Saturday, October 26, 2013

'Ghost Adventures' recap: 'Thornhaven Manor'

Courtesy: The Travel Channel

This week's episode of "Ghost Adventures" takes the crew into the heart of America; Newcastle, Indiana. Surrounded by idyllic farmland, Thornhaven Manor in nestled deeply in the shadows, hiding its dark past from outsiders.

In 1845, wealthy town member Simon T. Powell built the largest home in the county. According to a newspaper article from 1892, his daughter-in-law, Amelia, began to suffer from "mental derangement" and left the home to stay with her sister in Logansport. One evening, Amelia's sister went to check on her, only to find an empty room and a note stating that she would never be found. As if "guided by some unknown power," Amelia's sister wandered to an area nearby and found her sisters lifeless body in the water.

Amelia Powell's death is not the only one linked to Thornhaven Manor, as there are at least two other known deaths within the walls of the manor itself. Not long after moving in to the manor, two-year-old Lizzie Powell died unexpectedly. In1906, longtime caretaker of the home, Ruben Bailey, was murdered by his son-in-law, who had replaced the sugar in the house with rat poison. However, there are no official documents stating that Bailey died in the home.

Powell had two sons, Henry and Orlistus, who both went to battle during the Civil War. Only Henry made it out alive, but his younger brother, Orlistus, died on the field in 1863. Henry Powell lived in the house until his death at 72 years of age.

Though the house has been empty since the 1970s, it is currently owned by Steve Miller. (No, not that one.) Miller states that he has experienced paranormal activity in the home since he purchased it. In fact, both Miller and the realtor heard a door slam when he initially bought the house. He even claims that he heard a scream coming from inside the house while he was outside.

The GAC meet with Darren, a paranormal investigator that has some compelling evidence to share. He played audio from an EVP recorder, which is a long and terrifying scream captured in the main entrance. This is also where the owner claims to have heard the scream coming from when he was outside. Next, he shows the guys a series of photos captured with their FLIR (thermal imaging) camera. Appearing in a few photos is a purple figure that looks as if it is peering in through the window. The purple denotes extremely cold temperatures, much colder than a living human body.

Zak and Aaron then interview a group of women who have also investigated the house, while Nick goes inside to try and debunk the screaming. Wendy, one of the investigators, tells the crew that during their investigation with owner Steve Miller, they all heard footsteps coming towards them. Everyone in the group got up and left the house. During the interview, Nick hears a scream while inside the house. At the same time, a car goes by outside with brakes that make a loud, prolonged screeching sound. Nick and Zak both tag the sounds, and come together to debunk the scream. Because he was in the basement, Nick had just heard the car at a muffled level.

To conclude their preliminary investigation, they try to recreate the night when Miller and the female investigators were chased out of the house. As they all congregate in the living room, a distinct dragging/bang is heard from upstairs. Zak then asks if whomever is upstairs can bang on the floor, and the request is granted with a loud bang. Deciding that there is enough paranormal activity in the home, they decide to wrap up the preliminary investigation and continue to research the following day before the lockdown.

Sitting down with Miller, they discuss the history of the Powell's a little further. It seems that patriarch Simon Powell had a palsy and walked with a crutch for most of his like. Henry Powell received a crippling gun shot wound to the right ankle during the Civil War and also walked with a limp. Could one of the Powell men be responsible for the dragging footsteps that have been heard in the house?

Audio tech, Jay Wasley, syncs the EVP that investigator Darren captured of a scream with the car screeching from the night before. They match exactly in length as well as pitch, therefore debunking the scream entirely.

Jay and Billy Tolley set up an experiment inside the house, by setting a doll in a chair in hopes of communicating with the spirit of little Lizzie Powell. One of the devices used to measure extreme temperature drops suddenly lights up green, meaning that something is near. Zak uses the Ovilus 3 to communicate with whomever has caused the temperature drop and assuming that it's Lizzie, asks her to say what is sitting in the chair next to the blinky lights. Instead of saying "doll," the Ovilus says "flower." After this, Jay hears footsteps and a door slamming while monitoring the activity. Excited, the guys go into the house and discover that the only table in the entire house has a single flower resting on it.

Taking the Ovilus response of "flower" as a sign, the guys decide to conduct a Spirit Box session. Aaron also breaks out the PX Device, which is similar to the Ovilus since it allegedly allows spirits to communicate by changing the environment around them and choose words from the built in dictionary. Zak begins listing the names of people connected to the manor, when the PX blurts out "hide...spirits." Excited by the response, Zak then asks the first name of who they were communicating with and a female voices comes over the SB7 with the name "Lizzie."

The guys immediately recognize that the voice is not that of a child, so they question who they are speaking with and if she is watching over little Lizzie. The name "Emily" is then heard from the SB7, leading the crew to wonder if perhaps Emily was a nickname for Amelia, who would have been Lizzie's sister-in-law had she lived long enough to meet her. Strangely enough, Henry Powell's second wife was named Emma. When Zak again asks with whom they are communicating, the camera picks up an unexplained light anomaly appearing behind his left arm. It disappears shortly after it moves in front of him.

Heading upstairs, they bust out the FLIR (thermal imaging) camera to try and capture some visual evidence. Zak notices a bright purple spot on the floor of one of the rooms, meaning that it's extremely cold. Aaron checks the temperature in the room at various heights and notes that the floor area is five degrees cooler than the rest of the room. Trying to figure out what that spot could be, they go directly under that room and discover that the cold spot is just from water spot.

At this point, the crew head back to nerve center. Once back with Billy and Jay, they notice their Vibe pod, which detects vibrations, lighting up like crazy. The X-cam in the upstairs room captures the sounds of someone/thing fidgeting with the camera, and then it begins to go in and out of focus, which shouldn't happen, as the camera has an automatic focus. The Vibe pod ceases activity, which is followed by the X-cam losing signal. On the main level, they have placed REM Pod teddy bear, which starts to light up at maximum power.

Zak goes into the house and hears a loud knock as he heads upstairs. "Don't be afraid of me," he lets the spirits know that he intends no harm, and then hears dragging footsteps in response. He begins to feel uneasy at the top of the staircase, when suddenly he is frozen to the spot. At this moment, the X-cam in one of the upstairs rooms catches a shadow figure crossing from one side of the room to the other.

With his walkie-talkie malfunctioning, Zak has no contact with nerve center. After a few moments, he regains his mobility and heads back to nerve center. Nick goes back into the house alone and while on the staircase, in the same spot where Zak was frozen, something is thrown at him from the landing above. The audio of a small pebble-like item was caught on the camera, with Nick clearly reacting to it, however there was no visual caught. The crew seem to think this area could be some kind of paranormal portal.

Aaron joins Nick inside the house to conduct a final Spirit Box session while Billy goes through the house taking full spectrum still photos. Nick and Aaron receive no further activity during their SB7 session, but out of the 88 photos Billy took, one stood out. A white mist, standing about two to three-feet-tall, is caught in the main area of the house. It is approximately the same size as a toddler, possibly the spirit of Lizzie Powell. No other photos from this room captured anything, making this photo harder to debunk as a lens flare or anything else.

With fantastic evidence, the Ghost Adventures crew close another lockdown. Speaking with home owner Steve Miller, they tell him that they don't believe that anything negative is inhabiting Thornhaven Manor, but that it is, without a doubt, a hotbed of paranormal activity.

Tune in to the Travel Channel next Thursday, October 31, for the special two-hour Halloween episode, where the crew travel to Transylvania and investigate several Dracula related spots! Don't miss it, as it doesn't get any spookier than the one and only Vlad the Impaler.