Destination TruthEpisodes

Haunted Island and Devil Worm
Season 2 - Episode 202
Haunted Island and Devil Worm
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Tanzania: Haunted Pemba Island


Making a rare trip into paranormal territory, Josh brings his team to Pemba Island, a territory of Tanzania off the eastern coast of Africa. Recent reports indicate that fishermen avoid it, frightened by the spirits of dead slaves who linger there.

Heading out toward the Madoni Ruins, Josh encounters Jakob Marley, a farmer. He invites Josh and the team to visit with him and his family, and he explains that about a quarter of a mile away there is a tree where ghosts gather every evening at midnight. He explains that people who see the ghosts die the next day — including his own 19-year-old daughter, who succumbed after a quarrel with the ghosts.

Jakob brings Josh, Casey, Brad and Araceli to the tree during daylight. They begin to set up their equipment and sprinkle the hole in the tree's trunk with rosewater as an offering. As night falls, they are asked to participate in a ceremony to appease the spirits. Jakob's brother, Jamil, is said to be a vessel through whom the spirits will speak while one of Jakob's three wives shrieks, possessed by a different spirit. She objects to how Araceli is dressed but is placated with apologies.

A female spirit possesses Jamil, who accepts the offerings of fruit, rosewater and a chicken. Josh pleads for the chicken to be spared; it receives a seemingly token bite from Jamil but is allowed to live. When asked if Josh and the team can visit the tree that night, the spirit replies, "Let them go if they dare."

Fighting the clock, the team-members race back to the tree to complete their set-up and begin recording sights and sounds. They hear a sound in the air; Josh rules out an airplane, but the low rumble continues. Then they hear the sound of a little girl laughing, but they find no source.

Just as the EMF detector registers unusual spikes, the microphone inside the tree shorts out. As they investigate, Casey picks up two heat signatures, which might be spectral orbs. Ponch, the team's audio technician, thinks he sees someone walking out of the nearby ruins. After half an hour, Josh calls an end to the recordings.

Back in Los Angeles, Josh asks Dan Mewhinney from the Southern California Paranormal Research Society to help analyze his team's recordings. Dan points out that as the mic is placed in the tree, a human voice is heard; he thinks it is saying "get out," but it's unclear. He also hears the rumbling noise but can't identify it.

Josh asks if it might be something organic, such as tectonic plates shifting, but Dan doesn't think so. The orbs seen on the thermal recording are intriguing but inconclusive. One camera, responding to a motion, recorded something moving on the left edge of the screen. Because everyone was accounted for at another position, it is also an anomaly.

Mongolia: Devil Worm

Josh brings the team with him to Mongolia's Gobi Desert in search of the fabled devil worm, a.k.a. the death worm, or olgoi-khorkoi. The frequency with which people have reported sightings of the worm over the last century intrigues Josh, and after hearing of an entire village recently abandoned because of the worm, he decides to concentrate his efforts in that vicinity.

Getting there requires a two-day, off-road excursion using only GPS coordinates to help plot the team's course. At the halfway mark, in the town of Dalanzadgad, he and his team sample the local food and get additional eyewitness reports of the worm and its attraction to things yellow in color.

When they find the village, they meet Osman, its sole inhabitant, who says he remains out of respect for his departed father and brothers. He tells of hearing sounds that drove away his neighbors, but admits he saw nothing himself.

Josh and his team set up cameras on the outskirts of the village, where a network of underground tunnels might be the work of rodents or the worm. One camera is wrapped in yellow fabric as an enticement. Despite the rapidly dropping temperature, Josh goes out with the thermal imager to look around. He finds what appears to be a fresh hole and asks the others to come so they can take samples. A thermal camera picks up residual heat images and they hear what could be scratching sounds but nothing is seen.

Brad spots something flashing orange in the distance but when they investigate, they come up empty. With the frigid air draining their battery power, Josh calls it a night.

Back in Los Angeles, the four soil samples are studied by Carol Case at the Babcock & Sons laboratory. She says the samples are identical and contain nothing organic. Josh has to say that while the stories are fascinating, there is not enough evidence to corroborate the existence of Mongolia's feared devil worm.


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