Unexplained Phenomena

I am starting to think Jason and Grant should have “inconclusive” written on their foreheads. Both locations in this episode had plenty of ghosts that were interacting with TAPS.

The first investigation was the American Legion Post in Willowgrove, Pennsylvania. TAPS was walked through by Former Post Commander Dana Werner. The structure dates back to the 18th Century where it started life as a farmhouse. At one point it was converted into apartments. Dana and Michael Werner bought the property in 1974. It remains an active American Legion Post.

Dana Werner showed Jason and Grant around starting in the barroom. A commonly seen apparition behind the bar is that of a tall man wearing gray. He frequently leaves the bar to walk around the tables in the room. This middle aged ghost was around the TAPS team the entire investigation but they somehow manged to miss him.

The adjoining Walton room is known for seeing the ghost of a woman wearing a dark dress with a white front panel and a large black hat.

The second floor is currently in the midst of a remodel but once contained some of the apartments. Former apartment tenant Katherine Tedesco was shown talking about seeing a ghostly figure during her tenure in the building.

Dana showed TAPS the third floor which contained two American Legion administrative offices and a small attic room she refused to enter. She recounted numerous experiences with a tall dark figure walking between the two offices or sometimes stopping in the hallway to simply watch the current day occupants go about their business.

The episode seemed to get off to a strong start when Amy saw a figure walk by a third floor window out of the corner of her eye during setup. Kris heard the click of a light switch and watched a third floor light come on by itself, a common occurrence according to Dana. Unfortunately as it was setup the cameras were not rolling at the time. At least none of the hard drives failed this episode even though they didn’t catch much of anything.

Jason and Grant started the investigation in the third floor attic room that had badly spooked Dana.  Much to their surprise there were absolutely no EMF readings of note they could use to debunk Dana’s experiences. So instead they decided her past experiences were all in her head. This bit of implied female hysteria was attributed to the cramped space and slanted ceilings of the attic room making her uncomfortable. That was just plain insulting to Dana. As a Former Commander of an American Legion Post she has handled much tougher situations than a small, cramped attic space. I would have liked to know what experiences had impacted her sufficiently for her to avoid the room, but that wasn’t shared on the show.

As Jason and Grant were indulging in a little character assassination, they heard footsteps come up the stairs towards them. They checked but didn’t see anyone. I did. The middle aged ghost of an average height man was the source of the footsteps. He heard TAPS poking around late at night in what he considers HIS building and went to investigate THEM since the female ghost of a former tenant had complained of noise on the third floor. He was dressed like a bank teller with leather straps securing the rolled up sleeves of his white dress shirt. He was also wearing one of those old fashioned tellers hats that is mostly brim. He was surprised to see Jason and Grant there as he expected the window in the small attic room might have been left open, letting in freezing wind and ice. Instead he found TAPS and asked the guys, “Who are you?” He was puzzled, not sure how Jason and Grant got into the building short of perhaps climbing in the window, an unlikely feat since it was on the third floor. I believe this ghost was a past on site apartment manager. I don’t know why this past manager didn’t observe TAPS entering the building via the front door, but he was not sure how they got up there when he went to check out the noise they were making.

Amy and Kris split up putting Amy up on the third floor while Kris took the second. Kris started with some reasonable questions asking if any of the ghosts on the second floor were veterans. I heard a ghost answer back no. Amy’s presence a floor up angered the ghost of a former male apartment tenant who resented her intrusion into what he saw as his home.

Kris saw something out of the corner of her eye pass a nearby doorway twice. She turned her camera to the door frame but didn’t pick anything up.

Jason and Grant were investigating the barroom and saw a shadow dart past a back window. They went outside to try and duplicate the effect but failed to debunk it. Not surprising since I think they faked it. It follows that the same figure Kris and Amy saw later passing the same window was also fake. It was the only bit of captured “evidence” other than an iffy EVP TAPS interpreted as saying the word “important”. That particular EVP sounded more like someone clearing their throat and spitting to me.

