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).

Filed under Ghost Hunters, Posts by Logisti

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Comments on GH: Cornwall Jail »

October 8, 2009

Lar @ 10:04 am

I was waiting to hear this: Tonight's episode is sponsored by NIKE. What was up with shots of J&G's shoes? G's sneakers have that reflective Nike stripe.The shoe shots made no sense.

We now come to the HOLY GRAIL of paranormal activity. A moving object. In this case a cell door. During the reveal they show a completely different angle, in fact it IS a completely different scene! Initially you saw J to your right just outside the open cell door looking down fiddling with some prison stuff (we can't see what that is). G is between the open cell door & J.

SLAM! BAM! THANK YOU MA'AM! The cell door closes… off camera.

During the reveal J&G do not tell the care taker she is looking at a different scene.G says he wants her to HEAR what it sounded like. REALLY? HEAR? You don't want her to SEE what we just saw?

Follow me down this cell block please….The REVEAL footage shows the inside of a cell, followed by CLANG! The cameraman is kneeling because as he reacts to the clang he spins quickly to his (your) right & as he does so looking upward he records another camerman.

You are looking at a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT AREA than what you saw originally.
LOOK FOR THE LITTLE THINGS.
Prior to the clang in the original scene you see the inside of the cell. Look at the paint on the face of the shelf inside that cell. It has a freshly painted look. That is, it is not badly worn or scratched off. Compare that to the face of the shelf in the cell where the cameraman spins around. One section is COMPLETELY worn off.

Let's take this for yet another spin…If the cameraman who spun around were filming the very cell where the cell door slammed, the door would've hit him, slammed behind him (if he were inside) or if he were just outside that very cell, you would've seen the door swinging by.
He & the other camera guy are NOT IN THE SAME SCENE OR AREA as J&G.(There also appears to be a security camera mounted next to the cameraman caught on video).

In the original scene J&G are also to your right of the cell door when it slams. WHERE ARE THEY when the cameraman spins to your right? You only see a camerman? WHY? REPEAT: It's a different scene or area.

SLAM! WHOA! I just heard my second floor bedroom door close. I have cameras on that door to prove it's paranormal, but let me instead show you my reaction of that door slamming while I was downstairs in the kitchen.

TAPS does what it does best. They create the ILLUSION.

The G-Unit cannot be conected to this event because you can't see G do anything. He is like the very shadow figures they so often claim to see. He is invisible to us during this moment. However, based on showing an entirely different scene during the reveal, one disguised by a smaller screen (they don't offer this moment on the full screen, we get to watch their monitor. Woo Hoo. Whatta' treat!) I'd bet my coat collar G had his hands or Nikes in it.

Brenny @ 10:17 am

Grant explains the scene in the reveal. He says that Jason leaves the cell, then Grant, then the big bang. It seems to me that Grant could have just pushed the door slightly as he headed out, causing it to slam shut just a second after they both cleared the cell. Wow…I really do enjoy looking for their obvious hoaxes, but now I am finding myself getting really mad! They really think their viewers are idiots! I just want to slap that stupid look off Grants face! Sorry…just venting….again!

Lar @ 1:23 pm

I FORGOT to mention, I found HD videos here:
http://www.youtube.com/user/thefamiliepak

The Doctor @ 1:27 pm

Grant says " if that door was open all the way, as I believe it was, there is no way it would have closed on it's own"

Isn't he telling us here that if the door was NOT open ALL the way that there IS a way it would have closed on it's own ?

What's the audio we hear during the door slam sequence ?
- something like " (garble) … and Amy … upper … courtroom …(garble) "

Is it actually possible that they would have Kris and Amy attempting to do an EVP while they are banging around on the next floor ?

Nosfer @ 1:32 pm

HD videos? I didn't think they were shooting anything with HD cameras on GH or did that change this season?

Angelayo1970 @ 1:43 pm

Doc, I wondered about that myself! At first, I thought that was going to be the "paranormal" happening they tried to sell us…A WOMAN'S DISEMBODIED VOICE! Then, the slam happened. So confusing and sad…it's like they aren't even trying to give the illusion of trying anymore!

