Ghost Hunters

Season 4 Episode 8

Spirits of the Old West

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Apr 23, 2008 on Syfy

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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out of 10
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  • The Ghosthunters visit two spots in Nevada including the Goldfield Hotel, legendary haunted hotel.

    I was very disappointed with the time spent in the Goldfield Hotel. It is one of the most haunted, disturbing buildings in the United States with a definite troubled history. Other ghost hunters have filmed terrifying footage including ghostily images of the cowboy and flying bricks and pieces of wood in the basement. Much as they do in other episodes and on other hunts, I do not feel that they spent enough time in the hotel. It is extremely large and requires more than a few hours to cover the area. They did not reveal any research done into the history of the building, that people have tried to renovate the building before and have been unable to...
    At times it appears that the Ghosthunters just hurry through a building and if they find something that's great but if not who cares.
    It is disappointing.
  • The return of some questionable equipment undermines the episode

    For a few reasons, this feels like another set of investigations held over from the third season. The more recent investigations were all filmed during the winter months, and to my knowledge, they did not involve any trips to the western part of the country. Also, we see the continued inclusion of the infamous K-II Meter, which was rightfully relegated to standard debunking use by the end of the third season.

    Their interest in using the K-II Meter in the manner employed by Chris Fleming was an artifact of 2007; they've been fairly vocal in other venues as skeptical of the claims surrounding it. Around the time that the "Manson Murders" episode aired, and shortly thereafter, the K-II Meter was touted at many of the TAPS/Darkness Radio events, where they were used as shown in this episode. As mentioned above, Jason and Grant no longer lend support to that use, yet Jason appears to do so in this instance.

    Whatever the case, the K-II Meter is once again demonstrating its extremely limited viability as a tool for investigation of any kind. Setting aside issues of qualitative vs. quantitative data (and there is a place for both in any field), the device itself is highly flawed. Any device that forces you to shove a coin or anything else over the switch to keep it on is poorly designed, period. And any EMF meter that is purposefully poorly shielded, to allow maximum qualitative detection of electrical wires (the intended use of the device), will go off randomly under the best of circumstances. (Don't even get me started on traceable calibration.)

    The point is that this episode was never going to be able to stand on its own, because it will simply dredge up (as it already has for me and others) the unfortunate claims of Chris Fleming and how badly the first use of the K-II meter placed TAPS' credibility into question. And make no mistake, there were a number of fans, even strong TAPS supporters, who still point to the "Manson Murders" episode as the moment when they lost faith.

    Case #1: The Goldfield Hotel

    This particular investigation seemed to be a lot of flash about moving shadows and not a lot of substance. They did toss out a number of qualifications on their own observations, but I'm sure the point will be lost to many. In a building like that, in the dark, it's very hard to reconcile shadows and light sources. It's part of the difficulty in investigating old, run-down buildings. (That, and the reports are often vague and based solely on legend and folklore.)

    So the shadow evidence did little to impress me, and the "two hot spots" weren't particularly meaningful either. The EVPs were interesting, because they weren't using the wireless audio, which is a pet peeve of mine, given RF interference and crossover. But they were also rather indistinct, and even after Jason and Grant offered an interpretation, I had a very hard time hearing it. Maybe worth a closer look, but I wouldn't call them definitive by any means.

    Also, something odd struck me at the end of the investigation. Was someone else involved with the breakdown at the end of the night? I swear there was a clean-shaven man helping them rewind the cables on the stairs. Who was that?

    Case #2: The Old Washoe Club

    Despite the enthusiasm of the owner and the crew, this investigation seemed to yield very little in the way of "evidence". In fact, there was so little to discuss that I'm shocked Jason was even remotely on the fence afterward. Compared to the first investigation, it seemed to get very little time. The most entertaining part, however, was Steve's story about how the millionaires would conduct their affairs. I wouldn't call it particularly flattering, but it was certainly amusing.