Ghost Hunters

Season 7 Episode 4

French Quarter Phantoms

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Mar 16, 2011 on Syfy

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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out of 10
29 votes
  • Great location, little innovation

    At this point, this franchise is just about the only paranormal investigative show that I still watch, and I'm on the fence of whether or not to continue. I haven't seen anything new out of the team that hasn't been done already by other teams, and when it comes to the shoulder cams, that seems like it was a one-time attempt to pacify the fans who want some way of seeing what the team claims to see. And as others have pointed out, it's not even a good way to accomplish that.

    But there is a certain comfort to the familiar, and I feel like it helps to keep my own critical thinking skills when I'm not in the field myself. And this investigation in particular brings back some fond memories. While my first foray into paranormal investigation began in 1991, I was essentially following in the traditions of the 1970s methodology: essentially, a revival of the old spiritualism as brought to the fore by the Warrens and such.

    That interest culminated in a trip to the French Quarter of New Orleans in October 1995. Part of the tour package at the time was a night tour of various "hotspots" hosted by one of the more prominent ghost hunting groups of that time. I can't remember the name of the group, to be honest, but they had been on "Sightings" and other shows many times. Back then, none of us thought to bring more than a camera for such an event, but we did have some memorable personal experiences in Le Petit Theatre and O'Flaherty's Irish Channel Pub.

    So despite my disappointments with the show (and TAPS) in recent years, I have more than enough reason to stick with the show for at least the rest of the season. And when I noticed that the episode jumped right into the investigation portion, I figured we were in for quite a ride!

    Unfortunately, I'm not at all impressed by Steve and Tango's experience with the door. For one thing, I must point out that the door opened and closed in a way that would make it very easy for someone to have been standing right behind it without detection. But the finishing touch has to be that the cameraman with Steve and Tango zooms in dramatically at the door, which felt very staged.

    I've said before that I have my concerns about Pilgrim Films' production crew, regardless of the assurances from the team, because Pilgrim personnel have been caught manipulating footage in post-production. And frankly, there are instances when it definitely feels like the team looks the other way when things are staged. In this case, for instance, why wouldn't their first instinct be running over and opening the door?

    Jason and Grant start as they always do these days: hearing noises almost immediately. Given the background droning, it's no surprise that they thought they heard murmuring voices: that kind of pattern recognition is very common in such situations.

    Amy and KJ explore the jail, and Amy believes that she sees someone stalking around in the area. They both keep seeing shadows and hearing sounds like someone is there. It's hard to know, because it's obviously not on camera, and they hesitate chasing down the potential culprit. Then again, it doesn't look like an area that would be easy to maneuver within, so it's hard to criticize too much.

    The thermal hit that Adam detected was one of those good "teachable" moments. I'd like to see that sort of thing a lot more often, especially given how many groups have invested in that kind of equipment since TAPS popularized it. Pointing out how the equipment can help debunk false positives is an interesting topic, and helps to establish what really is abnormal.

    I also really like the use of the geophones. We use them regularly ourselves, and typically have a camera on them constantly to monitor any activity on the indicator. It also helps to verify whether or not anyone is nearby, since it would be captured on the audio. In this case, at least during the investigation, there's no footage to show that the hallway in question is empty. For that matter, we don't even see the indicator much ourselves; we're told that it keeps going off.

    In terms of the reveal, you could hear the footsteps on the grate, but without a waveform, it's hard to tell how loud it is relative to the background noise. As far as Amy's apparent sighting of an apparition, it's a personal experience; why are they covering those in the reveal? The door looks impressive, but I thought the client did a nice job of debunking that, and I've already covered my other concerns about it.

    The two EVPs with a waveform that they played are a huge stretch. Both are clearly buried in the background noise, and really shouldn't have been presented as anything meaningful. When all is said and done, there were some oddities, but I agree with them: not nearly enough to be considered "haunted".