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Ghost Hunters

Season 2 Episode 20

Haunted Lighthouse

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM May 03, 2006 on Syfy
out of 10
User Rating
99 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Haunted Lighthouse

TAPS members Jason, Grant, Dustin, Steve, and Brian travel to Florida to investigate the rumored haunting of the St. Augustine Lighthouse, built in 1870. Steve's fear of heights become a problem and limit his time in the lighthouse.

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  • Well this is obviously one of the episodes that will become a Ghost Hunters classic. If you want to accept whats happening at face value, this was apparently their best capture to date.moreless

    I loved this episode the best of all of the Ghost Hunters episodes. Its got history, mystery, and a bit of spookyness to it. This is the infamous episode where TAPS catches a shadow moving on the tower stairs above them, and where Grant and Jason capture what looks like an aparition swooshing up two levels at the top of the tower and then turning to look down at them from above. To really put this show and what was captured into perspective, you really MUST go to St Augustine and investigate the keepers house and the tower in person. I have done this. The whole place is absolutely magnificent and a must see if you travel to Florida. With that aside, I'll tell you my story. We saw and experieced nothing in the keepers house and neither did TAPS. All of the activity in the show was in the tower. The first thing that hits you as you walk into the lower part of the tower is how small the space is inside. The stairs are very narrow, and the central core is small. I stood where TAPS placed their camera at the botton of the tower. There is a small well like thing there, and they placed their camera directly behind that. Another thing you notice is you can hear a fly fart in this place as the slightest sound echoes up and down the tower. With that in mind I have to say that although what was caught was very interesting, I cannot say it was 100% paranormal. Why? First we'll address the alleged shadow moving above Brian and Dave. If you really examine the photos and do this frame by frame you can see the edge of ths shadow is rounded. This is quiet telling. You not only have a TAPS team of two people climbing the stairs, but you also have at least a camera person and a sound person. We know for a fact that the sound person uses a mike boom. This was shown in the Armory episode where the man was knocked down. Its his or her job to keep that mike up by the TAPS members so we can pick up what they are doing and saying. With the stairs being so narrow in the tower its so easy for this alleged ghost to have been the shadow of the mike on the boom, and when the sound person realized they were in the cameras view the abruptly move it back out of the way. So this shadow is busted I'm afraid. Next is this swooshing aparition or reasonable facsimilie thereof. Every time Grant and Jason were getting excited it causes, well excitement. But we never saw anything in the camera shots until the reveal. Fans of the show will recall that in the West Virginia penetentary, Grant and Jason debunked the man shadow that appeared on the door of the cafeteria. It was found that the IR cameras cause shadows, and many investigators are tricked by this into thinking they saw a shadow person. This is exactly what happened in the tower. Grant and Jason were getting excited and some crew member below them moved quickly to a platform somewhere below them but above the light emitted by the IR camera and looked up to see if they could see what Grant and Jason were so excited about. They didn't realize that their shadow would be caught on the film and look like a ghost. On the show they play it up pretty well with the motion detector excuse. Yup its there on the very spot the ghost allegedly looked over the rail at them. I stood on that very spot too. But this does not prove or disprove a thing regarding the aparition. Unless they can prove to me that a crew member did not move to a platform and look up below them, I'm saying this event is also busted. One more point on this. The camera shot in the tower did not capture ALL of the levels of the staircase. They have it zoomed in a little to get the upper most area, so some of the first platforms and stair sections are not in the view. A few more tidbits. As I mentioned earlier, the place is a huge echo chamber. The slightest sound from anywhere echoes easily up the tower. There is an entry building at the base of the tower with two rooms, one for storing the lard oil and buckets and one for tools and other supplies. We don't know if these inner doors were closed and the rooms windows close or if the main door was closed after and while the TAPS members were inside. If not, I can tell you this to debunk the ladies voices. First, the tower is surrouded by homes a school with playground and a park as well as it being a tourist area. Its quite possible that there were a crowd of people there the night TAPS was there and many may have been drawn to the site because they saw the activity of filming. So to just say no ladies were there that night holds no water, they most certainly could have and most likely were, and if that tower echoes like it does, it would be very easy for some girl calling out help me as a prank to be picked up by those people in the tower. Poor Brian, those stairs are a hard thing to climb. They are narrow and fairly steep. We saw the bench he placed the recorder on, its about half way up. I would have been beat if I had to run them as many times as he did that night. We saw the oil bucket on about the 5th level. It sounds nothing like one of the windows banging, we tried it. The bucket has an obvious metallic clang like bang to it where the window is a loud dull thud. So take that at face value.moreless
  • HogggWild999, you need to understand more physics before discounting the evidence shown here.

    You're trying to debunk the shadow image by saying it is an IR shadow of a crew member. That is not possible. First of all, the camera is at the bottom of the tower. If a crew member were leaning over the railing enough to create a shadow, you would see them clearly. If you're saying somehow the crew member was out of the camera frame, but still in the IR light, think about this: The scale of a shadow cast by an object is inversely proportional to the distance between the object and the light source. If a crew member were close enough to the IR light source to be out of the camera frame (near the bottom of the tower), the shadow created would be huge. The only way to create a shadow exactly the same size as a human with a light source at the bottom of the tower, would be to have the crew member very close to the shadow. This of course would show them on camera. Another problem with your debunk is the angles involved. The light source is in the center of the tower. This means all shadows are cast angled towards the walls, not straight up towards the ceiling.

