Saturday, September 21, 2013

'Ghost Adventures' recap: 'Haunted Victorian Mansion'

Courtesy: The Travel Channel
BY NOWAL MASSARI

This week's episode of "Ghost Adventures" takes us to Gardner, MA to investigate the historic S.K. Pierce Victorian Mansion. Before heading to the location, the Ghost Adventures Crew makes a pit-stop in Nick's hometown of Boston to pay their respects to those who died in the Boston Marathon bombing. The event happened a week prior to the filming of this episode.

The S.K. Pierce Mansion was built in 1875 by Sylvester K. Pierce, and was inhabited by members of the Pierce family for nearly 100 years, and at one point was rumored to be a brothel. While researching the home, Zak and Aaron call researcher, Jeff Belanger, to find out if anyone had died in the house. Belanger confirmed that six, possibly seven, people died inside the mansion, with a majority of them being members of the Pierce family.

Notable deaths in the house include the last members of the family to have lived in the house; Edward and Bessie Pierce, along with their daughter, Rachel. When she was two-years-old, Rachel died of the Spanish flu. Bessie Pierce died in the 1950s and Edward died in the basement in 1967.

Another notable death was that of Jay Stemmerman, a lodger in the home during the 1960s. It is said that Stemmerman was a smoker and happened to fall asleep, possibly in a drunken stupor, with a lit cigarette. However, when his body was found the fire hadn't spread to any other parts of the room, just his body, leading many to believe that he was a victim of spontaneous combustion.

The current owners, Edwin Gonzalez and Lillian Otero, have owned the home since 2009, but do not currently reside within the mansion because of their traumatic experiences. Edwin recalls a chilling tale of when he was in his office and saw a man with black eyes staring at him. He went across the street to a local diner to calm down and grab a bite, and was informed that someone had just suffered a fatal heart attack moments prior to his arrival.

Zak asks the couple if the house made them feel different in any way, and after they describe the dark differences in their personalities, he thinks that they may have suffered from demonic oppression. He then asks them, aside from the footsteps/voices/reports of children being seen in the house by neighbors when they have none, what made them decide to abandon their home. A tearful Lillian recounts the night where she went to bed, facedown as always, and feeling a presence hold her down on the bed. Paralyzed, she screamed for Edwin to help her. "She kept screaming 'get her off of me!' and I couldn't help her." After saying a quick prayer, Lillian was able to move, but they decided that night, that they would no longer be staying in the house.

Before starting the investigation, the crew meets with founder of New England Paranormal Research, John Brightman IV. Brightman has previously investigated the mansion, and when using his Ovilus in the basement, it responded "squeeze every throat." He was also scratched and it appeared to be the Roman numeral IV, just like his name.

While Nick and technicians Billy Tolley and Jay Wasley are getting set up in the nerve center, Zak and Aaron go into the house to turn on their static X-cams. While inside, they hear a loud bang coming from the attic. Launching them into investigation mode, the duo begin to ask questions, all of which are responded to with loud bangs. After going up to the attic to check the windows and debunk the noises, they find that there is no way the shutters (or anything else) could have made the bangs, as there was no wind.

Later, Zak asks whatever presence is in the house with them, to manifest itself. Zak and Aaron both see a mist like apparition, however it is not caught on their cameras. He asks the entity to do it again, and while they don't see it this time, the X-cam picks up a large orb appearing near the ceiling which then cuts directly into the room where Zak and Aaron are standing. Nick and the crew in nerve center excitedly tell them via walkie talkie what they've just captured.

The GAC decides to bring Edwin in the home with them to conduct some spirit box sessions, starting in the basement where Lillian reportedly saw shadow figures. During the basement session, a mist-like anomaly appears next to Zak. He asks, "Can you please tell me the gentleman's name that's here with us now?" The spirit box replies "he's here." Uncertain, they wonder if the spirit was referring to Edward Pierce, who died where they were standing.

They move up to the third floor to conduct more spirit box sessions and receive a few compelling intelligent responses. The first occurred when Zak asks if the spirits remembered Edwin. A little girl's voice shyly responds "...hi." Next up, they let Edwin ask about the house. When asked if they wanted Edwin and Lillian to leave the house, a voice comes through with a strong "no," and when he asks if they want him to sell the house, "not sure" is heard.

Zak then asks if they could name the woman that lived in the house with Edwin, however they receive no answer. When Edwin asks the same question moments later, the voice of an older woman gently replies "Lillian." With this evidence, they head back to nerve center to review some evidence with Edwin, Billy and Jay.

Before calling it a night, Zak and Aaron go back into the house to try and provoke the evil spirit into attacking them. Aaron goes into the basement, while Zak is upstairs in the "Red Room," or master bedroom. This is the room where Jay Stemmerman perished and Lillian was pinned to her bed. While nothing happens for either of the guys alone, when Aaron joins Zak upstairs they capture a strange EVP. When he asks the spirit to grab his foot and drag him out of the room, they hear "go to sleep" on their recorder.

While there weren't many answers for Edwin and Lillian, who weren't planning on returning to the home, there's no denying that this episode captured some compelling audio and visual evidence of the afterlife.

Next Friday at 9 p.m. will be the 100th episode of "Ghost Adventures!" Tune in to The Travel Channel at 9 p.m. ET for their investigation of the "Exorcist House" in St. Louis, MO.

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