Celebrity Paranormal Project, "Mad Ray"

Celebrity Paranormal Project, "Mad Ray"

Once again, the show (I assume) invents a character.  Because ghosts aren't exciting or scary enough; we need an actual bad guy that we can focus on.  The show's intro says that "Mad Ray Golina prowled underground tunnels and stalked staff members.  When he committed suicide to avoid a lobotomy, they thought the violence would end.  It didn't."  Awesome!

We return to "Warson Asylum," the show's alias for Norwich State Hospital in Connecticut.  Having just watched the Ghost Hunters episode where they investigated the same location, it was interesting to compare and contrast things directly.  I mean, for one thing, there is no need to tell a bogeyman story about a crazy man in the tunnels.  The tunnels are scary, end of story.

This time on deck we have an NFL linebacker Jeremiah Trotter, actress Traci Lords, comedian Gilbert Gottfried, American Idol star Kimberly Caldwell, and "While You Were Out" host Evan Farmer.   (Traci Lords looked absolutely fantastic, by the way.  How does she do it?)

In the first investigation, Kimberly Caldwell and Gilbert Gottfried are sent through the tunnels to an empty storage room.  The narrative is that a security guard found a homeless guy living there, who claimed to be Ray Golina.  But later the guard learned that Golina was dead, and he had seen a ghost.  Dun dun dunnnnnn!!!

Gottfried's investigative style is unorthodox, to say the least.  HE IS THE LOUDEST GHOST INVESTIGATOR I HAVE EVER SEEN.  GILBERT GOTTFRIED NEEDS TO USE HIS INSIDE VOICE.

They get a ridiculously fake heat signature, but I was curious as to how it was created.  It was a clear human silhouette, which seemed to react to their presence by moving around.  Is it possible to project a picture of heat?  Or had the producers simply tampered with the FLIR camera ahead of time?  Hard to say.

In the next investigation, Traci Lords and Jeremiah Trotter go down into the basement to investigate the tunnels themselves.  Lords initially chickened out and refused to sit in a patient's wheelchair, which I thought was pretty funny.  She did eventually work up the nerve to sit in the chair, at which point the show fell back on its "recreate the circumstances" schtick.  Trotter pushes Lords down the hallway in the wheelchair, which is just plain absurd.

The best part of the episode is when Lords asks Trotter, "Was I a terrible partner?"  Trotter answers, with 100% heartfelt sincerity, "No, you did a great job."  I really liked him for that.

This episode's Freak Out Award goes to Kimberly, who is sent up to the dormitory with Evan to try some spirit writing.  The show splits them up, noises are heard, and Kimberly completely loses her head.  I really felt for her - the poor thing ends up standing in the dark with her face buried in her hands, screaming for her partner.

In the fourth investigation, Lords and Trotter go up to the attic.  Lords is sent up alone, and is instructed to hang a bell from a chain in the room where Mad Ray supposedly killed himself.  According to the show, this bell is the "ghost catcher," and it will chime whenever a ghost passes by.  This is new to me, although I found a mention of it on a Tripod website.  (Warning: autoplays MIDI "Stairway to Heaven")  Just goes to show, you can learn things from the oddest sources.