This week, the guys head to the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California. Sarah Winchester, heir to the Winchester Rifle fortune, kept the house under construction from 1884 until her death in 1922. It seems promising, but instead of really investigating the location, the guys decide to use the house as a portal to communicate with demonic spirits that have attacked them in previous investigations. Yes, really.
The guys begin their interviews with general manager Shozo Kagoshima, who explains legend of the house. After the deaths of Sarah Winchester’s young daughter in 1866 and her husband 15 years later, she consulted a medium who told her the spirits of those killed by Winchester rifles were to blame. The medium directed her to continuously build a house, never to complete it – either to confuse or contain these spirits. Winchester supposedly even conducted regular séances to consult with spirits, who guided her during the construction.
As usual, Zak doesn’t miss the opportunity to ham it up while touring the house: he repeatedly gets lost while trying to find a working restroom, dances around in his socks in the ballroom, sings some off-key lyrics of “Like a Prayer,” and at one point licks the wallpaper.
Despite being a “mystery house,” there aren’t many claims. In the ballroom, a tour guide tells them that psychics have heard organ music – even though the organ has been broken for years. They then go to the switchback staircase with paranormal author Dr. Jeff Dwyer, who claims the convoluted space contains a spiritual portal. While shooting some b-roll, Zak captures an unexplained ball of light while taking a cell phone shot of Nick, and the tour guide tells them orbs have been seen in that room before.
Because the house is linked to guns, this proves enough of a reason for the guys to visit a gun range. Zak (in a black t-shirt with a gun print, no less) takes some vengeance on a demon-shaped target. This is where the episode takes an odd turn. Apparently obsessed with portals and the idea of Winchester communicating with the dead, Zak decides to call on paranormal scientist Joshua Warren to set up a “man-made portal,” so they can connect with the spirits from Bobby Mackey’s and the Washoe Club – two locations where the guys have experienced demonic possession, physical attacks, and been called by name in EVPs. Inviting these energies to attack them again doesn’t seem like a great idea to me, but it wouldn’t be Ghost Adventures if the guys weren’t recklessly endangering themselves.
The guys make an attempt at investigating the location, conducting a brief EVP session in the ballroom. On a live review of their tape, Nick hears his name being called and subsequently freaks out, claiming “it feels like something’s after me!” Zak reminds us of the ball of light he caught in the photo with Nick earlier, and wonders if something at the house has attached itself to him. This is apparently not scary enough, so they move onto to their experiment to see if they can entice more spirits (and demons) to mess with them.
At 10 pm, the guys begin their long-distance spirit phone call via satellite, connecting with Mark and Debbie Constantino at the Washoe Club and the Tri-State Paranormal Society of Northern Kentucky at Bobby Mackey’s. Almost immediately upon beginning their call, they lose the Constantino’s feed. They continue regardless, and start capturing some strange audio from Bobby Mackey’s – a clearly audible growl and an EVP stating “I…hate…Nick.” In the meantime, the Constantinos conduct an EVP session, asking the spirits if they’re causing the technical issues, and get a “yeah” in response.
As Zak continues to goad the spirits at Mackey’s to come through, Aaron gets visibly uncomfortable in the background, and an EVP of “Aaron…kill” is captured. The team at Mackey’s experiences movement, while at same time an audible thump is heard at the mystery house, and the motion sensor in Winchester’s séance room goes off. Aaron begins to act strangely, saying he was drawn into the next room. When another voice regarding Aaron is caught at Mackey’s, he decides to confront whatever is antagonizing him. He stops his tirade midsentence, turns around, and Zak practically falls over backwards at the look on Aaron’s face (which we can’t see), yelling, “He’s not himself!” It’s over in a second, and Aaron moans that he doesn’t feel good. While this is happening, a final EVP from Mackey’s is caught, stating “Aaron…you’re an ass.” Something clearly has it out for the poor guy this episode.
At this point, Zak decides their objective (demonic possession?) is completed. As if one apparent possession isn’t enough, an investigator from Mackey’s was so disturbed after the experiment she was forced to consult a priest. The episode wraps up on a sad note – we learn the guys continued to investigate the location but Zak felt so uncomfortable that for the first time in 6 years, they ended a lockdown early. (I’m going to assume he’s referring to their 2004 documentary where they ran screaming from the Goldfield Hotel and jumped out the window.) He later discovers that his grandmother passed away at around 1 am – the same time they were forced to end their lockdown. Rest in peace, Grandma Bagans.
This episode was better than last week, but still not as interesting as the other locations they’ve been to this season. Some interesting activity did occur, but this spiritual “phone call” felt really gimmicky to me. Can we get back to the regular investigations now, bro?
Zak: Do you know what this is like? This is like being at Willy Wonka’s Chocolate factory!
Nick: It is.
Zak: Wait a minute! [Licks the wallpaper.] The donuts taste like donuts. The strawberries taste like strawberries. Aaron, come here and lick this.
Zak: I would rather be locked down in locations with asbestos pouring out of the walls into our lungs than being teased to use the bathroom twice.