Ghost Adventures

Season 4 Episode 15

Villisca Axe Murder House

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Dec 10, 2010 on Travel Channel
out of 10
User Rating
26 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


Zak, Nick and Aaron travel to Villisca, Iowa, to investigate a house stained by the blood of eight brutal murders almost 100 years ago. Will they find the spirits of the axe murders lingering in its halls reliving their terrifying deaths, or does something even darker lurk in its shadows?


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  • great episode

    Love the show
  • superb

    Zak, Nick and Aaron travel to Villisca, Iowa, to investigate a house stained by the blood of eight brutal murders almost 100 years ago. Will they find the spirits of the axe murders lingering in its halls reliving their terrifying deaths, or does something even darker lurk in its shadows?

    All the evps were good, and the door shutting footage was fantastic

    9.0 out of 10.0
  • Bad EVPs, potentially good video footage

    As usual, 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. (And seriously, if they want to get EVPs that can be taken seriously, they need to put the recorders down and eliminate their own movements and noise! I guarantee, they wouldn't get a quarter of the "EVPs" they keep claiming they get!)

    I love it when I get comments from readers who defend GAC regardless of the quality of their "evidence" (or the lack thereof). They will attack me, from my intelligence to my motivations, but they never present a logical counter-argument or explain how the technical criticisms are incorrect. They simply don't like the fact that so much of GAC's "evidence" can be debunked or demonstrated to be subjective confirmation bias. (I've gotten similar reactions of late from fans of "Ghost Hunters", which holds a certain irony.) It's all ironic, especially when Zak says, in this episode, that he wants people to tell them if they disagree and think the GAC methods are "hogwash"!

    Since it's used prominently in this episode, I'll once again point out that the "ghost box" or "spirit box" is completely bogus. It is a perfect example of confirmation bias and selective subjective interpretation. Every example of a "hit" in this episode sounds like garbage if you look away, ignore their interpretation flashing on the screen, and listen for yourself. It only takes on that "demonic" meaning when they interpret the noise as something sinister and place it in a negative context.

    It must be remembered that the "ghost box" works by scanning through AM radio frequencies, and many of them can even pick up FM, cell phone, cordless phone, and other common RF transmission sources. Take all those sources, mix the random words and sounds in that amplified noise blender, and it doesn't take much for semi-recognizable sounds to be generated. And since it is proven fact that the components of the English language, when scrambled randomly, have a much better than 50% chance of producing recognizable words and even phrases, it takes more than implied context to prove that there's a supernatural element at play. And Zak misrepresents the supposed lack of voices in the white noise, as voices and sounds are clearly audible, even as he makes that claim! The white noise doesn't help you get "ghost voices". It's a barrage of sound, amplified to such an extent that the brain automatically tries to find patterns. Listen for something specific, and your brain will find it in the noise. It's been demonstrated scientifically several times.

    (And as always, if anyone would like to dispute any of this information or present a technical counter-argument, by all means, do so. I'm willing to entertain a strong, objective and scientifically sound rationale for accepting that the "ghost box" is more than just willful pattern recognition. To date, this has never happened, but hope springs eternal.)

    Zak tries to explain how EVP works, but he regularly violates the point about avoiding movement and noise contamination. And I've pointed out previously how their "EVP experts" are more experienced in sound production and manipulation techniques than EVP analysis. That "I killed six kids" EVP sounds like nothing but noise until they start reinforcing what they believe it to mean, and Roy even describes it over and over as noise until he's been told, again and again, what it's supposed to say.

    On the motion-activated camera, they catch footsteps and a door swinging closed with visible force. Now that, I must admit, is a lot more interesting. I don't see anything untoward in the video to suggest outright fakery, and since I've personally witnessed or captured similar events at other sites over the past few years, I can't dismiss it. Ascribing a demonic source, however, is unwarranted, as there is no meaningful evidence to suggest such a thing at this point.

    I wasn't at all convinced that any of the supposed EVPs were anything more than noise. But I was definitely intrigued by the footage of the door closing, right after the loud sound of footsteps. Unless someone can demonstrate evidence that this was in some way rigged (and I'm speaking of direct evidence, not simply an opinion of how easily it could have been done), then I'm willing to accept, based on my own experiences, that it is potentially authentic. Of course, that's still a long way from saying that it was a ghost!moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Trivia: While doing his preliminary walk through, Zak sees a giant doll in a chair and is freaked out by it. He then covers the doll's head with a girl's dress- but what he doesn't seem to realize is that he has followed directly in the footsteps of the murderer, who covered all of his victims' heads with towels or clothes after murdering then!

    • Also Appearing:
      Roy Marshall - Author of Villisca/Former Detective
      Darwin Linn - Owner, Villisca Ax Murder House
      Johnny Houser - Resident Paranormal Expert/Lives Next Door
      Chris Dedman - Paranormal Investigator
      Roland Saenz - Midway Paranormal Society
      Linda Cloud - Former Resident
      Patty Williamson - Former Resident/Linda's Sister

    • The GAC do something they haven't done in any other episode to this point. For this investigation, they bring in Villisca resident Roy Marshall, a former police detective, to join them during their lockdown. What makes this completely different is that Roy is a professed skeptic who openly intends to challenge any "evidence" which he considers to be bogus, the product of the Crew's personal bias towards supernatural explanations of sounds and/or other so-called paranormal events.

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Zak: Why'd you kill those kids?
      EVP: 'Cause they don't step in Heaven yet!

    • Zak: (after the house's former residents leave highly agitated and in tears from their terrible memories) We don't read the history in a text book, we come here and communicate with the history. The history is not dead; the history is still alive in another form.

    • Zak: You think it could get dangerous for us in there?
      Roland Saenz: I think it could, potentially, it could.
      Zak: How?
      Roland Saenz: I think that if you push that house to a certain point, that evil, whatever it may be... you challenge it, it's going to come out and it's gonna want to play.
      Zak: (to his fellow investigators) You guys ready to play?
      Nick: Always!
      Zak: Aaron?
      Aaron: Um, nuh... I guess. ****. (he shakes his head)

    • Zak: Do you think that there's still ways of getting information that could possibly help solve this case?
      Roy Marshall: If you mean from paranormal sources, I'm very skeptical of that. I very much doubt that. But we're never, either of us, going to have a case we can bring here to a jury and get a conviction.
      Zak: I'd like for you to actually come in and us inform you of how we're going to do this investigation.
      Roy Marshall: I'll tell you, though, I'm honest. If I think it's hogwash, I'll tell ya.
      Zak: That's what we want!

    • EVP: I... killed... six... kids.

  • NOTES (2)