On the deaths of Mark and Debby Constantino

Constantino

I didn’t know the Constantinos nor have I had any contact with them. Like many of you, I saw them on a few episodes of Ghost Adventures. They were known for, among other things, paranormal EVP research. On learning of their deaths, I have to admit that I almost posted a few snarky remarks.

The post sat in my draft box for a couple of months until I decided to work on it today. Perhaps the tragedy of the murders in Paris pulled me back to this old post of another tragedy.

As many of you already know, the Constantinos were in the process of a divorce when the murder/suicide occurred. Debby Constantino had a restraining order on Mark which points to the total impotence of a court’s restraining order.

While I may have had some issues with Ghost Adventures, okay a lot of issues. I have resolved to enjoy it as nothing more than entertainment.  In all  honesty, I don’t think that I am ready to watch an episode with the Constantinos — perhaps one day. In the meantime, I lament the tragedy of the Constantinos and the other victims of domestic violence.

Pray for the family …

“Sure relationships include arguments, but pain is not a side-effect of love.”
― Tyler Oakley, Binge

Review: Dark World

zakbagansdarkworld Dark World: Into the Shadows with the Lead Investigator of The Ghost Adventures Crew
by Zak Bagans, and Kelly Crigger
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Victory Belt Publishing; Hardcover with Jacket edition
ISBN-10: 1936608855

Barry’s score 4 stars out of 5

Product description:
It’s easy to say ghosts exist or don’t exist. Anyone can do that. Trying to figure out the why or what is a different story. Paranormal investigator Zak Bagans, host of the popular Travel Channel series Ghost Adventures, pulls from his years of experience with paranormal activities and unexplained phenomena to provide an evenhanded look at a divisive subject. In Dark World, regardless of whether you believe in the afterlife or not, Zak does his best to find and share answers to the phenomena that people encounter. He wants you to experience a haunting through his eyes: to feel what it’s like to be scared, freaked out, pushed, cold, sluggish, whispered-at and touched by an ethereal being or attacked by a demonic spirit. But beyond simply experiencing these events, Zak is looking for the reasons behind them, searching for answers to the unanswered questions. Addressing all the major issues and theories of the field in an impartial way, Dark World is a must read for paranormal enthusiasts, those who don’t believe and anyone who’s ever wondered about things that go bump in the night.

My thoughts:
goofyzakThis is one of those books that I could score a 5 just as easily as a 3. It’s a bit like nailing down jello. On the one hand, Dark World: Into the Shadows with the Lead Investigator of The Ghost Adventures Crew smacks of an exercise in narcissism. I almost expected to see Zak Bagans name larger than anything else of the cover ( and it nearly is ). I am reminded of a story related to me by a ghost hunter, that I greatly respect, in which one of Zak’s interviewees told her about Zak’s constant preening. While there is a lot of ego flexing in the book, I couldn’t help but come away impressed with Bagans’ knowledge of paranormal tools and techniques.

zak-eyes-1If the book were solely about paranormal techniques, strategy, or tools,  I think that it would have been a better book. While I may not agree with everything in his approach, I am impressed with his energy and passion.

I think that more behind-the-scenes anecdotes and less retelling of episodes would have helped the book. Sometimes it is a little difficult to take Bagans seriously.  That being said, I would recommend the book and give it a wishy-washy 4 stars out of 5.

 

Ghost Adventures and GHI have twitter fight.

zak-eyes-1It seems that Zak Bagans and Robb Demarest don’t like each other. Both Bagans (GA) and Demarest (GHI) had a hissy fit on twitter.

Zak Bagans said, of Robb Demarest, “Ive never had more issues with people talking shit than ppl from Ghost Hunters Intl… Failed TV Show and these wannabes wanna talk shit LMFAO” […] “Paranormal “1-hit wonders” like @RobbDemarest that had a failed TV Show miss the fame so they bash the GAC… don’t think so dork GET A LIFE”

Demarest tried to settle the dust-up with, “Just because I have an opinion does not always mean I have to share it. Lesson learned. That means I owe a certain someone a big ol’ hug!”

I think both gentlemen need to cut back on the steroids. Especially you Zak!  It seems all that you need to be a paranormal expert is a black t-shirt and an enormous ego.

