Nutshell Recarps

Episode descriptions of the “reality” show “Ghost Hunters” in nutshell form, emphasis on the nut.

As the Ouija Board files pile up, it gets harder and harder to remember which episode was which. Before we forget, we’d better start separating the sheep from the goats. Ghosts. Whatever.

WARNING: SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS

Nothing but spoilers to follow.

SEASON ONE

Altoona, and Altoona, Two

Episode 101

“Altoona Tantrum” (Brenda’s house)

Altoona, Pennsylvania

Filmed 11 July 2004

We meet The Atlantic Paranormal Society of Warwick, Rhode Island, as they pretend to work, play and ghost-hunt. Roto-Rooter plumbers/paranormal investigators bad-tempered Jason and his sidekick Grant lead their team to Altoona to rescue a woman “in jeopardy.” Brenda says there are multiple spirits in her house, and her small daughter has been arguing with one over toys. We meet sympathetic Donna, kindly Carl, whacky Brian, moody Steve, and the plumbers’ long-suffering wives. The investigation is re-enacted for us in the middle of the day, and then they “discover” some previously recorded electronic voice phenomena, which are startlingly, astoundingly, incredibly clear. Almost nothing happens in this episode, but the sheer novelty of it all carried us through. We also like to watch dogs walking on their hind legs.

TAPS verdict: paranormal activity.

Ouija Board: Mme. B. believes in the EVP’s, she thinks. The Talking Mongoose says they’re hooey, and is even more exercised over the re-enactments.

Altoona, Too

Episode 102

“Mishler Theatre” (and Railroad Museum)

Altoona, Pennsylvania

Filmed 10-11 July 2004 and 9-10 or 12-13 July 2004

The first of the smash and grab/drive-by debunkings. TAPS/Pilgrim has to justify the expense of traipsing to Altoona, so they inveigle some local haunted institutions to let them in, scare off the ghosts, and declare the places paranormal deserts. Brian dons spectacular night-vision goggles, and emerges as the go-to scapegoat. Jason emerges as a major pill. The museum’s mannequins are pretty alarming. A chair falls over. Otherwise, nothing happens. Fearful of losing our flagging attention, they start in on next week’s case at the Lighthouse Inn.

TAPS verdict: Bunkum! Debunked!

Ouija Board: both places probably haunted, and TAPS is in loooooove with itself, for no discernible reason.

Straight Out Haunted, Maybe

Episode 103

“Lighthouse Inn” (and John Stone Tavern)

New London, Connecticut and Ashland, Massachusetts

Filmed 24- 25 July and 25-26 July, 2004

Steve Gonsalves gets touched by a ghost at the Lighthouse Inn and nearly cries. Jason and Grant try to find the Underground Railway underneath the John Stone Tavern. Work continues on the search for the vanishing point. An odd light may or may not be paranormal.

TAPS verdict: Lighthouse Inn – maybe paranormal activity. John Stone Tavern: probably paranormal activity.

Ouija Board: Haunted. Haunted.

Race Rock Lighthouse

Episode 104

“Race Rock Lighthouse”

Off New London, Connecticut

Filmed 30-31 July 2004

A wild boat trip delivers TAPS to a slow night on Race Rock, until the Coast Guard gets to rescue two guys lost in the fog. Andy and Brian chase a ghost up and down the lighthouse staircase with their EMF detectors. And, oh, yeah. There’s that famous moving chair.

TAPS verdict: Probably haunted, but they can’t be sure, because they didn’t see a ghost.

Ouija Board: Oh, for crissakes. It’s haunted.

Eastern State Penitentiary and Eastern State Penitentiary 2

Episode 105

“Eastern State Penitentiary”

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Filmed 3-4 and 20-21 September 2004

Two thrilling trips to the place that put the penitent in penitentiary. Brian Harnois does a world-record sprint, a much-disputed apparition appears on film, and Jason and Grant reveal their feelings to each other. The FLIR thermal imaging camera makes its debut.

TAPS verdict: Hey! It’s haunted! We filmed a ghost! We’re Number One!

Ouija Board: Our favorite episode. Even the re-enactments are goofily fabulous.

To Be Orb Not To Be

Episode 106

“The Converted Church” (Talarski-Klebes house)

Albany area, New York

Filmed 6-7 August 2004

Absolutely nothing happens in this tiny church turned pseudo-Goth residence, except that Brian and Andy have a little set-to, and Steve starts freaking out in the bell tower. And Steve’s friends get to be on television.

TAPS verdict: Nothing there.

Ouija Board: Did we really have to go there, then? And Steve sure has a lot of phobias.

The New Bedford Armory

Episode 107

“The Armory”

New Bedford, Massachusetts

Filmed September 2004

A production crew member gets knocked down by something invisible shoving his equipment bag into his face, and we get to watch it 21 times. Also, cold spots make the tech crew act funny, and Donna has the heebie jeebies.

TAPS verdict: Definitely paranormal activity.

Ouija Board: When did ‘haunted” become a dirty word?

