Airdate: August 31, 2005
I’ve said it before: half the fun of watching Ghosthunters is watching the interactions of the TAPS investigators amongst themselves. In this episode, that is all the fun, as the two cases – a lighthouse in Connecticut and a museum in New York City – offer very little in the way of thrills and chills.
The lighthouse, we discover early, is the pet project of Andy, one of the debunkers. He runs the idea past Jason and Grant. With their seal of approval, he contacts the owners of the lighthouse and sets up the appointment.
What ensues is another case of a dog’s bark being much worse than its bite. The lighthouse looks creepy enough, built around the turn of the last century on a small rocky outcropping in the middle of the water. The caretaker tells a couple of close encounter scares, but the scariest occurrence that TAPS could find is the dodginess of the power. Luckily, the crew brought along a battery backup.
In the end, Jason is angry at Andy for what Jason perceives as a lack of research into the worthiness of the lighthouse as a study subject. Both Jason and Grant had heard that the lighthouse was considered very haunted and gave the mission the go-ahead. I’m not certain why Jason changed his mind. It’s not as though other cases have ever come up empty. Heck, it’s not even the only time in this episode that a case comes up empty.
The second case is inside a 150 year old brownstone, located in the heart of New York City, that has been preserved and transformed into the Merchant’s House Museum. The house is a challenge because, as the museum curator is fond of pointing out, the ghosthunters mustn’t touch anything.
In a typical NYC moment, as the crew waits outside the museum with the equipment, a man tries to nonchalantly make off with one of the cases. After giving chase, the crew regains the equipment, but do not apprehend the would-be thief. That was the show’s most exciting moment in weeks.
In the brownstone itself, things get interesting, not because the investigation itself turns up anything (it doesn’t), but because of a little friction that develops between Andy and Steve, the tech manager. Steve’s feathers get ruffled when he is snubbed from the preparatory walkthrough in favor of Andy. He makes it known to Andy, causing the debunker to mysteriously develop a migraine headache. From that moment, the debunker goes gun-shy and refuses to do anything tech related without Steve’s direct involvement, thereby frustrating Dustin, another of the tech crew. Unfortunately, headaches, grousing and attempted thievery are the extent of the excitement at the Merchant House.
In a final segment and, I suppose, the final installment of the Brian Hornois saga, Jason and Grant go to talk to the wayward tech manager. They meet at a softball field, giving the meeting a clandestine air. Basically, Jason and Grant want to know if Brian is coming back to TAPS or leaving for good. Brian wants to work it out with his girl. It looks like he is gone. So long, Brian, we hardly knew you.
About halfway through the sophomore season, there has been less paranormal activity than in earlier episodes – whether the cases are just weaker overall or whether the season’s first half completely mined the lower echelons of the available material. We’ll only find out in the coming weeks. Next week’s promo, at least, appears promising: a report of spiritual activity that is spooking a young child. Let’s hope that the root of the problem is a ghost and not the bickering of the ghosthunters.