October 02, 2009

Spirit Purveyors

Ghost Adventures
The Travel Channel
Fridays at 8:00 PM CST

I put that right up there because of all the goofy programs I watch on television, this one is the goofiest and most entertaining that I have seen in a long time. This would have been the show to watch if it had been available on those Saturday nights when John, Chuck and I couldn't get dates so we went over to Chuck's apartment and drank a case of beer while eating sack after sack of Doritos and Funyums and just having a hell of a good time until about midnight when we became morose and realized what true losers we were and it was no wonder we didn't have steady girlfriends.

Yes, it's that good.

Here's the show in a nutshell:  Three guys find places that are supposedly haunted, get the locals involved and have themselves padlocked inside the structure overnight, where armed with every electronic gadget they could find at Radio Shack, run around for 8 hours trying to scare each other to death.

Zak, the leader, looks like Ty Pennington's brother and is the guy you always see at a bar using the cheesiest pick-up lines ever conceived by man.  Nick is Zak's number two and resembles a young General Zod of the Superman movie.  Aaron is a friendly looking dude, who claims to be religious and says "fuck" a lot, especially when he is scared, which seems to be all the time.

I've watched two full episodes so far this season.  The first, at a Masonic Lodge in Massachusetts, was okay.  The place was supposedly haunted, but the guys didn't dig up much in the way of scariness and I was more struck by how shoddy the place looked and that the Mason's wives would probably be ashamed to admit that their husbands hung out in this dump on a regular basis.

The second episode was much better.  This was at the Goldfield Hotel, somewhere in Nevada.  This place oozed evilness because of all the gambling and prostitution and murder and general mayhem that had occurred there around the turn of the last century.  The place is owned by some old cowboy who claims he is trying to refurbish the place but that the ghosts won't let him.  I was a little unclear on exactly why, but I figured that the ghosts either had a lien on the place, had formed a picket line opposing non-union labor, or just liked throwing things at people.

Zak enlisted the help of the caretaker, a crazy cat lady type who smugly walked around talking to the ghosts until it came to a point where you just wanted to reach through the TV screen and slap her.  Fortunately, when it came to "lock in" time, they got rid of her and got down to business.  Aaron opted out of this one, claiming religious reasons, but I believe he was afraid he would become so scared that he would shit himself on camera. That left Zak and General Zod.  They spent the night walking around the hotel alternately shushing each other and exclaiming "Did you see that?" and "Did you hear that?"  Zak also talks a lot of smack to the ghosts, trying to piss them off.

This was extremely entertaining, in the same fashion as your slightly tipsy uncle sitting by the campfire telling ghost stories when you were a kid.  And I mean that in all sincerity.  Anyway, the climax of the program occurs when Zak starts to go in a room, but thinks better of it and shoves poor Nick in ahead of him.  Nick's night vision camera catches a brick flying off the floor and zooming across the room. 

At this point, all hell breaks loose.  All you hear is two guys screaming their lungs out and all you see is blurry images from a bouncing camera as Zak and Nick fall all over each other trying to exit the hotel.  Only they are locked in.  So they actually jump out of a window on the second floor to get out.  You can't make this stuff up.

The next morning, after regaining his composure, Zak shows the video to the crazy cat lady, who acts like she's seen it all before.  Well, fuck her.  Next, he shows it to a guy who used to be mayor in the town and knows all about the evilness of the Goldfield Hotel.  When the scene with the flying brick comes up, this guy actually jumps from his chair.  This is no shit and he is actually startled.

In the last five minutes of the show, Zak goes around to various physics experts, who after seeing the flying brick video, claim that there's no way the brick was propelled by a string or compressed air.  Whether I believe them or not, this was sure a hoot to watch.

So, if you think of it tonight, get yourself at least a six pack of beer and a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos, and tune in.

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