Fillerdelphia

Episode 108

“Fortuna and Topton” (Fortuna apartment and Topton House)

Philadelphia and Topton, Pennsylvania

Filmed 4-5 and 5-6 September 2004

College kids’ wild imaginations lead to a dull night in Philadelphia. Then, in a drive-by debunking, Jason gets to dismiss someone else’s ghost hunting abilities, which he finds highly gratifying. Also, we get see Frank De Angelis fall down at the New Bedford Armory a few more times, in case we hadn’t already seen it enough.

TAPS verdict: Neither place is haunted.

Ouija Board: College kids – meh. But Topton House – probably.

Non-Entities 1 and Non-Entities 2

Episode 109

“New Boston Inn” (and Gloria’s house)

Sandisfield, Massachusetts and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Filmed 22-23 August and 18-19 September 2004

More drive-by debunking: a murdered bride is deemed a dustbunny at the inn. and the now-infamous internet ghostchatter ladies let TAPS come in and diss their housekeeping and powers of observation. The TAPS “family” seems to be about as warm and fuzzy as the Sopranos.

TAPS Verdict: New Boston Inn is “uninvestigatable.” Gloria and Genesta are blowing things out of proportion

Ouija Board: Probably haunted. Maybe haunted.

Boo

Episode 110

“The Negative Entity” (Johnson house and Zubrowski house)

Albany, New York and Connecticut

Filmed 9-10 and 11-12 October 2004

A strange woman claims a spirit is trying to choke her, and a guy keeping his deceased grandparents on the coffee table while he turns their bedroom into a pool hall is having problems. TAPS proves to have no shame in eking out its first season with anyone who will agree to be on camera. Fie. But EVP’s from the Zubrowski house, so whee!

TAPS verdict: Johnson – “baggage” (bad). Zubrowski – “no baggage” (good).

Ouija Board: Boring and icky.

SEASON 2

The Myrtles

Episode 201

“Myrtles Plantation

St. Francisville, Louisiana

Filmed 28 February – 1 March 2005

TAPS gets a new real office in downtown Warwick. Jason and Grant make Brian sign an agreement to behave or else, because he’s been lying and stuff. The famously haunted Louisiana mansion is comes under the gimlet eye of TAPS, and somebody moves a lamp. Maybe Grant! We don’t know! There’s a pretty spooky shadow on the front porch, too.

TAPS verdict: Something is going on, but…

Ouija Board: Haunted? Hell, yeah.

Two Divided by Zero Equals Zero

Episode 202

Cranston and Grafton” (Scovil-Bentley-Baker house and DiRaimo house)

Grafton, Massachusetts and Cranston, Rhode Island

Filmed 29-30 January 2005

In Grafton, cow bones are found under a barn; a kid is poking his little sister during the night; and Jason makes fun of Andy having a fit on the haunted staircase. In Cranston, an unmoving bust of Shakespeare is filmed for hours. Jason claims an invisible entity scratched him on the back. Then Jason and Grant get all pissy about Brian fast-forwarding through the evidence of – nothing. They find an EVP.

TAPS verdict:

Ouija Board: Maybe both places are haunted. We guess it’s not our problem.

Gumbo and Bananas Foster

Episode 203

“The Red Room” (DeVille House and Brennan’s Restaurant)

Labadieville and New Orleans, Louisiana

Filmed 26-27 February and 1-2 March 2005

TAPS goes to Louisiana “again.” Kristyn has the vapors. A door opens and closes itself, twice. Jason can’t debunk it, but he cheers up when the ghosts at a New Orleans restaurant decline to perform on command. It’s not his fault Brennan’s won’t close down to let them have a perfect night of investigating.

TAPS verdict: Paranormal activity, damn it, at DeVille. Nothing for Brennan’s, but how about some blackened redfish and a bread pudding to go?

Ouija Board: Haunted. Maybe haunted – who knows?

Time Travel with TAPS

Episode 204

“Mordecai House” (U.S.S. North Carolina)

Raleigh and Wilmington, North Carolina

Filmed 13-14 and 11-13 March 2005

So there are no cases to do, but the TAPS newbies need a training session, so they go to North Carolina where – surprise! – there’s a battleship that just happens to need some Yankee ghost hunter expertise. Not much evidence turns up, but ghosts do.

TAPS verdict: paranormal activity.

Ouija Board: Yuh, it’s a-haunted.

False Alarms

Episode 205

“The Playhouse and Firehouse” (Bradley Playhouse and Harris Firehouse)

Putnam, Connecticut and Coventry, Rhode Island

Filmed 12-13 February 2005 and 26-27 March 2005

More drive-by debunking, so no ghosts and precious little drama, aside from this being the episode where Brian Harnois goes away for the first time.

TAPS verdict: nothing happening.

Ouija Board: probably haunted, but we’re too bored to care.

Bright Light, Big City

Episode 206

“Ledge Lighthouse” (and Merchant’s House Museum)

New London, Connecticut and New York City

Andy agitates for a trip to crazy haunted Ledge Lighthouse. The ghosts don’t cooperate and Andy is not only sad, but scorned. Then Jason is reprimanded for touching things at a museum, and gets to tell the silly director she doesn’t have any ghosts. So there.

TAPS verdict: No ghosts, no siree, Bob.

Ouija Board: Haunted. Haunted haunted haunted. We don’t need no goldurned TAPS evidence.

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