Ouija – The Movie – Keep Telling Yourself It’s Just a Game

image There have been many movies featuring the Ouija as a portal to darkness and demons, but this new movie Ouija was actually put together but the people who make the board and own the copyright. Yes indeed, Hasbro actually commissioned a movie and put their stamp of approval on it. This has been in the works for a couple of years and will come out tonight in full release.

Now, it may seem odd, but the movie is indeed about a group of friends who gather around the Ouija and unleash some sort of dark force. They seem to fully embrace that idea so it will be interesting to see what their take on events will be. The rating is PG-13 so we can’t expect too much in the way of gore and the budget seems to be a little light, but it’s certainly possible to make a suspenseful and without painting the screen red and if you’re willing to put in a little effort.

Anyway, this looks interesting and I’m curious as to how this is going to turn out. I’m also curious in the backlash that will for sure follow this movie since people are of the opinion that merely having a Ouija around will cause demons to latch onto you. There are already comments cautioning people not to emulate what they see in the movie and what precautions did the actors take to protect themselves.

Let’s not forget, the Ouija has been around for over 150 years. This isn’t a new thing and the Spiritualist movement of the late 1800’s used the Ouija extensively. Associating it with demons or the devil is by and large the product of the Exorcist and isn’t really grounded in reality.

I have a free Friday evening so I might just give this a go. Anyone else interested in this one?

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Ghost Stalkers – Whisperers Estate – S01E01

imageHere we have inaugural episode of Ghost Stalkers which takes us into places believed to house portals to the supernatural and paranormal. Chad and John believe there are pockets of energy where the world of the living and the world of the dead collide and they’d like to find and document those places. This is a philosophy held by many people and cultures. Many believe a near death experience puts you between those worlds. Since Chad and John both had a near death experience, it’s their desire to find a way to communicate with this other world and see what lies on the other side.

The first stop is in Mitchell, Indiana at the Whisperers Estate. The home was originally built by John and Jesse Gibbons. Dr John practiced medicine at his home and it is said his personal life was rife with problems. His daughter supposedly died in the house after suffering second degree burns all over her body from an accident in the fireplace. The doctor was so distraught that many thought he went mad from his misery.

But the current owner believes there is something more dangerous and sinister lurking around. He claims guests have been scratched, slapped, pushed and attacked. He even says he was pushed down the stairs by this entity. A medium claims there is a dark portal in the corner of the house. There are even claims of a half man, half goat creature hiding inside.

There are lots of stories and rumors about this place so John and Chad spent the night alone in the house to document what, if anything happens in the still hours of the night.

Chad is the first to sit alone and right away he is wrought with fear and tension. He is a bundle of nerves and it’s not clear whether he is going to break down in tears or simply run out the front door. At this same time he believes he captures and EVP saying, "Chad, be a man". The gauntlet has been throw down and now Chad is determined to face his fears and investigate the house.

Things don’t exactly get better for him. As he looks around upstairs he feels he hears someone coming up the stairs to be with him. Of course, no one is there. There is however a bat circling around and it makes multiple sweeps back and forth.

Chad then heads to the basement where he feels touched on the back. While he is down there, the footage shows a chair on the second floor rock one time. The chair happens to have a little girls doll sitting in it.

At the end of his time, Chad says he spent the entire night feeling like he was poked, prodded, touched and even punched. He comes out no worse for wear, but he is firmly convince that something evil and sinister is in the house.

John then takes his turn in the house, but things are much more calm for him, that is until he feels a burning sensation on his back and lifts his shirt to reveal a scratch running down his spine. There are two thin, red marks going down his back which he believes are claw marks. He also claims he was pushed by something and there is a ringing in his ears.

While he doesn’t show the same signs as Chad, he feels that at the end of the night there is something coming through this portal. And this is a portal they believe they can measure.

When we look objectively at what we have, there is very little true evidence. Being scared or feeling touched are going to happen when you get yourself that worked up. Yes, John did have lines running down his back, but let’s be fair, that could be from anything. It could be from the very unusual furniture, it could be from the wall or something sticking out. Hell, it could be from one of the obvious animals that live in the house. Bats in the belfry Vern!!!

