Race Rock Lighthouse

This is an enhanced transcript of the fourth episode of the first season of the partially re-enacted reality show Ghost Hunters, by Mme. Blahblatsky. I admit, I got a little carried away here in my transcribing and the Talking Mongoose got all pissy about having to post such a “uselessly verbose” recap.

But I couldn’t help myself. This is the first episode had a truly scary moment, in an exotic locale, with a new TAPS guy who makes Brian Harnois look catatonic. There’s a lot to discuss!

Speaking of discussions, the Ouija Board one, which usually occurs at the end, will have its own post.

Disclaimer:

No thanks to Pilgrim Films and Television, Inc. which, with whomever said it, owns all the quoted material, but doesn’t provide subtitles for the hearing-impaired. Mme. B. is providing a public service here, for nothing. Okay, so what if nobody asked for it?

There is no previously. We’re on a brand-new adventure.

Narrator: “Tonight on Ghost Hunters, Jason and Grant investigate a haunted lighthouse, two new members join the ghost hunters as they battle heavy seas, Brian hunts the spirit of a long-lost light keeper, while Jason goes fishing, and TAPS cameras capture an invisible force.”

At this last bit, there is much yelling about something we don’t see on a monitor. The credits roll. They’ve add a new dilapidated door from the John Stone Tavern.

THE PITCH

Race Rock Lighthouse

Wednesday 2:35 P.M.

TAPS Headquarters

Jason, Grant, and Brian Harnois are in conference. There is a rather spectacular picture of a lighthouse on the computer screen. Case Manager Brian has scored a good one, it looks like.

Brian: “This is awesome, man. Just got off the phone with Chief Nolda from the Coast Guard. They want us to find out if the place is haunted or not. It’s Race Rock lighthouse out in New London, Connecticut. Look at it, man – it’s awesome! Going out to a lighthouse?”

Jason: “It’s an unmanned lighthouse?”

Brian: “Unmanned lighthouse. Right there’s the solar panels that light the tower, and that’s the – uh – foghorn right there.”

Jason: “They light the tower, so what are you telling me – there’s no power?”

Brian: “No power, no bathrooms, no nothing.”

Grant: “No – wait. Say that again?”

Brian: “No bathrooms, man. You’re crappin’ off the side, dude.”

Grant: “Oh my god.”

Brian: “There actually – this was dating back to the 1700’s there have been eight documented shipwrecks right there. There’s boats and everything all around – shipwrecks – um, the undertow is so thick that when you fall in, you get sucked under and that’s it, you’re dead. So don’t fall in.”

This sounds fun already.

Grant: “So what’s up with it?”

Brian: “Well, they’ve had tons of paranormal activity in that place. They heard the water running inside the bathroom and when they went out there – when they went out in the hallway, the shower – everything that was running stopped, and they could see wet footprints going up the stairs.”

Jason: “If it’s an unmanned lighthouse, why do they care if it’s haunted right now?”

Brian: “Every couple of months they go out there when they go to check the batteries for the solar power and stuff they’re afraid to actually step into the lighthouse because they’ve heard all the stories. So if we go there and disprove the haunting…”

Grant: “People will go.”

Brian: “People will go and – and – Chief Nolda can tell you it’s not haunted – here’s the proof.”

I don’t know. I kind of doubt the Coast Guard called up TAPS to ask for help with their haunted lighthouse. I also doubt anyone in the Coast Guard will admit to being “scared” by a “ghost” to the point where he or she is whining to a superior officer about it. I also doubt that TAPS can “disprove a haunting” based on a single visit. But I’ll let these quibbles go for now.

Jason: “But Brian, to you everything’s haunted so that doesn’t matter…”

Brian: “Hell yeah, dude. That’s correct.”

Grant: “But if we do find something there, then the stories are no longer stories.”

Brian: “They’re proof.”

This loses me. Stories, proof, what? Will the Coast Guard abandon their duties if TAPS discovers the lighthouse is infested with ghosts? Well, whatever happens, Jason doesn’t care. Jason is going fishing. He bets Brian two hundred dollars that he will catch a fish before Brian catches a ghost on Race Rock. And the ghost has to be the real McCoy.

Jason: “I don’t want to hear any of this crap – a piece of dust…”

Brian: “No, I’m going to get an ent-tit-ty.”

Jason: “Yeah.”

Grant: “Yeah, I’ll be the referee on this. I’ll make the call.”

Brian: “All right. All right, dude. You make the call.”

Jason and Brian bump fists. Grant warns Brian, “You know I don’t like orbs.” Jason and Brian taunt each other. I’m rooting for Brian, but in a hopeless way.

THE BRIEFING

Race Rock Lighthouse

Saturday 2:15 P.M.

A very small group of investigators gathers at the TAPS trailer. Just two new people are joining Jason, Grant and Brian. So, darn – no battling Brians, no demonologist twins. The new guy – Andy Andrews, investigator, is all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, with a touch of the squirrelly look to him. He seems promising.

Grant: “Andy’s a great guy to bring on any investigation honestly. He just hits stuff really really hard and the lighthouse just seemed like a weird, unique type of case, so we figured we couldn’t go wrong bringing Andy with us.”

Heather Drolet is a “Pagan/Wiccan,” which sounds cool. She looks totally normal, though.

