TAPS Goes Abroad: The Dusting of Dustin

leap castle

The luck of the Irish ran out in 2006 with an invasion from the west, in the form of our fake plumbers from Warwick. Mme. Blahblatsky and the Talking Mongoose recarp Ghost Hunters episode 306, The Attack of the Irish Elemental. Whether the TAPS guys actually know what an elemental is, we honestly can’t tell you.

Talking Mongoose Spoiler: this is a Landmark Episode not because it marks the start of the scary amoeba-like splitting of this bizarre franchise, but because they have given up on the stationary camera, the one thing that was supposed to provide “proof” of the existence of ghosts. This is terribly disappointing.

MB: You’re not disappointed at all.

TM: Nope.

Disclaimer: All dialogue quoted belongs to Pilgrim Films & Television, Inc., who are still, three seasons on, too embarrassed to send it out for captioning so Mme. Blahblatsky is still exposing herself to severe brain damage doing the transcribing. It is a good thing she is amused by very little.

MB: You know there’s no way I’d be doing this otherwise, don’t you?

TM: I do.

MB: Because really, this is an insane thing to do.

TM:  It’s a good thing you have all  your shots.

Narrator: On this episode of Ghost Hunters, TAPS heads to Ireland for their first overseas investigation at Leap Castle

Brian, in car, is shouting “Are you serious? We’re investigating here?

Narrator: “reportedly one of the most haunted places in the world.”

Jason is saying something about a murderous elemental and Tango seems to be about to jump out of his skin.

Narrator: “As the team come face to face with the demonic entity that lurks on these grounds.”

Brian is either trying to trap something, or avoid it, by closing a door.

Narrator: “Then, who becomes the target of a vicious attack?

There are cries of “Oof!” and “Aw!” and “Dude!”

TM: I’m guessing it’s one of the Three Stooges.

The old credits roll: Steve, Donna, Brian, Dustin. Dave Tango is still an investigator-in-training. TAPS must have incorporated as a medieval guild.

TM: That’s got to be unconstitutional.

MB: I think they’re still making him pay for being such a smart-aleck on the Queen Mary.

The Atlantic Paranormal Society

Warwick, Rhode Island

There’s the old storefront. Inside, Donna is addressing Jason and Grant across the conference table. Donna is stoked.

Donna: “I have the. best. case. ever. ever.” She is beaming.

Grant: “Whoa.”

Donna: “I was talking with Barry Fitzgerald over in Ireland.”

Jason: “Yeah.” Jason is acting cool.

Grant is not acting cool: “Oh my god!”

Donna: “You ready for this? He said he could get us into Leap Castle.”

Grant whooshes: “Aw!”

Donna: “And we have the whole run of the place ourselves. Leap Castle!”

Grant and Donna high-five each other across the table. Jason is too cool for that, but he allows himself to smile.

Grant: “That’s frickin’ awesome.”

Donna: “I mean we’ve all dreamt about – like really – this is the top of the top of the top. The cream de la crème.”

MB: But there isn’t any cream in crème. That’s why they have to call it crème.

TM: I like crème.

MB: You also like cream.

TM: True. but I’d rather have crème in certain things. Like Easter eggs. Easter eggs are the cream de la crème. More so than Leap Castle, certainly.

MB: Never mind about Easter eggs. I want to know how long it took them to learn how to pronounce “Leap” correctly.

TM: Oh, sure, they can say it, but can they spell it?

Jason interviews: “Over the years we’ve heard great stories from Leap Castle about the paranormal activity going on there. I know the owner doesn’t let paranormal investigators in anymore but with Barry’s pull he’s able to get TAPS in there.”

TM: Pshaw. The owner lets everyone in. Although maybe on Barry’s ghost tours of Ireland, they get garden teas, too.

MB: Ghost tours?

TM: Ghost hunters have to do something when they don’t have a t.v. show.

Jason in scene: “What are we up against there?”

Donna: “You’re up against twenty – supposedly twenty ghosts that roam the grounds of the castle.”

MB: Because what – they did a census? That’s just silly. You can’t count ghosts.

TM:  How do you know they’re not pretending to be each other, like sock puppets on the internet?  You know, that commercial where the sock monkey is driving the car is really disturbing.

MB:  Off topic.

TM:  Okay, they’re just making it up, like being the only ones allowed  to investigate Leap Castle, and being scientific.  And plumbers.

Grant: “That ups the odds right there.”

Jason: “Absolutely.”

Donna: “Um – but however the most fearsome is that of a demonic entity that supposedly…

Jason, to Grant: “Sweet.”

Donna: “Is half-human and half-beast which smells of sulfur and rotting flesh. Now this has been reported numerous times. It supposedly haunts the tower stairs and it’s believed to be the embodiment of all the evil deeds that were done in the castle.”

TM: Donna, Donna, Donna. She’s swallowed the were-sheep story.

MB: And the were-sheep story is?

TM: Later.

Grant: “Bring it on.”

Donna: “So – he’s warning us that it’s nothing like we’ve ever experienced here in the United States as you guys know. I mean this is – this is gonna be dark, this is gonna be insidious, this could be dangerous.” She shakes her head.

TM: I don’t think I can watch this with you, Mme. I can take terrifying, but insidious – what can you do against insidious?

MB: There are sprays.

Jason: “I’m totally – uh – content with that.” He smirks.

Donna, all smiles herself again: “Okay. Haven’t seen you smile that big in a long time.”

Grant: “I know, hunh?”

They’re all very pleased with themselves.

Jason: “I’m gonna do it.”

Grant: “Movin’ up, man. I mean, this is awesome.”

Donna, laughing: “This is gonna be an opportunity of a lifetime, so – bring back a leprechaun if you find one as well.”

MB: As if they could handle a leprechaun.

TM: There are no leprechauns.

MB: How would you know?

TN: I have cousins who are elves.

Grant: “You didn’t mention yourself in that.”

Jason: “You’re not goin’?”

Donna: “I can’t get that time off of work.”

Grant: “Well, you know what? This may not be the fir- last time we go to Ireland.”

Donna: “Oh, I hope not. I hope we do follow-up cases.”

TM: Be careful what you wish for, Donna!

Jason: “Awesome.”

Donna: “So yeah – so can I call Barry and tell him that we are down for it?”

Grant: “Please.”

Jason: “I’m totally – I’m totally up to this.”

Donna: “You’re into it? Yeah.”

Jason: “Yeah, and just – how are we gonna break it to Steve? We know he doesn’t fly.”

Shot of scary blue sky with little puffy lamb clouds. Then Steve knocks on a closed door.

Grant: “Come in.”

Jason and Grant are staring at their laptops in their “office,” “working.” There is a coat rack with lots of red and blue shirts hanging on it. Steve enters.

TM: I kind of miss the dueling red sweaters of yore.

MB: I doubt if they’re gone.  But Grant and Steve’s shirts aren’t nearly blue enough.

TM:  Jason coordinates, though.

MB: He does.

Jason: “Hey, bro.”

Steve: “Hey.”

Jason: “How you doin’?”

Grant: “Steve.”

Steve pats Grant on the shoulder: “Hey, guys.”

Grant: “Steve, what’s up, man?”

Steve: “Not too much. What’s goin’ on?”

Jason: “You know, I wanted to talk to you. We got some good news, we got some bad news.”

Grant: “Good news is we’re checkin’ on a castle.”

Steve: “Good. Castle.”

Jason: “Bad news?”

Grant: “Where do you find castles?”

Steve looks at him.

Jason: “We’re goin’ to Ireland.”

Steve chortles, and bares his teeth in a fear grin.

Grant: “And we can’t drive there, man.”

MB: So they’re going to the “most haunted castle in Ireland,” in which they supposedly get attacked by an elemental, and yet they must fill out their 42 minutes with more of Steve’s neuroses.

TM: You’re not entertained?

MB: Well, I don’t mind if he ends up crying like a girl.

Steve: “Guys, I mean – a castle in Ireland – that’s fantastic, obviously, but I – I don’t fly. Yeah, you know that. I drive everywhere.”

Grant: “We need you there, man.” He fixes Steve with a look.

Jason, looking somewhat disgusted: “If you’re not there, then Brian’s runnin’ that department while I’m out there and I don’t have enough people.”

Steve: “Yeah.”

Jason: “I understand – I understand your fear, you know. Uh – whatever you need to do, whoever you need to talk to, whatever you need from us, just let us know. We’re there, a hundred per cent for ya.”

TM: The TAPS health insurance includes shrinks! 100%! No co-pay!

MB: Yeah, no. I bet you only get to sit under a pyramid somewhere in North Providence.

Steve: “The last time I flew, I cried the whole flight.”

TM: Well, forget it. He’s on the no-fly list for sure.

MB: That must have been an interesting travel day for a lot of people.

Jason, cajoling in a most unconvincing way: “C’mon. I’d never let anything happen to ya. You know that.”