Another thing, the house is under some obvious distress. It needs additional support as seen by John in the crawlspace. The house is sagging which will cause people to feel off balance. I love old homes and I’ve been in dozens of them, in fact one that looks quite similar to the one in this episode and the floor tilted and leaned. I was in one that was so bad I was dizzy after being there for less than 20 minutes. Not every odd feeling is paranormal. Of course when you wander around in the dark and build up that tension, the mind will play tricks.

So, is this place haunted and more to the point is there a portal that allows entities from the spirit world into this once? Nothing in this episode convinces me of that. It’s just an old house with crappy support and a lot of stories surrounding it. It also doesn’t help that there are all sorts of skull and macabre decorations all over the place. Hey, I think they’re cool, but it sort of seems to send a mixed message.

The show was interesting and dramatic, but let’s take a step back and make note of one thing. This show is being produced and edited by none other than Nick Groff. Yes, that Nick Groff of Ghost Adventures fame. A group that believes every place they enter is full of dark and demonic energy. Does putting his name negate the show? No, but it does make you remember that this is all done for dramatic effect.

Still, an interesting kickoff and we’ll see what next week brings us. Chad needs to settle his nerves just a little, but perhaps that will level out a touch.

What did you think? First of all can such a portal between worlds and exists and if so, would this house serve as such an entrance?

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Ghost Adventures – The Zozo Demon – S10E03

imageWe’re off to Oklahoma City to investigate a house where a man used a Talking Board also known as the Ouija to contact the spirit world and it’s believed he let through a spirit named Zozo. This is supposed to be a dark energy and one that cause harm and even inflict sexual assault on it’s victims. The door was originally opened by Darren who believes he was possessed by the spirit. He also states that odd things have been going on inside the house and now he and his wife are afraid of their home.

Zak states that Zozo is an evil entity and there have numerous reports of Zozo being conjured by these boards. He then meets with Robert Murch, Chairman of the Talking Board Historical Society. Interestingly, Robert says the more people believe in something the more real it is to them. He also states a lot of people say they contact Zozo. However, from listening to him, he doesn’t really state that using the Spirit Board actually opens a door. It’s more that if you think something has happened, then in your mind it did. Basically, if you wander around in the dark with the idea you’re chasing the devil, then in your mind that’s the reality. That’s the crux of it, you’ve convinced yourself something has happened regardless of whether or not it really did. So when Zak convinces himself that a place is haunted then in his mind everything is slanted to that end. Regardless of how things really play out, that place is haunted. And obviously, Zak believes this place has the devil inside.

To start things off and to show just how dangerous this house is, they bring in the handyman and have him sit on the stairs. Within seconds he’s saying something is brushing up against him and he bolts for the exit. Zak decides he needs to sit there with his Mel Meter that shows 1.0 and 1.1 repeatedly as a reading. To Zak, this is Zozo being spelled out. Ok, sure, whatever Zak.

There is a lot of talk about all the noises that go in the house. Not to be rude or judgmental, but the house is a shit box. Look at the walls. Look at the stairs. Look at the basement. The whole damn thing is falling apart. The stairs are insanely narrow and sagging. The wood is split, the walls are dirty as hell and everything about this place makes me feel like it’s going to topple over or someone is going to fall through the floor. Really? You’re surprised this place has creaks and makes noise? God only knows what’s living in those walls.

The investigation consists of Nick and Darren sitting around the Talking Board with the intent of contacting Zozo. They have to throw out their cautionary words of using the Board and opening a portal to hell. Again, I’m simply stunned with how easy it is to conjure demons from the depths of hell using cardboard covered in letters.

It should come as no surprise that the planchette starts to move back and forth and spell out Zozo. Wouldn’t we all be embarrassed if it spelled out something else? Of course, Nick repeatedly states he’s not moving it and it’s all outside of his control. Just who is he trying to convince?

But it’s during this time that the house starts to make all sorts of noises such as bangs and footsteps. Nick speaks of electricity charging through his body and down to his fingertips. The same fingertips that he assures everyone are barely touching the board.