Jason: “Heather Drolet is a – she’s a very important member of TAPS. She’s a pagan – I guess some would call her a witch – but she has a lot of knowledge of the occult and that style of activity and it really helps out in certain cases.

The gang is getting preliminary instructions. Jason tells them they’re bringing generators because there’s no power for their equipment. He skips over the bathroom problem, which is too bad, because I wanted to hear what they were arranging for Heather. Jason warns everyone to stay away from the rocks and the water, and promises three riptides will pull them away if they fall in.

The mystery of why a pagan/wiccan is going with them is revealed. Heather is going to be using dowsing rods to see if she can pick up “concentrated energies.” She will be teamed up with someone doing EMF readings for comparison, as an experiment to see if woman and machine are picking up the same thing.

Then they’re all off to New London in TAPS vans. As usual, Jason is driving Grant in the executive van, so they can executive-conference. I must say that the editors really worked hard on their cutting and splicing of this week’s Crisis.

Jason: “My biggest concern about going to this lighthouse, Grant, is not having any power, not having any utilities – you know, bathroom…”

Cut to Brian driving other van –

Brian: The thing I’m worries about is no bathrooms. And you know – I don’t mind going – uh – you know –uh number one’s fine but – gotta go drop a deuce or something, dude – I’m…” chortling

Heather: “you had to go there, didn’t you?”

Brian: “Ah – I’m serious.”

Cut to –

Jason: It’s kind of cool that I’m going to be fishing while you help the Coast Guard. Being right there in these riptides? That’s going to be perfect fishing.”

Cut to –

Heather: “He brought a fishing pole.”

Brian: “I know. Crazy bastard. He bet me two hundred bucks that he’s going to catch a fish before I catch a ghost.”

Cut to –

Jason: “Think of it like a camping trip.”

Grant: “That’s it, except you can’t sit down.”

Jason: “I brought some chairs for us to kick back in.”

Cut to –

Brian: “That’s what we forgot. (slaps dashboard) Damn it!

Heather: “What?”

Brian: “Forgot the chairs.”

Heather (gasping): “Are you serious?”

Brian: “All those – all those – all those folding chairs? They were all alongside Jason’s house. He’s going to freakin’ kill me. My god he is gonna kill me.”

Although, my trust has been eroded enough to wonder if they paid Brian extra to forget the chairs. I would have.

THE INVESTIGATION

Race Rock Lighthouse

New London, Connecticut

Saturday 4:30 P.M.

At the docks, a duck. Cute baby duck. Also, Senior Chief Boatswain’s Mate J. Nolda, U.S. Coast Guard is there to meet them with another Coast Guard guy. Grant thanks them for letting TAPS investigate. Yeah, that’s what I thought. Nolda replies in a way reminiscent of someone whose wife is dragging him to a party he didn’t want to attend.

Nolda: “Uh, no. It’ll be fun. Be kind of exciting. Where we’re going we need to get going though. We’re gonna have tide critical and it’s a giant whirlpool and very dangerous area.”

During the packing of the boat, Grant can be heard muttering something about “just so we don’t friggin’ die.”

Wait! Giant whirlpool? Grant thinks he’s in danger of dying? I think we’re not being told everything. The impending slaughter of Brian by Jason over the missing chairs trumps any silly concerns about Scylla and Charybdis.

Jason: “So have we got everything? Brian, did you bring the chairs?

Brian: “Um. Yeah no. I was…”

Jason: “Yeah no yeah no, yes or no?”

Brian: “No, I didn’t bring the chairs.”

Jason: “You didn’t bring the chairs.”

Brian: “No.”

Jason: “What, are we supposed to sit on the rocks for twelve hours? You said you loaded up everything in that van.”

Brian: “Yeah, I loaded up all the equipment.”

Jason: “Which – also consisted of the chairs.”

Brian: “Yeah, I wasn’t thinking of the chairs at the time. I just set up all the DVR systems and stuff.”

Grant: “I don’t think anyone’s going to sit down. It’s got to be covered with seagull crap.”

Jason shakes his head and sighs heavily.

Brian opens the back of the van.

Brian: “Hey, cool! The chairs are here! Whew. J.’s going to be happy. Where the hell is he? Saves my ass.”

Andy: “Happy I brought the chairs? What do you think, huh?”

Brian: “Oh, it was you?”

Andy: “My bottom’s very sensitive. I didn’t want to be sitting on any rock.”

Jason: I think you’re Brian’s savior today.”

Damn Andy and his sensitive bottom anyway. Now we don’t get to see Jason building up a head of steam through the night, until he goes berserk and rips out Brian’s entrails for use as bait.

A smallish motorboat gets filled with equipment. Andy, brandishing a pipe, is Popeye meets Jaws: “Arrrrr – I think we need a bigger boat.”

They motor out toward the lighthouse. Some civilians are taking them. Everyone is too cool to wear life jackets. Only the Coast Guard guys wear life jackets.

Grant: “We’re stuck on this rock for twelve hours?”

Jason: “It’s going to be an interesting night.”

Grant: “It’s going to be an awesome night.”

Jason: “So why didn’t we do the easy one?”

Grant: “I have no idea. Blame him.”