Steve: “You’re not flyin’ the plane.”

There’s a lot of ho-ho-ing. Then the TAPS van is at the airport and Steve is handing out baggage. He’s going to go!

Steve interviews: “I used to fly. Uh – I’ve flown quite often actually but about six or seven years ago I – uh – had a really bad flight to California for a cousin’s wedding.”

We see Grant, Brian, and Dustin, smartly attired in the American male summer traveling uniform of long shorts and t-shirts. They are striding along with purpose. “There he is, guys,” says someone.

Steve continues the interview: “And – uh – the flight was all over the place. Uh – the plane was going up and down, left to right, and dropping, and people were praying and uh –“

There is a sedan parked at curbside, and Steve is inside crying, wiping his eyes and being patted on the back by a hand attached to an invisible woman.

Steve interviews: “It was – it was really bad and pretty traumatic and – uh – I’ve been ta two different physicians for this, I’ve been to see a psychic, I’ve been to see a hypnotist, I’ve been to a actual psychiatrist to try to work out this phobia and uh – I’ve even tried different medications and – and nothing has worked.”

MB: See – he doesn’t really want to be cured. He’s been to “a actual psychiatrist.” One. The guy needs serious long-term therapy, but he’s seeing psychics and hypnotists. Pft.

TM: I wonder what the psychic said. Maybe he was thrown off a castle in another life.

MB: Or a lighthouse.

TM: Or a spider-filled clown car at the top of a roller coaster.

Now Steve is somewhere in a terminal, looking at the ceiling: “See in my mind all these people are gonna die. No one’s fine. They’re not gonna make it home. That’s the way it feels. You literally think that all these people are gonna die and if I’m on the plane, I’m done.”

MB: If he’s so afraid of dying, how does he manage to leave the house?

TM: Yeah, because he could be hit by a plane while he was out jogging, you know.  Perhaps he’s afraid of getting suffocated by a folding bed.

Jason interviews: “Steve showed up at the airport, which was huge enough and he – he actually got himself on that plane, but he couldn’t stay on there. He had to get off – the minute the door started closing, he started flipping out.”

TM: It’s like Final Destination! Only without the good parts.

Grant interviews: “He just broke down and you know he – he was begging me to get off the plane and I can’t force him to do that.”

Someone has made Steve come down an escalator and be followed outside the terminal by a camera.

Steve interviews, outside: “I wanted to go to Europe and investigate ghosts. It’s of course every ghost hunter’s dream. I didn’t want to let Jason and Grant down. Uh – or TAPS, but uh – I can’t fly. I can’t get on the plane. Unless you have the fear, I don’t think you’ll ever understand it. I just can’t – can’t go.”

TM: I just thought of something – can you imagine how pissed Steve must have been about Ghost Hunters International? Brian and Andy and Donna get their own show, and he has to stay home and lug extension cords.

MB: That show we’ve never watched?

TM: Speak for yourself. Oh, wait. Yeah. I guess I haven’t either.

MB: Ooh, I bet he was ripped. Ha.

TM: Except now he has his own Ghost Hunters Academy.

MB: Okay, I don’t know this and I don’t want to know this.

TM: And Brian and Donna and Andy… omg. I wonder if it was all a plot by Jason and Grant. They send the pesky ones off to Europe, thus expanding the franchise cheaply, and Steve can’t go, because he can’t fly, and then the pesky ones all quit because they can’t pay their bills and…

MB:  Okay, this is way too Tudors for me.

A plane takes off, without poor Steve. Jason and Grant doze, Brian sits by himself reading, with headphones. Then it’s picturesque Ireland, with sort of a castle except it’s really some roofless houses and a tower but it’s all very green, and then clouds are going in two directions over a body of water, so we’re not in Rhode Island anymore.

Grant interviews: “It’s always been a dream of mine to come to Ireland and – uh – here I am and what better way to do it than to come researching its history of its ghosts.”

We drive through a quaint Irish village.

Jason: “The place is incredible. Where else can you go they got castles and buildings that were built two thousand years ago that are still standing?”

MB: I think he thinks he’s in Italy, not Ireland.

TM: Oh, you know. It’s all the same, Europe. Castles. Coliseums. Ireland. Italy. Whatever.

Dustin, in car with Brian and Dave: “Well, Leap Castle, here we come.”

Brian, who is driving on the wrong side and talking at the same time!: “Yeah, dude. Do you believe we’re actually in Ireland right now?”

Dave, from the back: “This is it, dude. It’s awesome.”

Brian: “This is ridiculous.”

Dustin is swigging lemonade, or something.

Dave: “I can’t believe we’re in another country, honestly. It’s like – weird.”

Dustin: “You’re always in another country, Tango.”

There are ho-ho’s at his sally. They are lacking the TAPS black caravan. Instead, they have blue and red station wagons, with “TAPS” stuck on the hoods. It’s not much of a caravan.

Brian: “Are you serious? We’re investigating here?”

Dustin gasps. Leap Castle is pretty small for a castle, but it’s very scenic, with little crenellated battlements.

TM: It looks like a little Eastern State Penitentiary.

MB: Tch. That’s a terrible comparison. But it does, doesn’t it?

Brian: “Look at this guys. Holy shit!”

The editors kindly provide some atmospheric lightning over the castle.

The Investigation

Ireland Leap Castle

Friday, 6:45 PM

Jason: “Well. Jeez. You ready to do this?”

Grant: “We’ll head in. You guys wanna try to find a place to set up?”

Brian: “Yep.”

Jason: “All right.”

Brian: “All righty.”

Grant: “Take it easy.”

Jason: “This castle was built in 800 A.D. and we’ve never investigated anything this old. We don’t have anything this old in our own country. It’s just – it’s wild. It’s gonna be an awesome investigation.”

MB: 800 A.D.? Okay, now those Irish Europeans are just making fun of us stupid Americans. They were living in blocks of peat in 800 A.D.

TM: They were not. They had very nice stick huts back then.

A big double door creaks open.

Grant: “Barry! Dude.”

Barry: “How’s it goin’?

Jason: “What’s up, man? Good to see you.”

Barry: “Well, oh – c’mon in.”

Jason: “Awesome.”

Grant: “Can’t wait.”

TM: Do you ever get tired of transcribing these vapid chats?

MB: Not really. If I did, we would have never gotten past the second episode. There’s just something about inanity that makes me happy.

Grant interviews: “Barry’s pretty much the TAPS family in Ireland. He’s our contact out here. He’s been working really hard in the industry trying to find great theories and new ways to use equipment.”

MB:  So now it’s an industry.

TM:  I think it’s always been an industry for Grant.

Sean Ryan, castle owner: “Barry Fitzgerald recommended TAPS and that was fine with us. Uh – we feel that TAPS are just the fellows to – to investigate it and whatever they find out it’s great with us.”

Barry Fitzgerald, TAPS family member: “I want to give you a tour of the castle, so let’s start from the bottom up.”

Jason: “Sounds good.”

Grant interviews: “Barry’s going to give us a tour of the castle because the homeowner’s away.”

Barry, in a damnably thick Irish accent: “That it is. This is as looo as you can gooo.”

They are in a brick-arched room about four feet high, which makes them all have to stand around bent over.

Barry: “Now the worst entity within this castle by far has been identified as the elemental.”

Grant interviews: “An elemental is just a short being, a short creature that – uh – is kinda neutral?” Doesn’t really care what you think. It’s gonna do what it’s gonna do, and that often comes across as malicious or someone trying to ply pranks on you.”

MB: OMG that’s you to a T. You’re an elemental! Who knew???

TM: I am not short.

MB: But that’s a pretty lousy definition of an elemental. Short?

TM: Maybe he’s confusing it with leprechauns.

Barry: “The elemental itself does not like being prodded with a stick. It will fight back. After you start provoking, you’re going to get action back. The elemental appeared shortly after the introduction of Mildred Darby and her husband around 1850 onward until 1921.”

TM: Well, does anyone like being prodded with a stick, really?

Barry: “And now Mildred herself was involved with black art practices.”

Jason: “Sure, the occult?”

Barry: “And this elemental appeared from then and they believe she is responsible for bringing it in. She described its [?] as almost the size of a sheep and – um – surrounded in -in a white mist. Now its face itself was – was decayed – uh – like a decayed corpse. There were no eyes and – and they talk about the smell, the horrendous smell of sulfur that was emanatin’ from this thing and the generation of fear that also came off it and as it – you know – she – she described it in her occult journal which was written in 1908.”

Jason: “Well now, with the elemental, it sounds like you’re referring to like a demonic.”

