Review: Haunted Highway Episode 105 (5) “Louisiana Swamp Woman/Pioneer Cemetery”

Haunted Highway is another fun show, with cast members from Fact or Faked: Paranormal files, Jael de Pardo, and Devin Marble, and joining these two are Jack Osbourne and Dana Workman. Unlike FoFPF, where the premise is the teams are investigating so-called found footage from the internet and testing to see if it’s faked or not, the premise of Haunted Highway, confusingly enough, is that they’re doing the investigations without the usual unsung heroes of reality television; the Camera crews or back up. Interesting premise, but It does seem to have a real chance of going wrong.

On tonight’s episode, Jack Osbourne and Dana Workman won’t be in it, due to Jack being diagnosed with MS.

We start off with a “Swamp Woman” in Louisiana, rumored to be from a Tribe of native Americans, who were killed by French Settlers. The swamp woman reportedly lures people into the swamp by yelling or screaming, drawing on lookers into the deadly swamp.

I find myself wondering who, of the people living there and having grown up with this legend, would be stupid enough to go into the area and follow the sound of someone screaming. But I digress.

Almost right away, they start getting hits from the small island they’re occupying in the middle of the lake. Devin pulls out a parabolic mic, and starts listening in to the noises as they split up– Jael going one way with a FLIR (Forward Looking Infrared) Camera. Devin crawls out into the lake/swamp on a log, and, not surprisingly, falls in when a scream yells at him seemingly close by. Poor guy.

On the camera watching him, they appear to pick up some sort of shadow, but I couldn’t see it.

Freaked out, they move to the second sweep location, this time with Jael on the Parabolic and Devin on the FLIR. almost right away Devin picks up what appears to be a cold spot, which then disappears. Following it, or such, they come to the edge of the lake, and looking out over it they find, to their surprise, another cold spot, roughly humanoid shaped, on the other side of the lake. They decide to take the boat across (despite having to row).

Halfway across the lake, the spot disappears, and suddenly the boat rocks as they hit something. They can’t see anything in the water, so they decide to conduct an EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon). They ask a few questions, and suddenly the spot’s back, so off they go. They reach the spot, and yet, it’s disappeared.

Conclusions:
Devin isn’t convinced the swamp woman pushed him into the swamp, and I’m not either; I can’t see no shadow on the film, so meh. THe most important part of the night’s investigation, they conclude, was the sounds, which don’t sound like animals, and were heard multiple times all over the swamp, as well as a cold spot on the FLIR. The EVP session was… inconclusive. Upon reviewing the tape, they Jael and Devin seem to believe they heard something after Jael asked “Do you want us to leave” yet I was unable to hear it.

My thoughts:

Something I’m noticing here is, surely it would make more sense to have a set up of three different mics, and use them to triangulate the location the sounds were coming from that way, rather than running around with their mic. And secondly, I feel that they should show the audio to a wildlife expert to eliminate misidentified animal sounds. I know they say they didn’t sound like animals, but most people don’t really know what animals can or will sound like.

Secondly, on their FLIR camera, how do they know this cold spot wasn’t an arefact caused by the limitations of range and resolution on their camera? I remember an episode of FoFPF where they showed a supposedly ghostly image at the end of a hallway was in fact nothing more than the camera’s limited range creating an artefact.

Next up: Coloma, CA; 250 year old Graveyard.

Reports include “voice, children’s laughter at night, and ghostly figures at the cemetery’s highest point.”

They speak with a local investigator who shows them an EVP recording of a little boy apparently telling them where his headstone is. It seems a bit too clear to me, given the nature of other EVP, if it’s indicative it’ll be an interesting segment, but it seems probably that it’s fraudulent.

Jael sets up a meeting with Nancy Bradley, historian/paranormal author of “gold rush ghosts”, and they ask her to tell them more about the “Lady in burgundy.” According to her, the ghost is of a woman who’s family is buried in the graveyard, but she herself wasn’t due to a family dispute.

The arrive after dark and set up their IR cameras. Then they start a EVP session with intentions of recording it all night long. While walking, Devin finds the tombstone as described by Nancy, and as she noted, one side of the four sided monument is blank. Devin sets up an IR and a FLIR camera both focused on the same thing, at the same angle, with hopes of capturing either a cold, hot, or shadows. They then do an EVP. (technically they’re still recording, but meh).

