Saturday, September 14, 2013

'Ghost Adventures' recap: 'Yost Theater'

Courtesy:The Travel Channel
BY NOWAL MASSARI

What better way to celebrate Friday the 13th, than by watching a brand new episode of "Ghost Adventures?" This week, the Crew heads to Santa Ana, California to the historic Yost Theater and Ritz Hotel.

Currently serving as a night club, the Yost Theater opened in 1913. At one point in time, the venue served as a house of worship. However, it was originally home to silent films, talkies and Vaudeville shows.

Singer/songwriter Ernest Ball (famous for his Irish music) frequently performed at the Yost. In 1927, Ball died a very sudden death in his dressing room. Many people who work in the theater have claimed to see a tall, thin man with hair parted to one side. When Zak produces a photo of the deceased crooner to a member of the staff, he says that without a doubt, that is the man he had seen.

There are three areas where some workers refuse to go: backstage; the Ritz hotel next door; and, the basement. Dave, the owner of the Yost Theater, and his friend (self proclaimed tough guys) were left terrified and fighting to get out of the basement after they heard a deep, disembodied and sinister growl. On another occasion near the bar, Art, the director of security, heard the voice of a little girl saying "Hi Dad!" Creepy enough, however it was heard again immediately after, in a much lower and demonic tone. Could it be a demon masquerading as a child?

Zak, Nick and Aaron meet with Eric Vanlier from Valley Investigators of the Paranormal. They were the first team to investigate the location and they met to review a spirit voice that Eric captured while investigating the theater. Before playing the EVP, he tells them that the response could either be "dead ghost" or "dead Yost," but believes it to be the first one. Upon hearing the evidence, the guys are pretty amazed; the response was captured using a spirit box, which rapidly scans different frequencies within fractions of seconds. The two-word response was in the same voice, which is highly unlikely with this technology and points to paranormal activity.

The building next door was formerly a fitness center, which closed after someone died in the basement pool. It became the Ritz Hotel shortly after the tragedy. Unfortunately, the hotel didn't live up to its fancy sounding name, as it attracted the likes of vagrants and prostitutes, making it a sort of "flop house." The building has been vacant since the mid 1980s.

After meeting with Vanlier, the crew decides to head next door to the Ritz. They are met with quite a shock, and it's not the reported shadowy wall crawler or the swirling white vortex in room 19! The building is currently being demolished.

Having received photos of the interior just a few days prior, the guys are unhappy about this scheduling snafu. After speaking with someone in charge and essentially being told "it is what it is," they decide to wait it out and investigate the Ritz as planned. Construction is said to stir up activity, after all.

The guys head over to the Dr. Willella Howe-Waffle House, home of the Santa Ana Historical Society (SAHS), to get more background information on the Yost Theater. There they speak with Ernie Alonzo, head of the SAHS, and discover that the updated Victorian home is also a hot bed for paranormal activity.

Since women weren't able to practice medicine in hospitals at the time, Dr. Willella Howe-Waffle practiced medicine out of her home along with her husband, Dr. Alvin Howe. In 1889, Dr. Howe was indicted for performing abortions out of their home. Upon hearing the dark history of this home, and hearing the EVP of a woman claiming "it's hopeless in here," the guys decide to investigate here as well.

LOCKDOWN
While techs Billy Tolley and Jason Wasley monitor the Yost and the Ritz, the trio investigate the Howe-Waffle house. The MEL meter begins to go off upstairs, thus detecting a shift in the electro-magnetic field. Aaron also notices that it smells different than downstairs, and after a bit of confusion, they debunk the new smell as an air freshener plugged into the wall. Too bad, I was hoping to discover that demons smell like a dewey moon-lit meadow.

After receiving no responses of any kind with the spirit box, they head up to the attic. Zak, hoping to communicate with Dr. Willella Howe-Waffle herself, asks if her husband performed abortions in the house. "It's haunting," comes through the spirit box in a female voice, making it the first response in 30 minutes.

Thrilled to have received an intelligent response, Zak continues along this line of questioning. He asks "what did Dr. Willella's husband do here," and captures a different female voice saying "got in trouble." At the exact same time this response is captured, an unexplained mist-like anomaly is caught on camera. They ask why Dr. Howe got into trouble and the spirit box announces "abortion."

With a large number of intelligent responses, Zak decides to try and communicate with Willella alone from the patient room. No results were received through the spirit box. When he asks her to give him some answers about the afterlife, an unexplained sound (like glass being tapped) is heard. Zak asks Willela to manifest herself into a bright ball of light and Nick captures just that, manifesting right behind him after he asks. Upon further review, it is debunked as NOT being dust or an insect.

After getting some really compelling evidence at the Howe-Waffle house, the guys head over to the Yost theater to investigate. Instead of heading inside themselves right away, they decide to send in staff member Art as a trigger object. Billy and Jason watch from the nerve center.

Art enters the building completely alone, armed only with a camera and the promise that the guys will be able to see and hear him no matter where he goes. On the way to the dressing room where Ernest Ball died, a disembodied voice saying “hey, can you hear me?” is captured. Trying to debunk this voice, Zak and Nick go outside into an alley that is approximately next to where Art would be. There’s no one outside to explain the voice.

Art then goes into areas where he has had negative experiences, which happen to be areas that the GAC haven’t placed any static X-cameras; meaning they can only see what Art sees. While backstage and completely unaware of it, he captures a dark and misty figure heading towards the stage. At the nerve center, the 5 GAC members see what Art can’t and are severely creeped out by the shadow figure. Was it a negative entity? Or perhaps it was Ernest Ball heading to the stage for a performance.

Art heads upstairs, not realizing that nerve center can no longer see or hear him, and the temperature drops immediately. He asks if somebody is there and is answered by a mysterious creaking sound. Naturally, Art gets out of dodge and heads back to meet up with the crew.

Once Art leaves, the guys go into the theater to investigate for themselves, but after ten EVP sessions and four spirit box sessions, they leave without any results. Nick and Zak decide to go into the basement where the owner heard a demonic growl, while Aaron goes next door to investigate the Ritz hotel.

At the Ritz, Aaron hears construction-like sounds, despite the building being empty. He asks the spirit box to tell him one negative thing and it replies “haunting.” In the basement, Zak feels a strange pinching in his arm, which causes it to briefly go numb. He and Nick hear some unexplained noises, which Billy debunks when he goes to collect the X-cams from the basement, and discovers that there are rats scurrying around.

Closing the show with a voice-over, Zak admits that the only evidence captured in the Yost theater is by Art, who seems to be a magnet for paranormal activity. They caught some intelligent responses themselves, however this episode was pretty mild compared to previous investigations. That isn’t to say that this episode wasn’t entertaining, as audiences were treated to some “sneak peeks” into upcoming episodes and behind the scenes specials. Also, the Lumber Liquidator commercial featuring Zak is forever entertaining!

Be sure to tune in to the Travel Channel next Friday at 9 p.m. ET for their investigation of the Haunted Victorian Mansion in Gardner, MA.

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