Archive for September, 2008

For Sham! TAPS En Vacance

September 30, 2008

In which the Atlantic Paranormal Society pretends to investigate the Winchester Mystery House, and then, in a tour de force of – something, “debunks” faked “evidence” on the haunted Queen Mary.  Who faked the evidence?  The Talking Mongoose has some ideas.

Now that we chumps at the Ouija Board know to our dissatisfaction that those hucksters of hauntings, peddlers of the paranormal, drummers of duplicity, TAPS, are working both sides of the fence, we’re not going to subject ourselves to the agony of examining episodes like the Bradley Playhouse yawner in depth. Life is too damn short. Mme. Blahblatsky has dogs to walk, and the Talking Mongoose has become enamored of Gordon Ramsay and Sir Alan Sugar. Where we focus our gimlet eyes from now on will depend on pure whim. It’s not like we’re going to run out of episodes anytime soon, as they’re being run off the Pilgrim production line as fast as Krispy Kreme makes doughnuts.

So per Talking Mongoose request, we’re off to California. This is a transcripty recarp of episode 211, the R.M.S. Queen Mary, of the “reality show” in which “Ghost Hunters” pretend to hunt and/or debunk ghosts.

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A Second Helping of Gumbo

September 6, 2008

After rewatching the DeVille house episode (203) of Ghost Hunters, in light of Pam Gates Hoyt’s recent revelations, Mme. Blahblatsky and the Talking Mongoose are both feeling pret-ty silly about being taken in by that door. They don’t like being so thoroughly hoodwinked. They need to vent.

TM: So.

MB: Pft. Charlatans! Mountebanks! TAPS enters the long roll of paranormal frauds in my book. I’m peeved. I am officially disgruntled.

TM: Well, at least it got you out of the tomato patch. Those bloody wankers. You get the tar. I’ll fetch the feathers.

MB: You were right. Way back when, you were right.

TM: To be fair, I thought the door was real, too. We wanted to believe.

MB: No, I mean when you said if they lied about the little stuff, why should we believe them about the big stuff? Nothing they say is credible. Nothing. Nothing nothing nothing.

TM: “And the self-righteous shall be laid low and trampled by ducks.”

MB: Huh?

TM: A quote seemed called for, so I made one up. In honor of TAPS. So I told you what Pam said about them filming the attempted door-debunking back in Rhode Island. Did you notice they didn’t even bother to try to get the door swing right when they filmed the fake door?

MB: Idiots.

TM: And there’s a wall right next to the door at a right angle, and there’s a dropped ceiling in the interior room.

MB: We’re idiots. We are idiots. No wonder we never saw Bruce with them as they “examined” the door. They never examined the door, because they didn’t need to, because they faked the whole thing.

TM: Where’s old Bruce in all this? He reacted in just the way they wanted him to.

MB: Oh my god – it was so easy for them to dupe him, because he lives in a goddamn haunted house. That is positively diabolical. The ghost hunters duping the homeowners, in order to spice up their “reality” television show. No wonder Jason and Grant are so suspicious of other people’s claims, because they’re both incorrigible liars, themselves.

TM: I thought we liked the word “fabulist.”

MB: Great big creepy fabulists. Or maybe vile little creepy fabulists.

TM: Flaming-pants fabulists. So while they were filming the door opening and closing, Jason DeVille was being kept outside, Bruce was being kept in the living room, and Pam and Michelle were being herded around by various TAPS people. It must have been a breeze. I mean easy-peasy, not a breeze. I assume some form of string was involved. Did you notice how the door bounced kind of oddly as it reached the end of its swing? I’m guessing someone out of line of the light coming under the door leaned over and opened the door knob, pushed it slightly, let it open a bit, and pulled it back with string attached to the door knob.

MB: Jesus H. Christ. We’re idiots.

TM: If it makes you feel any better, I haven’t found anything on the internets to indicate anyone else noticed either.

MB: It does not make me feel better.

TM: Oh, well. Yeah. We’re idiots. If I hadn’t been salivating over Texas hot wieners in Altoona, I might have noticed they were doing funny editing right from the start. Sidetracked by sausage. LORD GOD ALMIGHTY – GUESS WHO MOVED THE BED COVERS ON THE QUEEN MARY???

MB: What? Who? When? Stop shouting.

TM: Third season! We must go there next, Mme!!! They did it themselves!!!!!!! It’s too perfect – it works if it isn’t discovered, and it works if it is. I don’t know if Dave Tango was a patsy or in on it from the start, but it is sublimely perverse. Grant got to be all outraged that someone was playing a trick on them, when they did it themselves!!! I’m actually starting to feel a teeny-tiny bit of respect for the sheer brazen effrontery of it all.

MB: Wait, wait, wait. God knows, there’s going to be plenty of time for rethinking everything we thought we knew. Let’s stick to the case at hand. So Kristyn Gartland is revealed to be an aspiring actress rather than a total disgrace to female ghost hunters everywhere.

TM: I wonder if she thought of stroking her neck in that scene with Grant herself. Because – actressy foreshadowing!

MB: And Pam says the lamp that Paula got the minus-9 temperature reading was unplugged.

TM: I never understood how Pam picked up a cold spot first before Paula “proved” it was interference from the halogen lamp, plugged or unplugged.

MB: And the great ghost hunt shut down at ten o’clock to avoid film crew overtime. Where else do you suppose this has happened? Why did they even bother to go? What’s the point?