TM: See – there is the start of the were-sheep story. Read Mildred Darby’s “account”:

The thing was about the size of a sheep, thin, gaunt and shadow in parts. Its face was human, or to be more accurate, inhuman, in its vileness, with large holes of blackness for eyes, loose slobbery lips, and a thick saliva dripping jaw, sloping back suddenly into its neck. Nose it had none, only spreading cancerous cavities, the whole face being a uniform tint of grey. This too was the colour of the dark coarse hair covering its head, neck and body. Its fore arms were thickly coated with the same hair, so were its paws, large loose and handshaped and as it sat on its hind legs, one hand or paw was raised, and a claw like finger was extended ready to scratch the paint. Its lustreless eyes, which seemed half decomposed in black activities, and looked incredibly foul, stared into mine, and the horrible smell which had before offended my nostrils, only a hundred times intensified, came up into my face, filling me with a deadly nausea. I noticed the lower half of the creature was indefinite and seemed semi-transparent at least, I could see the framework of the door that led into the gallery through its body.”

MB: Oh, my word. She’s fond of her purple prose, isn’t she?

TM: So “size of a sheep” turns into “half-beast.” I like the saliva-dripping jaw.

MB: I like the “spreading cancerous cavities” beneath the lustreless eyes half-decomposed in black activities. It’s almost a poem. What the heck was this?

TM: An article for The Occult Review.

MB: Oh. That explains it. Mildred Darby was probably shopping a book proposal.

TM: Gothic fiction never loses its charm. I’m going to start having deadly nausea. It sounds so much better than “I’m going to puke.”

The editors make dark skies rip by over the castle.

Jason interviews: “A demonic entity is a negative type haunting. It’s there usually for two reasons – malicious intent or possession. It is definitely one of the worse type hauntings you can get.”

MB: Can you imagine anyone wanting to possess Jason?

TM: Pshaw. Elementals don’t want to possess anyone. He’s a boob.

MB: How’d we get into demonic entities, anyway? Oh, that’s right. Jason looooves demons.

TM: He really wanted to call this show Demon Hunters, but Pilgrim refused.

The guys have moved upstairs, and can stand upright again.

Barry: “Now folks, this is the banquet hall.”

It’s kind of small for banquets, but it does have a balcony.

Jason: “Wow. What kind of activity do you experience up here?”

Barry: “Other investigative teams have come up here – um – and from up on the balcony there they were able to see the manifestation of this elemental start to appear. It has formed itself as a lady in red and with a red dress.”

Jason: “Oh, so it would actually manifest itself in forms.”

Barry: “Yes, and now we’ll go further up, folks.”

They climb a quaint stone spiral stair.

Barry: “All right, now listen – down here is where the elemental has been seen. Now this is the old access to the battlements. Down here you’ll get the strongest smell of sulfur. Now there is [?] the castle and I was able to see it but I also felt the [?] as it was racing out.”

Barry is gesturing at some dark narrow corridor and is getting totally incomprehensible with the brogue.

Barry: “And I got hit at the same time.”

Grant nods and grunts.

Barry: “And it leaves you in a nasty way for three or four hours so bear this in mind – this is one of the darker places of the castle. Okay, fellows? Let’s go.”

Jason: “Let’s do it.”

TM: I don’t know about you, but I’d like more of an explanation of “nasty way.”

MB: Deadly nausea.

TM: Oh. Okay.

They move on.

Barry: “Okay, guys – this is called the Bloody Chapel.”

Jason: “The Bloody Chapel?”

Barry: “Yeah, it was up here that brother went against brother. One was a priest, the other one was a warrior…”

MB: What happened to warriors, I ask you? Do we still have warriors?

TM: The movie was good. I don’t know. I hear about warlords occasionally, but not warriors. Unless they’re high school football teams.

Barry: “And the warrior didn’t approve of his brother and slaughtered him over the altar and hence it got the name of the Bloody Chapel.”

TM: Now, see – I wouldn’t call the brother a warrior, so much as a thug.  But warrior sounds better, like deadly nausea.

MB: Maybe you’re a warrior if you carry a spear? I’d rather be a harrier.

TM: I’d rather be a terrier.

Barry: “The holding pen itself is called the oubliette. At the bottom of that there was spikes, iron spikes which punctured the lungs, the necks of anyone who was threw down.”

Grant interviews: “Back in medieval times, the owners of the castle used to torture and kill their enemies by throwing them down in the oubliette.”

TM: I don’t like that grin.

MB: He does seem inappropriately gleeful.

Grant: “They would toss them in there just to forget about them. They’d throw ‘em in, they’d land on the spikes, and pretty much just suffer till they died.”

TM: Okay, the weasel really likes this idea. It’s that scary weasel nature of his, the stuff that basilisks fear.

MB: You should probably never get near an oubliette if he’s around.

Jason: “So what kind of activity do you experience up here?”

Barry: “Activity up here – you’ve still got the priest that’s up here. Now he’s seen across on the other side of the hall.”

Grant: “Is there any activity out on the grounds? Or is it all…”

Barry: “Yes, there – there is activity in the grounds as well and in the old ruing of the priest’s house.”

Grant: “What kind of stuff you get out there?”

Barry: “There’ve been a few sightings of monks, of all things, that have been seen there as well and there’s been sightings of the elemental also in the priest’s house. Now let me show you where I’ve seen the priest.”

Jason: “Okay.”

MB: So Barry’s been here a few times, I take it.

TM: I think Barry lives here. I think he’s their publicist.

Barry: “It was behind this doorway, and as the door was opened the priest run from the back of the door as it swung open and down the steps.”

Grant: “Barry, what did the priest look like? Was he see-through? Solid like us?”

Barry: “Solid. Solid.”

Grant: “Yeah.”

Barry: “And, um – he run like the wind.”

Jason: “All right. We really appreciate the tour, man. This place is incredible.”

Barry: “No trouble.”

Grant: “Now, Barry – you’re going to join us on this tonight, right?”

Barry: “Eh – I’m – yeah, I’ll keep an eye on what’s going on in the background.”

Jason: “We’re gonna go set up the equipment.”

Barry: “Okay.”

Jason: “Let’s do it.”

Jason interviews: “This is the biggest investigation of our careers and we’re down a key member, Steve. And I don’t know how TAPS is gonna do this tonight.”

TM: Oh nooo!

MB: Oh, fer crissakes.

Grant interviews: “This place was designed to trip people up on the stairs. There’s holes everywhere. There’s exposed electrical, there’s bats. I mean, it’s a castle. Me personally, it is overwhelming and I really have to try hard to calm that down and treat this as a space and just investigate it.”

TM:  Yeah, well – that better not involve any string.

MB:  Once upon a time, he must have been a real ghost hunter.

TM:  You’d almost think.

Dave Tango interviews: “I really haven’t had the personal experience for me. Um – I’m waiting for it. I need that one thing where it – it’s – and I know it – I want to have a personal experience with a ghost.”

TM: Poor Tango. Now we know they’re going to vote him off the island.

MB: Huh?

TM: I think Ghost Hunters would be a lot better if they had blindfold challenges.

MB: I think they already do. It’s called Lights Out, aka Going Dark.

TM: Okay, but Zero Lux would be a lot more fun with water hazards.

Tango in scene: “I brought my own mini-DV – my personal mini-DV.”

Jason: “Ah – okay, good. Well, one more camera’s definitely going to be beneficial.”

Tango: “All right.”

Jason: “Well, let’s go dark.”

MB: Wait! Where are the cameras?

TM: Cameras are too much trouble.  And when do the ghosts ever cooperate?

MB:  St. Augustine?

TM:  Yeah.  Ha.

They proceed to blow out many many candles, some looking set up by a Martha Stewart acolyte.

Brian: “All right, ? Barry – you know this castle like the back of your hand. I don’t, so. You think it’s here tonight?”

Barry: “Ah, it’s watching very carefully.”

Brian: “Well, let’s let this thing to come out and play.”

MB: Barry is different.

TM: Barry is Irish.

Brian interviews: “Barry decided to take me to the ruins of Leap Castle, the outside area where they haven’t fixed it up yet.”

Priest House Ruins 3 hrs. into investigation

Brian: “So we decided to go under the floorboards until like the so-called basement area of the ruins.”

We see legs disappearing.

MB: Okay, I really don’t get that. Why do they need to crawl under the floorboards?

TM:  Because they’re looking for that short elemental.  Would you like to read Barry’s description of an elemental?

MB: For some reason, I’m thinking I don’t.

Barry: “Ah, give it a second. [incomprehensible] make it an idea of what direction it’s going’ in.”

The editors provide some scary music.

Brian: “Barry – ? go over just came from behind you.”

Barry: “Yeah, I was watchin’ that.” Silence. “Right. There’s somethin’ movin’ somewhere.”

This is all a big batch of nothing to us.

Brian: “Hey, did you hear that?”

Barry: “Yeah.”

Brian interviews: “And it was like kinda like a really creepy feeling, the hair on the back of my neck stood up, my eyes started watering. It was very very weird feeling.”

Barry: “Barometric pressure stayed stable.”

Elsewhere –

Jason: “Why don’t you guys start all the way at the top and work your way down?”

