Peabody Whitehead Mansion

We’re a little behind on the DVR, so it was just a few days ago when we managed to catch the GA guys crawling through the Peabody-Whitehead Mansion on Capital Hill in Denver (the show aired about a month ago), and we gotta say, if there was any doubt that the paranormal reality TV thing was in steep decline, this one has just about sealed it off from any doubt.

For one thing, while the primary target of the investigation was the Mansion itself, we checked our watch and noted that the actual investigation of the property lasted somewhere short of 20 minutes, out of a 60 minute program. This is becoming a common hallmark of this program – long stretches of the program with vignettes of the guys goofing off in the local vicinity, doing pointless and imbecilic stand-up interviews (the Salem piece among the most egregious), eating, playing golf, fishing, snarking at local vendors, riding around and mocking the locals, etc. The show has taken on a curiously juvenile and condescending tone, summoning local history only to hype their investigation and face-mugging at pretty much everything else. Actually investigating a location has become a perfunctory and almost tediously delivered after-thought. One suspects that the producers have been impressed by their host network (the Travel Channel) to actually frame the thing as a local-color type of program, a kind of K-2 meter version of Anthony Bourdain’s various explorations, but it’s delivered with contempt, shallowness and beer-breathed fratboy humor that does little to make the place interesting, and makes these three guys (especially the camera-obsessed Bagans himself) come across like complete jerks.

Next came the bizarre and utterly pointless exercise of having the three of them sit in a darkened room of the Mansion and being served a three course dinner, by a wait staff of two serving food brought in by local restaurants, the theory here was that the odious, union-hating former governor James Peabody has a thing against waitresses, since a number of restaurants had failed in this particular location because – seriously? – waitresses and waiters kept dropping food and spilling drink, as if Peabody’s ethereal hand reached across the chasm of mortality to maliciously subvert their labors. This has got to be one of the silliest “experiments” we’ve ever witnessed on a paranormal TV program. Bagans may not know this, but restaurants fail all the time. The net result of this charade – they caught the waitress on a hidden camera feeling “weird” in the kitchen, and get a nice dinner. On camera. By IR light.

The hook for the Mansion investigation (there has to be a hook) is that there was a folkloric tale of a woman in the seventies who was snatched by contractors working on the property’s restoration, raped and murdered and buried in the basement. The Denver police have no case - open or closed – on this crime, and there is zero evidence that it actually took place. Nor for that matter, zero evidence of any spirit attached to the alleged crime. There is always a certain fascination with folkloric crime stories; somehow locals are privvy to things that professional law enforcement authorities are not (how often – really – do you think this is true in a big city, in modern America? And yes, the seventies can safely be called modern America…), thus the story retains sense of mystery.  Makes for terrific TV, yes?

But here’s where it gets interesting; instead of his usual breathless, furiously gestured set-up monologue on the awfulness of the crime and the poor tortured female spirit seeking justice, Bagans suddenly goes skeptic. Well, there’s no evidence it really happened, people repeat salacious stories, blah blah blah. And we, the Ghost Adventures team, are only here to find out the truth !!!!

Heh. For anyone who has watched this program over the years, this is the drop-dead funniest and most disingenuous bit of effluent we’ve ever heard from these guys. How many episodes do they seek out the tortured spirits of suicided brides, innocent crime victims, sinister secret murderers etc etc based solely on folklore ???

This struck us as breathtakingly weird for this trio – until, shazam , their magic spirit box thing (would somebody please put a stop to the use of these silly, untestable, ”evidence” manufacturing gizmos?) conjures up a disembodied voice saying “she was raped”. Wow !!!   No digging for a body, no GPR, no nothing. Just a static-y voice saying she was raped. Case closed.

Whatever. This one was sort of in our own backyard, and a few of the local ghost groups were excited by the star-ghost hunting trio coming to town. The episode was an ugly, stupid waste of time, and we second the complaints of the Westword blogger who did a piece on it last month, noting Bagans’ contemptuous treatment of local historian Phil Goldstein.

In the clip below, Douche Bagans meets Goodstein, asks Goodstein a question, and then mocks Goodstein for imparting facts the only way Goodstein knows how: thoroughly. Douche Bagans loses patience with Goodstein’s floridity, and makes childish faces to the camera before finally giving the kill sign to the cameraman during one of Goodstein’s answers and interrupting, “Got it. Got it. Sorry.” He then directs Goodstein off-screen.

We were unaware that the GA star was earned himself the nickname “Douche Bagans”, but increasingly, it seems apt.

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14 Responses to Ghost Adventures does Denver

  1. Lance Uppercut says:

    Geez..who shat in your cereal the day you wrote this? This was a fun episode. That Goldstein guy was the pompous ass..he recited word for word the book he wrote and then peddled it! The guys were nice enough to actually purchase it from him. You failed to mention the other intelligent responses by the same male voice and the two intelligent responses in the same female voice during the SB-7 session. Btw, your incomprehension of how the SB-7 works is pretty laughable. Looks like I’m the only one who has even read this cynical, biased, garbage review. That, or every response you get you delete.