Kathleen, Darren’s wife, decides this is a good time to make an exit because it’s all just to scary and dangerous for her. Nick and Darren keep at it and Zak is mystified how the word Zozo keeps getting spelled out.

Kathleen then makes a reappearance in a confused state and her belt undone. Zak jumps to the conclusion that Kathleen has been assaulted by the spirit energy. Kathleen even states the demon wanted to see her tits. Pervy little devil isn’t he? Dramatic effect for the sake of ratings? Clearly not.

As usual when there is supposed demonic energy around, Zak sits off on his own in a trance like state. He’s caught in a web of emotion and can’t move. He gets stuck like that a lot. Kathleen seemed to slip out of the demonic grasp and has wandered outside and disappeared. Oh no, she’s been lured outside by a demonic force. Zak jumps into his rent-an-suv and gives chase. He doesn’t have idea which way she went or how the neighborhood is laid out, but that won’t stop him. Good thing the pursuit comes to an end mere moments later when Darren catches up with him and says he took Kathleen back to the hotel. Hmm, she has her belt undone and a lusty look in her eye and there is a hotel near by. So no more my good man!!

Nothing is said of where she went or what happened. It’s better to remain vague and mysterious about these things. Zak links the howling of the dogs he hears in the neighborhood to this visit by Zozo.

They decide switch things up a bit and have Darren work the Spirit Board with Jay, the other sound technician for the show. He had a bad experience using the Ouija years ago where a friend tried to stab him in the throat with a dagger after they conjured their own Zozo. Boy, that Zozo gets around doesn’t he?

With Darren and Jay at the helm the dark force spells out kill and that he will manifest within Nick. More trouble breaks out as Zak tells Nick what to do while he’s safely tucked away somewhere else. Even the demon thinks it’s funny as he spells out HA-HA, because that’s what spirits do. They don’t actually laugh into the digital records and say, Zak you’re a jackass, they spell it out like it’s instant messaging.

There are more bumps and bangs and even a couple more unexplained voices. It’s all manner of chaos when the devil is in town. And as they decide to wrap things up, they’re on edge that the devil is going to come through Nick.

Yes indeed, we had plenty of bangs and bumps and knocks in this POS house. This place is a wreck so who knows where all these noises are coming from. I’m not going to believe that the devil or some minion of the devil known as Zozo is going to choose this place to make his grand entrance. And I’m still not going to believe that the Ouija is a tool for contact spirits. I don’t care that Nick felt the planchette move. This all seems like the plot of a bad B-rate horror movie. Could it be any more cliché? Could it be any more predictable? The only thing missing was pea soup.

Again, if you think something is real, your mind makes it real. After all, isn’t that what the Matrix taught us?

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Oh my goodness, oh my damn!  Have a look at these screen grabs. The top picture is taken of Kathleen at the top of the stairs. In my recording this is at 20:27. The second image is Kathleen on the stairs supposedly taken less than 5 seconds later. In my recording this is 20:32. Notice her belt is indeed undone and hanging open.

Just as Ash commented, something isn’t right about this. You can call it what you want, but to me this looks like a whole lot of faked evidence. Anyone with an HD capture of this same time frame want to comment?

It took several years for Jason and Grant to get caught with this same sort of silliness, but it eventually came back around on them.Looks like we have the same thing going on here. I think it’s time to call bullshit on the Ghost Adventures team.

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Ghost Asylum – Old Cannon Hospital – S01E06

imageSo here we are at the Season Finale of Ghost Asylum and for their send off, they head to Old Cannon Hospital in North Carolina. We have another hospital with some sketchy deeds in it’s past. While most of this will be chalked up to rumor and maybe a little legend there is an incident of a patient holding a doctor and some nurses hostage, the hospital supposedly had a history of housing violent patients and the Chief of Police thinks the place is demonic. People claim to hear screams and whispers and one investigator they spoke with said she felt something on her chest while she was investigating. Like their other locations, there is a lot of rumor and a lot talk from the locals. A hospital like this is certainly where violent patients would end up and it wouldn’t be too hard to image a patient lashing out at the staff. But I have to say, rather unusual for the police to say it’s downright demonic.