Basement 10:00 PM

Dustin: “Cool. All the way to the top, man.”

Jason: “How are you guys with bats?”

Dustin: “Um, how’re you doin’?”

Tango: “Batteries or bats?”

Dustin: “No, baseball.”

Jason: “Bats.”

Dustin and Dave trudge up the stairs.

Dustin, whining: “Why are there always bats?”

TM: He should be thanking his lucky stars there are bats. We need filler! Bats are great filler.

MB: Better than Steve’s acrophobia, anyway.

Bloody Chapel, top of Leap Castle

Tango, to recorder: “This is Dustin and Tango, in the…?”

Dustin: “Chapel.”

Tango: “Chapel. All the way on top.”

Dustin: “Look!” He’s waving his flashlight over Tango’s head. Tango ducks and flinches.

Tango: “What? What?”

Dustin: “Shit.” He is laughing.

Tango: “Don’t do that to me.”

Dustin: “I hate bats. Shit. Here we go.”

Tango: “Don’t dodge, man.” They are cowering together.

Dustin: “Just sit over here. Why you gotta sit so close?”

Tango: “Because.”

They crouch in a corner.

Dustin: “Dude!”

Tango: “Oh, my god that was close. ‘Oh, jesus!

Dustin: “Oh, jesus christ!”

Tango: “It’s gonna go past right around your head. You hear him?”

Dustin: “All right, we need to go quiet.”

Tango: “Slowly, slowly.”

They are now walking in tandem, as if they are about to tango.

TM: Tch.

MB: I couldn’t help it.

Dustin: “Are you going to take a step every time I take a step?”

Tango: “Let’s just keep it even.”

Dustin, giggling: “So you’re using me as a shield.”

Tango: “I feel like I’m dancin’ with ya.”

Dustin: “Okay, okay. Just over there.”

They seem to be edging through a minefield.

Tango: “Just gonna get over to the corner.”

Dustin: “Slowly.”

There is some unexpected hold-up.

Tango: “What? You okay?” he is addressing Brian Hodge, Cameraman.

Dustin: “Dude, it smells different.”

Brian Hodge, Cameraman: “Dude, swear to God, I just got pushed.”

Tango: “Are you serious? You just got pushed?”

Brian Hodge, Cameraman: “There’s nothing here, and I just literally felt heavy and went forward.”

TM: He’d better not be the same cameraman who ran with Brian at Eastern State Penitentiary.

MB: No, that was Dave Hobbs.

TM: Oh, right, Hobbs. But – Brian H.! It’s almost a Fortean coincidence, on two sides.

MB: No, it’s not.

TM: You’re no fun.

Dustin: “It smells completely different.”

Brian Hodge, Cameraman interviews: “Right before it happened I did get the chills a couple times during the night and I gotta say I ‘m pretty much the biggest skeptic there is and – uh – I don’t know. Tonight felt a little bit different.”

Dustin: “It just got really weird. Point 5, point four – oh, definitely in this area – 1.5, 1.6.”

Tango: “Did it just get really cold or is it just me?”

Dustin: “Well, I don’t know if it’s just a draft.”

Tango: “My hands just – my hair’s standing up, man.”

Dustin: “The smell is different.”

Tango, holding his hand out: “Dude, the hair is standing up. Look at that.”

Dustin, preoccupied: “Yeah.”

Tango: “I…” He gasps. “What was that?”

Dustin: I just saw something over there, too.”

Tango: “What the fuck was that?” It was a light.”

Dustin: “It was like a greenish light.”

Tango: “Dude!”

Dustin: “Okay.”

Tango: “What was that?”

Dustin: “I don’t know, but something’s here to play.”

Tango: “Holy shit, man. Finally. Wow.”

MB:  Notice we don’t get to see anything.

TM:  Yeah, if this is Wii ghost-hunting, they need to work on the visuals.

The Investigation

Ireland Leap Castle

Friday 11:23 PM

Bloody Chapel

5 hrs. into investigation

Dustin: “It – to me it looked greenish.”

Tango: “Yeah.”

Dustin: “About the size of like a tennis ball.”

Tango: “Yep. Same here.”

Tango interviews: “I saw this little ball of greenish-blue light. It was just dancing around real fast and at first I thought it was a reflection off the EMF because – uh – he had a flashlight on it.”

There is a screen note to explain EMF in the most cursory way. Apparently Grant has gotten tired of doing these explanations.

TM:  He’d rather talk about oubliettes.

Dustin: “One point, 1.8…”

Tango: “Oh, really?”

Dustin: “Yeah, 1.5, point 4, point 2. I don’t understand. There’s no electricity in here.”

Tango: “No.” Addressing the room at large: “Let’s see what you got. Can you touch me? Hit me? Push me?”

Dustin: “Dude, there’s something going on over there.”

Tango: “Yeah.”

Dustin, pointing to another corner: “This way.”

Tango: “What? You saw it again?”

Dustin: “Yeah, keep the video in the corner.”

Tango: “Oh, my god, you saw it again. Oh, awesome. And you…”

Dustin: “I – I – the light’s off.”

Tango interviews: “And then he turned the flashlight off and he saw it again, so that really got me.”

Dustin: “Something’s up with this – this area. I mean it all ties in with that corner.”

Tango: “Yeah.”

Access Corridor 12:40 AM

Elsewhere, the door squeaks open to reveal the B boys.

Barry: “I think this is gonna be a good place to leave the camera on if you can spare the battery life.”

TM: Ooh, look – they’re translating Barry for us.

MB: I don’t know why they couldn’t have provided me with captions before.

Brian: “Okay. Hold on a second, folks. All right, there’s problems. Our barometric pressure’s dropping.” He’s looking at his wrist watch.

Barry interviews: “I wear a wrist watch that is able to register the barometric pressure. Whenever it drops very low, that’s when these things are able to hit us.”

MB: How does that work?

TM: Ghosts as weather fronts?  Weather fronts as ghosts?  I dunno.  It must be part of Barry’s new theories and equipment Grant was gassing about.  Or it could be Barry’s way of writing off his wrist watch.  Do you think they call themselves ghost hunters on their tax forms?

MB:  Well, mountebank isn’t really a  profession.  So maybe.

Brian: “Something just moved back there. Something just moved. I just saw it.”

Barry: “Yeah.”

Brian interviews: “All of a sudden, I could see some shadows in the background, moving.”

Brian in scene: “Helloo.”

Barry: “Brian.”

Brian: “What up?”

Barry: “Be very very careful.”

Brian: “Okay.”

Barry: “The barometric pressure’s lowering.”

Brian: “That usually means something bad’s going to happen, right?”

Barry: “Yeah, uh huh.”

Brian: “Okay.” To the corridor: “Whyn’t you come out?” To Barry: “Dude, it just went pitch black in there.”

Barry: “Take a few steps further, Brian.”

Brian: “Okay. Helloo.”

Barry: “Easy! Easy!”

Brian: “Can’t see anything.”

Barry: “It dropped another three bars.”

Brian: “Whoa.”

Barry: “Easy!”

Brian: “It just got – uh – my light – my light couldn’t penetrate back. It’s pitch black back there. Something’s about t happen. Yeah, there’s something back there. My light can’t even penetrate it now. Can’t make out what’s back there. All right, [mumble].”

Barry: “Just do like – how far this pressure has dropped.”

MB: I’d just like to interject here that Pilgrim’s sound recording really sucks. So add to that Barry’s accent and Brian’s sloppy enunciation and none of these incomprehensible statements are my fault.

TM: Calm yourself. No one cares but you. It’s not like they’re saying anything we need to know.

MB: I keep forgetting.

Brian: “Whoa. I think I just caught something.”

Brian interviews: “I was looking at the screen for the mini-DV and I saw a shadow moving around.”

Brian in scene, backing his way out of the narrow corridor: “That was weird. I think I might just caught something on camera.”

Barry: “All right, we’ll review it later.”

Brian: Holy shit!”

Barry, getting a little frantic: “C’mon! Keep comin’ out keep comin’ out.”

TM: Barry is something of an old biddy, isn’t he?

MB: He’s not exactly phlegmatic.  The TAPS family vetting process may have glitched here.

Brian: “Dude, there’s something standing right there!”

Barry: “C’mon c’mon c’mon!”

Brian backs out more rapidly.

Barry: “Close the door.”

Brian: “Dude, I just caught something on camera.” He closes the door. “I just saw it. There was a shadow and it came around the corner and it went right back into the …”

Barry, look disturbed: “As we encroach in, it’s startin’ to make its attack.”

Brian, in a loud whisper: “That was crazy!”

TM: Did you see that?!? THEY CLOSED THE DOOR!!!

MB: I know! Did you ever?

TM: Never! That’s like –

MB: The stupidest thing we’ve ever seen on Ghost Hunters.

TM: Well, I’m not sure I can say that.