Brian: “Blame it on me, like you always do.”

Jason: “Grant’s always all over you, not me.”

Grant: “Now you know you can’t trust anything he said.”

Brian: “I know.”

Jason: “Brian, no matter how much I get on you, you know, I still think of you as my brother.”

Brian: “I know, man. It’s all good.”

This is a nice rapprochement, in case someone gets drowned tonight. Maybe this is Jason’s way of making sure he doesn’t have an accident.

Getting close to the lighthouse, the water becomes incredibly wild. Masses of it are moving in several different directions at once, all of it too fast. A rock the size of a whale emerges from the waves and gets covered over again. This place is scary, never mind the ghosts.

Either the shrieking of the passengers has been edited out, or they’re all too terrified to squeak. Grant still retains enough of a survival instinct to protest feebly that he thinks they’re there “too late,” but it’s too late for that. They’re going in to land at a very small pier on a very small island of rough boulders. The riprap supports a circular grey stone plinth, which holds the lighthouse up out of the water. The lighthouse itself has a central tower above a Gothic-looking house, with the year 1878 carved over the front door. If this place isn’t haunted, it should be.

Jason shouts, “Guys, hang on!” Someone else is yelling “Watch out watch out watch out watch out watch out!”

Somehow they manage to avoid being dashed to pieces, and the motorboat is tied up and unloaded. Landlubber Grant, scrambling onto shore, is still in shock. “That was some crazy driving!” If you’re interested, go here to find out what was going on with that water. Because we needed to spend all that time on the non-drama of the non-missing chairs.

Inside, Nolda gives them a tour and a brief history of the lighthouse. Really brief, edited to a nubbin. Because we had to spend all that time on – eh. You know. I’d forget the episode version and go read this. Summing up, a lot of ships wrecked on Race Rock in the 1800’s. It finally got a light in 1879, which was tended by people living in the lighthouse until the 1960’s, when the Coast Guard took it over. The light is now fully automated.

We see a sign on the main entrance door – “Danger Battery Charging Area No Smoking Warning Keep Out Qualified USCG Personnel Only.” If ghosts need energy to manifest, this looks like the place for them.

Nobody actually repeats any ghost stories that are specific about the lighthouse. I guess there wasn’t time because…whatever. But the lengthily titled Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class Peter Jennings says a former light keeper is supposed to be responsible for the haunting as “like all sea-faring traditions he’s out here making sure the light still operates.”

Nolda says “they’ve” never experienced anything, which I guess means the current Coast Guard guys, but there are stories. We hear a tiny one about the former bathroom from a Brad Lourson of the USCG, with no details: “When we heard the rustling of the shower curtain, we were sitting in the living room actually watching t.v. and we just kind of like looked at each other and we like laughed and we said it was the ghost going to take a shower.”

Where Brian’s wet footprint story comes from remains a mystery.

Grant, to distract us from the thinness of tonight’s background story, makes a pitiful ghost plumbing joke when he finds a hole in the floor: “Oh, look – a little ghost toilet.” He squats. “Do your business right here. Ha ha.”

Nolda calls the lighthouse a sparkplug type. It’s three stories – a basement, a first floor of four small rooms around a central stair tower, two rooms on the second floor, a small attic area under the back central gable, a small room holding the light at the top, and a spiral stair connecting all levels.

The sun is going down. Where are the picnic baskets? I can’t believe all those coolers on the motorboat didn’t have some food in them.

Down in basement, Nolda points out walls that are three feet thick, to withstand impact of 50’ – 60” waves. Being out here alone in a storm must have been different.

Jason tries to get Nolda to be more forthcoming. “C’mon – do you believe the history that the place is haunted?”

Nolda is not about to commit either way. “I mean I’ve never seen anything to say it is, and I’ve never seen anything to say it isn’t, so, you know, do I think that it’s possible that the keeper’s spirit is still here? I suppose it is.” He shrugs.

Nighttime – it looks spooky, with red flashes from above. But there have got to be at least ten guys roaming around that tiny dot of rock right now, what with the camera crew and the Coast Guard, so it must feel almost crowded. I bet Heather is wondering why she agreed to come along.

Brian and Andy set up the cameras, while Jason is futzing around the “control center.” Brian discovers a rat’s nest of extension cord. “Who mangled these cords? This is retarded.”

Andy: “Ghost hunting is a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it.”

It’s lights-out time.

Andy goes into raptures over the camera shot of the basement. “Ahhhhhh – look at that, Brian. That is unreal. That is sweet. Look at that basement. What a great shot.” Andy is a little bit odd.

Jason checks on his challenge to Brian: “Bet on?” Brian nods. Two hundred bucks. You catch a ghost before I catch a fish.”

Brian: “All right.”

Jason: “All right.”

Brian: “Awesome.”

Right here there is a shot of the lighthouse from outside and you can hear a dog barking. Phantom dog! Because we never see a dog. The nearest land is Fishers Island, half a mile away.

10:40 P.M.

Brian and Andy are doing EVP, EMF, and digital thermometer work.

Grant sort of explains the electromagnetic field reader, which measures frequencies given off by whatever gives off a frequency – microwaves, human beings, and, presumably, ghosts. Brian is calling for ghosts. “Anybody here tonight that’d like to speak with us?”

