January 16, 2013 08:02 PM by Ryan Haidet
After going on hiatus for just a few weeks, Ghost Hunters has returned for the start of season nine with the TAPS team investigating a pair of Hollywood locations — one tied to the infamous Black Dahlia murder, the other inside Madame Tussauds popular wax museum. Before the search for spirits started, a new investigator joined the show. Who is it? If you watched Ghost Hunters Academy, it’s somebody you’re already familiar with. Why does her addition to the team bother me? Plus, on the heels of one of the most frustratingly ridiculous seasons of Ghost Hunters, was this new episode able to get season nine off on the right foot? What kind of evidence did they capture? I’ve got loads of dastardly details and all my opinions inside this article!
Another New Investigator
The first investigation took the TAPS team to the Sowden House, which is the home where many people believe Elizabeth Short, better known as the Black Dahlia, was tortured and murdered. If you’re not familiar with the story, it is rather gruesome as Short’s body was found severed at the waist and drained of her blood. But before they jumped into this haunting environment, lead TAPS investigator Jason Hawes introduced the rest of the team to the newest member — Michelle Tate, one of the finalists during Ghost Hunters Academy. Adam, the winner of that show, was instantly thrilled to see her walk in and ready to investigate. I think Michelle is a good addition to the show, but I find it unnecessary when they already had a very capable new investigator — Ashley Troub — who was unfairly and unexpectedly cut loose from the show after just a few episodes. Ashley was one of the best things to happen to the show last season because she truly was one of the few people who didn’t seem to exaggerate absolutely everything that was taking place during the investigations. Based on the comments many of you readers left about Ashley’s dismissal, it seems you mostly agree that she was mistreated. She was likeable and believable, which I can’t say for most of the current TAPS members — especially Adam who seems to think every creaking floorboard is an elaborate ghostly encounter. I think the quick addition of Michelle is evidence that Ashley wasn’t simply dismissed so she could investigate closer to home with the West Coast TAPS family as Jason explained to her when he basically fired her. Bogus. Disappointing. I hope they give Michelle a fair shake and don’t give her ass the big ol’ boot as soon as Amy’s maternity leave comes to an end.
Throughout their search through the Sowden House, Michelle did prove that she’s a compelling and worthy investigator. Her bubbly, always-smiling personality helps, too. After wrapping up the investigation, the team did find a pair of EVPs that weren’t that convincing. Both had very subtle voices that sounded like a young girl. While the client was impressed, I surely wasn’t.
For the second investigation, the TAPS team set up shop inside Madame Tussauds Wax Museum on Hollywood Blvd., which I’ve actually had the opportunity to visit twice before. Check out the picture below to see me goofin’ around with the Bette Davis figure, which is supposed to be haunted because some have apparently seen her eyes move. Clearly, I wasn’t too freaked out by it. She probably was more weirded out by me. Anywho, while I absolutely loved going through the wax museum, never once did I have any vibes that the location was haunted — nor did anybody employed there indicate any such idea. Something like that is typically heavily publicized — especially in Hollywood — attempting to garner extra ticket sales. With that said, employees at the wax museum apparently believe the location is haunted by an actor who was brutally killed in the area in which the attraction now calls home.
As Britt and KJ teamed up for the investigation, they made their typical rounds with their equipment trying to coerce any ghosts to emerge. As usual, their goofy, little meters chirped and both guys freaked out. Predictable and silly. I will never ever ever ever ever never ever ever buy into a chirping meter as proof of the paranormal. Ever. Period. Pathetically and very unconvincingly, KJ repeated that the chirping noise was definitely proof of the dead actor’s presence. But I don’t even think he believed his corny proclamation. Go back and rewatch the moment. It just doesn’t seem very real that KJ actually buys into the garbage he’s trying to sell.
In the end, the team did capture a strange shadow on film, but that was about it.
Thankfully, this episode did showcase two separate incidents in which the TAPS team did explain why the eerie moment they experienced was not paranormal at all — one involved a video clip from the Sowden House, the other moving shadows at the wax museum. This, to me, is something that needs to be done more frequently to help keep the show grounded so it doesn’t seem like everything that happens is perceived as something paranormal. The best thing about this premiere? Definitely the incredible locations because both were very cool. Overall, this is a major improvement over last season’s dreadful glob of trash that was compiled week after week after week. I hope it gets better because I used to love this show and I miss the fun it used to be.
What did you think of this episode? Did any of the evidence impress you? What do you think of the newest member of the TAPS team? Do you think Michelle is a good fit? Sound off and leave a comment below!
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Photos from the show courtesy of SyFy. Photos from Madame Tussauds Wax Museum by Ryan Haidet, Leah Machek.