Friday, November 1, 2013

'Ghost Adventures' recap: 'Transylvania'

Courtesy The Travel Channel

To celebrate Halloween, the "Ghost Adventures" crew take us on a long awaited Transylvanian lockdown, where they hope to make contact with Dracula himself, Vlad Dracul. Known far and wide as a brutal leader, the Prince of Wallachia is said to have murdered tens of thousands of his enemies by impaling them and leaving their dead bodies in front of his castle as a warning.

Vlad the Impaler, was also known as Vlad Dracul, which means "son of the devil," in Romanian. Not only will the crew be investigating the castle of Vlad Dracul in Targoviste, but they will also be hitting up what it considered to be one of the worlds most haunted forests; Hoia-Baciu, a place where local residents refuse to enter after dark.

The Hoia-Baciu forest has a long history of light anomalies, elementals and medieval ghosts, as well as decades worth of UFO sightings. There is a spot in the forest, where no vegetation grows, that is said to be a kind of supernatural vortex. Zak, Billy and their translator decide to go to the forest and investigate, while Nick and Aaron head to Dracula's castle.

Team Hoia-Baciu met with Dr. Adrian Patrut, a professor of inorganic chemistry and parapsychologist, to discuss the circle in center of the forest. Dr. Patrut tells them that the circle itself is at least 200 years old, and he still hasn't found any explanation as to why nothing will grow there. Along with their Romanian translator, Billy and Zak interview residents about the forest. They hear stories of strange disappearances, ghostly apparitions and strange balls of light. One man claimed to see a red ball of light hovering 6 feet off the ground before it disappeared; his wife says that he isn't the type to scare easily, but since that incident, her husband won't enter the forest.

After gathering this information, Zak and Billy decide to rent an ATV to investigate the forest's mysterious circle. Their guide will take them to the edge of the forest, but won't go in with them. Keeping their eyes open, they navigate their way through the woods and come to the clearing. Their equipment catches a very soft drumming sound almost instantly.

Zak and Billy begin to feel disoriented in the circle, so Zak decides to do some Mel meter sweeps, while Billy sets up a static camera. In the darkness, the generally fearless Zak calls out to Billy, with extreme fear in his voice. His Mel meter has a huge spike and a strange subsonic sound can be heard under his device. The thermal imaging camera goes haywire when they try to sweep the perimeter of the circle, so they set up more X-cams. Billy doesn't believe Zak when he says he's ok, as he's never experienced Zak acting in such a manner. Zak says he feels safe within the circle, but is terrified once he steps outside of it.

Despite Zak's terrifying personal experience, they head deeper into the forest to see what else they can capture. Billy sees a strange orange ball of light moving through the forest, but when they try to capture it on camera, it turns red. They turn off night vision and it illuminates the trees around them, meaning it's in the forest with them. They then recall the story of the man who had seen a glowing red ball of light, but can't figure out what it could be.

While Zak and Billy are deep in the Hoia-Baciu, Aaron, Nick and Jay begin lockdown inside Vlad's castle. Despite reports of uneasy feelings in the castle, they don't receive any evidence in the main area, so they decide to hit up Vlad's throne room. Jay captures footsteps on the live audio feed, and later finds a light anomaly that is approximately 30 feet away from the X-cam, which is too far away to be an insect.

After the throne room, Nick and Aaron go into one of the main jail cells in the castle and discover a passage-way into another cell. While Aaron is in the main cell, the X-cam captures a light anomaly heading towards him. This anomaly is validated by the fact that both Aaron and Nick hear footsteps and Aaron responding to the light, though he can't see it, by turning his head towards it as it comes toward him.

At this point, they conduct a Spirit Box session, in hopes of communicating with Vlad. Aaron asks if there are any prisoners there and the SB7 responds "hello." The guys are so deep underground that they have no walkie communication with Jay, so receiving a response over the SB7 is highly unlikely. As for the response being in English, it is the most common greeting and Nick had just said it moments before the response came through. If you listen closely, it seems to have a very thick sounding accent. Nick feels freezing cold in the cell he's in, while Aaron is hot. The SB7 gets very quiet and Aaron then hears an unexplained breath that is caught on the X-cam.

Aaron and Nick receive another "hello" response, this time from a female and again right after they said hello to whatever spirits are surrounding them. Aaron is becoming easily agitated, so they decide to move to another part of the castle. Aaron brings out his Ovilus 3 and it almost immediately says his name. When asked if the spirit was murdered, it responds with "flowers," it then says "Vlad."