Grant: “Now an entity itself when it manifests it’ll give off this high electromagnetic frequency.” Well, that’s the theory, anyway.

Jason is crouched outside on the rocks, with two bloody halves of a fish he has just cut with a large knife. I’m suddenly thinking of Gollum, only well-fed, and wearing a TAPS cap, and… now I’m not.

Jason: “I’m not afraid of ghosts. Um, when you finally have your own experience you realize they’re around you. They’re everywhere. I’ve never met anybody who’s been physically assaulted or harmed by a spirit.”

But it’s only the first season.

He’s fishing with a mackerel, going for bluefish and striped bass, hoping to catch something, just like ghost hunting. At first I thought it was unconscionable that he was planning to loll about with fishing pole while his underlings slaved away with their EMF readers and dowsing rods. But Race Rock with its wild water currents is apparently a fisherman’s holy grail kind of place so, free pass this time.

THE INVESTIGATION

Race Rock Lighthouse

Saturday 11:02 P.M.

Brian and Andy are still trolling for frequencies and EVP’s.

Brian: “My name is Brian. What is your name?”

He is speaking as if to a very dimwitted child.

Brian: “If there is a sentient being here, will you please give us a sign of your presence.” He says sentient with a “t” which I take to mean he saw it in a book, or something similar, which makes me feel very cheerful – who says the young folk don’t read?

There is a flurry of spiked EMFs.

Andy: “Where’s that hot spot coming from?”

Brian: “That went off the scale, baby.”

But EMF excitement is short-term, because -

Lighthouse Basement 11:30 P.M.

Brian is starting to have second thoughts about his rash bet with Jason.

Brian: “And I now demand that you show yourself. Plus, I want to get two hundred bucks so, c’mon. I’ll split it with you.”

Andy: “I think you’ve reached a new low, Brian. Hitting up ghosts for money.”

Brian: “Hell, yeah, dude. Hey man, I need two hundred bucks, okay.

Andy: “Two hundred bucks is two hundred bucks.” Brian: “Two hundred bucks, damn straight.”

There is much laughter. I guess you had to be there.

TAPS cap now backwards, Jason is reeling something in out on the pier. “I think I got one. Ah, fuck. I let it go. Eh. This bet might be null and void, if something doesn’t happen soon. I can always put a mackerel on the end, cast it out, make it look like I caught something.”

Inside the lighthouse, the EMF readings are getting freaky again.

Brian: “Dude, 2.9 just went right past me.”

Andy: “All right, I’m spiking high high high 6.5 1.5 5.2 2.6 – I’m right over it. We’re getting a steady pattern – um – we’re actually able – to follow that EMF reading all the way up the stairs. Now just imagine this – we take two steps backwards, we’re not getting anything, but if we rush forward – we take three steps four steps forward, then we’re picking up again. But if we freeze, we lose it again, so it’s moving on its own.” Andy is very excited.

Grant, back in his EMF interview opines: “It can be an entity that we’re following or it can be some other electrical phenomenon we don’t know about.”

Heather appears from wherever the aliens abducted her to, or perhaps she has been playing poker with the equally lost Coast Guard guys. She and Andy are going to compare his EMF readings with her dowsing rods, starting at zero EMF, and dowsing rods parallel.

Heather: “Dowsing rods are sort of a pagan tool. The idea behind it is they pick up on concentrated levels of energy, and what they’ll do is when they approach that energy they’ll start to cross like so (the rod tips have just barely crossed) and the more intense the energy becomes the more concentrated it becomes, they’ll cross further down the rod like this.” (the rods cross in a big X)

Andy and Heather are going up the spiral stair, where the spiking was just found. Her dowsing rods cross at 1.3 on the EMF reader, and then both lapse back to zero. The rods cross again at 1.8.

Heather says the rods don’t pick up electrical outlets or magnets. I wonder. You’re supposed to be able to dowse for anything. Although, I suppose she’s saying that dowsers looking for water or ghosts aren’t going to be getting false readings from electrical outlets and magnets.

So much for the big experiment. I guess we’ve seen the most dramatic bit, because there is no more. Heather says they’re seeing spikes of energy throughout the core of the lighthouse in the spiral stair. “There’s something significant here – it’s just a matter of further investigation and gathering information to find out which it is.” See – dowsing for ghosts is simple! Make your own dowsing rods from coat hangers and try it!

Jason, coming inside: “The current out there right now is too strong to fish.” No matter which side of the rocks he’s on, he’s getting pulled to the end. Well, maybe now he can do some real work, like scanning the radios for trouble.

Grant: “I want to take some time tonight to just sit up in the attic with my chair and digital recorder or something.”

Jason: “Trying to get some EVP’s?”

Grant: “Yeah. Just get a good sense of the place.”

Jason: “If you’ve gotta do that I just prefer you have a two-way on you so you can call if there’s any problems.”

Because everyone is so spread out in this teeny-tiny lighthouse. And the people in the poker game are making so much noise. Hey – what ever happened to that rule Steve told us about so solemnly in the Mishler basement – about no one ever going anywhere alone? And why don’t we know anything about the attic? Why is Grant going to the attic?

LIGHTHOUSE ATTIC 2:35 A.M.

