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Saturday, June 9, 2007

Review of TAPS: Season 3, Episode 7: Lisheen Ruins / Viaduct Tavern

Airdate: Wednesday, June 6, 2007.

We start by being reminded that Steve is a crybaby who is afraid of airplanes. They embarrass Steve further by showing him balling in a van. What nice guys to remind the world what a wuss Ghost-Hunter Steve is.

The team is still in Ireland on continuing their transatlantic mission to hunt ghosts. They start out by visiting with Joe McGowen, who Jason describes as a local folklore expert. But he's upgraded to "historian" as his name is flashed across the screen. So McGowen describes that William Fibbs tore down a lot of people's houses to put up his large house. So an old widow woman cursed him and said that "The day will come when Ireland will be free of the likes of him, and when that day happened, the crow's and the magpies would build their nests in the ruins of Lisheen."

I don't know about you, but I'm terrified already.

Then we learn that in 1855, Owen Fibbs, the son of William, filled the house with Egyptian mummies and Syrian swords and God know what else. McGowen then says that Lisheen means little fort or wrath. We flash to Grant who tells us that wraths are the homes of the fairies. Jason tells us that its bad to build homes in the paths of fairies. Of course, we don't know how Jason has concluded that Lisheen was build in the path of fairies or how anyone tells that they've built a home in paths of faires. But Ol' McGowen assures us that he wouldn't build a house in the paths of fairies. And just how many whiskey drinks does it take to see fairies?

We meet local TAPS member, Barry Fitzgerald. Barry has been to Lisheen several times and tells us that the sounds of mummy murmering can be heard from the basement. He makes sounds like you'd hear in the old movie "Curse of the mummies". Ok, this is getting corny. Barry tells us that when Fibbs left the Earth spirits took over. And walking around them can "lead to trouble".

We flash to Dave stepping in cow poop. Why this matters to us, I don't know. Now Dave is shoveling cow poop. Ok, and the point of this segment is?

We flash to the Leap Castle where Tango tells us that Dave and Dustin got pushed to the ground by a spirit. Dave is ready to investigate despite getting beat up by a ghost during the last investigation. Give Dave credit, he's at least got more sack than Steve who's probably home crying in his crib.

It's 11:55 and Jason and Grant are wandering around with their thermal imaging equipment. They capture an image of what appears to be a person staring in their direction. I'm actually intriged by this segment and watch. Grant yells out "what the frig?" We fade to commercial.

We come back. We learn that they caught a soundman on thermal. Darn! It would have been at least more interesting if it were Joe McGowen stumbling home from the pub looking for fairies.

I'm sure most viewers are by this point - fully annoyed. We move on.

We flash to Lisheen's basement. Dustin thinks he's hearing banging and walking.

We flash back to Jason and Grant in the field again. Jason says that the fairies make tunnels underground and are probably looking up at them. So, now fairies have X-Ray vision.

Grant sees an image following the team off in the distance. And this isn't soundman too? No, this dot splits into three dots and follows the team. As soon as Grant and Jason move closer the dots disappear. This isn't impressive footage. But Jason is impressed.

3:13 am. Brian walks in the field and thinks something wacked his finger. Ho-Hum.

Barry is telling stories in the wrath area. Then he stares off in the distance surprised. The other TAPS members ask him what he's seen and he claims it was a "face" in the woods. Barry chases the face into the ruins, Dustin follows with Dave in tow. Barry feels this is a warning and decides to back off the case - he feels this is a "warning."

I think this is a weird reaction for a TAPS member who thinks they saw something paranormal. What's the point of going there in the first place? So if you find something why would you run away from the investigation? As "investigators" wouldn't that cause you to investigate further? it's clear Barry is superstitious. The rest of the TAPS members, to their credit, hold their ground.

Super Grant sits under the tree and thinks he hears humming, footsteps and voices. Ok, he's delarious. Now he sees little figures moving outside the wrath. Wishful thinking. I thought these guys take this stuff seriously?

Ruining the atmosphere we pan to Dave and Dustin in the basement who are afraid of bugs and spiders. They look more like tweedle dumm and tweedle dee, running from spiders and bugs. This segment is a waste of time, and it tells me that they are using "filler" because the well has gone dry on this investigation.

Jason finally puts this investigation to bed by saying they should break it down. I agree, so far the lack of material out of this show is unbelievable.

We review the only evidence they have... sounds of boots on a floor. Pretty inconclusive. Then we see the video of the one light turning into three on the thermal cam. Again, means little to me, but its exciting for Jason and Grant. Then a clip of a red dot, who Jason believes is an entity following the team. I bet its Joe McGowen stumbling home from the from the local pub.

At least the segment ends by the team capturing the spooky face that Barry saw. I'm suspect because for some reason the team doesn't come across as excited or surprised by the face. Hmmmm? You'd think that this would be a huge find.

Jason and Grant conclude that the place is haunted. I conclude that if the "face" is for real and not a TOPS generated graphic, then its been worth the investigation.

We move on the second half of the program. Jason asked Barry to tag along to travel to London, England for the investigation at Viaduct Tavern.

I hope this segment is better than the last.

The tavern was built in 1869 and sits over Newgate Prison or Gelsberg Prison, its hard to tell which.