TM: My dear, I know you say you are officially disgruntled, but you have to start realizing the “ghost hunters” of TAPS are not hunting ghosts. Maybe they once were, but they stopped long ago.

MB: The Myrtles slave shack did look in awfully good condition, come to think of it.

TM: I guess all the controversy about the moving lamp there was more than justifiable. It was that weasel Grant.

MB: And, too bad, the scary shadow on the porch was just…

TM: Grant. I’m for blaming it all on the weasel. I told you he was bad.

MB: He’s no worse than Jason, though.

TM: Eh – Leopold/Loeb. Bush/Cheney. What’s the difference?

MB: Harry Price never would have survived the internets.

TM: Surely you’re not comparing the diabolical duo to Harry Price?

MB: Well, no. Grant is no Marianne Foyster. He’s cheesier. And the diabolical duo is surviving the internets nicely, isn’t it?

TM: Yes, but when future generations dig up our documents, which I am saving printed on acid-free paper sealed in a water-tight, fireproof steel box in a bomb-proof metal vault in a secret location, their goose will be cooked.

MB: Something to look forward to, then.

TM: Yes!

MB: At least they ate the gumbo.

TM: There’s that. Although if anyone ever deserved to have a pot of hot gumbo poured over them…

MB: A waste of good gumbo.

TM: Vraiment vrai. Alors, maybe you will think about a return to work now? A plethora of paranormal travesties awaits.

MB: And I still need to find Steve saying “supposably.”

TM: There you go.

MB: But there’s that tomato chutney I need to make…

TM: Oh, first things first. Anyway, I think I have go rewrite all the dang nutshell recarps. Cripes. A pox upon you, Hans and Franz.

Regular Ouija Board transmissions will resume anon. We have Mme. B.’s word.

First, You Make a Roux

September 4, 2008

Mme. Blahblatsky is still in a stew about the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum episode. I, the Talking Mongoose, am trying to tend the shop in her absence. Fate has kindly bestowed upon me the fascinating Pam of the DeVille “Gumbo” episode (part of the TAPS invasion of Louisiana in the second season of Ghost Hunters, February 2005). Pam was a founder of the Southern Louisiana Ghost Hunters group, whom we were supposed to believe had called up Grant Wilson and Jason Hawes, as a member of the TAPS “family,” asking for help regarding the haunted sugar plantation. Well, we’re not idiots, and we knew that wasn’t the way it happened, but we couldn’t figure out the real story until now, because Pam herself has given us the other side.

Go with us now into the roiling depths of the icky TAPS “family” as we get an exclusive interview with Pam Gates Hoyt. Remember that opening and closing door they couldn’t debunk? Oh, dear.

How did TAPS approach you with the idea behind the episode? What did they tell you up front? Did you know they were going to pretend you were asking for help? Did that annoy you?

I was contacted by someone with Pilgrim Productions through my website. I didn’t even know Taps was in town. I gave him my phone number and he called me. He said that they were in New Orleans and would be taping for a week. They had made arrangements to do an investigation of a private residence (they didn’t want to do just public places). I thought it hilarious that they had made arrangements for this residential investigation through one of those phony, money-grubbing fakes in town (she takes buses into cemeteries, dresses all in black and charges money for something tourist could do for free). She was a member of their “Family” and they had never even met her. So, her investigation [fell] through at the last minute and they were clambering to find an investigation at the last minute. I guess they started scanning the net and they came across Michelle and me. No, we did not know they were going to pretend we were asking for help. I would NEVER have asked them for help. And Hell Yeah, it annoyed me. I thought it made me look incapable and I have been involved with the paranormal a lot longer than they have. I started training as a medium from my Cajun Grandmother around three years old.

How did you happen to meet the DeVilles?

They contacted me through our website, referred to us by a friend who had a group in North Louisiana.

When had you first been involved in the DeVille house, and what was the status of your case when TAPS called?

I was originally contacted by Bruce DeVille’s younger brother a couple months prior to the taping. We went out and did an initial investigation. I asked the clients not to tell me anything about what was going on there (something I always did). Michelle did background investigation on the property; she knew more about it than me. After our initial investigation, we were in the process of scheduling a full investigation. We were gathering the proper equipment and making arrangements when TAPS came into the picture.

Had you seen the first season of Ghost Hunters previously? What did you think about TAPS before you actually met them?

Yes, I had seen the first season. Michelle and I did things alone for a long time before deciding to form a group. We used The Myrtles as our training ground. We thought that we wanted to use TAPS as a model for our group as far as having certain people in charge of certain things, such as Case Manager, Tech Manager, etc. And we were looking at the equipment they were using to decide what we liked and didn’t like. What did I think about TAPS? I thought Jason was a total Ass and swore I never would treat people that way.

Exactly how long did it take to do the filming?

Not long enough. We met them at their hotel on the West Bank that afternoon. I was immediately annoyed by the filming and refilming of stupid little things like greeting them, walking out of the hotel to go to the cars and even re-filmed leaving the hotel THREE times. I took an immediate dislike to the Director. He was snotty, condescending and controlling. Look, Cajuns have traditions, just like the Japanese, Chinese and other cultures and this guy was just insulting. I also thought it was extremely disrespectful to me, Michelle and our clients that they (TAPS members and crew) were all hung over from too much Bourbon Street the night before.

Who was in charge of the production? Who made decisions affecting content? You mentioned Kristyn Gartland didn’t really refuse to sit with Bruce. Whose hare-brained idea was that?

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