Fact or Faked Paranormal FilesEpisodes

Off the Deep End/Houseguest
Season 1 - Episode 103
Off the Deep End/Houseguest
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The team meets in the Situation Room to discuss which cases they'll investigate this week. Bill brings in the first winner, a set of photos and videos that seemingly displayed ghostly writing. He, Chi-Lan and Larry are assigned to investigate this potential Polaroid poltergeist. Meanwhile, Austin grabs everyone's attention with a photo of a creature supposedly caught on camera in a lake in Raystown, Pennsylvania. There's little hard evidence, but the legend is pervasive enough that the town visitors' bureau has made it a part of Raystown's identity. Ben, Austin and Jael take the Raystown case, and we follow them first.

On arrival, the trio checks out the scene at the lake and interviews a couple of witnesses: One man who saw something surface from the lake 16 years ago, and a couple who only recently saw a neck and a head in the water. Given that they had never heard of the Raystown Ray, Ben and his crew deem them credible witnesses.

Next, they set about trying to recreate the photo in question. The first strategy is to tow a log by boat, but Jael deems the shape and texture not close enough to be accurate. As a second try, they create a hoax monster out of PVC pipe and plywood. This looks much closer to the photo, but given the witness reports and the fact that it'd be difficult to pull off without being seen, it's determined to not be a reasonable explanation.

At this point, the team moves from recreation to investigation, heading out in boats to sweep the lake with SONAR. Austin encounters something large, and Jael and Ben quickly suit up and SCUBA dive to see if they can find it. Unfortunately, visibility is minimal, and they're unable to see anything at all. As a final effort, they attempt to fish for the creature, but end up snagging only the bottom of the river. On returning to the Situation Room, they're forced to admit that the case remains unexplained.

Meanwhile, Bill, Larry and Chi-Lan head to Los Angeles, where they meet with John Huckert. He's the owner of a home in which Polaroid photos he's taken have repeatedly revealed written messages and strange shapes. Some of the messages even seemed to be in direct response to questions asked. A psychic friend of Huckert's also claimed that there's a body buried under the house. The briefing completed, the team begins its investigation.

In this case, Chi-Lan's photography expertise is put to work. She creates a method by which she's able to recreate Polaroids with text on them...but while the technique works well in the Fact or Faked office, efforts to replicate it on-site result in blurred and muddled photos. Efforts to recreate the effect using a sheet of plexiglass with writing on it also prove fruitless; the text looks good, but reflections from the glass - an effect not seen in Huckert's photos - are impossible to ignore.

Finally, Bill and Larry go underneath the house in search of the rumored dead body. With the help of ground penetrating RADAR, they do make a seemingly chilling discovery: Bones! Unfortunately, however, Larry later has the bones analyzed and discovers they come from a cow and a chicken. But Larry also had the voices of the witnesses analyzed by law enforcement specialists, and they aren't lying. The crew is baffled, and there's no choice but to chalk the case up as unexplained.

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