Ghost Hunters: S09E04 Permanent Residents

This week the GH gang visit a beautiful location The 1890 House in Cortland, NY. It is now a museum and I wonder how long it will be before it has it’s annual ghost tours? I guess we will know by this Halloween.

The reports of  haunted activity are pretty much what you might expect from a house of this age. I liked the test by Britt of the pool balls making noise by vibration caused by heavy traffic. While the experiment was a good effort, he failed to remember (or perhaps that info was not passed on to him) that the witness said that the pool balls were not set out. He should have tested how the balls were stored and if improper storage and gravity might have caused the sound. They had a strange sound around the cue rack and I wonder if they should have spent more time there? I wasn’t impressed with the Rim Pod going off on the table because it was probably KJ approaching the pool table.

ghpoolballtest

ghdebunkAs for the debunk attempt of the alleged ghost photo, I wonder why Britt and KJ didn’t pull the trigger and say that the picture was a person with a camera. I couldn’t help but think that season 1 or 2 Ghost Hunters would have tossed out this photo.

Adam reports that his leg was touched (not getting enough airtime Adam?) and I couldn’t help but laugh. Interesting place, I can see why people think that it’s haunted.

The second portion of the show was an investigation of the Ashmore Estates. Michelle and Tango propose that a rocking chair may be a source of knocks and for once I came away happy with the debunking efforts. Having said that, I think that Ghost Adventures (season5) did a much better investigation of the location. I couldn’t help but wonder if GH’s efforts to debunk were a salvo aimed at GA. It makes you wonder about the motivations of rival paranormal TV shows.

S09E01: Hollywood Horror Stories

Ghost Hunters
Ghost Hunters (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I decided to watch this episode of Ghost Hunters to take a look at the new ghost hunter, Michelle Tate. The new format of Jason mixing his monologue  with comments added from the eyewitnesses works for me. I really didn’t care for the staged case briefing in the Taps van of previous seasons. Having said that, GH really feels like Ghost Adventures.

A-ghost-of-the-victorian-ageOn the downside, the staged introduction of Michelle Tate could make a maggot puke. We have to pretend that her introduction to the team was a “big surprise” — complete with Adam cheering. Even the biggest hardcore Ghost Hunters fan had to poll their eyes at the obviously staged introduction.

The investigation seemed to be odd in that we were looking for the ghost of a woman who may have been murdered at that location. In the end, we only have a couple of low quality evps and some external noise contamination.  I really came away with the feeling that the cast and crew didn’t want to do this investigation — they seemed really flat.

The second part of the show took us to Madame Tussauds wax museum. Let’s face it dolls, statues, and manikins, are creepy.

All in all, this episode was a bit of a snooze …

The ghosts of paranormal Christmas yet to come

old houseI have to confess that I don’t watch the parashows with the ferocity that I once had. It’s not that I am no longer a paranormal geek (BTW check out the book Paranormal Geeks by Sharon Day and Julie Ferguson) but rather it is the lack a fresh angle to the paranormal shows.

If you want an entertaining show with a lot of silliness there is a program for you, Ghost Adventures. If you are interested in paranormal infomercials, Ghost Hunters has changed from it’s ideal of helping people to shameless huckstering of alleged haunted locations.

Ashley TroubI recently learned that our favorite barista was booted from the Ghost Hunters show. I guess Jason couldn’t mold her in the Ghost Hunter ideal “what was that? — did you hear that?” Isn’t it sad that the most stable paranormal team on TV seems to be the Ghost Adventures team?

I think this latest personnel shuffling with Ashley Troub is a perfect example of why I seldom watch the show. If you pick a person, shouldn’t you invest the time to train her up and give her a fair chance to earn her spot on the team? I think a lot of fans realized at first sight that Ashley was not the person for the show, but once you’ve made your pick, it’s only fair to give her a chance. Of course, it isn’t about the passion of ghost hunting, but all about ratings, money, and demographics.

What does the ghost of paranormal shows yet to come have in store for us? Josh Gates has a new show called “Stranded — The show features average paranormal enthusiasts who are stranded in some of the most haunted locations in America and record their experiences with handheld cams.” The show sounds like Scariest Places on Earth narrated by Linda Blair. While I like Josh Gates, couldn’t Syfy give us something new?

