Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson are two guys who spend their days working for Roto-Rooter installing toilets and fixing pipes, and at night head out all around the East Coast (and now further, venturing west to California in this sixth season and south towards Georgia for a fair bit this time around as well) of these here United States either proving or, just as frequently, disproving evidence of paranormal activity. This unlikely hit has done good things for SyFy, proving to be one of their longest lasting and more popular original series, which just goes to show that there are a lot of people out there with an interest in this type of material. There have been a couple of spin-offs so far (Ghost Hunters International and Ghost Hunters Academy) and more than a few rip offs on other channels, but the original is still the most popular thanks to its interesting mix of supernatural sleuthing and the regular (and very likeable) cast members who make up the investigative team.
At any rate, Jason and Grant formed TAPS - The Atlantic Paranormal Society - a group that specializes in using high tech equipment, with a deft blend of common sense, experience, education and speculation to figure out what some people consider to be actual hauntings. Once again, Ghost Hunters Season Six Part Two gives them a chance to, with cameras rolling, do their thing and the results as interesting as usual. Grant and Jason aren't the only members of the team, however. There's a heavily tattooed ex-cop named Steve who helps out with the cameras, a technical expert named Dave Tango, and a few other experts out to lend a helping hand.
The series has been airing on Sci-Fi/SyFy for the better part of a half a decade at this point, but Jason and Grant still manage to find a lot of interesting places to investigate. Not every investigation produces chillingly eerie results, which is what makes this series more believable the countless other ghost shows that have swarmed the airwaves in its wake. This second half of the show's sixth season, however, has some pretty good episodes. Here's a look:
Uninvited Guests: The first episode in this set finds the TAPS team hitting up two locations, the first is an old inn in Tilton, New Hampshire called the 1875 Inn which the eccentric owner claims is haunted, the second is Shippen Manor in Oxford, New Jersey, a house built by a doctor in 1775. Neither location yields any super amazing results making this a fairly standard episode.
A Shot In The Dark: This time around the TAPS team heads back to New England to investigate The Colonial Inn in Concord, MA. Given the involvement of various factions in the Revolutionary War that took place around here, it's thought that the location is haunted. Some interesting EVP evidence goes some way towards backing this up - Room 24 seemingly some sort of hotbed for paranormal activity.
Signals From The Past: Another two part episode, this time starting at the lighthouse on Rose Island in Rhode Island, and then winding up at the Baseball Hall Of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. The Rose Island location proves to be the more interesting of the two, it's an odd desolate place with a strange history to it, but they find some interesting results in the Baseball Hall Of Fame museum as well.
Lemp Mansion: The team heads to the Southwest to check out the Lemp Mansion in St. Louis, Missouri where apparently three members of the Lemp family have committed suicide over the years resulting in some interesting apparitions and ghostly activity. This should have been more interesting than it turned out to be, the investigation doesn't seem very thorough and at times it feels rushed. The location is interesting as is its history, but that doesn't come through so well this time around.
Grammar School Ghosts: Alton, Illinois' Milton School is the subject of this investigation. There are stories that indicate a young woman was raped and killed by a janitor in the school and this is thought to be a possible source of the reported paranormal activity that occurs there. The investigation this time around is pretty decent and the location is an interesting one. As always, it would have been nice to get more background information on the building, but what's here is good.
Time To Get Touched: First up is the Thurber House in Columbus, Ohio which is the former home of New Yorker cartoonist James Thurber and is now a historical landmark in the town. The second location is the Canfield Casino in New York State - the idea of a haunted casino is kind of goofy but once the lights go off, things get more interesting than you might expect. Not a classic episode, but not a terrible one either.
The Chopping Block: The Bissman Building in Manfield, Ohio gets the TAPS treatment this time around as the crew shows up to check out what is reportedly a very active location out there in the Buckeye State. This time around the crew seem more into things, and they manage to get some interesting stuff happening on camera that'll keep you interested in the episode from start to finish.
The Oldest House In Georgia: This episode is another two parter and it actually starts off in New York State where they crew check out the Old Ulster County Jail in Kingston, a creepy old spot that was definitely once used as a jail but which closed in 2007. The crew gets some interesting sounds here. The second location is the Antebellum Plantation in Stone Mountain, Georgia, where the oldest house in the state still stands and which is also a hot bed of odd paranormal activity and full body apparition spotting.
