Friday, April 19, 2013

EPISODE 307: Ghosts of Geneva/ Fort Fear

Once again we found ourselves in my home state, this time in the town of Geneva.  The more I explore New York, the more I appreciate it.  It may be known as the Empire State (the Star Wars geek in me revels in that fact), but so much of it is "Small Town, USA" that people forget there is more to New York than Manhattan and the stereotypical Italian/NY accent.  But while I'm in this New York state of mind, let's delve into this case.

Charged with battery
• One of the reports that came to us regarding this case centered around a battery that allegedly exploded for no reason.  When we arrived at the house, I got a chance to examine it as I listened to the tale of how it happened.  It appeared to be melted in some places, burned in others, but all in all not too worse for wear.  I noticed that it was a "no frills" brand and in my years in the field, I've learned the hard way that you must spend an extra dollar or two for one of the Big Two Brands, or else you'll have dead equipment soon enough.  But in this case, was it something attempting to communicate that caused the battery to discharge more than its voltage?  Unless we got an EVP from a spirit claiming responsibility for the act, it would be impossible to say.  Given the other things that have happened in the house, it's an interesting anecdote, if nothing else.

No shirt, no shoes, no evidence
• In the office on the first floor, where Margaret has all her family research, Chris and I were doing a full spectrum sweep.  While nothing jumped out at us in UV or IR, one of the toys on a nearby table took a dive.  It was a little, monster action figure and it seemed to just jump off of it's own accord.  At first I thought it may have been the vibrations from us walking into the room that caused it, but that was not so.  Nothing else had moved and it wasn't like it leaned back and forth and then tipped over.  It jumped!  I trained the full spectrum camera on it and we even called John in (as we do often) but we were unable to determine what caused it.  Oh, and here's a little fourth wall demolition - the cameraman had no shoes on.  People often ask about the cameramen when it comes to things moving or falling and that's a valid inquiry but in this case, as it was muddy outside, the whole crew just had socks on.

"It touched you, where?!"
 • Now I have to watch the episode again, since I was busy live tweeting during it, but I don't recall them showing John and I in the living room on Night Two.  After his posterior probing experience on the couch, John brought me in to examine it to see if I could explain how it happened - power recliner, nearby wires, etc  Needless to say, I found nothing out of the ordinary and we decided to conduct an EVP session there to get a confession (again, I'm looking for ghosts to take responsibility for their  I tend to lose command of the English language when I'm in a session with John.  His many years of experience and his expertise continue to humble me, so I tend to stay quiet and let him lead the session.  Even when he asks me to throw a question out there, I find myself stammering and asking something repetitively basic.  This time, however, we had no problems going back and forth with our line of questioning.  I had the REM pod extension on my Mel activated during this and it seemed to be responding to my questions. That is, until Jason called from the prison.  That momentary break was all that was needed to sever the tie to whomever I was communing with, if indeed it was a "whom" and not just coincidence.  I'm going to have to go over that audio again because if I'm remembering correctly, there were some funny puns flying during that session...another reason it got cut, I'll wager.

It had been a cold winter thus far and Detroit was no exception.  The sun shone brightly each day, but offered no warmth to our traveling cadre of Collectors.  Having just come from the beaches and the heat of Puerto Rico, we were not in the best of spirits to deal with the temperatures of the North.  John had been to Fort Wayne before and he told us tales of the activity there - the fact that things had taken a darker turn made us put aside our desire for comfort and got our heads in the game.

Sun that offers no warmth
 • Did I mention the cold?  Well, that's too simple a term; frigid or arctic would serve better.  No matter how much we layered up, the wind coming off the water cut through our sweaters and jackets and made it seem like we were wearing shorts and tank tops.  This was definitely a factor during the investigation, since it's hard to listen for EVPs when your body is shivering and your teeth are chattering.  The areas in the fort we were in had little or no heat, so even when we came in from outside  it was only to escape the ever-present wind.  While it's impossible to investigate in "ideal conditions" all the time, it is important to note all the things that can affect your body and thus, your perception.  If it's fifteen degrees outside, you're not going to feel any "cold spots".  Your body is concerned with survival - you will shiver involuntarily to generate warmth - those personal experiences such as being touched, tugged or anything of the sort are now off the table.

Sneaking Sally through the alley
 • The one sense I was sure would not be affected by the cold was my sight.  Maybe my hearing as well, but it was sight that served me the best at Fort Wayne.  The first spot I found myself investigating was one of the sally ports.  The term "sally port" hails back to medieval times.  It refers to a door, or access point to the side or back of a fortress, smaller than the main gate.  If the fortress was being attacked, the defenders could deploy troops from that port and try and flank the enemy force.  The action of marching out to battle this way was called, "sallying forth" and thus the door was a "sally port".  Chris and I spent a lot of time in the sally ports.  We kept hearing banging sounds as if something were hitting into the doors and walls.  At one point, we felt like someone was in there with us and we ran throughout the tunnels to try and corner whomever it was but we came up empty.  Then we conducted an EVP session at the intersection of two of the tunnels.  Upon listening back to it, we heard an inexplicable sound - just then, Chris and I saw something pass in front of the tunnel entrance.  Was it a producer?  John or Aimee?  Or even a homeless person cutting across the grounds?  It was too dark to tell, so we decided to go look.  Moving quickly and silently, we emerged from the tunnel only to find that the figure had already crossed the grounds and was over by the main building.  It seemed unlikely for a human to cover that distance so fast, so we gave chase!  The shadowy figure then bolted around the corner and towards the gate.  We ran until we found ourselves over by the prison house.  I guess this didn't make it in the cut due to time constraints, or the fact that Chris and I were red-faced and out of breath by the time we lost track of it.  I thank the editors for maintaining the illusion that we're in-shape!