Notorious Hauntings — supernatural investigations from around the world or a re-make of the defunct (though not officially) Ghost Hunter International with a little dash of Destination Truth tossed in. Ghost Mine or the paranormal version of Discovery’s Gold Rush Alaska. What’s next, the paranormal housewives of the rich and famous? Dancing with the Bigfoots?

I guess the best thing about paranormal TV is that like Ashley Troub’s career they go away quickly.

Zak makes haunting music

source… http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2012/sep/26/zak-bagans-album-necrofusion-includes-electronic-v/

Las Vegas producer and TV star Zak Bagans of Travel Channel’s high-rated paranormal series “Ghost Adventures” has joined forces with Lords of Acid’s Praga Khan for one of the most intriguing music releases ever produced, “NecroFusion,” due out Oct. 23 in time for Halloween. Each one of the 11 tracks on “NecroFusion” not only tells the story of a departed soul who, for whatever reason, has not crossed over, but also includes an audio message from the spirit — “electronic voice phenomena,” or EVP.

[…]

Zak, whose series “Paparazzi Paranormal” premieres Friday night, told me: “Spirit communication is the most powerful communication I’ve encountered. The most powerful messages are delivered through music, and music truly influences the way you feel; it stimulates the emotional memories of your life. With ‘NecroFusion,’ we’ve blended together these two powerful forms of communication — spirit and music. And the earthbound spirits have a lot to say. The result is abstract, sinister, illuminating and haunting.”

Part of me laughs and part of me groans … P. T. Barnum would be so proud. “This Way to the Egress.

Having said that, I am interested in “Paparazzi Paranormal” if for no other reason than that Joshua P. Warren is connected with it. I have read  several of Warren’s essays on the paranormal and like what I’ve read.

Ghost Hunters (S08.E16) Don’t Feed the Apparition

Once again Jason cranks out an extended monologue explaining the episode. I rather like this Ghost Adventures styled lead to the show. Jason has a pleasant enough voice though perhaps Mike Rowe would have made a better lead in… I will say that it is better than the staged discussions or readings made from a moving vehicle.

The team is still in Louisiana. I am somewhat relieved that they have decided not to give us a false Destination Truth or GHI style impression that they have traveled elsewhere and returned. Having said that, I am saddened to see them return to paranormal infomercials. This week is little more than an hour long infomercial for the “Zoo Boo” (link) tour.

Zoo Boo
October 29, 30, & 31
The most spooktacular event of the year is back! ZOO BOO is perfect for all ages. Kids 12 and younger will have a magical time trick-or-treating along the Storybook Trail where costume characters, music, dancing, and scenery come to life. Those who dare can choose the Spooky Trail and meet scary creatures of the night. There’s so much to see and do – entertainment, photo opportunities, music, CANDY, and a magical trip through the Zoo!

I’m sure that the Alexandria Zoo is a fine place, but the town seems to be preying upon tourists (and that coming from someone who lives in a tourist town). Alexandria was the scene of a multiple site ghost hunt by the GH team not so long ago.
I couldn’t help but have a full belly laugh at Adam’s promotion to full team member. When Jason’s daughter investigated she was titled investigator while Adam was “in-training.” Although, the funniest comment was Jason’s we need someone at a “young state that we can kinda mold into how we want them.” He sounded like a ghost hunter version of Svengali. Of course, there was the awkward introduction and we are supposed to believe that they haven’t met until this point. Sad that we had to return to staged scenes this early in the program.

I have to admit that I did enjoy watching the team freak out with the lightning and zoo animals. In a way it reminded me of a guilty pleasure watching the screaming ladies on Most Haunted.

I got another chuckle when Amy speaking to the dead said that we are traveling the world looking for people like you. Not anymore Amy GHI has been cancelled … didn’t you get the memo? Why do they investigate gift shops so often? Didn’t Steve say years ago that if it had a gift shop it probably wasn’t haunted?

Tango yells and wakes up the monkeys … yeah it was the ghost… lol

Tango thought something went up his shorts. Ashley and Brit see a shadow and decide that it was the ghost of Les. Plenty of laughs … even the video evidence looked like a cat to me. All in all. it was entertaining.