Devin says he feels like they’re being watched from behind the tree, and goes to investigate; as he does, his walkie talkie squeals, giving them both a good fright, but it seems there’s no reason for it to go off. Then the EMF meter started spiking. They decide to do some stuff; firstly, Jael goes to get a ball to see if she can interact with the child’s spirit, and Devin goes to get a noose to see if he can attract the spirits of the two men who were hanged in the Graveyard.

Jael sets up the ball experiment, trying to see if it’ll move, as well as a hanging wind ornament to show if their’s any ‘wind’ blowing that could account for the movement of the ball. Meanwhile Devin flips the hanged horse thieves off, and sticks his head in the noose. Right away I noticed that the wind ornament moved significantly, which suggests even with the little amount of breeze going on, it’s not going to be a particularly good control.

Jael hears a noise and goes behind the tree to investigate, and while she’s behind it, the ball suddenly rolls forward and runs into the camera. Devin, meanwhile, is still taunting the ghost while his neck is in the noose, and gets a response. noose is slight warm, they hear a noise and go off to investigate with their a camera, but find no one, until thier walkie goes off again. They go to review the footage and find a spot showing up on the FLIR but not the IR, which disappears after a moment.

Conclusions:
The review of their footage is a bit light, but going through the EVP, they do find a child giggling on it.

My thoughts
Not a bad segment, but I feel like there was too much going on and not enough time spent on any individual aspect of the haunting. It would have been nice if they had investigated and tried to locate where the lady in Burgundy is actually buried, and visited that graveyard as well.

I do wish they’d use the two-camera set up more often on these sorts of investigations, it’s this sort of redundancy that is useful and produces interesting results.

Rating: Overall 3/5
Swamp Woman: 3/5
Graveyard: 3/5

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3 thoughts on “Review: Haunted Highway Episode 105 (5) “Louisiana Swamp Woman/Pioneer Cemetery”

  1. Cyndie says:

    It was this particular episode that led me to realize this show is a fake. First, as to the screams in the swamp, they reminded me of a panther. Truly one of the scariest animal screams around, and known to “haunt” southern swamps.
    However, the biggest “bubble burster” for me would have to be the scene in the cemetary where both Jael & Devin were investigating the tall gravestone, with the “spot” showng up on the FLIR but not the IR. If you watch closely with all three clips of this supposed “spot” you can tell that the film was edited. Also when the ball rolls, if you watch closely prior to it rolling, you can see movement next to it, indicating that it was pushed or tapped to get it to roll. I’m so disappointed with this show now!

    • I’m not sure how fake, or at least how intentionally misleading the editors of the show are trying for as they edit. With the screams in the swamp, as I mentioned, it can be very difficult to tell the difference between one animal or another, and since neither Jael or Devin strike me as experts on animal calls, ideally they should have asked for an expert to review the soundbites for them– it’s not the first time they’ve done this, and assuming the Space Channel ever decides to rerun the episodes of Haunted Highway, I’m sure I’ll get the right episode when it rolls around.

      One of the biggest trouble I found when I went back and re-reviewed the clips you mentioned in the cemetery was that the footage is really quite grainy; I’ve always thought that IR images tend to be that way, but I found myself wondering if they make HD versions of FLIRs or IR cameras. I’m always wondering what the difference between a normal IR camera and a FLIR camera is suppose to be, but this isn’t explained in the show.

      For me, I feel as if the spot showing up on one camera and not the other is most likely an artifact of some sort, although I’m not a photography expert by any stretch of the imagination, but it doesn’t surprise me too much to find the clip was edited, even just a little bit. With the ball however, I agree there does appear to be some sort of motion beside the ball just before it rolls – and I’m disappointed that the FLIR camera’s image of the event is so grey-washed. I’m not sure if this means it was faked, or if a flashlight or similar device left standing beside it just fell over. It’s difficult to tell.

      Thanks for commenting!

      Edit After going to the Fact or Faked website (of which Jael and Devin also star on, so it seems reasonable they’ll use similar equipment) and looking at there equipment, I think the difference between the FLIR and the IR camera is that the IR camera apparently uses IR illuminatiors (ie light bulbs) to light up what the camera is looking at, where as the FLIR only gathers in the ambient light.

  2. CasualCostumer says:

    I love that this show is scary, but I was really disappointed with the cemetery footage. There was a clip where there was a dark shadow on the film, then it disappears. But if you go back and look, they show a longer clip of it where it’s in frame long after it “disappears” later on. It’s clearly the same clip (it’s where Jael goes behind the gravestone). It must be fake. Not that I ever expect these shows to be real, but that was a really disappointing part – seemed like sloppy editing, where they “forgot” to take the shadow out in one shot.

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