Ghost Adventures: Serial Killer Spirits - Axe Killer Jail [Episode 3 Review]
'Ghost Adventures: Serial Killer Spirits' is the latest offering from Zak Bagans and the 'Ghost Adventures' crew. The four-part miniseries is a spinoff from the long-running ghost hunting show. In this week's episode the team visit Iowa and the jail that held the deranged axe murderer, Jake Bird.
Zak said "I'm excited about this, I've been looking forward to investigating this jail for a very very long time." The former Pottawattamie County Jail was known as the Squirrel Cage Jail due to its unique method of incarceration. The facility was one of a handful of rotary jails built in the mid-west US in the late 19th century.
The cells rotated inside a cylindrical cage with only one opening. This meant that limbs could easily be destroyed by steel grinding against steel. Zak describes it as one of the most unique jails they've investigated. Zak says that according to local law enforcement, one inmate used the mechanism to end his own life.
It's not just the unique jail that's brought Zak and his team to Iowa, the ghost hunter explains, "the real reason we're here is not just because of how insanely haunted this place is, but who was locked up inside of here." Zak is on the hunt for the lingering spirit of one notorious former inmate, a serial killer known as the Tacoma Axe Killer, Jake Bird.
Bird was held in the Squirrel Cage after he brutally assaulted a young Iowa couple with an axe in 1928. After his release he returned to his blood thirsty ways. By the time he was hanged for the axe murders of a mother and daughter in Tacoma, Washington, he had killed as many as 46 people.
However, Zak believes that it wasn't just Bird's axe that killed, but his words. Zak says, "this guy was unlike any other that I've ever heard of before. He had a supernatural power that could curse anybody that was against him." At his trial he predicted everyone involved in his case would die. One year after his execution, six men had succumb to the Jake Bird Hex. Zak wonders, "did he also curse the very jail that took away his freedom?"
As always, Zak was joined by Aaron Goodwin, Billy Tolley and Jay Wasley, and upon arriving at the hellish death trap they almost immediately picked up on unexplained EMF spikes.
With the rain falling outside, the team get stuck into their investigation. Aaron and Billy investigate a recently discovered secret chamber, visible through a whole in a wall. Aaron was armed with an SP-7 spirit box, a device which rapidly scans through radio frequencies. It's believed that spirits can manipulate the white noise and static to form meaningful responses. Just moments after switching it on next to the whole in the wall, they receive a response that sounds like it's saying "search the house".
They also received several other responses, some of which were vague, but one which Zak and the team felt was very relevant seemed to be saying "he's hiding". What made the voice so chilling is that the phrase was in response to Aaron's question about Bird. He'd asked, "is he here?" The also picked up a muffled and unclear sentence that seemed to be saying something about weapons and the phrase "kill 'em with something."
As darkness falls outside, the team lockdown inside the building for their nightlong vigil starting in what was once Jake Bird's cell. Zak called out, "Jake Bird, I'm here to conjure your spirit." As he's addressing the spirit, the team hear three loud banging sounds. They were once again using a spirit box, which captured what the team believed to be a voice saying "where are you?" as well as several other phrases that didn't seem particularly relevant to the situation.
A few moments later, Zak, Aaron and Billy felt as if they were having problems breathing and returned to Jay in the nerve centre to escape the oppressive feeling.
Next they moved on to the attic apartment where a former jailer refused to live due to unexplained paranormal activity. Upon entering the area Zak saw a dark shadowy mass move through a doorway. He noticed the anomaly twice, but was unable to identify its cause.
Zak decided to spend some time alone in the apartment, while Aaron and Billy returned to the nerve centre. He was free of any equipment and instead taking a back-to-basics approach to ghost hunting, simply called out to the spirits.
This must have proved fruitless, as moments later Zak is using a device called an Ovilus V, which is said to allow spirits to communicate by selecting words from a built-in database using their energy. He gets two names come through, Fay and Jackie. Zak wonders if he's being given the choice of which spirit to communicate with, but we don't see him follow this up.
Meanwhile, the team in the nerve centre spotted an unexplained light in Bird's cell on a monitor, so Aaron and Billy went to the cell to investigate. They lay down some paranormal gadgets and are surprised to find one of the gadgets moves seemingly on its own.
Billy then pulls out a Paranormal Puck, a device that connects to a smartphone and supposedly lets spirits communicate by manipulating the atmospheric conditions around the puck. It's not clear how the device transmits messages, but it claims to allow two-way communication, so Billy types in a question asking if it was a spirit that moved the device on the floor. A response came through saying "mostly," which they took to mean "yes".
Later in the basement, Aaron and Billy are using an advanced spirit box which scans ten times more rapidly than the SP-7. They get several interesting responses, including what they believe to be the name "Bird", and the phrase "get out of the basement". They then hear a squawking sound through the device which they take to be the serial killer's laugh.
The investigation ended when the team came back together and Zak confessed to the team that he was experiencing pain in a "sensitive area." Spelling it out for a coy Zak, Aaron bluntly asked "your testicles?" And Zak confirmed that he felt like he'd been kicked in the balls. It was an unexpected ending to an interesting investigation at a unique location.
'Ghost Adventures: Serial Killer Spirits' continues next week on Really as part of the channel's #Freakend event, bringing viewers two nights of paranormal entertainment every Thursday and Friday.
You can watch in the United Kingdom and Ireland as part of the Discovery family of channels. You can watch Really on Freeview (17), Sky (142), Virgin Media (129) and Freesat (160), plus YouView, BT TV and TalkTalk TV. Or watch previous episodes on demand on dplay.
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