Celebrity Paranormal Project, "Pearl"

Celebrity Paranormal Project, "Pearl"

It's obvious that Celebrity Paranormal Project is faked.  The question that intrigues me is, HOW fake?  I wonder.  This episode featured a lot of things which would be simple to fake, things which would be difficult to fake but which were nevertheless obviously fake, and a few things which I assumed were 100% fake but turned out to be completely true.

This episode takes place in the "Warson Asylum for the Criminally Insane" which is actually the Norwich State Hospital in Connecticut.  On deck we have Tony Little ("America's Personal Trainer"), Baywatch star Traci Bingham, Ethan Zohn (winner of "Survivor: Africa"), Rachel Hunter (supermodel), and Godfrey (a comedian).

We are informed that Pearl is the spirit which haunts this location.  A patient named Nell Marley complained of being haunted by Pearl, who scratched her and tormented her mercilessly.  After Nell was given a lobotomy, Pearl was released into the world.  When a doctor asked if she was free of Pearl, she said "I'm not free of Pearl - Pearl is now free of me."  

This is a chilling little story.  One tiny problem is that it seems to have been invented whole cloth by Celebrity Paranormal Project.  

We first follow the lush blonde ponytail of Tony Little, who liberally spritzes himself with cologne before heading out on his "mission."  He heads out with the Baywatch star, who is definitely the most tightly-wound of all the celebrities on board this episode.  

One truism of the show is that  "by re-enacting a familiar experience, you may trigger a stronger reaction from the spirits."  Which is how we come to have a heavily sweating Tony lying on the floor in a straitjacket, while the Baywatch star hangs a pendulum from the ceiling.   Nothing happens, except that everyone freaks out.  

In the "easily faked" category for this episode we have the EMF reading, which completely pegged on the mattress where Nell supposedly died.  Just slipping a few AA batteries under the mattress cover would take care of that.  And of course some Teamster in the basement whales on the pipes with a wrench, thus scaring the wits out of everyone.

 A surprise of the episode is that Rachel Hunter turns out to be TOTALLY. BAD. ASS.  Even after her investigative partner bails on her and runs back to base camp leaving her alone in the dark, Hunter keeps it together.  

Hunter is also witness to what I'm sure is faked, although I don't know specifically how.  While panning a thermal camera around the hydrotherapy room, the outline of a person flickers into existence.  Looking wholly unlike any thermal paranormal evidence ever captured in the history of thermal camera evidence.  

This was where I started wondering about the celebrities' complicity in the fakery.  The team back at base camp also sees the thermal hit, and reacts accordingly.  Of course, the effect would be easiest to add in post-production.  Were the celebrities told to "see something scary on a count of three…"?  Or was the effect somehow pre-recorded on their systems?  

At any rate, it was absolutely terrible.

As for "things I thought were fake but turned out to be real," I assumed that all the jumbled furniture, scattered papers, and decayed padding in the padded cell were just set dressing, sprinkled around by the show's producers.  But it turns out that all that stuff is really there, as you can see by this incredibly beautiful photo gallery on Forbbiden-Places.net (click "Gallery of Photos").