seen a shadow hand appear. Freeze the movie and look at the Ghost Adventures’ position. Zac will be in the lead with Nick behind him. Aaron, the guy with the alleged wide angle lens is obviously behind both of them and to the right because someone is filming this entire farce. We know there are only three people locked down in the facility so it has to be Aaron. Now look at Zac’s shadow on the wall.
I’m not going to get pulled in to a discussion about did Ghost Adventures fake evidence or not. Why? Because you have your viewpoint and I have mine and apparently they are not the same. But I will say this: Just to keep it honest, I was not the one who initially used the “wide angle lens” phrase. I was agreeing with an earlier post. I honestly don’t know that type of lens it was or the camera that was used, but I can definitely tell the end result. FAKE!
And here’s and interesting point on using a wide angle lens; if it distorts size and distance (you said it yourself) why would ANYONE use it to document the paranormal? The idea is to present facts as they are, not to distort them (either on purpose or accidently)–)–especially in a field where documentation, even when it's done correctly, is highly questioned.

December 20, 2008

TasCat @ 1:22 pm

Ir'a juar roo bad that some of the skeptics, who have no bias, can't go to some of these places, I'm talking about the ones that have explanatinons for everything, here and on other sites, where I have seen the same names. Myself, I won't believe in a ghost until I see one. I did find the comments before Zak and Aaron (I think, not the scared guy who was put in the showers at Idaho State Prison), s little strange, but maybe they were talking about a room that they had heard something about or "felt heavy" as they put it, when doing the initial walk-through, we don't know this part, so have to give some benefit of the doubt, if we truly want to be without bias. But there was the boards moving in the room as well as someone else pointed out, and I saw on the video too. As to the comments Zak made about the noise and brick while doing the explanation about the room is that later, a News crew went in the room and supposedly caught evps stating they were responsible for the brick throwing. In this day and age of video editing, anything caught is going to be suspect. But I do have to give these guys credit for:
1. Only having 3 in the crew, remember the Halloween Episode this year on Ghost Hunters, when Grant the light cord puller, and Jason were sitting at the kitchen table, only to have that member of the film crew, came out of the door and got yelled at? I could have swore that was the pantry door that supposedly had no exits. But since the infamous Manson episode, and sharp-eyed skeptics, caught the video editing, plus Grant's obvious pulling the light cord in the Myrtle Plantation episode…these guys have no credibility.

2. The Ghost Adventures team's evidence isn't some obviously human coming out and dancing a jig on a static thermal imaging camera (where the haunted water fountain was) then going back where he came or a duck waddling person with a black silk sheet or veil over their head, going JUST to the end of a pool table and back behind the wall, if it's a ghost, why not continue? Their evidence is more realistic, like the mist that formed in the Iron Works. Sure, that could probably be fake video as well, but it isn't so blatenly obvious that it's a person, strangely, which is supposed to be cold, but gives off the same heat pattern as a human.

3. Their evp's suck, they aren't clear perfect voices like caught by Ghost Hunters. In the Idaho state prison episode, the supposed conversation, sounded like "Let me out" to me..but with "matrixing" working with the human ear as well as eyes..we don't know what it was. The screaming and other noises heard outside the prison in the yard, could very well have been coyotes, description sounded like that to me.

I think the turnover that Ghoat Hunters has with their crew, is because these people don't want to be part of the deception that's going on with them, but the contracts they signed, won't let them tell the real story why they left. Even the British "Moat Haunted team is a joke, more so than Grant & Jason. They always have pebbles and such thrown at them, even when investigating a place where Ghost Hunters have been, somehow pebbles fly at them.

But I really wish some of the people here, that have an explanation for everything (not meant derogatory) could get together with their cameras and such and visit these places overnight themselves and give us a realistic assessment of them. Wouldn't that be awesome? You never hear stories about this, people going into these places and coming out only to report it was quiet as a mouse, no shadow figures, no voices, nothing, and get locked in to boot. I'm disabled, obviously don't own any of that fancy equipment, and with just about 8k to live on a year, can't run off and do it myself. I would love to be able to do so, we all have this yearning to know what is beyond the grave, is there an afterlife? I had an experience as about a 12 year old. We lived in a small house, I came home from school, heard someone/thing run down the hallway, remember, very small house, hallway about 10 feet away and maybe 10 feet long, I thought my little sister got home before I did and searched the house telling her to come out..found nothing, sat outside until my Mother came home with my sis in the car with her..to this day I don't know what it was, and never felt comfortable in that house, even when I was 18 years old when we moved out for good. I've never heard anything or felt uncomfortable anywhere we lived since, also several times we moved out of state for a year at a time, even as a teenager, I never felt anything weird until I came back to that house. Overactive imagination? Maybe. Thia was on a reservation in South Dakota, so obvious Native American land, myself being over 1/2. I just don't know..why I guess I'm so interested in these programs. I'm sorry for the very long post, but if anyone who has no belief one way or another, has went to these places and felt nothing, not just a short tour, but got permission to spend the night with recording equipment, it would be interesting to what they have to say. Or someone form a group of skeptics that have all the equipment that the average ghost hunter has, spend time in these same places, not letting the owners know they are skeptics obviously (might not get in for the possiblility of no results and ruining the draw they have so not allowed in to investigate.)
Please pardon my long post, I've never posted to such a site before and just had a lot to get out I guess. Remember, I think what the skeptics do is good, catching the Ghost Hunters was a coup, more like a coup de gras to their show for those who want the real facts and take the time to read them.

TasCat




^ Please Support our Sponsor

Leave a Comment

Subscribe without commenting

Copyright 2010 SkepticalViewer.com - The Ghost Hunters Fansite for Skeptics