Ghost Adventures

Season 4 Episode 4

Rolling Hills Sanitarium

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Sep 24, 2010 on Travel Channel
out of 10
User Rating
23 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Rolling Hills Sanitarium

Zak and his crew travel to New York's Rolling Hills Asylum, which formerly served as a poor house, orphanage, and insane asylum.

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  • Creepy

    Zak and his crew travel to New York's Rolling Hills Asylum, which formerly served as a poor house, orphanage, and insane asylum.

    this episode was creepy, with the 666 thing, and the GET OUT evp, it was great, and the spirit box was a really cool thing

    This episode was a great one, it gets a 9 out of 10.
  • More silliness and a questionable guest

    For the sake of simplicity, I will simply make the following disclaimer: if I don't discuss a specific EVP, one can make the assumption that I think it was just background noise and nothing remotely paranormal. This should shorten the review rather significantly, I think. (Just because the team claims that something is "Class A", doesn't make it so!)

    I've heard a lot about Rolling Hills, because one of the groups I work with happened to investigate there a bit more than a year ago. They found it to be a relatively quiet and even boring location. At least, until they went back to review their recordings and data, at which point they found a ton of EVPs. So it goes without saying that I am looking forward to their reactions to this episode!

    I did think it was interesting that Dave Schrader was involved. I met Dave back in 2006 when he was best known for his "Darkness on the Edge of Town" radio show. Since then, he's been hugely involved in the paranormal conference circuit, fostering a number of the more questionable individuals out there by booking them for his events. Given how he has given credence to folks like Chris Fleming, Chip Coffey, Andy Coppock, and others who perpetuate poor and even deceptive investigative practices, this is not the best of company.

    The supposed picture of Roy was very interesting. Without any other data to support that there was something unusual taking place, or context for the conditions when the photo was taken, it comes down to a matter of faith. And unfortunately, there are plenty of instances of photos being faked or altered.

    The first picture that Zak took is definitely not normal. There is a distinct figure that is lighter than the rest of the background. If that is just a random pattern, then it is an uncanny coincidence. I will note, however, that the camera appears to be focusing on the windows far in the background, as the resolution in that part of the picture is much clearer than the foreground. I'm not sure if that is at all significant. But even if the figure is "real", it's impossible to make a positive identification.

    The second picture is very similar to the first, except there is even less reason to think that it is some kind of odd pattern of light that fits the pattern of a human figure. But in this case, the figure doesn't look quite right. The proportions seem off. One might argue that this would be normal for some kind of semi-transparent manifestation form, but remember, unless that form is emitting IR light, there has to be enough materialization to allow the light of the flash to bounce back to the camera lens. (The same, of course, applies in the first photo as well.)

    Of course, the assumption that this somehow supports the reports of "shadow figures" doesn't make logical sense. Shadow figures would be darker than the background, not lighter! But then, the team routinely generates tantalizing connections to make every little noise and odd feeling paranormal in origin, and they constantly mistake animal noises as screams and EVPs.

    The slamming door was interesting; I never discount that sort of thing, because it's happened in my presence before, hitting a fellow investigator in the process! But the hysteria over the "666" reading was just plain stupid. Setting aside the issues with the Mel-Meter (the same issues I've outlined regarding all EMF meters), there is nothing special or sinister about "666" beyond what we ascribe to it.

    The "we can do it more" EVP was awfully clear, and I'm not quite sure what to make of it, especially since it seemed to come when other activity was being experienced and reported. But then they pulled out the absolutely ludicrous "Shack Hack" device. This device randomly scans through radio transmissions (yes, the ones with actual human voices already on them!). Since the English language is such that there is a greater than 50% chance of forming recognizable words and even whole phrases from a random sequence of phonemes, all it takes is a little bit of confirmation bias and the rest attends to itself. In other words, the very nature of the device itself completely excludes it from being a valid tool, because you hear what you want to hear.

    (And as if to verify my suspicion of his motives, Dave Schrader asks the "spirits" to use the "Shack Hack" to "sing for them". You're randomly scanning through radio transmissions! What do you think the chances are that you're going to hear someone singing through the device? I suspect he knows very well how likely it is…as he is, after all, well-versed in radio.)

    I will say that the "scream" during the supposed ritual was odd. I'm not sure if that's an animal noise or not, since I'm not entirely familiar with the local wildlife there. But I don't see any reason to assume that it was related in any way to the ritual. Similarly, the relatively clear "let him in there" EVP cannot in any way be attributed to some evil individual. There's simply no evidence of that at all!

    The "photographic expert" is from a group called Scientific Paradigm. A quick review of the website reveals that they attest to following scientific protocols, but none of the team members are scientists or trained in photographic analysis. They make the same basic mistakes regarding the use of technical equipment as most paranormal investigators. And they have only been around since 2009. Finally, they are part of the "GAC", a network of groups who align with the Ghost Adventures team. Whatever thoughts I might have on the evidence, I can't help but question the objectivity.

    I think this is one of those instances where the team managed to capture some interesting "evidence", the sort of thing that would have caught my attention in a heartbeat and prompted a follow-up investigation without a doubt. But a lot of the "evidence" was misinterpretation and hysteria, with questionable input from Dave Schrader.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Goof: Zak claims to have gotten an EVP while interviewing Marlena Treat which says, "Heard she got out of jail this morning, get up early." No one is talking at the time. However, Marlena is chewing gum, and as her jaw moves, some of the words recorded seem to be in sync with her, though not all. It seems quite likely that at least part of this "EVP" was simply matrixing of the chewing sounds that Marlena was making.

    • Also Appearing:
      Sharon Coyle - Owner, Rolling Hills Asylum
      Suzie Yencer - Eyewitness
      Marlena Treat - Eyewitness
      Jeff Parham - Eyewitness
      Kimberly Williams - Scientific Paradigm

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Aaron: (told he's doing a solo vigil in "The Christmas Room") I'll go in the Christmas Room. (he flexes his muscles) See that?
      Nick: Muscles don't matter when you're going against something you can't see, buddy.
      Zak: Couldn't have said it any better.
      Nick: Good luck, Santa's Little Helper!

    • Stacy Jones: (referring to Rolling Hills' days as a "Poor Farm") If you were a mother with children, you were put on the same floor with drunkards or pedophiles.
      Zak: These children were put under the same roof as the insane?! That's insane!

    • Male EVP: We can... do it... more...

    • Zak: (calling out to a spirit) Can you jump in this bed with me and cuddle up with me? (realizes what he's just said) ...if you're female?

    • Zak: (after witnesses describe the bloodcurdling screams frequently heard there) Did you bring the Depends, Aaron? We're going to wear adult diapers on this investigation.

  • NOTES (1)