Home Is Where The Haunt Is: This episode starts off at Beardslee Castle in Little Falls, New York where strange lights and ghostly shapes are reported to appear on a pretty regular basis. This is a strange, old castle like building with a weird history to it that makes for the perfect location. The second location in this episode is The Olson House in Savannah, Georgia, reportedly one of the most haunted cities in the country. It too is an interesting spot with a strange history - you almost wish though that TAPS had spend the entire episode at Beardsleee - it was interesting enough to warrant it.
Empire State Haunts: Two more New York State locations go under the TAPS review here, beginning with Lake George's Fort William Henry which was built in 1775 and which was used in the war. The history of this location makes it a prime spot for paranormal activity and the investigation is a good one. The second location is the Buffalo Central Terminal, not so surprisingly located in Buffalo, an abandoned building that was once used as the main rail terminal in the city.
Sloss Furnaces: Meat Loaf returns as a guest investigator in this episode where the team explores the Sloss Furnaces iron plant in Birmingham, Alabama. When it was used as a blast furnace facility from the late 1800s through the mid 1900s, a few workers died there due to the dangerous conditions and its reported that their spirits still haunt this location.
Real Housewives Of Atlanta: In an irritating and gimmicky episode, the TAPS team joins up with Nene Leakes, Shereé Whitfield and Kim Zolciak from the show The Real Housewives Of Atlanta to explore Atlanta's Rhodes Hall, a house now standing as a museum that was built in 1904. This episode is a bit of a waste, really. The location is decent but putting the guest stars in just doesn't work. Next!
Ghost Of Christmas Past: The sixth season of the series finishes up with this last episode where the TAPS team travels to Jackson, New Hampshire to explore the Christmas Farm Inn and then later to Schoharie, New York to dig around the Old Stone Fort. Originally built as a church and then used as a fort during the Revolutionary War, and then later an armory, this later location is an interesting one. Neither spot yields any super substantial evidence but both are interesting for their history and the episode is worthwhile for that reason.
Overall, fans know what to expect here while those not impressed with the series won't find anything new to convince them to change their minds. The series is interesting though edited a little too heavily, and with more focus on the investigation rather than the results of the investigations. This is fine as it is probably what most viewers want out of the show but for those looking for a little more 'proof' it can sometimes be frustrating. On top of that, the use of the 'guest investigator's is flat out corny and completely unnecessary - while I suppose it could be seen as a fun variation on the tried and true formula, it comes across as a ratings grab and adds nothing to the show's attempts at legitimacy. Where the show succeeds is in its case of likeable team members and in its entertainment factor. Like every other reality TV show on the planet, we have no way of knowing what happens behind the camera to staging is possible, but if you can get past that and suspend your disbelief, you can have a lot of good spooky fun with this series.
Each of the thirteen episodes that make up this set are presented in their original 1.78.1 widescreen aspect ratio in AVC encoded 1080i high definition. If you've seen the show on SyFy in HD then you more or less know what to expect here. The transfers improve on previous standard definition offerings in terms of showing more detail and less compression but the night vision footage still looks like night vision footage. This isn't the type of series that sees a huge upgrade when moved over to HD, but it does see some improvement in terms of detail, color reproduction and stronger black levels.
The packaging states that the audio for this release is Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo but it shows up as LPCM 2.0 Stereo. There are no alternate language tracks nor are there any subtitles, which is a shame as a lot of the investigation footage features the cast members whispering at times and they'd have come in handy for that reason. Regardless, most of the dialogue is pretty clear and there's some goof left to right channel separation up front.
Each of the three discs contains a static menu that offers episode selection, but there are no actual supplements here at all - this one is barebones, kids!
Ghost Hunters - Season Six, Part Two could and should have had some extra features, but there's no use crying over spilt milk - though some day Grand and Jason should sit down with their team and do some commentary tracks. The A/V presentation is better than standard definition DVD can offer, but you're not going to be buying this for a picture perfect high resolution transfer or a bombastic multichannel surround mix, it's not that kind of show. The content here is good, but again, it won't sway those who don't already enjoy the series, though for fans of the show this set comes recommended.
Ian lives in NYC with his wife where he writes for DVD Talk, runs Rock! Shock! Pop!. He likes NYC a lot, even if it is expensive and loud.