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Ghost Hunters

Season 4 Episode 6

Haunted Air Force Base

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Apr 09, 2008 on Syfy
out of 10
User Rating
37 votes

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Episode Summary

Haunted Air Force Base

TAPS investigates three buildings at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio where stories are told of ghostly typists, children's voices, and a haunted elevator.

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  • "Old school" methods result in a less substantial investigation

    While it's clear that the investigations are assembled out of chronological order to manipulate the expectations of the audience, it does create an odd disconnect when taken in context with the Sci-Fi Channel's promotional choices. Logically speaking, episodes tend to be grouped together to provide a strong hook of evidence in the first episode, a smattering of minor occurrences in the middle, and the best evidence at the end of the order. Somehow, the SFC promotional department manages to convince viewers that it will somehow be different.

    This is not the final episode of the current batch, so I wasn't expecting anything startling. Even though the episode covered one location, it was effectively no different than an episode where two locations are covered, because thee buildings were investigated. This is hardly surprising, because anyone who gets to investigate a location like Wright-Patterson would want to cover as much ground as possible.

    The first half of the episode is devoted to the Arnold House, which actually provides most of the entertainment. As usual, the bulk of the "evidence" is personal experience, with people hearing knocking and movement. This ultimately shifts into the tedious "one knock no, two knocks yes" methodology. This is not particularly different from the infamous K-II Meter nonsense from the "Manson Murders" episode in the third season, and it flies in the face of the claim that they are using "scientific" methods. After all, such methods are used repeatedly on "Most Haunted", and they are rightfully dismissed in that context. (It doesn't help when the post-production music drowns out the supposed noises.)

    Dave and Steve's decision to film the changes on the EMF meter made me happy, because real-time documentation of results is far better than random walkthroughs/notations. It's not a datalogger, but it works. I accept that they checked the area for ambient EMF sources, so it would be a situation to consider in more detail. I wouldn't go so far as to say that they managed to convince a ghost to affect the meter on cue; however, it is interesting to note that this is not particularly different from what Chris Fleming claimed he could do with the K-II Meter. One must wonder if there is a common mechanism at work.

    I can't say the same when it comes to the flashlight. This was apparently the big "evidence" of the episode, and in my opinion, it was not particularly impressive. I have tons of flashlights and many of them have done that without any paranormal intervention. For example, if the switch was touchy, they could have asked the "ghost" to turn the light repeatedly, and it would have appeared to be "acting on cue" when it finally happened. Given what we see on screen, it's a possible explanation, even if Jason dismisses it out of hand. The activity of the EMF meter was more impressive in comparison.

    The other two locations had more of the same. It was interesting that there seemed to be a shadow person in the warehouse, but there were so many object between Grant and the light that he could have shifted slightly in his position and it would have appeared that something moved in front of the light. On the other hand, several viewers have already mentioned catching unusual shadows in the footage provided in the episode. While I distrust the "knocking" method, perhaps it would be worth taking a closer look to rule out the more subtle explanations.

    While "trigger objects" can be useful, especially when they seem to be manipulated under surveillance, I must confess to some small disappointment over the rest of the methods shown. Someone recently commented that the main complaint with "Ghost Hunters" and TAPS is the seemingly stagnant state of their technology. Their methods haven't changed appreciably since the first season, and if anything, the more technical members are no longer active. The recent emphasis on "old school" methods, like communication through knocks and taps, does little to counter that impression.moreless
Grant Wilson (II)

Grant Wilson (II)

Lead Investigator

Steve Gonsalves

Steve Gonsalves

Tech Manager

Dave Tango

Dave Tango


Kris Williams

Kris Williams


Kristyn Gartland

Kristyn Gartland

Field Researcher

Jason Hawes

Jason Hawes

Lead Investigator

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Because of the size of the base and distance between areas which TAPS needed to cover, this investigation took two nights, rather than one, as they usually do.

    • Also Appearing:
      Investigation: Wright-Patterson Air Force Base - Dayton, Ohio
      Colonel Coleen M. Ryan - Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
      Rachel Castle - Public Affairs Assistant
      Carolyn Kugle - Management Assistant
      Diane Kaufman - Chief of Protocol, Retired
      Major Ted Theofolos - Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
      Senior Airman Danielle Kramer - Loadmaster
      1st Lieutenant Matthew Judd - Pilot
      Captain Jackie Fleming - Pilot

    • The Air Force base had to get clearance from the Pentagon in order for TAPS to be allowed to come onto the base and investigate.

  • QUOTES (2)

    • Steve: We're about to head to an Air Force base. I have an extreme fear of flying, I hate flying, I'll never do it. To be honest, this is about as close to airplanes as I wanna get. At least I know they're not gonna take off.

    • Grant: Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, this is incredible. Getting called in by the Air Force.
      Steve: Yeah, it's crazy. I didn't even think they believed in this kind of stuff.
      Grant: Well there's rumors about them holding aliens, but we didn't know about ghosts.

  • NOTES (2)

    • This episode is listed under the title "Wright-Patterson Air Force Base" at the official Ghost Hunters website.

    • Along with the usual Ghost Hunters crew members, there were Air Force personnel with every team to make sure that nothing classified was shown.