The Doctor @ 2:22 pm

During the reveal … "We need to come back before we come to a conclusion … before I can sit there and say I believe the place to be haunted"

While riding away Jay says.

"I think if we came back and we spent some serious time here we could come to a conclusion whether it was haunted or not haunted"

Grant babbles back with " Its just one of those situations where we hit it on probably the quietest night of the year"

Grant just seems sooo disappointed that he was not able to declare it haunted

Nosfer @ 8:12 pm

Grant says "if that door was open all the way, as I believe it was, there is no way it would have closed on it's own"

Isn't he telling us here that if the door was NOT open ALL the way that there IS a way it would have closed on it's own ?

———-

Not necessarily :) It's hard to say because we can't see his words but he probably said 'IF' rather than 'IFF'

hammer1 @ 10:08 pm

I guess a jail cell door slamming "on it's own", and an "EVP" of a woman screaming in the same area a reported raping and murder took place is considered a quiet night nowadays. Admittedly there were no flying hangers, collar pulls, missing sandals or people running around with black sheets over their head, but still….. :)

BTW, what happened to the K-II meter? I don't think either episode had a K-II session or maybe I missed it.

October 9, 2009

M. Roget @ 4:24 am

hammer1-

The K2 sessions took place behind a set of black SUVs/vans out in the parking lots of Cornwall Jail & the USS Salem. Pity those sessions couldn't be included in the ep- damned camera guys were taking their bong break & missed out on filming any J/G epiphanies suitable for ep inclusion.

So very rapidly tiring of "GH Season '09-The Last Mile."

October 11, 2009

Learjet @ 5:40 am

Poor Amy receives a fatal psychosomatic dose of EMF radiation as Kris read out the levels and becomes nauseous. She probably died a few days later…

October 15, 2009

Matt @ 4:34 am

"…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."

Okay, I've seen you slam the EMF theory many times on this blog, but have you actually bothered looking into the effects that EMF may or may not have on the brain? Just because it sounds crazy doesn't make it untrue. Below are a couple of sites I found after googling the subject. Assuming you don't any of this already, you might think twice before accusing the paranormal investigation community of making things up:

http://www.mercola.com/article/emf/emf_dangers.htm
- medical site that talks about the harmful effects of electromagnetic frequencies on the human body.

http://proliberty.com/observer/20090118.htm
- sort of a tin-foil hat conspiracy site, but this page refers to real doctors who used EMF to alter patients emotion/make subliminal suggestions, with varying degrees of success.

Is the EMF that radiates from the average home appliance enough to play with your emotions or make you feel nauseated or paraoid? Probably not. But most times when Jay and Grant bring that theory up it's when they are in an home either old/bad copper wiring or instances when there is a lot of exposed wiring present in a room.

Angelayo1970 @ 8:19 am

Matt, I think the issue we take with the EMF "theories" they expound is that they are conflicting theories. Okay, do high EMF fields indicate the presence of a ghost? How would you know if you are in an area with high EMF and are feeling anxious, paranoid and possible hallucinating? Are you hallucinating the ghost? And then, they say that "some people who are SENSITIVE to high EMF" will be the ones affected, but then they proceed to write off the "experiences" of EVERYONE if the location is a "fear cage". So which is it? Only some people who are sensitive? Or is everyone sensitive? Which one is it?

They need to get their "theories" straight if they expect anyone to take them seriously, especially those of us who would love to see the paranormal field be investigated seriously, instead of being the step-child of the scientific community. Unfortunately, with groups like TAPS being considered the "leaders" in the field of paranormal research, I'm afraid that's not likely to happen any time soon.