Grant is slumped in a small canvas beach chair in the attic. He interviews elsewhere, later: “I have to say when I peered into the attic I got an uneasy feeling about that.” Uh oh.

Grant explains his methodology: “Just kinda sit here trying to get a feel for the building – you know? I’ve got my recorder here and everything. Sometimes you just got to stop everything else and just sit back and relax. Too much activity and you won’t notice anything.” Presumably the camera crew now goes away and leaves him alone for a while.

Heather and Andy are hanging out somewhere else. Heather explains – um – not much. “The practice of paganism involves a great reverence for nature, the elements, the directions of the wind primarily – I don’t particularly classify myself as a witch only because the idea of calling yourself a witch essentially is because you practice witchcraft, which is one of their religions which is under the umbrella of paganism.”

I still don’t understand why they brought Heather. I would have brought one of the twins, to say a prayer for any poor soul stuck on this rock. Now Heather can go back to her poker game. Her work here is done. And so is the editing of Heather.

Grant is seen carrying the canvas folding chair down from the attic. Brian is still harassing the ghosts.

Brian: “Is there anybody down her tonight that would like to speak with us? We know you haunt the light. We just want to know who you are. Are you the spirit of the person that died in this room? We’re here to help you, but we need to know what you want. Give us a sign of your presence.”

Andy: “Please try to communicate with us. We want to hear what you have to say.”

The EMF spikes, then nothing. The guys bemoan the lack of cold spots – they haven’t found a single one.

Brian: “All right, let’s go back out. This room is dead. No pun intended.”

LIGHTHOUSE GALLEY 3:25 P.M.

It’s time to pack up and get out.

Grant: “I don’t think J.’s caught a fish yet, so it’s not looking good for either of you.” (Brian puts his palms together in prayer) - so break it down, let’s get out of here.”

Andy is still enthusiastic: “This was a great investigation. The equipment worked fabulous. I’m so excited to get back and really start taking a look at our – uh – infrared cameras. That was fabulous.”

Jason is still skeptical: “I don’t think I’m going to win the bet. Nor do I think Brian is going to. Nothing’s biting tonight.” Jennings, out on the rocks, is telling him there are usually a lot of blues and stripers out here, when there is a report from the water..

Jason: “What’s that? Someone lighting off fireworks?”

Jennings is positively galvanized into action, shouting “Ahhhhhhhh! It’s a flare!” He scampers up over the rocks, and seems to be drawing a gun?!? There is much excitement.

Jennings: “Can you hear me? Do you have engines?” He’s calling to something floating out just beyond earshot. A foghorn is blaring. A small boat emerges from the mist.

Hubbub ensues.

Jason interviews, as it happens, very fired up: “Two gentlemen, an older man and a younger guy – uh – had actually been floating on the water for about five hours. Uh – they smashed into some rocks. I believe they were taking in some water. Uh we’re just getting ‘em in now and uh, we’re going to get ‘em up and try to set them down and get ‘em – you know – find out what’s going on, find out what’s happened. But they never would have made it into shore. This is an unmanned lighthouse. If we were not here tonight, you know, they would have – they would have crashed into the rocks right off the shore.”

The Coast Guard guys fetch the lost mariners in to the pier. They’re from a business called Outboard Exchange, and had been repairing a client’s boat out on Fisher’s Island. They got lost in the fog on the way home, and their boat kept running aground somewhere. They’d push it off, and get stuck again.

Jennings: “That was their last flare, and they had fired other flares to no avail, so all in all, they were extremely fortunate that we happened to be right here. I mean, out of a whole year, we come out here – you know – every three or every six months to maintain this light, and no one’s ever here.”

Boatswain’s Mate Christopher Osbourne: “This is why we’re out here. This is what we’re trained to do, so it’s actually nice once in a while you get to use it and make a difference in someone’s life.”

So – wow! In case anyone was worrying about the Coast Guard being distracted from more important things like homeland security by this ghost hunt, I think you can stop. Mme. Blahblatsky, for one, is all for the Coast Guard going on ghost hunts once in a while.

RACE ROCK LIGHTHOUSE 5:40 A.M.

So, two hours later, it’s finally time to leave. A motorboat arrives to fetch the TAPS crew, all grim-faced because they think they have nothing much in the way of evidence after twelve hours on this rock. Brian is yawning.

Jason: “So what do you think?”

Grant: “I don’t know. I think the only thing we have to think about is that friggin’ EMF crap. Just gotta review it, you know.”

Jason: “We’ll get a couple hours sleep.”

Grant: “Get off this forsaken wreck.”

Jason takes exception to Grant’s description. “Forsaken wreck? It’s a cool lighthouse. It’s been an adventure. It’ll be a spooky ride home.”

THE ANALYSIS

Race Rock Lighthouse

Wednesday 2:45 P.M.

Brian and Andy are looking at the DVR evidence from the basement and the bathroom. They have a fit over some fog coming through the door in the bathroom. Or Andy does.

Andy: Look at that! That is sweet! What is that? It’s – it’s gathering, right? It’s coming in the doorway, and it – it’s gathering right in that corner. Look at that! It’s actually getting thicker!”

Brian sees an orb above the fog.

Andy: “Ahhhhh- you’re right! Look at this. We’ve got some orbs coming in now. Wow! Did you just see that?”