Bloody Chapel 1:15 AM

Dustin: “Padre, you with us tonight? Are you mad because of what happened in this church”

MB: He’s asking if the priest is “mad” about being slaughtered.

TM:  Small talk is so hard with the invisible.

Tango: “Dude…”

Dustin: “Yep.”

Tango: “I don’t know if I just saw something. It could be – oh my god – boy – no – all right. I don’t think I did. Holy shit, that was so weird, though.”

Dustin: “Did it look like a face?”

MB: Whatever happened to not prompting each other?

TM: I think it fell by the wayside with the cameras.

Tango: “Yeah, did you see that, too?”

Dustin: “Yeah, I saw it once before but I thought my contacts were just a little dry.”

Tango interviews: “I saw this face flash in front of me, and at first I was like wait – maybe you know it’s just my eyes playing tricks on me, and I didn’t know it but Dustin – uh – saw that before and he didn’t tell me.”

Dustin in scene: “I thought I saw it twice so far, but the first time I was just blinkin’.”

Tango: “That was – it flashed.”

Dustin: “It was like – one of those cheesy Hollywood like 50s special effects where like it…”

Tango: “Yeah.”

Dustin: “Shimmered in and shimmered out.” He waves his hand to demonstrate.

Tango: “Yeah, it was so fast. It was weird [here he looks at cameraman, apparently forgetting he’s supposed to pretend the guy is not there] because it had – you know, it could have been a monk, too.”

Dustin, putting his hands up to his head: Yeah, ‘cause it had like…”

Tango: “A hood.”

Dustin: “A hood.”

Tango: “It was a hood, yeah.”

Dustin, to the room: “Are you a monk? Are you a priest? Are you trapped here?”

Tango: “If you’re trying to give us a warning, give it to us again. We need to be sure.”

Dustin, under his breath: “Ah, Stevie’s gonna be pissed he missed this.”

Priest House – ruins 1:58 AM

The FLIR camera tells us it’s August 8, 2006.

TM:  It’s Tuesday.  They’re still pretending they’re weekend ghost hunters, in Ireland.

Jason, whispering: “C’mon. Don’t be a coward. Show yourself.”

MB: Honest to god, I don’t know why Jason thinks there aren’t a million other reasons to avoid him by anyone, living or dead.

TM: He still thinks he’s Vic Mackey.

Jason, aloud: “Is there anything here?” Back to whispering: “I don’t know what that hot spot right there is.”

There’s a red spot on the floor seen in the FLIR’s mostly yellow screen image.

Jason, still whispering: “See it? Right there.”

Grant, whispering back: “Yeah, look at that.”

Jason: “Right there, what is it?”

Grant kneels down to point at it: “J., there’s nothin’ here.”

Jason, still whispering: “No, now there’s two of ‘em.”

Jason interviews: Grant and I located a couple heat signatures that showed up on the floors of the ruined building. All I know is – it could have been anything. It’s a wide-open building. Maybe a rat, maybe a mouse. Possible a bird.”

Grant crawls around and puts his face next to the floor. We get to see the two spots again. They are pretty small.

MB: Maybe closing the door on the ghost wasn’t the stupidest thing we’ve ever seen on this show.

TM: See?  It’s a crowded field.

Jason, whispering: “C’mon, you coward. Where are you? Hey, we’re low on battery here so I need to hurry up.”

Elsewhere, back in the Bloody Chapel:

Dustin: “C’mon, what’re you afraid of? You can’t be afraid of us, right?”

Barry enters: “What’s goin’ on, guys?”

Tango: “Oh, man.”

Dustin, laughing: “What’s not going on?”

Bloody Chapel 8 hrs. into investigation

Dustin: “Let’s exchange things that you’re not going to believe have happened so far.”

Barry: “Yeah.”

Brian: “Yeah, let’s exchange things.” He points to a corner. “Something just moved back there.”

Dustin: “Yeah, it’s been moving there quite a bit, and there’s actually a face with a hood.”

Brian, expostulating: “I just – I just saw that! I just did!”

Tango: “Is that what you saw?”

Dustin: “I don’t know what to keep doin’. It flashes, right?”

Brian: “Yeah, it was [he waves his hand in front of his face and blows through his lips] like that – a fwa- a fuzziness.”

Dustin: “It’s friggin’ crazy. It’s happened twice so far that I’ve seen.”

Brian: “I swear ta god I just saw it. I wasn’t gonna say nothin’ because I wasn’t…”

Tango: “Yeah, that’s what Dustin did.”

Dustin: “Right.”

Tango: “And then I saw it and then…”

Dustin: “Like a little hood?”

Brian: “Yeah, a little hood and and a face with like a little beardie thing.”

Dustin: “And you weren’t here and you didn’t know that it had the beardie thing, ‘cause I [?].”

Brian interviews: “I saw something look like a face with a beard and a hood on it – uh – for a split second. I didn’t say nothin’ to Tango and Dustin ‘cause I didn’t believe what I saw, and then they started describing what they saw and I’m like – yeah, it had a beard and everything and – and it totally coincided with what they saw.”

Brian in scene: “What do you think – what do you think that face was?”

Barry: “That – that’s where the priest is usually seen.”

Dustin interviews: “For us to be able to exchange information without either one of us knowing what we’d actually seen, and for it all to come together is just fantastic.”

MB:  We still haven’t seen a damned thing.

TM:  This is a faith-based initiative now, Mme.  Get with the program.

Brian: “Dude, that was just crazy.”

Brian interviews: “Barry and I continued investigating downstairs while Dustin and Tango stayed up in the Bloody Chapel.”

Dustin: “Can you imagine being thrown down that shaft, dude?”

Bloody Chapel 2:34 AM

Tango: “I’d – I’d – it hurts to even think about it. Getting impaled?”

TM: Weasel doesn’t mind thinking about it!

Dustin: “It’s starting to smell weird again.”

Tango interviews: “We had smelled this – rubber smell. It was weird. It was like a stale rubber smell and um – Dustin started feeling weird.”

Dustin: “I’m gettin’ very uneasy in that corner.”

Tango: “Are you really?”

Dustin: “Yeah. Like a little shaky.”

Tango: “All right.”

Dustin: “You wanna come out and play, come out and play. What have you got, boys?”

Tango: “Don’t be a wuss.”

Dustin: “Yeah, don’t be a wuss. Uh – play. Come out and do it.”

There’s a small crashing noise and “Oof!” and “Aw, shit!”

Tango: “Are you all right? What happened? Dude! What the hell happened? Dude!”

Dustin is prostrate on the floor.

The Investigation

Ireland Leap Castle

Saturday 2:35 AM

Tango interviews: “Dustin and I were doing some EVP work. We were provoking and I remember I called whatever was there a wuss ‘cause it wasn’t showing itself.”

MB: Would a 15th-century monk even understand the word “wuss?”

TM: Begorrah and sure but it’s old Gaelic.  Anyway, rudeness needs no translation.

We get to see the scene again, and hear all Tango’s dismayed “Dude!”s.

Tango in scene: “Dude! Dude! Where’s your flashlight? Dude, are you all right? Dude!”

Dustin is lying on his back, grunting.

Dustin: “Yeah, I’m all right. It’s my shoulder.”

Tango: “What the hell happened?”

Dustin: “I don’t know. Just like something just knocked me real bad.” His voice is shaky and he is gasping.

Tango: “Are you – are you serious?”

Dustin continues to gasp and swear, so apparently he is..

Tango: Are you hurt? I mean – is your arm broken?”

Dustin: “No no no no. No, it’s fine.”

Tango: “ [?] punk?”

Dustin, still on his back, eyes closed: “My chest feels like – not very good.”

Tango: “All right, just stay there, man. Just relax.”

Tango interviews: “When Dustin fell on the ground, I was there tight with him. He fell down, he clinged [sic] to me for a second, and I felt the force of him hitting the ground. I mean I didn’t get hit, but I mean – I was there. I was sha- – shaking just as much as he was.”

Tango in scene, to the room: “You can’t touch me?”

TM: It’s like one of those cheesy Hollywood 50s movies Dustin was just talking about.

MB: Yeah, and Tango would be weeping like a little bitty baby if he were on the ground, so I wish he were. Because I get so sick of these scenes. All the he-man macho blustering – do they not realize how stupid they look posturing to an empty room?

TM: Apparently not. Or, they enjoy looking stupid!

Dustin: “Tango, seriously, I wanna get out of here.” He puts his hands over his eyes.

Tango: “All right, man. Just get up. Let’s get up. C’mon, let’s get up.”

TM: Dustin is crying right now, isn’t he?

MB: Kinda looks like it.

Dustin: “I can’t. No, I can’t. My chest is…”

Tango: “I smell it!”

This causes Dustin to raise his head to look around with alarm.

Dustin: “Yeah, I can.”

Tango: “Oh, I smell it.”

Tango interviews: “After he fell on the ground, I started smelling something – that stale rubber smell again.