Here is a bonus scene depicting one of those chases:

Fort Chon John
 • I'm a movie buff.  I quote movies a lot as part of my everyday speech.  I'd do well as a Family Guy character, but it irks my producers as so much of my dialogue gets cut because of it.  Honestly, I don't know why...said movies and shows do not own the words I'm speaking out of context.  I've gotten a few through over the years, I'll have to make a list of what made it someday.  But off camera, Chris and I amused ourselves with a Jackie Chan quote from Shanghai Noon: in the movie his name was Chon Wang, pronounced like "John Wayne".  Because we were in Fort Wayne, that's all we found ourselves able to say the whole time.  "Chon Wang"  "That's a horrible cowboy name, that'd never work!" As I've admitted to in previous entries, we're silly.  Guilty as charged.

• More scenes you didn't see: inside the jail house, it seems like we came in, then immediately ran back out after the shadow again.  We spent a considerable amount of time in there doing EVP sessions, a ghost box session as well as deploying a few REM pods and a REM pad.  In addition to the pencils in the office falling to the floor, a pile of wood near the furnace fell as well.  Was it a sign from beyond or merely gravity?  I concluded it was the latter, but the timing of all the things falling was intriguing.  We also kept hearing banging noises on the walls.  We thought that perhaps it was a tree branch hitting the side of the building or a (very heavy) squirrel on the roof.  I even went outside to see if I could reproduce those noises by banging on the walls and windows, but it did not match up.  The first night Chris and I investigated in there and the second night we returned with Jason.  Remember, just because you didn't see it, doesn't mean it didn't happen! :)

Speaking of things unseen, there was a tank parked nearby that I very much wanted to get into.  I saw it but never got close to it, much less in it.  Equip that bad boy with some EMF meters and a particle thrower and I'd be ready to take on any urban terrain investigation!

Living in a box
 • Because I was assigned the outer reaches of the fort to investigate, I spent little time in the main building.  I got to explore it a little bit as the production crew was setting up interviews and other shots I wasn't needed for.  I forgot my flashlight at the hotel, so I wandered around in the dark for most of it.  it was kind of cool to do it that way - only my senses to guide me and the hope that I didn't fall into an open shaft or something else equally as dangerous.  It reminded me very much of the "Nightmares Fear Factory" in Niagra Falls that Jesslyn and I went to...wandering around in the dark, arms outstretched, moving from corridor to corridor by feel.  Some sections had light filtering in from the outside and some of the lights in the old displays were on, but for the most part it was dark.  There were a lot of historical boards and educational kiosks throughout the barracks.  I'm hoping they get to fix it up and open it again to the public as a museum of some sort.  History is an important thing to remember and as far as Fort Wayne goes, it is rich in that even without the haunted element being involved.  It can be said that we are all haunted by the past and by learning from it, we can grow and continue to develop.

I think that's all I have to say about these two cases for the time being.  It's been too long since I've assembled a blog entry so it's still coming out a bit rusty.  You'd think my stint in Writer's Jail would have oiled those literary gears in my brain to turn a bit faster, but I think I'm still warming up.  I'll be going back to write entries for the first half of this season as well as going back to finish the entries from last season.  Hey, what do you expect?  We're not even out on DVD, this might be the only extra content you ever see from Haunted Collector.  Hmm, we're going to have to do something about that...

See you next week, for "Shadow Boxer/ Ghost Storm".


  1. Wow the travels you all encounter amazing, I liked the video it tells a little of the episode. Your talk about New York was interesting, my brother say's it's a cool place as well, imagine all the haunting s that are around in all the old buildings back in the late 20's and on, I love it. I agree about the battery buy low quality it booms, I did and my poor radio went boom, the tunnel I would like to be there and see what I get, the family guy is to cool lol..and that would have been a big squirrel.. I enjoy reading your blog that you take time to share with us all, even if my comments at times might confuse but believe me I can comment for a long time I have to stop myself lol. I ahve to say the hotels more interesting and museums they seem to be more alive, or maybe that is just me.. this was a cool entry Brian:)

  2. Hey! I absolutely love your show! Come to Alaska for the summer, please? I'd like to meet you all.
    Plus summertime is fun here ;)

  3. I just recently discovered Haunted Collector. I tend to avoid paranormal shows because some are over the top (my daughter loves one particular show that drives me crazy. They never rationally try to explain ANYTHING).
    But I am a lover of the paranormal, have been since an experience as a child. I am also an avid the name of the show was a given for me.
    I have really enjoyed reading your take on the episodes...and find it sad that they cut your bantering dialogue! Movie quotes rock! Yep, I typed it, I own it, take that producers!!
    Keep up the amazing work, I love the show and particularly like listening to your voice. Very soothing.

  4. I thought you had a good show. Bad management strikes again