Brian: “Yeah, that’s – that’s not…”

Andy: “Go back. Go back go back on that.”

Andy interviews: “There are a few ways that we can kind of distinguish the difference between dust and an orb. Most of the time with the dust you kind of get a whirled wind [sic] type effect where it kind of spirals up. We’re hoping to find some orbs that have a direct path.”

Andy (to Brian): “Look at that! That’s not a – that – you know – that’s not a dust particle. It’s too bright…”

Brian: “No, it disappears right there…”

Andy: “Right, it’s too bright…”

Brian: “It’s too bright. If it was a bug it’d go right through…”

Andy: “And look at the angle that it’s running on, and it’s coming in from high up…”

Brian: “And it cuts up to upstairs…”

Andy: “And it cuts up to the upper corner. Very cool. Nice. Nice nice nice.”

Fist bump time. I guess it’s nice. I can’t really get into a spot of light, so I guess I’m with Grant. This is not going to win the bet, I know that.

Then there’s something of a bustle. We see what is totally a re-enactment of the episode’s Big Moment in the analysis, but it is swell, and even more enjoyable when you know they are re-enacting it just for you.

Brian: “This is the camera we set up in the attic. You’ll see Grant sitting, on the chair.”

He points to Grant on the chair, in case we miss this.

Andy: “There, there he goes. So there’s Grant. He’s leaving.”

This is the cue for the guys to relax in their chairs, and stop watching the monitor.

Brian: “So what’d you think, man?” He’s looking down at the desk, and Andy is leaning back in his chair, while the camera views them from the side.

Andy: “I thought the investigation was pretty cool. Every kid wants to get into a lighthouse – to be able to run through the whole thing.”

Brian: “Of course!”

Andy: “And be like…”

There is a loud scraping noise from the computer, because – if you have checked the words on the computer screen before they got all casual and stopped looking at it, they have left the volume turned up to 37!!!.

The camera is now behind the guys, as they finally look at the monitor. After that, there’s no point keeping track of the camera angle changes.

Brian:HOLY SHIT! What the hell was that, dude? What was that, dude?”

Andy remains motionless, then waves his pen and scrabbles for paper.

Andy: “Rewind. Rewind rewind.”

Brian: “I don’t know.”

Both mouths are agape. They rewind. We hear the noise again.

Andy: Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!

Andy’s eyebrows rocket up to his hairline as he shrieks. Brian pushes back in his chair, crying “Ohhh!! That’s crazy, dude!!!” and claps a hand to his face.

Andy: Holy smokes!!!

Brian: “That’s craziness!”

Andy: “Whoa-o!”

We don’t get to see what all the excitement is about.

THE FINDINGS

Race Rock Lighthouse

Friday 7:45 P.M.

Friday??? Whoever is adding the fake timestamps screwed up here. No way Brian and Andy waited over 48 hours to tell Jason and Grant about whatever caused their paroxysms on Wednesday.

At the TAPS trailer, they first present the fog creeping in on little cat feet. Grant can’t even see it, and labels it pixellation anyway. Brian is chortling for no apparent reason. Andy says the orbs pick up in the room then.

Jason: “But then again, if the fog’s rolling in outside, it’s the air and everything. It’s going to be kicking up the dust anyways so the dust could be…”

The orb of interest is seen on screen.

Andy: “See, that’s the thing with the dust usually when there’s a dust and dust kicks up it’s a constant (something?) until it settles. We’re getting individual…”
Grant: “Well, that white light is not dust.”

Jason: “Orb activity doesn’t necessarily constitute paranormal activity.”

Andy: “Absolutely not.”

Andy points out they had a high EMF reading in the haunted bathroom at the same time (or sort of same time, since they’re not in there). He describes tracing an EMF reading up the spiral stair to the light room at the top.

Andy: “When I say trace, it moved at a constant steady pace all the way up the spiral staircase.”

They did a whole walk-through of the lighthouse and found that the only things giving off readings inside were the infrared cameras, and outside – the generators. To verify their findings, they did the same check after the cameras were taken down and the generators were turned off, and they got the same readings on the staircase.

Grant: “That’s worth thinking about.”

Andy: “So that, added onto the orbs, a little bit more – ok, we’re getting a bit warmer but yet I still wouldn’t tell them it’s haunted…”

Brian: “Now – now, this…”

Andy exhales sharply, and shakes his fingers out to calm himself.

Brian: “Now guys, get ready.”

Jason is looking highly skeptical.

Brian: “Brace yourselves now, seriously.

Andy: “Seriously.”

Grant shakes his head, and wipes a hand over his face. This had better be good.

THE FINDINGS

Race Rock Lighthouse

Friday 8:30 P.M.

Brian: “Now this is the attic. Remember when you were sitting there?”

Grant: “Yes.”

Brian: “You were sitting there in your chair…”

Grant: “It was friggin’ hot.”

Brian: “And you got up, left your auto-recorder down, and you took off.”

Grant nods.

Brian: “Okay. Check it out. Now you’re going to see – that’s you right there.”

Andy: “No one’s in that room at that point, yes?”

Grant: “Yeah, I was alone.”

Andy: “You’re the only one.”

Grant: “There were people above.” He point to the screen corner.