Meanwhile while Jason and Grant were going through the motions they completely missed the gray suited man behind the bar. The moment they sat at the bar the often reported ghost asked them, “Can I help you?” as in, what do you want to drink fellas? When he got no response he became impatient and told Jason and Grant, “Closing time boys!”

Dustin and Britt screwed up in the Walton room. Past reports of an apparition of a woman by the fireplace were based on a real ghost. Dana described her as wearing a dark dress with a white front and a large floppy hat. I saw her clearly, exactly as described. She was leaning against the mantel on one arm staring into the flames. She had recently been informed her husband had been killed in action.

In waltzed Dustin and Britt making jokes, asking if she was the maid or maybe the farmers wife from back when the place was a farmhouse. They disgusted and angered the widow who snapped at them, “Have some respect!”

For starters maids and farmers wives did not wear a nice dress or a formal hat to hang out by the fire or work at home. I know Dustin and Britt were trying to be funny, but it wasn’t remotely amusing to the grieving ghost. I realize they didn’t know her story. They were just goofing off. Dustin and Britt talked about her dress hat placing her somewhere between the 1930’s and 1950’s.

Dustin did ask the widowed ghost why she stayed in the building. She replied. “My life ended here.” I think she meant it ended emotionally for her the day she found out about her husband’s death. I don’t believe she physically died on the premises. Her clothing suggested official mourning such as a funeral.

I asked the widow, who gave her name as Nadia, if she wanted to cross over and finally see her late husband. She took me and Archangel Michael up on it. He was waiting for her in his brown, World War II era dress uniform. Lightspirit13, I need a reference point here, what rank would double chevrons on the husband’s shoulder indicate in World War II on an Army uniform?

Dustin and Britt got a single inconclusive knock in response to their halfhearted questions.

Amy and Kris took a turn investigating the barroom. Amy annoyed the ghost of the man in gray by pretending to take up position as bar tender. Kris sat at the bar while the girls went through the motions of seeing the figure pass the window.

I asked the male ghost in the gray suit what his name was. He only told me his nickname was “The Mason” which for some reason he thought was intensely funny. He was not happy about Amy being in his position behind the bar. When Amy and Kris started joking around, telling him they were single he informed them, “I am not.” As the silliness continued he told both girls to “get out” of his bar.

Since Kris and Amy were not aware of the The Mason’s demand they leave, he created the thump upstairs that Amy heard to distract and get them to move. The EVP work done upstairs following the thump yielded nothing.

Dustin and Britt were trying to imitate Steve and Tango’s high jinks in the Walton room. Dustin dared Britt to drink a cap full of butter flavored popcorn oil. Britt said no way unless the stakes were at least a couple hundred bucks. So Dustin drank the cap full of flavored oil, complaining it was thick. Amazingly Dustin and Britt also saw a figure passing a door that was faintly backlit by a window. That was faked too, the figure they saw was a TAPS crew member creating the shadow.

Just to double check I asked The Mason ghost if he was behind Dustin and Britt’s shadow figure. He shrugged and said “That was not me.”

The reveal just filled time in the episode since TAPS had nothing real or definitive to share. The best personal experiences happened during set up. The best Jason could do was say some of the reported past activity on the building, “Could be paranormal”. It is darn hard to find real paranormal dynamics going on when you are busy faking “evidence” than can not be confirmed nor denied. Deeply disappointed in TAPS on this one.

The Old State House in Hartford, Connecticut was built in 1796 and has the designation of being the oldest state capital building in existence today. Prior to it’s construction it was also allegedly the site of the first execution of a convicted witch. I would like to know more about that story because witches were traditionally drowned or burned at the stake. Instead, I saw a guillotine on the grassy commons that eventually became the Old State House. Go figure.