Tango, in scene: “C’mon, hit me! C’mon!”

MB: Preferably in the mouth.

Dustin is still wheezing and swearing and sniffling. There is a very long camera shot of him lying back down, hands to eyes.

Tango: “Let me know when you can get up. I’m shakin’ right now.”

Dustin: “Oh, fuck. Let’s go.” He sits up, grunts and gasps. “Oh! Ow!”

Tango: “You wanna hit me? You like hittin’ people, huh? Hit me!”

Dustin: “Tango, don’t – don’t provoke it. Don’t provoke it. Don’t, dude.”

Tango interviews: “I was actually a little angry at first – like – you know I tried to call it again and I just – maybe I shouldn’t have done that but I – you know it – he hurt my friend, whatever it was.”

TM: Aw.  Since you refused to watch the deleted scenes, let me just tell you that there’s a deleted scene where Tango goes to sit by himself in the Banquet Hall and tries to raise Beelzebub by himself, and then Jason comes in and chastises him for being so rash because Tango is just a newbie and can’t handle Beelzebub on his own.

MB:  Beelzebub?

TM:  And Jason himself socked Beelzebub in the head somewhere in Maine.

MB:  Really?

TM:  Well, sort of. I imagine you had to be there.

Dustin: “Take this.” He hands over his flashlight. ‘Let’s get the fuck out of here.” He stands up. “Ow! Ow! Fuck, dude.” He rubs his shoulder. “I need to go outside. I wanna get outside.”

Down below, Brian is bending the ears of Jason and Grant.

Brian: “All right, well, if you go through like a third level there’s like a doorway. There’s like a little storage area. Well…”

Downstairs 2:43 AM

Brian: “Barry was like the barometric pressure’s dropping, the hair on the back of my neck’s standin’ up and it’s like it was just getting’ weird so I put my camera down and I seen the shadow move on the camera. It went all the way up to the top and – um – Dustin – here they come now. Dustin and Tango were up there…”

Brian’s babbling is interrupted by several “What?”s, as the split screen shows the arrival of Tango and the wounded warrior.

Tango: “He just – he just got punched.”

Duelling Pilgrim cameras focus lights on the only visible event of the evening.

Tango: “He just got hit real bad.”

Someone, probably Grant, squeaks another “What?”

Tango: “He was just smacked – just got hit and thrown on the ground.”

Another squeak of “What?”

Tango: “Yeah.”

Dustin is standing still, hunched over like he’s come out of a deep freeze.

A chorus of “Where is he? What happened?”

Dustin: “Dude, it was like something just went right – right through my shoulder. I was talkin’ to Tango and the next thing I know I was on the fuckin’ ground.”

Brian: “Did you catch it on tape, Tango?”

Tango: “I don’t know – I mean I went as fast as I could.”

Jason: “Clearly something hit you?”

Dustin: “It felt like something went right through and there’s this – this musty smell. We’re in the front corner. I was talkin’ to Tango. I just – I was just talkin’ to him and the next thing I know it was just like – bam.”

Jason: Where were you – all the way up in the – uh – chapel room?”

Brian feels the need to burst in: “Well, see, that’s what I was tryin’ to tell you. What happened was we saw a face, a blurry face with a hood and a beard.”

Dustin, faint: “I saw it twice.”

Grant: “Wait wait wait.”

Brian won’t: “And he…”

Grant: “Now wait. When you say you see a face, it doesn’t – does it just appear in front of you?”

Brian: “It was in the corner, exactly where they saw it and…”

Tango is saying yeah and Jason is trying to talk to Dustin, but Brian is determined to be in on it.

Brian: “…and they said did you see it? Yeah, it was like – joo joo joo and I – and they said did you want to see a face – did you see a face? I said yeah and a beard and everything.”

Meanwhile Jason and Dustin are talking unheard.

Grant, to Tango: “Did you see him go down?”

Tango: “I saw him go down . He was right next to me, went boom, go down, I turned.”

Jason: “Grant, let’s go.”

Brian: “When you see what happens, let me know.”

MB: Poor Brian. If only he could have been the one the ghost made eat dirt.

TM: He had his chance.  He closed the door.

Jason interviews: “Grant and I rushed up to the chapel and the main reason behind that is if there’s activity going on right now, we wanna be there for it. We wanna experience it. If this thing was willing to knock Dusting down, I don’t wanna give it a chance to cool off.”

Grant interviews: “After you know he’s okay, you kinda get this instinctual – you just wanna fight back. You wanna get in there and you wanna – you wanna provoke the heck out of it to see if you can catch it, and that’s what J. and I did instantly, instantly and headed right up there and that’s where we started getting this heavy feeling.”

Bloody Chapel 2:57 AM

Jason: “Ah, it’s getting hard to breathe.”

Grant, whispering: “It does feel heavy up here, huh? Whaddaya think?”

Jason: “Yeah.”

Grant: “I don’t know about you but to me, it does.” Aloud: “All right, little man – you attack our team. Or you afraid of us? You think it’s afraid of us?”

MB: Oh, god. More.

TM: Grant is obsessed with height, you notice?  We might even call him a heightist.

Downstairs, Dustin is still having fits, repeating his traumatic toppling to Tango.

Dustin: “And the next thing I knew it was just like bam. I was down.”

He sniffles and Tango pats him on the shoulder.

Brian: “Is that what that – is that what that yell was? We heard a yell.”

Dustin: “Dude, there was something fucked in that room.”

Brian: “[indistinct mumble] everything’s going to be good. You’re all right.” He’s staring at the camera screen, not Dustin. First things first.

Dustin: “I’m just scared – uh – I don’t know – uh – if we went too far busting chops.”

Tango: “Yeah.”

Dustin is twisting away from the film crew camera, putting his head down. He’s in a state. He clutches his chest, then his mouth, and swallows hard.   It looks like he’s about to vomit.

Dustin: “I feel like I’m going to be sick.”

Brian: “Are you all right?” He is watching the video of Dustin’s dusting on the camera. “Don’t be a wuss, huh?”

Dustin is still gasping.

Tango: “Now bro… I…”

The editors take pity on Dustin and leave him to gasp and retch in peace.

TM: Deadly nausea! That was a first.

MB: I know. I guess anyone willing to cry and practically vomit on camera is either an incredible actor or some invisible fiend really did smack him.

TM: Shades of Frank di Angelo, huh?

MB: I guess.

Upstairs –

Jason: Maybe it’s willing to show itself when people are alone, and I’m willing to go alone. I know you are, too.

The Oubliette in the Bloody Chapel

We see a ladder propped in the hole.

Jason interviews: “Barry suggested we investigate the oubliette and one of us would head down there being along and vulnerable and a likely target for this thing to attack.”

Barry: “I think Grant is best for this job.”

Jason: “All right, no disrespect but you’re…”

Barry: “Then there’s one of us.”

Grant: “You want me to climb in there?”

Barry: “Sure.”

Grant: “All right. Let’s do it, then.”

Jason: “Okay.”

Jason interviews: “To try to duplicate the attack in the Bloody Chapel, Grant and I felt that we needed to be up in the Bloody Chapel alone and Barry backed that, heading to Command Central and listening to the wireless audio that was set up near us.”

Grant: “I just have no light to…”

Jason: “Here, take this camera and use it to see.”

Grant: “All right.”

Jason: “It’s got the IR on it.”

Grant: “Okay.”

Jason: “It’s recording.”

Grant: “Okay. There you are. All right. Here we go in – into the oubliette. Don’t forget about me, J.”

We get a camera’s eye view of this whole exchange.

TM: You know, for the most haunted castle in Ireland, there’s not really a whole lot going on here.

MB: That’s the problem with ghosts.

Jason, on radio: “Hey, Barry.”

Barry, in Command Central: “Go ahead.”

Jason: “All right, Grant’s down in there.”

Barry: “Okay.”

Grant: “Well, I’m pretty much where people got killed and tortured. It goes down a lot further but they filled it up with sticks so that no one would fall on the spikes.”

MB: How far down is he?

TM: Six feet, at least. Maybe seven.

Jason, on radio: “All right, so no fluctuations or anything with Grant in there?”

Barry: “Everything’s remaining cool.”

Grant: “Ask him what I can say to make this thing mad.”

Jason, on radio: “He wants to know what he can say to piss this thing off.”

Barry is seen to be sitting, thinking.

Jason” “I don’t think Barry’s going to tell us.”

MB: Well, of course he isn’t. He thinks you’re trying to unleash the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

Grant: “C’mon, little elemental. C’mon, you little demon.”

TM: I swear – he’s mixing up his elementals and leprechauns.

Barry is looking at the audio signal readout downstairs with furrowed brow.

Grant: “Not afraid of you. C’mon little demon. So horrible right now. Bring it on.”

On the floor a few feet above, Jason is standing poised for action. There is a thumping noise.

