During the last hour of Ghost Hunters' special block of new back-to-back episodes on A&E Wednesday night, Grant Wilson and his team came to the aid of a single mother and her young son, who are afraid devious spirits in their new turn-of-the-century Connecticut home may be an ongoing threat to their safety following unexplained phenomena. In the season's eighth episode, "Home for the Haunting," Wilson and his team conduct a two-night investigation that determines some interesting results after testing out an innovative tactic choreographed by the entire team.
With the team investigating claims of footsteps, shadow figures, uncomfortable feelings and a child's voice lingering across two rooms, Wilson is fairly certain he knows what's going on and devises a plan to test out the "bum rush" tactic as a way to help the mother and her son get the answers they need, later concluding that they were experiencing a residual haunting.
Co-team leader, Daryl Marston and investigator, Mustafa Gatollari open up to PopCulture.com exclusively about the unique method used that determined the type of haunting and how these are often imprinted.
"It could be imprinted for a couple of different reasons," Marston told PopCulture.com. "It could whatever the house was made out of, the stone, whatever it's built on top of. It could just be an imprint of somewhere like, a path that someone traveled every day of their life for 50 years. They got up every day at the same time, went to work, came home at the same time every day. There's numerous things that it could be with a residual haunting."
Marston adds that a lot of the time it has to do with limestone and "things of that nature, underneath the actual house or the house actually built out it" since the specific kind of rock has an ability to absorb and release electromagnetic and psychic energies.
"It's able to hold that actual energy and use it as a recorder and actually records itself and just keeps playing itself over," he reveals. "It could, at different times of the day or different times of the year, or it could be something to do with the weather, when the weather is at a certain point, that residual haunting will kick off as well."
Gatollari chimes into Marston's explanation, telling PopCulture.com it's widely unknown why certain things are imprinted, but he has a theory.
"I think a lot of it just has to do with that happy routine," Gatollari said. "If the happy routine of why something was imprinted in the location and that's where and that specific home, there's a lot of different people who live in it. There's a lot of different families who lived there. You had college students who live there, who dormed there, probably running up and down the stairs all the time. Kids running up and down the stairs all the time."
He adds for fans to think back to their happiest moments when trying to understand what a residual haunting is, that ultimately provided comfort to the mother and her son.
"I think that the routine of doing it over and over again, whatever that energy is gets captured there, and could be spurned on by different climate change, different weather and I noticed a lot of activity that we get on investigations usually occur after a rainfall," he discloses. "And then you have that combined with the fact that there's minerals that have been known to have been associated with hauntings, like limestone — and there's limestone deposits in the area, especially in the area of Willimantic — that could have something to do with it."
Gatollari adds though that the real answer is one they just "don't know."
"All we can do is just find commonalities between our investigation and then piece it together and that's what we've been finding," he said.
During their investigation, Marston and his co-team leader, Kristen Luman come across some bizarre phenomena when she feels a cold spot in the boy's bedroom, while investigators, Richel Stratton and Brian Murray hear a "What?" in the family's living room — though the recorder never caught the audio. Marston shares that all these occurrences are encompassing parts of residual hauntings.
"Residual hauntings, you can see them, you can feel them, you could feel the cold spots as well," he said. "It doesn't have to be intelligent for that to happen, or it could have been she could've felt a breeze. I personally didn't feel the breeze, but I do believe Kristen and she felt something."
Marston shares that there were other things the team caught but had to throw out because they either didn't catch them with clear audio or video, and were more "iffy things."
"When it came down to it, that's what we came out with that it was residual and all fingers point to that," he said.
After not getting much from the first night of their investigation, Wilson introduces the "bum rush" tactic to test whether or not it was an interactive haunting or just a residual haunting. In addition to the method, Alvis most inventively put three data loggers on each of the steps in the living room leading upstairs, where they had experienced the most traffic within the residual haunting. With the team's conclusions pointing evidently through trial of the method that it was indeed a residual haunting, Marston and Gatollari detail how it works and its proven effectiveness in investigations.
"That's a thing that Grant came up with — he's been using that method for a few years," Marston revealed. "That was the first time we used it on the show at that location and it actually worked because as soon as we did that, it seemed like activity kicked up a little bit in the house. I mean, it didn't go crazy or anything, but we started getting things. We started getting footsteps coming up and down the stairs and things of that nature we were catching."
Marston adds he would love to use the tactic more often in the show, however it does have its fair share of challenges.
"It's hard to do a big location because you need places, where, if there's an actual intelligent entity there, that it has a place to go and a place where you can actually record it or hear it or see it," he said. "These smaller locations like that house in Connecticut, was perfect for it because you had old floors recovered and everybody did it exactly at the same time."
Gatollari adds that with him and Alvis on the third floor during the investigation, it definitely sounded like it worked from where they were.
"I think a lot of it has to do with how we weren't getting activity up where we were, but it has to fit the situation," Gatollari said. "If you're getting a feeling like an entity doesn't want to engage with you for whatever reason, and you want to establish whether or not these are intelligent entities that you're dealing with or residual entities, it can rule that out."
He further adds that the tactic is a lot like a trial and error method, producing numerous results for every investigation.
"If you do a bum rush and it doesn't really yield anything, 'Okay cool.' We tried that experiment — it didn't work. If it works for this and it was able to pick up activity and it did it, great, 'Okay cool,'" Gatollari said. "So maybe there's entities here, but they don't want to interact with us for whatever reason, or they're residual entities and us moving around all that much is helping to kick up residual activity because it's more reminiscent of a certain event or a pattern of events that occurred here prior and because you're doing the same thing, now that's kicking off that residual activity. We don't really know, but you're not going to know until you try. So, yeah, it's a useful method, but it has to be situation based."
Marston adds that the team does a lot of experiments when doing these kinds of investigations that viewers and fans don't always see because they don't always work out. "They work on some locations and some locations they don't work, and this is just one of the ones that it actually worked for us."
Ghost Hunters airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on A&E.
Photo credit: A&E Networks0comments