|PARASEEK: STAFF INVESTIGATIONS: The Weaver's|
on MTV's Fear
Kelly was contacted via e-mail by Tony Lipin, a production coordinator (we don't recall his exact title but it is found in the show credits) and arrangements were made for us to visit the site a few days before the filming of the overnight contestants during September, 2000. We approached this pretty much like a normal investigation, with the prime consideration being that Kelly didn't want to be given advance details that could affect (and discredit the legitimacy of) her psychic observations.
Arriving at the Inn, (the largest in Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains Vacation area) we were impressed with its immense size, and shocked by how run-down it had become during the 10 years since its closing. The sprawling complex, with overgrown grounds and piles of debris really was a spooky, surreal sight, even on the crisp sunny day we were there!
We were met by Tony Lipin, a female assistant and a male cameraman. We explained our approach of Kelly recording her comments on tape while I take readings with the EMF detector and thermal scanner and shoot photos where Kelly or the instruments tell me activity may be occurring. Again, we stressed not to tell us anything they knew about either actual history or reported paranormal activity until Kelly had made her observations. Then, we were led throughout different parts of the Inn, with the cameraman filming Kelly while she recorded her impressions. The entire process took about 3 hours, including an extensive interview filmed afterward. Although she felt the presence of spirits all through the place (75 people are known to have died there), 3 areas in particular stood out.
While going from one building to another through an underground tunnel, she stopped at an area where a spur off the main tunnel route led to a dead-end. Here, she saw a man who was beaten to death by several others. She was emphatic about how brutal the beating had been. The MTV people then confirmed they learned that a man had indeed been found beaten to death at this spot due to unpaid gambling debts owed the Mob, which has a long history in the Poconos. (This is the spot Kelly is first seen at in the episode - more on that later).
Kelly was asked to give her impressions of a room on the 3rd floor of the main building (we did not recall the number of the room, but from seeing it on the episode and viewing the Inn diagram on MTV's website, we feel it was indeed room 354, where 5 people had died and activity became so rampant the room was eventually sealed off). Kelly entered the room and left quite quickly - she felt intense negativity and was told to get out! (I captured orb anomalies in this room and also registered a 16 degree drop in temperature near where they were photographed) Another place Kelly got a significant impression was in a small office where she felt that a real bastard who dealt with numbers was killed, but it was made to seem like a suicide. This really startled the MTV staff, as they told us of interviewing a former employee the previous day who described the nasty accountant who was found shot in this office, and that while the official word was suicide, many feel he was murdered to cover up inequities with the books. (A single orb was photographed here)
Kelly also felt less-specific spirit presences and a overriding sense of negativity throughout the Inn and grounds, Some of the spirits here are Native American, and they have been opposed to the Inn from its beginnings since some of it is built on sacred land, that may explain why she and other psychics feels there is a portal here. She strongly believes the place has always had misfortune and would not advise anyone to renovate or restore it (several plans to do so have fallen through).
Prior to leaving, we had to sign a disclaimer stating we would not publicly divulge details of our investigation until the show had actually aired. Being serious about this, we were pleased with the opportunity to share our knowledge of the subject in general as well as what we found at the Inn. Once we saw the first episode (WV State Penn.) we greatly anticipated seeing what MTV would do with our location, but once it finally aired, we were rather dissapointed.
ASSESSMENT OF THE SHOW: From a personal standpoint, we were aghast to see Kelly mis-identified as the "Town Historian" when first seen on the episode. This is where she is describing how the man in the tunnel was brutally beaten to death, and we can only surmise that someone in the studio interpreted this as a knowledgeable local stating historical fact. Of course, she had never been there before and her information on what happened in that spot came from her intuitive powers! What's worse, is that in one of her other 4 appearances on the show, she is describing spirits and portal hauntings, yet again we see "Kelly Weaver, Town Historian" on the screen. I doubt many town historians are sought out for their expertise on paranormal subjects! (When Mr. Lipin asked Kelly how she wanted to be identified, her response was Psychic/Medium; he also had a full set of material including Kelly's bio & media list, and had been to her personal business website and our Capital Ghost Forum site. Several e-mails asking for an explanation of this embarrassing error have gone unanswered; I personally believe most of the people involved in final editing were never on-site) The comments of the other psychics, and some of Kelly's, were all generalizations that could apply to any haunting; though they did show the tunnel, the other places where her specific observations were confirmed by the crew would have made a much more fearsome statement about this very scary place.
Another area that left us disappointed was MTV's approach to the scientific side of paranormal investigations. I explained ghost photography and shared the numerous anomalies I captured, and also suggested they may want to carefully review tapes of the stationary cameras placed throughout the Inn and told them what to look and listen for. We also suggested the contestants use disposable cameras with 400 asa film (yes, these cheap cameras are effective) as they go about their dares on the first evening, then have them 1-hour developed to review the next night, adding to the Fear - I have no doubt, especially at night, they would have gotten something. Another suggestion was to purchase some cheap ($25) motion detectors from Radio Shack and locate them in different areas/rooms. We've found these quite effective at other haunted venues; imagine the suspense of hearing one of these going off in the distance when you know where all the living people in the place are! Although more expensive, we also suggested using thermal scanners, but the only thing they wanted to use were EMF detectors! (Notice how on all episodes of FEAR, when they are directed to Go to .... and retrieve ghosthunting equipment...all they find in the bag are EMF meters). The bottom line is there is so much more available than EMF/gauss meters to record evidence of paranormal activity. In fact, with electrical lines for all the stationary cameras running through the place, and people carrying a camera/light/battery pack, readings from the meter in these shows would be mostly worthless. (We also have some serious ethical questions, and feel the producers take hauntings, especially where negativity is present, too lightly. Its rare, but negative spirits CAN hurt you; don't let anyone tell you differently!)
From an entertainment perspective, FEAR hasn't
been too bad; it does accomplish its mission of scaring the contestants
and the reality concept is, of course, hot these days. (Kelly and I actually
think the best episodes so far were the Camp and the Cement Factory) However,
for someone with anything from a cursory to a serious interest in the paranormal,
it leaves a lot to be desired.
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