    So looking at the scale and angles involved, it is impossible that this is an IR shadow of a crew member.moreless
  • The team splits up into two groups.Jason and Grant take the light house while Steve and other members take the main house.Action begins to take place in the light house and all hell breaks loose with a female voice asks for help.Thie episode changed me.moreless

    Now this is what I am talking about. If you didn't believe in the paranormal before watching this episode you will after watching it. The voice of the female is extremely creepy. Movement abounds as Jason and Grant begin chasing figures up the winding stair case. The camera's pick up a strange figure on several occusions. There is no doubt that something or someone is moving about very quickly while taunting the crew. They managed to debunk some of the noises but clearly the moving figure is a total mystery. The crews change places and Steve and remaining crew incounters the same events.moreless
  • If only all their episodes were this exciting.

    This episode is without question the Ghost Hunters at their best. What makes this episode come out on top of all the others is the pure excitement of the hunt. The lighthouse it self does not have much to it, other than a spiraling stair case. What turns out to happen is a real chase up the stairs after seemingly several entities. Also, it is fun to watch see Steve get over his fear of heights to experiance what all the other TAPS crew experianced.

    The episode seems to start off in the way that most Ghost Hunters episodes do. At the very start of their investigation they debunk the sound of the bucket, which seems logical enough. However, the excitement begins when Jason and Grant hear voices. Not just voices but an actual conversation. Not only that, but you can even hear the voices before you do on the actual EVP. Jason and Grant then start continuing up the stairs, and begin to not only hear voices but see entities going up the stairs ahead of them. Thus begins the chase. At the peak of excitement they even see a shadow leaning on the railing looking down at them, and then moving off up the stairs. The analysis is equally intresting, with a two convincing videos and a couple EVP's.

    There is just something about TAPS crew's attitude that makes the whole episode seem valid and not acted out. Steve even confronts his fear of hieghts to see the activity. Faked? Very possible, but I doubt it. This is the sort of episode that is just so juicy that you could watch it multiple times.moreless
  • Best episode of Ghost Hunters to date

    This was the best episode of Ghost Hunters I've seen. There was no doubt there was something in the lighthouse with them that night. The shadows and movement captured on video, along with the sounds - would make even the most skeptical a believer.

    One of the best things about this show - is they go into each investigation both open-minded and with the intent to try to "disprove" alleged hauntings. That gives them far more credibility than other shows (such as the ridiculous "Most Haunted"). I just wish the Sci-Fi channel would show the rest of season 3 sooner than late spring!moreless
Brian Harnois

Brian Harnois


Donna LaCroix

Donna LaCroix

Case Manager

Dustin Pari

Dustin Pari

Tech Specialist

Grant Wilson (II)

Grant Wilson (II)

Lead Investigator - Co-Founder of TAPS

Jason Hawes

Jason Hawes

Lead Investigator - Founder of TAPS

Steve Gonsalves

Steve Gonsalves

Tech Manager

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • The investigation of the St Augustine Lighthouse took place on January 14-15, 2006, according to the date embedded in the thermal camera's footage.

    • Also Appearing:
      Investigation: St Augustine Lighthouse - St Augustine, Florida
      Paul Wenglowsky - Director of Education
      Allan Studer - Retired Lighthouse Guide

    • Dave is listed in the opening credits, but does not appear in this episode.

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Brian: When we go on a case or an investigation, we want to get scientific proof of an actual ghost. I want to sit there with a camera and watch a ghost walk through the room. Even if I feel it, if Steve feels it and Jason feels it, if there's no seeing it on the cameras, there's no proof.

    • Steve: I'm afraid of a lot of things. I don't like spiders, I don't like heights, I don't like flying. Seems to be the one thing I'm not afraid of is ghosts.

    • Grant: (as the motion-sensor light comes on) Well that kills the whole 'sneak up and surprise it' thing!

    • Brian: This is like the Mona Lisa of all paranormal activity that I've experienced with my own eyes. I can die a happy man now.

    • Brian: We're having a little problem with the wireless audio. Steve told me to put it up halfway so I put it up more than halfway about three fourths of the way. So I go all the way back up there put it up to the top floor, come all the way back down. Grant said it's not working anymore, so then I had to go all the way back up there and make sure the battery was working and everything else, everything was on, the battery was not drained. Came all the way back down. Grant said it was not working, it was very tinny, so most likely it was the steel inside the building itself, not letting the wireless feed not going back and forth between the transmitter and the receiver, so then I had to go back to the top of the lighthouse, put it back on the bench that I originally had it on, and its working fine now, so... I did about 800 stairs in the last half hour, so my legs are a little wobbly.

  • NOTES (4)

    • According to Brian Harnois, the people who TAPS spoke to before the investigation tried to persuade them that they were wasting their time by investigating the lighthouse itself. They felt the lighthouse keeper's house was where almost all of the activity occurred, despite their own stories of people seeing a woman at the top, doors being unlocked, and voices heard by witnesses.

    • Brian says that this is the best paranormal investigation that he's ever been a part of as a member of TAPS.

    • This episode is listed under the title "St Augustine Lighthouse" at the official Ghost Hunters website.

    • TAPS would return to the St Augustine Lighthouse in several future investigations, including the third season Ghost Hunters episode "Return To St Augustine Lighthouse" and the Ghost Hunters Academy episode "The Blame Game".