The team starts off with the daylight sweep and gets hits on their Mel Meter when asking if the patient was violent. They also discover a lot of medical records and x-rays with patient names. When the place shut down they didn’t take much care about cleaning it up. They also get some responses outside of room 426 and they feel the basement where a door from a refrigerator was stolen is also a hot spot.

For the first night they think they hear a female voice calling to them and they get Mel Meter hits down near the OR. They also believe they see a shadow figure at the end of the hallway blocking out their lasers.

Back up near room 426 they hear bangs and bumps and feel something is thrown at them. The Gauss meter starts to go off when they ask if this energy wants to hurt them. Not sure if that blip means yes or no in this instance. But back down in the basement they get some K2 hits at the stolen refrigerator door.

It certainly seems odd that someone would steal such a large door, but I seriously doubt it was demonic forces. Yes Your Honor, the devil made me take that door! And to say he was a law biding citizen so evil forces are at work is a bit much. There are plenty of examples of evil people blending into society until the mask finally cracks.

After going over the evidence of the night before, the team feels they’re up against a Siren Spirit, one that acts one way to lure men in and then attacks. Bit of a leap based on what we have, but ok, we’ll see where this goes.

Based on the evidence the trap of the night is the Infrasound Infinity Mirror Trap. Basically they will use aluminum plates to direct the signal a cell phone puts out so they can drive the spirits into an infinity mirror where it will get confused and get trapped. Sounds like a neat idea at a funhouse, but is this sort of thing really supposed to capture spirit energy? It has a tinge of legitimacy, but on the whole is dubious at best. But have no fear, the best is yet to come.

As they start using the infrasound and directing it, they hear the sound of a female voice. To them it’s the siren call. The K2 meter and the Gauss meter begin to blip and light up. Soon, it’s a frenzy of noise and lights with lots of yelling for good measure.

And then Brannon snaps. Things have been building up as Brannon kicks in doors and stomps all over the place. In a fit of rage and hysteria he yells at the spirit energy to come out and show themselves and works himself to the point of screaming at the top of his lungs. What some would call acting and an attempt to boost ratings in the hopes of  a second season others would call near demonic possession and being controlled by outside forces.

"He’s never done that!" and "I’ve never seem him like this" they all say as Brannon stares blankly into the darkness. They need to get him out because the dark energy is starting to take over. But there is more to come as Brannon rushes out of the hospital and into the darkness with the rest of the team trying to keep up.

After having his moment alone he then attacks the camera crew saying he doesn’t want the footage of him getting out. The rest of the team dive in, separate him and drag him away.

My goodness, what do we have going on here? Is this really unforeseen evil spirits making their way into one of the investigators? Is this some sort of condition rearing it’s ugly head? Is this a grasp at ratings?

It’s really hard to believe in this one especially since we’ve seen Zak from Ghost Adventures do the same damn thing many times. He gets all belligerent and starts to pick on his own crewmates. Who knows what this is, but I’m not willing to jump on the coattails of demonic possession.

Back at Ghost Asylum HQ, they review the evidence and hear more of the mysterious female voice. They also capture what they feel is a face peeking out from behind a door. And finally there is a voice they interpret as saying, "cut the noise out", in regards to their infrasound experiment.

So there it is, the final and dramatic season finale to Ghost Asylum. What did you think? Are we going to see this come back for a second run?

I will say that even though some of the stories and claims are more the stuff of legend than anything else, they still took us to some very interesting locations, most of which were completely new. They have some good techniques such as the daytime sweep and investigating over multiple days.

Their traps, while confusing, are at least an interesting idea. At least it’s not the parabot of Ghost Adventures fame from a few years ago. I give them A for effort in that regard. Like so many other shows their findings are a bit shaky and their conclusions are a bit of a leap. Not a bad series, but I don’t know if this last episode helped or hurt them.

Next week is a new show called Ghost Stalkers, so we’ll have to tune in and see what that’s all about.

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