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My name is Janel, I have been writing and published for many years. I wrote two poetry books. I was the Associate Editor of my college newspaper. I hope to write my life story one day and finish it.

Paranormal Challenge: August 19, La Purisima Mission


It is quite fitting that during the most recent episode of “Paranormal Challenge” a severe thunder storm lingers, the sounds of thunder and brief flashes of lightning filling the sky. In Lompoc, California, the La Purisima Mission is the location of choice for the investigation. It was founded in 1787 and the land once covered nearly 470 square miles. It bordered the Santa Maria River and the Gaviota coastline in the South, the land originally being home to the Chumash people and Spanish settlers. The mission was known for its blankets and hides. At its peak, the mission inhabitants herded as many as 24,000 cattle and sheep.  Today the La Misión de La Purísima Concepción de la Santísima Virgen María is open to tourists and hosts over 200,000 visitors each year. It gives people the chance to explore California’s early history.

These people had to go through everything from slavery, torture and riots, and soldiers were executed. Some of the places the teams were sent to investigate were the Chapel, the Infirmary and the Cemetery where 800 people are buried. Some of the Chumash believed earth to earth, dust to dust, ashes to ashes. The Padre’s Quarters were used by him to reflect. Another part the teams had to investigate was the residence where a Native American was sadly flogged. The shame and horror of La Purisima makes you wonder if sacred ground such as this should just be left alone.

Zak Bagans does not think so as he prepared to send the two teams into the darkness. Greg, Joe and Trevor make up Ghost Bros and Jodie, Camryn and Jesslyn comprise Paranormal Hot Squad, and no I am not making that up. It is guys versus girls once again. The teams are set up and given their equipment, and we all hope that they can use the equipment. The Ghost Bros start in Zone 1, and Hot Squad takes over Zone 2. The two teams have two hours to complete the first part of their investigation which starts with the Ghost Bros doing a chant similar to what football players do before a game, the three of them huddle up and began a chant of “1,2,3, Ghost Bros.”

The Hot Squad startes off by admitting that one of their members burped the “Paranormal Challenge” introduction, and with that Zak advises to stop the humor. The portals are now open. Here’s hoping she doesn’t burp her questions to the spirits. The Hot Squad begins their investigation using the angry approach. One of the members demands the spirits show themselves in the name of God. I am confused for a second; I thought I was watching “The Exorcist.” The questions start flowing; does she have the authority from God to do such a thing? The judges proclaim it was disrespectful to the Native American Culture.

Team Ghost Bros’ Trevor is concerned with his own warmth and is being teased for wearing a “fuzzy jacket.” Do you really need to dress up for a ghost hunt? But Joe, Trevor and Greg are trying their best with a slightly more calm effect. The Chumash did not speak English and often communicated telepathically, which raises the question of how their equipment works properly with the language barrier. Just a random thought! The Ghost Bros discover that “someone is here, joining arms.” The judges do not argue with their methods yet.

The Host Squad continues to make angry demands. Maybe they are waiting for someone to show up with a tomahawk. They are hearing voices and continuing to make demands from the rumored spirits. Ghost Bros member Joe is being sent solo into the infirmary (good luck with that), this is where the nurses would take care of the Indians, and Joe begins to panic a little. His MEL meter is going crazy. He begins to try and provoke and says “Help me, help me. I’m dying.” (He made me think of “The Addams Family Values” character Amanda) He can not think of a disease he was dying from to continue his provoking, so he moves along.

Meanwhile Jesslyn is now lying in the bed where a former employee named Arthur was nearly strangled to death (Good idea or bad idea? You decide.) and Camryn is helping to provoke the spirits. Jesslyn begins clapping and nearly flips out. Their violent approach does not feel right, the continued demands and yelling. These were human beings who suffered beyond the imagination. It is like a human being jumping into shark infested waters; it is just not a good idea.

Jesslyn begins provoking again and demands she be “touched,” even daring the spirits to do something to her. She is nearly screaming, “I dare you.” Is this third grade? The Ghost Bros are off to advise the Padre what good Catholic boys they are, and Trevor is sitting in his fuzzy coat doing some meditating, because during a ghost hunt that is what you need to do, you meditate while some people may be falling asleep. They begin offering their bodies for the spirits, and Trevor advises his team that his hands feel like heat packs. Joe ponders “how come nothing ever touches me?”

