Ghost Hunters International

Season 2 Episode 22

Unfaithful Spirit: Germany

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Jan 19, 2011 on Syfy
out of 10
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Episode Summary


The GHI team investigate Germany's Fürsteneck Castle, where the a knight's unfaithful wife may still walk and call out to the living.

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  • The new team slips

    This is the third episode with the retooled GHI team, so this is part of the ongoing evaluation of the team dynamic and the approach they will be taking to paranormal investigation. As mentioned in the review for the previous episode, I felt that the team under Robb Demarest's leadership, especially during the time Dustin was on the team, had a very consistent core philosophy that kept them well-grounded. With Pilgrim Films forcing the retooling in the hopes of boosting the ratings, I'm curious to see if that reputation for integrity will remain unspoiled by production shenanigans.

    Catching themselves in the previous episode, after making a mistake yet before presenting bad "evidence" to a client, was a close call. But it was hardly the worst they could have done, in terms of their reputation. Just look at the evolving embarrassment that is the "Ghost Lab" situation, with the Everyday Paranormal leaders wailing to the heavens because their show was canceled. They are even trying to stage a "mutiny", pushing other folks in the paranormal community to boycott the shows on the air in protest! It's petulant nonsense, and they should be ashamed of themselves.

    A lot of fans of GHI are angry about the cast changes. I'm not pleased about it, either. But the first two episodes with the new team were mostly solid, and the team displayed more energy and focus than TAPS of late. Rather than pre-judge, I will continue to let this GHI team prove themselves, one way or the other. So with that, on with the investigation!

    Barry and Kris begin in the attic, where voices have been reported, along with feelings of being watched. They start with a bit of mild-mannered yet pointed provoking, which is not what I expected. It's like the sedate version of what the "Ghost Adventures" crew does on a weekly basis. Kris seems to see something, but it obviously isn't caught on film.

    Paul and Susan investigate Room 3, where footsteps are heard coming into the room. They do a bit of nice, basic debunking of the footsteps, based on acoustics, which is a good start. At the same time, they leave a camera in the hallway, just in case an apparition comes a-calling, which is a bit odd, given that it's not one of the reports. But at the same time, it would give them a running record of how sound travels from their movements, so it's hardly a wasted effort.

    Joe and Britt start in the wine cellar, where lights are seen near rocks, and people feel their legs being touched. They both immediately hear "crying", and there are odd noises clearly captured on the audio. Of course, there's the acoustic factor to consider. Stone structures with that kind of curved ceiling are notorious for amplifying sounds and making them seem to come from unusual spots and directions. I've run into such situations myself, and it can be very disorienting. (In fact, these conditions often generate infrasound, which has some interesting effects. More on that shortly.)

    Paul and Susan take their tour of the attic next, following up on what Barry and Kris experienced. They hear a female voice, seemingly coming from the back of the area. Paul offers up his energy, and begins to feel weak and light-headed. He and Susan both assume it's because of a spirit, and the next thing you know, Susan is claiming that something in the area sucks the life out of people. And sure enough, in a matter of minutes, Paul collapses.

    Frankly, I wasn't convinced. For one thing, this is the same pair that made the silly assumptions about the straw in the glass in the previous episode. Susan has never been my favorite, given her so-called "empathic" abilities and dramatic side. My point is that however well-intentioned, both of them show a tendency to jump to paranormal conclusions. I have to wonder if that contributed to what they experienced. But it smacked more of the "Ghost Adventures" drama than I would have liked.

    Barry and Kris follow up on the experiences in the wine cellar. They hear footsteps, and there are odd noises coming from the same direction as what Joe and Britt heard. But nothing much seems to come of it, even when Barry goes bounding down the hall, chasing a potential shadow.

    Joe and Britt explore the dining room, which has one of the loudest floors I've ever heard. They both seem to see a flash of light, which is not unexpected, given the huge number of reflective surfaces in the kitchen. They don't get very far in investigating the cause, however, because they see and hear something in the adjacent basement area. Of course, with that loud buzzing noise, who can say what it was?

