Ghost Hunters

Season 4 Episode 9

Haunted Asylum

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Apr 30, 2008 on Syfy
out of 10
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40 votes

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Episode Summary

Haunted Asylum

TAPS is contacted by volunteers who are restoring the former Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum. Jason & Grant head to West Virginia to investigate this former asylum that once housed Charles Manson.

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  • Much ado about (almost) nothing

    This episode marks the spring finale, after a run that is nearly as long as the entire first season. Thirteen more episodes have already been commissioned for the season, and they will begin airing in late May (less than a month after the fall finale, and immediately after May sweeps). Simply put, the show continues to get strong ratings, particularly in comparison with the rest of the SFC slate, and it is not going anywhere anytime soon.

    This season has been marked by a greater frequency of "one investigation" episodes, and it was hardly surprising to see it happen again with the spring finale. Because it fell at the end of a run, I had some small expectation that we would see something more impressive than chasing shadows and vague EVPs. I was shocked to discover that most of the episode was a textbook study in managing (or not managing) hysteria.

    The site was particularly challenging, given its size and history. It was not unlike the Waverly Hills Sanatorium, but without the growing negativity surrounding that site (in particular, the many questions surrounding the false historical claims made by local investigators tied to its tourism business). The building is empty, more or less falling apart, and a number of questionable medical procedures were conducted. It's the kind of spooky, imposing location that looks great and presents a massive challenge to serious investigators.

    Three immediate problems come to mind, and both of them have been mentioned in past episodes of "Ghost Hunters". First, the dilapidated state of the building creates an odd blend of light and shadow with every single step, and debris can shift or fall at any moment. This can quickly become disorienting, which feeds into the second problem. Any location with a disturbing history can generate negative expectations, and when disorientation is added in, even the most seasoned investigator can feel a distinct unease.

    The third problem is only marginally related. With a site so vast, it's nearly impossible to ensure that the premises are completely clear of trespassers and animals. It's not at all shocking to consider that someone might want to mess with TAPS by making noise. In a few previous investigation, I have strongly suspected this, and the same thought came to mind during this episode.

    Not everything could be instantly attributed to the condition of the site, hysteria, or sabotage, but there's precious little in the footage given in the episode to prove it. Most of the sounds could have been anything, and some of the investigators were overreacting in every scene in which they were featured. Even Jason and Grant seemed to get spooked more often than usual.

    In the end, the only impressive "evidence" was the loud breath recorded on an audio recorder sitting by a window. It's definitely a creepy sound, and if the circumstances were accurately described, it is unusual. At the same time, it's also quite a bit less than they've found at less storied locations. There were a few other EVPs, but most of them were hard to discern or buried deeply in the background.

    When all is said and done, this is a location that appears to warrant further investigation, because it's impossible to conceive that TAPS covered all the angles (especially in terms of debunking) in the space of (at most) a couple nights. Jason and Grant declare the site haunted based on a dearth of strong evidence and a wealth of questionable personal experiences. Critics will hardly be surprised by this turn of events, but those with a more open mind are just as likely to be left wanting.moreless
  • Taps is great and it was great to see them take on the Asylum. I loved to see them do it on Halloween night cause this place puts Waverly to shame in my opinion. Watch this episode and then picture them doing this huge Asylum on Halloween night.moreless

    I have been through there and trust me its very,very haunted and waverly has nothing on this place for hair raising paranormal activity. I have been too this monster asylum twice, the first time was in a tour group and i heard a strange laughing near me that me and my niece are both witness too.

    The second time i had my dog with me on the outside of the building just walking by and no amount of dog biscuits in the world could have gotten him inside if he had been allowed to enter it.

    This place is very haunted and gives me the chills just thinking about it.

    Great episode i would love to see them do the Asylum this halloween night.moreless
  • This episode kept them on there feet more then ever!

    This episode of Ghost Hunters was the best one they did all season. the TAPS team when to an asylum that was built around the civil war time. many people died here and some civil war people still are here.

    They start out in the civil war section. there's, grant and jason try to make the spirits come out. that was a bad idea. once they did that, voices and movements came out of no where. at one point, there was a little girl laughing between them.

    In the other parts, it was a little less active. at one point, one of the team members seen a black figure. then got scared and called up kris.

    In the end of the episode. grant and jason scared some of the team that was on the upper floors. that was a good way to end the night. after that they looked at the data and said that this place was hunted for sure!moreless
  • The TAPS crew goes to an asylum to see if its haunted by former patients

    This is one of the better ones. Probably one to be remembered for a long time. They got so much evidence in this one. I was a little nervous when I realized they were going to be hunting mentally ill ghosts, but it was really worth the watch. I wasn't sure that I liked them provoking the spirits, but it didn't seem to help them too much in their evidence. The evidence they got was certainly mind boggling and persuasive. Some of the evidence scared me. One of the spirits sounded like it really wanted them gone. But all-in-all it really was a good investigation and I really enjoyed this episode.moreless
Jason Hawes

Jason Hawes

Lead Investigator

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

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Investigator-In-Training Joe Chin joins the team for the first time in this episode. He would later go on to being a regular member of Ghost Hunters International.

    • Also Appearing:
      Investigation: Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum - Weston, West Virginia
      Rebecca Jordan - Owner
      Caroline Daniels - Tour Guide
      Jeaneth Boyer - Eyewitness
      Jane Gilchrist - Eyewitness
      Brenda Reed - Tour Guide
      Sue Parker - Retired Psychiatric Aide

    • This investigation took place on March 19-20, 2008 according to the date embedded in the camera footage.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Grant: (almost struck speechless by the size of the Asylum) I hope the whole place isn't haunted, I don't even know where to begin!

    • Joe: I got involved with TAPS because I have an interest in the paranormal. When I was growing up in my house things have happened and I always wondered what it was, you know. Was I imagining it, is it me, is it something external? I always wanted get that answer.

    • Grant: There are real dangers. Just think about the trauma, the chaos that was in here, the type of people that rolled through here. Honestly, it feels like you're walking through a horror movie.

  • NOTES (1)