October 25, 2007 07:30 AM by Joe Blackmon
Written by Jennifer Brown. The guys come up empty-handed in Salem, Massachusetts. Case #1: We join Jason (sans-beard) & Grant at the day job, fixing a
dishwasher, when Donna calls. Seems she’s lined up a couple
investigations in Salem, Mass [history lesson: Salem was the site of
the infamous "witch trials" of 1692, where many women were killed for
suspicion of being a witch]. This is a big deal for Donna, who visited
Salem and “had a feeling” over 20 years ago. She wants to go back and
see if the “feeling” is still there and if it pans out.
The team heads to Lyceum Restaurant, said to be built on the property where the house of suspected (and killed) witch, Bridget Bishop, once stood. They meet Robin Dobrusin – Lyceum’s bartender – who gives them a tour. At Lyceum, they’re sure they are being haunted by the ghost of Bridget Bishop, and have reports of full-body apparitions, as well as faces in the mirrors, things moving on their own, and the scent of apple blossoms in the air.
It’s a big team, tonight – Steve, Brian Harnois (where’s he been?!), Donna, Lisa, Jason, & Grant. They go dark and split into teams. Jason & Grant take the thermal to the kitchen and find nothing. They briefly smell something – could be apples – but quickly dismiss the smell by finding a closet full of cleaning supplies nearby [de-bunk slam dunk #1!]. They don’t get much farther when Jason’s phone rings. It’s his wife, telling him that his son, Logan, has fallen and broken his arm pretty severely. Jason has to abandon the hunt to be with his family (leaving Grant looking a little lost and withdrawn for the rest of the investigation).
Steve & Brian are in the dining room, working to debunk the “faces in the mirrors.” Right away they notice lots of lines and cracks and smudges in the ancient mirrors. Could be “pattern recognition” or “matrixing,” Steve suggests. A little more time in the room and they discover that headlights of passing cars bounce around the room like crazy, making shadows and light refraction the most likely cause of “paranormal” experiences in that room [debunk slam dunk #2!].
Grant & Lisa head for the bar for a little EVP work. Lisa’s asking questions when suddenly both computer screens light up at the same time, displaying the time – 1:13AM (Hey, correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t 1:13AM,13:13 in military time? Creepy,). A little more questioning ensues and suddenly the receipt printer attached to one of the computers whips off a little note. Grant takes the receipt and reads it. It says, “1:26AM Good Morning.” Now that’s strange,
After a while, Grant & Donna, who’re old high school buds, sit down for a chat about Donna’s experiences in Salem as a kid. She explains about her “feeling” here and talks a little about her own paranormal experiences as child. “Grant’s like a mentor to me,” Donna says afterward. “I feel kinda at ease walking into the dark with him.” (I know quite a few ladies who’d like to walk into the dark with him, Donna,)
We flash to the hospital back in Rhode Island, where Jason is pacing, looking like a scared parent. The break is bad – broken in two places. Might be surgery for poor little Logan,
The Findings: Jason is still with his son, so Steve will go with Grant for the reveal. Unfortunately they have nothing to show her, other than the weird receipt. Grant passes it to her and asks if she’s ever seen anything like it. She says no, absolutely not, which I think makes the receipt even creepier, but the guys don’t make much of a big deal about it. Robin tells cameras, “I’m a little disappointed that TAPS didn’t find a lot more.”
The guys cram into the GhostMobile (it’s weird seeing Grant behind the wheel,he looks so small on that side of the car) and Steve declares the Lyceum “not haunted” (I’m sure Jason would be so proud to hear him say those words).
Case #2: We head to the Hawthorne Hotel, a big and institutional-looking brick building. The team has shrunk overnight. With Jason still at home with the fam, and Brian out sick, Grant is forced to call in (one of my faves) Dustin, and Tango.
They meet Juli Lederhaus, General Manager, who is very excited and quickly gets down to business with a tour. “We’ve had guests who’ve left and won’t come back,” she says, taking them to the library where chairs and tables have been known to instantly arrange themselves and stack of their own volition. She also shows them Room 325, where there’ve been reports of people being heard using an empty bathroom and people feeling their toes tickled in the night. Then they head up to the 6th floor, where things go missing and are returned.
The team goes dark and splits up. Donna & Dustin take room 325 and quickly Donna debunks the tickled feet when she spies an air vent directly at the end of the bed [debunk slam dunk #3!] and then, when they hear water whooshing through the pipes in the walls, explain away the reports of someone using the empty bathroom [debunk slam dunk #4!]. “It’s obvious that the walls aren’t too thick in this old hotel,” Dustin says. Steve & Tango are up on the 6th floor, trying to get something to happen, when a chandelier seems to start swinging on its own. They are interested, but not overwhelmingly so, and we don’t hear much of anything about the swinging chandelier after that. They head to room 325 to debunk the “occupied empty bathroom” and quickly discover that Juli’s assertion that there is no access to that bathroom other than room 325 is incorrect – Steve goes through the door in the adjacent room with a key card with no problem! Grant & Donna lurk around the hotel for a while, but the most interesting thing they find is a bedside journal, filled with guests’ accounts of their experiences at the Hawthorne, many of them paranormal.
The Findings: This is Grant at his finest (Jason would be so proud!). The guys find two things. First, a shadow on the thermal. Grant points out that the image moves with the cameraman and that, if you look closely at the thermal image, you can even make out a headset. Then, a ghostly light in a dark room. Grant wastes no time pointing out to Steve that it’s the light on the end of a thermometer’s antenna. Nice job, Grant!
They go break the news to Juli, who’s a little defensive and definitely disappointed. “It doesn’t change anyone’s opinion of the place,” Grant says, and Juli later tells the camera, “I think the jury’s still out.”
Donna’s verdict about Salem: She never saw anything, but still feels weird about Salem.
The guys pile into the GhostMobile and head out – they’ve got more important things to do. The team shows up at Jason’s house and Jason answers the door, holding the cutest little boy ever. They all sign Logan’s cast and give him a giant balloon bouquet. “TAPS is a family,” Jason says after they leave. “See ya at the office,” he adds, shaking Steve’s hand on the way out.
Next on Ghost Hunters: The team goes back to Waverly Hills Sanitorium for a live Halloween special. The “hunt for the hunter” finalist is revealed, and the guys answer your personal questions.