February 12, 2009
GHI: Diplomat Hotel
The Diplomat Hotel sits on a hill overlooking Baguio City in the Philippines, and if GHI's (very credible) tour guide is to be believed, many of the townsfolk below fear it and believe the place to be haunted. Originally a monestary, the clergy there were executed by the Japanese during WWII and the building was used as a Sanatorium. After the war it was converted to a hotel, which was so popular that it now sits in a ruined state of disrepair, seeming to wait for the jungle to reach up and crumble it back down to dust.
I kid, but the place is quite overgrown and apparently not in current use by anyone, which is a shame for such a grand building.
The reports of activity include "black figures" and a "white lady" — and by "white" I don't think they meant "caucasian", although I suppose that's possible. After the reports of a "white figure" at Clark Hospital (the investigation which aired immediately prior to this in the same episode), other similar reports scattered through TAPS' history and of course the similarity between the description of "black figures" and the ubiquitous "shadow men" which are commonly reported at "haunted" locations I am curious about the consistency. It almost seems childish in its simplicity, and maybe it's really just some sort of trick-of-the-mind making people see these figures either clothed-in or comprised entirely of white or black, but one thing seems certain: these reports form a common link between entirely disparate reports of haunting. This would seem to minimize the possibility of "misidentification" and lend more credence to the idea that these people really are all seeing the same thing. That of course doesn't tell us whether the things they're seeing exist externally in front of them or if they're somehow hallicinations generated by the human mind, but either way I find it fairly fascinating.
Again, Robb is playing with his new headphones, which "normalize" the sounds and reduce high-volume noises while boosting low ones. At one point early in the night he believes he hears a man's voice, but no one else hears it and no source presents itself. Barry noted that there were some very tall cellphone (or possibly radio?) towers nearby that loomed over the property and he hypothesized that the EM fields generated by those towers might cause people on the grounds to experience hallucinations, generating the sightings.
Brandy & Angela had heard about an underground tunnel system and they believed they found an entrance but it just seemed to be some sort of standalone concrete room beneath the ground — perhaps a small bunker of some kind. They went down, but were quickly frightened away by spiders; I'll forgive the girls of GHI this one time because they still acted more professionally around a spider than Steve Gonsalves has in the past and less skittish than just about every female investigator we've ever seen put on a TAPS investigation.
Barry & Dustin rigged a camera onto a pole and lower it down into another such underground room, but weren't able to see much. Barry thought he heard a voice though; and this time he was right. Robb & Dustin climbed down into the chamber and were looking around when Robb found the source of the man's voice: a man. Apparently someone had taken up residence in the underground room; and so it was that the Ghost of the Diplomat Hotel turned out to be a homeless dude.
Now, obviously a homeless guy isn't responsible for figures in white (or probably the dark figures either) but his presence there was enough to make GHI stop looking for ghosts and declare the place "not haunted". Overall I'd say it was the correct reaction, but I do wish they'd spent more time exploring these reports of white and shadowy figures. On the bright side, I'm sure we'll see many more such reports in upcoming investigations and hopefully we'll get a bit closer to understanding what people are seeing the next time.
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