Andy: “Yeah.”

Brian: “Yeah, Mike the sound guy – you see him come down afterward.”

Andy: “So you just left. No one has come into this room.”

Brian: “This, the camera’s in that cubbyhole.”

Grant: “Yeah, that’s the only way in (pointing to door opening in shot).”

Andy: “And you’re vouching that no one was in that room with you.”

AARRGGHH ANDY ANDREWS WE GET IT. NO ONE IN THE ROOM.

Grant: “Mike was in there for a little bit and then he left before I ever left.”

Andy: “Watch.”

Jason looks quizzically at Grant, with raised eyebrows.

Grant, growling: “It’s Satan himself!”

Brian: “Seriously, dude. Right now.”

The infrared camera shows us the chair in the dim and empty attic, after Grant has left the room. The aluminum legs make a scritch sound as the chair moves a bit, sliding on the bare wood floor. Then there’s a bigger scritch as the chair moves a bigger distance. The chair is apparently moving by itself.

Grant: “Holy _______” (he doesn’t actually say anything here after “holy”)

Andy points wordlessly at Grant.

Brian, gleefully: “Wassup with that?”

Jason: “Rewind that.”

Brian: “Wassup with that?”

Grant: “Do that again.” (Jason is making disbelieving faces.) “You guys didn’t screw with me when I left?”

Andy: “No. No.”

Jason: “This isn’t payback?”

Brian: “No, I swear to god.”

Andy: “No, this is legit, and we can see the door is the only entrance to this room.”

Brian: “There it is – once, twice.”

We see the chair slide its two steps again. It’s being pushed from behind by something invisible. Or pulled from in front. Hard to tell.

Grant interviews: “I was totally blown away when they showed me that chair slide across the floor in the lighthouse. I mean, I was right there, and I was sitting in that chair, and there it goes, on its own. I’d just left. It was incredible.”

Andy tells them he has a friend who’s a video guy specializing in restoration of old film, who can clean stuff up and is willing to help.

Jason, deep into disbelief: “I want Ray to take a look at this tape before I make any assumptions on that.”

Ray Lane, “video specialist,” lightens up the surroundings on the film so that the chair can be seen more clearly.

Jason: “It’s going to be a controversial big deal.”

Grant: “I mean – stuff like this - people are going to shoot it down all the time, but, you know, we’ve got the whole tape. You can watch the whole dang tape.”

Ray: “You can definitely see if there’s somebody now and there’s definitely not anybody there.”

Rays notes there’s hand or foot visible, and says if there was fishing line you’d see it in the infrared, so he doesn’t think it’s doctored like that. “It’s still not great and it’s probably never going to be.”

Jason: “All I have to say is a chair moving doesn’t constitute as a full body apparition so I’m still not out two hundred bucks.”

Andy: “Ohhhhhhho!”

Brian: “We’ll talk about that later.”

Jason: “I guess we will.

“Awesome”’s are exchanged with Ray.

Outside, a confab of the four on the front steps of Jason’s house.

Jason: “There’s nobody around. I’ll – I’ll give it that. There’s – there’s no wires – there’s not…”

Grant: “Having sat there and then seeing the cleaned-up footage, knowing – I mean – knowing no one went in after me, I’m convinced that the chair moved on its own.”

Jason: “But are you going to say that’s a ghost?” It’s a ghost that moved the chair?”

Brian: “Well, who else moved the chair?”

Grant: “What, an earthquake?” (said with scorn)

[There’s a lot of hand and arm waving here – it’s fun to watch on fast forward without sound]

Jason: “I don’t know, Brian. I didn’t see a full body apparition. Did you?”

Brian: “You’re not going to give me this shit, man.”

Andy: “Hold on hold on hold on. Then – then would you feel comfortable in deeming it – not calling it a ghost but just calling it paranormal? It’s not normal. Chairs don’t move by themselves.”

Brian: “We have to also disprove or prove this haunting – that’s what Senior Chief Nolda wanted.”

Jason: “Well, I don’t think with the chair sliding across the room you can disprove it, but I’m not going to tell you it’s freakin’ Harold the light keeper.”

Brian: “I’m not saying it’s Harold the light keeper but can you say it’s haunted?”

Jason scratches his neck. “Something happened.” Groans all around.

Brian: “Oh give me a break, man! C’mon, dude.” He reels backward, to laughter.

Jason: Why do you want me to say it’s a ghost? I didn’t see a ghost, Brian. I saw a chair that slid across the floor.”

Brian: “But who moved it?”

Jason: “How do I know? But it wasn’t a ghost. I didn’t see a ghost!”

Brian: “It wasn’t a ghost?”

Jason: “It wasn’t a ghost. I didn’t see a ghost.”

Brian: Oh, give me a break – you’re crazy!” He reels off.

Grant: “If you can’t – if you can’t say what it isn’t then you have to say what it is. What is it?”

Jason: “I don’t know.”

Sputtering all around.

Jason: “Can you honestly look me in the eyes, Grant, all the years we’ve been together, and say that a ghost moved that chair?” He slaps his hands together. Grant: I can say that I’ve seen other stuff move, just like that.”

Jason: “But can you say a ghost moved that chair, yes or no?”

Grant: “No, I can’t say a ghost moved it.”

