My Top 15 Ghost Adventures Episodes
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March 9th, 2012 | 03:09 PM
Since 2008 I've been enjoying the paranormal series Ghost Adventures on Travel Channel. While Sci Fi Channel already had Ghost Hunters, I never cared for it. There was too much drama from one of the crew members, and by the time he finally left I'd already given up on it. Plus much of the team interaction just felt too acted. But then Ghost Adventures premiered in October 2008 and was much more what I was looking for. Instead of being filmed by camera crews, it's just three guys -- Zak Bagans, Nick Groff, and Aaron Goodwin -- spending the night locked inside former prisons, abandoned hospitals, and other locations all by themselves. Whereas Ghost Hunters often felt like it was about disproving hauntings, the Ghost Adventures Crew (GAC, for short) will debunk evidence when possible but otherwise is out to prove the existence of ghosts. Armed with night vision cameras, EMF detectors, digital voice recorders, and various other high-tech devices, they have collected what I think is some of the best evidence of ghosts. Zak is known for his provocation, which he only uses toward hostile spirits and has resulted in great evidence, not to mention some violent activity.
Another thing I like about the show is its historical aspect. Before the investigation, GAC spends roughly the first 25 minutes of an episode exploring the history of the lockdown location. They'll interview park rangers, tour guides, property owners, employees, witnesses, etc., and incorporate vintage footage whenever possible, in an effort to provide a historical context. Which is really cool. You get not only some terrific paranormal evidence but also interesting little history lessons. Like any such show there are detractors who feel everything is staged, but it seems very real to me and I've never found GAC's reactions to feel acted. But you know what they say: for those who believe no evidence is necessary, for those who don't believe no amount of evidence is ever enough. Tonight is the premiere of the show's sixth season, so I thought I'd share my Top 15 favorite episodes. I've enjoyed pretty much each episode and have found all to have compelling evidence, but I tried to be selective in choosing a mix of episodes from most of the seasons so far. Rather than trying to rank these in order of preference, I'm just listing them in order by season.
Bobby Mackey's Music World - Wilder, Kentucky (Season 1, 2008)
The first location where the guys encountered serious problems, including scratches on Zak's back. Some startling EVPs and shadow figures. Such an unassuming location, just a simple down home country-western bar, has continued to plague the guys ever since.
Sloss Furnaces - Birmingham, Alabama (Season 1, 2008)
A former ironworks with some great video evidence of unexplained mists and shadowy forms, and what appears to be a partial manifestation.
Abandoned Psychiatric Hospital - Cedar Grove, New Jersey (Season 1, 2008)
This creepy old hospital is the sight of some great EVPs and a suspenseful moment when Nick is locked inside an old morgue cooler and Zak and Aaron have trouble finding him. Zak feels a sensation on his arm that appears on camera in the form of a hand shadow.
Edinburgh Vaults - Edinburgh, Scotland (Season 1, 2008)
A maze of corridors and chambers beneath the streets of Edinburgh, dating back to the 1700s. The best evidence includes some wild EMF activity accompanied by physical sensations and a moving teddy bear left for the spirit of a child.
Preston Castle - Ione, California (Season 2, 2009)
Former Northern California reform school is the site of a lot of EVPs, unexplained mists, and physical encounters. Zak appears to begin acting strange and may be under the influence of the spirit of a former nurse, warning the others not to go downstairs.
La Purisima Mission - Lompoc, California (Season 2, 2009)
Some good EVPs, including what sounds like traditional music from the Chumash Indian tribe. There's a great piece of evidence when the thermal camera captures what looks like the torso apparition of a soldier.
Magnolia Lane Plantation - Natchitoches, Louisiana (Season 2, 2009)
One of my favorite locations. Mysterious noises and voices, lights that turn off and on inside a locked building with no explanation, and what sounds like the chanting of a voodoo ritual captured in a former slave cabin.
The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum - Weston, West Virginia (Season 3, 2009)
This seven-hour live special that aired Halloween Eve resulted in some incredible stuff. Lots of great EVPs and a whirlwind of activity, although the source of controversy due to a guest investigator the group later felt staged an incident of activity. Still lots of great stuff.
Pennhurst State School - Spring City, Pennsylvania (Season 3, 2009)
A sprawling complex of buildings and underground tunnels gives the guys a lot of solid activity. EVPs and noises, including a desk that is tipped over during a pre-investigation interview. Zak is even hit by a coat hanger that appears out of nowhere.
Poveglia Island - Venetian Lagoon, Italy (Season 3, 2009)
Lots of activity on this small Venice island, including noises, EVPs (in Italian), strange shadows and mists, distant voices, and a scary moment in which Zak believes he was temporarily possessed.
Ohio State Reformatory - Masnfield, Ohio (Season 2, 2009)
A hotbed of activity, with things starting during the pre-investigation walkthrough when battery packs are drained and equipment malfunctions. Mists, orbs, noises, and EVPs are plentiful.
Linda Vista Hospital - Los Angeles, California (Season 3, 2009)
An East L.A. hospital where some terrific EVP recordings are captured, along with Nick being frightened out of his mind by what he says is an apparition that appears right in front of him.
Rolling Hills Sanatorium - Bethany, New York (Season 4, 2010)
Night vision photography captures impressive pictures of who is believed to be a former patient. A door is videotaped slamming shut with no explanation. Scary EVPs. And let's not forget the creepy old lady screams that echo out from somewhere within the building.
Waverly Hills Sanatorium - Louisville, Kentucky (Season 4, 2010)
This huge, intimidating old building has a lot of good activity, from quickly-moving shadow figures to what appears to be the spirit of a child interacting with the guys through equipment.
Salem Witch House - Salem, Massachusetts (Season 4, 2011)
Some of the best EVPs the team has ever captured can be heard here, where they interact with spirits who give them completely relevant and clear responses. Plus, the town of Salem is just a great-looking place.