  2. admin says:

    Actually, we don’t delete any comments that make it past the site’s automatic spam filter.

    The fellow’s name is Goodstein, not Goldstein, and in the unlikely event you’re interested in some of his contributions to Denver history, you can read it about them here:

    http://www.leonardleonard.com/neighborhoods/goodstein.shtml

  3. Jessica says:

    Dont you have anything better to do than bash people? Your a joke.

  4. Raeanne says:

    I’ve heard the GA guys called “scoot douche & the gang.” HOWEVER, I do enjoy that show cause it’s the only (ghost hunters too) show that finds real evidence. I live in historic St. Augustine & was at Castillo de San Marcos when they were & actually very down to earth. Zak however needs to lay off the gel & cologne……holy moly!! The caught the watchmans lantern & that is true. Ive seen it from my house many many times. They really need to get to the lighthouse. Now that will be an awesome investigation. Things go on during the day with tourists galore. I can imagine after hours :)

  5. Raeanne says:

    Ooops…. That was “scooby douche & the gang” damn auto correct!!

  6. jade says:

    i don’t understand how you can bash the show, i think its the best of it’s kind on TV.
    why would you want them to act serious all the time? they do when they need to, but other than that i think its good that they can run around and have a good time. i have never seen them disrespect any culture or traditions. they usually use all different types of religious, cultural rituals which you don’t find any were else.
    also how could you take that guy seriously?? it was bad enough that he carried on about the gate, which was obviously pushed by the wind..but he than proceeds to read his entire book and publicize it on tv?…i wonder why he agreed to be on the show. they delt with him good..by page 20 i would have told him to shut it.

  7. jade says:

    “Heh. For anyone who has watched this program over the years, this is the drop-dead funniest and most disingenuous bit of effluent we’ve ever heard from these guys. How many episodes do they seek out the tortured spirits of suicided brides, innocent crime victims, sinister secret murderers etc etc based solely on folklore ???”

    also you will find that most murders, deaths, rapping, suicide are all documented. they aren’t just making them up. i agree that finding out information on a ghost hunting tour- that isnt in records is pretty sketchy considering they will do anything to make the place more ‘scary’
    for example: they had the fake skull inside which screams to me that the tour guides don’t really care for real haunting s or spiritual contact– they just want to make money from some scares.

  8. gemma says:

    zak is not a douche at all he’s actually a really really nice guy and likes to sometimes make light of things and i gotta say i pissed my self laughing at goodstein an sorry but the guy was ethnocentric and weird. it was one of the best episodes with the GAC and they got good results from the nights.

  9. kirsten says:

    I know this is old, but I watched Ghost Adventures investigation in this location twice. I agree Bagins is a twit.. .but I have to ask if anyone noticed the skull in the dirt as they placed some kind of electrical device on the ground. It was shortly after the woman said Brendan’s name. Please tell me that someone else saw this? Was it a prop? I tried to find out but surprise (not) Bagins is too pompous to review his own tape….

  10. admin says:

    We caught the tail end of the rerun episode last night, but missed the part that you’re referring to (although did catch a quick cut-scene showing a skull in the dirt). They do sometimes play a little fast and loose with their set props – the place is a restaurant now, I rather doubt the owners would leave a human skull exposed in the floor.

    As for Bagans’ character – douche or nice guy – I haven’t met the fellow, and while we’ve been somewhat harsh toward him, in this post and elsewhere on this site, I would say that his primary job is to hype his program and create a marketable product for his producers. I do know members of other teams in Colorado who have met him, and they all say he’s a decent guy.

    Some of us may wish for a more deliberative approach to their investigations, but drama and tension and the menace of ‘dark energy’ is what fuels the program, and that’s what they pivot off. They have to, if they want to stay on TV – it’s what their audience now expects from them.

  11. Lana says:

    Kristen, I did notice the skull and thought to myself did anyone see that or was it just me. They cast did not seem to min the skull…..huh. That was weird here we are talking about a girl who was rapped and buried in the foundation and there is a skull in plain sight…..I’m confused?

  12. Melody says:

    Yes – I saw the skull as well! I just watched the episode today. I was searching to see if anyone else had seen the skull and if there was any explanation for why no one mentioned it during the episode. It’s a relief to know that other viewers saw it too!

  13. David Lawrence says:

    I think the history lesson at the beginning is the best oart. As far as it being fake well I had my own experience in 2008 and became a believer no one can tell me ghost don’t exist I know they do and this show is the best one out there abd yea there are sceptics but if you had an experience like I did you would believe

  14. Steph says:

    I can see both points of view, I Understand what it feels like to have a valued member of my team, a friend, insulted. I can also understand how much fun these kinda shows are. Maybe they shouldn’t of been quite so mean to the historian, I feel an apology is due there. Also to the teacher they were kind of mean to. He seemed to poke back a little. I’m sure they’re kind people,Oh forget it they were boorish. Show is fun though

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