Once their dual investigations are over, the crew regroups in the city of Hunedoara to review evidence. Zak is feeling a little sick and hopes that a couple of the local kids are wrong when they claim that seeing a ball of light in the forest will give you a disease. He tells the others about his experience in the circle, and Billy says he felt that same weird and uncomfortable energy. They show Nick and Aaron the strange lights they caught in the forest; everyone is excited by the visual evidence, yet no one can explain it. Aaron, Nick and Jay then present the Ovilus response "Vlad," which brings a huge grin to the face of Dracula fan, Zak. They don't, however, share the audio that says "flowers."

The crew heads to their final location, Hunedoara castle, famous for torture and where Vlad Dracul was eventually imprisoned for treason after his second Wallachian rule. It is no easy task to get native Romanians to speak about the paranormal, but the GAC are lucky. They speak with Cezar Nedelea, the castle's security guard for about 20 years, who shares a chilling story with them. He claims that one night after the castle had been closed to the public, he allowed a group of Satanic worshipers inside. They went to the chapel and began chanting in an unknown language, and after they left, the doors they had used to exit began to open and close on their own. The next night, he was almost struck by a bolt of lightening.

Due to the residual energy from the torture that went on within the castle walls, they fear that they may be dealing with demonic forces. They meet up with tour guide, Anca Szalkay, who says their ghosts are very civilized and like music. The piano inside the Knight's hall, which was also a judgement room, is known to play by itself. Here, they discover the trapdoor which was used to house the most important prisoners, including Vlad.

During an archaeological dig of the Comana monastery in the 1970s, a tomb was discovered with the skeletal remains of a headless person inside, which is the alleged final resting place of Vlad Tepes. He founded the monastery in 1461, and only the one that built the church has the right to be buried where the tomb was found.

After speaking with the head of the monastery, they travel to speak with Princess Brianna Caradja; a direct descendant of Vlad Tepes. She tells them that people in Romania don't relate Tepes and Dracula, as he was a warrior prince. She recounts the Ouija board experience she had, where she believes that her great-great-grandfather made contact with her, by spelling out Vlad. They share the audio evidence captured in Vlad's castle, "flowers" and "Vlad," and she hears it as plain as day. Aaron wonders aloud why it would say "flowers" and then "Vlad," when Zak points out that for the first time in over 100 episodes, he had interviewed the Princess while surrounded by flowers.

The lockdown of Hunedoara castle begins with the crew inside of a bear pit, where prisoners were sent to their deaths while people watched for entertainment. While placing the thermal imaging camera here, Jay and Billy hear footsteps and the door to the chapel open and close on its own, just like the security guard claimed to have witnessed after the Satanic ritual had been practiced. Billy uses his walkie talkie to confirm that the guys were the ones that had done it, but Zak tells him that they're still in the bear pit. He tells them to go to the chapel, but the guys hear a female voice (not captured on camera) and decide to stay.

In the Knight's hall they see strange flashing lights, which are captured on the X-cam. They do some EVP sessions, but receive no responses and decide to head deeper into the castle. Zak asks in Romanian if anyone is there and nearly gives himself a heart attack when he sees his own shadow. While doing a live EVP playback, they capture women laughing after Zak asks whatever spirits are there to manifest themselves. They radio security to make sure no one was laughing outside; security confirms that no one was.

Aaron begins to feel a cramping in his arm not long after the laughter is captured. He begins to get extremely irritable and a negative feeling spreads throughout the group, so they head back to nerve center to recoup. To conclude the investigation, the team splits up. Aaron goes into the artifacts room, Nick goes into the chapel and Zak is deep in Vlad's prison cell.

Zak tells the spirits to speak now, in Romanian, and the SB7 responds in a male voice "I was bitten." He then plays 11 pre-recorded questions in Romanian, and says he feels comfortable down there, however that feeling soon changes.

Nick lights candles in the chapel and tells the spirits to blow them out. After they don't respond, he gets up and does it himself. Standing in complete darkness, he hears footsteps and an unexplained tapping sound. He begins to feel a negative energy, and forces himself to leave the chapel, though he doesn't want to. As soon as Nick blows out the last candle, they all feel the same negative energy. They also capture a purple figure on the thermal imaging camera, which denotes extreme cold, three seconds after Nick blows out the final candle moving from the chapel towards the Knights hall.

What did you think of the Halloween special and the evidence they found? Would you be brave enough to investigate these infamous haunts?

Tune in to the Travel Channel on November 8 at 9 p.m. ET and see what the GAC finds in "Battle of Perryville."