October 7, 2009
GH: Cornwall Jail
Cornwall Jail was open from 1834 to 2002 and was one of the oldest operating jails in Canada at the time it was closed. This investigation was so uninteresting to the people editing it at Pilgrim that we jump straight from Jay & Grant on the grand tour of the premises to Dave & Steve 3 hours into the investigation. Not that anything interesting happened to Steve or Dave, but at least they made lively conversation.
Most of the conversation was aimed at getting a reaction from any alleged spirits but I absolutely loved this quote from Steve to the camera regarding the investigation itself:
"We do have a camera there all night long so if something does happen, whether we were there or not there we'll still get it on our DVR."
So Steve, let me get this straight — the cameras that you set up at the beginning of each investigation, they're there all night long? Wow, that's pretty heavy. And what's even more interesting is that those cameras are recording even if no one is there in the room. This is just the sort of mind-blowing revelation that keeps people coming back to this show week after week.
In keeping with the theme from the end of the previous investigation, after Amy begins to feel bit off in the basement of the jail Kris Williams takes some EMF readings and plainly states the unscientific and mostly made-up "fact" that the high EM fields caused by the electrical wires in the ceiling of this basement will cause anyone who spends enough time in the basement to become nauseous, paranoid and possibly even hallucinate. So Kris is going with the idea that EM fields can mess with your brain; Well the producer cutting this together at Pilgrim is either a bit of an idiot or else has a brilliant sense of humor because he helpfully cut in a clip of Jay explaining how high EM fields give spirits energy they can manipulate. So apparently the official TAPS position on EM fields caused by electrical wiring is that they can both cause people to see ghosts that aren't actually there, and also give actual ghosts the energy to make themselves visible to us. Good talk, son. Good talk.
Perhaps topping those conflicting conclusions, Amy then tells the camera that she's never felt sick on any prior case where she's been exposed to high EM fields. This just seemed like a terrific nail in the coffin for TAPS' inevitable "Can't it be both?" defense. Somehow, "Neither" seems considerably more likely.
More interesting than any of this was a jail cell door that closed fairly loudly, apparently on its own — and even that wasn't too interesting since Jay & Grant had just been opening and closing that exact door and could have easily left it in a position where it might have swung back shut on it's own.
It was also fairly hilarious to see Kris Williams completely freak out when she turned a corner to see a face staring back at her out of one of the cells. She hadn't realized the staff had put a mannequin in the cell (they give tours of the jail to the public). Kris pointed out that she's never freaked out like that on a case before, and all I have to say about that is I guess that means she's never really seen a ghost either. If a mannequin scares her that bad, I guess we'll have a pretty good read on her the day she claims to see a face peering out at her that she doesn't register a split-second later as not paranormal.
There was one audio recording that was a little interesting, one that sounded like a woman screaming. They recorded it in a hallway where they'd been told a woman had been raped and murdered. For once I thought this segment was extremely well done. Grant does not tell their host what TAPS believes the sound to be and he instructs her also to think if it's possible the sound might be just a normal environmental sound heard in the area (like a seagull). She said it sounded like a woman screaming to her and that she did not believe it was any sound one might normally hear in the area.
Jay concluded the reveal with the theory about limestone (which the jail was apparently built primarily of) recording events, which may then be played back randomly sort of like echoes of the past. I don't mind the concept or the way he presented it. Really the last part of this reveal was the most professional/scientific I've seen Jay & Grant since season one. They didn't even come to a conclusion one way or another. Very excellent (seriously).
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