August 6, 2009
GHI: Malaspina Castle
I have a soft spot for investigations where the team stays at the location overnight — at least so long as Grant doesn't film himself next to a dancing picture frame while his right arm is off-camera. In this case Grant isn't even on the team and that offers me more confidence in the results, whatever they may be. Also, sleeping in a castle is just plan cool — providing, of course, that the castle is modernized with fancy things like glass windows and electricity.
Down in the castle's purportedly authentic "torture chamber" (it does seem like every place they visit has one, doesn't it?) Robb marveled that he was getting responses every time he asked any spirits to make a sound, but to me it just seemed like there were a lot of random sounds, whether he asked for them or not. I'd say this is a good example of GHI being less-than objective and such bias colors their thinking and puts not only their conclusions but even their observations (as they interpret what they see and hear) in a questionable place — I'd say all that, but I don't want to sound like a broken record.
In one of the bedrooms Barry and Robb both reported seeing moving/flashing lights and then feeling a draft or breeze. Now, with this type of occurrence in particular TAPS has been fairly vigilant in trying to rule out ambient light sources such as passing cars. I didnt see GHI doing that at all. To be fair, I'm not sure how this castle is situated in relation to nearby roads or parking lots. It's possible the castle is far up on a hill, above all nearby traffic — but even then, a nearby road sloping uphill could end up sending some headlights into the building.
As for the drafts, "I got nuthin". Robb & Barry seem to think the place was sealed up tighter than a drum. I tend to suspect old castles are drafty. We have to chalk it up to a personal experience anyhow since we technically have no way to verify the draft. In fact, even the lights end up being a personal experience because apparently they weren't caught on camera.
In the basement there was a story about a girl who engaged in hanky panky with a young man well-below her station and legend had it her parents walled her in (to presumably run out of oxygen and die) somewhere down in the basement. According to their host, human remains were found in the basement which they feel corroborate the story. Just to play devil's advocate for the moment, I have to wonder if it isn't possible perhaps the bones were found first and then people began building stories around them as to whom they might belong to and why they were in the basement. That might be entirely wrong, however, and it's entirely possible the story is wholly true.
Getting back to how this affects the investigation, Ashley was alone down there trying to contact the spirit of this girl, and nearly 40 minutes in she heard a noise come from behind a curtain and when she turned to look she said she saw a female face briefly before it vanished. She walked up to the curtain, pulled it aside and looked beyond but no one was there. Interesting, but again we're left with just a personal anecdote and no evidence to review
She did, however, also pull out one of those EMF detectors that clicks like a geiger counter and start up a conversation, encouraging any nearby spirits to manipulate the device (by touching it, one assumes). For the first and only time since that long string of investigations Jay & Grant did (where they nearly always had impressive success with the K-II while everyone else failed to produce any results at all) we see an EMF detector consistently going off in what seems far too "on demand" to be a coincidence.
Yes, I will accept the possibility that maybe Ashley "made contact" but I also have to acknowledge that explanation seems less likely than Pilgrim giving their cameraman something known to set off the EMF detector (TAPS' walkies set off K-II meters, for instance) and telling him to make this investigation a little more interesting for the viewers at home. In any case, I think I have a fair threshhold for what constitutes a coincidence and unless there was some very sneaky editing going on (not to mention Ashley would have to lie) I don't believe this was just background EM, I think someone (or, granted, something) with intelligence was manipulating it.
…and as much as I don't have any direct reason to suspect Ashley herself, she was the closest person to the device and she is the newest addition to the team. Delving for a moment into the realm of completely unfounded speculation, who is to say Pilgrim didn't decide GHI needed more/better "hits" in their investigations and hired Ashley specifically to make sure a few "paranormal" things happen. From her initial self-introduction claiming to be very science-oriented (followed up by a number of blatant contradictions to that statement) I put forth the completely speculative notion that Ashley could be a trojan horse of sorts. Or she could just be exactly what she seems.
In the end, the only evidence (beyond the EMF conversation with Ashley) were a couple of EVPs. The first one occurred in Robb's room when he was getting ready to go to sleep for the night, he asked if the spirits were okay with him staying in the room. On the recording there is a sound that occurs shortly after he asks the question. The consensus seemed to be that it clearly said, "No" but while I did hear that it also seemed to me there was a slightly higher pitched sound immediately prior to the "No" that sounded to me like "Yes" but no one else seemed to mention it. Maybe my ears are bad or maybe there aren't any voices at all on the tape and it's just noise. It's certainly not clear enough to make a determination one way or another with any reasonable level of certainty.
The other recording was an EVP session Joe was doing; he asked for a sign that some spirit could hear and understand what he was saying and there is a sound on the recording that definitely does not sound like electronic noise to me. It sounded almost like, "Hoooooooo….." but a much lower pitch than an owl, and drawn out more. Of the two recordings, this one interests me more because it seems much clearer that some person/animal made that sound, but who/what/how remains unclear.
In the end Robb declared the place haunted, and I initially balked at this because in the past it has been the policy not to declare a haunting with only EVP evidence, but then I remembered Ashley's EMF session — if asked about his verdict Robb could easily point to that and say that's what put it over the top. I'm going to keep my eye out for more of that, and for any continued occurrences that happen when Ashley is around during an otherwise uneventful investigation. Come to think about it, she was there with Dustin when that rock was thrown in the attic of a previous investigation. Hmmm… well, nothing yet, but I'll be watching in case nothing becomes something.
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