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Paranormal Challenge: September 9, USS Hornet

Let’s hope the Paranormal Challenge teams brought along their life preservers. Tonight’s episode finds the teams on the USS Hornet. It is often called the most haunted ship in history. The ship rests at the decommissioned Alameda Naval base. Heidi Schave provides the historical information. It is officially known as the USS Hornet CV-12 and it’s the eighth ship to carry on the Hornet name. The first ship was used in 1775 to battle the British in the Revolutionary war. The eighth Hornet is the one that is currently docked in Alameda and was commissioned in 1943 at the height of the war in the Pacific. She was known for her destruction as she destroyed 1,410 Japanese aircraft and destroyed or damaged 1,269,710 tons of enemy shipping. Ten Hornet pilots were given the “Ace in a Day” status.” She apparently would have won a game of Battleship, too, because after March 1944 she struck the critical first hits and sunk battleship Yamato.

The USS Hornet’s impressive status comes with a cost. She may have won many battles, but many have lost their lives on the ship. An aircraft carrier is a dangerous place. Sailors have walked into spinning props, been sucked into air intakes, and blown off the deck by the exhaust. Sailors have been burned, ordnance has exploded and snapping flight arrest cables are known to have decapitated at least three men (for a better take on that, watch the film “Ghost Ship”). In her twenty-seven years of active service, more than three-hundred people have lost their lives aboard the ship. The ship also has the highest suicide rate in the Navy, not exactly what you want to hear when you board a ship.

The history is incredible. The crew and visitors who attend the ships tours have reported some of the most bizarre happenings. They have seen strange sightings, doors opening and closing, tools that vanish and then re-appear (Does Bob Villa go on ships?) and things that move across the floor for no reason (I see a “Poltergeist” tribute coming!). They have also seen things fall off of shelves for no reason, and even toilets (yes I said toilets) that flush on their own. Pretty talented spirits, I must say.

People have also had the feelings of being pushed and/or grabbed and have also reported an eerie presence around. The ship has been a part of some of the most violent wars, and many traumatized souls have entered and some may have never truly left.

As the two teams prepare for their investigation, let’s hope their sea legs are ready. The two teams featured tonight are Leeanna, Renee and Tawni of S.R.I.P. which is short for Spirit Realm Investigation Project, and Dante, Josh and Allan of Soul Seekers. Once again it is guys versus girls on this battleship of unspeakable death as Zak points out.

The main rooms featured tonight are the Sick Bay, the Anchor Room, Forward Berthing room, the Mess Hall, the the Brig. In the Forward Berthing room one man hanged himself with a belt. The Mess Hall was a main source of evil and anger. The sailors reportedly were angry when they were stuck in the mess hall and had to wash dishes. The Brig is considered a very dark place. POWs were housed here and would deal with extremely difficult punishment.

The teams are provided their equipment, and Zak tries to get them psyched up for the investigation. They are given the usual equipment, and Zak advises that there would be only one cameraman following the teams around, and one tech guy manning the wires. The nerve center will be manned by a group who will keep track of all the robotic cameras roaming around the battleship.

S.R.I.P. starts out in zone one; the team seems enthusiastic. They also take part in the torpedo shop, and Soul Seekers take over zone two. They focus on strict time constraints being used to push the teams to their limits. The members of Soul Seekers’ Dante starts out yelling right away! He is hyped up, yelling, “Please feel free to speak with us, Sir.” He is respectful in many ways, but overly yelling at men who are used to being screamed at may not compel them to respond. Dante continues with the screaming, saying, “I am a powerful man, use my energy, use it now.” Dante and Allan proclaim they have goosebumps and feel “charged up.” That seems to be Dante’s favorite phrase of the evening!

The rooms are charged up, people are charged up, everything is charged up, and the Energizer bunny would have loved him! Josh of Soul Seekers asks for the spirits to speak into the device they have. He then proclaims with shock that it feels like a plane has landed. They are on an aircraft carrier, what did he expect? Once again, Dante begins asking the spirits to show him their amazing power, and when they produce it, he advises them that they are indeed amazing!

Leeanna of S.R.I.P. is trying to get a response from sailors. She is genuine and kind and suffers a spill during the investigation, but gets back up and continues on. She is using the MEL Meter, and it lights up like a Christmas tree. She did not want to leave her spot, but knows she has to “move on.” The Soul Seekers begin to have strange feelings, (does anyone on this show ever not have a strange feeling?) Zak announces there is an hour left in round one and that the teams need to kick up the energy levels.

Dante begins asking for the light to come in one of the rooms; he places a flashlight on the table, and on command, it turns on, and then on command, he asks it to turn off, and it does. He is impressed, as are the judging panel that includes Dave Schrader, Dr. Andrew Nichols and Danielle Harris (“Halloween 4” and “Hatchet II”). They add commentary all night, but there is no debriefing just some advice and commentary.

The Mess Hall goes to full screen on Zak’s commands. One person in the Mess Hall is going solo, and its Leeanna, who is provoking by asking the sailors what they think of having a chick in their mess hall. She asks if they liked banging things around and if they caused all the divots in the walls. She lets out a huge gasp and proclaims that it’s weird. Somebody just touched her.


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.