Ghost Hunters

Season 7 Episode 2

Pennsylvania Asylum

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Mar 02, 2011 on Syfy

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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  • Imposing location means lots of assumption

    The seventh season premiere was, for me, a disappointment. The "evidence" was not very impressive, especially the audio, yet it was portrayed as being amazing and profound. Too many of the criticisms from the previous few seasons remained valid. But to be fair, that was something of a premiere event; the true measure of the season's direction is perhaps better decided by a larger sampling.

    That brings us (and TAPS, of course) to Pennhurst Asylum, which has gained something of a reputation since its appearance on "Ghost Adventures". (Indeed, it is one of those locations that may have had a local legendary status, but has since become a tourist attraction.) As locations go, this one is certainly entertaining on its own. And as skeptical as I am about the motivations behind the investigation on the part of the client, it is a location that has yielded some intriguing stories.

    As soon as Jason and Grant step into the tunnels, they hear sounds that they interpret as whispers. It actually sounds exactly like water, as Grant suggests, and they even acknowledge the strange acoustics of the tunnels. And I noted that the most prominent equipment they used, once again, was the K-II Meter.

    I have to disagree very strongly with one thing Steve said. He asserts that "unexplained is still paranormal". That's not at all the case. Unexplained is just that: something that has not yet been given a specific explanation of any kind with supportive evidence. Paranormal, on the other hand, is a set of given specific explanations, but in this context, is typically assumed to be a ghost or similar entity. Something determined to be paranormal (preferably with evidence to that effect) would no longer be unexplained!

    Something unexplained could, conceivably, turn out to be something as mundane as animals roaming the very open Pennhurst campus. (At which point, it would be explained, naturally.) In fact, animals could explain a great deal of what the team hears in the tunnels, hallways, and rooms of the asylum over the course of the investigation. What Amy and Adam encounter is definitely indicative of a larger animal trying to avoid detection.

    What's odd is that Amy and Adam seem to see part of the laser grid pattern "disappearing", which is not quite what one would expect to see. Even if an object were to pass in front of a beam, it would be more likely to distort the pattern, not cause a "blind spot". When they investigate further, they find a door at the end of the hall, and then hear a very loud breath. As in, loud enough to hear on the audio, and very clearly. It's not at all the kind of noises they had been capturing previously.

    I'm not so sure about the metal screen being the source of the banging sound that Steve and Tango heard, since it's hard to be sure with the acoustics (as they themselves admitted), but I really like the fact that they tested everything in the apparent area and then made recordings for comparison.

    Jason and Grant discuss their personal experiences with the client right from the start of the reveal. Whatever happened to personal experiences not being considered "evidence"? Grant tells the story about a disembodied voice that they play, but isn't at all audible. The breath recorded earlier is very clear, but how they get "go home" out of that, I can't begin to comprehend. Steve and Tango's bang is played, but the comparison recording apparently didn't make the final edit.

    They save one final EVP as the "coup de grace", and it is a bit unusual. It definitely sounds like some kind of laughter, but I disagree that it sounds like a female voice. Instead, it sounds like a man trying to emulate a female laugh. After Grant was caught on camera making voices later claimed as EVPs, mistakenly or otherwise, I can't fully accept that audio on faith.

    In the end, while the location was quite interesting, I'm just not sure how many of those sounds might have been caused by animals, even if the client insists that the buildings are locked down to keep out trespassers. Amy and Adam proved rather well that nearby animals could make sounds audible on the asylum grounds. Beyond that, there was the incident in the tunnels, but I'm not sure that's enough to justify calling the location active, let alone "haunted".