We meet Sidonie Ross who's either a barkeeper or manager or whatever. She tells us that she has felt someone pulling her hair behind the bar - it was probably a drunk guy trying to get another drink. Grant says as much. Everyone laughs. She tells use that there are a lot of sightings including a young lady in a white dress who may have been a prostitute and was murdered on sight.

And down below we see the cells and we are told that there is paranormal activity in the cells. Grant tries to be funny. This season so far he's been incredibly corny.

Nice shot of Sidonie from an arial shot view as she tells of 15-20 people were held in the debtor's cells at a time. At this point, I have to ask - what's with the hair? And the clothes? Did anyone tell Sidonie she was going to be filmed for television?

We visit a cell haunted by "Fred" which is supposed to be the most haunted cell, according to Sidonie. But they aren't given anything specific to go on - just "sights and sounds". She also had no clue who Fred is or was.

Grant complains about intestigating where there are mirrors - makes it hard to capture anomolies due to reflection. He's a genious.

Barry makes his appearance. Equipment discussion ensues. This is what I hate about the TAPS show - a lot of time spent talking about equipment and watching them load and unload it. They don't make us sit through this during Most Haunted. Barry is wearing glasses which makes me wonder how he managed to see the "face" in the last segment. Hmmm?

Barry is going upstairs with a less "forceful" Brian to look for the ghost of the murdered girl. He's going to use the "European method". I guess this leaves us to believe that everything we do in the United States is balls to the walls and brash. Barry will teach the TOPS team how to do it right. All this from the guy that thinks he saw a spirit and ran away from the scene at Visheen.

Jason and Grant in the cells. Grant foolishly remarks... "I just don't get where they got the ok to have these things as places for them to stay?". Grant, its a prison, no one cared. They didn't pay their bills or whatever. In 1869, they weren't interested in prisoner's rights. Oh man. Do you think it was any better in the States?

Grant sits in cell and claims its miserable. While leaving the cell he thinks he sees something on the thermal cam... he exclaims... "What the frig?" We got to commercial.

Ok, we were set up earlier in the show at the previous location by a nearly identical situation with Grant saying the same phrase. I'm expecting its nothing having been fooled once already. I think they are just praying no one changes the channel so the ratings dip. This show is becoming more like "Scooby Doo" every minute.

We are back. As expected, Jason corrects Grant and finds it was his own reflection in the thermal scan.

Brian and Barry are upstairs. Barry doesn't want the ghost to feel threatened and scare it away. They hear a noise. Barry gets Brian to "respectfully" ask questions of the spirit in a timid manner. But strange, the questions seem rude... "what is your name, did you die here?" Barry feels a breeze that doesn't register, he suggests retreat. They retreat. I'm confused by the European method where you leave the scene when ghosts are thought to inhibit the area. All this retreating makes for boring show when the goal is to capture ghosts on film.

We are in luck, they return and hope to get further into the room. Brian tries to communicate with the spirit again asking for a sign that the spirit is there. He asks again if she or he died there. The EVP equipment suddenly loses power... pan to Jason who blames it on the ghost.

Dave claims something touched his hand. Didn't he claim that in the earlier investigation too? We have history repeating itself.

Back to Jason and Grant, jabber-jawing about nothing in the cells. They catch up with Barry and Dave and declare that they are ready to wrap it up. I think if somethings going to come of this investigation, it will be caught on tape.

Sidonie draws the conclusion that the investigation sounds like it went well. Seems like she'll be disappointed if nothing is found.

She should have called Derek Achorah. Maybe he could have faked a posession for her.

We waste time by watching the TAPS crew review audio tapes and smile that they think they've caught something. Let's hope so, this investigation has been boring.

Commercial. Another expensive car commercial. Who do they think watches this show?

We listen to EVPs and as Brian is introducing himself, he hears a deep voice say "hi". Another recording is played, Brian is heard asking "Did you live up here" and a deep voice answers "no". Another voice is heard, but no one can make out what is being said.

Interesting, but not conclusive.

Grant and Jason meet with Sidonie to review the results. They dismiss sounds in the cell as coming from outside. They play the EVPs for Sidonie. She thinks the voices are "freaky".

Jason and Grant aren't willing to conclude that the place is haunted. And they say they can't associate names with the spirits. Jason has mixed feelings over the investigation since he had no personal experience, and Grant thinks they made progress but its non conclusive evidence.

Sidonie thinks that the evidence is good enough for her to keep telling her customers that its haunted to keep revenue flowing.

Mercifully, this episode comes to an end.


Anonymous said...

Actually, I think it _is_ people who can afford expensive cars who watch this show - or, at least, are impressed by the, um, er, "investigations": my roomies just inherited millions and they are GH addicts, complete with wide-eyed naivete. Personally, I'm in your camp --what a shlocky show! They are always in the way of the audience camera when whatever it is they are "seeing" is present. Very annoying. On the other hand, I do it interesting as to how they decide to confront problem team members and resolve familial spats. Very funny at times. --M

Anonymous said...

Considering you do not appear to like or respect this program, you sure do spend a lot of time describing the details of it which I'm sure took quite a long time to do. Why don't you spend your time on things that you do enjoy?