Jason, whispering: “Grant?”

Grant: “What?”

Jason: “Getting something walking up here.”

Down below in Command Central, Barry lifts his head like an Irish Setter.

Barry: “Jason, that sounds like wooden furniture being dragged across the floor.”

Jason is looking around him, apparently searching for the sound source.

Grant: “C’mon. Do something. Something, to someone, please.”

The thumping continues. The camera pans the ceiling. Below, Barry removes his headphones to listen.

Jason, whispering: “Grant.”

Grant: “Yeah.”

Jason: “I heard walking, then all the sudden I heard running.”

Grant: “How close to you?”

Jason: “I don’t know if it was on the steps or if it was in here.”

Barry, on radio: “Jason.”

Jason: “Yes, Barry.”

Barry: “Could you step away form the oubliette back toward the main door?”

Jason: “Do you want me to leave my little buddy in there?”

Barry: “Yeah.”

There is a shot of Grant, forsaken, peeping from the not-very-deep depths of the oubliette, next to the ladder.

Jason interviews: “Sometimes a thing’ll only come to somebody who’s alone.”

Jason, on radio: “Barry, did you catch what sounded like running a minute ago?”

Barry: “There’s a whole mixture of sounds coming out. J., what’s going on with Grant?”

Jason: “Are you okay in there?”

There is no response from Grant.

Barry: “Is Grant responding to your question?”

Jason: “Grant?”

There is more silence.

Barry interviews: “This thing was ready to make a move and my concern is again for the guys and their safety.”

Barry, on radio: “What did you just hear up there now?”

There’s more thumping. Jason is looking around, brow furrowed.

Barry: “Okay, I can hear fooststeps. Is anyone comin’ up the stairs?”

Jason: “No.”

Barry: “I think it’s gonna make a hit.” He abandons his post and runs up the spiral stairs, gasping. He bursts into the chapel where Jason is standing, and runs to the oubliette opening and leans over it. ‘Oh, dear god.”

Heh, then they went to commercial.

The Investigation

Ireland Leap Castle

Saturday 3:51 AM

We get to see a repeat of Barry’s prophecy and mad run. Grant is not visible down in the oubliette, until he coyly peeks out from under the floor structure.

Barry: “You okay?”

Grant: “Yeah. What the heck is goin’ on?”

Barry: “Then you couldn’t hear him comin’ up the stairs?”

Grant: “Hear him coming up the stairs?”

Barry: “C’mon, get up here as quick as could.”

Grant laughs.

Barry: “I’ll step downstairs, have a heart attack in private.”

Jason, chortling, slaps him on the head: “Oh, we gotta bring you to the States.”

Grant, back at floor level: “Why’d Barry come flying up here?”

Jason: “Well, we kept hearin’ footsteps.”

Grant: “That’s awesome. Was – were the footsteps responding to anything you were doing?”

Jason: “”No, they were and then there [pointing to a corner] and just like…”

Grant: “Just like this?” He walks.

Jason: “Yeah. That’s exactly what it sounded like.”

The editors have dug up a picturesque cloud-wracked full moon for us.

TM:  There really was a full moon that night.  Or almost.

MB:  I find that hard to believe.

TM:  No, really.

MB:  I bet it wasn’t that one, though.

TM: You have gotten so cynical!

Tango and Jason are standing around in a room, while Dustin is huddled next to the fireplace with Brian and Grant.

Tango: “Ready to start breakin’ stuff down?”

Jason, feeling a need to complain first: “Yeah, sure. It’s a whole lot to analyze because we’re down a guy. We don’t have Steve. Well, you know what – why don’t we start breaking down?”

Tango: “Yeah.”

Jason: “Pack up and get the hell outta here.”

Grant interviews: “The investigation has been amazing. The history, the evidence, the location, and the sequence of personal experiences that have happened here are – are overwhelming, not to mention what we have yet to discover with the footage.”

MB:  Yeah, if they have any.

Jason interviews: “We were informed that here are about twenty human spirits and there was one elemental. That negative entity in this home really didn’t know why we were here, and it seemed like it was trying to figure us out as well as we were tryin’ to figure it out.”

Dawn breaks over Leap Castle. The blue and red station wagons depart.

Grant, in car with Jason, who, as always , is driving, only on the other side of the car: “I hope we have a good shot of Dustin getting nailed. That can offer a lot of information on how it happened, why it happened.

TM: No, it can’t. Unless he’s expecting to see an anvil fall from the ceiling.

Jason: “I can’t wait, man. Can’t wait to find out if we caught it. I’m hopin’ man. Cross your fingers.”

Grant: “Yeah.”

The Analysis

Ireland Leap Castle

Monday 7:39 AM

In a very dark and plaid hotel function room, Brian, Dustin and Tango are lined up at a table with their “footage.” Except there doesn’t seem to be any.

MB: I told you there were no cameras. Look at this. There’s one laptop. Tango looks embarrassed because they’re making him pretend to be working at a pretend computer.

TM:  He’s still in training.  It’s a simulation.

Brian interviews: “Well, we have a lot of evidence to review today. We’ve had a lot of personal experiences so I’m hoping that when we sit down and review all the evidence that we catch a lot of good stuff.”

Across the Atlantic, we see sad Steve sitting in the TAPS conference room, with headphones.

Brian continues: “Steve has got all the wireless and digital audio. He’s gonna be reviewin’ that and he’s going to be giving us a call after he’s done.”

MB: WTF? Because these guys have so much footage to review?

TM: We don’t want Steve to feel left out.

MB: Pft. I think it’s more like we want to point out what a great a time we’re having over here in Ireland.

Lonely Steve interviews: “Brian sent me some audio to review from the overseas investigation – uh – they’re having a great time over there but they have a lot of stuff to review and – uh – they’ve asked me to help out with this and – uh – of course I’m definitely – you know – excited to do that for ‘em.”

MB: Definitely.  We can tell.

Dustin: “Hey, Brian, you wanna take a look at this? I think it’s that shadow you were talkin’ about.”

Brian: “All right, let’s see it. Yeah, it’s when I was placin’ the camera. Yeah, there it is. There is is. Now look, when you – when you watch it, see this little thing – I don’t know if it ‘s anything. Yeah, okay, yeah – it’s got to be me.”

Dustin: “Yeah, ‘cause it washes up on the wall.”

Brian: “It washes up on the wall. If it didn’t wash up on the wall behind I’d been like…”

Dustin: “Right:”

Tango: “Look at the side of the shadow it was like if it was like a shadow it would be you would see the body.”

MB: I give up. They’re all speaking gibberish here.

TM: Explaining light optics is not their forte. That thing Brian closed the door on? The impenetrable darkness?

MB: Yeah?

TM: Was Brian’s shadow.

MB: Oh, my god.  All that melodrama from Barry and his barometric pressure wristwatch was…

TM:  For Brian’s shadow.

MB:  Okay, so closing the door on it is back in the running for stupidest thing ever.

TM:  I like this version even more.

Brian interviews: “It kind of disappointed me because I was feeling so good about that area, I just felt something was gonna happen, and when I saw that shadow on that – on that two-inch screen I was so excited. I figured it’d be great to show Jason and Grant. I figured we had it.”

Brian, in scene: “Ah, crap. Okay.”

Dustin: “Oh, well – we keep lookin’, bro.”

Steve interviews: “I really do think that not being able to fly hinders – uh – my life in some respects. I definitely did want to be there. Uh – it’s actually been pretty depressing. I think about it quite often and say – ‘Gee, I could be there with them’ but – uh – you know if I was in Ireland, all I would think about every waking moment would be the return flight.”

TM: There.  It’s sad.  We should be nicer.

MB:  Pft.  This phobia has become shtick.

Steve, in the TAPS conference room: “Holy cow. Might have something.”

The Findings

Ireland Leap Castle

Monday 3:31 PM

Steve, on phone: “Hey, guys.”

Grant: “Hey, Steve. It’s good to hear you, man.”

Jason: “How’s it goin’, Stevie?”

Steve: “I’m curious to see what you make of these. They sound pretty good to me but I’d like to get your opinion on them.”

Jason: “All right, sweet.”

Steve: “Um – there’s one section where – um – Jason says that – you know – “did you hear that?” and – uh – you can actually kinda hear a voice saying “help.” “

Grant: “All right, let’s hear this.”

The clip of “help” is played several times, captioned.

Grant: “Oh, yeah – it’s like desperation.”

Jason takes the headphones from Grant, and we hear the clip a few more times.

Jason: “Oh, wow.”

Grant: “You hear that?”

Jason: “That’s pretty wild. That’s awesome.”

TM: Well, it’s hardly being tapped on the shoulder by the boney hands of a decaying corpse. I think “wild” is stretching it.

Steve: “In this clip I can hear what sounds like footsteps and shuffling.”

We hear a clip of that thumping we heard back in the Bloody Chapel.