    The entire team converges in the dining room, with an array of equipment running, to attempt capture or sighting of the "white lady" apparition. It starts out a bit overdramatic in the presentation, and then Susan starts to claim that she's being contacted by a spirit. To me, it all seems very contrived (or, alternatively, quite like a panic attack). This is the sort of thing that, when done by the likes of Zak on "Ghost Adventures", is typically met with disbelief for a reason. And it won't do anything to change the opinion that Susan is still the same old "Ghost Hunters Academy drama queen".

    Now, I've said before that one strength I perceived regarding GHI, in the past, was their open and consistent philosophy, regardless of my personal disagreements with it. Barry has written several books in which he has made it clear that he believes in the ability (and even propensity) for a spirit to physically and psychologically harm people. While I recognize that he approaches Susan's experience from that position, and that it's consistent, I feel there were other explanations that could and should have been explored before leaping to that conclusion.

    Britt and Joe are left to follow-up on any resultant activity. They hear noises and footsteps, and Joe feels more chills, and they seem to get very intense. Britt actually manages to use instruments to show no changes in EMF and temperature, which is more than they did with Susan. But once Susan had that experience, on the heels of Paul's issue earlier in the evening, it all seems like a string of hysterical reactions to the unusual conditions.

    More to the point, this brings to mind the constant observations regarding the odd acoustics of the location and the potential for infrasound. Infrasound is well-known to cause feelings of fear, anxiety, chills throughout the body, severe disorientation, breathing problems, and can even cause people to believe paranormal events are taking place around them. Because it is often not consciously heard, unless one knows to look for it, it will seem like these things happen out of nowhere. Infrasound can even cause the eyeball to vibrate, causing optical hallucinations of shadows.

    The "voice" from the wine cellar comes right after Britt and Joe were moving around, and it's buried in the background noise. Given the acoustics, I'm not convinced. The second EVP is similar, and strikes me as classic pattern recognition within background noise.

    The first video recording is a bit more unusual. For one thing, the two light anomalies are vertically aligned. If one looks carefully, there's a vertical "bar" that seems to scroll across the screen, right to left, at the same time that the anomalies are recorded. This leads me to believe it's some kind of reflection or equipment artifact, rather than something paranormal.

    The second video is interesting, but without more information, it's hard to make a definitive call. The presence of stone and the underground location suggests it could have been something as simple as the piezoelectric effect. In other words, a well-understood discharge of energy from geologic materials experiencing a change in mechanical stress.

    Which means, in the end, that nearly all of the "evidence" is hard to demonstrate as paranormal. More than that, the team could have been experiencing the effects of prolonged exposure to infrasound, which could have subsequently influenced their conclusions. Whether or not one gives the team the benefit of the doubt for the more dramatic moments and such comes down to whether or not one believes that they should have taken these possibilities into account.moreless
Barry Fitzgerald (II)

Barry Fitzgerald (II)

Lead Investigator

Britt Griffith

Britt Griffith


Kris Williams

Kris Williams


Paul Bradford

Paul Bradford

Tech Manager

Susan Slaughter

Susan Slaughter

Investigator-in-Training/Case Manager

Joe Chin

Joe Chin


Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Barry: But of course, our advice is when you are going to the wine cellar, you may want to take the wine, and maybe leave the spirits.

    • EVP: (translating as "Come! Who's there?") Komm! Wer ist da?

    • Barry: (after playing an EVP for Franz) How do you feel whenever you hear that voice?
      Kris: He's like, 'I'm never going down there again!'

    • Susan: (referring to a former castle owner) Whenever he found someone hunting in his forest, he punished them by tying up them to the animal they were trying to hunt and setting them off to die together in the forest.
      Paul: Some of the weirdest stuff comes from Europe!

  • NOTES (1)

    • In the press releases for GHI season 2.9, which includes this episode, it was stated that they would be investigating Germany's Nuremberg Castle. This seems to have been a mistake for Fursteneck Castle, the only castle in Germany investigated in season 2.9. Fursteneck is about 150 miles from Nuremberg.