Stephen @ 9:59 am

@Matt:

That's a reasonable question. The answer is yes, we have done the research. The results are here:

http://www.skepticalviewer.com/forums/ghost-hunters/electromagnetic-sensitivity/page-1

The short version: researchers tried repeatedly to demonstrate ES in the lab and failed. The lone successful study used an emitter that made noise and cued the subjects. In the remaining trials subjects couldn't tell if they were exposed to EMF radiation or not. 
What annoys me about the EMF claim that GH makes is that they recite it as if it were established fact. It doesn't actually sound that crazy to me. In fact when they first mentioned the idea it sounded interesting. It just isn't true. 

October 16, 2009

Revenant @ 5:20 am

Logisti- "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."

An excellent observation and absolutely true. Many of us have pointed out various reactions (or lack of) to particular events seen in these shows. "I just saw a figure!" "I just saw a shadow!" "I just got touched!" The reaction to the event simply does not match the level of the event. Yet, what we see here is Kris honestly reacting to something. Reacting in a way that one would act if they literally saw something and were startled by it.

Another example was Jael in DT while in Chernobyl. Many people posted that she reacted badly. Perhaps. But at least it was honest. Sometimes radiation suits, because of the heat you are generating and the moisture, a small section may "close up" a bit or buckle because they're kind of stiff to begin with and adhere to the skin. It's annoying. If you're not expecting it, I can definitely see how one can view it as being touched.

So we have a person thinking that they are seeing something and another thinking that they are being touched…and they definitely react. Both were wrong, but reacted honestly. Now think back on all the shows, especially GH…all the shadows and apparitions, all the touching and tugging, everything. Do their reactions match the event? Um…no, not so much…

Revenant @ 5:53 am

Matt- I just took a look at the article that you posted from mercola.com. I began taking a look at some other articles there as well. I found this one to be somewhat interesting:

http://www.mercola.com/forms/eftcourse1.htm

Here's a small section on what the good Doctor has been working on for the past 8 years: "This combination of tapping the energy meridians and voicing positive affirmation works to clear the "short-circuit" – the emotional block — from your body's bioenergy system, thus restoring your mind and body's balance, which is essential for optimal health and the healing of physical disease."

Now I'm sure this Doctor means well, and I'm sure he's great, and I'm sure that this "Emotional Freedom Technique" thing is the greatest thing since sliced bread…but, perhaps, in the future, you may wish to link something from actual scientists or experts in that particular field to support your views and not doctors who haven't seen a patient since 2005 and only work on their websites. You know…just sayin'…

Matt @ 9:04 am

@ Stephen:
So you chose to comment on the merits of mercola.com instead of the validity/invalidity of the EMF research discussed at the other site that I linked to? Great.

Matt @ 9:06 am

@ Angelayo1970:

On the TAPS website I find that they are very consistent in their stated beliefs, but yeah, the way they describe the effects of EMF sort of does vary from episode to episode.

Stephen @ 12:28 pm

@Matt:

I think you've got me confused with somebody else. I didn't even mention Mercola. I'd be interested in your comments on the article I wrote, though.

I'm going to put on my moderator's hat. This is an interesting debate, but it's more general than this episode of Ghost Hunters. I've created a forum thread for discussing this. You can find it here:

http://www.skepticalviewer.com/forums/general-paranormal-discussion/electromagnetic-sensitivity-debate/page-1/post-8393/#p8393

Let's move discussion of Matt's comment to that forum post.

January 29, 2010

Nicole @ 12:16 pm

I haven't seen this episode of TAPS; however, I was at the Cornwall Jail in July 2008 and on the two separate occasions when I visited the jail, I heard footsteps. The first time I was alone in the jail area (confirmed this with the employees working there) and heard footsteps coming towards me from a dead end. The second time, I brought two colleagues with me and myself and one of my colleagues heard footsteps going up the metal staircase (the upper level was closed on this day and there was nobody else in the jail area but the three of us). As for the woman screaming- one of the jail employees told me that on one of her tours, the woman she was showing around leaped on her and when asked what was wrong the woman replied "didn't you hear that woman screaming?" The visitor had heard the scream, but the tour guide hadn't. So, from personal experience – I believe that the Cornwall Jail is haunted but it is probably a residual haunting.




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