The Old State House currently operates as a museum documenting the structure’s past. TAPS was shown around by Sally Whipple who shared accounts of disembodied voices in both the Great Hall (elaborate foyer entrance) and the Senate Chamber. In the House Chamber she related  the experience of the staff opening the doors one day to find all the desks and chairs moved into the middle of the floor. The House Chamber was equipped with a second story public gallery that has been the site of reported apparitions.

The apparitions I saw in the House Chamber was another set of widows. Three women, dressed in 1860’s style black dresses were there to attend a legislative session that included formal honors for their fallen military husbands. The theme for this episode was the ghosts of widows past. The fabric of their dresses looked like silk, so I am guessing their husbands were not simple cannon fodder but more likely officers. A common soldier would not have been able to clothe his widow in silk nor provide the black veiled and plumed hat one of the three widows was wearing.

Jason and Grant stared the investigation in the Great Hall, where they heard noises coming from upstairs. They proceeded upstairs and said their K2 meters were going wild. Instead of trying to talk to the ghost of the Colonial era footman who was peering over Grant’s shoulder at the K2 meter, they attributed the K2 meter registering anything probably caused by the structure having underground wiring. Huh? Nearly every modernized 18th and 19th century building(s) I have seen had their electrical wires housed in metal conduits that run along the outside of most interior walls. A 20th century home would have the wiring in the walls or possibly have the street feed underground, but older structures that were built before electricity was available or common were obliged to run the wires along interior walls in plain sight. IF the current Old State House major power lines are buried underground the rooms that were wired for electric lights would still have wires running on the outsides of the walls thus having the potential to impact EMF readings. I also want to know how likely was it for a K2 meter to pick up wildly fluctuating fields on the second story if the primary source is underground? Wouldn’t that effect dissipate with distance straight up? This half hearted explanation for the K2 meter going off made no sense to me. The ghost of the footman peering curiously at the light display right over Grant’s shoulder was nearly touching him! Gosh guys, do you think your K2 meters could have lit up because there was an ACTUAL GHOST standing behind you?

The ghost of Joseph Steward wasn’t having a good night with TAPS either. Dustin and Britt were joking around about the stuffed curiosities that Joseph Steward had paid to have displayed after his death. He was proud of his collection and was in no mood to chat with Dustin and Britt after they made fun of his prized two headed calf. Regardless of our modern sensibilities, such curiosities were wildly popular in the 18th Century. Later in the investigation Amy and Britt tried to contact Steward once more.  When Britt asked if Steward was present his ghost answered with a curt, “Yes.” Britt followed up asking Steward to tell them about his museum.  Steward refused because they had already made fun of his collection and he didn’t want to be laughed at any more for it. Britt, Dustin and Amy were completely unaware of Steward’s presence let alone responses.  

The reveal obviously annoyed Sally Whipple who remained professional but was slightly barbed in her comment that she found it interesting Jason had found their investigation “inconclusive” as the Old Senate House had been the site of so much inconclusive historic debate and decision making. Occasional barely glimpsed movement was attributed to lights coming in from outside via old glass or strange acoustics that somehow warped outside sounds so they seemed to be taking place right next to Kris. (It wasn’t explained to the viewers that old glass often had air bubbles and wavy imperfections in it that could easily distort light.) The only recorded evidence was an apparent woman’s sigh caught over the crew conversing during the investigation. There was no context for the sigh. It didn’t seem to be related to the investigators questions or conversation. I did get a brief visual of a woman in white nightclothes when the EVP was first played but nothing else about her.

This whole episode was great ghost wise and deeply disappointing in terms of TAPS. When are they going to stop faking? Are they trying to ruin their reputations futher? It was all I could do to avoid cringing, watching Grant deadpan his enthusiasm in the SUV as they left the American Legion Post. I also think they owe Dana Werner an apology. They treated her and her location in an incredibly shabby manner.



Lynne Olson can be contacted for private readings via email at: angelzhands@yahoo.com

 (C) 2010 Lynne Olson. All rights reserved.


About Lynne Sutherland Olson

Professional Psychic Medium
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