Hot Squad’s team member Jesslyn begins using her hands as a homemade flute and Dave suggests they are “using skin flutes.” Really, get your mind out of the paranormal gutter. Ghost Bros hear this noise and begin to think that they have captured some kind of strange spirit, prompting one of the members to mistake Jesslyn for Tarzan. Ghost Bros are convinced they captured some kind of “Native American tribal calls.” They redeem themselves and then accuse the girls of “trying to sabotage them.” The judges are relieved that they figured it out that there is no Tarzan in La Purisima.

The time is now up, and the teams switch zones. Jessyln starts off by heading solo into the infirmary. She begins to freak out or flip out as Zak points out. Jesslyn hears something and the judge’s spot eyes behind her. They slow it down and play it over and over. Were the eyes there or not; it is really hard to determine. Jesslyn does a lot of cursing and keeps asking it there is someone out there. She worries is her equipment on. Ghost Bros begin using the thermal camera and claim their muscles are tensing up throughout their entire body. Joe feels a warm spot on his side.

Camryn and Jodie greet Jesslyn, who worked her way out of the infirmary, and ask if she is okay. She is not. Her group advises her to gather herself together so they can continue. Ghost Bros try to make contact again and begin to hear creaking sounds in the floor of the Church that was built in 1787. They continue to hear tapping, and Trevor advises he now feels cold. He feels cold and the hot? Maybe he needs a doctor. Ghost Bros continue working their way into the cemetery where they demand someone to “rise out of the ground.” Are they thinking of spirits or zombies?

Zak finally rings the siren or the “Bells That Toll.” The teams will lock up their evidence and return the next morning to go over their finds to see who will walk away with the paranormal bragging rights.

Judges Dave Schrader, Dr. Pamela Heath and Joshua P. Warren begin to discuss the evidence presented by Ghost Bros, who advise the judges that they believe they collected the best evidence possible. Team Ghost Bros is practically declaring their win before the evidence is even shown. They present their tapping evidence, but the judges are not impressed. Dave Schrader delivers his opinion right away offering, “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” of it all. (Does Clint Eastwood know about this if not he should leave that to Eastwood.)

Greg now presents his visual evidence, which is a photo that looks really blue. He claims it looks just like a Chumash Indian, but it is really hard to decipher. He calls it his best ever. The Hot Squad comes out now to discuss their evidence. (“The Monster Squad” was already taken!) They begin to present their evidence which was the EVP of Jodie doing a solo run, and it sounds more like static than anything else, but the judges are divided. Two of them hear something; two of them hear static. Another EVP they capture says “Don’t make me work.” Dr. Pamela Heath is skeptic. Warren does not hear any organic component.

The visual evidence is supposed to be a figure is from the Soldiers quarters and also the same place where Jesslyn was having trouble breathing (Someone call Dr. House). Schrader and Zak “dig the girls.” Their MEL meter did not capture enough, and the judges call it “nothing special.” Both teams are accused of disrespecting the Chumash, and Dr. Heath disliked the language. She had wanted to abstain from even picking a team.

Dave chooses Hot Squad at first and then does a complete turnaround and chooses Ghost Bros for the teamwork and best use of equipment. The girls are called innovative, as the use of the hand flute helped them a lot. Dave offers that music is one of the most powerful ways to communicate. The deliberation is taking a long time, probably one of the longer deliberations that the judges have had. They were divided on evidence and teamwork again.

Dr. Pamela advises that she dislikes everything, and finally Zak decides after the judges each pick who they believe should win. Zak declares the winner of “Paranormal Challenge” is Paranormal Hot Squad. They cheer while Ghost Bros sulks and states “this is the end of Ghost Bros as we speak. R.I.P Ghost Bros.” Zak just wants to eat and turn the cameras off.

Make sure to watch next week’s episode of “Paranormal Challenge” on the Travel Channel at 9PM/8PM c.

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