Jason: “That’s when we were in the Bloody Chapel.”

Grant: “Yeah, I was down there but I didn’t hear anything while I was in there.”

Jason: “Hmm. All right.”

Steve: “There’s another section where there’s a – a lady’s voice. Now is there any women with you guys? I know no – no TAPS women.”

MB: Omg, you don’t suppose they have groupies, do you?

TM: Since there’s no accounting for taste, but of course.

Brian, who chastised Steve once for this very thing: “No, no women.”

Steve: “No.”

Grant grabs the headphones. We hear a screechy wailing over one of the guys talking.

Grant: “That’s really disturbing.”

The Reveal

Ireland Leap Castle

Tuesday 3:17 PM

Jason and Grant stride out to the blue station wagon.

Jason interviews: “We caught a bunch of EVPs from possible human spirits, and there’s a lotta claims of human spirit activity at Leap Castle.”

MB: So is he giving up on the demonic entity or what?

TM: You were right, Mme. No cameras – maybe they couldn’t afford the extra baggage charge?

MB: And I think you were right. They’re going all wireless sensory touchy-feely. So much less fuss.

TM: So all the complaints about Steve not being there were smokescreens to conceal the non-use of tech. It’s classic! You have to admire the nerve.

MB: I do not.

TM: Well, I do. They’ve perfected their Queen Mary system!

MB: I’m listening.

TM: They go to the most haunted castle in Ireland. They can’t go to debunk it – they know they’d look ridiculous doing one of their drive-bys and debunks in a place that according to Jason was built during the Viking invasions. Have you once heard even the faintest whiff of what used to give them all their bragging rights?

MB: You mean debunking? Come to think of it, no.

TM: So they can’t or won’t try to debunk it, and they also don’t want to look ridiculous not catching any ghosts in the most haunted castle in Ireland, so they decide to do an end-run and –

MB: Not look!

TM: Isn’t it brilliant? Why go to all the fuss of setting up cameras in the Bloody Chapel when you can just stroll around and have your television crew do the work?

MB: Okay, it is kind of smart. I refuse to call it brilliant. But it certainly is efficient. Also truly lame.

TM: Well, yeah.

Jason, Grant, and Barry sit down at a long table at the castle with Sean Ryan. They’ve set up a computer screen with “TAPS” on it at the end, just like in the old days. It’s quaint, especially with the antlered head looming over it in the background. Sean Ryan looks like a Hogwarts professor on holiday.

Jason: “So how’s everything going since we left?”

Sean Ryan: “Fine. Back to normalcy, yeah.”

This inexplicably gets a big laugh from Grant, joined by the rest.

Jason: “Well, you know what we did. We came in, listened to the claims of activity here, different teams went through performing investigations. Well, we all had a lot of personal experiences – a couple of our investigators believed that they had seen what appeared to be a face which they didn’t talk about it to each other till later, and they all had the same image that they had seen – a face with a mustache and beard.”

Grant: “And a hood.”

Jason: “And a hood.”

Barry: “Un – when I was talkin’ to the guys and introducin’ them to the castle, I purposely kept that – uh – description of the hood and what not away from them.”

Jason: “So that helps definitely solidify those claims. One of our cameramen actually felt like he’d gotten shoved, and also one of our TAPS guys did get shoved down. We’ve actually got some video of that I’d like to show you.”

TM:  Well, it might solidify claims if the Leap Castle monks weren’t all over the internet well before TAPS got there.  I think Jason officially doesn’t care anymore.

MB:  If he ever did.

The wuss video is shown.

TM: Actually, I’d like Jason to stop saying actually.

MB: I’d rather have him saying actually than honestly, honestly.

TM: Actually?

MB: Honestly.

Sean Ryan watches the clip with no expression.

Jason, to Barry: “Now you were here to experience that.”

Barry: “Yeah.”

Jason: “And to talk with Dustin after. Now what’s your feelings on that?”

Barry: “Well, certainly, I’d warned the guys beforehand that not to be prodding this and understand the castle.”

MB: Maybe Barry is afraid of lawsuits. With his tours and all, he must be constantly slapping people away from teasing the elementals.

TM: I thought he was just being a biddy, but that’s a good point. One cardiac arrest could ruin everything.

Sean Ryan: “We find that sometimes when we take people up – um – they’ve got this kind of pressure on their chest. They don’t feel like they can stay up there.”

Jason: “We also caught some audio that we’d really like you guys to hear. Grant and I were upstairs in the Bloody Chapel room and we – uh – caught the sounds of footsteps and other things moving, possibly furniture. Uh – it was all on the wireless audio. Grant was down in the oubliette.”

The clip of thumping is played.

Jason: “You were actually able to hear those, too, Barry.”

Barry: “Sure, yep.”

Sean Ryan: “This was all in the chapel?”

Jason: “Ye – ah – yes. This was where wireless audio was up in the chapel. A couple of these you’re going to hear a male voice. You’re also going to hear a female voice.”

A garbled clip we haven’t heard before is played.

Jason: “Now did you hear that?”

Barry: “Yep.”

Jason: “That voice? To be totally honest with ya, I’m not sure if it’s even English.”

Sean Ryan listens again: “If it’s from maybe 1400s, 1500s, it’d be middle Gaelic, which we don’t speak now.”

Jason: “We’ve got another one.”

The “help” clip is played.

Barry: “It certainly does sound like get up or get out.”

Jason: “It almost sounded like help to me.”

The clip gets played three more times, with captions, to make it clear Jason is right and dumb old Barry is wrong.

Jason: “Now this is a little interesting. You’re gonna hear Dustin and Dave talking and then right in this area you’re gonna hear something.”

The clip of wailing is played.

MB: Gah. Okay. I’ve heard it enough. If it’s real, it’s awful.

TM: Maybe she’s just reacting to the presence of TAPS. I’d wail, too. Here – watch Sean Ryan in this. It will make you feel better.

Grant: “My first thought was a cat.”

Sean Ryan: “Well, we don’t have any.”

Jason: “I’m gonna loop it for you.”

It’s played several more times.

Sean Ryan: “That’s different. That’s – that’s like a plead.”

Grant: “That’s what we were saying.”

Sean Ryan: “A plea for help or something.” Repeat of caterwauling. “We have lots of spirits in the house but they’re happy to be here. There’s definitely – there’s fear in it.”

Jason: “Honestly, when it comes down to with all the experiences we had here, Sean, I have to agree with Barry. I believe this place to be haunted.”

Sean Ryan: “Hauntings – uh – it’s kind of – really, we talk of it in a different way.” He looks at Barry, who nods. We like to say we’ve lots of spirits in the house.”

Jason: “You’re not referring to the alcohol?”

Sean Ryan: “No, no.”

General ho ho ho’s all around.

Jason: “We really wanna say thanks for having us. You guys have been wonderful, you and your family.”

Grant: “And you’ve got a lot of spirits in your house!”

Another round of ho ho ho’s.

Jason: “C’mon, let’s get out of here, guys.”

Sean Ryan opines: “Jason and Grant mentioned that the castle was haunted but in Ireland we don’t really feel that. We like to think that there are lots of spirits, but friendly spirits, in the house. Ah – they don’t interfere with us but they do let us know they’re here.”

TM: Yeah, you silly Americans.

MB: Indeed.

Jason, in the car: “How do you feel about that investigation, man?”

Grant: “It was very interesting. It was certainly different from what we experience in American and I’m not sure that what was in there was an inhuman negative entity.”

MB: Oh, look. We’re back to Grant not knowing what an elemental is.

TM: I knew he was funning us when he said he was coming to research the history of Ireland’s ghosts. Unless he said spirits.

Jason, shaking head: “No, me neither.”

MB: And he is so disappointed.

TM: Demon Hunters, I tell you. That was the Holy Grail.

MB: The Mona Lisa?

TM: The cream de la crème. So sad.

Grant: “I think it could have been an old old intelligent spirit or it could have been…”

Jason: “An old grouchy spirit.”

Grant: “Yeah.”

Jason interviews: “The investigation at Leap Castle went awesome, um – just some great. evidence that we caught. Even though Steve wasn’t there, the team really pulled together and – uh – got through it, and we had such a great time in Ireland that I think we’re gonna look around and try to find some other places to investigate while we’re here.”

TM: Specifically those ones Barry scheduled for us six months ago.

MB: You’d think they’d be using GPS by now.

TM: Driving on the left side of the road has probably confused them.

Jason, in car: “Eh, awesome. Good job, man. On to the next.”

Grant: “Good job.”

TM: Good job, Mme! We did it all in one go!

MB: There’s no point prolonging the agony.

TM: Oh, admit it. You enjoyed this one.

MB: Yeah, but these guys don’t get knocked down nearly enough for my taste.

TM: On to the next!

MB: How many more are there?

TM: You don’t want to know.  There’s going to be a sixth season.

MB:  2012 can’t get here too soon.

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