REVIEW: Ghost Hunters International 2.01 – “Wicklow’s Gaol”
Original Air Date: 8 July 2009
Rated: TV: PG
On this episode of Ghost Hunters International, the team gets another new member and Robb makes an old Irish lady cry. Seriously, the woman squirted a few!
We’ve known each other for a few months now, and in that time I’ve tried to be as honest as I can while not getting nasty about it. I feel that I can state my opinion honestly without making it “personal.” Covering a “reality” based show puts me in a bit of a pickle. These are real people, not actors (usually), and these are supposed to be real situations that aren’t scripted. Which makes it hard not to make things personal. Here goes nothing.
This show is a guilty pleasure. It’s horrible in the way that I wonder why I’m watching it every week, but there’s never going to be a time when I’m not going to watch new episodes. Kind of like seeing a fender bender on a 25 mph stretch of road: you know it’s not going to be a gnarly and grisly wreck, but you stare anyway because something might be there. This show is about the possibility that there might be something more than what we expect.
Nothing happened that doesn’t always happen on GHI (which, slap my face and call me Bob, is only in its second season; it feels like it’s been longer, much longer). The team goes to an international locale, they hear the stories of death, torture, and ghosts from the location’s rep, everyone looks ridiculously bad in the night vision as they wander around in the dark (stopping every once in a while to ask, “Did you hear that?”), they present very little physical evidence, tell personal experiences, and declare the place HAUNTED. If all you learned about the world was what you see on this show, you’d think Europe, the entire continent, was haunted by ghosts that understand English.
The most interesting part of this show for me is finding out the history of the place and the stories the locals have to tell about it. Usually, the most interesting stuff comes from the actual locals talking about the site and not from Brandy, GHI‘s case manager (mostly because I have a hard time hearing half the things she says). The part of me that questions things wonders would you still think what you experience in a place is paranormal if you didn’t know its history?
So, Wicklow’s Gaol has a fairly sordid past, it being a jail and all (“gaol” is another spelling of “jail,” just in case any of you were like me and had no idea what that word meant). According to the site, the Gaol was built around 1702 and was an all around appalling place to be. It was eventually closed in 1900, reopened for a time in 1918, then closed for good as a prison in 1924. Scariest part: the disturbing mannequins staged all over the place! I hate dolls. So much.
In the end, there was one EVP (electronic voice phenomenon) that kind of sounded like gibberish (again, I have to wonder if you think you’re hearing words because they told you what they hear) and some video footage of mysterious lights showing up and fading away slowly. It was apparently enough evidence for the lady they presented it to because she was moved to tears by it. Me, on the other hand, not so much. The best part was when said lady was giving the guys a tour, telling them all the bloody histories, Robb would smile and say, “Okay! What’s next?” at the end of each story. It was like even he couldn’t take this show seriously.
The biggest drawback to this show is that there is zero chemistry between the team members, and from the way the show is edited it seems like they don’t investigate so much as they nervously hang out in the dark and present questions/demands to the ghosts. Also, the fact that all but two (that I can recall) of the places they’ve investigated they’ve declared haunted is suspicious to me. Again, this could be because the way the show is edited makes it look like there is no investigation going on (granted, some places are ruins and don’t have a whole lot to investigate), and the sound effects/music make it almost impossible to hear the noises they claim to hear.
There’s always the possibility for something to happen, though. I’ll keep tuning in to see if it does.