Jason: “Thank you.”

Brian: “But what about what you say to all of us, okay, as proving or disproving a haunting? If you try to disprove it and you’re left with evidence, it’s evidence of a haunting. You said it, right out of your mouth, baby.” Jason is grinning.

Andy: “Haunting – haunting – that’s a broad term and…”

Brian: “You said it.”

Grant: “You gotta understand what the term “haunting” means.”

Andy: “Yeah.”

Brian: “Well, I wanna hear you say the “h” word.”

Jason: “Okay, I believe the place is haunted but…”

Andy and Brian both throw their arms in the air.

Brian: “Thank you! Thank you lord! You finally said it! I bow down to you, master!”

Grant: “Just remember, the ultimate question we have to ask is do we have enough evidence to prove to a skeptic that it’s haunted.”

Jason: “I think that if you show any skeptic that footage that they’re going to say that it was pulled, even though we had a – you know – a video guy in, did his thing. I think people are still going to say that it was pulled or whatever. There’s still going to be – it’s still going to be scrutinized. The chair moved. The chair moved by itself. I’ll say that the place is haunted, but I can’t say that a ghost moved that chair. I don’t know what moved that chair.”

Brian: “That’s fine. That’s all I wanted to hear.”

Grant: “The thing is we’ll never, ever have enough evidence…”

Brian: “Of course not.”

Grant: “To prove a haunting to a skeptic.”

Brian: “No, no. No.”

Grant: “We’ll never prove it…”

Brian: “You will and…”

Grant: “No.”

Jason: “You guys got my words. Sorry. I’m outta here.”

Brian: “Rock on, baby.”

THE REVEAL

Race Rock Lighthouse

Tuesday 10 A.M.

Grant and Jason are in the TAPS van.

Jason: “They did want to know, yes or no.”

Grant: “They definitely wanted a yes or no answer, and, uh – we’re going to give them that.”

Jason: “And we’re going to tell them it’s – haunted – eh?” He’s chuckling, only not happily.

Grant: “These guys are like – you know – they’re trained to tough and calm in situations like that. I wonder – it will be fun to see how they react, you know? As tough as they are, they still seem to believe the stories.”

Jason makes a lame crack about telling them, and then saying an extension cord was left out there and seeing if they’d go get it.

At the Coast Guard office, they sit down with Nolda and Jennings. Grant describes the EMF reading Brian and Andy did after everyone and all equipment was out of the lighthouse, in the spiral staircase. Spikes of 4 to 5, down to 0, were traced up to the light, where it would dissipate. It took about seven minutes to go all the way up and all the way down.

Nolda asks if they have any evidence on film, and if “This is like orbs taking shape?”

Jason and Grant together: “No no no.”

Grant: “You watch. This is unmistakable.”

Jason: “No disrespect – watch the video and I think you guys will see for yourself.”

Jason says the camera “tries to auto-focus a couple of times, and then…”

We see the chair move again. Nolda pulls his head back, Jennings remains motionless.

Nolda: “What could possibly move that chair like that?”

The clip is played again. Nolda rears back again. Jennings still doesn’t move.

Jason: “What do you think?”

Nolda: “I don’t know why you’d have to find anything else. I would already be heading down that fire ladder and on my way out of there.”

Jason: “Ah, well, it’s only a chair moving. Is it impressive? Absolutely. From a – from an investigator’s standpoint it’s great evidence. You know, is it that we caught – you know – Ed the light keeper himself? [What happened to Harold?] No, but – honestly, I have to say – and I hate to say this ‘cause I don’t say this to any – anybody – I believe the place is haunted.”

Grant: “And I agree.”

Jason: “Believe me, it was tough enough to get me to admit that. You can ask my guys.”

Nolda: “We might have to keep that a secret. My guys will never go at and service the light anymore.”

Jennings: “We probably do it and it will be a lot faster than it used to be.”

Jason: “Efficient! Efficiency!”

Grant: “Well, Peter made us say that – we promised not to say it’s haunted. It’s just…”

Jennings: “In the sea-faring tradition, the past keepers are watching.”

Grant: “There you go.”

Brian is called in to bestow TAPS caps. He must have hitched with the film crew.

Nolda: “I’m certainly glad you did this, though. Thank you very much.”

He asks if they find any other haunted lighthouses to give him contacts so they can exchange tips or something.

Jennings: “I guess the TAPS investigation concluded that there is something out there. We did see some pretty compelling evidence with just a chair moving.”

We see the clip of the chair moving again, for the thirteenth time, in case we have forgotten it. It doesn’t really get old, though. Personally, I’ve now watched that chair move about four dozen times, and it still makes me a little queasy.

Nolda: “Kind of left me sitting there bewildered a little bit – uh – I had no idea that they would actually find anything and if they did I expected just some movement on a – with some orbs or something like that. But to actually be able to see something that I could relate to it was a little wild.”

Jennings: “Reading the past accounts, the past stories, made it even more compelling and now once I see – actually see some evidence like that, it’s – it’s pretty satisfying to say hey, look at this – it all does come together. Whether I’ll be that satisfied the next time I go out to the light or not will be a different story, but it was definitely worthwhile.”

We have one last look at the spooky lighthouse. Poor ghost.

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