Tag Archives: Fringe Science

TELEVISION: Ghost Hunters: The Haunted Former Funeral Home!

Ghost Hunters [Sci Fi, Wednesdays, 9/8C] returns with a genuinely unusual investigation. Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson, and their team, TAPS [The Atlantic Paranormal Society, pictured], are asked to investigate Buffalo’s Iron Island Museum [so-called because it’s part of the neighborhood that surrounded on all sides by railroad tracks]. The museum was originally a church, and then for a number of years, it was a funeral home.

The TAPS Team

Employees and visitors to the museum have reported hearing banging noises, seeing apparitions and – in the case of employees – finding locked doors unlocked. One museum employee suspects that the ghost of a young boy named Jimmy is a part of the haunting.

Once the team sets up their cameras and other equipment, they then search through the building for unusual occurrences. And there are unusual occurrences! Even the team’s newest member, Kris Williams, sees something. It’s her first such experience, so even while there’s stuff going on, the rest of the team is happy for her – and she is just thrilled, herself!

One of the things that makes Ghost Hunters work is that the guys aren’t deadly serious. Their sense of humor is infectious and helps keep the team relaxed and alert. In this case, when one member of the team hasn’t seen or heard anything, they give him permission to be, shall we say, less than polite? Another thing that adds to the show’s atmosphere is the manner in which some segments are shot in grainy black & white, evoking The Blair Witch. Between the humor and the suspense, the show certainly manages to enthral.

Iron Island is a good episode for opening the new season. There’s audio and video evidence that makes one’s spine tingle just a bit, and the team is still having fun checking for things that go bump in the night.

Final Grade: B

TELEVISION: Destination Truth – Big Feet, Mosque Ghosts and Real Weirdness

Josh Gates’ Destination: Truth opens its second season [Sci Fi, Wednesdays, 10/9C] by tackling two intriguing situations. First, Gates and his crew [pictured] travel to Queensland, Australia to investigate sightings of a creature called the Yowle [yow-lee] – a creature whose description is familiar to many different cultures, which have given the creature names like Sasquatch, Bigfoot and/or Yeti. The second investigation in the second season premiere concerns a haunted mosque in Malaysia.

Josh's Team

In each case, Gates and his crew follow their tried and true protocol: journeying to the sight of their subjects; setting up their equipment, and then waiting and watching for something to happen.

On paper that sounds pretty dull, but when members of Gates’ team encounter stuff that shouldn’t be there – like the shredded trees in Queensland, or hear sounds that have no visible source in the Malaysian mosque – it does give the viewer a bit of a jolt.

Unfortunately, the screener Sci Fi sent out was a rough cut that didn’t have the final portion of the episode – the part where they got the results of their collected evidence, so I can’t really say how things play out [not that I’d give spoilers, though knowing the results might have slanted my review differently]. The documentary style of shooting does have the effect of drawing the viewer into this world, though.

While I’m not exactly a fan of reality TV, the two case studies offered here present a certain amount of potential evidence of the existence of something that may not be from the realm of current scientific thought, and it would be interesting to see whether that evidence did support the existence of the Yowle, or the Malaysian mosque ghost.

Final Grade: B-